One of the hallmarks of the very early scooters was the unique shift linkage they employed. The problem Piaggio faced was how to create a workable gear shift located on the handlebars, as opposed to a motorcycle foot shift. In so doing, they had to translate rotary motion in the handlebar to a horizontal axis at the motor. To further complicate things, the handlebar was also turning side to side with the front fork. To solve the problem, Piaggio’s engineers came up with a fairly complicated and elegant rod linkage system that ran external to the scooter’s frame.

After a few years, they abandoned that system in favor of simple cables running internally in the frame below the handlebar. These early “rod models” are very rare, even in Italy. 

Price (before tax): $ 25,785

Make: Vespa

Year: 1950


Inventory number: IC-120

License needed: Yes


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