One thing is certain about the just out Vespa S—it’s a showstopper. No matter where you go—wait at traffic intersections, parking spots, cinema, the mall or at work—this scooter steals the limelight. Envy inducing, the Vespa S leaves other scooter owners either gaping, enquiring or complimenting.
And it does not stop at just that. With a 125-cc engine under its belly belting out a maximum power of 10 PS and a torque of 10.6 Nm, the Vespa S is pleasantly quick off the mark and is easily manoeuvred.
With a price tag of R76,495 (ex-showroom, Mumbai), which translates into R88,000 on-road price, the Vespa S commands a premium of about 35% over the nearest rival in the segment, and that’s exactly how parent Piaggio wants to position it—a premium scooter. But is it really worth all that money? We find out.
With its sides trimmed, the Vespa S is considerably slim, making it an easy-to-ride scooter capable of making quick turns in congested city traffic. But at speeds above 60 kmph, and against the wind, the scooter tends to get a little shaky, diminishing riding confidence. Comfortable seat, good riding posture and a longer wheelbase, however, make up for a smooth ride, while the 200-mm front disc brakes and rear drums are very effective.
One striking feature in the Vespa S is its squarish headlight—a deliberate shift the company brought in to lend it a more macho feel so to attract male buyers who complained about the earlier round headlights. For some reason, besides the headlight, Piaggio has made the rear-view mirrors square as well, though they could be a little bigger for clearer all-round vision.
While the Vespa S scores on the styling front and has a powerful engine, it lags behind in fuel tank volume. The scooter has an eight-litre fuel tank, which is just right for city commuting, but if you are tempted to ride beyond, make sure you keep topping up at regular intervals. In addition, the scooter comes with smart pocket holders in the front, and a small luggage space that just about fits the helmet. It comes in four colours—in shades of orange, red, white and black—with both electric-start and kick-start options.
While the Vespa S is a good product, Piaggio needs to focus on customer service. A quick call to the dealership generally brings out the laid-back attitude of the staff!