Scooter theft and related crime has sadly featured on many newsfeeds over the last 18 months or so, but hopefully the tide is turning.
Once police officers had confirmation of that they wouldn’t be prosecuted if a thieving scrote crashed while being chased on a stolen vehicle, they became more of a deterrent. Even if it seems the courts are yet to dish out sentences fitting to the crime.
At the end of last year the Metropolitan police started using sleeker motorcycles more suitable to narrow streets, and remotely activated spikes to puncture tyres. Now rumours are that the Met are disguising themselves as takeaway delivery drivers to catch moped-riding criminals in London.
In July, Honda Motorcycles UK joined forces with Datatool to become the first manufacturer to offer vehicle tracking equipment fitted free-of-charge to riders of on-road Honda motorcycle. New customers will have the option of receiving Datatool’s Thatcham-approved tracking solution – TrakKING Adventure system, supplied and fitted at no extra cost by Honda dealerships. Honda is also offering existing owners a discount on purchase and installation costs. The only cost to the customer is the ongoing 24/7/365 monitoring subscription.
Once activated, the TrakKING Adventure software allows riders to record and review their routes with friends online and via the free iOS or Android smartphone apps. This mapping technology and the tracking capability covers the whole of Western Europe.
Neil Fletcher, Head of Motorcycles at Honda UK, said: “Fitting a tracking device such as TrakKING Adventure is a significant deterrent, looked on favourably by insurance companies and can lead to around 90% of bikes being returned to their owner if they are unfortunate enough to be stolen.”
Piaggio have recently launched a similar offer, albeit for a limited time and only on two models, both popular with thieves. A free vehicle TRACKER with come with all new Vespa GTS 300s and Piaggio Beverly 300/350s purchased through an authorised dealer until the end of October 2018. As well as a theft deterrent the owner will receive a 10% insurance discount for TRACKER-equipped bikes and scooters with Lexham Insurance. They will also receive their first year’s subscription to TRACKER’s monitoring service free of charge.
Greig Hilton, Managing Director at TRACKER, said: “Our award winning SVR solutions won’t stop a scooter from being stolen, but will significantly increase the chances of police quickly locating and returning that vehicle to the owner. Unlike any other SVR devices, our unique VHF technology can’t be blocked by GPS/GSM signal jammers and crucially, it can locate vehicles hidden anywhere, from the back the of a van to an underground car park or shipping container.”
Meanwhile, the Vespa Elettrica is to finally go into production in September. It will be produced at the Pontedera plant in the province of Pisa and the first vehicles can be booked online from the beginning of October via a dedicated website. The price will be in line with the high-end bracket of the Vespa range presently being marketed, which we guess means the GTS 300 models so anywhere between £4900 and £5500…
Vespa Elettrica will then be gradually put on the market starting from the end of October. Sales will begin in Europe to then be extended to the United States and Asia starting from early 2019.
Of course, another option regarding electric Vespa scooters is the classic version from Retrospective in London, and you can read all about the one we road-tested exclusively in ScooterNova magazine edition 9, available now to buy online here.
** ScooterNova is an independent scooter magazine, published bi-monthly by scooterists. Printed on to high quality paper, the articles are credible and in-depth, and cover the wide spectrum of classic Lambretta and Vespa scooters, as well as other, less known marques.
You can pre-order, buy and subscribe online here and edition 9 is OUT NOW!