Piaggio Vespa PX 150 (2011-current): I bought it like this!

     This 2011 model by Piaggio-Vespa is a slightly improved version of the PX model introduced in 1977. How does it feel today riding a scooter like this ?

     Engine: The air cooled, two stroke 149 c.c. engine which is fueled via a carburetor, provides 9 bhp/6600 rpm, claimed value.
     Actually there is a clutch for the rider, engaging the right gear is performed with rider¢s left hand, twisting the grip. Upshifting will change the gears from first, neutral, second, third and fourth.
     The engagement of the first gear produces a slight jerk. Rider will need some time to adapt to the gearbox, especially if she-he is used to automatic transmission scooters. Fortunately, in case that rider will select two speeds higher when upshifting by mistake, there is enough torque by the engine to counterbalance the effect. By every day practice, rider will manage to select neutral easier.
  
     Under full throttle acceleration the speed of 40 Km/h is achieved very fast, 60 Km/h fast, 80 Km/h adequately, 100 Km/h moderately. The top speed which is 105 Km/h indicated figure, is achieved slowly. Engine operation is kind of irregular, producing vibrations at idle and high frequency vibrations close to the top speed.
     The indication of the oil mix is next to the choke, just behind the rider¢s legs. The oil mix is filled from a cap, beside the fuel cap, under the seat. Certainly, there is an oil pump. There is no warning light for low level of oil mix, hence rider has to be cautious.
     The mysterious hole at the front under the seat is the air filter inlet. A normal travelling speed at the highway is up to 90 Km/h, which means that rider will not feel safe then.
                     
     Riding position: The height of the saddle is average, 810 mm, even short riders will step a relatively confident foot on the ground.
     Scooter¢s dimensions are decreased compared to the 150 c.c. scooter class standards. The weight is also lower compared to the modern standards, 112 Kg nominal curb, despite the metal infrastructure!
     Rider is placed over the scooter mainly, less in. Riding position is neutral.
 
     On the road: The link arm front suspension feels very soft, the single shock at the rear feels relatively firm. The wheels dimension is 3.5/10” front and rear, very small indeed. Tyres fitted are Michelin S83. They are considered to be a superb choice for the specific scooter.
 
     On urban rides, riding sensation is unique, totally a retro one. It¢s a pure 80¢s feeling, rider will travel back in time. Hence, the riding provided by the PX 150 cannot be compared with that of any modern scooter.
 
     Agility is excellent. Maneuvering is ridiculously easy. Filtering is quite good due to the small dimensions of the scooter. The height of the handlebar and the mirrors is the same with that of cars¢ and SUVs¢ mirrors. That will not puzzle the rider even on traffic jams.
     Steering lock is exceptional, the best so far reviewed. Its almost equivalent of that of a bicycle. Combined with the small dimensions of the scooter, congested traffic will feel almost like normal.
     Road imperfections are not absorbed sufficiently, rider will notice all of them. The small wheels and the ancient Roman history suspensions are the reason for that. Comfort is just moderate on roads like this. On flat roads, there are no imperfections to be transmitted to the rider…
 
     If rider attempts nimble pace riding, feedback is soon diminished. Rider will not get the confidence to come close even to a charging-with-a-scooter modern pace.
     On high friction factor roads, riding limits are again inferior to the modern standards. The small wheels are the main reason.
 
     On the open road, as the riding speed is increased, the PX feels more and more edgy. The superb agility becomes a drawback in higher speed riding, the PX feels unstable. Rider will feel insecure close to the top speed.
 
     The front 200 mm disc brake with a single piston caliper is relatively powerful, feeling wooden though. The rear drum brake is activated by rider¢s right foot, it will require some familiarisation during the initial rides. Its powerful, progressive, feedback to the rider is moderate though.
     Consequently if braking is judged by modern standards, despite the power provided, its inferior, mainly due to the feedback provided. It feels like brakes were manufactured by Pinocchio¢s father…
                        
     Reliability/quality build: Engine has got a proven reliability for 34 years now, the sample is quite sufficient, some three million PX Vespas were manufactured.
                         
     Comments: There is no storage space under the seat, which is a definite disadvantage compared to modern standards. However the gloves compartment at the leg shield is really spacious. The hook for the shopping bags is quite practical.
     There are no pillion handgrips which will puzzle the rider also: In order to place the scooter on the centre stand, rider will pull back the Vespa applying force to the very front of the saddle.
     The kick stand is not provided. The mirrors, due to engine vibrations get blurred, usually vision provided is not convenient for the rider. The spare wheel underneath the left engine cover is typical for the PX Vespas. Except from the electric start there is also a kick start available for the rider.
       
      A 125 c.c. version is also produced, featuring minor engine and weight variations.
     After a market research conducted by Piaggio, future customers favoured a front end single arm, a spare wheel and a two stroke engine. PX provides all these, the front suspension is slightly different compared to the 80¢s model, while a monocoque type frame is still there.
     The carburettor and the front disc brake are new. A catalytic converter is equipped in order to overcome the Euro 3 standards. The clear lens indicators create some modern details.
  
     Conclusively the PX targets the riders who wish for a perfectly restored Vespa and are not really in search for modern riding characteristics. In case that a rider wonders if this scooter will be a satisfying purchase, one could reverse the question. “Do you miss the 80¢s? How much retro-fan do you feel? If you feel much, you have the chance to prove it”.
 
     From the factory¢s point of view, there are only a few companies that may actually produce a modern – retro bike. From the scooter¢s perspective, this case comes within the purview of Piaggio. Rider could be benefited by such a product, since no restoration troubles and costs will be faced. The owner will travel back into time, under a factory guarantee.
 


Price 125 c.c.: 2750 Åuros

Price 150 c.c.: 3000 Åuros

+ Sensation

+ Uniqueness

- Modern riding characteristics in case of everyday use.

                        

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