Vespa vs. Genuine Buddy
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Lurker
Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1
Location: Ona, WV
Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:27 pm quote
I'm no dummy, but I am new to this forum. I'm sure this question has been posted on here before. But what are the advantages of a Vespa over a Genuine Buddy? Are there any serious reliability issues on any of the Vespa models up to 150 c.c.? Thanks so much.
Ossessionato
2005 Genuine Stella 150, 2008 Genuine Buddy, 2013 Piaggio BV 350, 2014 Piaggio Fly 150 3v
Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 3836
Location: Cleveland, Ohio US of A
Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:02 pm quote
Vespas and Buddys are both great. Both reliable. Dollar for dollar the Buddy offer more (better mileage, longer warranty, lower price, etc.) until you come to resale value. The Vespa will hold it's value better as only a Vespa is a Vespa.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 8614
Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:08 pm quote
We have two Vespas (a kitted LX150 and LXV150) and a Buddy 125. Well, a Stella too, but you aren't asking about that.

The Buddy is reliable, quick and very "flickable," but it lacks the solid feel of the Vespas, and it seems a bit cheesy by comparison. The Buddy gets better fuel economy than even the fuel-injected LXV, and it is slightly quicker than that bike. With easily removable plastic body panels, it is more economical to repair most damage in the event of a drop. The headlight is vastly inferior to the Vespas'. It sits lower to the ground and is more comfortable for shorter riders. It runs fine on regular gas.

The Vespas ooze quality by comparison... solid as a rock with their monocoque steel construction. They are taller, slightly heavier, and have a much higher center of gravity, so they are a bit more difficult for a small person to maneuver in tight quarters. They are infinitely better looking, and have a panache that the Buddy can only wish for. They have been just as reliable as the Buddy, but they need premium gas.
Hooked
2013 Vespa 300 SS
Joined: 06 May 2010
Posts: 345
Location: St Pete Fl.
Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:55 pm quote
I owned a 2010 S150 and a Genuine BlackJack 150
Buddy is
-flickable
-quicker
-Lower seat
-better brakes
-louder horn
-signal indicator

Vespa is the smoother ride
... I enjoy riding the Vespa, the suspension is superior on the Vespa... BlackJack has sport suspension = HARSH RIDE!
I now ride a 2013 300 SS
I would like another Buddy for beach runs and short jaunts.
Buddy has a great fun factor
Moderator Australis
2014 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone, 2014 Vespa 150 Primavera (sold) 2003 Vespa GT200 (sold)
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Posts: 5652
Location: New Zealand where it is already tomorrow..
Hooked
Vespa S150: The Big Red Cheese
Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 135
Location: Oxford, Ohio
Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:27 am quote
The biggest difference I found is the scale of the two scoots. My Vespa s150 is pretty big and beefy and looks correct for my size (6' 220lbs.) When I rode the Buddy I felt cramped (particularly my legs) and I felt I looked 'large' on the Buddy. The S150, by comparison, fit my frame better.
Addicted
2009 LX 150 Black (Francesco), 2009 LX 150 Portofino Green (Aubrey)
Joined: 08 Mar 2013
Posts: 533
Location: Chicago proper, not the burbs...not that there's anything wrong with that
Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:35 am quote
Own both
Me and mine both own an LX150 and a Buddy Italia 170i. My sig/other is shorter than I am (5'0), i'm 5'4 and had to order a bit of a shorter seat (Piaggio Touring Seat) so I could ride comfortably.

I've ridden both and agree that the Vespa just seems more solid. The Buddy is really quick and can keep up with the Vespa just fine it just felt very cheaply made.

My girl wanted a vespa but for her size we had to have had a special seat made for my LX, so she ended up buying a Vintage Vespa instead.

So maybe next I might try to convince her to have "us" purchase a GT or something bigger for longer trips.
Ossessionato
Piaggio BV 500 BLUE DRAGON
Joined: 08 Oct 2008
Posts: 4961
Location: Naperville, Illinois
Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:21 am quote
For me, 5'8 or so, a Buddy is teeny tiny.

