Tag Archives: Vespa

Vespa joins BMW, Harley and Ducati in Legoland

Kids and big kids’ toy company Lego has added the original 1960s Vespa 125 model to its range of motorcycle scale models.

It joins the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy, Ducati Panigale V4 R, BMW R 1200 GS and BMW boxer motorcycle engine in their two-wheeled range.

The 1106-piece pastel pale blue scooter pays tribute to the original Vespa of the 1960s with a classic Italian number plate and even a bunch of flowers in the rear basket.

Other original details include a spare wheel and removable brick-built engine cover.

The wheels, sidestand and handlebars are moving parts.

Lego Group Senior Designer Florian Muller says the model “offered me a chance to step back in time and let my imagination flow”.

The LEGO Vespa 125 is now available online, from Lego Stores and other retailers at $A169.95.

It’s no “toy” either, standing at 22cm, 12cm wide and 35cm long.

This follows other motorcycle icons in the Lego world.

Todd's complete Lego bikes
Lego Harley and BMW

The Lego Ducati Panigale V4 R costs $A100, the Harley Fat Boy is $A159.99, the BMW R 1200 GS is $A104 and BMW’s famous Boxer engine from the 1973 BMW R 90 S is  about $A250 through Amazon.

LEGO Ducati Panigale V4 R

All models have pieces that lock together and do not need gluing.

Toy maker Meccano has also joined the action with its licensed and generic motorcycle kits featuring the Ducati Monster 1200S and GP Desmo.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Vespas scoot around the bay for charity

Melbourne Vespa riders will celebrate the iconic scooter marque’s 75th anniversary on Sunday, 19 December, with the ninth annual Vespa Day Around the Bay.

The event, organised by the Vespa Club of Melbourne, allows participants to choose from eight departure points around the bay.

Riders can do one or two legs of the trip or ride the full 322.6km right around Port Phillip Bay.

Cost is $10 per rider with funds raised going to the Khmer Association for Development (KAD).

The local Cambodian non-governmental, non-profit, non-political and non-religious organisation conducts several community programs in health, education, vocational training, media, governance, agriculture and children’s rights.

The Vespa Club of Melbourne has donated more than $40,000 to the Cambodian charity in the past eight years.

Among the classic Vespa models expected at the event will be several 75th editions of the latest Vespa Primavera 150 and GTS 300 models, distinguished by their historic ‘Giallo Zolfo’ livery, intuitive TFT display and iconic leather wheel bags.

Vespa has built more than 19 million scooters over the past 75 years, including almost two million in the past decade alone.

Image from previous Vespa Vespa Days

Vespa Day Around the Bay itinerary

6.45am Geelong: The Edge Cafe. Refuel at Yarraville so you can make it home.

8.30am Yarraville: Main ride leaves from Dad and Dave’s Cafe (Bus station).

9am St Kilda: Shakespeare Grove car park along Luna Park. Be ready to go when the ride arrives.

10.40am Chelsea: Morning tea from 10am by members Stefan and Ira at their home at 8 Village Crescent, Chelsea. Thank them very much.

Touratech Desierto5 fairing for BMW R 12100 GSv

11.30am Mornington: Wilson’s Road. Regroup only. Don’t gear down. Ride begins as soon as the tail rider arrives.

1pm Sorrento Ferry: $20 cash for Vespa Club members/$30 cash others (usually $39). Have small notes ready to pay Julie as you pass through the gate. Lunch on the ferry is BYO or you can buy from the kiosk.

1.45pm Queenscliff: Ride to Portarlington where riders will refuel.

3.30pm Leave Geelong, through Corio and Lara: North of Little River the ride joins the freeway for 15 minutes.

4.30pm: Main ride arrives for drinks at Vault bar, Yarraville.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Vespa cracks 19 million unit milestone in 75th year

75 years young and never more popular

Vespa celebrates 75 years and reaches the extraordinary milestone of 19 million units produced, beginning from the spring of 1946. The Vespa that celebrates the 19 million is a GTS 300 in 75th Anniversary Special Edition and was assembled in the Pontedera plant, where Vespa has been manufactured uninterrupted since 1946.

1945 Vespa MP6 Prototype

Halfway through the first decade of the new millennia, annual Vespa production was around 50 thousand units and, since then, constant and spectacular growth took it an excess of 100 thousand in 2007 and 200 thousand from 2018.

