There’s something special about a Vespa scooter, and this Italian flavour just picked up some Indian seasoning. No newcomer in India, Vespa played this market years ago with LML. And now, its decision to jump back into our giant, increasingly important market is playing out with a new factory going live at Baramati, from where the first manufactured-in-India LX125 scooter is all-set to make a big splash. We take this famous new scooter for a short spin.
The compact LX125 has timeless, classic styling that is just as seductive today as when first seen in the 1940’s. It’s a scooter with unisex appeal.
Watch video review here
The handlebar shroud flows smoothly into nice palm grips, and the LX employs a rounded instruments cluster. There are meaty-feeling buffed alloy levers. You also receive a larger-than-expected front storage bay, which opens neatly with a push of the ignition key into its slot. Below, the ridged floorboard isn’t as accommodating as most modern scooter’s flat units, a sacrifice made to preserve the Vespa’s undiluted retro theme.
A bag hook sits neatly recessed in the comfortable seat. Likewise, another plus is the ease with which you can prop an LX125 onto its mainstand. A voluminous, lockable underseat storage bay is available.
The Indian-built Vespa LX125 comes with a 125cc, carburetted, 3-valve engine. Peak power output is 10.06bhp at 7500rpm. The button-started LX125 engine works flawlessly, with a smooth, refined and built-to-last feel.
Checkout more images of the new Vespa LX 125 here
The Indo-Italian LX125 uses a single-sided, hydraulic shock absorber in front and hydraulic monoshock at rear. The riding position is spot on, comfortable and certain to encourage intercity commuting. We were surprised at how good the LX125’s suspension is, pampering its riders with excellent ride quality. Light handling and acceptable cornering manners are also offered. A feeble front brake however proves to be the LX125’s Achilles heel, providing inadequate stopping power and posing a major problem we hope Vespa steps in to quickly address. No such trouble with the rear brake however, as this boasts adequate stopping power.
The Vespa LX125 is priced at a hefty Rs 66,661 (ex-showroom, Pune), a significant premium over what several established Indian scooter rivals cost. The iconic, snazzy LX 125 could pull off a fair premium over its competition, yes, but Vespa may find the going tough justifying this wide a difference. Indian scooter buyers could question purchasing the LX125 at this price solely to make a bold lifestyle statement, more so because retro scooters like the Bajaj Chetak only just ended their colossal production lifecycles here, and are still available dime a dozen for a pittance on the used market.
Don’t miss the full ride story in Autocar India’s May 2012 issue, on stands now.