There comes a time that you will need to transport your Vespa for various reasons. We had to transport several of our Vespas because it was in a minor accident, needed repair, or didn’t have the correct papers yet to be able to drive on the public roads. Each time we transported the Vespa differently. Initially, we tied the Vespa down incorrectly but over time we learned how to do it.
A Vespa can be transported by van, pick-up, truck, trailer, or hitch mount hauler. Place a tie-down strap around each Vespa handle and attach the other end of the strap firmly through the mounts found on the vehicle or trailer. The front-wheel suspension will be pushed down preventing any movement.
Never transport a Vespa on its side. This will cause the oil and gas to leak and might damage the engine. As you can imagine, it can damage the metal frame too.
It goes without saying that you need to fasten the Vespa properly every time you want to transport it. If you fail to do so, then chances are your Vespa will fall causing damage to its frame and engine. Additionally, if you place it on a trailer or pick-up truck and the Vespa falls off then it might even cause serious accidents.
We have used a van, a trailer, and even a larger truck to transport a Vespa. After some experience, we do suggest preparing yourself to avoid making unnecessary mistakes. So let’s have a look at what you will need to do to safely transport your Vespa and what types of transportation you can use.
Which equipment do you need to transport a Vespa?
If you plan to transport your Vespa you need to have all the proper equipment to do so. Remember, you will be driving on public roads and probably even on a highway. You don’t want your Vespa to be shifting when you are driving over 60 mph (100km/h), need to brake suddenly, or drive over a bump.
It is worthwhile to invest in quality equipment. Quality equipment is stronger but most of all user-friendly making it much easier to fasten your Vespa on any type of vehicle. Besides the right equipment, you will also need to know how to use it.
To properly transport your Vespa you need to get and know the following:
You can transport a Vespa by truck, pick-up truck, van, hitch mount hauler, or trailer. Everybody has their own preference. However sometimes a trailer or pick-up truck might be more convenient than a van. If your Vespa has a screen, then it will not fit in the van.
A Vespa is much heavier than a regular scooter. A GTS can for instance weigh 158.0 kg (348.3 pounds) with an empty tank. So a ramp is probably necessary in most cases so you can easily lift the Vespa into a van or onto a truck.
A ramp makes it easier to unload the Vespa as well. It will prevent damage to the frame.
If you are shopping around for a ramp, try to find an aluminum one that can hold around 500 pounds. Make sure it is long enough to reach the tailgate of your pick-up truck, van, or trailer. If it is too short then the ramp would be very steep to push the Vespa up. It is advisable to get a foldable one as this is more convenient to stow in your vehicle.
How to use a loading ramp?
The side of the ramp with rubber tips or with a lever must be placed on the tail gat of the vehicle.
The ramp can slide off the back of the truck or van when mounting and demounting the Vespa. Use a ratchet tie-down strap to secure the ramp to the vehicle. Tie one end of the tie-down strap through the opening of the ramp. The other end should be hooked on a metal loop found on most vehicles. You can also use the tow bar if you have one. Then tighten the strap so the ramp is securely in place.
Always check if you have placed the ramp properly by walking on it and putting some weight before using it for the Vespa.
I have seen people use two ramps, side by side securely fastening both together with a tie-down strap. This gives you much more space to get the Vespa on the pick-up truck or van. With a broader ramp, you might even be able to drive the Vespa on a truck.
If you plan to transport the ramp near the Vespa, make sure your tie the ramp securely to the mount of the vehicle with a tie-down strap so it will not move during the trip.
A wheel chock holds the front wheel of the Vespa during transportation. This is necessary to prevent the front wheel from wobbling. Some trailers have them already installed, however for other transportation options, the wheel chock is absent and needs to be installed.
Tie-down straps are the safest way to fasten your Vespa during transportation. Unlike a knot of a rope, the metal racket on the strap tightens the strap and will not loosen. You will need at least 3 straps, optional 4. Two for the front and one or two for the back.
To make life easier it is smart to invest in good tie-down straps. In the beginning, we used the cargo straps which you could get at IKEA. These cargo straps do not have hooks and loops, making it really difficult and unsafe to fasten a Vespa on any type of transportation.
