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.
Soon other manufacturers began to copy their ideas and a wide variety of scooters became available with varying degrees of quality and design. Even faced with increased competition, Vespa stuck with their original, well built designs. They had, and still have today, full steel construction, monocoque chassis, seven layers of paint, great handling, and excellent power plants. Vespa quality has always stood out from the crowd and they continue to be noted as the finest scooters in the world.
For many people in the United States the first scooter they ever rode was a Vespa. In fact, Sears Roebuck sold Vespas from 1959 to 1969 as the “Allstate Cruisaire”, “Vespa Allstate”, “Vespa Sears”, and the “Vespa Sprint Sears”. Vespa’s were also popularized by their appearance in the classic film ‘Roman Holiday’ with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. It’s hard not to think of Italian cafes when you look at a Vespa, they’re synonomous.
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. If someone comes into the shop looking for a Vespa, no other motorized bike on the planet is going to work for them, they know what they want.
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 Vespa is easy.
People who buy a Vespa are extremely style conscious, they want the best in the world. The scooter is substantial, the ride quality is excellent, great suspension, quality brakes, the engine work and engine management system are all refined. The newest 50cc models are even four valves per cylinder so they achieve the most possible power and speed from a small scooter motor, yet are still classified as mopeds in most states.
There is a strong Vespa 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. Vespas are very popular here, in fact, we’re the number three Vespa 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 Vespa at Great Bay Motorcycles. The design, quality and special character of these scooters fits right in with our other exceptional European brands.