Vespa GTS 300 Super First Ride Review- Vespa Scooter Reviews

9 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Vespa GTS 300 Super First Ride Review- Vespa Scooter Reviews
Vespa GTS Super 300

First Ride: Vespa GTS 300 Super Ultimate urban commuter?

Not that we have all been sitting around waiting for a scooter that had enough juice to wheelie off the line, but wouldn’t it be nice to have an urban-commuter machine that had a real dose of power? Storied Italian brand Vespa delivers just that with its new GTS 300 Super.

First, a bit of history. The 300 GTS is the culmination of years of modern development that started in 2000, when parent-company Piaggio introduced the GT 200. Up to that time, the Vespa had been idling along with no major changes for 15 years or so. The 200 refreshed the brand’s style in the best Vespa tradition, giving the company a true injection of new life to its essence and concept.

The chassis retained the stamped-sheet-metal unibody construction, but with torsional rigidity numbers greatly exceeding those of the previous iteration. Inside nestled a brilliant liquid-cooled, sohc four-valve Single teamed with a modern CVT transmission, replacing (at last!) the traditional hand-operated four-speed unit in use since the dawn of Vespa just after World War II.

The GT 200 upgraded the Vespa to a new standard appropriate for the third millennium. The next big update, the GTS 250, added extra spice to the concept. It was quicker, faster and featured a revised front-end geometry that improved steering response, while retaining the traditional trailing-link layout.

A totally revised, leading-link front suspension would have enhanced the virtues of the chassis in terms of front-end response, stability and all-around riding quality, but that would have eliminated a traditional Vespa design hallmark. The following version, the GTS 250ie, was so brilliant that it seemed to represent the final evolution of the Vespa concept. It retained the traditional front-end design, but sported reduced rake that enhanced the precision of the steering response, and the engine’s performance was terrific.

Now, seemingly out of the blue, comes the new GTS 300 Super. Using advanced finite-element-analysis software, Vespa’s engineers redesigned the unibody chassis, increasing rigidity without adding weight. Next, they bored and stroked the sohc four-valver to 280cc. Electronic fuel-injection and a catalyzer are standard.

Vespa GTS Super 300

Leading-link front suspension has yet to materialize, but the Vespa GTS 300 Super definitely handles better and is more stable and surefooted even when pushed to its staggering (by Vespa standards) 80-mph top speed.

The new engine is outstanding. Peak power only increased from 21 to 22 horsepower, but torque has been boosted from 14.8 ft.-lbs. at 6500 rpm to 17.1 ft.-lbs. at just 5000 rpm. This makes engine response superb, almost to a fault!

You’ve actually got to use restraint with the throttle when leaving lights because the 300 Super tends to wheelie even if the rider sits right at the front of the seat. And a wheelie from a vehicle this short—especially one notorious for having a weight distribution heavily biased to the rear—happens pretty fast, so discretion is advised. But even part-throttle starts will make the Super a top contender at the drags down the streets of Milan.

In fact, a taller final-drive ratio would not kill one bit of the Super’s zest, with the added benefit of improved fuel mileage and perhaps even a higher top speed.

Compact, lightweight and as practical as ever, a Vespa makes sense as a thrifty and stylish mode of transportation. There are no current plans to import the new GTS 300 Super to the states, which is a shame because it represents a new dimension of excitement and performance to the ultimate urban commuter.

Vespa GTS Super 300
Vespa GTS Super 300
Vespa GTS Super 300
Vespa GTS Super 300

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