Pros: Super stylish, solid body, fuel efficient.
Cons: security, expensive (compared to other scooters), high seat.
When I originally decided to purchase a scooter the Vespa ET4 was waaay out of my price range. I purchased a Kymco Cobra for R18000 (approx US$ 1800). The Kymco was stolen 3 days after I purchased it. While waiting for the insurance money I started looking at the Vespa ET4. It is without a doubt the sexiest, most stylish, and perfect epitome of what a scooter should be. Unfortunately the ET4 costs R40,000 (approx US$4000), more than double what I paid for the Kymco. However over the next few days I could not get the image of the ET4 out of my head.
Considering I gave up a BMW car to ride a scooter I figured I may as well get the ET4, even if it did cost more than the other scooters.
I've had the Vespa almost two weeks now - and I do not regret a single cent that I spent.
The Vespa feels more solid and sturdier on the road than the Kymco did thanks to the classic pressed steel frame.
It does take a bit of getting used to when people stop and point at you when you ride past. Sometimes I feel like the king of cool, and sometimes I feel like a pretentious prat (although not often).
The ET4 has a 150cc engine, which is more than sufficient for city living. Cape Town is a mountainous region and the scooter handles superbly with both my girlfriend and I on it. I haven't yet had a chance to twist the throttle wide open and see what she can do as I am still running in the engine. To be fair though the Kymco Cobra 100 also handled the terrain superbly.
My only complaint is that like all other scooters the Vespa does not really have any security. There is an immoblizer, but that wont stop a couple of determined thieves from putting the bike into the back of a pick-up.
Another very tiny tiny con to this vehicle is that you need to keep it clean if you want it to look good. I must say though washing a scooter is heaven compared to cleaning a car.
Another con (which doesn't bother me) is the fact that the seat on the Vespa is much higher than on most scooters(805mm), which might make it a little difficult for petite women to get it off it's center stand.
I'd recommend this scooter to anybody who is thinking of joining the two wheel revolution. It's fuel efficient, funky and fabulous to ride.
Another reason to consider the ET4 is that Vespa is experiencing a sort of revival so parts and service centers are easy to come by, and you simply can not beat the Italian styling.