How Many Years do Vespa Bikes Last?
The Italian Vespa was the brainchild of a company (Piaggio) that got its start in shipbuilding before briefly toying with plane design, ultimately changing to the compact but sturdy motorised scooters.
The distinctive little vehicle was inspired by a US military bike, which was deployed widely throughout Italy during the Second World War. The owner of the company personally did not like conventional motorbikes, finding them to be bulky, noisy and dirty. Therefore, he designed the bike with a small motor, little wheels and a step through body which made it ideal for even women in skirts to use easily.
The bike got its name from this unique shape: slender front and solid back. Enrico Piaggio, son of the original owner and overseer of the production of the scooter, seeing one of the first Vespas to be made shouted out, in Italian, ‘It looks like a wasp!’ and thus the bike was named: vespa being Italian for wasp.
Vespas have sold over one million units in their many decades of existence, and they are as popular today as they were in those first heady days of production. The scooters’ popularity has been enhanced by their appearance in contemporary culture: they feature in movies and books about Italy and are often shown as symbols of freedom and independence without being antagonistic.
They are superb starter vehicles for young drivers, whether they aspire to get a car licence in the end, or if they simply want to get around town quickly and easily. They are easy to drive and maintain in good working order, and there are plenty of Vespa parts available, if you know where to look. They are known to be safer than bigger motorbikes, having small engines and less speed than machines that might tempt an unwary and inexperienced driver into opening the throttle to see how fast they can go.
Helmets should always be worn, for safety on the roads as well as user comfort – keeping all that wind and other traffic fumes away from your eyes and mouth. Vespas are perfect short distance everyday vehicles, ideal for nipping to the shops, going to university or work, or even for taking a day trip to the seaside.
Fans of Vespas will collect as many as they can, and if you can get your hands on one of the older models – and source Vespa parts for them to keep them running – you are sure to be the envy of any who see you tooling around town on your distinctive Vepsa. How long can a Vespa last? For as long as there is someone to take care of it, maintain it and drive it, is the short answer!
Authenticity is key for any Vespa owner/ restorer, with reliable parts suppliers an absolute must. Once your Vespa is restored to perfect showroom condition you can enter it in shows and races, gaining the respect and admiration of other aficionados of the vehicle.