Photo by Tim Gouw

I really should have been riding this scooter in the spring. As all the cognoscenti will know, Primavera is Italian for spring! This latest incarnation of the Vespa Primavera follows the original and collectible, classic 2-stroke lefthand gear change version from 1968. 

This is a modern 4-str9e single cylinder ‘automatic’ or ‘twist and go’ producing 11 brake horsepower with electric (non-kick starter) start. The fuel tank holds a huge 8 litres and the factory figures put this out at 113 mpg, and it is Euro 5 compliant – very important! This has marked it as a lifestyle scooter and it looks right and just goes!

I always feel that anything under 125 CC for a scooter or a motorbike is challenged power-wise in keeping up with traffic. Anything more than that gives you some oomph and you have to decide whether you want to go for Economy and lower price with a 125 or go for one of the higher capacity scooters about. For example, the 300 GTS Vespa is a very different scooter despite its similarity outwardly in looks.

What do you want from a 125 scooter and from a Vespa? You want the heritage looks, you want in this case reliability and economy, and the ability to nip in and out of urban traffic and park anywhere. This scooter has it in spades.

Due to the worldwide problem in obtaining electronic chips and spare parts for all motor vehicles, Motech in Byker didn’t have a new demo scooter, but had this second-hand scooter which they were more than willing to let me try out. I wanted to see the difference between an electric scooter I’d earlier had from them and say for example a 300 GTS. This plonks itself right in the middle of that range.

I was shown around the scooter by Andy. The bike was sporting Learner plates – he asked if he should take them off, but I declined because it would remind me that this is also for the learner market. 

Every single time I ride a 125 CC engine scooter or bike I’m always astonished at how easy it is to get off the stand (no heavy lugging) and how light it is when I set off. Caught out by how light it was, I had a wobble before the gates (embarrassing) and then off up the road. I made the classic error of pulling my left hand, which is normally a clutch on a classic scooter/motorcycle, but all that does on this bike is act like a bicycle brake and put the back brake on! Oops.

This scooter, which has some extra luggage to qualify for the ‘touring’ moniker front and back, had no problem in keeping up with 40 mph bypass traffic and of course, also is quicker off the mark at traffic lights because it is so light. Scooters also have an area underneath the seat which should fit 2 full face helmets (also handy for groceries if you carry your helmet around with you), and the charming luggage hook to hang your grocery bag underneath and between the handlebars in the ‘footwell’ of the scooter. Do this and you can easily transport yourself mentally to whizzing around the back streets of the Amalfi coast on one of these popping to the local market!

Obviously, this isn’t the scooter to go to Wooler and back on, on fast A roads (although you can) but is more suited to the urban environment. I decided to leave the East End of Newcastle and take all of the ‘bottom’ roads via the River Tyne to end up at the North Shields Fish Quay, then cruising along the coast from Tynemouth through Cullercoats, Whitley Bay and up to Blyth before doing a U-turn cruising back. Lots of this is at 20 mph and I had time to look seaward for the sights. It was a glorious late August afternoon and I decided that I had to search out an Italian pit stop.

I alighted upon Pranzo, a pizzeria/trattoria owned and run by an Italian family, on Station Road down from Whitley Bay Metro station. I parked up the scooter on the pavement, in sight of my outside seat, ordered my flat white and of course, it had to be the tasty Torta Della Nonna. The owner and kitchen staff were just finishing as this was a late stop off and we had a great chat about motorcycles and scooters, obviously the Italian variety. Their first words were of course looking at the scooter ‘bella bella’!

I decided to dash back down the A1068 coast road from Whitley Bay to Newcastle to see how it fared. I had no problem at 60 mph on the dual carriageway. I didn’t feel intimidated by the traffic before turning off and zipping through the streets of Heaton to return to base at Motech in Byker. I parked the scooter back up amongst the row of both classic and modern scooters. Motech was bought by the owner Paul Hamilton from an Italian, Angelo, who ran it in the 1980s under the fantastic name of ‘Angelo’s Scooter Station’!

This was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon on a nippy, zippy, economical and stylish-looking Euro 5 equivalent of the classic Vespa scooter. It sits as I have said neatly in the middle of the range of modern scooters and would bring a smile to your face. ‘Ciao Bella.’

Mark Hipkin is a Partner/ Head of the Personal Injury and Civil Litigation department. He welcomes your e-mails or calls on the law (or your biking experiences) at or call 0191 2533509.

Mary was born and has lived all her life in the North East of England. Her first interest was science and she originally studied Biomedical Science at Northumbria and worked in the scientific research field and the NHS, before studying part time, again at Northumbria University, to obtain her degree in Law. Since then she has enjoyed a varied career covering many different areas of law, before specialising in Children Law, which she has done almost exclusively for the past 5 years.

