Misc

Vespa Stretch

Vespa Stretch

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Most of the scooter enthusiasts that I know, enjoy their vintage scooters for what they are – classically styled forms of transport that require some maintenance and a lot of patience to be safe and fun to ride. Many are just collectors and store their treasures away while others are always tinkering with their one pride and joy or sometimes multiple scooters.

Some are strict “purists” and want their machine to be period correct down to the last detail and others don’t really care about how it looks or what the condition of it is as long as it just goes. A lot like to modify their scooters.

James is one of those scooterists who likes to modify his scooter.

Originally a 1964 VNB 125, it was one of the next models of Vespa that followed on from the 1950’s widebody or handlebar VL Vespa’s and the Douglas main variants 42L2 and 92L2. These scooters had a completely new body and motor design which was the basis for almost all following large frame Vespas. 

The frame has been “stretched” by welding a 250mm section into the chassis floor. The original aluminium floor runners and rubber inserts have been replaced with wooden ones and there is a wooden dash that incorporates the switches.

The original enclosed headset has been changed for a “handlebar” one from a Douglas 42L2 and the wooden dash does a great job of covering the mounting of the non standard headset.

The handlebars have been extended back to match the stretch and the original gear shifter and throttle assemblies have been retained. This, along with the colour, gives it a very vintage look. Sourcing longer clutch and gear cables wouldn’t have been easy but everything works as it should.

The engine is a modern 4 speed LML 150 with auto lube and the stator provides just enough power for the LED lighting to not require a battery.

The horn is an old school squeezy trumpet type, mounted on the floor, that the rider activates by standing on the rubber bulb. Two circular tail lights have been recessed into the rear of the scooter and unlike the normal plastic scooter tail light lenses these ones are made of glass. 

The stretch has a “mod” look with the additional lights on the front, the seat rest and the chrome wheels with whitewall tyres. The wooden accents look great and really suit the bike. It rides and handles like a modern scooter.

I think the Vespa Stretch looks great and is a good example of some kiwi ingenuity.