Long-Running Player in the Vespino Line

Vespa refurbishes its venerable Sprint scooter family ahead of the 2018 model year in an effort to get even more mileage out of the name and adds an “S” model with some upgraded electronics. And why not? The Sprint has been around for half-a-century and more, and the factory made sure that the looks, however updated, pay proper homage to the original. Power comes from the “i-get” engines that produce 2.4 kW and 40 mph at the 50 cc break with 9.5 kW and 59 mph from the 150 cc mill. ABS makes a showing as well for a taste of the electronic wizardry and extra safety to meet the public’s growing expectation of same. As with all their products, the Powers That Be down at Piaggio/Vespa takes the little Vespino very seriously, so let’s dive in and see what else our Italian friends have in store for us.

Continue reading for my review of the Vespa Sprint.

  • 2018 Vespa Sprint
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    155 cc
  • Price:
    5399

Vespa Sprint Design

2018 Vespa Sprint
- image 780443
The dominant vibe is still that of the exuberance of youth with a dose of sporty agility.

The original lines are readily apparent throughout. Sure, the MY18 legguard area is beefier and the front suspension linkage has moved to the opposite side of the wheel, but the high-mount front fender and fully enclosed handlebar are directly comparable. Up the middle of the shield lies the new “Tie” feature that I suppose kinda’ dresses up the visage a bit, but the dominant vibe is still that of the exuberance of youth with a dose of sporty agility. Is it the narrow overall width of only 28.9 inches? Not all by itself, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

The cyclops headlight rides within the handlebar housing in keeping with the old school style, but rather than going all the way with a round light, the factory kinda’ modernized it with a hexagonal face and LED tech. A monocoque structure relies on the tunnel for the stiffness it brings to the table, and that necessarily interrupts the step-through a bit but the factory kept the intrusion to a minimum. The bodies are identical across the board, and the only obvious difference between the 50 cc model and the 150 cc is at the engine itself, and the mudguard that follows right behind.

All three rides sport a heavily sculpted seat that carries a strong wane at the front so as not to bite into the rider’s thighs, but the “S” steps up its game with a faux tuck-and-roll finish that makes it stand apart from the field. That singular honor continues into the instrumentation where, opposed to the analog clock and LCD screen on the standard models, the S rocks a modern Thin-Film Transistor display for a thoroughly modern rider interface. It also includes the Vespa Multimedia Platform to cover your infotainment needs. The wasp-like taper at the rear makes another direct connection to the original, but thankfully, the factory drew the line at the hoops and chucked on a pair of 12-inch wheels rather than the doughnuts of old.

Vespa Sprint Chassis

2018 Vespa Sprint
- image 780441
The front end rocks a 200 mm hydraulic disc complete with ABS, but that only accentuates the aching technological void at the rear end that just begs for a juice disc.

As usual for Vespa, a stressed-skin assembly provides the structure without the benefit, or weight, of a bulky underframe. Steel members come stamped in compound shapes for strength and stiffness with welded reinforcement pieces to soak up the strain at the high-stress points. The end result is a stiff and light, self-supporting body.

Like the old-school Sprints, the steering column is kept narrow by virtue of its aircraft landing gear-style suspension system that uses a single-side connection to the wheel with a trailing link and coil-over shock to absorb the bumps. Another coil-over shock supports the rear end off the back of the swing-mount drive unit to complete the suspension.

A pair of 12-inch, cast-aluminum rims round out the rolling chassis, but that improvement seems somewhat diminished in the face of the antiquated, 140 mm mechanical drum brake married to the rear wheel. Sure, the front end rocks a 200 mm hydraulic disc complete with ABS, but that only accentuates the aching technological void at the rear end that just begs for a juice disc.

Frame: Sheet steel body with welded reinforcements
Front suspension: Single arm with coil spring and dual action monoshock absorber - axial stroke 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Rear suspension: Coil spring with adjustable preload (4 settings), and dual action hydraulic monoshock - axial stroke 2.8 inches (70 mm)
Front wheel rim: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00x12”
Rear wheel rim: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00x12”
Front tire: Tubeless 110/70-12"
Rear tire: 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 Sprint Drivetrain

2018 Vespa Sprint
- image 780440
Vespa's i-get powerplant drives this classic line into the future with emissions compliance and performance commensurate with its vintage.

Vespa’s i-get powerplant drives this classic line into the future with Euro 4 emissions compliance and performance commensurate with its vintage. First up; the 50 cc mill that actually measures out at 49.9 cc with a 39 mm barrel and 41.8 mm stroke. Forced-air cooling carries off the waste heat and a single over-head cam times the three-valve head, all of which is appropriately simple.

Equally appropriate is the new electronic fuel injection system that manages the induction and helps the engine meet the strict emissions requirements. The littlest Sprint motor generates a total of 2.2 lb-ft and 3.2 hp at 7,500 rpm with the accustomed twist-and-go operation from the CVT gearbox.

At the head of the table, we find the 150 cc engine that sneaks in another handful of cubes with a total displacement of 154.8 cc. Nearly square, the 150 runs a 58/58.6 mm bore and stroke, and it shares the Port Fuel Injection feature with its little brother, as well as the simple, forced-air cooler, but naturally steps up in the performance department for 12.7 hp at 7,750 rpm and 9.4 lb-ft at 6,500.

