Jakarta’s roads are clogged with Nouvos, Mios and Blades but make way
for Piaggio scooters. These little Italian stallions are making an
impression with their distinct look and drivers are taking notice.
Club Indonesia has more than 150 members, since starting in 2005, and
they are passionate about their hip European rides.
Italian. And anything that comes from Italy is sexy,” said Rahmat
Irsanto, the club’s co-founder and secretary general.
has a long history. Established in 1884, the manufacturer was first
focused on locomotives and railways. During World War I and World War
II, the company built aircraft.
It wasn’t until 1946 that
Piaggio created its legendary Vespa scooter. The vehicle soon became an
icon of cool. In the decade after its introduction, more than one
million units were sold throughout the world.
Now Piaggio is the fourth largest producer of scooters and motorcycles in the world.
scooters became popular in Indonesia during the 1960s and 1970s, a long
time before Japanese motorbikes invaded and dominated the country.
Back in Style
a long period of falling out of favor compared to flashier Japanese
machines, Piaggio scooters have recently experienced a revival as young
drivers have fallen in love with the scooters’ vintage look.
“I think Piaggio scooters have unique designs,” said Pandji, who purchased his first Piaggio scooter almost ten years ago.
satisfy the growing demand, an official Piaggio representative office
was launched here in June. Dealers, which have received thousands of
orders, can now be found in Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya and Bali.
Jakarta, members of the Piaggio Club regularly meet on Sunday mornings.
Member Ardha Fadlan said that during meetings, the owners share tricks
and tips for maintenance.
The club’s secretary general Rahmat,
who goes by Oto, said that an average of 80 people come to the weekly
meet-ups. In addition to those gatherings, the club occasionally has
Piaggio tours of other cities. Oto said so far they have held tours to
Bandung, Yogyakarta and Bali.
As loyal fans, it’s not surprising
to find out that the members of the Piaggio Club all think that their
Italian scooters are the best motorcycles in the world.
other motorcycles, most of the Piaggio’s models are made of real steel,”
Oto said. Because of this, he pointed out, Piaggio scooters have
Although it took some time, Oto finally
admitted that there is a downside to Piaggio scooters — some new models
have a couple of flaws.
“Some models tend to overheat easily,” he said.
“I think this is because Piaggio scooters are designed to be used in European countries where the traffic is less challenging.”
who owns a Granturismo model, said things have become easier for
Piaggio owners in Indonesia. In the past finding spare parts was a
“It’s so easy to find spare parts for my scooter right now,” he said. “Many workshops in Jakarta now have Piaggio spare parts.”
also said that he didn’t have any problem in maintaining his scooter.
“It’s not really as difficult as most people think. The most important
thing is to regularly check your scooter at the shop.”
Pandji said Piaggio scooters are rising in popularity also “because there are more models available now in Indonesia.”
despite the common perception that the Italian import comes with a
hefty price tag, Pandji said the scooters can be quite affordable. He
admitted that there are models that can cost more than Rp 200 million
($21,800), but that there were also scooters that cost less than Rp 20
Oto argued that “expensive” is a relative concept.
Piaggio scooter may be considered expensive now, but you have to see
whether it will end up in a junkyard or a museum in 30 years.”