Twist and go, this little scoot oozes style and class and is given that 23.8 bhp HPE engine that was first seen in 2018. It’s the most powerful scoot in the Vespa range, and we’ve been out testing the latest Vespa GTS 300 SuperSport.
It’s a pricey option at £5,950, but you’re paying the Vespa name that comes with decades of two-wheeled scooting excellence packed with the great HPE motor – it’s a fan favourite for a reason. However, I’d perhaps opt for the TFT screen on the Super Tech for £6,100 over this new analogue LCD display, without missing the carbon ‘sporty’ styling on the Super Sport too much.
It’s a statement scooter, and it packs a solid punch. The scootering community has banded around the Vespa name for years now, and it’ll no doubt be years to come – though that being said, I’m not sure what the old fanatics will think of potential future electric renditions to add to the Vespa Elettrica!
Vespa GTS 300 Super Sport | The Good and Bad Points
- Nippy HPE motor.
- Superb handling.
- Vespa style!
- Price point?
- Under-seat storage doesn’t fit a full-face helmet.
- Not a huge difference between GTS 300 Models – should they merge into one?
Vespa GTS 300 Super Sport Price and Availability
There are a few variations of GTS to pick from, with the chassis and engine shared between the standard £5,800 GTS Super, the slightly pricier £6,100 Super Tech (with TFT display and Vespa MIA phone integration), and this £5,950 Super Sport with 5 colours to pick from and carbon styled inserts plus ‘sporty graphics’ (based on current pricing).
Colour options for this Super Sport paint a pretty picture – though I’m not a huge fan of the green/gold ‘Verde Ambizioso Matt’ (literally ambitious green in Italian) option we had in for review, though it did split opinion with some loving it and some hating it. Other options include: black with orange highlights, grey with orange, orange with orange, and white with orange – all at the same price point.
A brief mention on the styling, though it did croak and groan at me when I sat on it (I’m about 14/15 stone, I haven’t checked lately), the bodywork and design is all fluid – accentuated by the carbon fibre infill at the front which is a ‘Sport’ designating mark, as is the orange highlight adorned on all 5 colour options.
Vespa GTS 300 HPE Engine
Specs-wise, the 278cc HPE single cylinder is 4-stroke with a single overhead camshaft and 4 valves, has EFI and a Magneti Marelli MIUG4 ECU, and some re-worked internals for this model year (tweaks to valve lift, the camshaft, the intake, and a new multi-jet injector).
It’s seriously easy and rewarding to ride – the Italian-made HPE motor gives you a smooth 23.8 bhp and 26 Nm of torque to work with, with no noticeable lag or delay from twisting the throttle to rocketing up to an indicated top speed of around 90 mph (at least with me on). I’m not entirely sure it was 90 mph, we tested it on the road and got a comparative 78 mph top speed. Also, a slight frustration was the MPH displayed as the smaller inner dial on the analogue display. In any case, getting to 70 mph is no problem whatsoever.
Firing up the scooter, the motor runs nice and quietly beneath you, and the 12” wheels front and rear spin up nice and quickly – giving a nice in-between with balance at speed, some incredible manoeuvrability, with a comfy riding position that'll happily let you cruise through town and zip along country roads, and can turn sharply for navigating traffic and confined spaces.
It’s liquid cooled with a wet sump, and runs a CVT with dry centrifugal clutch and vibration dampers, plus comes fitted with switchable traction control as standard – it’s a lovely Italian motor to work with, in all honesty.
Ride Character, Italian flair
One noticeable characteristic was the overall feel of the bike when riding along, it corners sharply with the 1380 mm wheelbase and 155kg weight, making navigating through standstill traffic an absolute breeze – a reigning characteristic for any scooter darting through busy Italian streets. It quite literally allows you to pull a U-turn in less than a car space at full lock. You can see why so many riders will opt for a Vespa when finding a commuter scooter with a bit of character!
The tank size is 8.5 litres, and Vespa quotes a mpg figure of 85 mpg, plenty for a good few commutes before filling up. You can certainly push on with this scooter, and I was certainly having a great time!
As it’s an all-Italian scoot with buckets of history, riding around on this is very surprising (for the uninitiated, at least). You’ll surprise other scooterists off the line at the red light, and hold your own on the twistier sections – it gives you the same joyful feeling each time you jump on, and that’s what scootering is all about.
Vespa GTS 300 Super Sport | Scooter Spec
Braking power is solid, with a 220 mm disc front and rear with ABS and ASR at your disposal. A firm squeeze of the left lever (rear brake) can induce an almighty chattering of ABS input when pulling in the levers, though braking power is solid when combined with the front brake. The discs at the front and rear practically fill all of the space inside the rim, making affixing secondary security a bit of a tight squeeze.
Seat height is an accessible 790 mm with a new comfortable seat with lovely stitching and finish on this model, plus a new single-sided front suspension setup glides over most town/city surfaces nicely to make rider comfort top for riders short & tall. The rear suspension is just as happy on city roads, only really becoming unsettled with bumpier country roads at speed. As a whole, the handling (as mentioned extensively so far) is really quite good.
Underseat storage is plenty for some essentials, like your jacket and gloves when away from the scoot, but annoyingly it will not fit a full-size lid. Perhaps not an issue for the European market who may opt for an open-face lid, but for most UK riders a full face tends to be the way to go – and that just simply won’t fit. Vespa will happily point you in the direction of one of their own branded Vespa lids which I’d imagine fit perfectly, mind you.
For the most part the LCD dash works well and displays nice little messages from the scooter when you turn the central dial switchgear to switch it on – it’s a fully keyless system. Though I found it a tad odd that you get the same joystick as the Super Tech which is fitted with a far more advanced dash, it doesn’t quite have much use on this simple LCD display.
A point can be raised on whether the differences between the Super, Super Sport and Super Tech are fairly negligible – but if you simply don’t want the fancy display from the Super Tech, and would rather save some cash, it’s understandable. The same can be said for a carbon infill panel and sports stickers on this Super Sport – but I digress.Worth noting the centre stand is standard issue, too.
The option for MIA dash connectivity (at £141.99) is nice if you want some connectivity with your smartphone, though the slightly pricier GTS 300 Super Tech is afforded the Vespa MIA package as standard if you’re after phone connectivity with GPS navigator. The glove box has a USB port to keep your phone charged – always a nice touch – with enough room for your mobile and other bits within.
You can dive into the accessories for top boxes, screens and heated grips. Essential items if you will spend a lot of time on this scoot in the UK!
Verdict | Vespa GTS 300 Super Sport
The Vespa GTS 300 Super Sport certainly fits the bill as a statement scooter. It’s superbly nippy and handles extremely well, has decades of history behind it, and oozes that Italian class in a stylish package. However that class does come with a pricey tag, at just shy of £6000 new.
Powered by the great HPE motor, the GTS 300 makes an impressive scooter for day-to-day riding and commuting, with handling that really sets it apart from other scooters of similar capacities – the fact there is little to no lag when twisting the throttle from a standstill to accelerating to 30 will make every red light feel like a ‘city gp’ start.
Perhaps you may want to consider one of the Japanese rivals for a touch more affordability, but you could argue they don’t come with quite as much character as this little nippy thing – I just wish the scoot was a tad bigger with more under-seat storage!
Thanks to Vespa UK for the two-week loan, head to their website to find out more about the current scooter line-up.