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xBhp was born more than 16 years ago and since then we've had a chance to ride or drive hundreds of machines running on two wheels or four wheels, and sometimes even three wheels. We are not done yet, and this list is still growing. In these pages, we take a deep dive in the treasure trove of our ride experiences and bring you all that we have ridden or driven.

Vespa SXL150 & VXL150 Review

150 / 150CC 11.4 / 11.4BHP 11.5 / 11.5NM

Vespa has been in the Indian market for quite some time now with their line of scooters and they have had reasonably good sales numbers as well considering their positioning in the premium segment. At a time when there was very little variety in the Indian scooter market, they’ve been a breath of fresh air for those who could afford to spend more. They pushed the envelope once again recently when they launched their range of 150cc scooters – Vespa VXL and SXL, the largest engine capacity scooters in India. A very bold decision we must say considering that no other manufacturer has thought of venturing into the territory of ‘maxi scooters’ in India as yet.

Vespa SXL 150 & VXL 150

We got to ride the Vespa VXL and SXL recently in Pune and here’s what we think of them. Both these scooters, the VXL & the SXL, are available in the 125 cc variant as well. Visually the only thing that differentiates between a 125 cc and the 150 cc VXL and SXL is the 150 badge on the rear left of the scooter. Everything else just looks the same. But since we’ve already covered the 125 ones, we’ll focus on the bigger Vespas in this article.

Vespa VXL150 green

Styling wise, both the SXL and VXL have been able to maintain classic retro styling that Vespa is known for. They are available in a range of bright attractive colours, including with a matte finish. The paint quality is just top class. There’s just the right amount of chrome thrown in here and there, including around the headlights and fully chrome rear view mirrors. Both these scooters also come fitted with trendy alloy wheels with single sided suspension at the front and rear. Here the SXL gets the blackened alloy instead of the regular ones on the VXL. The handlebar grips are comfortable. The switchgear is borrowed from the earlier Vespas that are available in India and the quality of plastic on them is good. The overall fit and finish of the scooter is typical Vespa like – impeccable. The front of the scooter has been tweaked a bit. There is a new oyster-shaped digital console that has a fuel gauge, trip meter, and a clock to keep a check on time.  The speedometer remains an analogue unit.

VESPA SXL/VXL 150 instrument panel

There’s ample spacing on both the scooters in the form of underseat storage that is good enough to keep a half face helmet along with other small items. There is storage option provided just below the handlebar as well in the form of 2 small pockets on the SXL, which is just good enough to keep small items like spare keys, etc. The VXL gets a lockable storage space, which is handy if you want to keep your belongings like documents, etc. safe. Other major differences between the SXL and the VXL are the shape of the headlights – The SXL has a rectangular headlight while the VXL gets a rounded one. There is no rear grab rail in the SXL either.

Vespa VXL150

Vespa VXL150 headlight closeup
Vespa VXL150 right profile
Vespa VXL150 alloy
Vespa VXL150 storage
Vespa VXL150 left profile
Vespa VXL150 & SXL150 switchgear
Vespa VXL150 rear grabrail green
Vespa VXL150 front green
Vespa VXL150 green headlight

The steel monococque chassis of the new Vespa duo, a standard with all Vespas sold in India, gives them a very solid feel while riding and instils confidence in the rider. The riding stance is pretty upright and the ride doesn’t feel cramped. The hydraulic suspension setup did feel a ‘little’ stiff on the bumpy roads, though it wasn’t really a deal breaker. A telescopic suspension at the front would’ve made things better. The wider Maxxis rubber provided good grip in general, but it didn’t inspire much confidence while riding on wet tarmac. Braking did feel sufficient and progressive with the 200 mm single disc at the front and 140 mm drum at the rear.

VESPA SXL150/VXL150 front disc

Vespa SXL150 Matt Red right profile
Vespa SXL150 front
Vespa SXL150 front profile
Vespa SXL150 storage pocket
Vespa SXL150 alloy wheel

Now we come to the most interesting part – the 150 cc single cylinder, air-cooled carburetted engine that has been put in the Vespa VXL and the SXL makes them the most powerful scooters in the country as of date. This engine makes 11.6 PS of power at 7000 RPM and 11.5 Nm of torque at the 5500 RPM mark, which is delivered to the rear wheel via CVT transmission.

Vespa SXL150 & VXL150 engine

The ‘upgrade’ in power figures is readily noticeable as soon as you jump from their smaller capacity siblings onto the bigger Vespa. The engine does have more grunt and is quicker off the mark. It has got a sweet midrange and the power delivery is smooth without any major peaks or troughs, which makes it an ideal machine for commuting in the city and also cruising on the highways while maintaining a decent speed even with a pillion on board. It feels smoother as well across the rev range without any noticeable vibrations.

vespa VXL150
vespa SXL150
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Vespa SXL150
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