The update gives it a new look, better handling, and improved ride quality

After a fairly major update in 2015, Vespa’s Primavera 150 scooter was brushed up yet again ahead of the 2018 model year. This newest iteration brings a number of improvements to the table to include larger hoops, all-around LED technology with some aesthetic improvements to boot. In addition to the 150 cc base model, the factory also released a cargo-friendly Touring model and now there’s a Yacht Club variant for a nautical spin. It must be quite the undertaking to keep a model family relevant as long in the tooth as the Primavera, but Vespa doggedly stays the course and treats us to yet another handful of successors here half-a-century after the release of the original.

  • 2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
  • Year:
    2018- 2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    155 cc
  • Top Speed:
    61 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    5099
  • Price:

Vespa Primavera 150 Design

  • LED lighting
  • Old-school look
  • Improved aesthetics
2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
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2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
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The more things change, the more they stay the same, and that’s certainly true of Vespa’s Primavera. Just as it should be. In this age of “progressive design” that tries way too hard to be edgy and new, it’s a breath of fresh air to see something that stays so true to its origins. That old-school look starts out right up front with the customary aircraft landing gear-type front suspension and fixed-elevation front fender that rides high above the front wheel.

One of the biggest improvements are in the wheels themselves, boosted from 11 inches up to 12 inches in diameter. Now, I realize that isn’t much of an increase, but it’s enough to improve both ride quality and handling a skosh, and every little bit helps, right?

Vespa’s “tie” detail brands the legguard for a tasteful bit of décor that ties right into the past, if you’ll forgive the pun. Recessed turn signals lie abreast of that central detail, and on the touring model, a chrome luggage rack overlays the entry to dominate the visage and provide the first layer of portagerie.

As ever, the fully enclosed handlebar comes with a round cyclops headlight, instrumentation, and switch housings all contained within, but most of all, it gives the Primavera that typical Italian look around the controls. Behind the fairing, an almost full step-through leaves plenty of room to mount with little obstruction, and a flattish tunnel top and non-skid treatment makes possible the use of that most convenient of cargo areas between the feet.

The seat flips up for access to the obligatory underseat storage compartment on all models even though the Touring gets a nifty, faux tuck-and-roll saddle unique to the model to set it apart a bit. A set of chrome J.C. handles provide a hardpoint for a bungee net to further expand its carrying capacity, and of course, the Touring has a luggage rack that finishes out its special equipment. What else is there to say about the looks? Even after all this time, sembra una vespa.

Capturing the adventuring spirit, the Primavera 150 joins the Primavera 50 and GTS models in the Yacht Club series. Clad in a dedicated white colorway, the Primavera 150 Yacht Club sports a navy blue saddle, matte blue details, new dash graphics, and Yacht Club badging for a nautical spin

Vespa Primavera 150 Chassis

  • Aircraft-style suspension
  • New bigger wheels
  • Improved ride quality and handling
  • Front-wheel ABS
  • Rear drum brake
2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
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2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
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2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
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The strength of the structure on the Primavera 150 comes from a monocoque or stressed-skin assembly that uses welded reinforcements in the most critical areas. I prefer the under-frame system, me, but it is what it is.

An aircraft-style front suspension system uses a one-sided standing arm with a trailing link and coil-over shock to articulate the front wheel. Not only does this system stand out from the crowd for its unusual looks, but it also allows for a steering column that is decidedly less bulky than the motorcycle-style system that runs with telescopic forks and must be accommodated by the front fairing. The result is a compact steering system that leaves the front end narrow, and the right side of the front wheel clean as a whistle.

Overall length measures out at 73-inches long with a 52.7-inch wheelbase and 30.7-inch high saddle, but it’s the narrow, 28.9-inch overall width that makes the Primavera look so nice and compact overall. A single, 200 mm disc and juice caliper brake slows the front end under the watchful eye of the ABS feature for a nice modern touch; too bad the rear end is still buried in the past with its 140 mm mechanical drum to take care of business. Oh well, at least the drum does enhance the classic looks, if not the actual braking ability.

