Motorcycles

Published on July 29th, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin

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Vespa Sprint: A Timeless Icon

70 years after taking its bow in Italy, Vespa remains as one of the most recognizable motorcycle brands on the planet due to its largely unchanged unique demeanour. Despite living in an era where scooters are becoming more futuristic, either in design or technology, the brand which name means ‘wasp’ in Italian doesn’t find it difficult to continue alluring the motorcycling masses with its relaxed and endearing styling.

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In Malaysia, the brand is brought in and distributed by Naza Premira Sdn Bhd, which was appointed as the brand’s authorised dealer by Piaggio Group in May 2010. Among the models offered by the company is the Sprint, essentially a spiritual successor to the Vespa S. Its presence also marks the rise of the Vespino that was hugely popular back in the 60s and 70s.

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Launched here in April 2015, the Sprint has an outer skin that doesn’t differ much from other Vespas we’ve seen running about on our roads. The classic shape is retained, but not like the Primavera and the GTS, the Sprint puts on a square headlamp for a modernised look. Undoubtedly, its sculpted body and undulating character lines give the Sprint a sexy look other scooters can only dream of.

There’s more. The Sprint is offered with a wide range of bright colours that will surely attract other road users, as we found out during our time with the scooter. This particular test unit comes in a scorching shade called ‘Rosso Dragon’ and safe to say that the colour makes it hard for us not to look back every single time it is parked.

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In accordance with the passage of time, Sprint’s iconic look is fine-tuned with a myriad of the latest traits such as LED daytime running lights at the front and well-designed 12-inch aluminium alloy wheels. In addition, the Sprint is also fitted with an easy-to-read instrument panel featuring an analogue speedometer and a small LCD screen that sets out the fuel gauge, time and trip.

Another twenty-first-century addition to the Sprint is the engine. With a capacity of 154.8 cc, the single-cylinder mill certainly packs some punch thanks to the use of fuel thanks to the use of fuel injection system and a three-valve design. The engine is matched with an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) that excels when it comes to smooth power delivery, as long as the throttle is wide open.

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In return, the solid pairing renders the Sprint comfortable and easy to ride especially in crowded urban areas. The operation can’t get any easier – you bring it to life via a press of a button on the right handlebar, give it a little gas and off you go with the power coming almost instantly. With a body weight of less than 120 kg, the Sprint is a light machine that can be handled almost effortlessly even when you have to make your way through the overflowing traffic.

While it’s not the most sizable scooters, the Sprint displayed a commendable degree of stability at speeds between 90 to 110 km/h. This has to be the outcome of the modifications done to its frame, which allows the battery to be repositioned from under the seat into the central tunnel of the footrest for a more optimum weight distribution.

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In terms of handling, this Vespa has the capability to carve corners, though only at moderate speeds. Wringing its neck will only lead to the scooter becoming relatively unstable and a little wobbly. Of course, this is expected of a bike with tiny wheels.

The Sprint was clearly built for those who prefer to ride in a leisurely manner while looking stylish. With a riding ergonomic to suit averaged-sized Asian riders, the scooter is not only easy to get on but comfortable to be ride even for a long period of time. Vibrations are also kept a minimum thanks to the modified engine mounting system.

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Of course, style alone will not be enough to lure buyers. The Sprint certainly hits the spot in terms of practicality, befitting its status as a scooter made for the city. Apart from an well-thought-out instrument panel, it also comes with a generous 16.6-litre storage compartment under the seat and one under the handlebar, in front of the footrest. A hook is also provided for additional convenience.

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The Vespa Sprint is more than just a scooter. It’s a timeless icon, a moving attraction that turns heads everywhere it goes. That said, it’s RM15,617 price tag puts the Sprint as one of the most expensive 150 cc scooters around. Now where’s the check book?

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Vespa Sprint 150 3V i.e Specifications
Engine: four-stroke, single cylinder
Capacity:: 154.8cc
Power: 12.7hp @ 7,750rpm
Torque: 12.8Nm @ 6,500rpm
Transmission: CVT
0-100km/h: –
Top Speed: –
Price: RM15,617


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