Vespsa is today manufactured out of three production sites: Pontedera, with production destined for Europe, the Americas and all the western markets; Vinh Phuc, in Vietnam, which serves the local market along with Australia, and India hosts the ultra-modern Baramati plant, opened in April 2012, where Vespas for the Indian and Nepalese markets are produced.

Vespa’s Pontedera plant, in Tuscany – 1950s

For its 75th birthday, Vespa introduces a special Vespa 75th series, available for Vespa Primavera (in the 50, 125 and 150 cc engine sizes) and for Vespa GTS (in the 125 and 300 cc engine sizes), limitedly to 2021.

75th Anniversary Vespa GTS 300

The body of Vespa 75th takes on the brand new metallic Giallo 75th colour which, designed expressly for this series, reinterprets colours in a modern key that were all the rage in the forties. The number 75 appears on the side panels and front mudguard in a more accentuated shade, creating an elegant tone-on-tone, as well on the front, where the traditional “necktie” is refined in a matte yellow pyrite colour.

75th Anniversary Vespa Primavera 150

Vespa was born out of the desire to create an innovative product for individual mobility. First a “motor scooter” was built on the model of small motorcycles for parachutists and then a prototype that revolutionised the concept that had dominated the classic motorcycling layout until then. A vehicle was created with a stress-bearing body, direct-drive, with the gear shift on the handlebar. The classic front fork disappeared in favour of a single-sided swingarm that made tyre changes easier and, above all, the frame disappeared, replaced by a stress-bearing body capable of protecting the rider from dirt and rumpled clothing. The Vespa design patent filing date is 23 April 1946.

1945 Vespa MP6 Prototype

After the years of rebirth, Vespa continued to strengthen through the generational renewal of the sixties. As cars and mass motorisation spread, Vespa offered salvation from traffic, with the versions in the smaller engine sizes catering to the growing youth market. Then, in the ‘70s, the signs of a growing ecological awareness and the first petrol crisis arrived, Vespa was the antidote to city pollution, able to zip through traffic and easily find parking.

Still built entirely out of steel to this day, Vespa has also carved out a modern legend and successfully blends heritage with modern technology in a way that no others has managed and continue to produce the world’s most evocative scooters.

Brief Vespa Timeline

Vespa’s Pontedera plant, in Tuscany

On 23 April 1946, Piaggio (founded in 1884) files the patent for “a motorcycle featuring a rational elemental and organic complex combined with frame and fenders and an engine hood covering all mechanical parts”. The Vespa is born. The motorised scooter with a 98 cc, 2T single-cylinder engine is built in the Pontedera plant, in Tuscany.

1946 Vespa 98

1948 – The Vespa 125 cc model is introduced.

Vespa 125, 1949 – The first 125cc Vespa came in 1948. It differed from the 98 not only in terms of its engine capacity, but also for the introduction of rear suspension; the front suspension was also modified

1949 – The Unione Italiana Vespa Riders, incorporating 30 clubs, is formed and holds its first convention.

1950 – Vespa begins production in German under a licence agreement with Hoffman-Werke.

1951 – Vespa begins production in the United Kingdom under license to Douglas of Bristol and in France with ACMA of Paris.

1952 – The Vespa Club Europea is born in Milan to bring the clubs in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium together. Worldwide Vespa Club membership surpasses 50,000. There are more than 10,000 Vespa service stations around the world.

Vespa 125 “U”, 1953 – Characterised by its austere aesthetic, this was the “utility” version, sold for 20,000 lira less than the more modern 125. The headlamp appeared high up on the handlebar for the first time in Italy (it had already been introduced on a number of exported models).

1953 – Vespa 125 is immortalised in the film Roman Holiday by William Wyler with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

Vespa 125 Roman Holiday

1955 – Vespa GS marks a turning point for Vespa which, for the first time, exceeds the 100 km/h mark, adopts a 4-speed gearbox for the first time and mounts 10 inch wheel rims.

1955 Vespa GS150 – efined by experts as “the most highly-appreciated, imitated and best remembered model”. There were numerous innovations: the 150cc engine, 4-speed gearbox, standard long saddle, handlebar-headlamp unit with “fairing”, and wheels with 10” tyres. This Vespa could reach 100 km/h. The design also changed, with a much more aerodynamic body.
1962 – Created to continue the commercial success of the first GS, it boasted a completely new design.
The exhaust silencer, carburettor and suspension were also new. The power output was 8.2 HP at 6500 rpm.

1964 – The Vespino is born – Vespa in the 50 cc engine capacity.

