Geared Up

Taking the plunge and getting my first manual-change Vespa.

I wanted one when I was 16, but my parents said absolutely not. I had a chance to get one of the Serie Speciale PX200 run-out models in 2003 but missed that by a fraction. Would have, could have, should have; but in truth there is no good reason why I didn’t get one before. But I now have a Vespa and all those missed summers, all those regrets fade as I look at my PX150 and smile at what lies ahead.

Developing my Scooterarti venture exposed me to so many scooters this summer that it was no surprise that I felt a strong urge to get one. Allied to that, the shutting down of the PX production line was an added prod. It felt the right time, so I pounced, though in truth it was a pounce filmed in slow motion.

I very nearly went down the road labelled automatic, almost sold on the all-round ability of the GTS300. But that would have been a decision of the head and instead I went a choice of the heart. I bought a PX, an emotional choice driven by its powerful blend of history, style and beauty. Having settled on getting that model, my list of must haves for it included a 150 engine, low mileage, one previous owner, bodywork in top condition and preferably in white.

After a couple of fruitless pursuits, I found one on eBay last week posted by Youles Motorcycles of Blackburn. It was two-years old and in photos showed it to be in immaculate condition. Royce at Youles said it was in immaculate condition and that I would not be disappointed so……..I decided to just get it. It arrived yesterday and now sits in my kitchen. Kitchen? Well, one of the benefits of living on your own is not having to explain why you need to store a scooter in the kitchen.

The rain kept me inside on delivery day (thank you very much English summer), but it gave me a chance to go over the Vespa in detail. I like the quirkiness of a manual fuel tap and choke, the curvy bodywork, the sheer practicality of the spare wheel and, the useful legshield storage box. And….…….do I really need to say how good 2-stroke exhaust fumes smell?

I have customisation plans already fermenting and certain details must be quickly addressed – those mirrors for a start. But for now it will be all about taking it out, getting used to the handling, the twist-grip gears and falling into the Vespa vibe. I believe this is the start of a beautiful relationship and the first kiss certainly promises a lot; I’ll let you know.

Karl.

P1270377

Lovely but…..those mirrors have to go!

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