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Vespa vs Lambretta

Another question posed to me frequently enough that I thought I should address in the infobase. Many people who want to get into riding a vintage Italian scooter are going to be faced with a decision: do I get a Vespa, or do I get a Lambretta? What's the difference?

If this is your first vintage scooter, my recommendation is to start with a Vespa, and then graduate up to a Lambretta. They are both manual-shift, metal-bodied 2-stroke, 3 or 4-speed scooters. They both come from Italy are were the most popular and widespread scooters during the 50's and 60's. However, while Lambrettas are dead-sexy and have a great look, Vespas are easier to maintain, and arguably more reliable.

Vespa scooters and parts are cheaper and easier to find, while Lambrettas and their parts are a little more rare and tend to cost a little more. Doing the actual maintenance work on a Vespa is certainly easier, and there aren't nearly as many parts to replace and keep track of as there are on a Lambretta.

This isn't to completely discount Lammys, or course, as they are a perfectly good scooter in their own right. Their aesthetic qualities are premium, the design incorporated some advanced motorcycle technology of their own, and they handle great.

If you're dead set on getting a Lambretta then by all means, go ahead and get one! The decision is largely one of personal preference for most scooterists, but for a beginner I would recommend starting with a Vespa, and one of the more common models.

Article by Kevin Montanaro

The VTScoot InfoBase

The Scooter Defined Winterizing Your Scoot
The Vermont Scooterist Spring Tune-Up
Scooter Buying 101 Tools to Carry
Riding Gear 101 Buyer Beware: Modern
Buyer Beware: Vintage VT "Moped" Definition
Tuning Your Carburetor Basic Maintenance
How to Manual Shift Vespa vs Lambretta
Rules For Group Riding  



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