Words & Images- Hanoz Patel
‘Sporty’ Vespa S as they like to call it, is the 3rd scooter launch by Piaggio for the Indian consumer. The Vespa S, preceded by the Vespa LX and VX signifies the Vespa culture and reinforces the mark made by the Italian brand in our country. Touted to be the sportiest and most youthful Vespa in the country, the new scooter’s clean lines express a dynamic and lively character. It is a scooter that makes minimalist design its distinguishing feature in order to win the approval of the young enthusiasts.
The Vespa S is powered by a 125 CC, 3 valve Engine that boasts of features like Aluminium Cylinder Head, Overhead Cam and Roller Rocker Arm. The motor comes mated to a Continuous Variable Transmission and delivers a max power output of 10.06 PS @ 7500 RPM. If that is not all, our fuel mileage-conscious lot would be happy to have 60kmpl+ figure as an answer to their “Kitna deti hai?” query.
Enough of numbers. How does it really feel to ride the latest Vespa? We took a short spin on it to know exactly how.
Vespa S is a victim of some serious eye candy profiling. The Vespa S is is available in 4 colors, Matt Black, Orange, Red and White. While our Matt Black got some eyeballs glued to it as we took it around, the Orange Vespa turned out to be the biggest head-turner of them all! Vespa’s monocoque full-steel body construction is a piece of art with all the right curves and all the right fixtures exactly where required. The square headlamps and the square mirrors really stand out and easily catch your attention. The Black V shape grill upfront with horizontal slats and black bumper appliqué compliment the looks of the vehicle. And of course, there is a generous sprinkling of chrome! There is a liberal dosage of chrome given to the mirrors, logos, bar-ends, on suspension components, at front fascia and at rear end too! Surely all the bling you’ll need! The body paint quality is top notch delivered by a 3 coat high definition paint finish. The speedo cluster is simple and classy and majorly sports a large speedometer, the fuel gauge. It was also nice to see the digital clock on the console.
Brakes and Wheels
Front: Disk Brake, 200 mm ventilated front disc brake
Rear: 140mm Drum brake diameter
We got the brakes doing what they are supposed to do best, with and without a pillion and they did the job well. However, a disc at the rear would have been beneficial as the S tends to loose out a bit on the braking bite especially with a pillion loaded. That said, the braking in city traffic was precise and well responsive with no wheel lock ups even when pressed on to the limit.
The brakes are well complimented by the rubber on the vehicle. The 3-spoke, Sporty Black Alloy wheels really stand out and add to the looks of the Vespa S.
Suspension / Clearance
We hate to hear the scraping sound of our machine’s belly on the mammoth speed breakers and pot holes our roads are famous for. However, these were nary a worry on the new Vespa S as the scooter handled them all with quite a aplomb. Even with a combined load of 150+kgs, the Vespa S did wonderful swallowing the speed-breakers. While we found the suspension to be a tad on the hard side, we would prefer the hint of hardness over the soft and bumpy ride.
Power Delivery and Ride Quality
The 125cc mill that powers the Vespa S showed no run-down as we put the Vespa S through its paces. While speed junkies might notice an initial lag on throttle twist, it is worth mentioning that the Vespa S slowly but surely gets comes into its elements and bestows the rider with a power-packed performance. And who’s complaining about the initial lack of enthusiast as long as you get to have all the eyeballs on street gluing to you?
Balancing in city bumper-to-bumper traffic was easy and we do not remember setting our foot on the road in slow speeds or even taking ‘U’ turns. That indeed is the result of the link spring mechanism between engine and frame that provides amazing balance by balancing of mechanical trail and stabilizing torque. We were able to push the Vespa S to speeds well beyond 60 km/hr and the Vespa S held its ground with no wobbles or cause of worries.
The wide and long contoured leather seat is reasonably comfortable but some extra cushioning can surely make it sweeter.
While the Vespa S is pretty comfortable for even for tall riders, the piilon however, has a slightly different story to tell. Firstly, there’s no pllion footrest set. And to make things worse, the grab rail is conspicuous by its absence!
However, the Vespa S does gets some new features, like the front storage space, that are extremely useful. The under seat storage is huge and more than what we initially anticipated.
At Rs. 76,495 ex-showroom, Mumbai (74,414-Pune, 75,424 Delhi) the Vespa S is an overall ‘premium’ package in the scooter segment. While it might not have a sweet price-point, or a very powerful engine, it still has everything you would want to own, enjoy and cherish. While Vespa likes to question, “Do you Vespa?” we would like to end this with a similar question “Would you Vespa?”
CLICK ON THUMBNAILS FOR HIGH RESOLUTION VESPA S IMAGES