Vespa 50 – The first Vespa 50cc, created to exploit the new Italian Highway Code which made a number plate obligatory on larger engines. Extremely versatile and reliable, the engine featured a new layout, with the cylinder inclined 45° instead of horizontal. It was also the last design to leave Corradino D’Ascanio’s drawing board

1965 – Vespa sales surpass 3.5 million.

Vespa 180 SS, 1965 – Representing a new standard in terms of engine capacity growth (181.14cc), it could reach 105 km/h thanks to its 10 HP. The 180 SS (Super Sport) replaced the glorious GS 150/160cc. Piaggio modified the front cowling, making it more aerodynamic and significantly improving comfort, handling and road holding.

1968 – The “Chi Vespa mangia le mele” campaign (Those who Vespa eat the apples) revolutionises the advertising world.

1968 Vespa Primavera – Together with the subsequent PX, this was the most enduring of the Vespa models. It derived from the “new” 125, but with considerable differences in the engine, which raised the top speed by 10 km/h. There was great attention to detail, finishes including the classic and very practical bag hook.

1968 – Vespa Primavera is one of the longest-lasting Vespa models and the vehicle of new generations all over Europe.

1968 Vespa 180 Rally – The engine was new, the front headlamp new and more powerful, the frame, derived from the Vespa 150 Sprint, narrower and more aerodynamic than that of the Super Sport.

1976 – Vespa Primavera 125 – ET3 is the first scooter with electronic ignition.

Vespa 125 Primavera ET3, 1976 – The acronym stood for“3 port electronics”, and marked an important change to the engine, more powerful and peppy. Even the styling was changed from the standard Primavera (which remained in the range)

1978 – Vespa PX is born in the three-cylinder “classic” 125, 150 and 200 cc versions. It would be the most sold model in Vespa history with more than 30 million units.

1978 – The “PX” represented another step forward in terms of aesthetics (the chassis was completely redesigned ) and performance. The top box was positioned behind the cowling. That same year, the P 200 E was also presented. With respect to the 125 version, this model could be equipped with separate lubrication and direction indicators incorporated in the body.

1980 – Four Vespa PX units participate in the Paris-Dakar, the most epic and gruelling race in the world. Incredibly, ridden by Marc Simonot, one of them would go on to finish the race.

Vespa at Dakar

1984 – Vespa PK 125 Automatica is the first Vespa with an automatic transmission.

Vespa PK 125 Automatica, 1984 – Automatic gearing was introduced by Vespa, perhaps the most radical change since 1946 (at least from the user’s standpoint). The presence of the automatic transmission was emphasised by the absence of the foot brake, replaced by the lever on the left handlebar (which does not need to control the clutch, as it is automatic). It was also available with automatic oil-petrol mixer and electric ignition. The following year the Vespa PK 50 Automatic was launched.

1988 – Vespa sales surpass 10 million.

1992 – Giorgio Bettinelli, writer and journalist, leaves Rome on a Vespa and reaches Saigon in March 1993. He would go on to accomplish several other feats: in 1994-95, also on a Vespa, he covered the 36,000 km from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. In 1995-96 he travelled from Melbourne to Cape Town – over 52,000 km in 12 months. In 1997 he started out from Chile, reaching Tasmania after three years and eight months, having travelled 144,000 km on his Vespa and crossed 90 countries across the Americas, Siberia, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. All in all, Bettinelli has travelled 250,000 km on a Vespa.

1996 – The new Vespa generation is born with the ET4 125 cc model. For the first time, Vespa adopts a 4T engine and automatic transmission.

1996 Vespa ET4 125

1996 – The number of Vespas sold surpasses 15 million.

1997 – Vespa ET2 (50 cc) is launched.

1998 – Restyling and front disc brake for Vespa PX, the most sold scooter model in the world (over two million units from the time it was launched).

2000 Vespa ET2 50

2000 – Vespa returns to the American market.

Granturismo 200L and 125L, 2003 – The Granturismo was the largest and most powerful Vespa produced up until that time. In its 200L and 125L versions, it marries Vespa’s emotional values with state-of-the-art technology: this was the first-ever Vespa to have sparkling four-stroke, four-valve, liquid-cooled engines that meet the new Euro 2 emissions standards, as well as 12-inch wheels and a two-disk brake system. The steel body is a uniquely Vespa touch.

2003 – The return of the Vespone, Vespa GT 125 and Vespa GT 200 are born.

2005 – Vespa LX marks the return to Vespa’s most classic lines.

