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Belissima Italian Vs Japanese Bishoujo Vs Indian Beauty: The two wheeled dilema

Discussion in 'Non FIAT Cars and two wheelers' started by nibedk, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Hi Fellow Fiatians,
    Need your help in my two wheeler buying decision.

    As the subject suggests you all may have guessed the contendors by now

    Belissima Italian: Vespa VX
    Japanese Bishoujo: Honda Activa 125
    Indian Beauty: TVS Wego

    Usage: To be primarily used by wife to commute to work and pick up our daughter in evening from Creche/School. I will use too sometimes if I do not want to take my bike out. I have a Avenger with 40 K on the odometer in its 7th year. With our daughter growing up fast she usually wants to go out with me when I go for short trips around the house for grocery or other such stuff. I do not take her as Avenger being a cruiser the turning radius is already a turn off. With a kid sitting in front it becomes more cumbersome.She usually becomes sad and I have to take the car out.So such trips would be made with the scooter as ferrying kids in a scooter is much more easier.

    I would be buying the Disc Brake version of one of these three. I have test rode all the three( Wego non disc version).

    Here are my observations

    Vespa VX


    • Truly Italian and head turner in every sense.
    • Monocoque Chasis
    • Best Suspension among three but on the stiffer side. Aids handling more than ride quality
    • Good braking
    • Stands out in the crowd
    • Very easy to maneovre to slender frame(Even though the weight is 114 kgs you do not feel the weight).
    • Build Quality is top notch.
    • Pricing is a dampner @ close to 92 K for VX. Though with discounts will cost 85 K if bought this month.
    • Smaller 10 inchers tires do not inspire confidence. It slipped once when I testdrove.
    • Not as good a handler as Wego. Its better than Honda though.
    • Ride quality not as plush as the other two but not a deal breaker though.
    • Maintainence is going to be costlier than other two
    12 inch tires would have made it the best handler by a big margin. Now Wego beats it just by a little.

    With a Italian car already @ home I have a soft corner Vespa and would have bought it in a blink had it not been priced steeply or had it came on top in the handling department. Compared to Wego the difference in negligible for Mango people but for entusiats like us it can be the deal breaker.

    Honda Activa 125


    • Brilliant braking due to Combi set up. The same can be achieved manually in the other 2 scooters by an experienced driver.
    • Best ride Quality. Suspension set up is soft and aids ride quality more than handling
    • ASS availability being a Honda
    • Bullet Proof Relaibility
    • Worst handler among the three.
    • Pricing close to 80 K and suddenly Vespa seems value for money
    • Dealer attitude. Worst among 3 and Honda being the best seller I am a little concerned about ASS.
    • Heaviest of the 3 and hence manoeuvreing is going to be most cumbersome.
      Build Quality is not up to mark. I mean for a 80 K vehicle its no where close to Vespa in terms of quality. Its more close to Wego in quality.
    Is the last contendor among three. If I buy this vehicle the only reason would be brilliant braking and reliability

    TVS Wego


    • Best Handling among the three. With a moncoque chassis it would have been miles ahead of the rest.
    • Body balance really works. Combination of 12 inchers tires, lightest body and aerodyamic design
    • Ride and Handling balance is best among three.
    • Good braking
    • Best suspesion set up.
    • Excellent VFM @ 63 K.
    • Lightest among the three.

    • Least powerful engine. A bigger 125 CC engine would have done the justice to this good handler.
    • Quality not comparable to Vespa though for the price its ok.
    • Quality Niggles as mentioned in various reviews by owners.
    • Not sure of ASS.

    I could not find a disc version to test drive as the dealers I went to didnt have disc versions. Still not sure of the availablity of disc version. I had driven a disc version of Wego 3 years back and found it second best to Avaitor at that time. Aviator was just ahead due to combi braking.

