Vespa One Year In - 1000 miles on the day

My first motorbike in London just over 20 years ago was a Vespa. It ended up being stolen in Camden one evening and then found in the early hours of the morning a day or so later. 20 years on and as a result of another motorbike theft - a Ducati Multistrada from outside the TfL offices in Stratford - I have found myself riding a Vespa, but this time an electric. Exactly one year of riding and I have done exactly 1000 miles. How does that happen!

I had been thinking about electric motorbikes for the past couple of years and had test ridden one of the Zero bikes but had not been that impressed. On a “normal” size bike it felt a bit underwhelming just being a twist and go. I missed not having the mechanical task of clutch and gears. The Vespa, and scooters in general, are designed to be twist and go so somehow have a different feel. Maybe it’s the sit through design or the fact they are so light and manoeuvrable.

Vespa Elettrica Vespa Elettrica

So one year on what has been my experience? I looked at a few of the electric scooter brands at the outset and also test rode a HorwinEK3 which I really enjoyed. It was a little bit nippier than the Vespa and a reasonable amount cheaper, but after test ride of the Vespa and being able to find one at a reasonable price I was swayed by how it felt more like a traditional scooter.

My commute is all on 20mph roads so the top speed of 45ish never really gets tested. The pick up leaving traffic lights is instantaneous so the bike does feel really nippy and I have found it excellent for stopping at the shops since there is under-seat storage and plenty of space in the footwell to hang carrier bags. The only addition made has been a Tucano leg cover which has transformed my winter riding and just increases the ability to jump on and ride.

Vespa with Tucano Leg Cover Vespa with Tucano Leg Cover

I was surprised that I had clocked a thousand miles in the first year, I didn’t think I was using it that much and my journeys are much shorter than previous bikes. For comparison I think I cycled about 2500 miles over the same period.

With a tax of zero, insurance at just over a hundred pounds and charging costs looking minimal it has ended up being very cheap to run. I am also grateful that since it is electric I am allowed to park it in the secure compound at work - something I can’t do with a petrol powered bike.

I do miss not having a motorbike and about once every 6 weeks find myself searching for a Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro in Sandstorm. Last year I spent an awesome day in the Welsh hills riding one with Triumph Adventure Experience

Tiger 900 in deepwater Triumph Adventure Experience Wales

Has been fun to look through the bikes I have had to date and coming full circle with the Vespas. Whilst my daily riding makes it hard to justify the annual cost of a motorbike, I don’t think I have owned my last. I guess I now need to look at the practicality of owning a scooter and a motorbike.

2019 Ducati Multistrada 950S 2019 Ducati Multistrada 950S

Ducati Multistrada 1200 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200

Rizoma tail tidy on Ducati 899 2014 Ducati 899

Triumph Street Triple Tail Tidy 2007 Triumph Street Triple

Triumph Daytona 675 2006 Triumph Daytona 675

Ducati M600 2002 Ducati Monster 600 - first motorbike (don’t seem to have a photo of the original Vepsa)

More pictures in the motors flickr album: