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On Vespas

An ode to the most romantic––and efficient––motorbike

Everyone, at some point in their life has dreamed of riding a Vespa through a European street, probably grabbing onto a lover one ran into under a streetlight. This romantic image of the motorbike has been disseminated through the public consciousness by way of old films and couples pictures in Rome. You remember that scene where the sexy male lead takes off his helmet and all the girls swoon. That specific image is deeply ingrained in modern pop culture, but it goes alongside the modern Brooklynite riding a Vespa with a satchel and listening to The Smiths. These are differing images, but it doesn't at all take away from the bike's appeal or efficiency. And one thing's for certain: whoever's riding that specific scooter is––depending on who you ask––the epitome of cool.

The prevalence of this myth, alongside the efficiency of the bike itself, has led to the bike continuing to sell well through the years despite steep competition from motorcycles, regular bikes public transportation, and yes, walking. Romance aside, these compact little babies are easy enough to maneuver and park that once you get the hang of one, it's not hard to see why it would become your preferred transportation of choice.

The Vespa company comes with a long history of quality products boast a much sleeker size than a motorcycle, and are the most popular brand of electric scooter in the world. Ample seating and the ability to go through alleyways in a quieter way, along with the tire traction to handle the cobblestones you will most likely be riding through if you get yourself one of these babies, would make this anyone's go-to to get where they need to go. This aside, Vespas get better gas mileage than your average motorcycle. Economic, chic, and a smooth ride? Count us in.

A good Vespa for beginners would be an LX with a 50cc engine, although new models Piaggio and Primavera have quite a bit to offer in terms of style and speed for more experienced riders. Of course, a Vespa isn't for everyone––maybe you're looking for another brand of electric scooter. Honda and Yamaha have good ones, but you don't think of those when you're zooming down a Parisian street, when you're crossing the Brooklyn Bridge to go see your Uptown Girl or Guy. Try as they might, those scooters just don't have the same appeal.

In short, this is the best possible motor bike if you want to be able to save money, get where you need to go, and look like you're the star of a 1940s European romantic film while you're at it. If you can handle being mocked by your friends as the person who went out and bought a literal Vespa––and if you can resist the urge to talk about yourself as the person who rides said Vespa everywhere––then get ready to enjoy the comfort, the sleekness, and the romanticism. Be the European lover you always dreamed of being conquered by––now, to work on your accent.