So, it's Bella's turn for the MOT. Compared to "Dino", my adored 1973 Sprint feels tiny and even more agricultural. The P-range of Vespas, the so-called "New Line" are a distinctly different ride from their ancestors like Bella. Although hardly Goldwing-like, the P-range of Vespa are much more comfortable . Riding earlier models demands a bit more "investment" - every pothole needs to be avoided. No indicators, so hand signals need to be decisive and obvious. Acceleration from traffic lights is glacial, so it can be inadvisable to filter to the front of a queue of traffic. Bella is a Sprint Veloce - a sports model (!) - and to be fair, she can shift a bit even with a tub of lard like me in the cockpit.
You do need a bit of a run to get up to her maximum punt of 50-odd Mph, but once there she'll lope along all day. There are few things I like to do more than to ride this scooter, especially on a soft sunny morning, with Bella's motor burbling happily as we zip over Tower Bridge.
Bella passed the MOT, but with an advisory note. This told me that there was some "play" at the front hub that needs attention as soon as I can organise it. Annoying but understandable. It's a 50 quid job, but it'll have to wait a fortnight or so. In the meantime I can't ride Bella, though I could ride her home.
"The wheel won't fall off or anything", said Craig, reassuringly.