VESPA GT / GTS SERIES - OWNER REVIEWS
2003 VESPA GT200
Milage: 5000 - 10,000 Miles
Likes: Styling, Build Quality, Parts availability
Dislikes: Dealer network
Review: “After 12 years of flogging this scooter is still a pleasure to ride every day. I'm a big guy and have more than enough power around town and out on 2 lane blacktop anywhere. I have zero desire to ride interstate highway on 12 inch wheels, but bike has the speed to do that on the rare times it is unavoidable.
My only gripe is the inconsistent dealer service departments. My "local" dealer sneers at scooters and want me to buy a Victory. The next closest Vespa store is an hour drive away and loves scooters, but were unable to fix a pretty basic issue. Fortunately I have found a guy who isn't an authorized dealer who can fix and maintain scooter for me. (I'm a rider, not a mechanic.)”
2012 VESPA GTS 300ie
Milage: 10,000 - 20,000 Miles
Likes: Feels good and smooth, can run all day, nice control even with two
Dislikes: The seat is for one person only
Review: “This is my second Vespa, the other is S-150 it's a 2009. Both vespa had 10k miles when I bought them. Now the GT200 I drive regularly has 15,000 and still looks new.”
2012 VESPA GTS 300ie
Milage: 1000 - 5000 Miles
Dislikes: Cost to maintain
Review: “Vespa is an icon. They are all metal, nice paint and have excellent resale. Instant curb appeal goes with Vespa. Power wise the new BV350 and certainly the BV500 series are faster and can be ridden harder on the freeways. But other than long freeway jaunts, there is every reason to be satisfied with the GTS 300ie. Acceleration is quite good and more than keeps pace with traffic. The engine is a masterpiece of smooth even power delivery. It will cruise at 60-65 mph all day without a whimper. Rip up to 75mph to pass and then settle back down to nice mile eating gait.
If you love scooters you know the appeal. But if you are coming from motorcycles there are some things to get used to.....more care and up keep. A tire change is no road side repair. The rear tire especially is a chore to remove. Locally a tire change (front and rear) is around $350 to $400 dollars. Oil change $130. Belt are changed every 6000 miles (some may go a bit longer) according to the dealer material. Cost around $325. Shop labor $85.00 per hour. All metal and vast areas to paint to be dinged, scratched and God forbid you drop one. Repair is very expensive. Most bikes have "O" ring chains (or shaft), tires not too difficult to pull and reinstall and wider service intervals. My last Triumph Bonneville went 30,000 miles and cost not much to keep up. Oil, tires and a tune-up. I did it all in my garage. The Vespa will take more effort. But you ride without shifting thanks to a CVT transmission, with more weather protection and it is very stylish.
People notice Vespa’s. The engineering is equal to any motorcycle made and fit & finish is top notch. The smooth power delivery and nice torque makes any trip a joy with no hassles. Riding position is upright and the seat very comfortable. After owning a motorcycle, I find myself using the scooter a lot more for errands and trips to the beach than I ever did with the bike. With a nice well designed luggage rack (does not look like a bolt on after thought) and plenty of storage space under the seat and a glove box, why tie bags to your seat? It’’s not hard to understand why Europeans like their scooters. Fuel economy is about 60 mpg with the 300ie. And last, not one bike rider, including the legion of Harley riders has ever commented on the Vespa "not being a manly thing." In fact, most bikers simply say; "nice scooter." It has no plastic or star wars styling. Just an up date of the classic lines that made Vespa famous and a sales success world wide. It is indeed an icon.”
2013 VESPA GTS300
Milage: 0 - 1000 Miles
Likes: Very friendly and easy to ride (once you get used to it), Looks fantastic, Feels solid, Good quality
Dislikes: Stability in high winds
Review: “Just had the first 1000km oil change done. It took a few rides to get used to the scooter's balance and handling - felt quite different from the motorcycle ridden before. Once used to it, however, the scooter is very friendly and easy to ride, plus it's a pleasure to look at, which is important, too. It has plenty of power for normal roads. Brakes work very well; the rear brake is quite effective - probably due to so much weight sitting on the rear wheel.
On one hand the under-the-seat storage is not large enough to fit a real-world helmet, on the other hand I can fit a pair of hiking boots, a small tarp, couple of tools, so it's quite useful. With the front and rear racks the scooter can haul lots of stuff (front rack + rear rack + under the seat + the cargo hook between the legs); with the addition of saddle bags multi-week touring should be no problem. (The clearance between the front rack and the headlight is not very large, so tall items can obstruct the headlight and perhaps even interfere with turning the handlebars to their max (like when U-turning).
The seat and the whole seating position is one of the most comfortable ones amongst the scooters (sat on all scooters sold in my area), though it's a good idea to check the ergonomics thoroughly if you suffer from back pain, as having the feet in front of you while holding the handlebars doesn't exactly align the body in the best way, and so conscious effort has to be given to keeping the back straight. Back to the handling: thanks to the small wheels the scooter is very agile and steering can be accomplished by leaning, as with a bicycle, in most instances, as opposed to conscious counter-steering on a motorcycle. This makes it very easy to avoid potholes and place the wheels exactly where you want them. With high winds one must pay close attention to steering the scooter - otherwise it's all over the road.
The suspension is good and even bigger road imperfections don't make the scooter throw you off; at the same time you'll feel them very well. Engine braking is decent. Much better than in a family car with automatic tranny, though not as good as with a motorcycle while down-shifting, of course. The engine braking disengages around 20 km/h. The speedometer is about 12 km/h optimistic (shows more than the actual speed - GPS confirmed). Installed a mid-size windscreen. The benefit of it is not having to constantly fight the wind, the disadvantage is the noise - ear plugs are a must. Though a laminar lip has been ordered so hopefully it will help reduce the noise. I think it's important to have not only a well-made, solid, well-performing two-wheeler (which this Vespa is), but also nicely looking. Elegance and good looks inspire and energize; Vespa has them in abundance.”
2013 VESPA GTS300ie
Milage: 0 - 1000 Miles
Likes: Easy to handle, Carries lots of stuff, Enough power for all but highway riding, Great looks, Great ergos, Comfy
Dislikes: Straight line stability not the best at highway speeds, Tail and turn lights could be brighter, Lack of ABS
Review: “My GTS has 3700 km currently. I use it for commuting, weekend country riding, vacations. It has plenty of power for in-town riding, enough power for up to 90km/h riding, and survivable power for highway riding up to 120 km/h. Due to the small wheels the GTS feel unsettled on the highway when there is no wind and almost scary when it's windy. The suspension is decent, though bigger road imperfections mean good kicks in the butt.
The scooter can carry lots of stuff: under-seat storage + front and rear racks + cargo hook between the legs. Fuel consumption is between 3.2 and 3.7 liter per 100km. It is very easy to put on the center stand, but a dependable kick stand would certainly be appreciated. The length of the scooter is perfect for someone who has a limited space for parking; it fits across a parking spot. Under-seat storage is too shallow for a helmet, but my 13" laptop fits there width-wise. I can put my hiking boots, hiking pants, some tools and other small stuff under the seat and take the scoot out of the city for a nice ride and a hike.
With the optional windshield and a laminar lip the wind is off my body and the ride is quiet up to about 70 km/h (there is enough "breeze" behind the windshield to keep one cool during hot days). Build quality and the quality of materials seem to be high. Brakes work very well. The rear (disc) brake has enough power to even stop the scoot (though of course not as fast as the front one).
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