Vespa LX, 2005 – It’s the return of the “Vespino” (“little Vespa”), the small body model which had been alongside the “Vespone” (“big Vespa”) for more than 50 years.
Vespa GTS 250 i.e., 2005 – Fifty years after the launch of the Vespa GS (Gran Sport), the first sport scooter in history and still a sought after treasure for collectors and fans, Vespa GTS 250 i.e. renews the GS blend of speed and style to become the fastest, most powerful and most high-tech Vespa.

2006 – Vespa celebrates 60 years with the spectacular Vespa 60° special series that brings back the colours and style of the early Vespas.

Vespa GT 60°, 250cc, 2006 – This is the gift that Vespa was determined to give its fans to celebrate the company’s sixtieth anniversary. With its prestigious materials and exclusive finish, this unique limited edition is made in a series of only 999 units, and is destined to become one of the milestones in Vespa’s long history.

2008 – Vespa 300 GTS Super is the highest performance and sportiest model in history.

Vespa GTS 300 Super, 2008 – Vespa GTS 300 Super brought exclusive Vespa elegance to the “over 250” class. The classic, unique Vespa style is combined with a distinctly sporty and modern personality.

2011 – Vespa 946 is highly exclusive model dedicated to aesthetic and technological perfection, the name of which recalls the year that the scooter symbolic of Italian elegance was born – 1946.

Vespa 946

2013 – The legendary Vespa Primavera returns, produced in the 50, 125 and 150 engine sizes, it renews the legendary Vespino.

2013 Vespa Primavera 125
2014 Vespa Sprint 125
2016 Vespa 946 (Red)
2017 Vespa Sei Giorni

2018 – Vespa Elettrica is born, a modern work of art with a technological heart, destined to change the mobility segment. Completely silent and easy to ride, and produced entirely in Pontedera, it represents the revolutionary and contemporary soul of Vespa.

Vespa Elettrica

2021 – Vespa reaches 19 million units produced and celebrates 75 years with the Vespa 75th special series.

75th Anniversary Vespa GTS 300

Source: MCNews.com.au

Australia secures limited-edition Vespa

Australian importers have secured about 200 limited-edition Vespa scooters specially designed to celebrate the venerable Italian brand’s 75th anniversary.

The 75th anniversary Primavera 150 and GTS 300 models feature unique styling, special 75th anniversary decals, nubuck leather saddle edged in grey and chrome-plated luggage rack for a specially designed bag.

PS Imports Group Marketing Manager Dale McBride says “supply shouldn’t be too restricted with around 100 of each model.

The GTS and Primavera 75th models are due around late June/ July with pricing announced closer to arrival.

I’ve ridden many scooters and I have to say the best handling and among the best finished are the steel-body Vespas with their unique front suspension.

These two 75th models in retro “Giallo Pirite” metallic yellow should be very special, indeed.

One distinctive feature of the Vespa 75th is the chrome-plated rack and complimentary round bag whose shape replicates the typical spare wheel holder. 

Made from velvety-soft nubuck leather in the same colour as the saddle, the bag has a shoulder strap and clips on the luggage rack with a quick-release mechanism. It comes with a waterproof cover.

Like all Vespa special editions, the series is identified with a plate behind the leg shield.

CFMoto 700CL-X

All 75th models come with a 4.3″ TFT colour display and Vespa MIA smartphone connectivity system.

Each Vespa 75th also comes with a Welcome Kit, a vintage steel Vespa plate, a personal Owner’s Book and eight collector postcards with images from the eight decades of the Vespa story.

Vespa’s paint company, Piaggio, filed its first scooter patent on 23 April 1946, beginning 75 years of iconic urban riding.

Piaggio has now made nearly 19 million vehicles with the growth rate not slowing down.

Vespa produced 58,000 scooters in 2004, more than 100,000 in 2006, 180,000 in 2017 and 200,000 units in 2018.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Vespa Primavera Sean Wotherspoon special edition

Primavera Sean Wotherspoon Special Edition

Sean Wotherspoon is a rising stars of youth fashion in the USA, and at EICMA in 2019, the partnership between the Vespa brand and Sean Wotherspoon presented the first examples of a relationship. The Vespa Primavera Sean Wotherspoon is a limited edition special that Vespa claims ‘expresses the creative energy of both Vespa and Sean’. Yeah, okay, it sure is colourful though!

