The Vespa 90 model series
The Vespa 90 was launched in 1963 together with its smaller sister, the Vespa 50, by the Italian manufacturer Piaggio. This scooter was available in three different model variants: the basic model, the Vespa 90 Super Sprint or SS for short and the Vespa 90 Racer.
The basic model was produced from 1963 to 1967 and the Vespa 90 Super Sprint from 1965 to 1971. Thanks to its low purchase price and low fuel consumption, these scooters were very popular at the time. The high performance in those days, which also made it possible to carry a second person without any problems, also contributed to the popularity of the Vespa 90. Common features of the three models are the slightly smaller, slim leg shield, the storage bag placed between the saddle and the special handlebar. It is also interesting to note that this model was originally produced only in light blue with a dark blue saddle. Another detail is the spare tyre, which can be placed centrally on the base plate.
The handling and the engine
Vespa fans still rave about the exceptional handling, the irresistible spurt and the speed of the “Wasp”. The flagship, the Vespa 90 SS was also seen in numerous sporting competitions. Its riders were even able to finish the first Italy Round Race and several other races as winners.
The two-stroke, single-cylinder 88.5 cc engine produces between 3.8 and 5.7 hp, depending on the model. The engine with the four-speed gearbox accelerates the standard model to about 70 km/h and the Super Sprint to almost 90 km/h. The machine is beaten by a Dell Orto DHB 16/16 carburettor. Optimal cW values are achieved thanks to a narrow leg shield that tapers upwards and a narrower running board. A sleek front mudguard makes for a racy look even when stationary. Drum brakes bring the vehicle to a halt quickly and safely.
A popular collector’s item
Today, Vespas of the 90 model series are a popular collector’s item. Especially the Super Sprint models are very popular among collectors. Scooters in good condition usually change hands for 10,000 euros and more. They are among the most expensive examples of the Vespa brand. Ironically, this model was one of the Italian manufacturer’s biggest flops at the time. In Italy, this model was only built in an edition of about 5300 units. Often, these models were used in races because of their good handling and were spared little. The combination of low production and many special parts made the Vespa 90 SS very sought after.
Thanks to the great popularity of this model, you can find many good reproductions of spare parts today. So enthusiasts of this sports model can create a replica of this popular Vespa relatively cheaply.
Having just bought a V50 with a V90 4 gear engine I’ve now ordered drop bars, SIP speedo/rev counter. I intend on a blue spray job even though the original white is in good condition.