Victoria’s new Nicky scooter caught my eye, not only for the interesting styling, the choice of ‘Piaggio-designed’ 300 motor for the top model or indeed the ladies used to accessorise the new scooter in a very non-PC way.
Historic German cycle brand Victoria has been revived in 2019 as a scooter and motorcycle manufacturer, still based in Nurnberg but now taking advantage of Chinese manufacturing.
In the 1950s, Victoria produced a scooter called the Peggy, which was a bit of a car-crash in the styling department. As a result, the revived company appears to be unique in making a new scooter that looks better than the originals bearing the same name.
Well done Victoria.
Of all the modern retro scooters produced, the one that is most admired (but least bought) by classic scooters seems to be the Peugeot Django.
To me the Victoria Nicky includes many of the same design features that make it look like a proper retro scooter, namely the flat floor for the rider, and the back-end that doesn’t swoop upwards at the back like pretty much every other modern scooter.
Similarities to the Django make me wonder if the chassis are related, but unsurprisingly I didn’t get an answer to that question.
OK, so the Cadillac-style front radiator grille may be Marmite in terms of appeal, at least there is a point to it. In the 300cc version at least, a grille is a requirement, not just a styling affectation.
Two things that have held-back Asian-built scooters in the past in Europe seem to have been resolved on the Nicky.
The first is the physical size of the machine. Many Chinese 125s are too small and cramped for large European clientele. The diminutive Lambretta V-special is a good example of this. Not so the Victoria which seemingly offers comfort for two thanks to a long seat and flip-out rear pegs.
The second thing holding back such scooters in the past has been a poor selection of engines, quite often with the biggest model being an asthmatic 2-valve air-cooled 4-stroke. Scomadi’s water-cooled Aprilia-derived 200 was previously the exception.
Now with the Nicky – and to a certain extent the RA 300 – the Chinese-made scooters have an engine truly good enough to play with the big boys. It’s fast enough to hold over 70mph on the motorway all day buy small enough not to hang out of the scooter at every angle like a roll of puppy fat.
To me, the Nicky looks in proportion and if the ABS-enabled 300 works like it should, then there will be a market for it.
Sales director Egbert explained that there are also 125cc and (I suspect an underpowered) 50cc versions available for roughly half the estimated retail price of the 300’s approx. €5,000 target price.
Piaggio clearly decided that if the Chinese factories didn’t licence and build their engine then they’d just build someone else’s so why not take the cash?
It’s a tricky one to answer because for every retro scooter built with a Piaggio-derived 300 engine is potentially one sale less for a genuine Vespa 300. Clearly they are so confident of the brand, and the advantage of the latest HPE version, that they’ve been willing to take the risk.
We’ll see how that pans out for them in the long-run.
Victoria’s ambitions clearly aren’t limited to scooters, with a Chinese made 650cc V-twin on their stand too.
Hopefully the Nicky scooter isn’t just a stepping stone because in styling terms at least, they deserve some plaudits for styling a scooter better than the company did in the 1950s.
Words & Photos: Sticky
SLUK Shop – modern and classic scooter parts and equipment since 2016