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Old 4th March 2016, 22:37   #1
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Talking My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up

First, a teaser pic with a special moment -
My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up-p_20160226_161505_df1.jpg

Background -
College going kid (that's me!) in need of a ride to occasionally do home-college-home trips. I had an electric scooter - BSA Street rider (also in red) that i used for 2 years and 9000 kms to travel to school and back. A completely trouble free scooter that was, until the battery started to show its age and eventually died. This along with the fact that i was turning 18 and needed more power could only mean one thing - a new ride!

Dilemma -
There were two things to consider -
1. Sell the electric scooter and get a new one or replace the battery of the electric scooter for short distance use and get a new ride for college
2. as usual - which ride?

It was decided to replace the electric scooter's battery as i was pretty attached to it and didn't want to sell it. But the decision was later repented - the new battery lasted only for 500 kms or so as it didn't have some "thing" that prevented over-charging. Had the habit of leaving it charging the whole night and the previous battery never complained. This one did though... Ended up selling the battery and the scooter separately and prevented myself from crying the day the new owner took it away(my first powered ride).
Here's a pic, and that's my vespa in the back covered with a bed sheet!
My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up-100_3200.jpg

Which ride -
I never wanted a scooter. I hate scooters and i still do. They are boring with the only action done being accelerate and brake. I'm a manual tranny guy and always prefer things with manual transmission. When the subject of getting a new ride came up, i knew what i wanted - go to a bajaj showroom and pick up a pulsar 135ls in red

But fate had other things in mind, or so it did in the form of my mom :P She was dead set against getting me a bike because of my physique (5'5" tall and 45KGs heavy). Tried to convince a lot and even brought down the ride to a Honda Dream Yuga but still NO. Finally gave in and went scooter shopping :/

Honda showroom -
Dio -
likes -
looks - the best scooter in terms of looks IMO. I like it even more than my vespa
Handling - It was like point and shoot!

Dislikes -
Engine - 110cc and so refined. I needed something sounding sporty and with more power

Activa - Didn't even bother to TR it. There are too many activas and i don't want to add to it. My e-bike had an exclusivity factor and i loved it. Wanted the same from my new ride too.

Aviator - had some TR in my friend's aviator
likes -
Seating position and the commanding view
Telescopic suspension - damn! they are awesome

dislikes -
Engine - same as dio's with added weight to lug around
Too bulky for me

Yamaha showroom -
Ray - had just been launched
likes -
acceleration - seemed like it reaches 60 in no time
brakes - amazing bite
handling - even better than the dio!

dislikes -
very sluggish after 60kmph
rattles!
not a good top speed

Other scooters considered but not TR'en -

Mahindra Rodeo - my favorite among the scooters - amazing features and 125cc engine. Rejected due to a very soft suspension that bottoms out easily

Suzuki access/swish - Uncle has it. Bad service that i've heard about and witnessed. Further, the tone of its exhaust just wasn't to my taste. The acceleration though - just bliss!

The newbie makes a show -

Amidst all this, a neighbour of mine bought a yellow vespa and had parked it nearby. I knew about the scooter but the price tag made me not consider it. Mom notices the scooter and goes gaga over its looks! i was like O.O . Of all the scooters, this she likes! and apparently she is fine with the price tag -_-

So, off to vespa showroom -
Sachin motors, Coimbatore - new showroom with 5-6 vespas on display. Checked them out and they were just like an activa with respect to features - no digital cluster, no flip-key/button lock-unlock sort of gizmos, no power socket, nothing! Not even tubeless tires or telescopic suspension! The only thing that i liked about it in terms of specs was the 3valve engine (just one less than a p135ls)
Reluctantly took a TR but some things surprised me
+ The acceleration was really good, probably the best of the scooters
+ Suspension seemed very good

But this wasn't enough to justify the premium price. Came out of the showroom and reality stuck - there's no perfect scooter! I had rejected all the scooters for some or the other reason and this was the only one left. Took another longer TR due to mom's persuasion and one thing made me feel - This is it! Riding it at around 50kmph with the SA as a pillion, one wring of the throttle and it picked up pace easily to reach 80Kmph in no time (amazing power at the mid and top-end of the rev band) and the best part - ran over a medium sized pothole at around 50Kmph and the scooter gave just a slight jerk. Other scooters would've lost composure easily.

