When did they stop importing Vespas to the U.S. market???
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Hooked
Black Vespa GTS 250cc
Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 102
Location: New York City
Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:41 am quote
There was a time, perhaps in the 80's, that Vespa was not selling in the US market - perhaps becuase of emission laws.

I'm supposing there is some Vespa buff out there that knows exactly when that was and why.....anyone?
Hooked
2006 LX50 Diamond White
Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 194
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:00 am quote
You're on the right track, MaxPuzzle. Here's a quote from The Scooter Book by Bob Woods, copyright 2004:

"The picture changed dramatically in the mid-80s when the U.S. government passed tought new vehicle-emmissions laws to which many scooters of the day--particularly those with two-stroke engines--didn't comply. Lambretta went out of business altogether, and Vespa pulled out of the U.S. in '85, leaving the American market mostly to the Japanese..."

I'm not a "buff" by any means, but I love Vespas with an intensity that approaches the Freudian. Hope the above information helps!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Yamaha Vstar classic 650 'Yamama' (Currently waspless but don't count me out!)
Joined: 06 Feb 2006
Posts: 6731
Location: Maple Grove, MN
Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:06 am quote
What's curious to me in that is the timing. That's mid Reagan era. His reputation was certainly not that of an environmentalist regime!

More proof that there's so much more to understanding politics that can be gained after it's been aged 20 years.
Hooked
Black Vespa GTS 250cc
Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 102
Location: New York City
Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:10 am quote
Scootawop wrote:
Lambretta went out of business altogether, and Vespa pulled out of the U.S. in '85, leaving the American market mostly to the Japanese..
So then the next question to toss out there is - when did Vespa come back to the U.S. market? Anyone? ?
Hooked
2006 LX50 Diamond White
Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 194
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:20 am quote
According to the same book, Vespa introduced the ET series in the U.S. in the year 2000, though I think it may have been earlier...'96 or '98 or so. Someone will be along shortly to give us the definitive date.
Enthusiast
Piaggio X9 Evo, Ducati Supersport 900
Joined: 24 Jan 2006
Posts: 61
Location: New York City, NY
Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:00 am quote
1985 was the last year they imported bikes. They sent 1986 models... which were no different than 1985s, prior to 2001 when the ETs came.

The 1986 models were at dealers until they sold out inventory, so you might have been able to pick one up new into the late 80's.

Godfrey Diamond (a Sunday Rider and all around nice guy) here in NYC bought his PX150 new from the dealer back in '86 and has been riding it ever since.

Google his name and Aerosmith together and see what you come up with.

--JG
Sponsor
Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 4199
Location: San Diego, Ca
Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:14 am quote
We rarely see any post-83 vintage vespas here in the states. Occasionally an 84. 2001 was when they returned.
Enthusiast
2006 lx 150
Joined: 16 Mar 2006
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Location: nyc
Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:58 pm quote
can someone better explain how the (then new) US emmission standards from the mid 80's put Lambretta out of business? were they that reliant on the us market?
Sponsor
Joined: 02 Mar 2006
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Location: San Diego, Ca
Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:33 pm quote
After 1981, two strokes over 50cc's were not allowed in california. California represents a huge part of the market for scooters. Piaggio also got sued over the split rim issue, which was a big part of it. Emisions for the rest of the country were also a problem.
Ossessionato
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 3220
Location: The Happiest Place on Earth
Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:04 pm quote
Motorsport Scooters wrote:
After 1981, two strokes over 50cc's were not allowed in california. California represents a huge part of the market for scooters. Piaggio also got sued over the split rim issue, which was a big part of it. Emisions for the rest of the country were also a problem.
Sued over a split rim issue? You gotta tell the story on that.
Sponsor
Joined: 02 Mar 2006
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Location: San Diego, Ca
Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:55 pm quote
Don't really know the story. Don't know if it was class action or one person. The rims on old vespas split into two pieces for ease of tire changing. Brilliant if you ask me. I guess someone's fell apart and they sued. I'm sure there is info on it somewhere. Sorry I don't know more, but it was a multi million dollar suit.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Yamaha Vstar classic 650 'Yamama' (Currently waspless but don't count me out!)
Joined: 06 Feb 2006
Posts: 6731
Location: Maple Grove, MN
Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:05 pm quote
I know that back in the 80's some 18 wheelers had split rims that blew out while driving, aparently taking out some cars that happened to be next to them at the time. 60 minutes had a part in getting them banned on trucks. I don't know if it was related to the scooter issue.
Enthusiast
Piaggio X9 Evo, Ducati Supersport 900
Joined: 24 Jan 2006
Posts: 61
Location: New York City, NY
Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:53 pm quote
A dealer once told me that the real reason that Piaggio pulled out was appallngly low sales numbers in the early '80s. The final year they were selling only a few hundred units.

Could be just talk, but who knows.
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