French scooter news site Scooter Station is a great resource for European scooter news, which is often quite different than here in The States because of a wider variety of brands and models available there. The downside for American scooter fans is that the site is written in French. Yet Google comes to our rescue with a passible translation out of the box in their Chrome browser. That’s how we were able to parse a recent showdown comparison Scooter Station did between the Vespa Primavera 125 and the scooter that topped our list of scooters we we’d love to see come to America, the Peugeot Django 125.
Penned by Mehdi Bermani-Tezkratt, the comparison begins with the exterior design of both scooters. Both scooters’ looks are grounded in their respective brand heritage. The Primavera takes its name and its shape from its predecessors, and even its modern touches have an Inception-like foundation in the brand’s past. Many of the Primavera’s most contemporary lines are drawn from the Vespa 946, which is itself an homage to the original Vespa prototype.
The Django, meanwhile, isn’t drawing its lines from vintage Italy. Instead, the Peogeot is looking into its own history. Specifically, the Peogeot S57 from the late ’50s. I must say, the Django is quite the improvement over its somewhat horse-faced ancestor.
For Mehdi, the classic-inspired but more seductive looks of the Django were his preference, despite having plastic body panels. He thought the Django was more distinguished with its two-tone paint and more ample chrome embellishments. It’s a hard point of view to argue against. Handsome though the Primavera be, the Django has a terrific retro-futuristic flair without going overboard. In its two-tone white and red, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Craig Vetter Torpedo. The Scooter Station columnist also preferred the Django’s wheel design and split under-seat storage compartments.
So one point to the French in this shoot out so far, but the Italian would not go quietly. When it came to ergonomic comfort, the Vespa prevailed. While Mehdi found both scooters comfortable overall, the more open layout of the Primavera edged out the more-cramped Django. In my own experience with the new Primavera and Sprint, the biggest improvement in this new generation small-frame is definitely the way in which Vespa have opened up the scooter and made it easier for taller and more long-legged riders to fit comfortably. At 6’3″ myself, I could not comfortably ride an LX-150 or Vespa S, but I can ride the Primavera and Sprint just fine. The Django appears to be closer to those proportions, which will be fine for most people, but in this comparison, the Primavera gets credit for its more approachable ergos. Mehdi also dings the Django for its extra width, which makes it tougher for shorter riders to touch flat-footed at a stop.
The Vespa scores yet again in terms of agility and performance. Google translated this section of Mehdi’s review as “The Vespa is unbeatable at gymkhana!” He praises the Primavera for its quicker throttle response and more eager take-off.
The Italian also takes the handling contest, with the Primavera showing much better turn-in and direction changes. From my own seat time on the Primavera, this is certainly true. What doesn’t come through in Mehdi’s translated review is just how planted the Primavera is while it’s being so nimble. It’s extremely confidence-inspiring.
Mehdi also preferred the Primavera’s braking system, which on this European review model included the optional ABS. The Django offers a linked braking system, but the author says that any confidence this inspired was quickly lost because of the Peugeot’s lousy OEM tires.
Once the two scooters start picking up speed, Mehdi begins to praise the Django again. With its heavier steering feel and larger, 12″ wheels, the Peugeot is better suited for faster stretches. He also gives the edge to the Django on two-up riding and instrumentation.
With the two scooters more or less tied, Mehdi gives the edge to the Django in the end on one final consideration: price. With the optional ABS selected, the Primavera is a full €1,000 ($1,250 USD) more expensive than the Django.
Having not ridden the Django myself, I certainly can’t speak to which is the better scooter point to point, however Mehdi’s conclusion seems to come down to the same simplistic evaluation that so many reviews fall into: the cheaper thing is always preferred. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bargain, but when I read comparisons like this one, it often comes across as though the more expensive option, no matter how good it is, never justifies its asking price. You see this across all of retail. Consumers will compromise on what they really want to save 5-10% on the price. I don’t get it. Especially when it comes to larger purchases like vehicles, wouldn’t it make sense to save for an extra month or two and purchase the better option? Or if it’s only marginally better but I simply like it better?
Anyway, it’s an interesting comparison between what appears to be two great scooters. You can have your own look at the review here, and if you use the Chrome browser, it’ll translate it for you automatically. You can also see our first ride review of the Primavera here: ScooterFile First Ride: Vespa Primavera 150vie