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Five best Vespas

The original scooter, Vespa still leads the field for step-through, commuter friendly two-wheelers – here are its five best products

Phil West

Words by: Phil West

Published on 14 December 2023 | 0 min read

When people think of scooters there’s no more iconic brand than Vespa. Created by Piaggio in 1946 as a small-wheeled, ‘step-through’ commuter and named after the Italian for ‘Wasp’ that original set the template for the breed and became so popular Vespa grew into a stand-alone brand.
In the 60s, along with chief Italian rivals Lambretta, Vespas became a cult icon beloved of the fashionable Mod scene. While more recently its high spec, classic styling and historic name have made Vespas the coolest and most desirable of city two-wheelers. But what different types of Vespa are out there today? What do they offer and what are they like? Here, in no particular order, we pick five of the current best…

1 – Vespa Primavera: the most affordable Vespa

The Primavera is Vespa’s smallest, most affordable model but still shares much of the style and features of the classic, higher spec GTS. Available in 50cc and 125cc forms from just under £3,500 for the 50 to around £5,000 for the 125, it was first introduced in 2013 as the successor to the historic LX model and has been successively updated since. Although riding on the same 12-inch wheels as the bigger GTS, the Primavera is shorter, lighter, lower, with a slight smaller fuel tank and a more basic specification. But as an entry into the Vespa lifestyle, they don’t get better

2 – Vespa Sprint: the slightly sportier Primavera

Although a separate model with its own family of variants, the Vespa Sprint is heavily based on the Primavera with identical chassis, engines and more, is also available in 50cc and 125cc forms. It’s distinguished by its more angular, lozenge-shaped headlamp (compared to the Primavera’s round version), associated different handlebar cowling and different clocks, colours, badging and variants. As a result the Sprint is slightly more expensive than the Primavera, with prices starting at just under £4,000 for the 50. But if you want the sportier, slightly more masculine style it’s the on you’ll go for.

3 – Vespa GTS: THE classic scooter

When most people think of Vespa, the GTS is the model that comes to mind. Introduced in 2005 and distinguished by its classically-inspired ‘retro-mod’ styling it’s been successively updated since and remains the marque’s biggest seller thanks to its high quality, range of engines and all-round ability,. It’s currently available in 125cc or 300cc form with prices starting at around £5,300. There’s also the slightly wacky GTV variant distinguished by its retro, mudguard mounted headlamp. The top spec Super modelsare truly luxurious with a TFT dash, sat-nav, classy finishes and more though the price increases accordingly. Read the review

4 – Vespa 946: the limited-edition style icon

The 946 is a limited edition, highly stylised scooter first presented as a concept machine in 2011 before going into limited production in 2013. Inspired by the very first Vespa of 1946 (hence the name) it’s based on GTS mechanicals but with revised bodywork and a distinctive solo seat. As a result, it has most of the manners and practicality of the GTS albeit without the underseat storage or pillion carrying ability. That style inevitably demands a more premium price – but it is distinctive and exclusive.

5 – Vespa Elettrica: the electric Vespa

Vespa was one of the first of the leading scooter brands to introduce an electric option when it released the Elettrica in 2019. Based on the Primavera platform it’s distinguished mostly by its striking silver livery (and smaller luggage compartment) and comes in two forms – the Elettrica 45 which is governed to 45kph (30mph) to comply with the 50cc equivalent AM licence and the faster Elettrica 70 that fits into the 125cc equivalent A1 category. Although well-built, stylish and effective the high upfront cost has limited sales, though this has been reduced more recently.
Scooter licence grades explained

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