Any Vespa, old or new, has the Piaggio badge on the front of it. Piaggio is a large and diverse manufacturing company that makes many different products from aircraft to motorcycles and scooters. In fact, they are the fourth largest producer of motorbikes in the world.
Piaggio started in the railroad business in the late 1800’s and began building aircraft in the early 1900’s. Vespa was their original scooter business, started immediately after World War II to provide cheap transportation for the Italian market. A Vespa was a very utilitarian item, well built and made to last. They really invented the scooter business as we know it today.
As we get into the year 2000, Piaggio desired to maintain the quality of the Vespa’s but, to compete they needed a more cost effective brand. They introduced their Piaggio brand scooters to be less expensive transportation for the masses. The Vespa brand was an elevated product, everyone of them beautiful. The Piaggio brand would be more utilitarian.
The Piaggio brand scooters use motors that are similar to a Vespa. They have a steel spine frame and ABS plastic body construction. They lag a little behind Vespa in adopting the latest technological advances. They get them but, not until they are more cost effective. For example, the Vespa 150cc models have fuel injection but, the Piaggio Fly 150’s do not.
Not Hard to Love
Scooters are really fun and people love them. It’s much more enjoyable to be on a scooter than in your car. The enthusiasm of people who ride their scooter to the shop is tangible. When they pull up to the door, they’re pretty happy. They feel special and unique and the quality of the ride is reinforcing.
Scooters appeal to people for many reasons. They are casual and easy. The step through design is more appealing to some than straddling a motorcycle. You don’t shift them, they are all automatic. It’s basically twist and go. A scooter is a great way to spend your summer, with the wind in your hair. It’s not the same commitment as being on a motorcycle, riding a scooter is easy.
There is a strong scooter community on the seacoast. They’re green and they want a small carbon footprint. Their economical, they enjoy 80 to 100 mpg mileage. They’re outdoors people. In the good weather months, what better way is there to get around. Scooters are very popular here, in fact, we’re the number three Vespa/Piaggio dealer, behind Boston and Philly. We’ve sold hundreds of them.
We have a lot of customers who commute on scooters. Typically travelling 15 miles or so each way back and forth to work. People choose them for economical and stylish transportation. Cars are so much kinder to scooters these days. As they became more popular, people stopped viewing scooters as a pesky nuisance in traffic. Now drivers recognize that it’s probably their neighbor’s daughter going to school, a grandmother going shopping, or a commuter. Scooters have gained more respect and recognition.
We’re proud to carry Piaggio at Great Bay Motorcycles. The design, quality and special character of these scooters fits right in with our other exceptional European brands.