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When Enrico Piaggio saw the first prototype of a new machine for economical transport in the late 1940’s, as designed by his chief aeronautical engineer and stylish designer he, we are told, said “this looks like a wasp”. Nearly 60 years later this is still the case.
The 150cc Scooter nowadays not only looks like a wasp (‘vespa’ in Italian) but is called just that. Modern technology has inspired many changes in the mechanics of these machines, but most of these cannot be seen.
Automatic transmission, even sleeker Italian lines, much better fuel economy and a top speed of around 60mph make this scooter something other than the run-of-the-mill two wheeled vehicle we often see. It’s quieter, more stylish and is something of a cult in many places in the world.
More and more people in the U.S.A. are discovering that scooters in general and 150cc scooters in particular are a way to cut out the traffic jams on the way to work. Not only are they cheap to buy but also are very cheap to run. Not many 4 wheel vehicles are capable of 75mpg whilst also being capable of sliding round the traffic jams.
In the rest of the world scooters have been around for ages. In Europe (particularly their Italian home); in India; in the Far East and in the other continents millions of people have discovered this comfortable, reliable, stylish and safe form of transport. They can be found in practically any country on earth. They are even getting very ‘big’ in China, where people of the more modern Chinese age are now able to afford to throw away their bicycles and take the motorised road. Nowadays they manufacture them for both the home market and for export, with major private industrialists Geely prominent in the export market.
For many scooter owners, particularly if they live in towns, the economical smaller-engined 49cc scooter is great for getting around, especially in cities with bad traffic congestion. Whether you are in Bangkok or New York, London, Rome, Madrid or Manila, these classy machines get you about town quickly and cheaply.
However if you live out of town and want to get to work inexpensively and have a bit of fun at the same time you may find that the 150cc scooter with its higher top speed is for you. Retaining all the benefits of its smaller engine capacity relations, the extra ‘Oomph’ of the 150 engine, along with automatic transmission, means acceleration is smooth and rapid.
The 150cc Wasp scooter of today, with its four-stroke engine, heavy-duty front disc brakes and many other modern features is really easy to ride. Its aggressive looks suite its name whilst obviously being part of 21st Century technology.
The ‘wasp’ today would, most people agree, be looked upon with great favour by its originators. The original design has lasted 60 years, and the technological innovations of this time have been carefully incorporated into the machines we ride today. Enrico Piaggio and his chief aero-designer D’Ascanio would be justly proud of the changes to their original machine to keep up with developments, style and safety.
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