why get a motorcycle when you could get a Vespa

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by mylesmyles, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    are the vintage Vespas in Viet Nam inexpensive? I wonder if there'd be a market to export them -- or if all the stuff in them has been replaced over the years, just like the 50's cars in Cuba?
    wow, a real post from Horace, been a long time dude.

    I have a bunch of friends who export Vespas for a living because you pick them up so cheaply here.

    The 150CC Vespas/Lambrettas:

    Old n bad condition - as low as $100-200
    Fully restored with Chinese parts - $600-800
    Fully restored with real parts - $1200-1500

    One of my best mates restores them (very nicely) with Chinese parts and exports them to companies in Hawaii that rent them to tourists. He sells them at $3000-4000 a bike.

    Good margins huh?
     


  2. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    By power, I mean acceleration, not top end speed. My bike basically tops out at 90, but it goes from scary place to safe place much faster than a scooter can. Plus I can haul another person and/or a bunch of gear, if I want to, safely.


    when I was in my early twenties, most of my friends had them. they are perfect viehicles for tel aviv. all of my friends had accidents with them, but usually not very serious, mostly when they hit a slipery patch on the road, or sombody opened a car door, or a pedestrian ran out into the street and they swerved to avoid it. one of my older friends at the time had a 650 bike, and we discussed the saftey issue. I suggested, in my ignorance, that with less power you could get into less trouble, he said (like j, and correctly, I believe) that the most dangerous part of the vespa was not being able to accelerate quicly to get out of danger.

    that said, they are very cool, and a great way of getting around a city with traffic, espectially a flat city like new york or Tel Aviv
     


  3. Mr. Checks

    Mr. Checks Senior member

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    I'm terrified of the Ford Explorer-owning, cell-phone using, coffee-drinking, unskilled soccer-parent drivers, and I have a Passat.

    Can't imagine driving a Jetta, much less any kind of a bike.
     


  4. GreyFlannelMan

    GreyFlannelMan Senior member

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    wow, a real post from Horace, been a long time dude.


    I thought the exact same thing!

    I like the concept of a Vespa -- I think they look good, and are most likely more economical than motorcycles (I honestly don't know enough to be sure), but I note the following:

    1) Traffic is often too intense in NYC, what with the SUVs, the trucks, the insane taxis, and the asswipes who drive their hooped up cars into the city. The agressiveness of NY drivers would intimidate me on a little Vespa.

    2) Where to park? Unlike in certain European and Asian cities, there is no designated parking.

    3) Climate. I could not imagine riding a Vespa (or motorcycle) in the cold of winter, and certainly not in the snow.

    Dude, the picture of the Vespa doing a wheelie is pretty lame! Not that machismo has any bearng in my life, but I think the Vespa will always be seen as one of those Euro-trashy fem things that just aren't going to catch on beyond a small group of college students/hipsters.

    I do know one person who has one, and he goes on and on about how cool he is for it. He is one of the least cool people I know, and perhaps that has also affected my view. [​IMG]
     


  5. mylesmyles

    mylesmyles Senior member

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    luckily i have a garage in my building - and conviced the attendant that due to the fact that it takes up so little space i should not have to pay much to park it - and he agreed.

    as for the bad nyc drivers you get used to it - is there a risk - sure - but i have yet to feel unsafe riding around - and the accessability of going so many places that were otherwise a pain using mass transit more than makes up for it imo.

    do i think they will ever be the "necessery" form of transit that they are in the rest of the world - probably not - but for me it's an enjoyable alternative to taking a subway/taxi to get wherever it is i might be going - and based on my math is saving me money as well.

    [email protected] - i've heard about buying restored vintage Vespa's from over there - but how would i know if they are restored using real (not chinese) parts???
     


