Behold: Vespa’s “Model 46” concept: A retro-retro bike?

Piaggio, like most manufactures of the world, has brought a showing of bikes to the EICMA 2011 bike show.  This is a big event in the world of motorcycles, and usually attracts the best of what companies have to offer.  Over the next few days I’ll be sharing the scooter side of things, but to start off I figured I would show what Vespa is billing as the “Quarantasei”. 

While stylistically it’s obviously a nod to Corradino D’Ascanio and his original prototype ’46, which was one of the first bikes to incorporate all of the design elements that later would be carried over to the bike we know today as the Vespa

While the new body sports integrated taillights, turn signals in the handle bars and an over-stylized body, the engine is reported to be a 3 valve single cylinder, fuel-injected unit that produces 9% more HP than the previous LEADER engine that it replaces.  It also is sporting a rear disc brake, which is often something lacking in the sub 250cc Vespas.

While some have raved about the new Vespa’s direction, this blogger thinks it’s not *that* great.  It surely follows the current Vespa’s track of over-stylized bodies that sort-of evoke original designs, but technology wise it doesn’t bring a lot new to the table.  Then again, there have been HUGE debuts of new bikes by LML (which we will cover later), BMW (yes, BMW is making a scooter!) and Honda that make Piaggio’s offerings seem a bit weak. 

But, what do you guys think? Is it a bold move in the right direction for Piaggio to snag market mind share from the public, or does the “retro-retroness” of the body just try too hard?


About neotrotsky

A Technical Director at a somewhat-sorta-prestigious live performance studio, audio engineer and secondary engineering student (the second time around) by day. But, by night I am a daring (if not slightly melancholy) motorscooter enthusiast and gearhead searching for a garage and steady paycheck. View all posts by neotrotsky

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