My whisper for a Vespa

A COOL breeze and admiring glances were my reward recently when I took a ride on the sparkling Piaggio Vespa scooter.

The safest and most comfortable two-wheeler I have ever ridden - with my legs tucked in behind the handlebars and my body posture healthily upright - I could not help having a cheesy "cool kid" grin on my face underneath my vintage-styled micro helmet.

Vespa means wasp in Italian, aptly describing the shape of its narrow waist and large hindquarters. This treasure comes in delicious colours, with a natural or synthetic leather seat.

Its classic features, including an analogue speedometer, two-part saddle seat with retro stitching and highly visible handlebars, merge perfectly with its modern technology aspects - such as a built-in immobiliser and a digital display panel - all running on unleaded fuel at a minimum price of R52950.

Do not underestimate the Vespa's power, ranging from 150cc to 300cc and easily clocking over 120km an hour.

This scooter has a tank capacity of just over 9litres that can cover about 315km. This means that at R7,86 a litre you will be paying only R71 a tank on a Vespa - against R400 for a a mid-size SUV.

A Vespa can actually travel at a kilometre a minute, cutting down 20km in traffic to just 20 minutes.

"If you can ride a bicycle, you can ride a Vespa," says Vespa Johannesburg's managing director Andy Reid.

"Let go of any fears about two-wheelers and embrace the experience. When you walk in here and get on a Vespa, I guarantee you will walk out wanting to have one," he confidently states.

If you are looking for comfort, safety, speed and making a classy fashion statement, the famous Vespa won't disappoint you. And travelling to school, work or a date, not only will you arrive on time but you will even earn a medal for chic.

Vespa Johannesburg is situated in Fourways where you can receive lessons from a trained Vespa academy instructor before taking this grand machine on a memorable first run.