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How to buy a classic motorcycle in SA?

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Mirror, signal, out-manoeuvre

2011-11-25 10:26

TIME AND MOTION:Traffic problems? Forget 'em! Buy the best scooter around and it’ll be your friend for years to come.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Vespa
Model Vespa PX150
Engine SIngle-cylinder two-stroke
Power Six kW
Torque 12Nm
Transmission Four-speed clutch/twistgrip
Zero To Hundred 14sec
Top Speed 100km+
Fuel Tank Eight litres
Fuel Consumption Minuscule
Steering Handlebars
Price R54 960


There are lots of scooter brands in South Africa but many folk will say only one is the real McCoy - the Vespa.

Like many good things, they don't come cheap but they last… and last. Take the PX150 that first saw the light of day almost 35 years ago at a scooter factory near Pisa in Italy.

The PX125/150 was based on the conventional good looks of a machine the company had been making since 1946 and was a sure-fire winner - perhaps the most perfect Vespa yet.


Fast-forward 35 years and that particular model is enjoying something of a resurgence among scooter aficionados because of its classic good looks, ability to work hard day in and day out, and the obvious quality build associated with a brand that has real heritage and pedigree.

EASY AS ONE, TWO, THREE OR FOUR: A-to-B motoring has never been this easy.

By contrast two of my pals, Jaco and Bob, each both bought a lesser brand (OK, for a quarter the price of the Vespa) and both are already going rusty, have been back to their respective dealerships a half-dozen times in less than a year (well within the warranty) and most times had to be returned due to shoddy service.

Yes, I know you get what you pay for, but a Vespa will undoubtedly last 10 years - rain or shine.

My first two-wheeler, back in the mid-1960's, was a used Vespa 125. It cost £5 (R10 back then) and, once fettled to my satisfaction (chromed crash bars and a rear carrier - us Mods had style, I can tell you) it took me all over London and the Home counties and even on an extended trip to Cornwall and back, with a passenger, nogal.

The PX150 I've just been riding in Cape Town certainly reminded me of that dear little bike. The same starting ritual came flooding back: ignition on, pull choke knob out, depress the kick-start and the air-cooled, two-stroke motor bursts into life. Pull in the clutch, twist the left-hand gear-change to bottom gear, and you’re away.


It was 4.30pm and I was outside the Vespa dealer at the Waterfront (021 425-7944). Just how long would it take me to look in at my favourite second-hand bookshop over in Sea Point? I wondered. Nine minutes, that’s all. By car, at least 15. Parking the Vespa, an absolute doddle.

Sea Point back into central Cape Town in serious after-work traffic - 12 minutes. Collect jacket from dry cleaner, stow it behind the legshield and on homewards to Muizenberg.
I was home by 5.45pm, via De Waal Drive. No fuss, no bother.

After two days of scooting around Fish Hoek and surrounds and the fuel gauge (eight-litre tank) had barely moved off 'full'.

There are many good reasons to embrace two-wheel ownership - especially these days. Reasonable initial outlay, fuel economy, easy parking, manoeuvrability - when and where you decide. Perhaps the best reason, though, is being able to avoid traffic gridlock - one helluva strong reason…

Price: R54 950


Inside Wheels24

Maverick talent wins maiden MotoGP in style

Maverick Vinales rode a masterful race to secure his first MotoGP victory, easing to take the chequered flag in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday.

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