A Guide to Vespa Motorcycles and Scooters

The UK has been the largest market for Vespa scooters for sale outside of Italy since the 1960s. When Piaggio first launched the Vespa line in 1946, the company borrowed many of the scooter’s design specs from the aircraft it also manufactured. You’ll find an assortment of pre-owned, used, and new Vespas for sale on eBay. Vespa models

In the 1950s, Vespas came in two sizes: large frame or small frame. When you shop for a Vespa on eBay in the UK, though, you’ll find many more options. Here are a few:

  • Vespa PX - The Vespa PX sports a single-cylinder aluminium head engine and dual drum brakes. The engine was produced in 25-, 150-, and 200-cubic-centimetre versions. These Vespas for sale were manufactured between 1977 and 2007.
  • Vespa GTS - The Vespa GTS relies upon a water-cooled, 244-cubic-centimetre QUASAR engine with electronic fuel injection, four valves, and a single overhead camshaft. It is capable of reaching speeds up to 190 kilometres per hour.
  • Vespa ET4 - The Vespa ET4 was first introduced in 2001. It relies upon a four-stroke, 150-cubic-centimetre engine for power.
  • Vespa T5 - Vespa T5 scooters feature a 125-cubic-centimetre, single-cylinder, two-stroke engine. These Vespas for sale in the UK were manufactured between 1985 and 1999.
Does the Vespa come with a “red key”?

Since 2008, one set of keys for every Vespa has had a radio frequency transponder embedded in it to deter theft. This key is referred to either as the “red key” or the “brown key”, and it’s used to deactivate the immobiliser as well as to program the other keys you’ll be using routinely to start your Vespa. It’s vitally important to make sure any Vespa for sale you're thinking of buying is equipped with a “red key”.

What should you consider when you’re buying a Vespa?

Vespas fall into two categories: those with small frames, and those with large frames. If you’re planning to take your Vespa on motorways where you’ll want to be able to reach speeds of 112 kilometres an hour, a large-frame Vespa may be a more practical choice. Large-frame Vespas have more powerful engines that are capable of reaching higher speeds.

Until 1984, all Vespas were equipped with manual transmissions. After that, the company gradually switched over to making automatic transmissions their default, although a few models still rely upon manual gears. If you’re most comfortable with an automatic transmission, then you will probably want a newer model Vespa.