Review: 2014 Maxi Scooter Vespa GTS 300 Super - Allegro Vita
Posted at 02:00:00 PM
File under Product Review
Author: David Morcrette
Location: Paris, France
Since this is a translation directly from French, some of the colloquialism may seem a bit strange at times, for which I apologize. It's not easy to translate. Any mistakes below are mine, and mine alone.
The Vespa is part of history, that of the Dolce Vita (Ed: Italian for the Good Life) and a model with multiple records, including the number of kilometers traveled and enthusiasts around the world. Since 1946, the model has continued to evolve and diversify while keeping the soul of its origin and especially that of its steel hull and general shape - forms, round, curved, almost feminine yet unisex. Man or woman, young or a dynamic manager, the Vespa is reaching out to everyone and continues to evolve with the times; evidence for this new version of the GTS 300 ie. Same name, same displacement, same line for this 2014 vintage of the GTS and GTS Super, from far there is a lot hidden away, but more obvious up close. So, a true model worth adopting or a reason to pay less without negotiating the old model? Test in the Italian countryside of Tuscany.
The Vespa is almost identical whatever the displacement ... And the 2014 vintage is as the 2013 vintage ... For ordinary humans especially with its small 12-inch wheels.
The geek naturally recognizes the steel shell, the general line and note all the details that make the 2014 vintage a real novelty. The more knowledgeable will notice as well that the Vespa 300 inherits some evolutions of the 946 including LED lights, a new dashboard, ASR: anti-slip which completes the ABS and is justified more on the 300 than on the 125 cc, the limited power resulted in an exceptional use of the ASR. With the 300, more power (22 hp) and torque (22.3 Nm) make it really useful. Beyond LED night lights adjacent to the indicators and their new front covers in a single location, the taillight is refined in thickness and is adorned with a chrome frame sufficient to give it a more modern look and substantially more elegant.
We then find a new saddle with white stitching covering a redesigned trunk, a Vespa marked carpet on the central beam and a discreet logo GTS or Sport depending on the model in the back.
Both GTS and GTS Super models are distinguished first by a rear-mounted chrome package carrier for the GTS, stitched saddle and by different colors. Then note the gray wheels for the GTS and black for Sport. Finally the two models differ in the backlight instrument panel, red for the Super and blue for the GTS. Both models feature the new front ESS suspension already on Primavera.
In The Saddle
Friends with short legs, the Vespa will allow you to touch the ground, just about. In fact, a 1.70 meter will barely touch the ground with his feet. Fortunately, the 300 is light and this lightness allows you to easily take control and be comfortable in the maneuvers at very low speed. So, we forget the saddle height when stopped, knowing that despite this, it is possible to reverse several meters without risk, using your toes. Hands always fall so naturally on the handlebars with an ideal width. The knees do not rise and the overall position is perfectly straight. There is room for the knees and a huge bag: the advantage of scooters with an almost flat floor, which thanks to the hook allows to transport large and heavy stuff on the ground and without generating the imbalance that may exist if the same amount was placed in a top case.
The huge glove compartment completes the storage space. And there is the outer AND inner USB plug that allows you to connect / load an external GPS or iPhone on a support; a point all the more remarkable that the 300 benefits from the Piaggio multimedia platform with mobile app offering in addition to the manual, extra information such as engine speed and consumption.
The 300 snorts with a muffled sound. And if it does not start, fuses are easily accessible in the glove compartment. The reaction to the throttle is instantaneous and the scooter leaps dynamically. We find the usual lightness, including the front train requiring a few minutes of adaptation compared to scooters with a heavier steering.
In The City
Exemplary handling is the first adjective that comes to mind, especially for a 300. Handling is worthy of a 125 cc. It is lightweight, maneuvers perform easily at very low speeds, without having to dismount so the overall balance is excellent. The dynamics are instantaneous and pickups are immediate for all trips in the city. The power difference is significant compared to 125 and allows you to quickly extract yourself from a red light.
On The Motorways
The 300 is dynamic in the first 80 kph, it then slows rapidly thereafter to reach 100 kph or even 110 kph once launched on a flat road. Of course, when launched downhill, the speedometer can go up to 125 kph, but it will be brief, while waiting until the next hill. In fact, the 2014 vintage 300 seems a notch below in terms of performance and speed but we should say that the tested models had barely lapped 500 km. As the small singles are released after 1500 even 2000 km, with a real gain of 10 to 15 kph, which would then allow it to display the same performances as the old model, knowing that the engine is the same and that no changes have been made either on the engine or on the gearbox. One might have feared a lightness of the front axle at maximum speed, but the 300 is very stable, both in a straight line, but also in large curves. And it is always possible to effortlessly rectify its path.
On Secondary Roads
Back on the county roads, the 300 which was faltering on the highway found pep and dynamics at intermediate speeds, especially 90 kph. On smaller roads, the pace is rather set, pickup above 70 kph is rather sweet, but the chassis appears to be very healthy, including on pavements in poor condition and not reacting to defects or bad connections, staying perfectly in line with an impeccable trajectory. We really need the pace to quicken and especially the curves linked tightly to see the handlebars react in a somewhat reactive way ... But then we are no longer in the Dolce Vita but in the Vita Allegro.
The 300 as always turns out as comfortable as its predecessor even more comfortable thanks to its new front shock absorber which plunges less and absorbs much better the road imperfections. Suddenly, the 300 is rather an example of comfort in this displacement in the scooters category.
The models are barely run in, the feelings were different from one model to another, especially in the hardness of the handle. We found similarities in a more powerful braking at the rear than the front, with good power, but a feeling that could be better.
With the same engine without modifications to injection level, consumption should be the same as on the former model. Piaggio announces a consumption of 1l for 33 kilometers, or 3 liters per 100 km. Consumption of the previous vintage, 4l per 100 km on average, which is little or less than some 125 cc scooters. All permits with a fuel tank of 9.5 l, about 230 km of autonomy.
The room under the seat has really been expanded and now allows to place two jet helmets (Ed: open face). Warning! A large jet or a modular helmet but will not fit but the majority of jets in the market will enter, especially if one does not hesitate to push a little to close the saddle. The multimedia functions are more anecdotal because not practical in daily use. The bluetooth connection works well but needs to be reset each time the scooter starts. On a daily basis, you will not bother to place your iPhone to see additional data. However, the external and internal USB ports allow you to easily connect a GPS or recharge your mobile and that's really handy.
And the accessory touring version, with front luggage rack and top case will expand its transport capacity. Two sizes of windshields exist to strengthen the protection. Warning! A big windshield always tends to generate a slight shimmy and small windshield, esthetic, looks great on the scooter.
The Vespa GTS 300/GTS /Super 2014 vintage is not a revolution in itself, but improves significantly over the previous vintage, justifying this one over the old model. The new dashboard offers an extra visual comfort and the additional space in the trunk begins to be very acceptable storage for the category: a challenge for Vespa whose place under the saddle is generally limited compared to other scooters, especially in the Piaggio range. The USB ports are those little extra bits that make daily life easier, that can charge mobile phones, something that current phones need more and more. And the LED lights at the front, beyond esthetics, are a great addition to the security level because they can be better seen then by a single headlight. Finally, the 2014 Vespa 300 is a great vintage that will delight a little more the fans and lovers of the Dolce Vita, especially as the price has increased only slightly compared to the contributions of additional features with an ABS model that costs "only" €5299 against €4990 for the model without ABS, barely €200 more expensive than older models.
Available in four colors: white, night blue, royal blue and red
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Via: Le Repaire Des Motards