Engine: 4 stroke single cylinder with electronic injection
Bore/stroke: 58/58.6 mm (50: 39 mm x 41.8 mm)
Engine capacity: 154.8 cc (50: 49.9 cc)
Max Power: 12.7 hp (9.5 kW) at 7,700 rpm /50: 3.2 hp (2.4 kW) @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque: 9.4 lb-ft (12.8 Nm) at 6,500 rpm /50: 2.2 lb-ft (3 Nm) @ 7,500 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 Sprint Price

2018 Vespa Sprint
- image 780444
MSRP is a trifle proud, but Vespa has never been one to treat price as a selling point.

Entry-level riders can score a MY18 Sprint 50 for $3,899. Yeah, that’s a trifle proud, but Vespa has never been one to treat price as a selling point. A Sprint 150 will set you back $5,399, but the “Special series” model brings its TFT yummy-goodness to the table for only a single Benjamin more.

Model: Sprint 50 Sprint 150 Sprint 150S
Colors: Bianco Innocenzia, Nero Lucido, Rosso Passione, Verge Speranza, Arancio Tramonto Bianco Innocenzia, Nero Lucido, Rosso Passione, Verge Speranza, Arancio Tramonto Giallo Gelosia
Price: $3,899 $5,399 $5,499

Vespa Sprint Competitors

2018 Vespa Sprint
- image 780445
2016 - 2018 Yamaha Vino Classic
- image 742135
Yamaha falls behind significantly at the wheels with only 10-inchers and drums front and rear.

In a market flooded with look-alikes, it can be tough to choose between a facsimile and the genuine article. One of the most adorable, Italian-looking rides on the market right now is the Vino 50 from Yamaha, a decidedly un-Italian manufacturer. The Vino carries itself with much the same general air, but with much different details that start off with the fairing-mount headlight and naked handlebar and control area. A full step-through indicates the presence of an underframe that supports the structure rather than using the stressed-skin system favored by Vespa.

The Vino’s saddle is clearly intended for but one butt, and the rest of the rear end is taken up by a small chrome luggage rack that makes productive use out of what would otherwise be wasted space. Yamaha supports the front end on hydraulic forks, motorcycle style, but falls behind significantly at the wheels. Not only are the hubs only 10 inches in diameter, but both contain drum brakes with none of the fandanglery (ABS) of the Vespa.

Unfortunately, Yamaha is keeping the power figures very close to the vest, not that I expect there to be much of a difference between two engines this small, but I confess I haven’t had a chance to throw one on the dyno yet. What we do know is that the Tuning Fork Company beats Vespa like a 2-year-old in K-Mart at the checkout with a $2,299 sticker that is sure to appeal to budget-minded riders. Oh well, as I said; Piaggio doesn’t exactly price to entice, never has.

He Said

“And people look at me crazy when I say that Piaggio is the Harley of scooters. Must be the union labor, I reckon, it’s definitely something, that’s for sure. All-in-all, the Sprint seems to be largely more of the same-ol’ same-ol’, and at those prices a body could score an actual motorcycle that would be capable of a more demanding commute.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “New colors, the orange is nice, with some nice looking wheels. I might have pitted the Sprint against the Like from KYMCO. They both have 12-inch wheels. What the Like might lack in fit-and-finish would be made up by the front-and-rear disc brakes. No matter. There are plenty of competitors out there with these classic looks.”

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 4 stroke single cylinder with electronic injection
Bore/stroke: 58/58.6 mm (50: 39 mm x 41.8 mm)
Engine capacity: 154.8 cc (50: 49.9 cc)
Max Power: 12.7 hp (9.5 kW) at 7,700 rpm /50: 3.2 hp (2.4 kW) @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque: 9.4 lb-ft (12.8 Nm) at 6,000 rpm /50: 2.2 lb-ft (3 Nm) @ 7,500 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 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Rear suspension: Coil spring with adjustable preload (4 settings), and dual action hydraulic monoshock - axial stroke 2.8 inches (70 mm)
Front wheel rim: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00x12”
Rear wheel rim: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00x12”
Front tire: Tubeless 110/70-12"
Rear tire: 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: 73.2/28.9 inches (1,860/735 mm)
Saddle height: 31.1 inches (790 mm)
Wheelbase: 52.8 inches (1,340 mm)/ 50: 52.4 inches (1,330 mm)
Fuel tank capacity: 2.1 gals, including 0.5 gal reserve (8 liters, including 2 liter reserve)
Fuel Economy: 110 mpg/ 50: NA
Details:
Top Speed: 59 mph (50: 40 mph)
Approval: Euro 4
Colors:
Sprint 50: Bianco Innocenzia, Nero Lucido, Rosso Passione, Verge Speranza, Arancio Tramonto
Sprint 150: Bianco Innocenzia, Nero Lucido, Rosso Passione, Verge Speranza, Arancio Tramonto
Sprint 150 S: Giallo Gelosia
Price:
Sprint 50: $3,899
Sprint 150: $5,399
Sprint 150 S: $5,499

References

Yamaha Vino Classic

2016 - 2018 Yamaha Vino Classic
- image 742130

See our review of the Yamaha Vino Classic.

KYMCO Like 200i

2014 - 2018 KYMCO Like 200i
- image 778567

See our review of the KYMCO Like 200i.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: vespausa.com, yamaha-motor.com, kymcousa.com

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