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This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

October 6, 2013


Well before you think this is one of those articles paying a rich tribute to Vespa, hold on for a second. Yes I do own a Vespa, a 6 month old ravishing red beauty that makes people often take a second look . Plus an uninvited often heard innocuous question ‘ Kitna dethi hai’?

At Rupees 80,000 plus change on road the Vespa comes at the premium end of the Indian scooter market. There are no two questions about the styling and the ride quality . And I am saying this with ownership experience but is the overall quality commensurate with the style package?.

The service record of the past few months belies my expectations. Before I say ‘all-style-but-not-much substance’ I will list out my tale of woes

Barely 48 hours of getting the vehicle from the showroom wify dropped it while resting it on the side stand. I later learnt that the side stand was faulty & the company had quietly replaced the faulty side stands that often tipped the vehicle (without much resistance from its state of equilibrium)

Initially we had issues with engine idling, much like the diesel engines of yore, the Vespa had to be started with a choke first thing in the morning (and this was a standard instruction given to us at the time of vehicle delivery). The company guys had set the engine idlying idling to such fine levels, ostensibly to stretch its ‘not-so-attractive’ mileage, that the vehicle used to often come to a halt at the slightest hint of slowdown (like a speed braker on the road). After a trip to the service centre and some ‘adjustment’ this was taken care of but the choke thing to start the vehicle is still diligently followed.

The first Mansoon brought its own set of problems with the Vespa. The horn would often get stuck and the keys would be doubly difficult to get the ignition ON. After repeated complaints they replaced the horn switch but I am not yet fully convinced about its efficacy. The ignition set was ‘oiled’ to make it workable.

The battery failed after about a month and after testing and keeping under observation for 2-3 days, the Vespa guys admitted to a faulty part and replaced it with a new one. Two months down the line its back to square one as I write this article. The visit to the service centre is due tomorrow.

Its front suspension is often touted as the best in class and based on aeronautical technology. But I have complained that sometimes I hear some sound emanating from it on rough roads. The guys in the service centre tell me that it may be due to dirt creeping in while washing . The Tip : to slightly screw the suspension cap while washing it (they haven’t bothered to show me practically how though). I am still ‘iffy’ about it.

Passers by often stop to admire and inquire. The Italians put their heart out in designing automobiles and its very evident in this product too. But despite its long chequered history and the iterations that the scooter has gone through in its styling and presentation over the years, niggling quality issues still remain (in my opinion)

I am willing to live with its 45’ish (kms) mileage but with quality issues staring at me I will just stop short of paying rich tributes to the world’s most iconic scooter.
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