Piaggio & Vespa Are For All

The United States and Canada are very different from other countries in that we don’t see motorcycles or scooters as a primary form of transportation, rather a luxury to enjoy one’s free time. There are many barriers that prevent people from enjoying their daily commute on a scooter like weather, commuting distance, fear of injury and general difficulties associated with getting a license and learning how to ride. On top of that, as an extension of motorsport, the resources and communities available to riders skew more heavily male. For many new riders, especially female riders, this can create an environment more difficult to associate with, and generally less helpful in knocking down some of the barriers to entry making the objective to obtain a license, and purchase a two-wheeled vehicle intimidating.


Vespa and Piaggio scooters are known world wide for their reliability and easy of use. These qualities create an excellent starting point for new riders of any age or gender. When learning how to ride for the first time it is best to concentrate on the basics like proper acceleration and braking, body position, rules of the road and so forth. With-out the distractions like learning how to use the clutch, shift gears, balancing the heavy bike and more, a scooter shortens the learning curve required to be safe on the road.


Along with general riding practices the process in which to obtain a motorcycle license can be challenging. The two main ways to get a motorcycle license/endorsement (depending on the state) are, to take a road test at a certified Motor Vehicle office which requires you to own or borrow a motorcycle for the test, and second is to complete the Basic Riders Course offered by the MSF, MVC, etc. It is always recommended to take the Basic Riders course for many reasons. The course provides you with a deeper understanding of the motorcycle laws in your state, teaches you how to safely ride, teaches you the basics of riding a motorcycle in a controlled environment and establishes a sense of confidence prior to hitting the streets. To some either one sounds like a walk in the park but others like Julie Crawford, experience challenges.

“After the in-class work, we were divided into groups for on-bike training, which would take two full days. They only had two types of bikes – a 450-pound Harley Davidson Roadster and a top-heavy, 350-pound Honda CBR. When I asked the instructor, which bike he would recommend for me, given my Vespa goals, he sighed and said I should go with the Honda. Of course, when the Honda tipped too far on either side, I wasn’t strong enough to stop it and would scramble off as quickly as possible, both the bike and me getting banged up in the process. At the end of the first day, I was covered in bruises, even with all my safety gear. It was hard not to notice some of the men in the group snickering to themselves when another instructor came over to try to give me more advice, again and again. No one else seemed to need the extra help like I did.”


Julie didn’t give up though and found the right Basic Rider Course for her. Now she is off enjoying her Vespa!

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