The Italians really know a thing or two about style and this holds true to their scooters too. Vespa has already made their presence felt in India in the premium scooter category. Currently they have the LX 125, the VX 125 and the sportier version – the Vespa S. These brave Italians have ventured into an untapped segment with their 150cc scooter the SXL and VXL. Now it’s time to take a look at the new 150cc Vespa.
Design and features: Vespa VXL looks very similar to the Vespa LX and VX with the traditional round headlight but now gets a slightly more stylised front panel with chrome highlights. The instrument console is now semi digital with an electronic fuel gauge, reserve light indicator, odometer and trip A and B.
Vespa SXL looks similar to the Vespa S and also gets the same instrument console. Both scooters get a new seat with contrast piping that add to its premium look. The SXL also retains its small storage pockets and its rectangular rear view mirrors. Both scooters now get a ‘Mode’ button on the right hand side near the starter button to change the display from the odometer to trip A and B.
Engine and Performance: The new Vespa VXL and SXL scooters are powered by a four-stroke, 150cc single-cylinder, air-cooled 3-valve engine. It now puts out 11.6PS at 7000rpm, while maximum torque is 11.5Nm at 5500rpm. This makes it the most powerful scooter on sale in India. Both have the same CVT transmission which allows for hassle-free riding. The gear box has been worked on to give a smooth transition between gears. Vespa is also offering the VXL and SXL in a 125cc variant which will have the same output as its current models.
Ride, Handling and Braking: The new Vespa is quick to go and quick to stop too. Initial acceleration is much better than the old Vespa and the scooter now feels peppier and ready to take on the highways. It does 0-60 very quickly and overtaking vehicles is a breeze. It’s got good low end grunt and decent mid range power too.The link spring mechanism between the engine and the frame helps in balancing the scooter while keeping it stable at high speeds too. The single side arm front suspension and rear dual hydraulic shock absorbers do an ok job of softening the jerks from bumps in the road. But we feel the suspension should be a bit softer. The main change that we like in the new Vespa is the tyres. The VXL and SXL get Maxxis tyre with a 110-70/11 in the front and a 120-70/10 at the rear. Now these are massive tyres for a scooter but with the new engine and higher speeds that can be reached, it’s a welcomed change. The tyres offer really good grip both on and off the road. Even while cornering the scooter felt planted and left you confident enough to lean in more. The 200mm front disc brake is quite effective at bring the scooter to a halt. But the brakes still don’t feel progressive enough.
Verdict: If you are in the market for a stylish, premium and powerful scooter, then the 150cc Vespa is definitely a scooter worth looking at getting.