PIAGGIO VESPA PX125 (1977-on) Review

Published: 05 January 2012

"Essentially unchanged since its introduction in 1977"

PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)

"Essentially unchanged since its introduction in 1977"

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The Vespa PX125 has essentially remained unchanged since its introduction in 1977, but it doesn't feel 35 years old. Subtle changes to keep the Vespa up to date and to get it through Euro 3 emissions regulations mean it feels similar to a modern scooter, only with a two-stroke, manual engine. It doesn't handle like a sportsbike - but a Vespa is all about looking cool, not going fast. Remember that and it can be great fun.

Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5

Weighing in at a featherlight 95kg, bumps upset the little Vespa, especially mid-corner - it feels less like a motorcycle and more akin to a hardtail bicycle at times. But you've got to remember the Vespa isn't designed to be a sweet-handling sportsbike. Settle in to a more relaxed pace and it makes sense. Low speed handling is a doddle due to the weight and size.

Engine 4 out of 5

A two-stroke engine is a rare thing for any bike or scooter over 50cc today, so the 123cc two-stroke powering the PX125 is a welcome change of pace. It needs to be revved to get the best from it - trying to accelerate in too high a gear results in the motor bogging down. But keep the motor spinning and the PX will whisk happily along on a cloud of blue smoke.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

It feels a little flimsy, due in part to its lightweight, but everything fits together well and looks to have a good finish. Only time would tell how it stands up to every day abuse during a British winter.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

If you can find a 'proper' old Vespa that works as well as the PX125 i.e isn't knackered and in need of some attention for £2,899 then you're laughing. It may not have quite the same appeal as an old Vespa, but it's still incredibly cool, and the price is competitve with other 125cc scooters.

Insurance group: 4 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Equipment-wise the PX is basic. A speedo and fuel gauge are all you get at the front, along with old-styled switchgear which feels clunky to operate. There's no underseat storage as you'd expect, instead there is a storage compartment in the leg shield under the dash - enough for a small-ish rucksack. There's also a bag hook in the footwell. The twist-shift for the four gears takes a little getting used, but a few minutes of riding soon sees you shifting easily. Because of the twist-shift on the left handlebar, the rear brake is in the right hand footwell which is extrememly awkward.

Owners' Reviews

4 owners have reviewed their PIAGGIO VESPA PX125 (1977-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your PIAGGIO VESPA PX125 (1977-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 2.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.3 out of 5
Equipment 2.8 out of 5
4 out of 5

06 December 2015 by Pete Sarah

Draws attention wherever you go Classic design and sound. In standard trim motor is gutless but engaging. Only if they enjoyed low speed cruising and wore rose tinted glasses Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Along the coast road from frejus to monaco in the sunshine with your wife pillion towels and swim cosies In the racks stopping off in a bay for a swim, riding into Cannes in the evening parking up outside the resturant watching people stop and check out the scooter and ignore the Bentley you are parked next to. Or the two hour ride to rocamadour on the French D roads a pleasure in the sunshine.
Engine
2 out of 5
Without some basic tuning the PX125 will only pull 45mph with rider,with tuning (very cheap very easy to do) the PX125 will pull 55 with rider and pillion. Hills and strong headwinds (with sport screen) will kill performance, but ride it within its limitations and it becomes a very engaging ride which allows you to appreciate the road and the scenery.
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Speedo drive failed twice in the first 250 miles but very easy and cheap to fix bodywork seems to be holding up well but you must keep it clean and polished and protected.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Very cheap servicing. Very easy to do regular mainternance yourself. Cost of parts minimal ie all cables £24, air filter £8-£12, fuel filter £2.50, two quality tyres, tubes, fitted to new wheels £90 and takes 30 mins to fit. Buy a manual
Equipment
4 out of 5
The noise. Front and rear racks the latter with a low backrest and a king and queen seat makes things. Very comfortable for the pillion, SIP classic semi rigid 10 and 35ltr bags handles the shopping and touring duties. And Vespa OE sport screen. Schwalb raceman tyres improve handling,two up performance, braking, and road holding by 200% OE tyres are awfull quality tyres are possibly the best performance add on you can get in my opinion.
Buying experience

Bought with rose tinted goggles from a dealer £3171 paid £2700 brand new

4 out of 5

A design icon -who am I to argue?

15 September 2015 by Timbo58

Best-iconic design and range of parts etc. The fact that a variant of this scooter has been in constant production since 1977 (how many other machines can boast that?!) and so even used spares are plentiful & cheap. Modern bikes have disk brakes and... Read more halogen lamps, fuel gauges and auto oil injection -very useful. Worst-Brakes are appalling by any normal standards (marginally better with disk), not terribly quick (a 200 will top 65 but thats it.)

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
On more modern machines the front grimace disk brake is excellent, the rear drum only any good if kept well maintained, on non disk models however the brakes are barely adequate by todays standards. Ride quality is bit perched and liable to being affected by windy days quite badly, weather protection from the front is excellent however.
Engine
4 out of 5
Smooth power delivery up to it's 8k rpm redline, 4 well spaced gears hand change.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Very reliable if you don't start mucking about with it. HUGE spares and accessories catalogue- possibly one of the most customisable bikes you'll ever own. I've certainly had P-range models that have topped 100k miles without major surgery and doubt many other motorcycles have the robustness of this de-tuned commuter icon.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
A 125 will top 70mpg - if it is driven carefully -this needs 2 stroke oil too so add that to the cost. A 150 maybe 55mpg and a 200 maybe 50mpg.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Spartan by any standard made after 2000 really, you get a lockable cubby box, lockable seat err and that's it really.
3 out of 5

Ban Silly Kids

16 January 2012 by Anonymous

Vespas are great in cities. They have a good load carrying capacity and are easy to handle at a slow pace. They are reasonably comfortable 2 up but obviously lacking in power. Handling isn't great above 50mph but get a sportsbike if you can't... Read more handle one. p.s. Reviews by silly kids with little riding experience and more to the point, haven't actually ridden the machine in question, should be ignored.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
1 out of 5

Introduce vespa ban

12 January 2012 by stefmeister

Vespas are for girls, and their riders are a liability to all other road users... they should therefore be banned from cities. Guys who rides vespas, grow a pair and get yourself a decent set of wheels!! Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
1 out of 5
-
Engine
1 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
1 out of 5
-
Equipment
1 out of 5
-
Read all 4 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1977
Year discontinued -
New price £3,071
Used price £2,500 to £3,600
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 4 of 17
Annual road tax £17
Annual service cost £60
Performance
Max power 15 bhp
Max torque 12 ft-lb
Top speed 65 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 51 mpg
Tank range 91 miles
Specification
Engine size 123cc
Engine type two-stroke single cylinder, four gears
Frame type Pressed steel
Fuel capacity 8 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 97kg
Front suspension Link arm with coil spring and dual action hydraulic shock absorber
Rear suspension Engine-transmission serving as swingarm, dual action shock absorber
Front brake 200mm stainless steel disc
Rear brake 150mm drum brake
Front tyre size 3.50 - 10
Rear tyre size 3.50 - 10

History & Versions

Model history

1977: Model introduced
2011: Relaunched in UK with Euro 3 compliance

Other versions

PX150

Photo Gallery

  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
  • PIAGGIO VESPA PX125  (1977-on)
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