I've had my Vespa 70th Anniversary GTS 300 for a couple of years now and most of my riding has been on the highways in and around San Diego. I've also done some light touring to Santa Barbra, LA, Los Vegas, Palm Springs, and in October I went to Yosemite and toured around the Valley, and around Mammoth and Mono Lakes, including a trip to Bishop. All in all I was wonderfully surprised with how well the GTS 300 handled on the highway. Most particularly surprising is how well behaved this scoot was on windy roads and highways, which was heavily tested during my trip to Palm Springs. On the roads from San Diego to the range lands to the east, to places such as Julian, up to the top of Palomar mountain, and touring around Yosemite and the Sierras', in which the roads can get narrow with lots of twists, this machine takes these corners in stride and handles the hills well, especially because the speed limits are mostly 55 MPH (90 KPH) or less. On the Interstate and State freeways, for the most part, this scooter will keep up with traffic albeit with not a lot of power to spare for passing or to power away to gain better position, etc. As long as the road grade stays under 6 degrees this scoot can keep moving at the posted speed of 65 MPH (105 KPH), but beyond that, the GTS300 bogs down to just under a leisurely 60 MPH (97 KPH) at wide open throttle. This is typically not a problem since these highways have passing lanes and all the other vehicles simply pass by me.
I know I can get a larger scooter such as the Piaggio BV350 that will provide me ample power for the highway. In my younger days I did lots of touring around the United States on a Harley Road King and then an Electra Glide. But now I ride a Vespa of which I particularly like the styling and I can pack lots of stuff on it. It is one sweet ride, and beats the pants of my pervious large touring motorcycles in city driving and traffic. Nothing rides better in LA or San Diego Traffic than a Vespa with an automatic transmission. My left hand thanks me for this since there is no clutch to pull over and over and over again, ad nauseam.
Since the GTS 300's current engine generates a puny 21.2 horse power, I was contemplating upping the power by slapping on a Malossi 282cc engine upgrade kit. From everything I have read this modification will probably provide a sufficient improvement to the standard GTS 300 engine to allow me to run at highways speeds in the steeper road grades that currently bogs me down. However I have come to learn that next year Vespa will be offer an upgraded GTS 300 engine (HPE Supertech) that will boost the horse power by 12%. On paper both of these improvements should do the trick of boosting power sufficiently to meet my need to keep up with traffic and now I am leaning towards waiting for the new higher performance GTS. If the performance numbers on the new GTS 300 engine prove true, what are your thoughts whether to upgrade the existing engine vs. waiting for the HPE Supertech Vespa? What are your thoughts on how these performance upgrades will translate into highway riding performance??? --- Thanks