An evening for two on the beach of Bibione with good food and conversation, then it gets late, the sun goes down and it’s time for the way home. The ride through the narrow streets of the small Italian town is accompanied by the rattle of the two-stroke engine and the warm evening wind in the hair…
The Vespa stands for Italy’s dolce vita like no other scooter. For many, the ride with two people on the cult vehicle is a romantic dream. Good news: It doesn’t have to remain a dream. With a little preparation and adherence to a few basic rules, the Vespa can also take off with two people on board – so that safety is not neglected in the midst of all the romance.
The ADAC gives some tips for driving with two people on one machine, which should of course also be observed for the Vespa: First of all, the driving behavior changes when riding with two people. This affects not only acceleration and braking, but also the behavior of the Vespa in the curve. The driving style should be adapted to the changed weight distribution. It is also important that in addition to the driver, the passenger also wears sufficient and well-fitting protective clothing to ensure the highest possible safety in every situation. In addition, the bike should be adjusted to the new conditions before the ride. The adjustment of the suspension is particularly relevant here.
The adjustment of the struts
To ensure that the Vespa can bear the additional weight without any problems, the shock absorbers should be adjusted for operation by two people before setting off. A look at the owner’s manual will help here: The spring tension can be adjusted with a threaded ring at the bottom of the shock absorber. Depending on whether one person, two people, or additional luggage are coming along on the tour, the threaded ring should be set to a certain position before the ride begins. Here the guideline applies: The higher the weight to be transported, the greater the selected spring tension should be. The on-board tools are sufficient for adjusting the suspension struts. For very heavy passengers, it is also worth considering upgrading the suspension. This ensures that the ride remains comfortable and, above all, safe even with the additional load.
A special feature when riding together on the Vespa is the position of the footrests. These are quite far forward on some models. Especially for pillion riders with a small body size, the seating position sometimes takes some getting used to. To ensure the comfort of the person on the passenger seat, it is better to take a few shorter test rides before planning the big tour.
Stopping can also be a bit of a challenge due to the position of the footrests. If the passenger has his/her feet on the passenger rests, the rider may have trouble placing the feet in the correct position on the ground. However, with a little practice and agreement, this is not an obstacle to riding together.
The top case as a backrest
Especially for less experienced or insecure passengers, it is a good idea to invest in a top case before riding in pairs. In addition to the possibility of comfortably carrying luggage on longer tours, a top case for the ride for two has another advantage: Many cases already come with a built-in backrest. For riding on more powerful Vespa models, this modification can significantly increase riding comfort for the person in the passenger seat during sudden or violent acceleration, for example. But even long tours become more pleasant and relaxed with the ability to lean back.
If these tips are followed, nothing stands in the way of a ride for two, because basically every Vespa model can be driven with a passenger. Whether in Italy or at home, the joint tour on the Vespa will certainly be an unforgettable experience that is even more fun with safety and comfort on board.