Primavera Sean Wotherspoon Special Edition
Primavera Sean Wotherspoon Special Edition

Sean’s style is described by Vespa as ‘a vintage contemporary twist in his trademark manner, using a kaleidoscopic mix&match approach rooted in the ’80s and ’90s.’

The livery of Vespa Primavera Sean Wotherspoon stands out for its 80s-style colour. Yellow, red, dark green and aquamarine envelop the vehicle, embellished with white inserts such as the front tie, the profiling of the Vespa silhouette and the wheel rims, the edges of which feature a replication of the contrasting Vespa logo.

Primavera Sean Wotherspoon Special Edition
Primavera Sean Wotherspoon Special Edition

The design is completed with chrome finishes for the headlight frame, luggage rack and passenger handle, and black details such as the hand grips and silencer cover. There is also a blend of materials including metal, plastic, velvet and rubber. In pure Vespa tradition, the body is made of steel, a distinguishing mark of the Vespa right from its inception.

The red foot board (in the same colour as the shock absorber), in plastic and with a blue rubber insert, stands out on the metal body. Wotherspoon has chosen a light brown ribbed velvet for the saddle. To this he has added a white finish and his distinctive street artist’s tag is placed on the front alongside the classic Vespa logo in white.

Primavera Sean Wotherspoon Special Edition
Primavera Sean Wotherspoon Special Edition

A graphic serially repeats the name ‘Primavera’ for an original optical perspective. Vespa Primavera Sean Wotherspoon will be available in late-September 2020 for $7990 MLP + ORC at a selected network of dealers in the 150 cc engine capacity.

Primavera Sean Wotherspoon Special Edition
Primavera Sean Wotherspoon Special Edition

Vespa Primavera Sean Wotherspoon Specifications

Engine I-get single cylinder, 4 strokes, 3 valves, 154 cc
Bore x Stroke 58 mm x 58.6 mm
Compression Ratio N/A
Claimed Power 9.5kw at 7750 rpm
Claimed Torque 12.8Nm at 6,500 rpm
Induction Electronic Injection PFI (Port Fuel Injection)
Gears CVT with torque server
Clutch N/A
Frame /
Forks Single arm with helical spring and single double-acting hydraulic shock absorber
Shock Double-acting shock absorber, adjustable to four positions at preloading
Wheels/Tyres Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00×12” – Tubeless 110/70-12″
Front Brakes Hydraulically operated ø 200 mm stainless steel disc brake
Rear Brake Mechanically operated ø 140 mm drum brake
Electronics N/A
Instrumentation Analogue speedometer, digital display
Kerb Weight N/A
Seat Height 695 mm
Wheelbase 1,334 mm
Rake / Trail N/A
Fuel Capacity 7 (± 0.5) liter
Available Late August, 2020
Price $7990 MLP + ORC
Primavera Sean Wotherspoon Special Edition
Primavera Sean Wotherspoon Special Edition

Source: MCNews.com.au

Vespa Primavera RED arriving late August

Vespa Primavera RED limited edition

Arriving late-August for $7690 MLP + ORC

Millions of people and the world’s most iconic brands come together with (RED) to participate in an enormous challenge each year, to definitively beat illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Since its foundation in 2006, the work of Bono and Bobby Shriver, (RED) has contributed more than $500 million USD to the Global Fund for the fight against AIDS.

Vespa Primavera RED
Vespa Primavera RED

(RED) funds have already had an impact on more than 110 million people thanks to prevention and treatment activities and consultancy and support services, with a focus on countries where HIV is often passed from mother to child. Thanks to collaboration with the Vespa for Children programme, the Piaggio Group has also contributed to bringing (RED) and support for the Global Fund to India, one of the countries most affected by the problem.

Born in 1968, Vespa Primavera still embodies all the values that made it so successful more than half a century ago. Young, innovative, technologically avant-garde, agile and dynamic, and environmentally friendly, today’s Vespa Primavera inherits the freshness and joie de vivre of its progenitor.

Vespa Primavera RED
Vespa Primavera RED

The Vespa Primavera RED is powered by the modern 150 cc four-stroke single cylinder i-get engine, air cooled and equipped with electronic injection. An environmentally friendly engine capable of performance at the top of its category, allows Vespa Primavera to be lively both in both city traffic and on the open road.

The Vespa Primavera RED special edition has its entire steel chassis painted in the characteristic red colour, which extends to the trims and adorns the wheel rims, making for a truly unique and immediately recognisable model. Red is the charm that grows over time.

Further enhancing this special model is the essential, iconic Vespa (RED) logo on the front shield with its contrasting white signature.

