Vespa seems to be on a roll, not only in Malaysia but around the world. Take a drive around KL city, and you are bound to see a few Vespa’s, all new mind you, whizzing around through traffic with the riders decked in designer shirts, shoes, jeans and of course, an 8-ball helmet.

Vespas are cool, they are hip, they suit everyone from the playboy millionaire, to the Armani-trotting CEO. They are even accepted by valets in some of the top five-star hotels in KL, now that is really something.

And then there is the camaraderie, all Vespa owners know to give a nod, a thumbs up, or just a friendly wave when riding past another Vespa rider, old or new. A Vespa is not just a hip scooter, it is a way of life, especially amongst urbanites.

Vespa is officially represented in Malaysia by Naza Premira Sdn Bhd, which is the sole importer and distributor of Vespa scooters in the country. Over the years the company has introduced multiple variants like the popular LX150, LXV150 i.e., Primavera 150 3V i.e., and the amazing GTS300. New to the line up is the Vespa Sprint, which marks the first time the square headlamp has returned to the Vespa line up since the Vespino of the 70s.

Though it took decades for a successor to be introduced, the Sprint still preserves vintage aesthetic characteristics such as the sport saddle with a white line finish, and of course, the square headlamp.

Though the Sprint can trace its roots back to nearly 40 years ago, the Sprint is very much a modern scooter with all the right modern features. It offers state-of-the-art features such as LED daytime running lights, multifunction digital display, and the gorgeous 12-inch aluminium alloy rims. And it does not end there, even the rear view mirrors have been reworked to flow with the scooter’s stylish design.

At the centre of it all though, is a 150cc, singlecylinder, four-stroke engine with three valves (two intakes and one exhaust), a single overhead cam, and electronic fuel injection. It is the same engine that powers all other 150cc Vespas, and is designed and built in Piaggio’s Pontedera plant, the new engine’s unique 3-valve architecture is lighter and more fuel-efficient than most conventional twin-valve engines. A new free-wheel electric starter and dry centrifugal clutch helps to bring consumption levels down. 

Vespa says that the Sprint is capable of returning 64 kilometres per litre of petrol at an average speed of 50km/h. Now that is really, really good. 

But the Vespa Sprint is more than just a scooter with good looks and an efficient engine; it also handles really well. Contributing to its agility is the advanced structural engineering which has made it possible to increase the Sprint’s headstock rigidity by 36% and longitudinal bend by 154% without compromising on weight. This enhances the overall agility of the bike, which makes it perfect for dealing with traffic and such.

The overall frame has also been redesigned; the battery has been moved into the central tuned of the footrest, which frees up an amazing 16.6 litres of space in the under seat helmet compartment. The footrest area on the other hand has been designed for optimum room, comfort and posture for both rider and pillion. 

The new Vespa is also said to be a lot smoother than before with a new engine mounting system made up of two-position arms, and a new front suspension which connects to the wheel via a hinged pin instead of screws. 

The Vespa Sprint is priced at RM13,888 (excluding 6% GST) with a two year manufacturer warranty, or 20,000 kilometre (whichever comes first). It is available in six colours and best of all, the new Vespa Sprint is covered by the new Vespa Assist Service (VAS). 

The VAS makes Vespa the first motorcycle brand in Malaysia to offer bike assist services to its customers. The service is supported by AAM bikers assist program, and offers a 24/7 breakdown assistance, free-towing services (depending on zones), minor on-the-sport repair services, AAM Motor Insurance and Vehicle Inspection and Valuation services, among others. 

 

New Vespa owners who register their motorcycles from 1st of April 2015 onwards are entitled to free Vespa Assist for one year. The VAS will commence from 10th April 2015 onwards, and can be reached via a dedicated hotline at 011-2203-1111. 

More information about Vespa Malaysia is available at www.vespa.com.my and facebook. com/myvespa. 

KESHY DHILLON

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