Life with the Vespa – Part 2 – Final Review

Post by Mark

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I’ve had my Vespa for over 6 months now and not only have I not gotten bored of it, but I love it even more than ever. It’s by far my best purchase of 2014. As I mentioned in part 1 of my review, whenever I’m riding my Vespa I feel like I’m on a vacation and 6 months later that feeling hasn’t changed one bit.

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I don’t even know where to begin this post because there are so many great things about living with a Vespa. The obvious one is the fact there is no traffic when you’re on a Vespa. Throughout the past 6 months whenever I had any kind of work in the city or Shuwaikh during the day, the Vespa was my go to ride. You would think any motorbike would fair the same in traffic but that’s not true because scooters are much more agile and nimble. In Shuwaikh where there’s lots of road construction taking place the cars don’t really line up properly because the lanes aren’t properly divided. So you could be making your way between the cars in traffic and then get to a point where the cars are just too close too each other and you’re stuck.. unless you’re on a scooter. Scooters are much more lighter and more compact so it’s so much easier to just weave your way between cars in traffic and the fact the Vespa has an automatic gearbox also means it’s quicker and less of nuisance to stop and start. There hasn’t been a single traffic jam yet in which I wasn’t able to make it to the very front.

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Imagine if the roads were empty all day long… thats life with my Vespa.

I own the Vespa Sprint which has a 125cc engine. It’s not that fast, the maximum speed is around 95km/h and I can sometimes hit just over 100 when going downhill. Although that doesn’t sound fast it’s more than enough when riding on the Gulf Road or even the 4th Ring Road where the maximum speed is 80km/h anyway. Vespa do have have different models with larger engines but the bikes themselves are also slightly larger and heavier. My Sprint is usually the first off the line at a traffic light but after that acceleration is fairly slow. But really you don’t need the bike to be faster since it’s not like you’re going to ride the Vespa down to the chalets on the weekend, it’s for city errands and at that I can’t imagine anything performing better. Even though my Vespa isn’t fast I still ride like a hooligan because the bike gives so much confidence. Probably too much confidence because I slid and fell at a small roundabout near my house a couple of months back scratching up the left side of my bike. Luckily my favorite pair of jeans and sneakers were unharmed.

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The Sprint has a good amount of storage space in case you do some shopping. Under the seat you’ve got a large compartment which I use to store my helmet in and you also have a small glove compartment in the front which I use to store my phone and wallet. In case there isn’t enough space under the seat for your grocery bags, there is a small hook that comes out from the seat in the front which you can hang your bags on. I also love the retro looking analogue speedometer since it adds a lot of character to the bike.

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A lot of people have asked me if you need a license to ride a Vespa and the answer is yes, you need a motorbike license to ride one. That wasn’t an issue for me since I got my license years ago when I got my first motorbike, but it’s still worth noting for anyone considering getting one.

With all the traffic issues in Kuwait I’m surprised not more people have gotten scooters. It’s obviously impossible to ride one in the blazing summer heat but there are at least 6 months a year where the weather is great for them. I really don’t have anything negative to say about my Vespa, maybe if there was a built in USB port to charge my phone that would have been convenient but actually thinking about it now, I probably could get one installed easily. Honestly it’s so much fun riding a Vespa I can’t stop recommending it to people. Get one if you can.


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20 comments, add your own...


  1. Lecour says:

    Do you really feel safe? I’ve been riding scooters all my life but here in Kuwait it just looks too dangerous. Do cars keep their distance when they overtake you?

    • Mark says:

      Well the way I look at it, no one really wants to hit a guy on a motorbike. So far since I’ve been riding the Vespa I haven’t really run into any issues. No crazy drivers or anything but really like on a motorbike you just need one incident and you’re screwed really. But generally everyone has been very respectful of my space, I only ran into an issue with a bus driver who was squeezing me off the road but I gave him a piece of my mind.

      Honestly if anything about riding a vespa is unsafe its the rider, I ride like such an asshole sometimes I put myself in dangerous positions.

      • george says:

        “Honestly if anything about riding a vespa is unsafe its the rider” … allow me to disagree.
        Driving mentality is not only the way someone drives but also respecting the other vehicles/motorbikes on the road.
        if you – or any other – ride the motorbike like crazy you just increase the % of an accident.
        I just hope that you are following the proper safety parameters (helmet, jacket etc)

  2. Greg says:

    The above is my thought too. Don’t you think it is extremely dangerous to ride a Vespa in Kuwait? It sounds lovely, but suicadal…:)

  3. Dawood says:

    Hello mark,
    I have a scooter I got from a friend, imported from china and the speedo meter goes upto 120. Is it possible to get a license for it? Thanks!

  4. Murrka says:

    What Kuwait really needs are actual bicycle lanes. That way, people might actually lose some weight around here.

  5. Kuwait says:

    From one biker to another, enjoy the ride :)

    How do you manage getting to Shuwaikh from Salmiya, when I presume you take the 5th or 4th RR, aren’t you limited to the right-most lane at 95 kmph?

    Most bikers, including me, prefer being on the left-most lane and to not have to pass or get passed a lot.

    • Mark says:

      If I am going to Al-Rai I take the 4th, if I am going to Shuwaikh I either take the gulf road all the way (if I am in the city) or I take the 3rd ring road.

      I rarely ride on the left lane, mostly on the right because of the max speed of the bike

  6. Yousuf M says:

    How easy is it to get a bike license?

  7. Burhan says:

    Which of the Vespa models can reach highway speeds (at least 120 or so)? Also, how much do they cost?

  8. James says:

    I’ve ridden around countries like India and China where there are sixteen lanes on a three lane road, and I was never scared. Well things have changed there in these countries as well actually with newer cars and uneducated drivers.

    Kuwait is another matter. Its not advisable as 1) people are on their phones most of the time while driving and the number of times I’ve been rear ended ! 2) a huge number of people are just in a weird mood when driving – heat, fight with spouses, just freakin need medical attention, etc – and in some 30 sec ‘rushes’ they have want to cut everyone – 30 sec later they’re back driving in a sane manner like nothing happened 3) there’s dust in this country and braking at high speeds on a dusty day especially on the slightest of curves is a sure shot to you flying and potentially getting run over by the car behind you.

    Did I say enough? Here’s to the bicycle fans – my friend got run down a few months back in Jabriya by a taxi driver (not a crazy driver on the phone – apparently it was exhaustion.) He left behind his wife and young kids. Its just not worth driving a two wheeler in a country that does not have the culture for it – like in Italy. My take the camel is best suited for a cross Sahara run and let the scooter stay in Asia and Europe. You need a decent SUV in kuwait. Amen

    • Mark says:

      well the issues are not really Kuwait related

      1) texting while driving isn’t a Kuwait problem, it’s a worldwide problem

      2) same thing, this isn’t a Kuwait problem

      3) now this is a kuwait problem and in my case I don’t ride on a dusty day because whats so fun about riding in the dust

      But you’re right about Kuwait not being a motorbike culture, hopefully that is changing with more and more people picking up motorbikes and more and more delivery guys moving over to scooters instead of delivery cars.

  9. Matt says:

    Scooters are like fat women. They are fun until your friends know you ride one.

  10. Think says:

    Great idea! Too bad I don’t trust Kuwait drivers or myself to stay alive for long on a motor bike.


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