New Vespa In Thailand
16 replies to this topic
Posted 2010-09-02 15:25:52
There are now 15 dealers selling Vespa scooters in Bangkok. They are imported from Piaggio factory in Hanoi.
Anyone here own one yet? If so what are your impressions?
The LX 150 is 99,000 Baht. The machine is very well built. Style is classic Vespa. Should be a great option for navigating Bangkok and regions.
I'd like to hear what others might think about this new addition to the local market, price, reliability, servicing and other thoughts?
Posted 2010-09-03 14:03:08
Which one? I've looked at two and they didn't seem to have any first hand reports of owning one or maintenance?
Posted 2010-09-03 14:15:57
Here in Vietnam the locally made Vespas have a bad reputation. Well anything made locally ends up with a bad rep. Even the Airblades made in TLD are more desirable and expensive than the locally made ones.
My wife has a LX150. This is a couple yrs old. Last of the made in Italy ones.
We've had this for over 2yrs now.
These (even second hand) sometimes sell for more than the VN made ones. These are more "fashionable" than the locally made.
My wife's friends have had some problems mechanically with the new Vespas. The engine's sound like they are going to fall appart, some clutch issues.
Having said that the Italian made one is not without fault.
There is always water getting into the rear transaxle possibly via the dipstick. I've tried replacing the O ring, teflon tape on the threads. The Piaggo mechanics tell me that its normal. To me that's not normal. I tell the wife to stop riding in puddles.
Some Vespas have a hard time starting, this is due to the smaller jet in the carby. Changing this out with a larger jet solves this problem.
When starting it makes a horrible metallic grinding/clashing sound...Thats normal...its a Vespa
The rear wheel gets a wobble from the axel and needs to be repaired.
The kick start is next to useless, unless the bike is warmed up, then it will start, apart from that it gives my wife and anyone else around great amusement.
They don't have what the newer honda's have regarding the dual braking. If you hit the rear brakes on a new honda both front and real brakes will come on. Vespa's have one lever per brake.
Opening up the instrument cluster is quite easy, except for the screw under the headlight. If you drop that inbetween the front panels then you have to remove the glovebox panel, the foot rest platform in order to get to the lost screw.
Some corrosion will present itself on the microswitch's for the brake lights. I've had to remove them a few times, clean the green crap off and shine it up, then screw the plug back in to get the brake light working. Seems mostly on the right hand side.
They are a steel bodied bike so they are quite a heavy bike. 100+kg's.
Great to change directions on, stable at slow (10-20kph) speeds and depending on the weight of the rider 100kph+ top speed.
Large cargo hold under the seat. You can get easy access to the engine by simply removing the storage container.
Bigger area around your feet, there is also a retractable plastic hook at the front of the seat for holding bags, helmets etc.
I have a english bulldog who loves going for rides with me, My honda PS150i is too narrow for his shoulders.
Removing the sparkplug is a right PITA, you need a sparkplug socket and ratchet.
They don't like getting wet too much, wifes one's been stalled on the side of the road several times after a monsoon downpour and riding along flooded streets.
Modification wise you can get bigger jets for the carb, change the roller weights, clutch's and bells are all avalible.
Get the steel "cage" to protect your Vespa is you do get one, Well worth it with the idiots who crash into you (Well here its money well spent) also gives you a place to tie your dog's leash onto when your taking it out for a ride.
All in all its a great little run around. Wife's been to Vung Tau and back to Saigon a couple times with no problems appart from the 3 punctures in 15min's of leaving Saigon.
Good fuel economy, lack of a trip meter can be overlooked along with the clock that runs of a battery that needs replacing every couple yrs.
Posted 2010-09-03 22:20:39
A bit of advice.....try putting Vaseline (or the local equivalent) in the bulb sockets. It's hydrophobic and won't short everything out too boot. Basically just stuff the socket 1/2-2/3 full of the goop and screw the bulb in.
Posted 2010-09-03 23:09:02
Cheers for the tip, I'll put some in next time I have to open the covers up. I suppose you can use it for wiring plugs too?
