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Piaggio Vespa LX125 Test Ride Review

Piaggio Vespa LX125 Review

Piaggio Vespa LX125 – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Piaggio Vespa LX125 Review

Bike tested: 2012 Piaggio Vespa LX125

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 78,299/-

Piaggio’s latest product in India needs no introduction. After all, it’s called the Vespa. The iconic Vespa has come back to India, for the third time but this time in the hands of the parent company, Piaggio. The scooter market is growing and all the other scooter manufacturers are refreshing their scooter portfolio to deal with this opportunity. We try to find out if the Piaggio Vespa has what it takes to fight this competition, in terms of offering a good package. So wear your purple pants, blood red t-shirts, bright shoes, style your hair, order pasta and listen to some opera before you start reading this.

Styling – The Italians are obsessed with styling and they leave no stone unturned when it comes to automobiles as well. The Vespa LX125 looks fantastic with an overall retro look and the clean timeless design, unlike the busy design seen on most Japanese counterparts. The key styling elements include the round shaped headlight, round rear view mirrors, compact looking rear, swooping body lines and the bulge at the side which goes all the way to the rear. This bulge joins the indicators and the side body with the Vespa monogram and reflector, which are perfectly placed.

Generous use of chrome is seen everywhere on the Vespa LX125 whether it’s the head light, the tail light, the grab bar or the heat shield. The end of the handle grip and the front mudguard also has a chrome garnish with the Vespa emblem embossed on it. This was there in previous generations of the Vespa as well. The silver finish brake levers add glitter to the styling package. The design of the alloy wheels is a relief, while most scooters have blunt design (TVS Wego aside), the alloys here have a triangular shape which seamlessly flows with the overall design.

Instrument Cluster and Switch Gear – All though, the whole design is retro, the speedometer has a modern touch to it, which is thanks to the carbon-finish background with the speedometer placed in the middle. The fonts and the layout are simplistic yet stylish. The dials are marked all the way to 120 km/h which for a scooter is strange. With Vespa and Piaggio emblem accompanying the dials, there is a digital clock on the speedometer and buttons to adjust the time. This clock is always on, even when you turn off the Vespa LX125, which doesn’t make sense. The dials glow up when using parking light or the main headlight. There is the usual solitary indicator for left and right and high beam. Illuminated switch gear is sorely missed at this price point.

Ergonomics – The seating position is upright and you sit noticeably higher than any other scooter but there are no issues of feet not reaching the ground. Sitting position is not comfortable at first, but you will get used to the position. The seat is flat and the pillion part is not elevated. It is very soft and comfortable for long journeys. Switch gear falls into the hand perfectly but it is bit different to operate. While most other scooters have switch that ‘slides’ to operate, the switchgear on the Vespa needs to be clicked.

The rear view mirrors do a fantastic job and provide a clear view of what is behind despite being designed with ‘form over function mantra’. Even big sized people will have no complains. Side stand is hard to deploy and it won’t go back with one touch. A feature, in fact a necessity (for elderly) sorely missed. Foot rest for the pillion is placed very far from the seating position and there is no place for female pillion to rest their feet while sitting sideways. A powerful horn for a scooter is a welcome thought and huge under-seat storage is best in class. Glove box has decent space and opens when the key is pushed.

Performance and Gearbox – Start the 125cc motor and it comes to life with unprecedented vibrations. RVM’s, and other parts vigorously vibrate until you reach 25 km/h. Performance of the Vespa LX125 is as good as it looks, splendid! The 125cc engine producing 10 PS of power at 7500 RPM and a juicy torque of 10.6 Nm coming from 3-valve, 4-stroke motor makes it a stonker of an engine. Low end torque is good and 0 to 40 km/h is dealt at decent pace. But after 45 km/h, the 3-valve engine is at its best. The Vespa pulls very strongly and the acceleration is on par with the bikes of the same category.

Mid range is astonishing, 60 to 80 km/h is dealt in a matter of seconds and it pulls all the way to the magic number ‘100’ on the speedometer. This is a genuine 100 km/h+ scooter which will munch miles with ease thanks to the 8.5-litre fuel tank. It will also give you a smile when you refill the tank because this is the most fuel–efficient scooter we have ever tested. When driven sanely, it will return figures of 45 km/l which is quite frankly very efficient for what performance this motors offers. Cruising in this scooter is effortless with very little wind blast even at high speeds. The throttle has no feel while cruising which makes it effortless to drive through long journeys.

