Owning a motorbike is one of the easiest and most affordable ways of being able to get around the country. But not all motorbikes are created equal, with certain models being more desirable than the other. Two such motorbikes have reached iconic status here in the country: the Honda Cub (or Super Cub) and Vespa’s range of premium scooters.
The Honda Cub first made its local debut in the 1970s. However, Honda PH has since deviated from the standard Cub’s design, quickly adapting to the needs of consumers. The spirit of the Cub lives on in the form of Honda’s XRM line of motorbikes. At this point, the Honda Cub is now extremely rare, making it a highly desirable retro underbone among enthusiasts. And while most owners would baby their collection of rare vehicles, one such man prefers to make the most out of his Honda Cub.
Meet Viktor Eriko “Wahoo” Sotto, the current City Councilor of Parañaque, son of Valmar Castello “Val” Sotto of the famed 70’s rock group VST & Company and one of the nephews of Vicente “Tito” Castelo Sotto III, Senate President of the Philippines. Wahoo Sotto is an avid motorcycle fan, and one of his prized possessions is a Honda Cub.
Wahoo’s love for the Honda Cub started back when he was young, he fell in love with the Honda C70–a variant of the Cub–that one of his friends owns. Eventually, he was able to acquire one at a ridiculously low price when one of his friends offered him a “project Cub” a few years ago.
Wahoo loves the Honda Cub so much, especially when a show declared it “the greatest motorcycle ever” and rated it number 1. “The history, heritage, and durability alone really make it special, but what sets it apart are the memories it brings back of my childhood strolling around in a motorcycle and feeling absolutely weightless and free, just like in a dream,” says Wahoo.
Wahoo’s love for motorbikes, however, was not just contained within himself. This eventually trickled towards his wife Nina Sotto. The two lovebirds initially bonded over mountain biking, but Nina was terrified of motorbikes because of a bad experience when she was around 10 years old.
Nina’s fear of motorbikes started to fade when Wahoo bought a Vespa GTV from a fellow mountain biker. Eventually, she got her own scooter–a Vespa Picnic to be precise, which is a Limited Edition variant of the Primavera. She was initially scared, but the couple’s thirst for adventure helped her overcome her fears.
There are two things that made Nina fall in love with Vespas in particular: the brand itself and its vintage looks. “We’re fans of everything that looks vintage and old-fashioned,” says Nina. “The Vespa really is an icon of style.”
One of the best aspects of living with a Vespa is its proven durability matched with its impeccable style. Nina says, “It’s not all form over function. It isn’t like any typical scooter. Because of its metal build, it tends to be heavier and more stable. It also has ABS, engine check warning, and side reflectors for added safety.”
While expensive motorbikes would normally be treated as if they were a museum piece, this is not the case with Nina Sotto. She uses her Vespa Picnic on a daily basis, even on trips to the market and even humanitarian activities. “Since it is more expensive than most scooters, I make it a point to use it all the time, like every chance I could get,” Nina says. “That way, it serves me, instead of me serving it.”
As a matter of fact, Nina’s Vespa Picnic is fully loaded with accessories that let her fulfill her daily routines and even charity work.
“My Vespa Picnic comes complete with accessories I could not resist,” Nina says. “A rattan basket that serves as its top case that can fit a grocery bag, a spacious waterproof under-seat storage, and a front-of-seat hook that’s useful for hanging a bag from quick runs to the store. It’s perfect to use within the community we live in, where all establishments are so close to each other.”
Motorbikes can often be more than just a more affordable means of transportation. In the case of both the Honda Cub and Vespa Picnic, their roots trace back to these two motorbikes being practical rather than emotional.
This lovely couple chose not to let their rare and expensive motorbikes collect dust inside their garage. Instead, they use it on a daily basis, treating it based on its intended purpose. They serve as a reminder that in order to make the most out of life, we should also make the most of what we have rather than keeping it tucked inside a glass case. As Nina perfectly said, “That way, it serves me, instead of me serving it.”
This article first appeared in The Manila Times