OP
UTC

Enthusiast
Joined: UTC
Posts: 90
 
Enthusiast
Joined: UTC
Posts: 90
UTC quote
I am lucky enough to live in San Diego where I can ride all year round and live within 20 minutes of Scooter West. So when Scooter West emailed inviting me to test drive a 2020 Vespa GTS Touring scooter I took them up on the offer.

For the last three years I have been riding a Vespa 70th Anniversary GTS. This machine has been my first and only scooter. Pervious to my Vespa I rode motorcycles on which I have had the wonderful experience of touring most of the United States. Much of my riding today is tooling around San Diego and vicinity including east county all the way to the dessert. I have also done some light touring to Yosemite, Palm Springs and up the coast north to Santa Barbra. Needless to say I ride a lot on the highway. What has pleasantly surprised me about my Vespa is how well it rides and how stable it behaves in windy conditions. I like that I can pack a lot of stuff on this scoot especially with having a large Givi aftermarket trunk attached to the back. The suspension is very compliant and the fuel economy is the bomb.

Typical highway speeds in California is 65 mph (105 kph) with some highways posting 70 mph (113 kph) speeds. For the most part my scoot can run at these speeds but there is not much to spare with almost no acceleration left. I am always riding close to or at wide open throttle. However should the road grade exceed 7-1/2 degrees the scoot has trouble running above 60 mph (97 kph). Although, in those situations it is not a problem since the road has multiple lanes and cars just pass me by.

All the back country I ride, the speed limit does not exceed 55 mph (86 kph) so my scoot has no problem maintaining the limit and these roads tend to be twisty causing me to drop down to as slow and 15 mph (25 kph) around some of the tighter curves. However I do ride with my motorcycle buddies and needless to say, after I first showed up with my scoot and everyone got all of the good nature ribbing out of their systems, the machine does an admirable job keeping up.

I write the above as a backdrop to give some perspective for my test ride review of the 2020 GTS. Scooter West was gracious enough to offer me the scooter for a weekend but I only needed it for a couple of hours to decide if this newer upgraded engine would be the improvement in power I wanted to tame the highway and give me the speed and acceleration I need to keep up.

I ride from Scripps Ranch, where I live, to Santa Ysabel for breakfast on weekends. This route takes me on wonderfully winding roads through the range lands and high chaparral of the east county. Along the route is a stretch of road, Scripps Poway Parkway, where the speed limit is 65 mph (105 kph) and the grade gets as steep and 8.5 degrees. My current scoot manages and weak 58 mph (95 kph) at wide open throttle. However the 2020 GTS easily handles this grade delivering 69 mph (112 kph) at wide open throttle.

Many a Sunday I ride with my motorcycle buddies. For the most part we ride the back country roads with lots of curves and although my scooter can ride the speed limits, the acceleration out of the turns has a lot to be desired. Riding through these curves requires constant slow downs and accelerations out, and due my weak acceleration, my buddies pull away a little more at each corner. If there are a lot of curves, before long I am some distance away from the group until such time as there is enough strait away for me to catch up. The new GTS seems to have a lot more acceleration that will allow me to keep up out of each turn. Yippie!

The breaks are more responsive and dramatically improves trail breaking. The suspension is very stiff telegraphing every road bump, no matter how small, directly to my arms, giving a somewhat harsher ride. The folks at Scooter West mentioned that the suspension will break in. Since it has been three years since I bought my current scooter I don't remember if this was also true when it was new. However I am sure there is some after market solutions to his problem should it not break in as desired. Finally the speedometer is accurate. It only took Vespa around 75 years to get it right. All in all this new scooter delivers the goods improving on an already competent ride providing a much needed boost to highway performance while keeping the size and styling in tact. I plan to upgrade to this newer model and prepare to undertake longer rides to the wonderful places around. The Red Woods, Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce, to name a few - Here I come! Ride safe everyone.
@touring300 avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
GTS 300ie Touring 2013 - Signora D'argento
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2092
Location: Lancaster, U.K.
 
Ossessionato
@touring300 avatar
GTS 300ie Touring 2013 - Signora D'argento
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2092
Location: Lancaster, U.K.
UTC quote
A nice review Steve, thanks for posting.
UTC

Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS300ie abs/asr/ess Settantesimo '70'
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3766
Location: East Anglia, UK
 
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS300ie abs/asr/ess Settantesimo '70'
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3766
Location: East Anglia, UK
UTC quote
It's good to hear your views Steve. Thanks for posting.
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