Potent Vespa for big boys
It’s a scooter for those who want cheap thrills, writes MARKHINCHLIFFE
SCOOTERS may be an economic imperative for some, but those who buy the new Vespa GTS 300 Super will be seeking more than frugal commuting.
With a displacement of 278cc, it is the largest-capacity Vespa yet.
Australian brand manager Simon Gloyne says the super-scooter will appeal mainly to ‘‘sporty’’ males.
‘‘The family with a couple of kids is not going to fork out almost $9000 for a Vespa to save money on fuel. But those who appreciate a bit of performance and the ability to carry two people with ease, yet still save money on fuel — they will be the market for this scooter,’’ he says.
‘‘We’re talking more about a want rather than a need.
‘‘If everyone bought a car for need rather than want, we’d all be driving Corollas.’’
The Vespa is no Corolla. The bike is basically a GTS 250ie, but with a bored and stroked engine, stiffer suspension, styling modifications and a firmer seat with retro white piping.
The style modifications include a chromed rear grab rail, black wheels, a vented rear fender and all-analogue instruments.
Whether these are enough to warrant the extra $1000 will depend on the wants and needs of buyers.
The differences are more about performance and handling:
Where the 250 bump steers and tram-tracks, the 300 steers true and stable.
Where the 250 lags in take-off, the 300 has oomph from just a tick over idle.
Where the 250 struggles on hills or with a pillion, the 300 powers on.
Where the 250 has a soft ride but bottoms out easily, the 300 is less compliant but takes a fair whack before it bottoms out.
The scooter is classed as a Learner Approved Motorcycle in Victoria, so novices can step aboard.