Experience the “copy” of the legendary Piaggio PX

In Vietnam, with a price of over 6,000 USD, it is considered “not worth the money”, but for a certain group of players, LML Stella is a highly practical car with the classic beauty of a car. the Vespa PX.

Why does LML produce cars identical to Vespa without being sued?

LML is the name of an Indian motorbike manufacturer, just like some of the country’s car factories are franchised for car models that are considered outdated from Europe. In 1984, Piaggio started a joint venture with LML, the purpose of the “marriage” was to allow and transfer the design rights of its Scooter models for sale in certain markets before Vespa withdrew from the company. India.

To bring this scooter line to the US, a market that requires strict standards for a product, LML established a company called Genuine Scooters. That’s why most car models produced for export to the US have a distinctive G logo, and the Stella car in the article is an example.

What’s interesting about Stella 4 periods?

If you are a fan of retro-styled cars, remember that the Volkswagen Beetle went out of style for a while and then came back with a completely new style in 1998. Surely , a 1971 Beetle that looks cute and attractive. But nowadays, would anyone wearing a suit and Western shoes be willing to operate it in the blazing hot weather in the middle of the summer, in the winter when it’s freezing cold and noisy like an old double-decker plane? carefully. In particular, are emission standards inconsistent in developed countries? For that reason, the company’s engineers based on the prototype of the old version to create a car that is trendy. The vehicle uses modern, high-performance equipment, is safer and more environmentally friendly. That is the secret to the Volkswagen Beetle’s success to this day.

For motorbikes, Piaggio is the car company that did the same thing with the Vespa PX as Volkswagen did with the Beetle, only they asked another foreign partner to do this. It is a product made in India but meets standards specifically for the US market. Stella was almost successful in conquering the scooter community in general and Vespa fans in particular when this Italian car company suddenly announced the end of the PX production line, but then unexpectedly returned in 2011 with engine capacity limited to 125 cc.

Design, comfort

The 150cc 4-stroke Stella was available in the US in 2010 after successfully completing the EPA’s rigorous emissions testing. LML has minimized changes to the vehicle’s exterior appearance to keep it as similar to a Vespa PX as possible, with a wide floor and two side trunks that appear romantic and liberal. The two high and long circular mirrors are more aesthetically pleasing than observing objects behind.

The center clock cluster is most easily identified without any symbols related to Piaggio. If someone doesn’t know, at a glance they will think “this PX car is really new” but when looking at the cluster The clock is probably the most noticeable point for them to confirm “this is not a Vespa PX”. As a vehicle model sold in the US, of course the speed unit mph (miles per hour) is given priority to be more prominent with the Genuine Scooters G logo. The decoration is simple and easy to see with basic display lights such as vehicle itinerary, fuel gauge, headlights, turn signals, oil lights… Few people know that it takes such an attractive appearance. Engineers tried to create space to accommodate a four-stroke engine with a capacity of 150cc, which is not a simple task. Compared to the Vespa PX, while the front frame is identical, half of the rear frame of the Stella has been completely redesigned. Around a tubular frame is bolted to connect to the front part instead of using welding as in the 2-stroke engine version.

Due to this structural change, the wheelbase increased from 1,250mm to 1,270 mm. The vehicle has a rear suspension system with a single hydraulic shock absorber combined with a telescopic spring (monoshock) along with a “shoulder” front suspension system with a single hydraulic shock absorber and telescopic spring. Stella uses a single front brake disc with a diameter of 200mm and a rear drum. Both front and rear tires have parameters 3.5 – 10″.

Engine

Located under the trunk on the left is the place to store the battery and spare tire like the Vespa PX, while the trunk on the right is the space for the “heart” that many people want to see with their own eyes to satisfy the question “heart”. How is Stella’s side-mounted 4-stroke engine inside? The answer is that the Indians have surprised anyone who is passionate about scooters by the creativity and strangely similar shape of the 2-stroke engine of the Vespa PX without opening the trunk.

The 4-stroke, single cylinder engine block has a capacity of 147.55cc, the car still uses a forced air cooling system. with the large cow’s head lying neatly above. When looking closely, it can be seen that the 4-stroke Stella uses a carburetor fuel supply system that still retains the 4-speed manual transmission seen on the Vespa PX. Due to the large engine block, compared to the 8-liter fuel tank volume on the 2-stroke model, this is only 6.8 liters. With this fuel tank, LML says the vehicle can travel a maximum distance of 240 km.

Driving feeling is attractive, practical but “loses quality”

If you require the distinct “pop bang” explosions, excitement and excitement of the 2-stroke Vespa PX from the end of the last century, you should not think about owning a Stella 150. The vehicle is capable of starting. Sensitive but produces a “4-stroke” sound, smooth and this is the first reason that helps it pass all strict emissions tests in the US. On the contrary, Scooter fans are not very interested until they have the opportunity to use the vehicle for daily transportation.

The gear steps are short and clear, rarely tripped, just squeeze the clutch slightly and the transmission shifts gears. The throttle is not too heavy, the first few steps will make anyone feel strange as if your car is broken. But that’s just an illusion. You’re used to driving a 2-stroke car that makes a “pop plop” sound. Now it still has the same design but it’s completely silent. The chassis feels sturdy and flexible when moving over bumps. At the same time, due to the use of a 4-stroke engine, the Stella 150 has the advantage of using high gears to travel at low speeds without fear of jerking. Thanks to the small wheels, the large torque makes the car capable of accelerating quickly and strongly. Even at level 4 with a speed of 30 mph or lower, you just need to pull the throttle, the Stella 150 has almost no waiting time and the car will take you to a speed of 40 mph and feels much faster and more compact. Not only that, reaching the 50 mph mark with this model is not at all difficult or surprising, but the car is very solid and has no vibrations. However, taking the car past the 55-60 mph limit will take you a lot of time and the feeling of safety will begin to fade.

The front suspension system is placed on one side and the oil brake block on the same side makes the car feel “forced” when cornering and it takes the driver a lot of time to get used to it. On the contrary, combining the front disc brake system with the car-style foot pedal rear brake makes you safer and has shorter braking distance. The front fork is designed like an airplane’s fork combined with a “one-arm” front shock absorber system that helps the 4-stroke Stella absorb all potholes without the vehicle having any wobble in the steering wheel. It’s hard, so if you’re traveling alone, you’ll feel like you’re flying when you go on an uneven road. In addition, thanks to the design of two flat rear trunks, the 4-stroke Stella helps both the front passenger minimize side impacts, so the possibility of an accident is also reduced. The trunk is also what separates the rear passenger’s legs from the trunk. The engine was burned so it was absolutely safe.

Evaluate

The 4-stroke Stella is a reward for those who love “nostalgia” and can use it for daily commuting without worrying about the engine’s “crashness”, saves fuel and is completely environmentally friendly.

See more detailed photos of LML Stella 4 period

Thanh Long (TTTD)

Image: Huy Thang

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