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Warning! Old model Vespa scam

Discussion in 'Scooters' started by pete the pom, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. Be warned if looking to buy a old model Vespa. The owner of this scooter came to me because the bike wouldn’t run and asked if I could fix it. The owner claimed the bike was a 1964 wide body Vespa and he had bought it from someone in NSW for $5000. I pulled it apart and came up with a list of parts that the bike required to get it running again. The best people in Melbourne to buy old Vespa parts from is GPS in Abbotsford. I gave them a ring and told them what parts I needed then gave them the engine and frame number. It was then I was informed that the scooter was not a genuine Vespa but a dodgy copy from India.
    The scam is that someone in India makes a Vespa look a like and what people are doing are going to great lengths to re-badge the fakes to look like the original 1950‘s 60‘s and 70‘s models then ship them into the country the same way the non-registrable mini bikes get in the country. The type of people being caught in this scam are your trendy Chapel street yuppies who want to look trendy on their old style scooters, have too much money and very little knowledge of Vespa’s and take the scammers at face value when buying from them. This particular scooter now cant run because there are no parts available to fix it and even if the parts could be sourced the bike cant be register for road use because none of the rads departments recognise the VIN. So as it stands at the moment the owner of this one has a $5000 paper weight. My advice if your thinking of buying an old Vespa is to get the engine and frame number and ring the road department in your state to check it’s a genuine Vespa.

    • Like Like x 2
  2. ouch ill keep that in mind. Planning to buy a vespa for the misses at sum stage.
  3. I read on SMH some time ago, that these are also the largest victims of theft as a percentage of registered vehicles, and it's growing.

    Damn scooter craze... oh well, if it keeps the crooks away from my pride and joy =/
  4. Also many coming from Vietnam. These often are put through the appropriate processes for registration, and can be Ok, but are not
    worth the same as an italian-built one.
  5. The majority of genuine 60's Vespa's in Australia are ex postie bikes . there were thousands of them . The best way to tell if they are genuine and to see if they are original is it see if has remnents of postie red under the paintwork .
    Sometime ago my son restored an original 1965 model 150cc it looks like a gem . Parts were easy to find even the original Piaggio bits and pieces are available .

    P.S. New after market parts are still available
  6. Yeah, seen those on Ebay. They actually don't look like bad value, but you'd need to be damn sure all the import paperwork/year of manufactre stuff is up together or you'll never get 'em licensed.

    And buyer beware as far as paying top dollar for a tarted up one is concerned.
  7. I've wondered about this regarding also the Royal Enfields on offer to Australia from India, on eBay...
  8. i recently spent 5 weeks travelling around the Himalayas in India and thought really seriously about buying an enfield in India and importing it back home (the prices are just so cheap and i'm a huge fan of old bikes)
    after some investigation i discovered the only royal enfields that can be legally registered in Australia are the models made in RE export specific factory. basically the bikes RE make for India are quite different to the ones made solely for export- the export models have to live up to much more stringent standards.

    see www.royalenfieldaustralia.com/

    and also : http://www.royalenfield.com/app/IN/private_imports.asp

    hope this helped
  9. "The type of people being caught in this scam are your trendy Chapel street yuppies who want to look trendy on their old style scooters, have too much money and very little knowledge"

    :LOL: this almost makes it Ok :LOL:
  10. Hi
    i have just bought a 1973 Vespa
    its a 0.088L 3 speed, it has been registered in the UK and i have the import Docs from when it came over.
    can i register it in Australia and how do i go about doing so?

  11. Contact your local (State) Department of Transport. For something so old and with a valid import approval the process should be pretty straightforward.
  12. The scooter, if it's a Bajaj, is a licence-built Indian copy of a Vespa, authorised by Piaggio. That doesn't solve the OP's customer's problem, but it's not a clear-cut issue that the thing's being passed off, or that it's a fake. It is what it is, but it's still not a Vespa, built in Italy. Some Bajajs have been registered in Queensland but they must have had better provenance. I think the risk with many of the Asian "restored" imports is that they're weld-ups, and could have parts of quite different ages that will make spares buying more difficult.
  13. That's some good advice actually.

    You can also check the VIN on vicroads website before you buy.