Each time I travel to Europe, I get inspired by my trans-continental counterparts. I try to take bits and pieces back home and adopt some of their philosophies on life, so naturally, I purchased a secondhand 2006 Vespa LX 125.
You may not think it, but each time you get into a car you’re stressed. Will I get caught in a traffic jam? Will I find a park? Fuck, will I make it on time? Will I get a parking ticket for overstaying? It seems an automatic acceptance, something you just have to put up with when navigating through the city.
Well… not anymore.
A couple of month into my ownership of a Vespa and I look back over the years and wonder why I never bit the bullet earlier.
One word: Freedom
If I was to summarize what it means to drive a Vespa, it would be Freedom.
I recently took a trip with my girlfriend to Half Moon Bay Beach in Sandringham, a 45-minute drive from our offices in Fitzroy. It had felt like we were on a vacation, a warm autumns day, wind breezing through our helmets. We didn’t even set the GPS, just going in the general direction. It becomes more about the journey, the scenery, the fun, rather than the destination itself. Every trip, no matter how long or short, feels like a holiday.
Your mind no longer thinks about rush hour or lack of parking. Taking a trip to Carlton for an espresso no longer requires second-thought, no longer do you need to weigh up the pros and cons… You just do it.
Small but big
Designed for the urbanites, there’s plenty of space for almost all your necessities. My top case (an additional extra), stores a spare helmet, meaning friends can always hitch a lift at a moments notice. There’s a hook for your shopping and groceries between your legs, storage under the seat for your primary helmet and raincoat, as well a centre compartment for smaller accessories under the dashboard.
While this doesn’t apply to everyone, I’m sure most commuters would barely need more space than the above. Since I’ve purchased my Vespa and at the time of writing this, I’ve needed my car three times. Yep. three times.
For an inner-city vehicle, there is nothing better. Affordable on all levels, a service costing a mere $140, a full tank less than a tenner. Oh, and Melbourne with their fantastic laws means you can park anywhere… well, almost. As long as you’re not blocking street traffic and impeding a fire hydrant you’re fine. Yep, no more parking tickets!
Oh, how could I forget the design? There is no scooter more beautiful, especially in Dragon Red. Punters comment on how sparkly new the bike is, yet when I tell them it’s over 10 years old, they’re shocked. That is the essence of timeless design, something quintessential about a Vespa.
When you ride a Vespa, suddenly you’ll see them everywhere. You’ll make friends with owners and share your common love for them. You’ll exchange stories about how amazing it is to own one, only to tell your mates who don’t have one and it falling on deff ears – oh how silly they are.
Now, you may think, can I get this experience with any other scooter? Maybe, maybe not. There’s a special appeal about a Vespa, much like owning a Rolex watch, or a Smeg fridge. You take pride in owning it, caring for it. You pay for the design, the craftsmanship and the brand’s philosophy… and you wouldn’t have it any other way.