Vespa Primavera RED
Vespa Primavera RED

Attention goes beyond the aesthetics though, to focus on design details that are typical of Vespa. A comfortable, ergonomic seat is created in nubuck leather, borrowed from the Vespa 946 – the model from which the Primavera RED inherits its exclusivity.

For each Vespa Primavera RED purchased, $100 will be donated to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, which is providing 500 days of life-saving HIV/AIDS medication. The Vespa Primavera RED Will be available in limited numbers from late August for $7690 MLP plus on-road costs.

Vespa Primavera RED Specifications

Engine I-get single cylinder, 4 strokes, 3 valves, 154 cc
Bore x Stroke 58 mm x 58.6 mm
Compression Ratio N/A
Claimed Power 9.5kw at 7750 rpm
Claimed Torque 12.8Nm at 6,500 rpm
Induction Electronic Injection PFI (Port Fuel Injection)
Gears CVT with torque server
Clutch N/A
Frame /
Forks Single arm with helical spring and single double-acting hydraulic shock absorber
Shock Double-acting shock absorber, adjustable to four positions at preloading
Wheels/Tyres Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00×12” – Tubeless 110/70-12″
Front Brakes Hydraulically operated ø 200 mm stainless steel disc brake
Rear Brake Mechanically operated ø 140 mm drum brake
Electronics N/A
Instrumentation Analogue speedometer, digital display
Kerb Weight N/A
Seat Height 695 mm
Wheelbase 1,334 mm
Rake / Trail N/A
Fuel Capacity 7 (± 0.5) liter
Available Late August, 2020
Price $7690 MLP + ORC

Source: MCNews.com.au

Harley-Davidson & Piaggio take out loans

Harley-Davidson and the Piaggio Group of motorcycle and scooter companies have announced massive loans to get back on their feet after the pandemic.

In June, Harley-Davidson announced it had access to a loan of up to $US350 million (about $A500 million) over the next year.

While it has not committed to the entire amount of the loan, it is committed to draw at least $US150m (about $A215m).

The company believes the loan is consistent with its intentions regarding liquidity.

Piaggio Group loansmoto guzzi factory museum V85

Now the Italian Piaggio Group which produces Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Vespa has secured a loan for €60 million (about $A97m, $US67m).

That’s 20% more than their annual net income.

The money will be put towards restarting after the COVID lockdown, as well as research and development.

Piaggio says they will focus their R&D efforts on reducing fuel consumption and emissions and increasing the number of new models.

Comment on loans

The world seems to be going into debt over the pandemic crisis and motorcycle companies are not immune.

It’s good news when they direct loans into R&D.

However, it’s a concern when businesses go into debt to help them survive a crisis.

In the wake of the COVID lockdown, many motorcycle companies are now reporting a huge bounce in sales in June.

In fact, the KTM Group, which includes Husqvarna and Gas Gas, has reports its biggest June in history.

KTM Group Australia/New Zealand MD Brad Hagi says there is “still a long way to go before this crisis is over”.

“This recent sales spike has not only seen existing and former riders return to riding, it has also seen new riders enter our sport, to experience the unique freedom it offers, and that is a real positive for the industry long term,” he says.

Australia is yet to announce official motorcycle sales figures for the second quarter, but they are expected to be flat or slightly up.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has reported that the dive in car sales has now slowed thanks to the easing of restrictions.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber attributes the slight recovery to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, end-of-financial-year sales and government incentives.

In fact, some dealers tell us buyers have been accessing their superannuation to buy their dream bike!

Similar incentives exist in other countries around the world which are reporting similar strong sales results.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Vespa team up with Christian Dior for special 946

French fashion married to Italy’s Vespa

It was 1946 when Vespa made its debut on the roads of a Europe devastated by the recent conflict but, equally, full of creativity and a desire for renewal. After seventy-four years of history and over eighteen million scooters, Vespa is a global reference for style, elegance and technology. A brand known and loved all over the world that, with more than one and a half million vehicles produced in the last decade, is experiencing one of the most fortunate and dynamic periods in its story.

Founded in the same year, 1946, the Italian brand and the Parisian couture house Christian Dior are both style icons.

Out of this passionate dialogue, the Vespa 946 Christian Dior scooter comes to life, its monohull architecture and subtle graphic lines paying tribute to the heritage of the two houses.

