Fast weather-protected moped of great charm
As an all-round, every-day machine you'd look a long way before you found a moped to "better the Dot-Vivi "Scooterette," which I have recently been riding. This smart. sleek Anglo-Italian model from Manchester has just about everything. It is, I think, one of the prettiest mopeds yet made. It is clean to ride, and has a really useful performance. It handles well, and is 100 per cent reliable.
Heart of the machine is a 48 c.c. Victoria two-stroke engine, of "Vicky 4" type. This well-tried German unit, with its integral two-speed gearbox. proved to be well up to the job of wafting my 14-stone plus unaided up the test hill, and of conquering most gradients encountered though, not surprisingly, it drew the line at unaided climbs of over 1 in 5 or 1 in 6.
This same purposeful effort was equally well applied to main-road work. Twice, on consecutive days, I rode the machine from London to Herne Bay and back 90 miles, during which the "Scooterette" was flat out all the way. The only casualty was the filament of the rear bulb! From the engine there came not a single sound of protest - just the long, steady drone of a good two-stroke working well within its limits. Such driving produced overall fuel consumption figures of around 100 m.p.g.
Aiding good averages was the superb handling of this moped. The suspension systems are first-class - soft, yet so well controlled that there is no noticeable rebound. As a result, the machine could be hurled around bends, the only dull point being a distinct tendency for the edges of the front shield to ground noisily. Raising the shield would cure this trouble, and also enhance the weather protection.
This aspect of the Dot-Vivi is commendable. The shield, sturdy and well shaped, completely covered my legs from rain and spray but, regrettably, left the lap exposed in the absence of a matching windscreen. Two inches off the bottom and two inches on the top of the shield would be an improvement
Comfort was first-rate. The saddle did not induce soreness, and the handlebars were nicely positioned and angled, though a little wide.
Braking, too, was above average. The front and rear brakes were of roughly equal power. and used intelligently they provided good retardation from all speeds, and better-than- average stops from 20 m.p.h. Neither was prone to wheel-locking, which made them safe to use on roads that, for part of the test, at least. were wet, greasy, and uninviting.
In fact, I could make only one major criticism - the tendency of the filler-cap vent to allow a certain amount of fuel to splash onto the smooth, dove-grey enamel of the frame. That point apart, the Dot-Vivi " Scooterette " goes down in my notebook as being a model very close indeed to the utility user's ideal.
Cycling and Mopeds, August 20, 1958
See also: ViVi by Viberti
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