Welcome to the 2019 ScooterLab long-termer. I’m sure most of our readers won’t need an explanation as to what this one is but just in case you don’t know, this is the new Vespa GTS HPE SuperTech 300.
I’m no stranger to the Vespa GTS and have owned six since the first 250 came out in 2005. I quickly found myself getting caught up in the easy riding, no-hassle world of the GTS and spent a few years using them two up for rallies and Euro trips to Croatia and St Tropez (amongst other places). That changed around five years ago though and I went back to two stroke and gears pretty much full time and sold my blue 2015 GTS early last year.
We covered the launch of the new GTS earlier this year on SLUK and I was impressed with the styling tweaks and of course the new HPE engine. More grunt and a better mid-range were instantly appealing and although I’d not actually ridden a SuperTech version I’d seen one up close in Milan last November and liked it instantly. Especially in the ‘Matter Grey’ colour option, a colour that is bang on trend at the minute and matches my Arai Profile-V quite well…
It’s just as well I liked it really because Piaggio kindly said we could have one as a long-termer for 2019. Initially, we were expecting it to arrive in May but the scooter actually arrived in the middle of July.
The SuperTech is quite striking really, for me it’s the nicest looking GTS variation so far (although this year’s Notte is close). Obviously, the SuperTech boasts the top-spec full-colour TFT screen, a bit of tech that adds £800 to the cost in comparison. A Notte costs £5199, the SuperTech £5999. That’s quite a difference.
I collected our long-termer from the Piaggio press fleet based at Silverstone. It had 104 miles on the clock. My first little ride out was to a local EMSA (East Midlands Scooter Alliance) night near to Southwell in Notts with the missus on the back. She always finds the standard GTS suspension a bit harsh but I’ll adjust that, or maybe swap the shocks at a later date (we all love buying fancy suspenders for our scooters). In the past I’ve used Malossi RS24s as my GTS shock of choice but may well try the BGMs or the RacingBros ones from SIP on this.
See the light
The engine was still feeling a little tight but the scooter felt as familiar and comfortable as an old pair of slippers. I came home in the dark later that night and the new LED headlights proved to be exceptional on the dark country roads. In comparison to the old GTS lights, it’s like night and day, these are on a par with modern car headlights. Fantastic. The dash also looks great, day or night. More about that later in our video.
I only got the scooter just before Llandudno last month but opted to go there on my Quattrini Lambretta (as I still will for most rallies). What a GTS is really useful for is nipping to places in a hurry and recently I had to pay a flying visit to The Prodigy rally in Manchester. Where once again I was two up and enjoying the ride. Even though we had torrential rain and a 20-mile diversion on the way home in the dark I had fun.
The engine is starting to bed in nicely already and I’m hoping the top speed isn’t slower on GPS than the older GTS models I’ve owned (82mph on GPS was what I always got before) but we’ll have to wait until it has a few more miles on the clock to find out for sure. One thing it does do though is hit the rev limiter much more noticeably than the Euro 3 model. The limiter is more pronounced and I quickly found that easing off the throttle slightly at motorway speeds is the better option. Of course, it’s not a problem if you’re not going over 70mph.
VIDEO | SuperTech dashboard
Out of sync
The main people will opt for the SuperTech over a Super/SuperSport/Notte model is because it has the new-fandangled TFT full-colour display. We all love a gadget.
Once connected and synced to your mobile the Vespa app includes sat nav direct to your dash. I really could have done with that going to Prodigy but failed to get my phone to sync. It was connected but the scooter and phone weren’t talking to each other. There were no videos or help online and I didn’t have any instructions.
I’ve got that sorted now though (accidentally, rather than by figuring it out) and it was as easy as pressing a speech bubble in the app. The video above shows you around the dashboard and app so it’ll hopefully help a few people in the future.
Seeing as the GTS only comes with a passenger grab rail I’ve already fitted one of the cool looking SIP 70s rear carriers. They look the part but aren’t as practical as the genuine Piaggio fold-down rear racks so we’ve made a SLUK support especially for them. This is the first prototype but we’re modifying it slightly so that it doesn’t touch or cover the rear light when loaded. You can order those here. We’ll probably make a rear tail tidy as well so we can ditch that ugly new number plate bracket.
We’ll also be fitting some other SLUK products, SLUK Guard (we’re going to make an Ultra version for the HPE models in time for autumn), SLUK Tail, maybe a Driver screen and suspension cover. Annoyingly the GTS now comes without a toolkit or even the plastic cap for the little tool compartment in the glovebox. I’m going to see if we can make some of those as well. We’ll probably raid the Piaggio accessories catalogue as well and also add the odd Moto Nostra part from Scooter Center.
I’m waiting for a new exhaust for it as well, the race version of the Remus RS is the one I’ll be trying out.
Long termer statistics so far
Mileage when it arrived: 104
Current mileage: 343
Thoughts so far
Great looking, quick off the mark, instruments look fantastic and the navigation function is very useful. The LED headlights alone make it worth trading up to an HPE if you ride a lot at night.
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