Po­tent Vespa for big boys

It’s a scooter for those who want cheap thrills, writes MARKHINCHLIFFE

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Bikes -

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.

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