It’s hard to beat a bona fide Italian scooter for classic looks and performance

Vespa’s Primavera line marked its gold anniversary in 2018 with, among other things, a range of refreshed models in its 50 cc range: the Chrome Crest (CC), Yacht Club, and Touring. Each sports its own choice of colors and brings something unique to the table in its design, but the overall panache and proven, 4T3V engine technology are a constant across the board. Also available through the Primavera 50 is the Limited Speed variant that restricts top speed to 30 mph, allowing you to ride with a driver’s license and no motorcycle endorsement.

  • 2020 Vespa Primavera 50
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    50 cc
  • Top Speed:
    40 mph
  • Price:
    3999
  • Price:

2020 Vespa Primavera 50 Design

  • LED lighting
  • Characteristic tapered teardrop panels
  • LCD display
  • Old-school “tie” graphic
2020 Vespa Primavera 50
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2020 Vespa Primavera 50
- image 891283

It’s hard to beat a bona fide Italian scooter, and the Primavera line is the embodiment of exactly why that is true. Graceful curves and clever bodywork cut a figure that is instantly recognizable the world over, but that’s to be expected since Piaggio and its Vespa division were instrumental in the early development of the modern scooter.

There is quite a bit of crossover between these three variants. One example is the chrome detail on the high-mount front fender that gives the CC its moniker — it’s present across the board. The deep valence on said fender is meant to contain the spray during wet riding conditions, but it’s also part of the old-school look of the range.

The “tie” detail is another classic touch that comes complete with a trio of chevrons and a new horn cover at the top. The round cyclops headlight is yet another touch with deep roots, as is the handlebar fairing that triples as the headlight housing and instrument housing, but here we find a modern touch in the duplex LED headlight.

A set of recessed blinkers ride in the legguard, and while they are legal in other areas of the world, U.S. laws require a set of handlebar-mount turn signals but the Euro-blinkers remain as a vestigial feature. A single analog speedometer, LCD screen, and a handful of idiot lights wrap up the instrumentation.

A small glove box in the lower-inner fairing gives you a place to stash your phone and other possibles out of the weather. As for open-air cargo capacity, a pull-out hook in the front of the seat and a patch of non-skid atop the tunnel allow for some ’tween-feet capacity. The non-skid patch doubles as a cover for the battery compartment.

A keyed lock on the left-rear of the saddle releases the spring-loaded seat to expose the fuel-fill cap and a secure, dry-storage area that will hold a single full-face brainbucket. Said storage compartment easily lifts out to access the top of the engine for ease of maintenance and repair. The seat rides at 31.1 inches off the deck, so riders who are at least 5.5-feet tall should be able to flatfoot the thing at stops, and it comes with a chrome J.C. rail to give potential passengers something other than yourself to grasp. Plus, in a pinch the rail can serve as an anchor point for a bungee net for some open-air storage out back. An LED taillight and external blinkers complete the lighting out back, and of course, that classic wasp-tail feature is prominently displayed at the side covers to complete the look.

The Touring model adds to the above with a small, clear windscreen, and fore-and-aft chrome luggage racks that add quite a bit of utility for some serious grocery-getting missions. The Yacht Club variant with a Blanco Yacht Club finish that sports nautical-blue details similar in hue to the sacrificial blue cloth commonly used on modern sailboats.

2020 Vespa Primavera 50 Chassis

  • Single-side, aircraft-type front suspension
  • Four-detent preload adjustment
  • Single-channel ABS
  • Rear drum brake
2020 Vespa Primavera 50
- image 891304
2020 Vespa Primavera 50
- image 891289
2020 Vespa Primavera 50
- image 891288

Stamped and shaped sheet-metal components on the Primavewra 50 are spot-welded with reinforcement plates at the critical stress points, and this serves as the main structure in lieu of the common underframe. Not only does this make for a light and stiff assembly, it also leaves plenty of room beneath the stressed skin for the innards and contributes to the ease of maintenance.

