We don’t typically advertise new products outside of reviewing them, but today we’re making an exception because ScooterWorks USA’s in-house brand, Prima, have unveiled a product so noteworthy that it’s news unto itself: a tubeless replacement rim for the classic 10″ Vespa “split rim” that twist-shift scooter fans know all too well. Now classic Vespa P-Series, Rally & Sprint owners can ditch tubes and access a world of better tires for their scooters. Obviously, what’s good for the P-Series goose is good for the Genuine Stella gander.
These new tubeless rims attach the same way the old split rims do, they simply don’t split. So these should work front, rear and spare on any scooter with 10″ Vespa-style split rims on it now.
Why does going tubeless matter? Well there are a couple key advantages. The first is a much wider range of high-quality tires that are available for tubeless rims. Sure, you can often make these tires work on tube rims, but the bead profile is different, so they’re never going to fit as securely on a tube rim as they will on a rim designed for tubeless tires. For the most part we can get away with this because the tube makes up the difference. Yet therein lies the rub, quite literally. Even without a puncture, a tube failure from chaffing or other factors can put you on the side of the road easily, even if you never run over anything sharp.
Secondly, while changing a tire tube on a split rim is as about as easy a tube swap as is possible, going tubeless opens up some roadside flat tire options that were previously unavailable. In particular, the use of canned “fix-a-flat” or tire plug patch kits, which one can typically find at any service station. Try finding a 10″ tire tube at your local filling station. These much more common roadside kits can get you back on the road in a pinch. Keep in mind, however, that if your tire has sustained damage, you’re going to want to replace it as soon as possible, even if you can patch it back to a point where it holds air. Get back to your garage, then get yourself a new tire.
So hats off to Prima for coming up with a solution to something that has been staring us all in the face for 40+ years. At just $53.99, it’s even a relatively inexpensive upgrade. I wonder if future generations of the Genuine Stella will start coming with these rims as standard?