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Dear All,

Thanks for taking the time to read this 'post', but I need some advice.

I'm on the threshold of purchasing a brand new Vespa 300 GTS HPE, but I'm a little concerned over a couple of things: firstly, I'm 6ft 4" tall. I have sat on a 300 GTS, and found it to be very comfortable, with plenty of space between my knee and the front 'windbreak' of the bike. I quite like the upright seating position, and the fact that it doesn't put any strain on my lower back. The reach to the handlebars seems perfect (I have quite long arms).

However, I do intend to take the Vespa over to the European mainland should I buy it, and do some fairly long-distance touring for two to three weeks at a time (i.e. from Calais to Marseille in France, and then over the border into Italy, and back through Austria and Germany) This would involve a lot of travel at motorway/highway speeds, covering up to 300 - 400 miles per day.

My concerns are this: would the Vespa HPE engine be able to cope with sustained motorway speeds (approx. 70 - 75 m.p.h) over such long distances, and would such a tall man as myself be comfortable?

I'm not particularly 'well built'; I would describe myself as 'slim' or 'athletic', and I won't be travelling 'two-up' or with a lot of luggage.

I really do love the look of these beautiful little machines but, if I do make a purchase, the bike will certainly be used to cover some very long touring distances, two or three times a year.

Any advice that you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Also, I have plans to fit the GTS with a medium-sized smoke-coloured windshield should I buy it. I think that this would be a good compromise between enhanced aerodynamics, aesthetics, and protection from wind-buffeting on the motorway.

Please let me know what you think.

Regards,

Neil (England).
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Red Devil SH150i (10,000)
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Welcome to Mr. Toad's wild ride.
There are some tall MV members that are happy with their GTS. Do yourself a favor and search the HPE threads. If you're touring on a new one, there are a few minor issues to watch out for.
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I am 6 2" and find them very comfortable. I started riding 2t smallframes so anything is more luxurious than a smallframe. Small frames are loads of fun though.
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I would recommend getting a taller windscreen if you will be traveling at those speeds for that duration.
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@fledermaus avatar
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Can't speak too much about riding on the Continent, but at 6'7" it's a pretty comfortable ride. I ride with a mid size screen most of the year, and while it's noisier than a tall screen, you'll get a higher top speed. While you can likely sustain the speeds mentioned, you'll be at or near WOT and won't have much wiggle room for passing, etc. Your weight, of course factors in too.

I have both a GTS and BV, and have spent hours long days on both of them. While I love them both, just for practical reasons, I think the BV holds the edge for higher speeds, FWIW.
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Molto Verboso
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I'm 5'11" (180cm), so your legs are probably longer than mine; however, I have toured on an HPE twice.

I like to take a break every hour or two to stay fresh, both physically and mentally. I think 6 hours is about the length of my riding day. 200mi per day is ambitious, let alone 400. Riding a Vespa on the freeway is a chore. The Dolomites are indeed a gorgeous place to ride, but I'd see if you can take a train or something to get there. 8h of freeway to start your ride is too many.

Before you go on tour, upgrade to the Kubler speed ring. The HPE speedometer is undercalibrated by about 10%. Fresh from the factory, the speedometer will be slow and the top speed will be 120kph. The Kubler ring corrects the speedometer, and brings the top speed up to 130kph. I've not ridden in France, but the autostrada in Italy goes 130kph. Bouncing off the governor while you're trying to keep up with traffic isn't fun. It means you'll be constantly passed until traffic gets thick, when you'll filter past all the people who just passed you.
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@steelbytes avatar
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I frequently ride my HPE 500kms a day (longest I've done in a day is 570km). The bike is very happy with this. Just make sure you keep up the maintenance schedule

Edit: longest is actually 622km
⚠️ Last edited by SteelBytes on UTC; edited 1 time
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Molto Verboso
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steelbytes wrote:
I frequently ride my HPE 500kms a day (longest I've done in a day is 570km). The bike is very happy with this. Just make sure you keep up the maintenance schedule
I'm surprised you're happy with that.

Where do you ride that far in a day? I feel like that would wear me out.
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mayorofnow wrote:
I'm surprised you're happy with that.

Where do you ride that far in a day? I feel like that would wear me out.
Between Horsham and Mildura in Victoria Australia (with detours). 2nd day of a 4 day tour

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Horsham+VIC/Rupanyup+Silo+Art,+Gibson+Street,+Rupanyup+VIC/Hopetoun+VIC/Lascelles+Painted+Silos,+Lascelles+VIC/Woomelang+VIC/Sea+Lake+Silo+Art,+Railway+Avenue,+Sea+Lake+VIC/Lake+Tyrrell+Viewing+Platform,+Lake+Tyrrell+VIC/Pink+Lakes,+Murray-Sunset+VIC/Mildura+VIC+3500
tour map
tour map
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@steelbytes avatar
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actually, longest is a 622km day. (day 2 of another 4 day tour)

Bairnsdale (VIC) to Jindabyne (NSW) via Mitta Mitta.
tour map
tour map
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If you get the bike, there's probably a Vespa gel solo seat in your future. It moves you back about 5 inches and adds a lot of comfort on long rides.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
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Are you sure you can ride a US licensed Vespa in Europe?
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Syd wrote:
Are you sure you can ride a US licensed Vespa in Europe?
Umm what? his post says he's in England
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And Yes, you can.
I can only think of one Country where, if you show up at the border with a drivers license, title, registration, insurance, time and patience to go through whatever the process is, money for whatever the fees are, carnet and an exit stamp from the country you are leaving, that probably wouldn't let you in. Unless you are Dennis Rodman.
I can think of a lot of Countries where it's not a good idea.
Check out what is involved if you want to ride your Vespa to Cancun. That's fairly typical.
⚠️ Last edited by Motovista on UTC; edited 1 time
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Molto Verboso
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Syd wrote:
Are you sure you can ride a US licensed Vespa in Europe?
Have you ever seen Long Way Round? They ride British motorbikes through Russia and Canada to New York.