Frame: Sheet steel body with welded reinforcements
Front suspension: Single arm with coil spring and dual action monoshock absorber - axial stroke 78 mm
Rear suspension: Coil spring with adjustable preload (4 settings), and dual action hydraulic monoshock - axial stroke 70 mm
Wheels: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00x12”
Tires, Front/ Rear: Tubeless 110/70-12"/ Tubeless 120/70-12”
Front brake: Hydraulically operated 200 mm ø stainless steel disc brake. Single channel ABS anti-lock system
Rear brake: Mechanically operated 140 mm ø drum brake

Vespa Primavera 150 Drivetrain

  • 154.8 cc i-Get engine
  • 12.9 hp @ 7,700 rpm
  • 9.4 lb-ft @ 6,000 rpm
  • CVT transmission
2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
- image 840193
2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
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2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
- image 887637

Vespa’s “i-Get” engine drives the Primavera 150 with Euro 4 emissions and a quiet demeanor. The latter comes courtesy of the great attention to detail by the engineers who endeavored to keep as much mechanical noise as possible trapped within the cases. The air-cooled mill runs with a fan to force air through the system. While that’s a good compromise for dealing with heavy traffic without the weight and complexity of a water jacket and radiator, the jacket would dampen the mechanical sounds further yet.

A SOHC times the three-valve head with a new electronic fuel injection system to manage the induction. Bore and stroke measure out nearly square at 58/58.6 mm to give the one-lunger its 154.8 cc displacement. Power measures in at 12.9 ponies at 7,700 rpm with 9.4 pound-feet that comes on at 6,000 rpm.

The engine bolts up to the transmission in the typical swing-mount drive arrangement and it uses both as stressed members to replace the swingarm. The transmission is of the CVT type that uses a V-belt and variable-diameter pulleys to simulate the gear-ratio action you get from a standard transmixxer, just without the aggravation of manipulating a clutch and shifter, just twist and go. Top speed is a claimed 61 mph, so it should be a capable commuter on all but the interstate.

Engine: 4 stroke single cylinder with electronic injection
Bore x stroke: 58 x 58.6 mm
Displacement: 154.8 cc
Max Power: 12.9 hp (9.5 kW) @ 7,700 rpm
Max Torque: 9.4 lb-ft (12.8 Nm) @ 6,000 rpm
Distribution: SOHC (single overhead cam), 3 valves per cylinder
Fuel system: New Electronic Injection PFI (Port Fuel Injection)
Cooling: Forced air
Lubrication: Wet sump
Starter: Electric
Clutch: Automatic dry centrifugal clutch with vibration dampers
Transmission: CVT with torque server

Vespa Primavera 150 Price

2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
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2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
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2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
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Never one to use price as a selling point, Vespa tags each of the Primavera 150 models over $5k. The base model in a handful of color choices rolls for $5,349. The Yacht Club comes next at $5,449 and the Touring model tops the family at $5,549.

Colors:
└ Primavera 150: Nero Vulcano, Bianco Innocenza, Rosso Passione, Blu Energia, Verde Relax
└ Primavera 150 Yacht Club: Bianco Yacht Club
└ Primavera 150 Touring: Rosso Vignola, Verde-Bosco
Price:
└ Primavera 150: $5,349
└ Primavera 150 Yacht Club: $5,449
└ Primavera 150 Touring: $5,549

Vespa Primavera Competitors

2017 - 2018 Lance Havana Classic
- image 759547
2018 - 2020 Vespa Primavera 150
- image 780249

Italian style scooters are even more omnipresent than the genuine article nowadays, so there was no shortage of potential candidates for my head-to-head. After a little eenie-meenie-miney-moe I settled on the Havana Classic 200i from Lance Powersports; purveyer of scooters made by Taiwan-based manufacturer SanYang Motor (SYM).

Lance Havana Classic

2017 - 2018 Lance Havana Classic
- image 759538

The Havana borrows heavily from Europe’s Boot with a similarly clean-and-slim legguard area and enclosed handlebars to lead the way. SYM runs with an underbone frame that allows for a full step-through and flush deck that Vespa misses out on due to its monocoque structure. A sculpted seat covers a dry-storage area with room for both pilot and pillion and a chrome grab bar to help keep the latter securely mounted. While there is no “touring” model as with the Primavera, there is an accessory top case that can give the Havana some extra cargo capacity.

