Stop Press – Tom Hanks rides Vespa!

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks

ok, so a bit of sarcasm here as we spot a slow news day for some of the British tabloids and hypocritically repeat their story… In our defence, we’ve not run this before, although they have. Anyway, Tom got papped in Los Angeles where he lives, presumably just riding to a friend’s house or maybe a local shop for some milk. We don’t know.

Like the tabloids, what we do know is that in 2011 Hanks starred alongside Julia Roberts the film Larry Crowne in which Hanks rides a scooter.

Unlike the tabloids, we can also tell you about the scooters. In real life, Hanks’ scooter is a Vespa GTV 300ie, probably an upgraded ‘Touring’ spec model. For British readers, the reflectors on the front mudguard and side panels are to comply with American regulations.

Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks
Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks


In the film Hanks’ scooter is an early 80s Yamaha Riva, also known as the Cygnus in certain markets or the XC180. As far as we can tell it was a 171cc 4-stroke scooter with automatic 4-stroke engine and had that certain ’80s angular’ style that all Japanese scooters of the period enjoyed that for some reason seemed to go down well in the USA. Or did Americans just get the convenience of the modern auto scooter before the Brits?

YamrivaleafletYamCygnus180_82Anyway, for fans of classic scooters that haven’t seen the film but like a bit of scooter spotting, local scooterists and clubs were drafted in to act as extras as Hanks joins a local club to hang out with the ‘cool kids’ at school (he plays a mature student going back to college, who falls for a teacher there – Roberts), so you get to see everything from Lambrettas to Vespas, modern autos, LMLs (known as Genuine scooters in the USA) and even an Italjet Velocifero.

The film? Typical Hollywood rom-com kinda thing I suppose,but with some cool wheels.  Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon when it’s raining!

Still from Larry Crowne
Film still from Larry Crowne.

Leave a Reply