Note, there is an updated version of this article here.
Is the Vespa PX going to be saved by a new 4-stroke engine from Piaggio?
It’s silly season coming up to the main international motorcycles of Intermot (Koln) and EICMA (Milan) and the rumours begin here.
First up, from an Italian source, are rumours that the Vespa PX may not be completely killed by Euro 4 as we reported here. Piaggio were apparently planning to show a new 4-stroke version of their venerable Vespa. According to the story, this was due to appear not at Intermot in October, but on Italian soil at EICMA. The same source suggests however, that this will not be ready as a 2017 model, but its sale will be postponed until 2018.
Will it be at EICMA 2016 or isn’t it ready for display yet? We hear of Piaggio dealers getting very excited about that show, so we expect something interesting is afoot..
The question is: if Piaggio are making a 4-stroke motor for the PX, will it still have a manual gearbox or will it be an automatic in a different format? My money is on it retaining handlebar gearshift, though whether that is real gears or artificial steps on a belt-driven variator is still to be decided. Certainly, Piaggio have both technical options open to them and have discussed both options.
On another point, will the performance improve? To my mind they should be able to make an air-cooled Euro-4 4-stroke 125 that goes better than a strangled 2-stroke version.
As for a larger capacity version, will they stop at 200cc or go for something bigger? With current licensing options there’s no point in stopping at 200, but can they fit anything bigger under the side-panels?
At the same show in Milan, new Lambretta have also booked a stand, as have Scomadi. It could turn out to be a right royal bun-fight for the retro scooter market once all the competitors are on equal 4-stroke footing…
As for LML – who already built a 4-stroke engine for their PX-style Star – they don’t seem to be on the exhibitor’s list for EICMA at all. (correction, listed under Valentino Spa.). It is still unclear what their 3-month factory shut-down means for future scooter production. We’ll find out in Italy.