Me!! I finally have found *the* bike, and the deposit was laid upon the barrel head yesterday with an expected delivery on next Thursday.
BEHOLD! The best “daily driver” vintage you will find: A 1980 Vespa P200e!
200cc’s of glory!! It’s in excellent condition, runs like a top and stops like…well… like a 31 year old motorbike with drum brakes. The shocks are a bit worn and it needs a new kill switch. Other than that, she’s a perfect scooter! Admittedly I am paying a *bit* more than the average market price, but clean vintage scooters are impossible to come by in Phoenix unless you dig REAL deep or can afford to pay someone else to build them for you. I was determined to find a vintage bike that was a good platform for my OWN work. This shall fit the bill exactly! And, these are the workhorse of the Vespa world with the most powerful engine built by Piaggio until the “modern” era in the 90’s and will fit excellent for our groups long term “field trip”: The ride to Amerivespa ‘12!!!
Now, does that make my opinions on Stella scooters from Genuine Scooter Company null and void? Hardly! The Stella is a fine modern version of the shifter scooter, and is a great bike. But, the P-series scooter is what the Stella started from, and there are certain bits that make this scooter stand out. The materials are just *slightly* better: The steel is thicker, the factory rubber is amazingly new feeling even after 31 years, and it has a fit and finish only Vespa can bring. That doesn’t mean the LML-made Stellas are junk, but they do have their issues. Their rubber material is prone to UV damage and rot early on, some of the steel on the body aren’t as thick and modern parts such as plastic fuel tanks instead of metal ones just don’t match the Vespa feel.
But, the Stella does come with three things that make it VERY much a better first time rider scooter: 90% of Vespa parts will fit a Stella (so you can upgrade the “good” parts for “excellent” parts!), and you get a front disc brake and electric start. Those two points alone make a bike far safer and more convenient. In fact, I will be adding a front disc on this bike later on, but I’ll ‘”suffer” with the kicstart only since it’s only a 200cc bike.
All in all I’m VERY excited for this scoot and will post a full review and even video when I get it in my hands next week!
And so it begins…