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博鱼体育Scooterlounge.com Vespa Buyers Guide

2021-09-20

The VBA/VBB Vespas get their name from the prefixes of their VIN numbers. The VBA/VBB were the successor to the handlebar "widebody" Vespas. The VBA/VBB was the 150cc models and VNA/VNB was the prefix for the 125cc models. The "A" were the first ones produced, and were then followed by the "B" models when the rear of the frame was flattened out. In following the handlebar Vespas, these scooters had a completely new body and motor design which was the basis for almost all following largeframe Vespas. The motor was a rotary inducted design which increased reliability, fuel consumption, and decreased oil consumption as compared with the piston ported handlebar motor. The carburetor was relocated from under the seat to the top of the motor case. The chassis was narrowed a bit and restyled to match. An enclosed headset now replaced the open handlebars on all models, while on the other hand, the eight inch wheel set up of the older models was retained. The VBB replaced the VBA in 1960 and introduced a much needed four speed gearbox to the smaller scooters. Four gears had previously been reserved only for the top of the line Gran Sport. Furthermore, VBB had aluminum trim on the cowls and a flat section under the tail-light to affix a license plate. All of these scooters were styled and engineered well, and the VBB/VBA are as beautiful and classic a design as the G.S. 150.

Note: The VNA/VNB was also sold by Sears department store and badged as an "Allstate" scooter. These scooters were virtually identical to the VNA/VNB sold by Vespa dealers with a few notable exceptions. The Sears bikes were only one color. Early VBA's were a minty green color, while all later ones were painted red with white wheels. Most notably, Allstates had a simple front fork which lacked a dampener, and had only a coiled spring for suspension. Allstates did not have a lock for the glovebox. They also tended to have older motor and body designs than the equivalent year Vespa 125cc scooter. For example, when a Vespa might have a clamshell shaped speedometer, the Allstate would have the older small square speedometer; or Vespa 125's had a four-speed gearbox, while the Allstate still had a three-speed, etc.

Style

With the exception of the headset, the bodies on the VNA/VBA and VBA/VBB are identical. The advent of the VBA was the most significant evolution of the Vespa up to that point. The body was totally changed from that on the handlebar Vespa. The frame was significantly narrower, and the legshield was more curved. The body was made horizontally flat behind the seat. The glovebox cowl on the left side was retained, but it was made flat at the bottom. A keyed lock was standard except on Allstate models. VNB/VBB models had an aluminum trim strip added to the seam in the cowls on both sides as a styling detail.

Other frame details included a choke lever which was located on the frame above the fuel valve and a re-designed brake pedal. Early models had a "seamless" front fender which was made from a single piece of metal, whilst later models had a front fender which was made from two pieces of metal which were welded together and had a seam down the middle. The headlight size was enlarged to help with lighting, and included a wide chrome ring. The horn design was changed to one which had a "shell" design on 150 models, and to one which had horizontal lines on the 125. The handlegrips and the cowl gaskets were made of grey rubber, while the floor runner rubber was black on all models.

Taillights were different on different models and years. Early 125cc scooters had a small taillight which was similar to that on the handlebars. The 150's had a beautiful two part taillight with a red running light on bottom and a yellow stop light on top. This was the same as the one used on the G.S. models. The design was later changed and it had a red lens on top. This taillight was then used on the 125cc models, but the old style taillight continued to be used on Allstate models.

The speedometers used on these models were different from the 125 and the 150. All of the 150cc models used the beautiful "clamshell" speedometer which was also used on the G.S. The 125cc models used a small square shaped speedometer. Late 125cc Vespas used the clamshell speedometer as well. However, all Allstates used the square speedo.

Early VNA's had a split headset design which allowed for easy access to the control cables. The headset iself came apart in two halves when a clip was detached behind the headlight. When open, all of the cables connection and wiring was easy to work on. This design, while handy, detracted aesthetically from the headset. One can only imagine that this was the reason that Piaggio discontinued using this design on later versions of the VNA, and did not add this feature to other Vespas until the advent of the P-series in the late 1970's.