The Vespa 946 was launched in 2013. It is an innovative product which takes inspiration from the Vespa prototype MP6 produced in 1946. Details such as the handlebars that feature sewn trim with needle and thread, aluminium parts fitted manually, one by one in a monocoque steel body, a dedicated production line, more like an haute couture atelier than a production line, make this Collection stand out.

Vespa 946The standard Vespa 946, do you think the Dior edition improves on the original…?

Vespa 946 is built by human skill, piece by piece, carefully crafted with glorification of manual labour as the most valuable Italian manufactured crafts. The heart of the Vespa 946 is a single cylinder 125 cc 4 stroke, 3 valve, air cooled engine with electronic injection.

This new Christian Dior version was designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative Director of Dior women’s collections and is made in Italy.

A top case patterned with the Dior Oblique motif – designed by Marc Bohan in 1967 – is specially designed to be fixed on the luggage rack and a helmet adorned with the same iconic motif rounds out the unique range.

Vespa 946 Christian Dior

These limited-edition creations will launch in spring 2021 in Dior boutiques around the world and subsequently in a selection of Piaggio Group’s Motoplex stores.

The colour of the Vespa 946 Christian Dior body is an exclusive color made together with Dior creative Department, as well as the gold color for the finishing touches.

Vespa 946The standard Vespa 946, do you think the Dior edition improves on the original…?

The saddle is in real blue-leather with ton sur ton seams; the handles are covered with blue- leather and the seams are ton sur ton.

The saddle support is realized with a “Dior Monogram” original fabric upholstery.

On the right side of the vehicle there are some exclusive decalco with the “Christian Dior Paris” logo, although on the left side there is the possibility to personalise it. The hook placed under the saddle also has the “Christian Dior” logo.

Michele Colaninno
Piaggio’s Chief of Product and Marketing Strategy

In these unprecedented times, it is great to be able to dream of a better future. The House of Dior opened its doors in 1946 in Paris, the same year that Vespa made its debut in Italy. This new Vespa 946 celebrates that anniversary and honors our heritage. Today, like yesterday, we have gone through a dark period and now we are joining forces to share some joie de vivre through a combination of style and craftsmanship. This partnership between Vespa and Dior represents a celebration of beauty.

Maria Grazia Chiuri
Creative Director for the House of Dior

I was very excited about this project with Vespa. For me, Vespa is linked to my city, Rome. It’s linked to the freedom to move around the city with ease, like in the film Roman Holiday (1953), which has left that extraordinary image of Audrey Hepburn clinging to Gregory Peck on a Vespa forever etched in our collective memory. I have so many happy memories starring a Vespa. It’s how my husband and I used to get around Rome and go to the seaside in Fregene. It’s a symbol of Italian-ness that is intricately linked to my personal history, and it’s now part of my professional life at Dior.”

We are unable to ascertain as yet as to when or if these specials will make it to Australia.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Vespa GTS Super Sport 300 HPE lands in Australia

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport

Vespa is an iconic brand that captures the essence of history while successfully marrying their heritage with modern technology and sophistication.

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport in ‘Yellow Sole’

The big body Vespa, in its modern shape with automatic transmission, was born in 2003, with the first arrival of the Vespa GT 125 and 200. The family of large Vespas then evolved with the arrival of the GTS 250 version, followed by engine capacities of up to 300 cc. Later on, the Vespa GTS benefits from the family of I-get engines, offering 125 and 150 cc capacity.

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport in White Innocenza

After a major re-design in 2019 of the whole GTS range more changes have been made with the Vespa GTS Super Sport 300 now being equipped with Vespa’s new HPE (High Performance Engine) for the 2020 model year.

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport in Black Opaco

The GTS carries on the all-steel bodywork tradition and with the HPE power-plant is now powered by the most powerful engine ever installed in a Vespa, the 23-horsepower HPE powerplant is a four-stroke single that combines a smooth torque delivery with great economy.

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport in Black Opaco

A new cylinder-head with improved port shaping utilises a SOHC to operate larger valves that are opened for a longer duration via roller rockers.

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport in Yellow Sole

The new HPE  engine is controlled by a latest-generation Magneti Marelli MIUG4 ECU, which already conforms with the future Euro 5 standard: equipped with greater calculation capacity, it contributes to improving overall engine efficiency and allows for the engine to be started practically instantaneously, after just two rotations of the crankshaft.

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport in White Innocenza

Service intervals have been extended to 10,000 kilometres and the CVT drivetrain has been strengthened to offer further durability.

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport in Yellow Sole

The Vespa GTS Supersport rolls on 12-inch rims and has a 220 mm brake disc at each end backed up with ABS.

