This Just Might be the World's Most Perfect Vespa


Vespa Smallframe Cafe Racer

By packing 38 tire-blistering horsepower into a cut-down, ultra lightweight 2 wheeler with a straight-cut, 4-speed transmission, the German mental patients at Scooter and Service may have just built the world’s most perfect vintage Vespa.

That’s right, kids. Thirty-eight horsepower. To the wheel.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll note that this tiny hellion Vespa is packing more horsepower than that ridiculous Harley-Davidson Street 500 your dad is thinking about buying to tool around his 50+ retirement community on. That’s also more horsepower than the latest entry-level sport bikes from Honda and Kawasaki, and it’s all wrapped in a package that you could probably ride down a city bike lane without drawing the nasty looks that (trust me on this) a full-size big boy bike will net you. At under 200 lbs., each of those 38 horses only has to pull about 5.3 lbs. That’s better than a Porsche- and not just any Porsche, mind you- but Porsche’s raciest car ever, the 475 HP 2014 GT3 911.

Factor in that this vintage smallframe Vespa is so utterly non-threatening in appearance that your mom will not only call it “cute”, she might ask to borrow it. ProTip: unless your mom is Susanna Schick, she’ll be killed.

You can check out the final product …

Vintage smallframe Cafe Racer

Vintage smallframe Cafe Racer

Vintage smallframe Cafe Racer

… and take a look at some of the behind-the-scenes work that went into this jaw-dropping, 80 MPG (like, at a steady cruise) vintage Vespa restomod, below. Let us know what you think of the little bike, and how you’d ride the crazy thing in the comments at the bottom of the page.












Source | Photos: Scooter and Service, via Return of the Cafe Racers.

About the Author

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.
  • groman

    Very nice engineering and execution but they’ll need a fan shroud set up that ducts hot air off the radiator away from the rider’s crotch. Either that or throw in a free can of Gold Bond medicated powder with every one sold.

    • Burnerjack

      Yeah! riding that in traffic on a hot summer day might not be such a perfect experience. On the other hand, commuting to/from school on a cool fall day would be great! Love the “sleeper” aspect. Unsuspecting crotch rocket pilots would be in for a surprise at the red light relay event.

  • susannaschick

    ooooh, she’s a lot sexier than the P200E’s I started out on! Thanks for the shout-out Jo! But yeah, if I’d had a 38hp Vespa at age 15, I might not have grown to be the old biker I am today. Which is why I believe in tiered licensing. I also believe in the magical beauty of a good expansion chamber and that one has me salivating. It’s a shame to hide it under that cowl!

  • michaelfulton

    yo mama…

  • Paul Gracey

    My first powered vehicle was a ’65 Vespa 150 the successor of which seems to be the basis for this machine. Not familiar with that kind of power in such a lightweight machine I wheelied on my first test ride. Short wheelbase, With the help of a machinist at work I modified it to 180cc which gave it the kind of power I wanted. On this beast I was stopped by a Highway Patrol officer who thought it did not belong on the freeway. I said it would easily do 65mph, the limit those days, and demonstrated it for him. He waved my on when he caught up to me.