The front suspension is typical of the marque with its aircraft landing-gear style setup that uses a single-side standing member with a trailing link and coil-over shock to articulate for the front wheel. Out back, a four-level preset feature in the rear shock gives you some adjustability so you can compensate for changes in cargo/passenger weight.

A 200 mm disc and single-piston anchor slow the front wheel with stock ABS to help you keep it rubber-side down, but out back, the factory went old-school with a 140 mm, mechanical-drum brake. Although, I am aware of models entering the U.S. market that are released sans ABS, and am unable to reconcile the discrepancy. It’s tempting to gig Vespa for that, but considering that the wheels run with a 12-inch diameter, that’s really sufficient to take care of business.

Load Bearing Structure: Sheet steel body with welded reinforcements
Front suspension: Single-arm fork with coil spring and hydraulic monoshock absorber
Rear suspension: Coil spring with hydraulic monoshock absorber
Front wheel: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00 x12”
Rear wheel: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00 x12”
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

2020 Vespa Primavera 50 Drivetrain

  • 49.9 cc iGet engine
  • 4.1 hp @ 7,500 rpm
  • 2.3 lb-ft @ 7,250 rpm
  • 80.9 mpg fuel-economy rating
  • Smooth power delivery
2020 Vespa Primavera 50
- image 891310
2020 Vespa Primavera 50
- image 891300
2020 Vespa Primavera 50
- image 891293

Vespa’s 4T3V “iGet” engine delivers the goods on the Primavera 50 with 4.1 horsepower and 2.3 pound-feet of torque. Forced-air cooling vents the waste heat to atmosphere and has a single over-head cam to time the three-valve head with a throttle body and electronic fuel injection to manage the induction. It’s a one-lung mill and the engine cases are stressed members along with the gearbox that all bolt together to serve as the swingarm.

The constant-velocity transmission delivers the twist-and-go operation scooter riders demand with nary a shifter or clutch lever to complicate the process. A dry centrifugal clutch couples engine power to the transmission to complete the drivetrain. The overall drive ratio will turn in a top speed around 35 mph, and if you’ve got a downhill grade and/or a stiff tailwind, you can milk it for an absolute ceiling around 45 mph.

A 39 mm bore and 41.8 mm stroke gives it an overall displacement of 49.9 cc to keep it in that bottom size bracket, and in some areas of the U.S. you can ride it without a proper motorcycle endorsement. The Limited Speed variant restricts top speed to 30 mph, and that increases the number of states in which you can ride without a motorcycle endorsement as some state regulations specify a maximum engine size and some specify a maximum top speed. Check the regulations in your state to determine if this affects you.

Engine: 4 stroke single cylinder with electronic injection
Bore x Stroke: 39 mm x 41.8 mm
Displacement: 49.9 cc
Max Power: 4.1 hp (3.0 kW) @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque: 2.3 lb-ft (3.1 Nm) @ 7,250 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

2020 Vespa Primavera 50 Pricing

2020 Vespa Primavera 50
- image 891292
2020 Vespa Primavera 50
- image 891297
2020 Vespa Primavera 50
- image 891286

This trio rolls with an increasing MSRP across the range, depending on which trim package you prefer. The CC model comes out at the bottom of the totem pole at $3,999 in Verde Relax (green), Blanco Innocenza (white), Nero Vulcano (black), or Blu Energia (blue). Next up is the Yacht Club at $4,099, and at the top of the range is the Touring model at $4,199.

ModelPrimavera 50 CCPrimavera 50 TouringPrimavera 50 Yacht Club
Color: Verde Relax, Bianco Innocenza, Nero Vulcano, Blu Energia Verde-Bosco Bianco Yacht Club
Price: $3,999 $4,199 $4,099

2020 Vespa Primavera 50 Competitors

2016 - 2019 Honda Metropolitan
- image 840377
2020 Vespa Primavera 50
- image 891302

Piaggio/Vespa pretty much rules the roost when it comes to classic scooter design, but Honda has a close-enough-for-government-work model in its adorable little Metropolitan.

