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Vespa GTS 300 Review: Thoughts after 1 year

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I never thought I’d own a Vespa. Well, let me take that back. I was someone who thought ‘Vespa’ meant scooter. Kinda like you when you say, “I’m going to grab a soda (pop/coke),” even if you plan to get a Sprite.

A winding road eventually led me to buying a Vespa, but it was a hard decision. I never thought I’d spend that kind of money on a scooter, but now that I’ve now had mine for over a year, it’s time to dig into a Vespa GTS 300 Review.

This post is a personal round-up of thoughts, but check out this Complete Guide to the Vespa GTS 300 for the round-up of questions I’ve gotten on the model line-up.

Specifications & Features Thoughts

You can see the full details on Vespa’s site, but let’s cover the features that led to my decision to purchase this scooter and how they have played out now that I’ve ridden the scooter for over a year now.

Ultimately, the iconic look of a Vespa was a key point for me, and I was intrigued by the ride difference that the metal body would give.

For the Lambretta lovers – those aren’t available here! 🙂

I also wanted something in the 300cc or higher range for state highway travels. If you want the look & higher speeds, the GTS was the only option at the time.

Vespa GTS 300 front headlight close-up in the day time.

Well, technically it is 278cc. It wasn’t that long ago, but the 2023 GTS models aren’t exclusively 300cc anymore, but the need for speed was key for me.

Vespa advertised stability, storage, and ample parts & accessory availability, and all of that has held up.

How I Chose the GTS

I had been riding the Genuine Buddy Kick (review here) as my daily commuter, but I had an itch to ride further out. I wanted the flexibility of a larger engine, and I just love the looks of these retro looking scooters.

Speed

I really wanted something flexible enough to go on roads with 65 miles per hour (mph) speed limits as this was key to getting beyond my county really.

The Vespa GTS 300 Super Sport definitely does that with a good bit of low-end pep, too.

It Needed to be a Scooter

I really am motivated by helping others find their way to 2 wheels, and a scooter is a perfect way to add practicality with fun. I did consider motorcycles, but ultimately I knew staying on a scooter was the right option with the twist n go ease. Plus the storage. I love the storage!

Warranty

I talk about this a lot, but I love a good warranty. I just don’t know enough about the mechanical aspects of a scooter to care to do much when I first got one, and it seems like a good rule of thumb to me still today!

Looks

I know this is absolutely subjective, but I am drawn to the classic look of a Vespa style scooter. I was trying to not let this be a deal breaker for classic specifically, but I still have to like the looks of whatever I decide on.

There really isn’t a comparable sized scooter that has these looks, so the GTS was definitely a top contender, but the 12″ tires were a turn off for what I wanted. It met my speed needs, and it was a scooter with a great warranty. Yet I spent 6+ months agonizing.

I’ll NEVER buy a Vespa. They’re SO expensive!

– Naïve Renee (aka Scooter Newbie) in the past

Other Scooters I Considered (& ultimately didn’t buy)

I talk about scooters, so it felt silly to just leave it at that. I couldn’t just unilaterally ignore all other scooters if my sole purpose was to branch out. Well, if I was looking at a scooter in that range it was going to be a maxi scooter, and I just don’t love those looks.

That led me down the rabbit hole of motorcycles. I still may end up with one. Through the 6 months of exploring, I tried out a Honda Rebel 500, and I at least sat on an Indian Bobber, Ducati something, and the Honda CBR, but I still wasn’t in love.

Once I was able to test out the BV350, and it felt like a GTS 300 vs BV350 showdown for a month or so. Once I tested out the BV, it just wasn’t as fun as I had expected. It was ‘enough’. It was smooth. It was ok. I still didn’t get excited. But I hopped on the GTS 300, and I just couldn’t bring myself to consider much else.

I still went home empty handed. We drove back to that dealer 2 more times before I purchased anything!

I REALLY wanted to text out the Yamaha XMAX, but it was tough to even locate one to SEE much less sit on. I was bugging the local dealer so much that he promised to text when the mechanic shop got one in just to see it. Well, I can’t buy something by just seeing it!

I also tested out a used Suzuki Burgman 400, and I think something was wrong with the front end. It just wasn’t as smooth as I expected, but I really think something was off. But. The Burgman wasn’t quite what I wanted. It felt so bulky.

I did ultimately get to test a Yamaha XMAX after I bought my GTS, and it is a great scooter, but it was too late to be part of the decision!

Thoughts After a Year

This Vespa GTS 300 Review might be lame because I’ve had ZERO issues. Not with something mechanical, cosmetic or anything!

I have used it for sporadic work trips, grocery runs, boot camps, social time with pals, and a host of other trips – both long & short. It’s been a blast, and I have no question about the reliability of this scooter yet.

The mileage indicator has been reliable confirmed with GPS, but the speedometer is pretty reliably 4 miles per hour off. If my speedometer says 65, I’ve learned that this is really 61 mph. This hasn’t been a big deal, and it is the same across most scooter models.

Fuel Economy Reality

The Vespa site says that the GTS 300 models get an average of 73 miles per gallon (mpg). I realize that it is based on optimal driving conditions with proper acceleration and such, but in reality, I’m regularly getting a miles per gallon somewhere between 65-70. It’s not way off, and I do have a ‘lead’ foot with my acceleration sometimes.

Handling

Coming from the Genuine Buddy Kick (which I love), I had no idea what I was missing.

The Vespa GTS 300 is exceptionally smooth.

