Tag Archives: Italy

Vespa World Days and more!

Wrapping up just a couple weeks ago was the 12th Annual Vespa World Days. This year was held in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Thousands of riders and spectators attended the event from all over the world.

Here’s a link with some of the details and delightful photos.

Vespa Wrap up

And in other Vespa news, we are inching ever closer to a fully electric model.

The Vespa Elettrica is set to be released later this year, boasting 80-160 miles per charge, depending on which model you have. The Elettrica X has double the distance of the base model, says Piaggio designers. It is supposed to maintain brand design, but offer some of the bells and whistles you’d expect from such a hi-tech machine. This will be an interesting addition to the Vespa family.

A little humor and updates

Happy Weekend Slow Kids!

I thought to myself that I should share this little comic a friend of mine sent me. It’s so great, especially for those of us that live in the Southwest United States.

Stay tuned for my engine rebuild series. I’ve got all the parts I need and I will be attempting to rebuild my LML 5-port engine over the coming weeks. With a little one and a full time job, there’s little time to devote to a new project, but I’m really itching to get the V running again. It’s going to be premier weather in no time.

Anyway, here’s the humor!


And, for a REAL modern scoot: The new Piaggio Fly

While some makers of original retro bikes are giving up and caving to the modern demands of everything for zero effort, Piaggio is introducing a bike made specifically for the modern scooter rider, the Fly. 

Now I’ve always liked the Fly’s basic approach.  I’m not a fan of the dealership tactics in the US that pretty much cost you 30 to 40 % on top of the MSRP just to buy one of their bikes. But the Fly is a bulletproof reliable automatic that I would encourage EVERYONE who is looking for a dead-stop reliable commuter bike to look into. 

And, with the Fly being one of Piggaio’s top sellers, this new one should do well.  So , what do you think of the new direction in styling. It’s a subtle difference, but definitely in the vein that Yamaha and Honda have started in Italy’s market. 

When in Rome….

Do as the Romans, right?


If anyone’s seen the movie Roman Holiday, you know that it’s a super cute story that involves 60’s scooter culture. This article in The Blender shows off how you too can sight see and be stylish in Italy or in any city, really. I know much of it is product placement for “lifestyle” people, however, there are some really cool kitsch ideas.

(Disclaimer: I do not shop at nor read this blog from Williams-Sonoma, but I did find this article and found it interesting.)

Finally, credit where credit is due in the scooter design world.

NYT Article

Museo Piaggio has opened a new and sadly, temporary exhibit about the revolutionary designer of the Vespa. It’s only going to be showing until the end of this month, so if you just-so-happen to be in the Pisa/ Florence area of Italy, you should go there. I would, but I’ve got stuff to do…

Anyway, the point of the post aside from giving credit to the writers that told us in America about the exhibit, but also the curators of the Museo for finally looking to their roots and giving real credit to one of the innovators of, in my humble opinion, one of the most interesting and beautiful machines to grace the road.

I also think it’s really cool that the Italian postal system is issuing a stamp in commemoration. But I can’t manage to find out what it looks like… Oh well. It’s still really cool. 🙂


EICMA 2011: Piaggio Beverly Sport Touring 350. Even they go big..

And, as if the new Aprilia auto motorbike and BMW Maxi-scooter news wasn’t enough to make you think that the scooter scene in general had compensation issues, I present to you this:


The new Beverly Sport Touring 350 is the largest Piaggio to date for the line.  The Beverly has done VERY well for the makers of Vespa, selling 310,000 bikes in various displacements since 2001.  This time around, they went nuts with a 350 engine with an output of 33hp, 150/70 rear tire, sport styling and one of the first bikes to use the ABS/ASR braking system for maximum safety.  Yep kids, this thing has brakes more complex than your Volvo and the size to match.

Now, with the wow aside, is Piaggio pushing the limits of the definition of a scooter? No doubt the Beverly line (sold as simply the “BV” in some of the US showrooms strangely) is the fighter that Piaggio has put in the ring to compete with Honda’s taking of the Italian home market, and has given Piaggio a more modern face.  But, wit this bike dwarfing most large-wheel commuter bikes, one wonders that at the price, will they be able to stay competitive price wise with Honda or Peugeot?

No word if this will be available in the US, but if it is, expect a price to start well over $6500 to $7k.  Remember, Italian style isn’t cheap.  Then there’s that whole Italian economy insolvency thing that could hamper exports….

A race that really raises the roof!

In Turin, Italy, the original Fiat automotive factory still sits.  It was at one point one of the largest automotive factories in the world, and had in it a unique problem:  In Turin, the population is so dense and the traffic so congested that Fiat had no space to test their products. 

Solution? build a track ON THE ROOF!!

Time has passed and Fiat no longer uses the factory, but Red Bull and their zany group of motor-driven marketers somehow got permission to run a scooter race on TOP of the factory on the old track.  Participants had to pass a “mechanical” test before being allowed to race by testing their skills with a front tire removal and replacement.  The slowest 50 were eliminated, while the fastest 100 were then allowed to continue on with the actual race portion of the competition.  After each lap, the slowest rider was eliminated until there remained a single one. 

Congratulations to Giacomo Tiberti of Tuscany!  (A Vintage Vespa rider as well)

Vintage Vespa and Lambretta scooters were in attendance, but not much mention of other makes.  No word on if this will remain a seasonal event.  If so… I think I know where the next Slow Kids Scooter Gang field trip is going to be!

Here’s the original article for more pictures.