THE PRI­MAV­ERA PRIMA DONNA

New Straits Times - - Cars Bikes & Trucks - AHIRINE AHIRUDIN cbt@nst.com.my

APART from the unique Set­tan­tes­imo (which means sev­en­ti­eth) liv­ery, the 70th An­niver­sary Vespa Pri­mav­era looks not un­like other Primev­eras that you may see on the road.

When we first saw the spe­cial edi­tion, we won­dered, “what’s so spe­cial about it, eh?”

Yes, it wears lim­ited edi­tion colours, which is a head-turner (as if the Pri­mav­era wasn’t turn­ing enough heads al­ready), but was that it?

Well, the 70th An­niver­sary edi­tion comes with a gen­er­ous equip­ment pack­age, which in­cludes an anti-lock brake sys­tem (ABS).

It is pow­ered by the new Pi­ag­gio i-Get Euro4 154.8cc three-valve sin­gle­cylin­der power plant, which pro­duces 9.5kw @ 7,750rpm and 12.8Nm of torque @ 6,500rpm.

Rid­ing the Vespa is quite a rev­e­la­tion. It is quiet, fast and smooth. Like a ninja. An Ital­ian ninja! The 150cc scooter doesn’t feel like a 150cc at all.

Be­cause the Pri­mav­era is a small scooter, it is easy to ride around the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur. But what you may not ex­pect is that this lit­tle scooter can man­age high­ways, too.

Han­dling the Pri­mav­era is quite jump over logs placed in the mid­dle of Track A to repli­cate ob­sta­cles in a real-sit­u­a­tion off­load rid­ing on the big­ger bike.

A friend took his cam­era out and said he was go­ing to cap­ture my skills on video.

The next thing I knew, two stray fin­gers were grip­ping the front brake and I felt a sharp pang on the right side of my head as I hit the ground.

Thank good­ness I had the Shark ef­for­tles s , and I say that with au­thor­ity. The day I was test rid­ing the Pri­mav­era, I was forced to back up from the au­to­matic tick­et­ing booth of a park­ing lot be­cause silly me did not have any coins. There wasn’t space for a U-turn at the bar­rier gate, so the only way out was to push the scooter back­wards.

For a mo­ment there, I found my­self in panic mode, but the Vespa was so light and ma­noeu­vrable that af­ter just a cou­ple of steps to get some mo­men­tum, I got out of that tight spot.

Its 12-inch tyres prom­ise in­creased con­trol and safety for its rid­ers, with the front disc and rear drum hard­ware setup paired.

The Pri­mav­era is equipped with a sin­gle arm with he­li­cal spring and sin­gle dou­ble-act­ing hy­draulic shock ab­sorber with ABS disc brakes at the front (stan­dard equip­ment on the Vespa Pri­mav­era cel­e­bra­tory ver­sion), and a dou­ble-act­ing shock ab­sorber with drum brakes at the rear helps to aid any rough sur­faces on the as­phalt.

The ABS worked pre­cisely, even when I braked too harshly dur­ing emer­gen­cies. A word of cau­tion, how­ever: ABS is only en­gaged above 20kph (ac­cord­ing to Vespa).

The fuel con­sump­tion val­ues are also re­duced to a min­i­mum. Thanks to on, or I could have hurt more than just my pride.

I was dis­ori­ented and stayed on the ground for a few mo­ments to try and fig­ure out what went wrong.

“You lost fo­cus there,” Oh said as he knelt by my side.

“You got dis­tracted by the fact that your friend is film­ing you, mak­ing you squeeze the front brakes for no rea­son,” he added.

Trust me, get dis­tracted for even its am­ple 8.0-litre fuel tank, the “Vespa Pri­mav­era now boasts a highly re­spectable travel range of 328km”.

The cel­e­bra­tory ver­sion of the Pri­mav­era re­ceives the spe­cial 70th An­niver­sary paint, leather seat and bag as well as chrome rear car­rier.

The car­rier is spa­cious, but is less se­cure when you’re rid­ing and park­ing about town. Ba­si­cally, rid­ers need to carry the car­rier with them wher­ever they go. This can be dif­fi­cult and tire­some for those who pre­fer sim­plic­ity - like me. I don’t like to carr y bags around, not to men­tion a huge car­rier!

What I find hard to un­der­stand about the Pri­mav­era is its ex­tremely small fuel cap. The petrol cap is so puny that I need to ac­tu­ally peek into the hole to check whether the tank is filled yet. As I was do­ing so, petrol spilled out of the tank and ru­ined my only leather rid­ing jacket!

De­spite that, trav­el­ling with this unique Set­tan­tes­imo ver­sion of Pri­mav­era was fun and ex­cit­ing.

If you’re look­ing to ride not just with com­fort, but also with style, the Vespa Pri­mav­era 70th An­niver­sary is priced RM18,440 and is avail­able in Az­zurro 70 blue.

Hurry, this lim­ited edi­tion is lim­ited in num­ber, af­ter all. a split sec­ond and you can end up kiss­ing the ground.

De­spite the fall, I had a spec­tac­u­lar time learn­ing new skills on both mo­tocross and en­duro rid­ing at the Most Fun Gym.

So, if you love the idea of rid­ing off-road, what are you wait­ing for? Bring noth­ing but your­self to the Most Fun Gym and pre­pare your­self for that adrenaline rush!?

Ahirine Ahirudin

The Pri­mav­era is light enough to push around tight spots.

The writer rid­ing at Most Fun Gym.

More than ad­e­quate power for put­ter­ing around town.

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