The queen of Vespas has received the latest in high-tech rider aids, with both ABS and traction control. The single-cylinder four-stroke buzzes underneath me as I’m sitting on a comfortable seat while smelling spring air in Tuscany, and I notice the butterflies in the fields covered in yellow spring flowers. It’s good to be liberated by the warming sun.

The essence of the Vespone lies in new high-tech features, giving more piece of mind on a slippery road. The ASR traction control takes care of sudden slips over a manhole cover or wet leaves, while the ABS gives safe braking power in all conditions. This is good news on the GTS, as it’s a little more powerful than other Vespa scooters. The 278cc Single is claimed to produce 21.2 horsepower at 7500 rpm, while a peak of 16.4 ft-lb of torque is available at 5250 rpm. It has more oomph all over its register than previous models.

051414-2014-Vespa-GTS300-Super-ABS-Action-03

The Vespa GTS has superb acceleration for a scooter, and its midrange has been improved compared to previous models. Twist the grip and there’s enough to overtake cars even at speeds above 60 mph. Vespa says it tops out at 80 mph. But, no matter what speed you’re traveling, the seamless transmission works in a very smooth manner. The GTS is great for both town and country lanes, as it offers a flexible engine which easily allows a pillion passenger to travel with you for many miles at a time.

The ASR traction control demonstrated its usefulness many times during the test ride, from leaving the gravel road leading from the hotel to accelerating over dirt littered on the roads. The ASR is pretty intrusive for maximum safety, but it’s okay because we’re talking about a 21-hp Vespa scooter here and not a 150-hp superbike. Under the new front suspension sits a disc brake with dual-channel ABS, backed up by a rear disc brake, which isn’t typical for Vespas. The system is able to stop the GTS with great safety.

051414-2014-Vespa-GTS300-Super-ABS-Action-02

The GTS Super includes Vespa’s new multimedia platform, which connects a smartphone to the bike via a USB cable. Vespa’s app can display a host of data from the ABS/ASR-equipped GTS such as torque output at any given rpm, lean angle and much more. If you park your Vespa in a gaggle of other scooters, it’s reassuring that the VMP app knows exactly where your bike is by using GPS coordinates. The GTS is very high-tech, but only on the ASR/ABS version.

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The GTS Super gets special wheels, wheel trim and new paint in the blue gaiola color. Vespa says to expect fuel economy numbers around 70 mpg, yielding a theoretical range of at least 150 miles. As with other Vespas, the GTS body is made of steel to ensure longevity and good second-hand value.

Conclusion

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The Vespa GTS 300 Super ABS is a solid choice for scooterists who appreciate Italian design and the safety offered by its electronic systems. It doesn’t hurt that it looks pretty classy and classic, too. Transitioning from a less-powerful and lighter 125cc scooter is nearly seamless, as everything feels the same – just better and even more comfortable. It’s the ultimate Vespa to grow with.

+ Highs

  • Comfortable suspension and a plush ride
  • Extra oomph in the midrange
  • Superb rider-safety features
– Sighs

  • Bulkier than a 125
  • Not inexpensive
  • Not yet available on our shores

As of this writing, Vespa has yet to announce U.S. availability of the GTS 300 Super ABS model (that includes ASR) tested here. We’ll guess that it will be announced as a 2015 model sometime in the next several months. In the meantime, Vespa offers its GTS in three versions in America:

GTS 300ie ($6,399)
Classic look, folding luggage rack.

GTS 300ie Super ($6,399)
Dressed in sport colors (rosso dragon, and montebianco), red finish front spring, front grill, and rear right-side grill. No rear folding rack.

GTS300ie Super Sport SE ($6,599)
Same specs as the Super but with specific graphics and saddle.

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  • frankfan42

    Not cheap, but sounds like a really nice ride with the added capability of being highway capable. Vespa has always been a premium scooter, and this is priced no differently.
    I wonder if it is stable with the smaller wheels?

    • data

      yes, the small wheels are really good. There is no instability even at highway speeds. These bikes come with really sticky radial tyres too making for great cornering. Pot holes are no problem either.

  • Send Margaritas

    From the pictures, it looks like ‘The Dude’ from the Big Lebowski, did the test ride, man.The dude abides.

    • Snowblind

      Under the seat. it fits perfectly.

  • dW

    @frankfan42:disqus :

    I’ve got the previous model GTS 300, and it’s totally stable at highway speeds. After years of owning sport bikes / nakeds / adventure tourers, getting onto a Vespa was the last thing i considered. One ride in Italy convinced me otherwise – these are truly brilliant designs for city riding.

  • halfnelson_73

    I don’t understand why someone would buy this instead of a Ninja 300 or a Ktm 390 or similar bike. Is it the Vespa name? I guess I just don’t get it.

    • Jan-Michael Nevlund

      I got a vespa 300. Then I recently got my Scrambler Icon…. Im still riding the vespa more. You just need to get on one and ride it.. But it’s like a Jeep Wrangler, either you hate it or you love it. Don’t look at it as a bike. It’s a vespa

      • halfnelson_73

        Ok. I actually owned a Wrangler so I kinda know what you mean.

        • Jan-Michael Nevlund

          And what did you think of the wrangler? 😀

          • halfnelson_73

            Loved it. Wish I was driving one now.

    • Claudio

      these are the kinds of two-wheel vehicles which are not comparable.

    • data

      If you have to ask that question, you really need to take one for a ride. Then, you’ll understand!

  • Brendan Yeo

    Hi there with did u get the left glovebox door trim with the usb? I meant exactly the same as the one show in the picture. Thank you

    • data

      Probably a bit late to reply, but the usb cover is available from any Vespa dealer, but will probably need to be ordered in. It’s normally part of the Multimedia package if you order that for your bike but the cover is available separately. My advice is to buy both left and right covers as the pattern on those ones is different to the standard cover that the bike come with from the factory and it may look odd if you don’t buy 2 new ones.

  • Dubstep Electro
  • Ian

    My 2016 GTS300ie is amazing. I come from the big bike scene ie: GSX1400, DL1000GT etc etc. Always thought the Vespa looked great but didn’t think it would be any good for me. How wrong I was. After a test ride at my local dealers I bought one straight away and haven’t looked back. It’s virtually unique in it’s ride and handling. It’s fast, handles like a bike, the small wheels are great and coupled with the trailing link front suspension, gives a smooth ride. I get between 85-89mpg all the time (UK galls). I’m very tall but I fit it like a glove…it’s made to fit a variety of different body shapes and sizes, very comfortable. Does a 400 mile day without issues. For anyone wanting to diy it, it couldn’t be easier to look after. And if you do look after it you’ll be rewarded with an engine that lasts and lasts. My colleague has over 82,000 miles on his GTS300 (a 2012 model). Get one!