Pros: Reliable, stylish, modern technology (4 stroke)
Cons: No aftermarket performance upgrades
In America, Vespa has some long been associated with style, glamour, and chic mobility. Piaggio (the parent) company has capitalized on this fact to promote their bikes. You will not likely see a commercial on TV but you will see slick cameos at high profile events. They are clearly not marketing this as a bike for the masses but rather the social elite. Hence their snobbish marketing and service approach. Be prepared to wait 1-2 months as I waited 5 to get mine. But when I considered what some of the more vintage bikes cost and what a new ET4 cost. It was an easy decision get something brand new. Prices for many of the vintage scooters have skyrocketed to ridiculous heights (I've seen 5-6k in CA). Reliability is always questionable with them since lots of parts get worn down after 20-50 years. The engine on an ET4 is a very quiet compared to 2 stroke bikes (think honda vs. a old muscle car). Fuel economy is realistically 40-50 MPG. I can comfortably cruise around 60. People have reported hitting 75 but under perfect conditions (no head wind, flat surface). If you were looking on the web to get hop up parts (exhaust, piston kits, etc) for the ET4. Forget it. The exhaust hop ups exist only for the 125cc version that is available in Europe. You'd sooner find kits for the 50cc ET2. The styling is nice.. not like older (GS, Rally, etc) but it quickly grows on you. The paint job is nice as well but EASILY chipped. I advise clear coating the bike by a professional shop. Lots of owners I've spoken to have this problem. Parts availability is somewhat problematic. I tried to get some touchup paint for it but NOONE stocks it. Even oil 5w-40 for instance is tough to locate. At this time (4/01) there are not many choice as far as new scoots go in the US. Vespa may be your only choice.