New Vespa 125: Exclusive Road Test
No matter how congested the roads are, the Vespa’s peppy power delivery with 10.06PS of power produced at 7,500rpm and impressive 10.6Nm of torque peaking at 6,000rpm configured in a manner to suit the mid-range grunt of the scooter, translates into a solid riding experience that is truly enjoyable as well as relaxing. A large part of this fun feel has to be accredited to the potent monocoque chassis which boasts stupendous balance and rigidity as well as the low seat height of just 770mm.
The combination and well thought out configuration of the scooter make the Vespa a very easy-to-ride scooter, especially in Indian road conditions. The ergonomics are comfy and pleasant for riders of all shapes and sizes with a trouble-free reach to the handlebars, a sizably big flat seat and an equally well-set feet position. The result is a hassle-free ride aboard the Vespa, providing the joys of effortless commuting.
It is of essence for a city commuter like the Vespa to be flickable to swiftly navigate through tight spots at which it excels despite the longest-in-class wheelbase of 1290mm. Certainly the long wheelbase makes for a very planted feel at all times keeping it composed and unflustered even on bumpy roads. Maintaining the overall poise of the scooter is the well-configured suspension set-up on both ends. Looking after the damping duties up front is the aircraft-derived anti-dive single-sided trailing arm suspension, as found on the original Vespa on 1946, while on the rear is the more evolved hydraulic suspension that is configured to handle Indian road conditions. However, the front anti-dive suspension has its flaws.
Its lack of dive means under hard braking the feel is not very strong from the biggest-in-class drum brake dia of 150mm on the front. This could also be due to the material of the brake liner, but while the front brakes feel weak, the braking performance is not to be doubted. The front brake is helped by a 140mm dia drum brake on the rear and together they provide sufficient stopping power to the Vespa as was seen in our 60-0km/h braking test, wherein the scooter came to a halt in just 26.8 metres and 3.08 seconds, which is a respectable time for a scooter weighing 114kg.