Apart from a racetrack or a rocky, off-camber clifftop trail, there may be no more demanding riding conditions than are found in a congested city. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and (ever more frequently now) electric bicycles surround you, traffic controls including lights and signs control you, and multiple lanes (including left and right turn lanes), plus alleys and driveways demand choices. It’s basically like a Super Mario game, with you in the middle.
Although the word “iconic” is tossed around in marketing materials far too frequently, very few means of motorized transport find themselves deserving of the term. Vespa is one of those marques. Much like Xerox was, at one point, what all means of photocopying were called, there was an era in which all scooters were generically referred to as Vespas. While the market has advanced beyond that point, Vespa has had the foresight to retain its ties to the machines that first turned the world’s eyes. Case-in-point, the 2023 Vespa GTS 300 has a profile that is immediately recognizable as an heir to the Italian name.
While many riders think of MV Agusta as solely being focused on high performance motorcycles, a quick look through the internet time machine will reveal MV scooters in the 1950s. A closer inspection will reveal a family resemblance to the 2023 MV Agusta Ampelio unveiled today in Milan. Drawing on inspiration from the CGT and Ovunque scooters of the past, MV had Russian designer Maksim Ponomarev interpret the 70 year old models with a modern flair, and once viewed by MV Agusta CEO Timur Sardarov, the project was undertaken.
Once upon a time, electric motorcycles had such short range and high MSRPs that only the most devoted of early adopters had a reason to consider owning one. Well, in the past couple years, improvements in range have resulted in electrics now being a viable option for riders who are looking for a greener alternative to internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles, which are relatively dirty compared to four-wheeled road users. So, we’ve taken the 2018 BMW C Evolution scooter and the 2018 Zero DSR as representatives of two different approaches to urban electric motorcycles to see how they stack up for everyday use. Note: This is not our typical comparison where we try to determine the best motorcycle out of a pairing. Rather, we are looking at two different electric bikes to determine their viability as urban transport.