So if you are looking around for tie-down straps, buy those that have hooks and a loop at both endings. The hooks are ideal to fasten the tie-down strap on the mounts located on the vehicle.
How to use the tie-down straps to transport your Vespa?
If you are new to a tie-down strap, make sure you practice a bit first. You really need to know how it works in order to be able to tighten and loosen the strap. Also, always make sure the strap isn’t twisted or turned, but neatly aligned.
Have your tie-downs in place so you don’t need to grab them once the Vespa is parked.
You will be tying the straps around both handlebars. The other end will be fastened onto one of the anchor points. Make sure you choose one that enables the strap to have a 45-degree angle between the Vespa and the floor.
Pull the two front tie-down strap 45 degrees angle downwards. You should prevent pulling one side down all the way, before starting on the other side. Your Vespa will be unbalanced. Instead, start with a little pull on one side, followed by a little pull on the other side. Keep doing this back and forth until the Vespa is securely fastened.
Handle straps/harness (optional)
Handle straps are attached to tie-down straps and are made specifically for motorcycles and scooters. If you use handle straps then you are sure that you have fastened the tie-down straps properly. It also prevents damage to the handles.
While you are shopping, you might want to consider getting a handlebar harness instead. It isn’t necessary, but this harness will prevent you from bending the steering handles too tightly.
Blankets are always useful to avoid scratches and dents to the Vespa during transportation. If straps are rubbing on the paint, such as on the cowl of a classic Vespa then chances are you will see some damage.
However, sometimes it is better not to use blankets. In the case of an open trailer, we lost one along the way because we didn’t secure it properly.
But blankets are definitely desirable if you plan to transport more than one Vespa and they are parked closely against each other.
How to transport a Vespa in a van?
I prefer to transport a Vespa by van. A Vespa is not as big as a motorcycle and can easily fit in any van. Additionally, it comes with advantages such as:
✅ The van is a closed way to transport a Vespa. Chances are the paint will not get damaged due to objects and materials flying around on the highway. Plus if your Vespa does tip over it will not fall off onto the road. So if you make a mistake by not properly fastening it, then the consequences are less severe.
✅ A van feels much more stable to drive than with a trailer
✅ Most vans are somewhat lower than a truck so it is easier to load the scooter. Best to use a ram, but if you have help then you should be able to place the front wheel in the van first, then lift the back and then push the rear of the Vespa into the van.
❌ The downside of transporting a Vespa in a van is that you will need to remove the screen if your modern Vespa has one. A Vespa is much higher than a regular motorcycle or moped and with an additional screen, it will not fit.
❌ Another downside that I noticed is that you will be bending your back the whole time. The ceiling of the van is low plus the space can be quite narrow once you are inside together with your Vespa. There is not much space for movement once the Vespa is parked inside and needs to be strapped.
Steps on transporting a Vespa in a van
- Secure the ramp onto the van with a tie-down strap. Most vans have a tow bar that you can use. If you feel that you are strong enough, you can also choose to lift the Vespa up with two people. The back of the van is usually not that high. One should be standing in the van, while the other gives the handles to him or her. The front wheel should be in the van by now. Once the person in the van is holding the handles, the other walks to the back of the Vespa and lifts it up. By pushing and pulling the Vespa will be wheeled in. Remember a modern Vespa can be extremely heavy, unlike a classic.
- Park the Vespa into the van facing forward into a wheel clamp. Do not place it on the stand.
- Use the anchor hooks on the floor or on the side to fasten the Vespa handle to the van with tie-down straps. The straps should have a 45-degree angle and the Vespa must be standing neatly upright once fastened. You can do this by first slightly pulling one handle strap, then continue pulling slightly on the other side. Do this back and forth until the straps are tight.
- Tie the back of the Vespa with tie-down straps too for extra security. You can use the rear handles around the seat to fasten the Vespa onto the hooks.
When we were moving, we parked the Vespa on its central stand in the van and put all our household goods such as a mattress, a cupboard, etc around the Vespa. It didn’t move the whole way. But looking back, it wasn’t of course the best way to do it.
How to transport a Vespa in a pick-up truck?
Transporting a Vespa in a pick-up truck is quite similar to transporting it by van. The biggest difference is that a pick-up is usually higher than a van. Since a Vespa can weigh between 117 kg / 258 lbs and 158.0 kg 348.3 lbs you will need a ramp to wheel it onto the back of the pick-up.
