What is the Piaggio Ciao?

Piaggio made the Ciao between 1967 and 2006. Yes, that’s the same Piaggio behind the legendary Vespa scooter.  Unlike the Vespa, though, the Ciao is a moped, complete with pedals, aimed towards a younger audience. During its 40-year production, Piaggio made 3,5 million Ciaos. Like a first-generation Puch Maxi, the Ciao can be used as a regular bicycle. The transmission is disconnected by pressing a small button near the rear sprocket wheel, and “bicycle mode” is activated. Just remember to shut off the engine first!

Quick trivia:

  • The first Ciao mopeds had circular headlights. After 1974, Piaggio replaced them with rectangular-shaped ones.
  • There’s a cargo trike version of the Ciao called the “Ciao Porter” (featured in the video below:)

Piaggio or Vespa Ciao?

In some countries (such as Canada), the Ciao goes by the name of the “Vespa Ciao.” Presumably, this is because of the Vespa brand recognition. But apart from the slightly different name, both versions are relatively similar.

Piaggio/Vespa Ciao Specs

2006 Model:

Engine: Single-cylinder, two-stroke Displacement: 49 cc Gearbox: CVT or 3-speed manual transmission Drivetrain: Belt-drive Ignition: Magneto flywheel or CDI Fuel system: Carburettor Fuel tank capacity: 2.8 liters/0,74 gallons Starter: Pedals Front brake: 103 mm drum brake Rear brake: 136 mm frum brake Wheelbase: 1040 mm/ 40.9 inches Wheel size: 17″ Total weight (dry): 40 kg/88 lbs Source: bikez.com, 2006 Italian Ciao Sales Brochure