Honda Metropolitan

2016 - 2019 Honda Metropolitan
- image 840354

While I hesitate to use language like “copy” or “clone,” all it takes is a glance to see the Vespa influence it the Metropolitan design. The high-mount fender, round headlight, and handlebar fairing fit hand-in-glove with the look of the Eye-Tie ride. The similarities come fast and thick as the eye moves toward the rear, from the sculpted, two-up seat to the chrome grabrail and even the Vespino-looking side covers. I don’t know about you, but the word “shameless” comes to mind.

Honda goes a different route in the suspension with telescopic front forks instead of a link-and-shock, and there’s a little surprise in the brakes as both front and rear rock a mechanical drum. No ABS to be found, but the brakes are linked for balanced braking efforts between the front and rear.

The Red Riders run a 49 cc, liquid-cooled mill that churns out 4.4 ponies and 3 pound-feet of torque against 4.1/2.3 from the Vespa, and I gotta’ say, props to Honda’s engineers. Top speed is something close to 40 mph to fall in the middle of the Primavera’s speed range, but offers no restricted speed option if that’s what you’re looking for.

Honda scores again at the checkout with its $2,499 sticker that leaves a lot of money on the table against Vespa’s $4k tag.

Read our full review of the Honda Metropolitan.

He Said

“The 50 cc bracket is a little too small to be comfortable on any but the slowest streets in most areas, though to be fair, some areas are more scooter-friendly than others. That said, it’s hard to beat the fit-and finish of a Piaggio/Vespa product and impossible to match in historical depth with models currently on the market.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The 50 cc scooters are a tough niche in the U.S. market. In many states, you need a full motorcycle license to legally ride one on public roads and that’s a lot of effort and trouble for someone to go through in order to ride a 50 cc scooter. Mopeds with pedals usually fall outside those regulations so folks who would have ridden a 50 cc scooter are buying mopeds. The Limited Speed variant helps folks in some states that have regulations governing top speed, but even still, the 50 cc scooter is not popular in many parts of the U.S. That being said, the Primavera is an awesome little scooter. Fit-and-finish is as you’d expect on a premium ride. Handling is improved with the larger 12-inch wheels, and for 2020, no more kickstarter. The engine is now fuel injected. In fact, it’s the same engine as the Piaggio Liberty 50, so you can expect a snappy ride.”

2020 Vespa Primavera 50 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 4 stroke single cylinder with electronic injection
Bore x Stroke: 39 mm x 41.8 mm
Displacement: 49.9 cc
Max Power: 4.1 hp (3.0 kW) @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque: 2.3 lb-ft (3.1 Nm) @ 7,250 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:
Load Bearing Structure: Sheet steel body with welded reinforcements
Front suspension: Single-arm fork with coil spring and hydraulic monoshock absorber
Rear suspension: Coil spring with hydraulic monoshock absorber
Front wheel: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00 x12”
Rear wheel: Die-cast aluminum alloy 3.00 x12”
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
Chassis:
Length x Width: 736. in (1,870 mm) x 28.9 in (735 mm)
Saddle height: 31.1 in (790 mm)
Wheelbase: 52.7 in (1,340 mm)
Fuel tank capacity: 2.1 gal including 0.5-gal reserve (8 liters including 2-liter reserve)
Fuel economy: 80.9 mpg (34.4 km/l)
Approval: Euro 4
Details:
Color:
└ CC: Verde Relax, Bianco Innocenza, Nero Vulcano, Blu Energia
└ Touring: Verde-Bosco
└ Yacht Club: Bianco Yacht Club
Price:
└ CC: $3,999
└ Touring: $4,199
└ Yacht Club: $4,099

Further Reading

Vespa

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
- image 806594

Read more Vespa news.

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: motofotoz.com, goaz.com, honda.com

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