Vespa fans in Indonesia had to wait two years before the Vespa World Days could finally come to them. The event planned for 2020 was cancelled for well-known reasons. A year later, the situation had not improved, and the Vespa World Days were also cancelled in 2021. But this year, the time had finally come: the World Days took place outside Europe for the first time. And it was in Asia, on the Indonesian island of Bali. The location was a few kilometres south of the capital Denpasar on the Nusa Dua peninsula. From 09 to 12 June, the Mecca for Vespa fans from all over the world, hosted by the Vespa Club Indonesia and the local Dewata Scooter Club Bali (DSC Bali). The DSC Bali alone has around 2,000 members in ten chapters, which gives you a foretaste of the dimensions of the World Days.
Vespa World Days 2022 Bali – Martin and Basti on Tour
Wednesday/Thursday: Arrival and autograph session
At SIP Scootershop, Martin, Head of International Sales, and Basti, Purchasing & Product Management Modern Vespa, were the lucky ones who were to make the long journey to the country of 17,508 islands with around 280 million inhabitants. Indonesia is difficult to reach by scooter, so the two got on a plane and travelled via Munich and Singapore to Bandar Udara International Airport on Bali. They were on the road for about 24 hours. After they had gone through the lengthy entry formalities, they were met by Joshua and taken to the hotel. But there was no rest yet, because afterwards they went straight to the shop "Skuter Koloni", which Josua runs in Denpasar. Martin was immediately given a Vespa S 150 and Basti a GTS 150, so they were already provided with vehicles. Basti even had to give a spontaneous autograph session, because his face and beard are known worldwide through the advertising for our Vespa PORDOI.
Afterwards, the scooters took us into the metropolis with its 700,000 inhabitants. "You first have to learn to understand the traffic," Basti explains, "because at first glance there are no rules, even though there are rules. It took me a day to get used to it." Together with Joshua and crew, we got to know Balinese cuisine in a restaurant and then we finally went to the hotel. Sleep! Get the jet lag out of your bones.
Friday: Heat, old friends and thousands of Vespas
Off to the festival! Basti was very impressed when he arrived: "I've been to several World Days, but the area on the peninsula was three or four times bigger than anything I've ever seen before. Unfortunately, registration and ticket collection did not go smoothly, but the two SIPers stood in the scorching heat (40+ degrees and high humidity) for a beating two hours, only to find that there were no tickets for them at all. Something had gone wrong. Good thing if you know one of the organisers, because Benyamin simply gave the two sweaty boys a "volunteer" wristband and that took care of them for the rest of the show. But the wait also had its good side, because Martin met an old acquaintance: Shauki from "Vespa Planet" in Malaysia, who always had good tips ready over the next few days and became an occasional companion.
A first tour reinforced the impression: these Vespa World Days were of such an extreme dimension that one could understand why Piaggio is rapidly expanding this market. Thousands of rattling two-strokes came from near and far. The organiser later spoke of 20,000 Vespa riders, which is hard to verify. But the fact is that the planned Vespa parade had to be cancelled by the city. Organisers and authorities agreed that the traffic in Denpasar would collapse. However, Vespa fans were able to register for many different smaller rides, which then led through the city and into the surrounding countryside in an organised manner.
Countless vendors, food stalls, a performance test stand, Vespa museum and other attractions - there was something on offer for the officially 8,500 registered visitors. In retrospect, Martin and Basti were glad that they didn't have their own stand, because the heat was unbearable for Europeans, at least during the day. There was something going on on the big stage all day: folkloric dance performances, competitions and music. If you want to find out more, you can watch many hours of Indonesian culture and shows from the World Days on Youtube.
The SIPers had heard from Shauki that there was an alternative festival besides the actual one. Vespa fans who couldn't afford or didn't want to pay the entrance fee for the main event met at Pandawa Beach. Martin and Basti had to take a closer look. "This was by far the coolest atmosphere," Martin enthuses. "Officially, 2,000 people gathered on the beach, but it felt like a lot more. There was live music, it was totally awesome and we met some acquaintances. However, it was so loud because of all the scooters that I didn't have a voice the next day because you could only talk screaming."
On the way home to the hotel, we made a detour to the roof terrace of the Sheraton and dined with Andrian from "GayaMotorBaru" in Jakarta, Shauki from Kuala Lumpur and Mamu Italia from "Scootpedia". The day ended with a view over the rooftops of Denpasar and our two tired SIPers sank into the pillows full of new impressions.