    For me it is the top contendor among the three. Excellent VFM, best ride and handling. I found it similar to Fiat. Best ride and handling but engine which doesn't do justice to its capabilities. Excellent VFM. Alas its not an Italian. I found it more close to my car than the Italian Vespa.

    Honda comes a last as always for me. It does everything well but there is no absolute USP. Doesnt stand out as well. The only reason I can think of is reliability and combi braking of Hondas. But the steep pricing and suddenly Vespa looks more promising. Wego beats it in most areas except a less powerful engine. Braking no doubt is brilliant in Honda for a scooter
    but the same can be achieved by the other two in an experienced hand.

    Wego looks to be the winner here with the body balance being the USP. Rest all things is on par with the other two with the only glaring difference being the least powerful engine. Other areas where it trails like quality etc. it makes up for being an excellent VFM. The price justifies it being the best option among the three.

    And then the Italian Vespa. Anyone who loves Fiat is bound to love the Vespa. Its a head turner which ever angle you look at it from. USP has got to be looks looks and looks and it being the stand out one just like Fiats. Its a differnt matter that Fiats stand out as it doesn't sell. But Vespas have that exclusivity due to the retro looks, build quality and premuiumness. Besides the build quality and technologies used are ahead of competition. As a stand alone it justifies its price as well. But bring in competition and suddenly it doesn't seem to be sensible choice. Think Suzuki Gixxer SF and suddenly it looks more VFM when compared to Vespa VX.
    I know its comparing apples to oranges but still.

    Somehow for all the technologies that has gone in my expectations were pretty high. The suspenion system, the chassis and I had thought it would be terrific fun to drive. For me Wego beats it in the area which is the most importatnt one for me. Ride and handling even though just by a whisker. I had though the vespa would beat it by a big margin. Alas it lost by a very small margin.

    My wife wants the Vespa and my heart says Vespa too. I have a soft corner for all things Italian. Be it food or cars or bikes. We had a LML Vespa Supremo if anyone remebers the big scooter before LML shut shop. I loved it back then and it was one of the best back then in the second half of 90s.

    But as soon as you bring the price on to the table Wego is where the head points to. No doubt the Vespa is ahead of its competitors as far as quality, premiumness and technolgies used comes to picture. But its still a scooter at the end and for all the technologies used it has at the very best 10-15 more top speed to show for. And with a scooter I do not think we will ever drive anything beyond 80 or 90 at best.

    The price differential of over 20 K and further premium on ASS is a dampner. We are getting a 6 K off on accessories, helmet,RSA and extended warranty which the dealer says is only for this month. Unlike Fiats which has discounts almost through out I dont think the same is the case with Vespa. I beleive it sells well. May be experts can enlighten me. Else I can go ahead and buy it this month only if I finally decide to follow my heart.

    Hoping that my fellow riders will help me out of this two wheeled dilema.
  2. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr

    Have a Vespa vx125. An exceptionally well-built and super-reliable machine (so far), aside from all the other considerations. I'll be keeping it for as long as possible: 10? 15 years? If you have a good service centre and dealer (which I think Hyderabad does, from what little I hear): i'd reccomend it wholeheartedly, EVEN if one gives no allowance for the brand or its historical Indian as well as Italian as well as global legacy.

    How so? It's all about the monocoque, and the way the engine is mounted: utterly vibe-free even at say 80 or even 90 kph. NO rattling, squeaking (that I've experienced, and I use it a fair bit on different terrains). Fantastic road holding (though I'd personally prefer say the big heavy GT 150/Super, even at a further price premium).

    The engine's exceptionally able in its mid range: once the revs get up it really shoots, and the thing is that range is pretty wide. On faster Delhi road times (say, late night, or early afternoon) it can gun from say 40 70 kph, or 50 to 80 very quickly indeed. While still giving good mileage, which is not so good if it is driven in slower traffic a lot. 3 valve engine and all that: it really does work.