Then came the 2nd dilemma -
Color - I wanted red but vespa looked awesome in yellow. After taking 5 minutes just to decide the color, booked a vespa in red!(some things never change)

Delivery experience -
I only had my LLR back then and had asked them to deliver the scooter home. The showroom is around 15kms from my home. The final delivery came 2 days late with them citing various reasons like fitting accessories, no staff in showroom, etc. And when the scooter came, it had no accessories fitted! 8/10 for this

Then what happened?
This baby came home...
My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up-p_20150914_172213_hdr.jpg

Delivery to first service -
With just a LLR, there weren't many places i could go. I also didn't want to stick 'L' on a new scooter, so enjoyed by riding around deserted roads nearby just for the sake of it. The scooter ended up visiting the SC for the first service with 125Kms on the odo :P. During this time i never felt the pickup to be as good as on the TR vespa and the brakes were like the worst ones i ever experienced on a scooter - very little bite and not even as good as my e-bike's brakes.

First service - the magic happens
I gave my scooter for the first service and complained to them about the engine and brakes. This was also the day when my LLR completed the 1 month duration after which one can get license. Was practicing '8' with a friend's Fz and Sz and turns out - the test was to be taken in a M80 . Got the license and went back to the showroom to collect my vespa. The ride back home was just AMAZING!

+ Amazing pick-up and my first ever top speed run back then. Glanced down to see the speedo showing 90Kph! and the engine still had some juice left
+ Brakes had improved a LOT!
+ The scooter was very stable even at high speeds - huge grin plasted on my face

The experience till now -
Since the first service onwards till now, the scooter has been just what i was expecting - a stable high speed runner.

My usage pattern -
Nowadays, i'm taking it to college everyday. It's 25Kms one way and this baby makes it possible to cover the distance in just around 20-25 minutes with low traffic in the mornings. It can easily keep up with pulsars and gets to a speedo indicated top speed of 105Kmph after which the limiter cuts in. I get a 1.5Km stretch of very good straight road with very less traffic where i top it often. The scooter never complains. With pillion, it can easily climb slopes and maintain about 90-100Kmph on plains. The cruising speed is between 60-70Kmph.

Pros -
+ amazing engine
+ amazing exhaust tone - very sporty and not easily mistaken for any other scooter
+ amazing brakes - miss discs though
+ amazing suspension - even after bottoming out at times at high speeds, never has the scooter lost composure or made me lose control
+ looks - it grew on me. Still i'd prefer the dio over this in terms of looks, but this comes a close second.
+ Paint quality - hands down the best of the lot
+ high speed handling
+ Very small vibration range - mild vibes creep in around 70 kmph and disappear after 80kmph
+ Build - heavy material all around. The brake levers are almost two times thicker than the ones that come with a ray
+ Service - top notch service. They even remember old complaints and sort out stuff without me reminding them. They've a constant 10/10 rating from me since the first service
+ Exclusivity - Can't be mistaken for anything else. Even starts conversations at times
+ Tall scooter - commanding riding position like that of the aviator
+ Mileage - have checked only once in SC and it gave 5.2Kms for 100ml = 52Kmpl. Pretty good for a 125cc scooter IMO


Cons -
- 10 inch tyres *SIGH*
- Low speed handling - very reluctant to turn at speeds < 30Kmph
- Gearbox - Too much rubberband effect at low speeds : 20-30 Kmph. It's very irritating to ride it at those speeds
- Features! not even tubeless tires or disc brakes at this price. forget stuff like digital console (my electric scooter had it)
- Mirrors - only form - no function
- Pillion comfort - worst scooter for a pillion. No proper grab handles and short seat along with the awesome pickup can result in the pillion falling down if he/she isn't cautious.

Buy if -
- Power is the main priority (The new 150cc vespas should be even better)
- Maximum use will be on the highways
- you ride solo most of the time

Don't buy if -
- Mileage is a concern. 50Kmpl isn't bad IMO but lower powered scooters are more generous
- You want to cut traffic at slow speeds
- you're a gizmo freak. Gusto is for you
- A pillion tugs along

More pics -

Feminine looks! the round headlight covered by red plastic made me think of this name
My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up-p_20150914_172401_hdr.jpg

RHS switches
My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up-p_20160107_1139511.jpg

LHS switches
My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up-p_20160107_1140002.jpg

Front storage. Very useful to store sunglasses
My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up-p_20160107_1140421.jpg

Carbon fiber finish on the speedo. Time display - very useful for me
My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up-p_20160107_1140581.jpg

Mirror - Probably the best example of form over function
My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up-p_20160107_114112_hdr1.jpg

Happiness quotient -
8.5/10
- It's still not a bike :( -1 for that
- has negatives compared to lower priced scooters - not as direct as ray/dio, not as feature rich as a rodeo/gusto, not as efficient as a scooty pep. I'm being unreasonable so just a -0.5 for that

ps - all pics taken with a mobile. so, some may be blurry. Please excuse. I'll post more detailed pics later.

