GENUINE STELLA - OWNER REVIEWS
2009 GENUINE STELLA
Milage: 0 - 1000 Miles
Likes: True vintage experience, Manual transmission
Dislikes: HORRIBLY unreliable, Poor build quality, Dangerous rear brakes
Review: “I have owned a 2003, 2004, and two 2009 Stella’s and they were all HORRIBLE quality. All of them had ongoing electrical issues, engine problems, brake problems, and sloppy / careless build quality. They were all in the repair shop more than they were on the road. I kept buying brand new ones and selling off the old ones...thinking that I just got a "bad one". After 4 different bikes I realized that they were all garbage. There's no such thing as a "Good" Stella. Horrible reliability, Horrible build quality, just plain horrible.
I sold all of them and I now own a Honda and a Yamaha. It's a completely different world...I get on the Honda or the Yamaha and they actually start, run, and provide an incredibly reliable ownership experience. Lastly, all 4 Stella’s had the same dangerous rear braking issue. Something always felt out-of-round with the rear brakes. If I applied the rear brake with anything more than mild pressure, the rear brake would unexpectedly cycle in a grab / lock / release pattern causing the bike to fishtail dangerously. All four of my Stella’s had this issue.”
2013 GENUINE STELLA
Milage: 0 - 1000 Miles
Likes: Form AND Functionality, Spare tire, Quiet 4-stroke, Real PX design, All metal
Dislikes: Quality control is lacking, Power could be better
Review: “I am on my second Genuine Stella after my last one was stolen earlier this year. The Stella, by way of LML in India, is basically a 35 year old Vespa PX. This means it was designed before Vespa became a high-end niche product and as such was built to be a convenient, easily fixable, functional, frugal form of transportation. I have been able to do minor maintenance all on my own with a single 13mm socket wrench, which I find to be absolutely amazing. I’ve had to adjust the headset that was askew. I had to change brake pads. I also had to change a flat tire – which I did in ten minutes, and was back on my way to work since the spare is stored right there under the fender. The tire is tubed, which means I spent $13 for a new tube instead of $50 for a new tire. I also realized the amazing design that went into this scoot when I laid the Stella on her side, to access the bolts around the rim, and the kickstand supported the bike enough to keep the ground-side fender from scraping the pavement. Again, this is the kind of ingenuous functionality that immediately endeared me to the Stella.
I also like the fact that Stella is a shifty. I’m a huge advocate a manual transmission, due to their simplicity. Again, the Stella is designed to be simple and frugal. No expensive CVT belts to replace and maintain. I haven’t had to replace a clutch cable yet, but I’m sure it won’t be difficult.
Because I’ve only owned a Stella, I can’t compare ride quality to other scooters, but I’m happy with the way it rides. It loves running up to about 45 mph, after that it starts to become a little squirrely due to the 10” tires and short wheelbase, but that’s to be expected. Other than that, it’s easy to ride, park, and it’s exactly what I needed for commuting and errand running. And at a consistent 90 mpg (and I'm a big guy), it is almost literally my daily driver, and my cars stay parked in the driveway.
The only problem I had with both Stella’s is the inconsistent quality. My first Stella had a firm-closing glove box, where my new Stella’s glove box lid is a bit off. My first Stella had some electrical gremlins that may have been due to setup from the factory – I had two loose fuses.
I love my 2013 Stella(s), and I’m a bit disappointed that Genuine is only producing Stella’s with automatic transmissions now. I feel like I’m driving a bit of history; something that was made when things were not only built to last, but to be owner-serviceable. I can see how that wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but with only a screwdriver and a 13 mm wrench, I am my own mechanic!”
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