Posted 2010-09-03 23:18:48
But of course. Remember though that it will most likely liquefy out if you install it in plugs too near engine heat.
Posted 2010-09-28 19:25:00
I have 400km on the clock now, and I have been using wifey's bike to scoot around the city and deliver our boy to school. So a little update:
- Starting is hard unless you give it a little gas - starts every time and easily for me, wife has trouble (I told her to give it a little gas, but that pretty much guarantees she won't do it ). But it does start for her too.
- The Vespa is a great, great little ride. Never thought a little scooter would be this much fun. The tiny wheels may have some drawbacks but they make the bike extremely maneuverable - perfect for the city.
- I am amazed at the acceleration. I leave all the other scooters behind, and cars too of course. I think the gearing is set up so that there's a lot of low speed acceleration, but a limited top speed. This translates to: Fun!!
- Top speed 90 kph easily no problem, then when you keep holding down on the gas - as you're wont to do - you inch ever closer to 100. I imagine it would be easy to modify for a higher top speed.
- Bike is stable and comfortable through the entire speed range. Going 100 feels natural and not the least bit unstable or wobbly. Eats up the corners at high speeds too.
- Storage is excellent. The body design of the Vespa - and being new to the brand I didn't know this - is not only designed beautifully, it's also extremely functional. There's a luggage hook, underseat storage big enough for a full face helmet, and a little front compartment.
The fuel gauge drops to empty even when there's still more than half a tank left. I will have that looked at tomorrow.
Things I miss:
- Trip meter. You'd think they could do an electronic odo with trip meter in a bike this price?! Trip meter would be nice to measure gas mileage and to know when to get gas when the fuel gauge doesn't exactly work *ahem*
Engine sounds perfectly fine, starting does too. I love the engine sound, actually. Nice little wheeeeeeeee. Then again - it's 400km old, if it fell apart already it would be tragic. Steel cage sounds interesting, is that a 3rd party item or an official Vespa accessory, do you have a picture?
Posted 2010-09-28 20:21:06
Hmmm, memories of my 1962 ( l think ) Vespa SS180. Very reliable bike, easy starter way back then and loads of cool sounding Italian mufflers to choose from.
Posted 2010-09-28 23:43:19
Posted 2010-09-29 00:10:26
This I have been told via Vespa forums this is to do with the jet in the carb.
Different country (usa/eu/Asia) have different jet sizes. I too give it a couple twists before and during starting.
That lifts out for easy access to the engine.
Its sold at Vespa dealerships here in VN. Wifes one is stainless. these do come in handy however the bike still gets dinged up.
Heres a link to the pic. They call these "Crash Bars"
2 things I find strange and both are on the instrument cluster.
The digital clock is battery operated. From a small watch battery in the back of the instrument cluster. Replacing it is not that difficult if you know how to use a screwdriver.
The speedo needle rest on my wifes LX150 (Italian made, Not sure on the VN made ones) is located on the 10kph marking. Funny that your not moving yet the speedo is sitting on 10kph....
These are not a very "quick" accelerating bike well not compared to my PS150i
Posted 2010-09-29 07:56:42
Hmmm carburettor jets can be a serious difficult thing to fix on a Vespa LX150, especially because the in Thailand available Vespa LX150 doesn't have a carburettor.
Posted 2010-09-29 09:33:16
Italian made have carb as in the case of the little lady's.
I've got a Vespa/Piaggo shop about 50m from my house, I hate dealing with them as everything is too difficult and too much trouble. Though there always seem to be a lot of new (vn made) vespas getting repaired compared to older ones. Hope the trend doesn't continue elsewhere.
Posted 2011-03-29 03:20:06
Starting the Vespa LX150 takes a bit of getting used to, unlike the fuel injected brother, you need to hold on to the throttle until it cranks up. You can only release the throttle a second after it fires up. This allows the auto choke to kick in. It is the same for both Italian and Vietnamese versions. It is also the same for the Chinese assembled Vespa Fly 150.
They are a great town bike.