When it comes to landmark safety innovations for classic scooters, tubeless wheel rims have got to be close to the top. After all, you can buy the biggest performance kit with the loudest expansion pipe, but it is your tyres which are in contact with the road whatever you ride. As such, they deserve the most attention.
I had been using the original Pinasco design split wheel on my PX for a couple of years with no problems whatsoever, and then subsequently fitted the new design to a Vespa for further testing. Due to their split rim design, home fitting is very easy with these wheels when compared to a single-piece tubeless rim that often requires the services of a professional tyre fitter.
The nature of split rims also means that in the event of a puncture, you can split them, remove the fixed valve and insert an inner tube giving you further options to continue your journey.
I rate these wheels highly indeed. They are easy to use, and after clocking up plenty of miles – commuting and rallying – they have proved themselves to me. In fact, I have an old pair of single-piece tubeless rims in the corner of the shed that have been relegated there since the arrival of the Pinasco split rims.
To me they are the best of both worlds – old and new – combining the renowned Vespa practicality with some up-to-date safety features (tubeless tyres usually deflate far more slowly than an inner tube in the event of a puncture, allowing the rider more time to bring the scooter to a controlled stop). I just wish the Italian manufacturer would hurry up and produce the Lambretta versions I suggested they made a while back now!
Anyway, here’s a quick guide to these wheels for those still debating going tubeless…