    Also: it's tall, with a less raked steering column, making its turning circle amazingly tight, given its wheelbase. Yet its GC is ample. It feels uncannily like the Fiats: stiff yet flat and comfy suspension, rigid chassis, very good handling. Great exhaust note, good feel (to the hands AND to the bum). Very chiselled, with minimum side-to-side weight overhang: fantastic handling once you turn in. The disc brake is great, the straight-line-holding under hard braking from speed is excellent. The MRF tyres are fine in the dry or the slight wet, but I'd want better tyres if I were say in Kerala, or Mumbai. But there aren't any such better tyre options in India i think. The TVS tyres that the LX125 (is it still offered by Vespa?) were truly 'awfuller' than the MRF-s. Cannot say what spec/quality of TVS tyres the Wego/jupiter comes with.

    And of course the quality of materials, esp the paint, and the chrome fitments, head+taillamp and alloys. But the plastic switchgear while perfectly functional and well designed, are pretty hard/cheap plastic. And the fuelling, carburettor design or whatever makes the kickstart act up in the very-cold of Delhi at least: that has been my only grouse. I believe Vespa will be launching a FI version of this engine at some point, this year or next?

    All in all: if I were you, I'd set a budget and then decide. TVS Wego/Jupiter all the way if on a tight one, though am pretty sure it will need more service attention in the medium run than a Vespa.

    And that's the other thing. I found the Vespa perfectly reasonable when I bought it a year and a half ago, because I knew I was going to keep it for the very, very long run. In which case the time-value of the 'premium' evaporates, or so I felt, and feel even more strongly today given my sense of just how well-built, reliable and serviceable it is, even DIY (there are detailed youtube videos on Vespa engine maintenance of every conceivable sort).

    The quality of your dealer bears a bit of witnessing, though! (just like Fiat, given low sales volumes). As for Vespa/Piaggio itself in India: they're growing year-on-year, have started exports of Vespa-s from the Baramati plant, have the commercial vehicle business that's doing well, and are about to start ckd for their high-end motorbike brands, and have announced a gradual move to combined showrooms and ASS centres for all 3/4 brands: Piaggio-branded cheaper scooters like the Fly 125?, Vespa-s, and Aprilla-s etc).

    Have told you all I know about Vespa in India, apologies if most of it is old-hat to you.

    But yeah: the Wego/Jupiter are truly splendid vfm, well-engineered and designed vehicles from an ethical-enough company, TVS (unlike Honda and its 2- and 4-wheelers in India!).


    PS: just let your wife and daughter (the future user of a classic retro Vespa when she's a teenager in 12 years time...) decide!;):cool:
  3. Pramod N

    Pramod N Amatore

    TVS JUPITER is doing good these days, when compared to the other scooters in the market. Why stick to TVS WEGO (Older Model)?? Instead try the Jupiter.
  4. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    @Pramod N The refreshed 2014 Wego was launched sometime back. Besides Wego is a better vehicle than Jupiter because of the following reasons
    • Body balance tech makes a better handler
    • Full metal body. Jupiter is a mix of metal and fiber.
    • Less bulkier making it easier to handle in the traffic.
    • Optional disc and hence better braking
    • Wego is better built than the Jupiter and is a segment above just like Activa and Activa I.
  5. platinumshine

    platinumshine Regolare

    Back in Oct 2010 we got a Wego for my wife. We chose the Wego over Activa then because
    - Full metal body
    - Front telescopic suspension
    - that body balance tech really shows. Wego handles like a bike to a certain extent.
    - ride quality is not too soft, not too harsh. nice balance they have struck
    - Honda dealer was not interested in giving a test ride. I had to ride my friend's Activa.
    - Always we have had TVS scooters in family. the first gen scooty followed by Pep and now Wego.

    The Wego's main problem for me was the pathetic braking. I found it worse than Pep. I hope it gets solved with the disc brake variant. Another downer is the dikki space is not as big as a Jupiter. The front small dikki is rather useless. Wego didnot come with side stand alarm which was there in Scooty. The initial acceleration is not as great as an Activa but it builds pace and I have taken it to above 70 km/hr quite often, the poise and stability for a scooter is brilliant. Wego and Yamaha scooter are like Fiats to me in the scooter segment.

