Made in Italy since just after the World War II, the Piaggio company designed the Vespa scooter after the U.S.-produced Cushman scooters, which were plentiful in Italy. Piaggio was an aircraft company prior to the war, but due to the Allied war pacts made with Italy afterwards, they had to find another way to utilize their factory. With bombed-out roads and streets, the popular scooter was the perfect solution. Reaching near bankruptcy in 2003, a huge Euro infusion brought the company back from the brink, and they have has since become the fourth largest manufacturer of scooters in the world.
The LX is a 50 cc single-cylinder, four-stroke, air-cooled scooter. With Keihen carburetion, running on premium fuel, it reaches speeds of up to 40 mph downhill, with one rider. Don't expect a lot from a 50 cc scooter, as they're not made for the expressways. Instead, look for this little scooter around town and on campus.
The instrumentation pod is a combination of analog and digital: the speedometer with trip and fuel level gauge is analog, and the clock is digital. It has a small dash storage compartment and lockable under-seat storage. Vespa offers an integrated rack, along with a shopping bag hook under the front faring. Perhaps the best option for those who need extra storage room would be to purchase the optional top box.
The seat is a standard two-up vinyl, but several choices are available. The exterior paint scheme decides the seat color, and if you don't like the plum/sand paint/seat combination, you can always pick up the black leather seat. One of the handy things on this scooter is the top case. It matches the bike color, but also has a passenger back rest available to go with it. Again, this isn't a passenger-friendly scooter: the more you load it up, the less power it has. Weighing in at 225 pounds and 69 inches long, this scooter can go pretty much anywhere you choose, as long as it doesn’t need to travel at speeds over 35 mph. At 29 inches wide, it’s a piece of cake to park the LX virtually anywhere. Tight parking and tiny lanes are where this scooter shines. In sum, the 2005 Vespa LX is the perfect choice for riding through a college campus or on busy city streets.