I looked at a few models, and in particular looked at the one I am interested in (the LX 150). I didn’t ask to test drive, since I don’t have a motorcycle endorsement on my license yet, but I got to sit on the scooter. It’s a pretty substantial machine, the unibody constructions feels really solid leaning side to side. After I complete the safety course and get the endorsement added to my drivers license, than I can go back and actually get the scooter.
I spent a good bit of time looking at accessories. In order to take the safety class, I need to have a helmet, jacket, and gloves. I didn’t want to get a leather motorcycle jacket, which is good, because they had a bunch of cool scooter jackets.
The jacket: a Corazzo 5.0 : http://corazzo.net/?q=node/6 in khaki/red color. It has armor in the shoulders, elbows and a big back pad. The stripes down the front and back are darn reflective, which will help in people seeing me. I also picked up some gloves from the same company: http://corazzo.net/?q=node/216, they’re kevlar and should be good for spring/sumer riding.
The helmet: I ended up getting a Vespa branded helmet, the Piaggio Copter – http://vespausa.com/viewImage.php?id=100. I went back and forth on full face vs. 3/4 helmet and I ended up getting the one that I felt most comfortable wearing. I imagine that I will pick up a full face helmet at some point, but for now, I felt comfortable wearing the one I purchased.
The folks at Vespa Seattle were very helpful. They explained the scooters to me, answered all my questions, and helped with the gear. It seems like a very good shop. Plus, they’re involved with the motorcycle safety program. The salesman said they provide some of the scooters for the class, so I will likely get to take my class on a Vespa. And, since I was signed up for the class, they gave me 10% off today.
Here is a video of someone else riding a Vespa, up in Victoria, B.C.