Last edited by Technocrat : 5th March 2016 at 02:22. Reason: extra smilies removed, only 2 smilies allowed per post
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Old 5th March 2016, 11:11   #2
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Default Re: My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up

Thanks for sharing! Moved your thread to the 2-wheeler section. Wish you many miles of safe riding .
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Old 5th March 2016, 21:10   #3
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Default Re: My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up

Congrats on completing three years and wish many more. Just one advice though; a little control on speed would help you not get many scratches on your body (trust me, I have quite a few scars from my younger days). The small tyres and drum brakes will do little when you have a dog running across the road. Ride safe!
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Old 5th March 2016, 22:14   #4
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Default Re: My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up

Hi,

Congrats on completing that special odo reading "12345.6"!

Very detailed and nicely narrated saga of how you ended up buying a scooter which you never wanted in the first place. It's good to know that you are happy with the final outcome and wish you many more happy miles with that "Cutie Red Devil"!!
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Old 5th March 2016, 22:20   #5
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Smile Re: My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikki@Hyderabad View Post
Congrats on completing three years and wish many more. Just one advice though; a little control on speed would help you not get many scratches on your body (trust me, I have quite a few scars from my younger days). The small tyres and drum brakes will do little when you have a dog running across the road. Ride safe!
Thanks! BTW, I am not the only one who does that in the stretch. Almost all cars touch 100'ish on that road (very good patch with proper bifurcation). So, i just follow a car with a distance of 20-30 feet in between so that i get a warning well before anything like that happens.

And yes, i'll definitely be careful and try to control my excitement during such times. It's just that, after driving in stop-go traffic, you go berserk seeing an open stretch of road
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Old 6th March 2016, 12:01   #6
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Default Re: My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up

Thanks Koushik. A very good and detailed ownership review.I am in search of a scooter for my wife. I have checked out many scooters that you mentioned in the review and the opinions about them are same. I never checked vespa even though I really liked its appearance. But now after reading your review I am realising that vespa is not fit for our purposes includes daily commute in heavy traffic with my two little daughters to their nursery school. So I have to choose some other option. Have any suggestions? Once again thanks for your worthy review. Wishes for thousands of happy miles.
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Old 6th March 2016, 13:16   #7
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Smile Re: My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeevan Sukumar View Post
after reading your review I am realising that vespa is not fit for our purposes includes daily commute in heavy traffic with my two little daughters to their nursery school. So I have to choose some other option. Have any suggestions?
Hi Jeevan sir. I'm guessing your requirements include a long seat to accomodate 3. Vespa is definitely not the one for this. Take a look at TVS wego as i think it has the longest seat among the scooters. OTOH, I'd definitely not recommend a scooter for such purposes. It's illegal to ride a 2-wheeler with 3 aboard. Instead, why not go for a used/new Tata nano? It'll be very safe and comfortable and the difference in running costs wouldn't be much. good used nanos are available for as low as 60,000-70,000 and they'll be miles ahead in terms of safety and comfort compared to a scooter. Hope you understand the 'safety' aspect i'm emphasizing here.
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Old 6th March 2016, 13:43   #8
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Default Re: My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up

Nice review. What exactly is the problem below 30 KPH? Does the engine knock? How can it, in a CVT?
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Old 6th March 2016, 22:15   #9
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Smile Re: My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Nice review. What exactly is the problem below 30 KPH? Does the engine knock? How can it, in a CVT?
No, the engine doesn't knock. The CVT finds it tough to choose a ratio. It keeps switching to a lower and higher ratio constantly even with a constant throttle input. This is what you call "rubberband effect", right?
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Old 8th March 2016, 14:30   #10
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Default Re: My li'l red riding hood, the Vespa LX125. 3 years & 12,000 km up

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushik51094 View Post
Hi Jeevan sir. I'm guessing your requirements include a long seat to accomodate 3. Vespa is definitely not the one for this. Take a look at TVS wego as i think it has the longest seat among the scooters. OTOH, I'd definitely not recommend a scooter for such purposes. It's illegal to ride a 2-wheeler with 3 aboard. Instead, why not go for a used/new Tata nano? It'll be very safe and comfortable and the difference in running costs wouldn't be much. good used nanos are available for as low as 60,000-70,000 and they'll be miles ahead in terms of safety and comfort compared to a scooter. Hope you understand the 'safety' aspect i'm emphasizing here.
Thanks Koushik for your immediate reply and your concern for me. The option of buying a Tata Nano is just not feasible for me due non availability of parking space. My stable is already filled with my Fiesta and Yamaha Fz and not having an inch to spare for any other incumbent. So as per your advice I am considering TVS Wego. Once again thanks for your kind advice.
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