Saturday: 500 selfies with Vespa fans
Because Martin had to rest his overstrained vocal cords, Basti went off on his own and met up with dealer friend Andrian from Jakarta for breakfast. "There were excellent butter croissants and probably the best coffee in Bali. And that's saying something!", Basti recalls. "Plus, Andrian knows his way around Bali and he had great culinary advice for us." This was followed by a ride on the highway built on stilts over the water. Martin was also fit again at some point and was picked up for lunch. Spareribs were the order of the day.
Back to the festival grounds: Meeting vendors, shooting videos, looking at everything and on the way to the car park Basti and Martin were almost overrun by spectators. "Around 500 people wanted to take a photo with us and literally snatched the SIP merchandise out of our hands," says Basti, "we really thought we were VIPs." An experience they hadn't had in this way before either. A side note from Martin: "A few days ago, I got an email here in Landsberg from someone who had met us at the event. He thanked me again for the key ring and sent a photo of it straight away."
After this story, the two of them first had to relax in the hotel pool and recover from an exhausting day. Crazy, these Vespa fans!
Sunday: Off to the beach
A ride with Andrian and Dhana from the "Vespa Garage Jakarta" was on the agenda. We went through Denpasar to Padang Padang Beach to swim in the sea at least once. There were also many surfers and tourists here. But the heat quickly drove the SIPers back onto the Vespas. Very impressive were the "scooters" built by the extreme Vespa scene, which can be seen on the streets from time to time. These guys and gals literally build a vehicle out of scrap metal that is held together and powered by a Vespa engine. The craziest constructions can be marvelled at, which in Germany would not even come close to the TÜV. The inspector would suffer an acute shock.
For filming, the alternative festival was visited once more in daylight, then Martin and Basti fled from the sun to a Chinese restaurant to lower their body temperature. All in all, a day in which many impressions were collected in order to put together a cool video.
Monday: Dealer Day
Actually, this day was supposed to be a "holiday" for the SIPers, but then it turned out quite differently. First of all, at breakfast, the heartfelt farewell to Andrian, who was on his way home to Jakarta. However, at every subsequent meal there were other traders who wanted to talk to Martin and Basti.
At noon, we had sushi at a Japanese restaurant. Also there was the dealer Andri from "ScooterHouseDjakarta", who had ridden the 1,000 kilometres to the World Days on a scooter with about 100 buddies. One of his friends is a Vespa influencer called "Ravespa", who has almost 170,000 followers on Instagram. His scooter is a very rare Vespa SS 90, which Martin even got to drive around the block once. Meanwhile, Basti shocked the illustrious round with the fact that he has no account on Instagram. Totally unimaginable for Indonesians, because even many traders don't sell their products via webshops, but via social media. Old-school Basti was an attraction. More photos were taken.
After a short refreshment in the hotel pool, we went back into town to Sunset Road, the tourist mile in Denpasar. Joshua has his shop there and with heavy hearts Basti and Martin returned their Vespas. At the obligatory farewell dinner with Josua, the young influencer Gihza Paturusi "Speeding Indo" was there, who runs a channel for Modern Vespa on Instagram. We will do an interview with him later this year.
Another guest was a very cool mechanic who installed a GTS engine in a Vespa Sprint. Quite unique. Also at the table was Yusup from "Vespuci", who has built a very special custom scooter together with the fashion brand "Hammerstout", which we will also report on. An evening that Martin and Basti will not soon forget. Again it was time to say goodbye.
Tuesday: Last appointment and journey home
A good night's sleep, pack your bags - but for lunch a meeting with the dealer Sendhi from "Scooter 99", who then took our SIPers to the airport. One last look out of the clouds at Denpasar and Basti takes stock: "I found the World Days incredibly impressive. I have never experienced such a community and so many Vespa fans in one place. I will also never forget the hospitality and warmth of the people. We felt welcome everywhere."
Martin can only agree: "I honestly don't think I will experience anything like this again. So many Vespas in one place and the spirit of the people. You won't find that in any other country in the world. And the helpfulness and friendliness of the people - that was pure Vespa passion.
"Satu Vespa Sejuta Saudara" / "One Vespa, One Million Brothers".
Martin and Basti would like to thank:
Benyamin from the organising committee, Andrian from "GayaMotorBaru", Josua and Denny from "SkuterKoloni", Andri from "ScooterHouseDjakarta", Ravespa, Shauki from "Vespa Planet", Sendhi from "Scooter99", Yusup from "Vespuci", Dhana from "Vespa Garage" and Mamu Italia from "Scootpedia