- Stylish return of the glorious Vespa
- Primavera is an honorary title
- Inexpensive retro scooter for 4050 euros
- LED lamps reveal the modern
- The journey is too smooth?
Stylish return of the glorious Vespa
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The lonely ride on quiet mountain roads is one of the greatest pleasures on a motorcycle – if an accident happens here, new sensors on the helmet and motorcycle trigger an emergency call.
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At the end of the season, Benedikt Fuest tested the C3 Pro flip-up helmet from Schuberth with the integrated SRC audio system.
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Although the view is overcast …
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… the panorama invites you to linger.
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Fuest unwound over 2000 kilometers in five days …
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… and makes countless turns up and down again.
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The tank bag from SW-Motech was a useful companion …
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… and the satellite transmitter from Spot, which also works without a cellular signal.
There are large scooters and cheap goods from the hardware store – but in between, Piaggio bravely holds up with his Vespas. And now brings a new model that is something for fans of the good old days.
M.ittel to the end, one could define the relationship of many Germans to their scooter. Above all, the scooter should be practical and manoeuvrable in heavy traffic. Two mini-bikes in the lowest possible chassis, a low-maintenance automatic centrifugal force, a small motor with just enough power for the city – the economical and thus modern short-distance commuter vehicle is ready.
BMW exaggerated this pragmatism with the roofed-over C1. It was impractical and had a peculiar design somewhere between a rickshaw and a cabin scooter and was therefore hardly popular. Today, scooter manufacturers from Japan and China are the market leaders. Most of all, their products are cheap. The passion for driving often falls by the wayside.
Nevertheless, apart from the mass of commuters and novice drivers, there is a subculture of enthusiastic screwdrivers and horsepower enthusiasts who associate a special attitude towards life with the technocratic term of the light motorcycle: The objects of their passion are of Italian origin, they come from the 40s to 70s and have very sonorous names such as Vespa Nuova or Vespa Primavera.
Primavera is an honorary title
There are Vespa fans all over the world. The first German Vespa club recently celebrated its 63rd birthday in Hamburg. Admirers of the traditional model associate their mobiles from the small town of Pontedera in the Italian province of Pisa, the headquarters of the manufacturer Piaggio, with an attitude to life and love the slim shape of the scooter, which is great for snaking through the rush hour traffic.
It is an expression of a lightness that BMW, for example, lacks. Piaggio would like to build on this lightness with its latest model, the new Primavera. If you want to get to the bottom of your passion for the small two-wheelers with step-through and wasp waist, you have to climb up first. During a first trip to Barcelona, where enough rays of sunshine still bring out the candy colors of the metal body in November, it becomes clear what legacy the Primavera takes on: swarms of scooters dominate the morning rush hour, including many variants of the Primavera predecessor LX, which has been in operation since 2005 is the volume model of the Vespa brand.
With the honorary title Primavera, Piaggio recalls one of the most important models from the brand’s history: The first Primavera were on the streets of Rome in 1967, they were considered to be companions of the flower power generation. At the end of production in 1982, the series, whose name translates as spring, went down in history as the most successful Piaggio scooter with more than 240,000 units sold.
The manufacturer wants to build on this tradition. Much of the appearance of the new Primavera is a tribute to the first Primavera from 1967. The body is back to its pointed wasp tail, the curved flanks are punched as sharp as a crease, the traditionally circular headlights are adorned with a chrome ring.
Inexpensive retro scooter for 4050 euros
In the cockpit, the trapezoidal instruments are reminiscent of the past, and the front with the long bead and the pseudo ventilation grille is not only based on the original Vespa Mp6, but is based on the new lifestyle model 946, which was launched for the 2013 season and one Homage to the original Vespa is further evidence of the awareness of tradition in Pontedera.
While Piaggio is charging more than 9,000 euros for the luxurious 946, the Vespa manufacturer wants to offer a cheaper retro alternative with the Primavera, which costs at least 4050 euros and has a 125 cc engine. The traditionally welded, self-supporting all-metal body in the classic Vespa design conceals the same current technology as the 946. In the Primavera, the three-valve engine swallows around 2.5 liters per 100 kilometers in the practical test, the centrifugal clutch pulls in as smooth as butter and jerk-free. The front suspension has been revised, compared to the previous LX model, the Primavera is more stable thanks to its slightly longer wheelbase.
But there is also old-school craftsmanship beneath the metal: the front suspension still follows the deflection principle that Vespa inventor Enrico Piaggio and his engineer Corradino D’Ascanio copied from the aircraft landing gear in the wreckage of Enrico’s father’s aeronautics factory in 1946. With a rim diameter of eleven inches, the tires are tiny even for a scooter and are accordingly a little wobbly at higher speeds.
The brakes feel strong enough with a firm grip on the lever, but a little blunt, and Piaggio also installs a drum brake on the rear wheel, as in the old days. There is no ABS completely, even if Piaggio does not rule out the possibility of delivering it later on request. The fact that Piaggio is not only history-conscious can be seen in the new Primavera with all the retro chic.
LED lamps reveal the modern
From the direct predecessor LX, especially fine accents such as LED daytime running lights and LED taillights show that the Primavera is a product of the present. A blue, glowing digital display shows the tank content. The new switches have a high-quality effect – even if a “mode” button, pretentiously in the reach of a thumb, only switches the trip meter. In 1967, all of this would have looked like something from the future.
In test use, the Primavera shows that it is much more suitable as a device for everyday use than the more noble 946: early in the morning, like its namesake, it plunges fearlessly into the tangle of unscrupulous large scooters and careless transporter drivers. More agile than the more expensive retro scooter, it meanders through the narrow streets of Barcelona’s old town. On the great avenue Avinguda Diagonal and at the Gaudí Cathedral Sagrada Família, she rolls past with more style than all large scooters of Asian origin around her.
It is handy despite the fact that the total weight has increased slightly by three to 125 kilograms compared to the LX thanks to the low saddle with a height of 78 centimeters. Jacking up is not an act of strength either. Your passage is not outstanding. But the power of 10.7 hp is enough for the city, and with a few attempts the Primavera is even good for over 90 km / h, which qualifies it for cross-country journeys. If you want even more, you can also get the Primavera with a 150 engine. Then she pulls through more confidently, but also drives a little less cultivated.
The small storage space that their bodies offer has always been typical of scooters. Larger jet helmets and even smaller integral versions fit in the new helmet compartment of the Primavera, and the glove compartment leaves space for small items. A USB socket, a feature that many competitors do not do without, is missing, however.
The journey is too smooth?
For true fans of the old Primavera, the model’s second spring will just be a copy. Maybe they would still get over the plastic on the front. But the journey turns out to be too smooth, which some of the newcomers might interpret as a weakness of character compared to a classic car.
But this will not change the fact that the new Vespa, as a core product of a mass manufacturer like Piaggio, will soon become a piece of everyday Italian culture. How much they accept the German scooter drivers as a means to an end remains to be seen. Probably at the latest at the start of the season in the coming spring.
The trip to the presentation of the Primavera was supported by Piaggio. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at www.axelspringer.de/unabhaengigkeit
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