New 40mph Vespa Elletrica and Sean Wotherspoon model

John Milbank, BikeSocial Consumer Editor
By John Milbank
BikingMilbank BikeSocial Consumer Editor, John owns a BMW S1000XR, Honda Grom and a 1999 Kawasaki ZX-6R. He's as happy tinkering in the workshop as he is on twisty backroads, and loves every bike ever built (except one). He's bought three CBR600s, a KTM 1050 Adventure, Yamaha MT-10, two Ducati Monsters, several winter hacks, three off-roaders, a supermoto pit bike, a Honda Vision 50 and built his own custom XSR700. 

 

 

The original Vespa Elettrica remains in the Italian company’s range as a 28mph urban commuter, but the new Elettrica 70km/h, which promises the same range of 62 miles from its battery pack, is said to have a top speed of 44mph (70km/h)…

 

How has Vespa got more range from the Elettrica?

The Vespa Elettrica 70km/h uses the same motor, controller and battery as the previous 45km/h model (which will remain in the range), but the company says that the components have been ‘optimised’.

Acceleration remains the same as the slower version, and in ‘ECO’ mode the top speed is still 28mph (45km/h), with the identical range of 62 miles (100km). But the new machine has a ‘Power’ mode, which boosts the top speed to 44mph, while reducing range to 44 miles.

The Piaggio Group, parent company also to Moto Guzzi and Aprilia, says that while the Elettrica 70km/h lithium battery is the same size and weight as that fitted to the 45km/h version, it’s been modified to deliver a higher continuous power output, also thanks to tweaks in the controller. This has allowed the engineers to incorporate a longer final drive ratio, which gives the increase in top speed, as well as even quieter operation thanks to the lower motor revs at the same road speed.

Peak power is 4kW, with a continuous output of 3.6kW, while torque is claimed to be a massive 200Nm (148lb-ft), which means acceleration should far exceed any traditional petrol-powered 50cc machine.

 

How do I charge the Vespa Elettrica?

A cable is tucked under the seat, where you’d usually find the fuel cap – pull it out and simply plug it into a standard wall socket or a public charging station. A full charge at 220V takes four hours.

The battery – which also recharges under braking – is said to be good for 1,000 full charge cycles, which should mean a life of somewhere around 30,000 to 45,000 miles, which is likely to be about ten years for most owners. Vespa says that the battery still retains 80% of its charge at this point, so it’ll still work, but range will be reduced to 35 to 50 miles, which for most commuters will be more than enough.

 

Anything else I need to know about the Vespa Elettrica 70km/h?

The 4.3” TFT dash can be connected to your smartphone for notifications and music control via the bar-mounted buttons, while lighting is full LED and a USB charging socket is in the leg compartment.

 

2020 Vespa Elettrica 70km/h specification

Motor

Electric Piaggio brushless motor with KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System)

Power

3.6 kW (4 kW peak)

Torque

200 Nm at the wheel

Battery

Piaggio 4.2 kWh lithium battery, LG Chem cells, built-in battery charger

Battery voltage

48V

Battery capacity

86Ah

Recharge time

4 hours (with voltage of 220 V)

Load bearing structure

Sheet steel body with welded reinforcements

Front suspension

Single-arm fork with coil spring and hydraulic monoshock absorber

Rear suspension

Hydraulic monoshock absorber

Front wheel rim

Die-cast aluminium alloy 3.00x12”

Rear wheel rim

Die-cast aluminium alloy 3,00x11”

Front tyre

Tubeless 110/70-12"

Rear tyre

Tubeless 120/70-11"

Front brake

Hydraulically operated 200 mm ø stainless steel disc

Rear brake

Mechanically operated 140 mm ø drum brake

Length/Width

1870/735 mm

Seat height

790 mm

Wheelbase

1350 mm

 

 

New Vespa Primavera Sean Wotherspoon

While the older members of the Bennetts BikeSocial team (me) thought this might be an homage to relatively cheap beers with a surprising selection of value meals available, a quick Google of Sean Wotherspoon – the man Vespa describes as ‘pure energy, endlessly curious, ahead of his time and an experimenter’ – reveals that he designed the Nike Air Max 1/97, apparently the most popular sneakers of 2018.

The Vespa Primavera Sean Wetherspoon is a limited-edition scooter that sees its steel body painted in ‘a new style for the young urban tribes’ after a two-month partnership between the street-wear designer and scooter manufacturer.

A selected network of dealers will be selling the Vespa Primavera Sean Wotherspoon in 50, 125 and 150cc engine sizes during 2020.

 

 

New Vespa Racing Sixties

The Vespa Sprint 50, 125 and 150cc, and Vespa GTS Super 125 and 300cc will be available in new yellow/red and green/white graphics that celebrate 1960s racing.

With a new seat, gold wheels (only coloured – solid gold would be too heavy) and matt-black details, Vespa says that inspiration comes from ‘the gentlemen riders’ races of the 60s, a world in which freedom of expression extended as far as the vehicle customisation arena.’

 

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