Sport-styled iconic Italian scooter brought bang up to date.
If you know even a little bit about scooters, you’ll have heard of Vespa. Established in 1946 to address Italy’s urgent need for a modern and affordable mode of transportation post World War II, the Italian brand have been churning-out small capacity stylish scooters ever since.
The GTS Super Sport 300 is the latest Vespa to be updated, bringing the sporty scooter in line with current Euro 4 regulations – blending classic Vespa styling with bang-up-to-date performance and modern technology. It benefits from a swathe of updated electronics that forefront rider safety to help keep you safe out on two wheels.
The Vespa GTS Supersport 300 is undoubtedly the most aggressive-looking Vespa in the range – and I love it. The 2017 model builds on the winning formula from the outgoing 2016 Supersport, incorporating black-painted wheels, black seat trim with contrasting piping, five gills and all-new LED lighting front and rear – though, sadly there’s no luggage rack as standard on this model. However, there’s a slightly larger underseat compartment that Vespa claim should comfortably accommodate an open face lid. It also features updated front suspension, a new analogue and digital instrument panel, a USB port and brand-new sporty graphics. I reckon this scooter looks fantastic – and by the number of looks I received while riding the machine, plenty of other people like it too.
There’s a couple of colourways to choose from; either Yellow (Giallo Gelosia – my personal favourite) or Grey (Gringio Titanio) – and Vespa also offer a massive range of aftermarket accessories, from TomToms to topboxes and covers to chrome bumpers, should you want to kit your steed out for something specific.
On the road
The Vespa GTS 300 Super Sport is one of the smoothest, stable scooters I’ve ridden. It’s light and agile with enough power to allow you to make good progress out on the open road. It’s always going to be most at home squeezing its way through towns or cities, but I was pleasantly surprised with how confidently it handled sweeping bends and tight turns at speed. Of course you’re not going to be able to throw it into a corner in the same way you would a larger-wheeled motorcycle – but when riding alongside work colleagues on Moto Guzzi V7’s, the Vespa helped me to stay hot on their heels.
It uses an adapted Quasar four-stroke, single-cylinder engine from the Vespa 250. It’s undergone bore and stroke increases and features a redesigned cylinder head to help improve mid-range torque. And it’s worked. The GTS pulls away briskly maintaining momentum up to 70mph with ease. From there it keeps going, but you’ll need a good run to get up there.
The Brembo brakes offer excellent stopping power with exceptional feel from the rear, with little-to-no risk of wheel lock-up, even under emergency braking, thanks to the ABS system. Ultimately, they add to the general air of sophistication and quality which oozes from these large-framed Vespas when compared with other scooters on the market.
The scooter also features updated front suspension, inspired by the Vespa Primavera. That means there’s a hinged lower shock absorber mount, replacing the old rigid mount directly on the trailing arm. The new hinged mount allows the shock to keep the correct working geometry at all times, offering precision and smoothness.
With a few miles under my belt, I felt more and more confident on the scooter – and by the end of our time together, I was soaring through the countryside with a massive smile stretched across my face.
Should I buy one?
The GTS 300 Super Sport blends classic Vespa styling with modern technology – and is just as at ease out on the open road as it is in suburbia. Opt for the extra luggage accessories, load it up, and head away for a long weekend of two-up touring and it’ll still be ready to get you into work once you’re back. And it achieves near 70mpg, so shouldn’t cost too much to run either.
The Vespa 300 GTS Super Sport isn’t cheap – but Vespa’s aren’t, full stop. But you’re getting a fantastic-looking, top quality machine that genuinely stands apart from the competition. If I had the money, I’d be very tempted indeed.
O2W RATING: 9 stars
ENGINE: 278cc, SOHC single cylinder, liquid-cooled 4-stroke with automatic gearbox
SEAT HEIGHT: 790mm
TANK CAPACITY: 9.08 litres