Ride, Handling and Braking – Ride quality of the Piaggio Vespa is very plush, it absorbs the biggest pot holes and craters to our imperfect roads without any fuss. No matter how the road surface is, you won’t be thrown away nor will your bones hurt. While the ride quality is so good, the handling is not so good. The chassis is stiff but the soft suspension setup, the single sided front suspension and the puny 90 x 100 x 10 tyres don’t make it a ‘sporty handling scooter’.

The Vespa LX125 is very nimble in the city and has a short u-turn radius. The scooter doesn’t like high speed maneuvering or taking sweepers at high speeds because tyres lose grip quickly. High speed stability would have been better if the tires were a bit wider. The Vespa is best when driven sedately. Brakes are good from a commuter’s point of view, while enthusiast will ask for more because of the kind of performance this scooter offers.

Miscellaneous – In-spite of the high price tag, cost cutting is seen on various areas. The Vespa has cheap plastics, inconsistent panel gaps all over, over-sized gasket seen from the outside of the gearbox, cheap side stand, absence of one shot spring loaded action, exposed bolt at one side at the front, missing front telescopic suspension, missing front disc brakes, no side step for female pillions, sore placement of lock which opens the storage, mediocre brakes, high price for accessories to name a few. Vespa emboss is seen at many places like grip cover and front suspension cover. Monograms are present at the front and the side body and a small logo appears on the chrome garnish at the front mudguard.

Conclusion – The third coming of the Vespa scooter in India is a very promising one. The scooter does have its drawbacks but offers many things which no other scooter does. The strong performance, stylish looks and Vespa name are enough to lure buyers to get the LX125. Even though the quality is not the best and the price is on the higher side, the Vespa is the cheapest means of head turning transportation in India currently. There is no denying then, the Vespa does a brilliant job as a life style product.

Whats Cool

* Stylish Looks
* Performance
* Storage

Whats Not So Cool

* Average Quality
* Lack of Features

Piaggio Vespa LX125 Specifications

* Engine: 124cc, single-cylinder, 3-valve, 4-stroke
* Power: 10.06 PS @ 7500 RPM
* Torque: 10.6 Nm @ 6000 RPM
* Transmission: CVT
* Top Speed: 100 km/h
* Fuel Consumption: 45 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame: Monocoque steel high rigidity structure
* Suspension: Arm with coil spring and dual effect shock absorber (Front), Coil spring and dual effect shock absorber (Rear)
* Tyres: 90/100/10
* Brakes: 150 mm drum (Front), 140 mm drum (Rear)

Piaggio Vespa LX125 Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 1770 mm x 690 mm x 1140 mm
* Wheelbase: 1290 mm
* Seat Height: 770 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 8.5-liters
* Kerb Weight: 114 kgs

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kedar

    Faisal hows the suspension and ride & Handling compared to TVS Wego?

    • Faisal Khan

      Wego has a better suspension. Wego is so much sharper in handling than the Vespa.

  • vivek

    faz or mohit : under Whats Not So CoolPlease add Price ( in karnataka it comes at 88k on Road)
    My Dad had a bajaj vespa, lambretta, then went on LML vespa NV, then to Chethak .
    i have my self lernt driving on LML Vespa , n also rode Chethak, But the new Vespa is big led Down for Big Vespa fan !
    Reasons are:
    * body size compared to LML Vespa NV /Select the build quality is poor with plastic( to improve mileage they have done it)
    * seat size ( i mean length is small ) aka LML Vespa NV /Select , Bajaj Chethak , why this is important is ( look at ur own pic from side due think a female can sit in sucha small side ways on the new model.Well i have tried it is to small, not comfortable for a Lady ( My Mom can vouch for it from all the above mentioned 55 model to 95 model she has sat side ways n was comfortable for her, Alas not this one)
    * well at expo 2012 pics they where look-in beautiful ( but the front is to small , check ur own pic in the article)

    * well from back it look like a cheap chinese toy tail lamp.

    Sorry , But real let down for a Vespa Fan,

    I wanted to buy it desperately as part of traditional and emotional co-chant Product for the Family, thanx to test ride ! i let go Emotional and Traditional bonding of decades.

