“A new Vespa is ready every three minutes.”
The iconic Italian company cranks out scooters faster than my local Craigslist spammers can put ads up for year-old sportbikes ($2,345! New exhaust! Pay me via my friend’s escrow company!) Forget those guys and give me a Vespa.
They've been built in Italy since Piaggio’s airplane production dropped off rather abruptly in the mid-1940s. To this day, Vespa scooters utilize a few aircraft-inspired elements, including a monocoque chassis and small, single-sided wheels. (Vespas have been built outside Italy under license. This practice continues in some markets.)
While most Zillans riding in to work are on motorcycles, we've got a small but dedicated group of #scootlyfe riders. Their preferred steed is the Vespa 300 GTS, which has enough pep to hang with Philly traffic. A fair share of other Vespas have graced our lot, including a ‘64 VBB 150 on knobbies.
Most of my scooter experience has been on Japanese stuff (I've never actually owned a scoot). That said, I'll always be down for a Vespa ride. Seeing how they're made just makes them all the more interesting. Honestly, I was fairly surprised to see so many high-tech production techniques for a vehicle that visually reads as so old-fashioned. That perception is changing somewhat with the introduction of Vespa's e-scooter, the Elettrica.
I don't think the ideal Vespa for me is still in production, but then again, my Instagram feed includes dudes who put 450 cc dirt bike engines in Honda Cubs. Something for everyone out there, right?