Making the (up)grade: Vespa unveils new Primavera and Sprint

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Text and photos by Kap Maceda Aguila

AMID skyrocketing fuel prices and monstrous traffic, now’s a good a time as any to consider traveling on two wheels instead of four. That’s according to MotoItalia Philippines head Willy Q. Tee Ten. He has a point. “We never expected Vespa to grow this big… Today, we have 17 dealerships and we’re not going anywhere but up,” he said on Oct. 3 during the launch program for the updated versions of the Vespa Primavera and Sprint.

MotoItalia Philippines is the authorized local distributor and service provider of the iconic Italian scooter maker.

Added MotoItalia Philippines group general manager Miguelito L. Jose; “Vespa has always been keen on detail, performance and service — driving generations of young people for over 70 years. One of the most important models in this long story is certainly the Vespa Primavera. On the other hand, we have the Sprint, which is the ideal Vespa for anyone who wants to ride around town in style and on something dynamic.”

The Vespa Primavera celebrates its 50th anniversary with key changes in style and features. One of the “most spectacular commercial successes” in the brand’s history continues to boast familiar attributes: “young, innovative, technologically avant-garde, agile and dynamic, and environmentally friendly,” even as it moves forward to be a “modern bike.”

For starters, the new iteration receives bigger wheels — 12-inch aluminum alloys (the largest ever in the Vespa’s history), with a new five-spoke design. The company says these promise heightened stability, safety and “holding” on all surfaces and road conditions. Additionally, the Primavera now features LEDs on both the head light and the rear lamp.

The new version also gets a unique “tie” feature on its front and chrome crest on the front mudguard. Powering it is Vespa’s latest-generation 150 cc, four-stroke engine with three valves per cylinder. The system delivers 12.7 hp at 7,750 rpm, and 12.8 Nm at 6,500rpm.

Priced at P185,000, the Primavera also accommodates customization. The top box — painted in the same color as the bike, and can hold a full-face helmet — can be finished with a backrest. A chrome-plated base upon which the top box is mounted can also be used as a luggage rack. The anti-chip methacrylate windscreen can be customized with the Vespa logo. A top fairing (available as transparent or tinted) can also be fitted; same with chrome-plated front and rear luggage racks, and front, side and rear chrome mudguards. An internal top box bag, side stand, outdoor cover, and indoor cover, and rubber matting are additional accessories that can be had. Anti-theft features are available.

Bannered as the “youngest and sportiest Vespa,” the Sprint (priced at P205,000) has its beginnings in the 1960s as a new batch of these two wheelers “invaded European roads.” Small, quick, agile, and modern, the Sprint then (as now) was conceived to appeal to a more youthful set of riders. It directly descends from models such as the SS 90 or the Primavera ET3.

Predicated on a small and light body made entirely of steel, this Vespa is distinguished by a rectangular head light and dynamic styling. Like the Primavera, the new Sprint now boasts 12-inch wheels, and swaps its old lighting system with LEDs for both the head light and rear assembly. It also earns a similar “tie” feature on front.

A top box can also accommodate a full-face helmet, and can be finished with a backrest covered with the same material as the seat. A chrome-plated base where the top box is mounted similarly doubles as a luggage rack. As with the Primavera, the new Sprint sports a methacrylate windscreen customized with the Vespa logo. It can likewise be fitted with a top fairing, chrome-plated front and rear luggage racks, front side and rear chrome mudguards, internal top box bag, side stand, and indoor and outdoor vehicle covers. Theft-proof features are also offered.

The Sprint is powered by a four-stroke, three-valve electronic-injection engine. The 155 cc power plant serves up 12.7 hp and 12.8 Nm.