Those white oval stickers with black letters that are occasionally sold as souvenirs (e.g. YNP for Yosemite National Park) are actually based on the treaty for driving abroad. Each country has a code: the letters in the circle identify where you're hailing from. You may need to get local insurance, but generally speaking you can drive a foreign vehicle as a tourist just like you can enter most countries by air as a tourist.
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Motovista wrote:
If you get the bike, there's probably a Vespa gel solo seat in your future. It moves you back about 5 inches and adds a lot of comfort on long rides.
Is that the one that comes on the Sei Giorni? I feel like I sat on one once expecting to feel like I had more room, but I actually preferred the stock GTS seat.
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There are places where you would have an easier time getting in on a bike at the border than flying in as a tourist.
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mayorofnow wrote:
Is that the one that comes on the Sei Giorni? I feel like I sat on one once expecting to feel like I had more room, but I actually preferred the stock GTS seat.
No. It's the original gel seat for the GTS. 605677M.
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I grew up around that country. Swan Hill was my hood when I was little.

Having driven European motorways and those country Victoria roads I think the distances are probably more achievable in NW Victoria. The traffic is heavier and the speeds are greater on the European motorways which I think would make it much different story.

If you plotted a non motorway journey those distances might be doable.

Like the OP I am based in UK and would like to tour Italy but I would use a trailer to transport to get them there from UK.
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Hi Neil, welcome to forum. I can't help with your question on comfort for a tall guy but I would say if you intend to travel 300-400 miles per day and lots of those on motorways then there are a lot of better bikes on the market for that type of riding.

Is there a reason you haven't bought a touring/adventure bike for travelling on? Most come with heated grips, wind shields, handguards, adjustable suspension, tyre pressure monitors and so on not to mention GPS navigation systems and cruise control.

Saying that me and the Mrs are travelling to the South of France and Northern Spain next year on my GTS to watch the World Cup even though I have a Triumph Tiger.
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steelbytes wrote:
Umm what? his post says he's in England
Uh, I guess it does, doesn't it.
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Syd wrote:
Are you sure you can ride a US licensed Vespa in Europe?
Yes, you can.

My brother took advantage of an Air Canada offering.

He rode his BMW R1250RT to Toronto, put it on his flight, picked it up upon landing in Belgium, then rode it through France, Spain, Switzerland and Italy for a month.

Florida tag, the entire time.

Not a problem.

Bill
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How much was the shipping charge?
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Billrush wrote:
How much was the shipping charge?
I never asked.

He loved the trip.

That is all that really matters.

Bill
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Long-term renting an HPE I'm Italy cost me 45€ per day, plus the hassle of pickup and return. A bigger moto would have cost more. As I recall, I spent more than 3000€ on rentals for 2 months.

If you can conveniently get to an Air Canada airport, their motorcycle program should be a great way to tour Europe (whenever they restart it). I definitely would have done it if Vancouver wasn't already a many days' ride away.
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https://www.aircanada.com/cargo/shared/en/documents/shipping/FlyYourBike_brochure_en.pdf

Shows the air Canada motorcycle shipping program and list of cities that they fly to using it.
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UTC quote
For using a Vespa in Western Europe, I have a great option.

Two years ago, good friends from Switzerland came to Florida for two weeks, staying with us for one of the weeks.

I let them use my Miata the entire time, and they enjoyed having the sporty convertible.

We all went on one scooter ride while they were visiting, and Ruedi loved it, even speaking of buying one back in Switzerland.

I offered that I would pay for half of it if I could use it when we visit, including the VCdM rallies in countries close enough for it to work.

A few months later I received a WhatsApp message with a photo of him on a white Vespa GTS300 that he had just purchased.

I wrote back and asked the amount to pay for my half.

He replied, "Free use for Florida friends"

So I have a scooter to use when in Europe.

Bill
Ruedi on his Vespa.
Ruedi on his Vespa.
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I am 6'5" and love tht roominess between my knees, the leg shield, and the handle bars...plenty of room for tight turns with no interference from the bars. I can't help you with the touring part. I am an around town guy.
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Molto Verboso
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WLeuthold wrote:
For using a Vespa in Western Europe, I have a great option.

Two years ago, good friends from Switzerland came to Florida for two weeks, staying with us for one of the weeks.

I let them use my Miata the entire time, and they enjoyed having the sporty convertible.

We all went on one scooter ride while they were visiting, and Ruedi loved it, even speaking of buying one back in Switzerland.

I offered that I would pay for half of it if I could use it when we visit, including the VCdM rallies in countries close enough for it to work.

A few months later I received a WhatsApp message with a photo of him on a white Vespa GTS300 that he had just purchased.

I wrote back and asked the amount to pay for my half.

He replied, "Free use for Florida friends"

So I have a scooter to use when in Europe.

Bill
That's rad!

I tried to get Italian friends to split one with me, but couldn't find any takers.
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