Although the Vespa GTS isn’t new it is the UK’s best selling scooter in the 126-300cc class so Piaggio must be doing something right. In fact the model sold over 800 units in the UK last year.
The revised 2014 model now comes with ABS and ASR traction control. It also benefits from the new Vespa Multimedia Platform (VMP), a £200 option that allows you to connect a Smartphone and use it as a virtual dashboard, with everything from lean angle and acceleration to engine diagnostics, navigation system and even a scooter finding option to help direct you back to your GTS if you’re parked somewhere obscure, or are very forgetful.
The Vespa GTS is a comfortable machine, both for rider and passenger with well upholstered dual seat with intricate stitching and a Vespa tag to add a touch of class. Equipment wise you get a new dash with analogue speedo plus a digital screen with dual trips, odometer, fuel gauge and a clock. The front indicators incorporate LED running lights and there’s a USB point in the glovebox, plus a generous underseat storage space. The overall look of the scooter hasn’t changed significantly but the design has been tweaked a bit with ‘Vespa’ cast into the centre floor mat and on the grips. Little touches like these that add to the Italian flair and help to keep the Vespa name as a premium, or desirable brand with thousands of loyal followers.
The liquid cooled 278cc engine is fuel injected and of course automatic, it produces 22bhp in a linear fashion so it’s no slouch and will sit at 80mph all day long. Add the ASR, Anti Slippage Regulation into the equation, plus of course the two channel ABS system and you’ve got quite a capable scooter with some added safety features built in. The old GTS was a good enough machine but refinements to the front suspension means the latest model handles even better. That’s thanks to the new ESS, Enhanced Sliding Suspension which uses a pivoting pin to fix the bottom of the shock absorber to the fork leg, it helps to reduce friction and produces better stability mid corner, as we found out on the bumpy mountainous roads around Tuscany on the launch. Traction control may seem like overkill on a scooter but during our days riding it did cut in on a few occasions whilst powering out of turns in the wet, the ABS also cut in a few times and both systems are welcome additions to an already competent scooter. The ABS/ASR models will be available from June, the base model arrives this month and will be priced at £4441, expect to pay a couple of hundred quid more for the ABS/ASR but it’s money well spent.
Riding a scooter in the Italian countryside gave us a chance to put the GTS through its paces in the perfect environment, a geared bike would have been hard work on the very twisty route but the Vespa just laps it up, CVT auto transmission just keeping the scooter at the optimum power at all times. Leaving the rider able to concentrate on riding it, and of course enjoying the scenery. If you’re the kind of rider who loves riding, isn’t afraid to be seen on a scooter and knows a good product when he sees one you’ll be well advised to nip down to your nearest Piaggio dealer and take one for a spin, you won’t be disappointed.
+ points: Great all rounder, comfortable, stylish
- points: Not as powerful as others in the class, premium price
Engine: 278cc, liquid cooled, fuel injected, 4-stroke, 4-valve, single cylinder
Claimed power: 22bhp
Top speed: 82mph
Price: GTS 300 Super £4441, Super Sport ABS/ASR £4691 (125 Super £3871, Super Sport ABS/ASR £3971)
To read the full review of the 2019 Vespa 300 GTS hpe, click here