✅ A pick-up truck has similar advantages as a van when it comes to transporting a Vespa. If the back is open (no closed cargo box) then, you don’t need to worry if your scooter or its screen is too high.
❌ A slight disadvantage of using a pick-up is that the back is quite high. You might need extra hands to get your Vespa safely on the truck. Remember, the handlebar of a Vespa is much higher than a regular motorbike. So once you place the Vespa on the ramp and you push it forward, you might not be able to reach the handlebar once it is almost on the truck.
You can always park the back of the pick-up on a curb so the back of the pick-up is somewhat closer to the ground.
If you are alone or if you just want to be on the safe side, you can choose to attach two ramps together with a tie-down strap so you have space to walk up the ramp next to your Vespa. For those more experienced in driving, in this case, you can also drive your Vespa up the two ramps.
Steps on how to transport a Vespa on a pick-up truck
- Use a ramp to get the Vespa onto the pick-up truck. Never forget to attach the ramp safely onto the pick-up with a tie-down strap.
- Place a wheel clamp at the end of the pick-up and place the Vespa’s front wheel into it, facing forward. Make sure you don’t place the Vespa on the center stand.
- There should be hooks or loops to which you can attach the Vespa with tie-down straps. Always use a strap for each handle and then tighten it to the hooks of the truck. Don’t immediately tie one side tightly otherwise your Vespa might not be standing straight at the end. Instead, gradually pull a bit on one side, then on the other. Continue doing these steps until your Vespa is tied tightly.
- You can also choose to transport the Vespa sideways. The driver’s cabin will create a bit more protection during transportation. Make sure there is the possibility to strap the handles of the Vespa with a 45-degree angle on both sides.
- You can try to push and move the Vespa. It should not budge.
How to transport a Vespa in a truck?
We used two options to transport a Vespa in a truck. One was by placing the Vespa in a crate and fastening it properly so it will not move an inch. Our classic Vespa was brought to London this way. The transport company picked it up and it was delivered in front of our door by a truck.
✅ This option is ideal if you are not transporting the Vespa yourself. You can pack it up safely in a crate and let a professional company transport it to wherever you want.
❌ The downside of course it is extremely time-consuming to pack it in a crate and you need a lot of material. Additionally, you will need a fork truck or something similar to place it into the back of the truck.
Another option is to park it inside the back of the truck just like a van. Most trucks come with a tail-lift so you don’t need to use a ramp to get the Vespa in. You can park it facing forward into a wheel clamp and secure the handles to the truck by tie-down straps.
We once transported more than one Vespa in a truck. If you plan to do so, then it might be better to park the Vespa sideways. Then you can secure the front and rear of the Vespas on both sides of the truck where there should be mounting hooks as well. Then park the next Vespa next to it, preferably with a blanket to protect the paint.
✅ The advantage of transporting your Vespa by truck is that it is safely parked in a closed trailer.
✅ Additionally you can transport more than one at a time. Just like a bigger van, you can also place other cargo around your Vespa for extra security.
Steps on transporting a Vespa in a truck
- A truck usually has a tail lift. So all you need to do is place the Vespa on the lift, hold it, and at the same time press the button to get the lift up.
- Park the Vespa into the van facing forward into a wheel clamp or park it sideways. Don’t use the center stand.
- Use the anchor hooks on the sides to fasten the Vespa handle to the van with tie-down straps. Make sure the straps have a 45-degree angle and when pulling you go back and forth. Slightly pull the left strap first, followed by the right, then the left again, etc.
- To secure the back of the Vespa by using the chrome bar found behind the seat. You can also choose to fasten one end of the strap through one hook, then pull the strap along with the frame, just under the seat, and fastened the other end through the other hook on the other side.
How to transport a Vespa in a trailer?
Motorcycle trailers come in all forms and sizes. These can also be used for any type of Vespa. You can find trailers that fit one scooter or more. Some of them are improvised trailers where a wheel clamp has been installed while others are specifically made to transport motorcycles. The latter usually have a steel tube frame in which the front and rear wheel fit perfectly. This is of course the safest trailer you can use.
✅ The advantage of using a trailer to transport a Vespa is that you can hook it up behind any type of car.