    Bought the New Honda Dio into the family.

    • Manty Ahmed

      True Vivek. Very well said. This Vespa is not like earlier Vespa in many terms. It looks v small in person,onroad price of 80k is so high just nowhere justified for this scooter. And tail looks small and ugly. Tyres could be slightly bigger,no disc brakes,quality not good. Now how Piaggio can anticipate to sell 3L vehicles in 1yr. Reachng 10% of tht looks impossible to me.

    • Faisal Khan

      Manty, they don’t plan to sell Vespa. Their yearly target is less than 10,000 units, because they want to bring in other scooters for which the high capacity has been put at Baramati.

    • Faisal Khan

      Vivek, that is sad to know the Vespa disappointed you. They don’t really plan to sell much of these, their target is also not much and the Vespa is just for brand building. Price is definitely high but again the styling alone makes up for it IMO. Yes we do expect much more if this is a lifestyle product!

    • vivek

      FaiSal i Do approve on your thoughts,But Vespa was know for comforts for pillion rider ( i mean for side seater).

      But again as u seen in Retro Reborns Like Bettle or Fiat 500 it never satisfied the old customer base!
      So no Hard Feeling towards Vespa,I loved !
      My Granpa Bought vespa first when my mom was a year old.SO thus Generations loved ,But lost in New Mellinium , But new Love born for something else.

    • Faisal Khan

      Vivek, agreed. The old ones were practical, the news ones are not!

  • Deepak Dongre

    Kya baat hai…matching helmet ;)

    • Faisal Khan

      Deepak, that is an accessory but came along with our test Vespa ;-)

  • Ysak

    can nybody tell y thiz machine is costng this much???

    • Faisal Khan

      Ysak, premium positioning. They themselves don’t want to sell much!

  • Ninu

    Fas, looking cool in that yellow helmet+flower imprint shirt & red shoes, simply retro look. :)

    • Faisal Khan

      Thanks Ninu ;-)

  • vivek

    fas just now my Dio completed a month with first service will write up a Review on it for Motorbeam.

    • Faisal Khan

      Vivek, why don’t you post it in the iReviews section on the forums?

  • sudhir pradhan

    I am physically chalanged person .Presently I am using LML Vespa NV with four wheeler attachement . Is there any provision .Price in KOTA Rajasthan and the mode of purchase

  • snoopy

    The scooter sure looks good, no back support for the pillion rider, the drivers shirt needs to be strong if driving zippy. A lil more money and the nano is yours

  • snoopy

    Is the engine centrally located or like the old vespa with engine on the side which would throw the scooter sideways if front brake was applied at all.

  • mufaddal

    Faizal I’m buying a scooter what’s your suggestion vespa or honda activa?

    • Faisal Khan

      Mugaddal, if budget permits, Vespa.

  • sandeep

    I am bit confused, whether to buy vespa of to go with activa..can anybody help…

    • Faisal Khan

      Sandeep, if budget permits, get the Vespa.

  • Srikanth

    Can I know whether we’ve to shift the gears manually in Vespa or is it automatic like Activa?

    • Faisal Khan

      Srikanth, its automatic.

  • Muhammad Shibili

    I thing the high cost of vespa is to reduce the number of vespa on road and attract the peaple to it…..right?

    • Faisal Khan

      Muhammad, probably yes.

  • kaushik

    I just booked a vespa! Actually, i din’t want to spend so much… wanted a dio… But, my mom convinced me to get this! I was blown away by the engine in it! u can do 60kmph and not a single vibration will affect u.. even 80’s smooth (should say, the benchmark of scooters regarding the performance and refinement)… The engine noise too was considerably low.. I’m sure activa and access will shout more at this speed! The price is too much, but then at price comes quality! and the looks, very good, but not the best.. I still like the dio’s looks (LOL).. but am sure, this will pull more eyeballs than dio! apart from mind-blowing performance (believe me, it’s better than the access/swish), the suspensions are good too (again not the best.. wego and rodeo are better)… at 50kmph into a half foot deep pit, it came out without even rebounding an extra bit.. Seriously, activa would’ve given tat annoying metal clanking noise in such a situation! Everything is very good.. But the quality of plastics, the bite of the brakes and the price aren’t so good! :D

    • Faisal Khan

      Kaushik, which color did you get?

