Vespa GTS 300 Super i.e.
Vespa's motto of "Twist and go" rings true.
Its so easy to ride, just twist the throttle and away you go.
Does the prospect of commuting by scooter disturb your bowels? Let the Vespa GT 300 ie change your opinion about scooters. First of all, it has the famous Piaggio name to live up to and second it incorporates all the latest technology in its design. The old days of a single cylinder, air-cooled and carburetted means of transport are over. This new Vespa incorporates fuel injection and water-cooling to prolong engine life and improve economy. The headlights use the same bulbs as much bigger bikes and so the Vespa can be used at any time, unlike the older versions that used the equivalent of a minerís headlamp.
the Vespa shop off William Nicol Drive, Fourways, Joburg
After collecting the Vespa from Wynburg, the trip back to the office would be via the M1, a somewhat daunting prospect on any small cc motorcycle. Entering the on-ramp, I floored it and to my surprise was moving at 100 km/h in no time at all and with very little effort from the engine. The Vespa felt like it could cruise at this pace all day, and it probably could too!
The ride height is perfect and cruising through traffic is little more than a breeze. Everything is done at your own leisure. Simply twist the throttle and the Vespa will take you there. Need to lift a pillion? Simply pull the (somewhat extremely well engineered) rear foot pegs out and pizzazz, itís that easy. Little to no performance is lost. Top speed is limited (via a subtle limiter) to 140 km/h, which is, well, more than enough to be frank. Awesome little Pirelli tyres keep you on the road and power to the rear wheel is regulated by a very smooth automatic variable belt system.
screen and the front panels offer much protection
The initial plan was to pick up the scooter from Vespa on Thursday and get a feel for the ride over the next day, and then take it on an epic road trip all the way to Durban and back within 12 hours. Thatís about 1100 kilometres in one sitting, the only rest being in Durban for lunch. Sadly, weather put the brakes on the whole episode, as I was not willing to chance hardcore weather on tiny tyres. Nevertheless, I would not have doubted the Vespaís capabilities to make the run once, Im positive it will be able to do it. I hope that in the future, ill be given a chance to attempt the run again with success.
good-looking butt as well
the Vespa stands proud
great retro look
The retro inspired Italian awesomeness doesnít end there. You can get almost any gadget conceivable fitted to your personal Vespa. The list includes: heated grips, performance exhaust, carbon fibre imitation fairing wrap, two different screens (smaller fly screen fitted to test model), performance engine head, cone air filter and more. Another very clever addition would be to buy the retro styled open face helmet to suit your personal Vespa. Go on, do itÖ get a Vespa and join the Cool Club.
got up to 140kph on the clock
Kenn trying to squeeze the last ounce of speed out of the scooter
Words and photos by Dylan Slater.
Thanks to Andy Reid and David van der Kooij for the ride.
The Vespa is retro-styled, but technically modern. We loved it!