Our long term Vespa GTS has gone back to Piaggio after the best part of seven months in the SLUK toy cupboard. I managed to hang on to it for an extra month but sadly it had to go back in February, leaving a battleship grey, Vespa-sized hole in the garage.
Before it went back I had to take all the extras off, SIP rear carrier and SLUK Support, Shorty screen, SLUK Catcher, Speedring and Remus RS exhaust (the exhaust is on the naughty step after melting the bottom panel – I replaced it but they’re not cheap). I left the SLUK Guard on the front but other than that things were back to factory standard.
Did we like it?
I’ve ridden and owned a GTS pretty much since 2005 (although I don’t currently own one) so it’s obvious I already like them. The latest version moves things up an extra notch though in most ways. The HPE model has extra power from its predecessors, it picks up much quicker and that torque helps in the low to mid-range. As we covered extensively in the last part, the HPE is slower at the top end than previous models – although we overcame that by fitting the Kübler Speedring (and got a ticking off from Piaggio). It was worth being told off for though.
It’s human nature to have a need for speed, no matter what we ride. UK/German/Austrian and French Scooterists, in particular, like to tune, mess around with and fettle their scooters. Adding some extra speed for not a lot of money means Vespa will sell more scooters. After all, who would want to trade up to a new slower scooter? Not me. In other parts of the world though, speed isn’t high on the list of priorities for your average scooter rider so no fettling is required (it’ll do a GPS 77.7mph as standard). If you’re a commuter looking at Vespa ownership, the GTS is just great as it comes. If you spend a lot of time on the motorway, as many rally riders do, you may want to gain a few extra mph.
The HPE GTS is a great looking scooter. The styling is subtly different to the previous model but all the little touches make it stand out. I particularly like the dash on the SuperTech – a good job really because that’s why you pay an extra £800 over the cost of a Notte, or £1100 over the cost of a Super. By anybody’s standards, that’s a lot of dosh for a fancy screen. I’d find it hard to justify the price difference if I was buying one and would probably opt for a Notte instead (they look lovely). Even so, it seems like a backwards step to ride a scooter without a built-in sat-nav now that the SuperTech has gone back to Piaggio. Having to fit a TomTom, or mount a mobile seems like a lot of effort and spoils the look of a scooter so I’ll certainly miss that bit of the SuperTech. If you’re buying a GTS on finance you’ll not notice an extra few quid a month for the SuperTech.
The GTS went back with 1354 miles on the clock, most of that mileage was done for work with the only rally use being a blast to Woolacombe and back in September.
According to the Vespa app the final average fuel consumption was 62.7mpg, which isn’t bad because I’m not really a preserver of fuel.
I didn’t have any problems with the scooter, not even the front brake fade which has been part of a recent recall. All the scooter needed was the first service, which was carried out by Piaggio themselves.
I can’t fault the finish of our long-termer and it had no faults or problems during our time together. A GTS is a great scooter to have in the garage for those times when you need to get somewhere quickly and know you’ll get there with no fuss and on time.
The HPE model is an improvement in most respects from the previous GTS and if I still owned my 2015 model I’d be looking to trade up this spring. With the current coronavirus already affecting supply from many parts of the world and with parts of Italy on lockdown (the Piaggio Museum is already closed), I’d be buying a new scooter sooner rather than later because supply could be an issue in the coming months if things get worse. Use that as bargaining power with the other half!
Piaggio also has a 0% finance offer running until the end of March so it’s well worth taking advantage of that…
Part of the family
A GTS isn’t for everybody, although to be fair if more classic scooter owners tried one (and left their hang-ups at the door) they’d no doubt take to them pretty quickly. They’re a very useful tool to own. Yes, there are more practical 300cc scooters on the market for less money than the Vespa. Yes the GTS has its issues, as does anything metal and mechanical. The GTS isn’t ‘just’ another auto scooter though, it’s a Vespa. It wears that badge proudly and means the owner is part of the family.
Owning a Vespa is a lifestyle choice, as much as it is a mode of transport. This isn’t just about buying a vehicle. It’s much deeper than that. We could all ride some faceless scooter, you’d get to your destination in a similar fashion but on a Vespa you arrive in style. People see a Vespa and associate it with certain things. Are you part of the family?
Words and photos: Iggy
Action shots: Sticky
SLUK makes and sells products to protect and style up your Vespa GTS – visit the SLUK Shop
Buy genuine SLUK products!
SLUK invented the SLUK Guard, SLUK Catcher and SLUK Tail, as well as the SLUK Support (and numerous other items). All our SLUK Plastics™ are designed by Scooterists, for Scooterists. They’re hand made in England by our artisan craftsman, Nigel – rather than in some Chinese/Indian sweatshop and are used by us and our customers around the world.
Looking for an insurance quote for your new (or used) Vespa GTS?
Lexham Insurance offers competitive quotes and can insure on multi-bike policies, cover modifications, agreed value, give breakdown cover and they employ real people in the UK to answer your calls. Plus you’ll find them at every National Scooter Rally so you can talk to them face to face.