✅ You also don’t need to worry if the Vespa is too tall to fit a closed van. The Vespa can easily fit on a trailer even with a windscreen.
❌ The downside is that you really need to be confident that your Vespa is tied down properly. Any mistake will result in your Vespa falling.
❌ Additionally, the trailer is open (unless you have a covered one) and any flying object (sand, debris) can damage your Vespa.
❌ It also needs a lot of storage space. Something many Vespa owners do not have.
Steps on transporting a Vespa on a trailer
- If your trailer doesn’t come with an attached ramp, secure one onto the ramp with a tie-down strap. Most trailers have openings on the surface so you can loop the strap through it. In our case, we had no such option so we always did it with two people.
- Park the Vespa into the van facing forward into a wheel clamp
- Use the anchor hooks on the floor or on the side to fasten the Vespa handlebar to the van with tie-down straps. Make sure the straps have a 45-degree angle. Gradually push the front wheel down by pulling the left and right handle strap alternately until there is hardly any movement.
- Tie the back of the Vespa with tie-down straps too for extra security. If the trailer frame has holes then you can wrap the tie-down around the rear wheel so it doesn’t pop out. Otherwise use the rear handles around the seat to fasten the Vespa onto the hooks.
- The remaining straps need to be tucked away securely to prevent them from flying everywhere when gaining speed by car.
How to transport a Vespa on a hitch mount hauler?
If you have a big vehicle such as an SUV or pickup truck then a (motorcycle carrier) hitch mount hauler is a great and convenient option. Remember though that you must be able to hold the hitch mount hauler plus a Vespa. Additionally, your vehicle will need a towing hitch receiver to connect the hauler on the back.
As mentioned earlier, when buying gear it is essential you look for quality and the proper products to transport your Vespa. Steel mount haulers are the better option and should be able to hold at least 500lbs of weight.
✅ There are many advantages to choosing this option to transport your Vespa, especially if you already own an SUV or pick-up truck. It is easy to mount the hauler to your vehicle and once you know how to secure the Vespa, you will be on your way in no time.
✅ Additionally, a Vespa can not stand up-right in an SUV. Same for those who have a closed cargo box for their pick-up. If this is the case for your vehicle, then the hitch mount hauler is the perfect solution. Now you don’t need to worry about the Vespa being too high to transport.
✅ The hitch mount hauler isn’t as large as a trailer and can therefore be stowed much more easily.
❌ It is essential you know exactly how to secure the Vespa on a hitch mount hauler. Compared to other ways of transport things can easily go wrong in this case. If it is done incorrectly and your drive over a bump your Vespa will be flying off.
So what is the best way to secure your Vespa on a hitch mount hauler:
- If you park the rear of the vehicle above a curb, then the ramp will not be that steep. The closer the hitch mount hauler is to the ground, the easier it is to place the Vespa on it.
- Always use a ramp to mount the Vespa on the hauler. Just like in other cases, fasten the ramp onto the hauler with a tie-down strap so it will not slip away once you push the Vespa on it.
- Have the tie-down straps ready in the correct places so you can easily grab them once the Vespa is on the mount. It is always better to do it with at least two people.
- Once you have the Vespa on the hitch mount hauler it is time to tie it down by using the tie-down strap on each handle. Pull one side a bit first, followed by the other, and go back and forth until you know it is secure. The Vespa will still seem as if it is wobbling when you push it a bit, but it is the ramp that is moving, not the scooter.
- Make sure the handlebar doesn’t touch the vehicle. Also, make sure the loose ends of the tie-down are securely in place with a knot.
- Use a tie-down strap to fasten the rear wheel of the Vespa onto the mount hauler as well. If you want to be on the safe side, do the same for the front tire as well. While there should be a motorcycle chunk for the front wheel, it is always good to use an extra strap.
Unlike dirt bikes, it might not be necessary to transport your Vespa very often. If there comes a time that you will need to do so, then we do recommend investing in good material. Or at least borrow some. We improvised a lot when we first transported our Vespas. Luckily all worked out, but I was always stressed I would lose the Vespa along the way or cause an accident.
There are also a lot of workshops that include or offer transportation. So if you are unable to transport your Vespa yourself, you can always contact them.