When I rode one last year, I felt like I was rolling down the road on a cheap office chair. I also towered over it. Not the best feeling.

Nothing against Buddy's but if you are tallish - you gotta get a Vespa and get some weight and power under yer butt.

A Vespa is a more "substantial" ride while the Buddy is great commuter scooter and for newbies and is flickable to the max. But a Vespa has power and weight and will take your farther.

IMHO.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300, BV 500, Buddy 125
Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 7863
Location: Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:36 am quote
I'm 5'7" and don't feel like I tower over our Buddy 125 but it is smaller and lighter than the Vespa ET 4 150 we used to have. The Buddy is a bit quicker than the Vespa was and seems to be a bit more flickable as well. The Vespa engine is noticeably quieter and smoother than the Buddy.

The Vespa is far more solid feeling and handles bumps in the road much better than the Buddy even though there isn't that much weight difference between the Buddy and the ET/LX/LXV Vespas. The seat on the Buddy is over an inch shorter than the Vespa and is also narrower which is why it is a better fit for short people, or rather people with shorter inseams since height and inseam are not always directly correlated.

I don't think the Buddy feels cheap, but it is a tube frame with plastic panels and that does make it much less expensive to fix any cosmetic damage since you can simply replace a panel.

The Buddy is a great scooter but it just doesn't have the same feel as a Vespa. If I could only keep one scooter out of all the ones we own or have owned it would be the Vespa GTS but it is in a different category than the Buddy and smaller cc Vespas.
Ossessionato
1964 GS 160 MK II, 1967 Vespa GT, 1968 SS180, 1964 Vespa GL, 1964 Vespa VBB, 2006 Buddy 125, 2013 BMW C650GT
Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Posts: 2912
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:21 am quote
For very affordable and reliable transportation a Buddy 125 is by far the best bang for the buck you can get in a modern small displacement scooter.

Vespa's are nice and are a joy to ride, however you are paying a lot for the name. Yes a Buddy Black Jack with sport suspension is going to be a "HARSH RIDE" pretty much what to expect from ANY SPORT SUSPENSION!

If you drop it the Vespa is going to be very expensive to repair, Buddy panels are down right cheap and yeah...a Buddy 125 will smoke an LX 150.

So it really depends on what you want it for and what you want to pay. I think either one is a good choice.

Last edited by ScooterRaton on Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:18 am; edited 1 time in total
Ossessionato
2013 Vespa LX150ie, 1968 Vespa Sprint 150
Joined: 20 Feb 2011
Posts: 4025
Location: Ogden, UT U.S.A.
Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:51 am quote
Vespa comes with a mystique and history that you don't get from a Buddy. Piaggio has been making these things for 65 years and still make them in Pontedera, Italy today. It's the "Kleenex" of the scooter world and people who want a Vespa, want a "Vespa." Why is this important? It makes the resale value excellent and there is a passionate following for these bikes. There is really only one Vespa.

If this isn't important to you, I would investigate not only the Buddy but other bikes as well. The Honda PCX is very nice and a bit larger than a Buddy. The Kymco bikes are also quite nice. In fact, Piaggio makes the Fly, Liberty and other lower priced bikes that are fantastic as well. Scoots are a blast and you will have fun no matter which bike you buy.

Really, it comes down to a Vespa and everything else....
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300, BV 500, Buddy 125
Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 7863
Location: Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:12 am quote
Paddlenround wrote:
If this isn't important to you, I would investigate not only the Buddy but other bikes as well. The Honda PCX is very nice and a bit larger than a Buddy. The Kymco bikes are also quite nice. In fact, Piaggio makes the Fly, Liberty and other lower priced bikes that are fantastic as well. Scoots are a blast and you will have fun no matter which bike you buy.
If someone is asking about Vespa and Buddy doubt that a PCX I going to e on their style list, just saying.

