Venti 150: more details!

Way, WAY more Venti 150 info and photos on the Dallas/Fort Worth Scooterist board. Apparently it is a plastic body and the photos show a real prototype that was made to spec in China. The photos look pretty impressive, and the importer is candid about its possible shortcomings. I have to admit that I’m excited about this, somewhat because it’s so Vespalike, but moreso because it appears it’s actually the result of a U.S. importer working with a Chinese manufacturer to design a scooter (at least the bodywork) rather than buying a containerload of off-the-shelf Vino knockoffs. In any case, it appears there’s a real scooterist behind it and not a fly-by-night opportunist, and you gotta love that. An interesting tidbit: it sounds like Adly is working on a similar project, probably with a Lambretta twist. Back to the Venti, wouldn’t there be intellectual property issues with Piaggio? I’m of the opinion that if Piaggio has a problem with it, they could just shut the hell up and make a vintage-styled Vespa themselves, for crying out loud, but lawyers don’t think like I do. (Thanks for the link, bbehanna.)

8 thoughts on “Venti 150: more details!”

  1. It still needs some sort of scale in there like the specs for wheel size and/or a person on it while off the center stand.

  2. Okay, I guess it’s up to me to be a wet blanket…


    The proportions are off (just like the CMSI Lambretta). It’s simply aping the design of an old Vespa. Old scooters are great because they have a design that suits their purpose and functionality. Not a functionality and purpose limited by artificial design constraints.

    I don’t just want an old Vespa with a new engine. I want a new bike that is as appealing as an old scooter. Looking like one isn’t the sole quality to equal greatness or even goodness in my book.

  3. Al, sure, but we know what’s great about Vespas, the target customer for this could care less about engineering or design. Like I said earlier, this isn’t a scooter for anyone who knows or cares about scooters. It’s a Chinese tube frame with a GY6-style engine and a plastic replica of a Vespa stuck on top.

    It’s the scooter version of a Crosley USB turntable. Anyone with a brain knows its just a cheap, barely-functional plastic chinese record player with absolutely no lineage to the Crosley company, but people see ’em in the skymall catalog and buy ’em up because it has a veneer of ‘vintageness” to it and it’s not very expensive. There are a million other turntables out there at a wide range of prices, just about all of them better, but this consumer didn’t even need a record player and he has bad taste in music anyway. It’s an impulse buy.

    I think that’s the main reason anyone buys any no-name chinese scooters. Five minutes of research on the internet would scare most consumers away from no-name Chinese scooters, but people don’t check the internet until they’ve come home with it and they can’t get it started.

    But as long as that sort of scooter exists, it’s neat to see someone trying something a little different, it’s kind of interesting. I dunno, something like this just makes vintage Vespas that much cooler, and if the company’s run by someone that cares about scooters and he can get something like this out there with a reasonable level of quality, then that’s kind of cool. Phil’s a lot more skeptical than I am (comments in the other thread) but he has some really good points, I can’t see that thing in motion without the panels flapping all over, but good or bad, at least it’s not another Vino clone, and it’ll be interesting to see it at Indianapolis.

    I fear Phil might also be right that the Asian concern behind this is selling “exclusive rights” to six other U.S. importers as we speak, even if Hammerhead *was* involved in the design. We’ll see.

  4. I the realm of vintage style Chinese scooters, I guess we could say this is one of the better-looking ones. However, I think some of the things that work on metal will just look cheap on plastic in person, like bolts on the legshield. But I don’t think this scooter is good for much (or for any consumer) if it’s a unique (for what it is) body on the same old crap engine and parts. If that’s what this is, it certainly won’t be as interesting when it becomes as common as the Baron Retro/Lowboy/Eagle/whatever it’s called that I see all the time around here. That would reduce an idea with potential to little more than a marketing hook.

    I’m all for US companies partnering with Asian companies for their manufacturing. The next wave of Genuine scooters (2010) is supposed to be models designed here but built by PGO. I also think that eventually we’ll start to see better-quality scooters come from China and that those will be created via partnerships with Taiwanese, American and European countries. But not yet.

  5. The genie is out of the bottle and if this makes it over here, somebody will buy it. I like BB’s analogy of turntables. But the reality is that the outside of the scooter “scene” there are a lot of people buying scooters for cheap transport and for most of them cheap is the key word. Cheap with superficial style/”good looks” will blow them away. Down here for every new vespa or kymco I see 20 cheap no-name imports (some of them literally have no manufacture stickers on them).

    What I love is how angry some people are about these things. Not accusing anyone, just saying. If you hate the idea or the bike, fine. But honestly it is not like the person buying it would instead have bought vintage and treated it like it deserves to be treated if cheap Chinese bikes never made it over here.

    I understand reputable dealers’ positions. Crap scooters hurt their business and they don’t want anyone to get hurt if it breaks down on the road. Or to have to fix it. But people who get angry over style issues when this is basically a silly hobby amaze me. Hugely enjoyable but basically silly. Again, not accusing anyone here but just thinking of comments I’ve read on and other websites/lists/etc.

  6. Has anybody mentioned the engine slits on the wrong side yet?

  7. My sources confirm it is a 150cc fuel injected scoot.
    I’m curiously optimistic.
    I’ll learn more at Indy.
    I do wish it had steel wheels though…

  8. I’d respect them for trying to do something interesting. I hope they don’t get put off by the first few problems.

    Since they scoot is a mix of vintage style and modern tech…I’d like to see the body done with Carbon Fiber. That will really get the purist seething.


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