    Also the maintenance costs are only the routine service. The only spare we had to change last year was the throttle cable. The original solid battery lasted 4 years, now replaced with AMCO liquid filled one. I am sure, quite a few upgrades have gone into Wego like disc brakes, more powerful battery, etc.

    having said that, I once got a chance to ride the Vespa. It was fast, emotional and amazing :) If your better half has liked it, why not go for it??
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  6. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    Amongst the 3, I would stay stick to the Indian.

    Although I would have loved to say Activa (Since I own one) but I recently drove my friend's Activa 125 (with telescopic suspension) but the scooter lacked the pickup and the ride quality wasn't any great improvement over my existing spring suspension Activa.

    Wego has undergone the recent refresh and would be my pick for the day. I would suggest to stay away from Vespa (however you may be attracted by retro looks), costs a bomb to buy and maintain.
  7. kedarbendre

    kedarbendre Esperto

    MH 12
    I recently bought TVS Jupiter for my dad and he is happy with the scooer.

    Telescopic Suspension
    12" Alloys wheel (Front & Rear)
    Decent power from 110cc engine
    Good looks and metal body was the key areas which I looked ino.

    I will buying TVS Wego for my Wife in next few months.
  8. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr

    Have you not considered the Suzuki-s? They're really good to drive and very punchy, better than the Jupiter i felt, though neither as good looking nor exclusive nor quite as torquey at higher speeds as the Vespa. But cheaper. And with good ownership experiences (bears some research)?
  9. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    @prabhjot . Yes I did drive the the Suzuki's. Yes they were punchier than the competition, but other than that nothing special to offer. The braking is iffy for all except Honda and Hero as both of them offer combo braking. Even Wego/Jupiter were not good in this department. After test driving most only I decided if I get a scooter it got to have a disc brake. Hence all the three I have zeroed on have the disc options. I didn't include Aviator as its almost same as Activa 125 with a smaller engine. Even there are rumors of Aviator 125 to be launched soon. Its an absolute stunner if pics doing round on the net are to be believed. It will give Vespas a good run for money. But as with most Hondas it will have a good waiting period. Besides I am looking @ buying one before June when my wife restarts her work life after her motherhood break. My daughter is around 42 months old and will most probably stand/sit in front of the scooter till another 2-3 years before she can take the back seat. Kids can be big distraction which comes from my own experience on my bike. Discs really can be helpful in such situations to avert any accidents. Me coming from bikes mostly with discs is one area where most of the scooters have disappointed me. Hence my choice will be one of the three mentioned above only. My wife drives four wheelers as well but her work for next 2 years will take her to places where a two wheeler would be the best possible commute option.

    @platinumshine . Is it just my high expectation of Vespa which comes from the fact that its priced so steeply? I found the ride and handling best in Wego even though just by a little bit. Do you really feel that Vespa handles better than the Wego. Since you already own a Wego and have rode the Vespa as well you would really be able to judge better.

    I do understand the 10 mins tests drive may not reaveal as much we beleive. Mostly good roads and not enough open road to push the vehicle to the limits and the judgment can really go wrong.

    Can you let me know your thoughts on this?
    prabhjot likes this.
  10. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr

    If it's primiarily for your wife: be sure to check out ergonomic-ease, i.e., the triangulation between seat, legs and hands/arms. e.g., the Vespa is much taller than other scooters, which is better for some (like me) but may not be so for others. Also, the Vespa footboard is narrower i believe than say an Activa: for stylistic and weight-distribution reasons i guess, worth thinking about given that your daughter will be riding there, standing. But that's also beneficial because there's the famous Vespa spine along it, and the geometry of the seat-front-end vis-a-vis the handle/steering is such that the kid will be held tight and cannot fidget for lack of room?

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