Honda makes good scooters but the only way I'd have a PCX is if someone gave it to me free. Then I'd probably give it to my son because I don't like the style despite the great reviews from folks who have them. If similar ergonomics are desired but the curves of the Vespa or Buddy aren't that important then the Fly, Sports City 125 and some of the other Aprilia/Piaggio scoots are definite possibilities. Some of the Kymco and Syms may also work though I'll admit to being kind of partial to the Buddy in the 125-150/170i class.
Ossessionato
2013 Vespa LX150ie, 1968 Vespa Sprint 150
Joined: 20 Feb 2011
Posts: 4025
Location: Ogden, UT U.S.A.
Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:56 am quote
cdwise wrote:
If someone is asking about Vespa and Buddy doubt that a PCX I going to e on their style list, just saying.
My point was...there's a Vespa and then there's the rest of the lot. If the OP wants a scoot, he ought to investigate some of the other options. I don't even see the Vespa and Buddy really as an apples to apples comparison. The large amount of plastic and the pointy design doesn't evoke a Vespa feel at all (to me). On the other hand, someone could obviously mistake a Stella for a classic Vespa (PX to be specific ).
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300, BV 500, Buddy 125
Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 7863
Location: Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:00 pm quote
Paddlenround wrote:
cdwise wrote:
If someone is asking about Vespa and Buddy doubt that a PCX I going to e on their style list, just saying.
My point was...there's a Vespa and then there's the rest of the lot. If the OP wants a scoot, he ought to investigate some of the other options. I don't even see the Vespa and Buddy really as an apples to apples comparison. The large amount of plastic and the pointy design doesn't evoke a Vespa feel at all (to me). On the other hand, someone could obviously mistake a Stella for a classic Vespa (PX to be specific ).
Seems to me the Buddy below is at least in the ballpark of what a Vespa looks like.
Heck, I think the Buddy is nowhere close to as pointy as a Fly.

Either of which is more Vespa like than the Honda PCX which isn't even close.

I'd at least consider the Fly or Buddy but not the PCX.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 8614
Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:08 pm quote
The Buddy's inferiority is evident in the pictures above. All of the other scooters pictured are so well-balanced that they don't need a center stand to pose for a picture. Only the Buddy does.

Ossessionato
GTS250
Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Posts: 3479
Location: Tempe, AZ
Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:20 pm quote
Silver Streak wrote:
The Buddy's inferiority is evident in the pictures above. All of the other scooters pictured are so well-balanced that they don't need a center stand to pose for a picture. Only the Buddy does.

Now that's funny.
Ossessionato
2013 Vespa LX150ie, 1968 Vespa Sprint 150
Joined: 20 Feb 2011
Posts: 4025
Location: Ogden, UT U.S.A.
Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:16 pm quote
Nice pics. However, I totally disagree that the Buddy looks like the LX. Sure, they both have some aesthetic similarities but so do most scoots. The Buddy and Fly actually look a lot more alike. I don't think people look at Buddy and think...that's a Vespa.

On the other hand, I know people do that all the time for a Stella. Regardless, I am just saying the Vespa is a Vespa. In my opinion, the rest (including Piaggio bikes) are not on the same level. I don't have anything against a Buddy or any other scoot for that matter. I just don't think it's an equal comparison.

I wouldn't compare a Rolex to a Seiko either. Both tell time great, both are very nice but in the end, you have budget, brand and other factors to consider and they are two very different purchases.
Member
1964 Lambretta Li150 Special, 2008 Vespa GTS250ie, 2018 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 11 Mar 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Oakland CA
Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:43 pm quote
They are both good scoots. If you've narrowed it down to those two, you should ride both and see if you have a preference.