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport in White Innocenze

Generous under-seat storage can swallow two open-face helmets or a decent swag of groceries.

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport in Black Opaco

There are also optional chrome front and rear luggage racks or a top-box complete with passenger back-rest are available as part of an extensive accessories range. A bluetooth kit is also available to increase the capabilities of the standard instrumentation.

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport in Yellow Sole

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport HPE Specifications

  • Engine – 278 cc, HPE four-stroke, single-cylinder
  • Bore x Stroke – 75 x 63 mm
  • Max. Power – 23 hp (17 kW) at 8500 rpm
  • Max. Torque – 25.6 Nm at 5500 rpm
  • Induction – EFI
  • Transmission – CVT
  • Front Suspension – Single sided swing-arm and sprung hydraulic shock
  • Rear Suspension – Twin shock, four-step pre-load adjustment
  • Tyres – 120/70-12 (F), 130/70-12 (R)
  • Front Brake – 220 mm disc, ABS
  • Rear Brake – 22 mm disc, ABS
  • Length – 1930 mm
  • Width – 755 mm
  • Wheelbase – 1375 mm
  • Fuel Capacity – 8.5 Litres
  • Available – Late June 2020
  • RRP – $11,840 Ride Away

2020 Vespa GTS Super Sport in Black Opaco
Source: MCNews.com.au

Piaggio wins Chinese copycat case

Last year Italian motorcycle and scooter company Piaggio lost a landmark case against a Chinese company over a copycat scooter, but now it has won a similar case.

The first case against Zhejiang Zhongneng began in 2014 over a copy of their Vespa LX scooter which has been around since the end of World War II. 

But it wasn’t China that made the decision.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) ruled that the designs were significantly different and Zhejiang had not stolen any intellectual property.

Click here to read the ruling

Piaggio loses Chinese copycat casePiaggio left and Chinese copy right

Second copycat case

This time the EUIPO has ruled against Chinese scooter companies Motolux and Dayi Motor for their copycat design of the Vespa Primavera, registered in 2013.

The ruling says the EUIPO was “unable to elicit a general impression different from the registered design” of the Primavera. 

2018 Vespa Primavera 50 4T moped mopedsVespa Primavera

It’s a strategically important case, given the current trade wars with both the USA and Australia and political rhetoric over China.

The Communist Party of China has imposed hefty tariffs and threatened other measures on some Australian exports after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus outbreak.

Other Chinese copycats

There are many other cases where the Chinese have quite blatantly ripped off the designs of other models.

Check out some of our articles on this topic at the end of this article.

As an example, how about this BMW G 310 GS knockoff from Chinese company Everest.

Everest Kaiyue 400X knockoffEverest Kaiyue 400X

The Vietnamese are also in on the knockoff act with “Ducati” Monsters made by Quang Phuong Motor.

Trademark action

We are surprised that companies such as BMW and Ducati have not filed intellectual copyright breaches.

Honda and Yamaha have tried to fight Chinese manufacturers in the courts over breach of copyright.

However, it is a long process as there are hundreds of knockoff manufacturers.

Italian company Lambretta has also taken “strict” action against several companies for “free riding on the repute of Lambretta”.

They claim the global market is flooded with replicas of their classic scooters from China, India and Thailand.

The Chinese seem immune to international trade laws that bind other countries and their latest blatant ripoff is an electric Honda Goldwing.

We all know the Chinese make cheap copies of well-known brands and many of us probably have a Gucci belt made of plastic in a sweatshop in China.

However, they have also made a lot of copies of bigger and more expensive products such as cars.

Some of the cars these manufacturers have copied include the Range Rover Evoque, Smart ForTwo, Hummer, Porsche Cayman, Audi A6, Jeep Cherokee, BMW X1, Rolls-Royce Phantom and MINI Cooper.

Land Wind knockoff of the land Rover EvoqueLand Wind knockoff of the land Rover Evoque

Some car manufacturers tried to stop them copying their cars, but failed in an obstructive and partisan legal system, so they formed alliances with Chinese companies to make their products for the local market.

Like the car makers, Honda has formed an allegiance with one of the knockoff companies in China to make their bikes for the local market.

The pandemic has caused a severe setback to globalised manufacturers because of the al-pervasive Chinese element in their supply chain.

We wonder how many manufacturers will now source components from other countries other than China.

Japan is even given tax breaks to companies that remove Chinese components from their supply chain.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com