The iconic Italian scooter maker, Vespa, introduced the LX 50 and LX 150 in 2005 and retained the models through 2013, making refinements but no major alterations. The 2007 models are carryovers. Though the step-through scooters replaced the ET line, their styling more nearly resembles Vespa’s Granturismo than the ET.
More important than style changes, however, were the internal improvements. The LX features an air-cooled, four-stroke engine (the ETs had two-stroke engines). Of the two LX models, natUrally the 150 is peppier, with an estimated top speed of 60 mph (riders report reaching 65 to 70 mph without any trouble); the LX 50 is restricted to a top speed of 30 mph. The carbureted engine works with a belt-driven continuously variable transmission.
Both models have a steel frame and monocoque; unlike other scooter manufacturers, which use plastic bodywork to minimize weight and improve mileage, Vespa still uses its traditional, pressed steel chassis. Front and rear fenders, fork guards, and hand grips are standard. Like most scooters, it has no fairing to speak of, but the front leg shield does a good job of protecting the driver. Driver and passenger both keep their feet on the floorboard rather than pegs (and you can get an optional floorboard mat to keep the paintwork from getting scuffed).
The front suspension is a single arm; rear suspension is a single steel swing arm with an adjustable spring pre-load shock. Stopping power comes from a 7.9-inch front hydraulic brake and a rear 4.3-inch drum.
We are talking Italian design with any Vespa, so these scooters boast a host of color options: plum, red, gray, black, midnight blue, and sky blue. Each color option comes with vinyl seat in a contrasting color—sand, tan, black, or blue—as well as brown or red leather. Other accessories include a chrome kit to add a little flash, aluminum handgrips, an electronic alarm, a fly screen, a backrest (there’s even a red leather backrest to go with the red leather seat), and a windshield.
Underseat storage is roomy (but the engine does heat it up), and these scooter feature a hook that extends from the front of the seat, where you can hang a bag of groceries. The LX also has a glove box. You can expand storage space by adding a top case and a top case bag.
The digital instrumentation is very basic: a fuel gauge (not particularly accurate), and a speedometer—no odometer—so riders will need to figure out their average mileage and keep a close eye on their fuel level.
With a wheelbase of 50.4 inches and a weight of 225, the Vespa LX is a nimble and fun ride. The seat, at 30.5 inches, is perhaps a little high for some riders, but there’s plenty of knee room. The LX 50 is perfect for doing the job Vespas were invented for—getting around crowded city streets with eye-catching style. The LX 150 will handle city traffic and give you a comfortable, easy-going ride on country roads, too.