Overall, the looks are in the same ballpark, but as expected, the Havana is found lacking a bit in the fit-and-finish department.

Lance gets some back in the brakes, though. The Havana sports hydraulic disc brakes front and rear, rather than dragging the drums out of the history books, and though it lacks ABS, it does sport a Combined Braking System that distributes braking effort between both calipers regardless of which brake lever you pull.

Suspension is more like what we’re used to on motorcycles with a telescopic front end to soak up the bumps. The Havana runs a 169 cc thumper that delivers 11.8 ponies and 9.21 pounds versus 12.9/9.4, and so Vespa gains a slight edge here that holds all the way up to the checkout. Predictably, Lance’s price on the Havana Classic beats Vespa much like Floyd Mayweather beat Conor McGregor. The Havana Classic 200i rolls for only $2,699, so yeah, you could almost buy two of them for the price of the Vespa.

Read our full review of the Lance Havana Classic.

He Said

“Much like Harley-Davidson, Piaggio does not use price as a selling point; it’s more like ’You want what we got? Better skin that checkbook then!’ I mean, you won’t be disappointed with the quality, but if you’re looking for economic transportation, it will take quite a while to amortize the price difference between the Primavera and, well, just about everything else in the world.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “In 2018, Vespa released the Primavera “S” with a full-color TFT display in other markets, not ours. It was the first time in their history that one of their scooters had a fully-digital dashboard. I usually prefer the sweep gauges because my old-lady eyes can take in the display information at a glance, but the TFT displays are so clear, they’re very easy to read. The Primavera 150 is a nice around town scooter with snappy acceleration and better ride and handling with the bigger wheels, but it would be nice if Vespa kept going with the modern technology by adding a TFT display on the next update.”

Vespa Primavera 150 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 4 stroke single cylinder with electronic injection
Bore x stroke: 58 x 58.6 mm
Displacement: 154.8 cc
Max Power: 12.9 hp (9.5 kW) @ 7,700 rpm
Max Torque: 9.4 lb-ft (12.8 Nm) @ 6,000 rpm
Distribution: SOHC (single overhead cam), 3 valves per cylinder
Fuel system: New Electronic Injection PFI (Port Fuel Injection)
Cooling: Forced air
Lubrication: Wet sump
Starter: Electric
Clutch: Automatic dry centrifugal clutch with vibration dampers
Transmission: CVT with torque server
Chassis:
Frame: Sheet steel body with welded reinforcements
Front suspension: Single arm with coil spring and dual action monoshock absorber - axial stroke 78 mm
Rear suspension: Coil spring with adjustable preload (4 settings), and dual action hydraulic monoshock - axial stroke 70 mm
Wheels: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00x12”
Tires, Front/ Rear: Tubeless 110/70-12"/ Tubeless 120/70-12”
Front brake: Hydraulically operated 200 mm ø stainless steel disc brake. Single channel ABS anti-lock system
Rear brake: Mechanically operated 140 mm ø drum brake
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length/Width: 73.6 / 28.9 inches (1,870/735 mm)
Saddle height: 31.1 inches (790 mm)
Wheelbase: 52.7 inches (1,340 mm)
Fuel tank capacity: 2.1 gals. including 0.5 gal reserve (8 liters, including 2 liter reserve)
Fuel Economy (WMTC mode): 98 mpg
Details:
Approval: Euro 4
Colors:
└ Primavera 150: Nero Vulcano, Bianco Innocenza, Rosso Passione, Blu Energia, Verde Relax
└ Primavera 150 Yacht Club: Bianco Yacht Club
└ Primavera 150 Touring: Rosso Vignola, Verde-Bosco
Price:
└ Primavera 150: $5,349
└ Primavera 150 Yacht Club: $5,449
└ Primavera 150 Touring: $5,549

Further Reading

Vespa

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
- image 806594
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: vespa.com, lancepowersports.com, goaz.com

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