The Italian 2 wheeler maker, Piaggio had a long stint in India earlier under the brand name of Vespa when it competed with Bajaj in the geared scooter segment. But with the advent of the Japanese motorcycles, the scooter sales dwindled and thus Piaggio was forced to withdraw the Vespa brand from the Indian market. However, the Italian company is already present in the Indian market in the 3 wheeler segment and with the 2 wheeler industry booming, has plans to reintroduce its iconic brand once again. Currently Honda is the market leader in the scooter segment, offering three scooters to the public at large, the Activa, Aviator and Dio. The Japanese automaker also offered a geared scooter Eterno at one point in time.
The first product under Vespa would be the LX125. The company showcased the same vehicle at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo that was held in January, 2012 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. With the LX125, the company wants to position the Vespa brand as a style statement and not a main stream volume segment model. the Vespa LX125 is powered by a single cylinder, 125cc, 4 stroke, fuel injected engine that produces 10.6 BHP of power at 8250 RPM and 9.6 Nm of torque at 7250 RPM. The engine is mated to a gearless automatic transmission. It rides on 110/70 – 11″ tires at the front and 120/70 – 10″ tires at the back with a kerb weight of 114 kgs. At the front, the stopping power is provided by a 200mm disc brake while at the rear you get 110mm drum brake.
The Vespa scooter measures 1770mm in length, 740mm in width and 1140mm in height and complies with Euro3 emission norms. It is likely to be available in 4 colours; Rosso Dragon, Nero Lucido, Blu Midnight, Celeste Glamour. The scooters are being produced locally at the company’s Baramati facility. However, the question is will customers be willing to pay the extra price for the svelte and stylish LX125 over the Honda scooters available in the market? This is something only time will tell but there is certainly exciting times ahead for scooter lovers.