What this scooter has in spades is style. Almost everything has little touch of Italian flair. There is a tasteful use of chrome harking back to Vespa’s origins; the chrome accents include the mirrors, badges, and a few small trim parts. The 21st century however has not been forgotten; many modern touches such as, the digital tachometer, fuel gauge and the engine have been subtly integrated into the retro design and were created using the latest technology. One detail that truly stands out is the pillion passenger foot pegs, these are works of art, even the action of extending them has style; it has to be seen.
'The GTS performed very well, with a time of only 3.9sec/0-31mph...'
On the road you know you’re on a big scooter, although compared to the average maxi scooter it’s quite light at around 150kg (331 lb). The weight settled nicely on the open road; only when weaving through traffic did it feel a little cumbersome in comparison to a smaller bodied machine.
You’ll notice the weight compared with the smaller cc scooters, but you will also notice another thing: the power! While reviewing this scooter, we ran our 0-50kph (0-31mph) test. The GTS performed very well, with a time of only 3.9sec and it will do these numbers all day long thanks to the CVT automatic transmission.
The most important test for a traffic weapon is the 50kph to 80kph (31mph-50mph) time. Thanks to the powerful 250cc engine 4.2 seconds was the recorded time. This time correlates to easy overtaking of all the other sheep… sorry, cars. There aren’t many scooters that can match that time. The only downside to this powerful machine may be a slightly lighter pocket after a visit to the fuel pump. However, considering the admirable fuel efficiency of this Vespa your wallet won’t be all that empty.
The storage was great, unfortunately though the under seat compartment will not take a full-face helmet. If you prefer the full-face option Vespa will sell you a 42 liter (11 gal) top box to store it in when you stop for coffee. A full-face helmet is obviously a far safer option, and tends to make open road traveling more comfortable. Assuming you prefer the open face variety you can squeeze two into the storage area, and fit a few other bits and pieces as well. There is also a small, lockable glove box which is a very useful size and gives quick access to smaller items without having to access the under seat storage.
If there had to be a weakness it would be the center stand; it could be a handful for a smaller rider. It takes a big stomp and pull on the bike to get it up on the stand. Also the digital rev counter is… well… digital. It’s quite small and right next to the fuel gauge, which looks very similar. Fortunately with the CVT you don’t tend to spend much time checking your revs, so it’s no great loss. One unusual if not vital missing component is the kick-start lever, I am not sure as to the reasoning Vespa have for leaving this off, and I doubt you would miss it. For myself I prefer the security of having one… just in case. I would have thought a classic styled scooter like the Vespa GTS 250IE would have one simply for nostalgic value if for no other reason.
The only real issue with the GTS is the price; this will not affect the die hard Vespa purists, but the average commuter may have a hard time justifying the price. Buying this Vespa becomes an emotional rather than logical decision.
The Vespa 250 is at home in the modern city; it is a thing of beauty both in aesthetics, with its classic yet modern look, and in engineering with its powerful injected 250cc engine. It’s certainly one of the best all-round scooters available today, but we'd expect as much. After all, the GTS 250ie is Vespa’s --inventor the scooter!-- flagship machine.
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