    • kaushik

      sorry for the late reply bro. I got the red one (Rosso dragon). Have driven 100+ kms only till now. I am only 80% satisfied with the scooter as of now. The engine isn’t as smooth as the one tat was there in the TD vehicle, but then, i read elsewhere that in the third service, the engine oil will be changed from petronas to AGIP (italian) tat will give it a silky smooth ride. As of now, not even one service is done. Then, the brakes are worse. Even my 2 year old electric scooter (BSA street rider) has better brakes. The front brakes offer no bite at all and the rear is just too powerful for sudden situations.. the rear wheels lock up very easily but then the chassis supports it :P even if u skid, the chassis makes sure that u do not not fall off the scooter :P I feel that for such a high price, piaggio must provide front disc brakes. Apart from these, there’s no other complaint. The engine is definitely a charm in the performance category as cruising at even 80kmph doesn’t seem to stress the engine a bit. but the good part is, within this 100 kms, nearly 25-30 people have stopped me to ask about the scooter.. It grabs eyeballs like no other scooter in india.. But then, when i tell them the price, their eyeballs just drop in astonishment! hope the experience improves

    • lvr

      After lot of R&D, have booked Vespa. Being a owner of Kinetic for 11 long years, i wanted something very different and Vespa was the only choice though i tested all 2 scooters from Activa to Hero Maestro. Are you facing any starting problems and once we get used to the brake, it is not an issue?

  • Kripa

    Ohhhh GOD.
    Guys Its no LML not at all LML………..its Piaggio Vespa its italian company. this is a 1st scooter in india from piaggio.

    guys dont compare with LML. that is diffrent.

    Piaggio has great variation in two wheeler

  • sanket

    Faizal I’m buying a scooter what’s your
    suggestion vespa or Suzuki swish ??

    • Faisal Khan

      Sanket, if budget permits, get the Vespa.

  • Vijay

    I just bought a Vespa after thinking and pondering over it for a long time. I checked the Activa (Too old and spartan), then the Swish ( Not at all a good looker and heard it is a fuel guzzler!! but believe me it is a good product among the normal scooters), then went for the Ray (Oh boy!! it is good for a girl) and then Wego (I heard it is good but not seeing many on the road…probably because it is a TVS product) and then I heard about the offer on Vespa. According to me, the Vespa is worth the money if you buy it before December 31st and the additional amount of Rs 8000-10000 (after the offer of around 7000 bucks) is worth it. We spend a lot of money on other things, whey dont we spend that in this italian Chic. Vespa looks tough since it has an all metal frame and the only negative is the disappoiniting front brake which they should change. Else, there is no scooter which is comparable to Vespa on overall quality and image.

    • Faisal Khan

      Vijay, rightly said. The Vespa is the best scooter in town but a little on the expensive side.

  • Ravi

    Vijay,… what is the final OTR price with accessories?

  • Sourav

    Totally agree with Vivek here.My father is an avid Scooter fan.he has some old vespa like NV SPL & Lambretta..Never had a Chetak..
    I had planned to gift him this new Vespa as my job gift,but he was totally disappointed with the new look.Bluntly said,”Girly”…
    Hope they bring more “Manly” scooters in future..
    By the way great article and wonderful comments..Loved it.

  • sachin shah

    maintenance wise is vespa or activa good ????

  • krishna

    wheather vespa is Selfstarter or kickstarter?

    • Faisal Khan

      Krishna, both.

  • sara

    fiaisal i don tknow even how to ride a scooter iam a working women ,n beocz of situational demands i need to buy a scooter so can u suggest which is the best .and i read in the above comments that it is of less comfort for the person who will be sitting please do suggest which is the best to buy ………… iam confused……………..

  • Tarun Bajaj

    wow!!! xxoo .. i saw this scooter in my city, and that was my first expression,,, yellow color is captivating to eyes…
    and what a description,, everything from tiny to major details covered completely..

  • dheeraj batra

    really nice scooter gud shape but price is so high

  • ashutosh

    guys plzz suggest me which one is better paiggo vespa or honda deo………???

    • Faisal Khan

      Ashutosh, if Vespa in budget, get it.

  • Prasad

    Shud I buy vespa Or new Activa

    • Faisal Khan

      Prasad, Vespa.

  • Meher

    Should I buy Vespa or Wego ?