Mary loves reading and history and at a weekend can often be found at one of the many historical sites the North East has to offer and has even been known to play video games when she can find the time.

Chris was originally a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives from 1997 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2001.

He has over 25 years experience in private client work comprising Wills, Trusts, Probate, Powers of Attorney and other Court of Protection Work such as Deputyship applications. Chris has been a Partner in several firms in the North East, being Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate.

He brings a wealth of experience to his role and works closely with clients, providing them with a service tailored to their needs

Susan was born and bred in the North East, spending all of her working life in Blyth. She qualified in 1981 and, after some years at Alderson Law, began to specialise in family law, covering both private and legal aid. Susan was a member of the Law Society Family Panel and an accredited Resolution specialist, specialising particularly in private children law and domestic violence.

Susan took part-retirement in December 2018 but still works as a Solicitor here at Alderson Law. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, walking, reading, and spending time with her family. She has also been a Brownie leader for over 40 years.

Originally from East Yorkshire, Jasmine moved to the North East in 2012 to study at Northumbria University undertaking the M Law Exempting (BPTC) course (the only undergraduate course in England and Wales which incorporates the Bar Professional Training Course), graduating in 2016 with a First Class Honours and a Very Competent in the Bar Professional Training Course. Prior to joining Alderson Law Jasmine specialised in RTA Fraud in a Personal Injury firm, before moving to another firm to work as a Family Law Paralegal.

In 2018 she joined our team as a Family Law Paralegal and before qualifying as a Solicitor within the Family Law Department based at our Morpeth office. Jasmine represents clients in a wide range of matters including; divorce and matrimonial finance, disputes regarding the arrangements for children as well as parents who are subject to Local Authority involvement both before and during Court proceedings.

In her spare time Jasmine likes visiting the beach, going to the gym, watching live music and looking after her pet rabbit.

Julie is a highly experienced property solicitor. She studied Law at Northumbria University and, after qualifying in 2000, went on to work at national and international firms prior to joining the team at Alderson Law in 2017. She works alongside her clients, advising on residential and commercial property development, property investment, portfolio management, property finance, landlord and tenant, easements and restrictive covenants.

Fiona is a specialist private client lawyer providing advice and assistance with wills, trusts, tax planning, probate & estate administration, lasting powers of attorney, court of protection and elderly client work. Having previously worked with a number of Newcastle-based firms listed in The Legal 500, Fiona brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. She is a full member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), the association for specialists in family inheritance and succession planning.

Fiona grew up in Northern Ireland and studied law at Durham University, and has remained in the North East ever since. She enjoys spending time with her family at their cottage in Northumberland.

Mark Hipkin, partner at Alderson Law LLP, has been advising businesses and claimants since he qualified as a solicitor in 1982.

Mark’s passion is for representing claimants on two wheels in complex, serious and catastrophic motorcycle, scooter and cycle injuries, but he also has extensive experience of acting for claimants in many other personal injury areas including occupiers and public liability work and accidents at work. He specialises in challenging and complex cases. Mark always puts the client first, looking from the first day of instruction to obtain the best and fairest outcome for a claimant, no matter how long a case may take. He is a fan of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and early neutral valuation as alternatives to litigation. Sometimes, however, litigation is the best option, together with the necessary drive to see every matter through to a fair conclusion.

Mark also, having started his own business, advises business clients, often with motorcycle-, scooter- or cycle-related businesses and also deals with complex commercial disputes, professional negligence cases, and general civil litigation.

Mark likes to spend what free time he has with his family and practising Tai Chi and Tang Soo Do (Korean Karate – in which he is a second Dan).

Having worked in family law for over 25 years, Julie is a highly accomplished specialist in her field. She has a vast body of experience in dealing with family law, from divorce and related financial issues to complex child-related cases. Julie was the first person in North Tyneside to achieve the status of an accredited advanced family law specialist, and is a member of the Law Society Advanced Family Panel, which demonstrates her experience in complex contested family cases and other subject-specific matters.

Though multi-talented and highly experienced, Julie’s particular speciality is in complex ancillary relief (financial settlement) claims and complex residence and contact disputes.

In her spare time Julie enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family and three grandchildren. She attends clients at our Whitley Bay and Blyth offices.

Tracey is one of our Partners and qualified as a solicitor in 1997. Throughout her career she has had a varied caseload undertaking matters in most areas of civil and private client law. Tracey can assist clients in a wide range of matters including: Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney, Debt Recovery, Residential and Commercial Conveyancing as well as Licensing and Landlord and Tenant matters.

Tracey is one of our most senior practitioners with over 20 years of local experience, having graduated from both Newcastle University and Northumbria University. When not in the office she enjoys walking, cycling, and cooking with her family.