There is this one road I ride daily, and I go around all of the manhole covers that are in the right lane for a good stretch. I forgot to go around it one day on the Vespa, and I wasn’t jarred. Yes, it was a bump, but that’s all. Just a minor blip in the road.

That moment was when I realized THIS was the right scooter. Good thing since I already owned it! 🤣

Do I Take It on the Highway?

I do take this scooter on state highways, but I do not take it on an interstate (for the most part). While the speed of my scooter can take on at least the slow lane comfortably, I seriously just don’t feel safe in the middle of Houston on one.

A big reason for this is the debris on the road. While I was taught how to survive running over a 4×4 piece of wood in the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course, it’s not something I want to do on an interstate. There’s something about those tiny tires & my continued newbie vibes that keep me a cautious risk taker – off of the interstate.

I also have found that while the non-interstate routes take longer, I am with more bikes that way. Yes, motorcycles go on the highway, but the scenic route is generally the best route when on 2 wheels!

Has Anything Rusted?

NO! I get this question a lot on the channel.

I have been able to keep my scooters in the garage. However, we’ve moved, and I decided to leave it under a very high carport that doesn’t totally protect it, and I keep it in a place where the torrential downpours come off of the house & inundate the area. I wanted the GTS to get wet plenty, so for the last 4.5 months, it’s been getting gulf coast rain. The only rust is on my GoPro camera connector.

My Vespa GTS 300 has no rust at 15 months in.

Things I LOVE!

This scooter is so absolutely smooth.

I like the little details, and even a year in, I found something I didn’t realize. There is a mini toolkit tucked away in the glove compartment on the leg shield along with another latch to open the seat compartment, too.

I love that I can find accessories & parts on a whim. Exhausts, windshields in many brands and sizes, racks, the list goes on & on!

I had some options for the Buddy Kick, and really there were plenty. The Kymco scoots have been an absolute pain for even rear racks, but the Vespa has So. Many. Options!

black rear rack folded up on a Vespa GTS

I also appreciate being able to take the compartment under the seat OUT. No screws or anything, you can just lift it out. The other 3 scooters I’ve used on the daily did not have this nifty feature.

Things I LOATHE!

Ok, so loathe is a strong word, so let’s just says this is the ‘cons’ of this scooter (in my opinion).

I particularly HATE getting gas. It took about 6 months to get the hang of pumping gas without overflowing it! It overflows if you aren’t super careful with the pump speed along with taking the cap off & essentially wedging it in that oh-so-handy underseat compartment that thankfully can be lifted up that way.

Oh & I just move everything to the front of the box just in case. It has happened way too often!

I do not love that you can not leave it running when you put the kickstand down. I do this to close my garage & with a prior model it would warm up while I do all that. As soon as you kick the stand down, the motor cuts off.

Some comments on the YouTube video of an initial review that it’s for my own good. I understand it is a safety feature, I can still not like it. 🙂

Vespa GTS with a mat strapped to the rear rack with a roll bag

I do not love how hot the compartments get. The underseat storage compartment gets hot in all scooters. There is an engine there after all.

However, the glove compartment gets very hot, too. Riding around in June in Houston, I had my phone in there to charge. I was lost, and I really needed my phone.

Want to guess what happened? It shut down from overheating in there. I’m recording those temps, and it’s ~120-130 degrees Fahrenheit when I returned home after a 10 mile ride last week. So keep your phone anywhere but in there.

What helmets fit in the storage of a GTS?

If you’ve been wondering where you store a helmet on a Vespa, you have a few options.

Open face and half helmets will fit in the storage compartment under the seat of the Vespa GTS 300.

If you have a full-face, then it will NOT fit.

Every now & then someone will comment on the YouTube video where I mention this saying I must be putting it in wrong. I have spent too much time trying, so I will say that the 3 full-face helmets I have DO NOT fit.

Rant over, but you CAN store any helmet using the D-ring on your helmet attached to the post that is accessible by raising your seat. Essentially, the helmet hangs off of the scooter on the outside. You can get a cover for your helmet if needed.

Another option is to get a top case to store it in.

The last option is to get a backpack that makes toting it with you easier.

Accessories Added So Far

It’s been a busy year, and with several scooters, I can honestly say I haven’t added as much as I would have thought I would. After all, Vespa scooters in general have the most options and availability of those options from a parts and accessories standpoint.

So far I’ve added a very high Vespa branded windshield. It is much flimsier feeling than I would have expected. I don’t love it in the summer, but I appreciate the wind block in the winter. Adding a windshield or top box, and Vespa says your maximum speed should be 65 miles per hour (mph) for safety reasons. That is a bummer if you buy a 300 for that 80+ top speed!

I’ve also added a charger and changed out my blinkers for a brighter option on the front and rear. They’ve been a great addition, but that’s a post for another day!

I added a folding rack, and it has been so flexible! Simply throw on my Prima Roll Bag when I need more closed in storage (like groceries), and other times, I put my fitness mat on it with a simple strap for a boot camp workout.

I’m waiting for a deal on a large case for camping, so more to come!

be seen and be safe graphic

I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months brings, and I’ll come back to update this Vespa GTS 300 Review!

More questions about this model? Check out this Complete Guide to the Vespa GTS 300 for more.

Share the Scooter Love!

Renee

What started with renting an electric rental scooter in Las Vegas landed into a full-on love affair with motor scooters. I stumbled around in the dark having never ridden one before, and now I want to help you get the info you need to get scootin' easily and safely!