  • Supriyaa

    Hi faisal, wonderous article. I wanna buy the Vespa in kolkata, any help please. More over please enlighten me with the re-sale value of vespa. Was surfing the net and found Vespa GTS 300 SUPER, much better than this model. Any news about it entering the Indian market anytime??? Am crazy bout Vespa….Plz help….Thnx :)

  • Aman

    Test drove TVS, Honda, Hero, Vespa and Suzuki. Finally shortlisted Access 125 and Vespa.
    I believe Vespa lacks the refinement of a Suzuki engine and sounds more like an autorickshaw. The pick up of Access is very steady and gradual whereas Vespa jumps on initial acceleration. The Access feels much steadier at lower speeds as compared to the wobblier Vespa. This stability is very crucial for city traffic conditions. The Vespa no doubt looks good but considering the impracticality and low refinement levels of its engine I have decided to buy the Access 125. After all its a super smooth Japanese engine. Wake up you show offs!!!

  • Santosh

    Hi Faisal, the new vespa has stolen my heart but same time I’m confused. This is the third time vespa has made into Indian market and doubt it is going to vanish again.Please help me to decide vespa or new Dio Budget is not an issue.

    • Faisal Khan

      Santosh, get the Vespa, eyes closed.

  • devadoss

    i researched all the scooters,but vespa in goodlooking. TVS scooty will become very poor condition in 6months,activa wants little big area to pass in the road,so qute look and style vehicle is VESPA.i hv bkd a yelloow girl sorry scooter and i wl get it on wenesday.hurrey

  • peter

    Should I buy blue red green or white lx 125?

  • Romanchal jaiswal

    i want to purchase a scooter, but i am so confused.. please suggest me which one is the best
    3- SUZUKI ACCESS 125

    • Faisal Khan

      Romanchal, get the Vespa.

  • Jaskirat

    I am gonna be staying in Bangalore, a city where traffic conditions are not so good. You need to stop and hit your brakes at every interval. Will vespa be a bad choice for these roads compared to other scooters like activa, dio etc?
    Secondly my salary is not gonna be that high initially so i need a scooter that’s very fuel efficient. So is vespa the best option when it comes to average or is some other scooter better?

    Lastly is the scooter gonna give me a lot of problems leading to high repair and mantainence costs( like scooter breaking down every second month)?
    Please reply as soon as possible. Thank you

  • dominic

    Hi Faisal,I just learned to ride a scooter and is planning to buy residing at Kerala where 4or5months in a year it wl b raining.which should I buy vespa or Activa considering the fact that I just learned to ride?does vespa have gears?n is d engine of vespa towards a side which results in less balance?

    • Faisal Khan

      Dominic, get the Vespa if it fits your budget. It is a gearless scooter and easy to ride.

  • Kumar

    Very very nice review. Also, it’s very useful.

  • yogesh kumar

    i’ve bought it for best looks lets see what about performance.

    • Faisal Khan

      Yogesh, what mileage are you getting?

  • Abhi Day

    I test drove TVS Wego, Honda Aviator, Activa, Suzuki Access, Swish and Vespa, and finally am confused between Swish and Vespa. I felt Swish had better pickup. Other than looks, the one think i liked in Vespa was the riding position. It felt more comfortable and on jerky roads the rider on the back does not gradually shifts to the front putting the driver is more uncomfortable position at the edge of the seat. Another thing i liked about Vespa is the balance. In Swish the pickup was great and it also felt pretty balanced and light. Budget is not a great issue here, but who would not want to save 20 grands. Need some help here to decide please.

    • Faisal Khan

      Abhi, other than the price, the Vespa is indeed the best scooter around, go for it.

  • Muralidharan R

    Vespa: Please don’t recommend to anyone. Starting problem after a long stop (4hours/morning time).
    Need to have stamina to hold this bike and you can reduce your morning walk time by ten minutes and spend time kicking your Vespa for smooth start. If you are planning to take your Vespa for any immediate request then you will for sure end up in failure.

    • Faisal Khan

      Do you own a Vespa? Can you share your experience with us?

  • Preetesh

    I have just booked vespa lx 125.. it cost me 74k. lets see howz performance says…

  • dhaval

    There is only one thing premium in this scooter. that is its engine. everything else is mediocore and feels to rape customers.

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