  6. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    [email protected] - i've heard about buying restored vintage Vespa's from over there - but how would i know if they are restored using real (not chinese) parts???
    i have more mates [​IMG]

    email Pat or Ash at [email protected]

    Tell them Matt sent you, I did the Chaly Rally with them both. Great guys

    Im not sure if they will organise shipping for just one bike though, tend to export en masse to dealers. Never know til you ask. Theyve got hundreds of them.


    edit - had centre spelt American style in email address....
     


  7. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    I like Vespas, but my favorite city commuting utensil (except for mass transit) is the BMW C1. Unfortunately it is not sold in the US. If it were, I would buy one for daily commuting and keep the much less efficient Mini just for hikes that involve interstates. I disagree with this guy that it would be good for cities like ATL or Dallas, though. Riding something like that in such a town is a death wish. But in a more built up city or a college town I think it would be great.
    There is some covered scooter just like this (though not a BMW) that I've seen around Seattle. I know where it parks - I'll take a look and see what it is next time I'm up there.
     


  8. CTGuy

    CTGuy Made Guy

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    There is some covered scooter just like this (though not a BMW) that I've seen around Seattle. I know where it parks - I'll take a look and see what it is next time I'm up there.

    That thing is sweet. I recall when I was in Germany seeing a lot of kind of hybrid bikes like this.
     


  9. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    I'm terrified of the Ford Explorer-owning, cell-phone using, coffee-drinking, unskilled soccer-parent drivers, and I have a Passat.

    Can't imagine driving a Jetta, much less any kind of a bike.


    What's the problem with a Jetta?

    Jon.
     


  10. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    It's smaller than a Passat?
     


  11. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    wow, a real post from Horace, been a long time dude.

    I have a bunch of friends who export Vespas for a living because you pick them up so cheaply here.

    The 150CC Vespas/Lambrettas:

    Old n bad condition - as low as $100-200
    Fully restored with Chinese parts - $600-800
    Fully restored with real parts - $1200-1500

    One of my best mates restores them (very nicely) with Chinese parts and exports them to companies in Hawaii that rent them to tourists. He sells them at $3000-4000 a bike.

    Good margins huh?


    Dude,

    I keep it real every so often; maybe you do not see? Perhaps our Professor of Education, Schnupe can be of assistance.

    Interesting info on the Vespas. I'd probably just get the shell and restore it myself. I do wonder how many Vespas remain in "collector" condition, or have basically good straight frames or metal pieces left.

    Do you happen to know when the majority of these Vespas were imported into VietNam? During the French occupation? Were the Americans bringing them in? Or did they bring in motorbikes? If I were a collector or hobbyist, I'd rather trust a full restoration to someone outside of Vietnam. But it sounds like your mate does indeed have a nice little business. From what I've seen, the Chinese are doing better with parts these days. Still, for a true collector, you want to make everything as "show room" as possible and thus it's probably better to fetch the parts from Europe.
     


  12. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    I like Vespas, but my favorite city commuting utensil (except for mass transit) is the BMW C1. Unfortunately it is not sold in the US. If it were, I would buy one for daily commuting and keep the much less efficient Mini just for hikes that involve interstates. I disagree with this guy that it would be good for cities like ATL or Dallas, though. Riding something like that in such a town is a death wish. But in a more built up city or a college town I think it would be great.

    I like these BMW's. I've seen a noticeably number in France.


    I still think the true hipster would go old school moped over the Vespa any day. Plus it's easier to chain up. I know NYC is getting tame and all, but a Vespa's still ripe for the stealing.
     


  13. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    There is some covered scooter just like this (though not a BMW) that I've seen around Seattle. I know where it parks - I'll take a look and see what it is next time I'm up there.

    I also like the really really tiny "Smart" Car. I've seen a Mercedes version that ain't much bigger.
     


  14. Mr. Checks

    Mr. Checks Senior member

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    It's smaller than a Passat?

    That's it.
     


  15. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

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    We have a Smart Car for driving around in a small community in Taiwan. Not something I'd like to bring on the freeway but it is an excellent car.
     


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