I have been told if it is not an all-metal, tempermental, and smoke-belching manual transmission 2-stroke, then it is not a real Vespa.
It has a 4 stroke LEADER engine, which is a remarkable engine. Simple and reliable, it led Vespa’s return to the US. Easy to work on, if Vespa hadn’t placed the thing into an inconveniently small space. It has a body-on frame design, with the metal body attached to the frame, with a bunch of screw on plastic panels to complete the look
I upgraded the headlight, cleaned up the neglected engine, fixed the brakes, and added a sweet hand-made Italian exhaust.
I still need to have some dents repaired, and the whole thing painted, but that project is on hold because Cressida and super fancy refrigerator. But I still love it.
I row gears in the Sunchaser, so I have no overriding need for a manual. It is fun to just scoot around town and navigate traffic. I also have a surprising amount of fun wrenching on it.
I hadn’t ridden it in a while, and I took it out a little yesterday and today, and it immediately made me smile. Maybe someday I will sell it and buy a “real” bike (as one of my friends is quick to remind me that I failed to do when I bought it), or a scooter that would earn the approval of our own Jersey Ben.
But until then, I am having too much fun.