Another thing to consider is proximity to dealers. That's what ultimately tipped the balance in favor of the Vespa for me, as my local Vespa dealer is (borderline) walking distance, and the Genuine dealer is across the Bay Bridge.
Hooked
Joined: 02 Jun 2013
Posts: 126

Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:44 pm quote
buddy or vespa
We all like Vespas or wouldn't be on this site, that said I was looking at a used BV250, and the Buddy 170i. I'm now going to wait and see if the Genuine so called "Hooligan 170i" really comes to pass, that will get me to switch. I know a guy here who has 30,000 miles on his Buddy with nothing but regular maintenance, pretty impressive.
Molto Verboso
2010 Aprilia Mana GT, 2010 Aprilia Sport City 300 (sold), 2010 GTS 300 Super (sold), & 2007 LX150 (sold)
Joined: 07 Aug 2009
Posts: 1312
Location: Toronto, Canada
Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:52 pm quote
This would be my pick if I were to buy a Buddy. The Black Jack.

Molto Verboso
2016 Piaggio BV-350
Joined: 17 Aug 2013
Posts: 1879
Location: Virginia, USA, from London, England
Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:10 pm quote
We don't have "Genuine" as a brand here in the UK.

From the picture above, IMHO, the Buddy looks like a cross between a dubious copy of a Vespa up-front, grafted on to the back end of a Piaggio Zip, or possibly a Japanese scooter of some variety.

I'm sure they're very good, but as far as styling goes, they're not my cup of tea.
Ossessionato
GTS250
Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Posts: 3479
Location: Tempe, AZ
Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:18 pm quote
DaveLX wrote:
We don't have "Genuine" as a brand here in the UK.

From the picture above, IMHO, the Buddy looks like a cross between a dubious copy of a Vespa up-front, grafted on to the back end of a Piaggio Zip, or possibly a Japanese scooter of some variety.

I'm sure they're very good, but as far as styling goes, they're not my cup of tea.
The Buddy is a PGO, imported (and renamed) by Genuine Scooters in Chicago, Illinois, US. In the UK the same scoot is called the PGO Ligero. No matter what you think of its looks, it has proven itself as an extremely reliable scoot. There is a forum for the Buddy and other Guine brands. Modern Buddy is a spinoff of MV, and is equally helpful and friendly.
Molto Verboso
2016 Piaggio BV-350
Joined: 17 Aug 2013
Posts: 1879
Location: Virginia, USA, from London, England
Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:45 am quote
Syd wrote:
The Buddy is a PGO, imported (and renamed) by Genuine Scooters in Chicago, Illinois, US. In the UK the same scoot is called the PGO Ligero. No matter what you think of its looks, it has proven itself as an extremely reliable scoot. There is a forum for the Buddy and other Guine brands. Modern Buddy is a spinoff of MV, and is equally helpful and friendly.
I don't doubt it's reliability, I just don't like the look of it. Personal preference, of course!

You can't buy a new PGO in the UK. Seems as though the importer, EP Barrus has stopped importing them.
Hooked
Yes, I am a scooter model
Joined: 06 Jan 2011
Posts: 459
Location: Southwest United States
Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:51 pm quote
Both are reliable

Advantages of the Vespa 150 over the Buddy?

- Heavier
- Slower
- Refinement
- Aesthetic quality

Buddy is

- Lighter
- Faster
- Smaller
- More fun to ride
- Easier to maintain
- Cheaper to buy upfront and decent resale

As for Vespa "mystique" it is largely imagined and nostalgic. Like Harley Davidson in the bike world. If you care about such frivolity it matters, if you don't the 150's are really just another good scooter out there

Thing about the Vespa though is it's a nice scooter. So if you need something to "arrive" on or just want to look good on a small scooter when wearing a suit or what have you, a Vespa is hard to beat. Up close you see its style and quality and no one will ever accuse you of showing up for dinner out on a cheap, little scooter. Not that the Buddy is cheap but some people are just stupid in how they view scooters. A Vespa can settle that argument quickly. It certainly is not cheap or just another "get around campus" scooter for college. It is nice.
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