The GTS Family Now Includes A Tourer

Vespa carries its GTS 300 scooter into 2018, and it adds a new variant dubbed the “Touring” for the rider who is looking for some stock cargo capacity and touring capabilities. As usual, Vespa maintains the classic looks and features long associated with the brand, but it has added some decidedly modern gadgetry to the mix that brings the machine right up to date. Traction control and anti-lock brakes add safety and value to help move this family up to make a bid for top-shelf status within its displacement. It will have some stiff competition from the Japanese sector, so today I want to dissect the GTS to see how it stacks up.

See my review of the Vespa GTS 300 and GTS 300 Touring.

  • 2018 Vespa GTS 300 / GTS 300 Touring
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    278 L
  • Top Speed:
    73 mph
  • Price:
    6799
  • Price:

2018 Vespa GTS 300 Design

2018 Vespa GTS 300 / GTS 300 Touring
- image 785805
The current GTS is one apple that certainly doesn't fall far from the tree with clear DNA markers that tie it to the earliest versions.

The current GTS is one apple that certainly doesn’t fall far from the tree with clear DNA markers that tie it to the earliest versions. No matter which side of the front wheel you look at, it’s readily apparent that this isn’t one of your run-of-the-mill knockoffs by the unusual, single-side steering and suspension setup that leaves an unimpeded view of the front wheel from the right side. The classic “tie” graphic splits the clean front fairing with recessed turn signals at the outboard edges. A stack of LED emitters in each side adds a DRL feature for a little safety boost, and that certainly isn’t the only safety-related yummy-goodness to be found, but more on that later.

The handlebar comes with its own fairing that keeps things nice and tidy with the headlight and instrumentation safely tucked within for another classic detail that ties right into the family tree and brings to mind images of the very earliest “wasps” to hit the streets back in 1946. Unlike those earlier rides, the new GTS 300 sports a storage compartment in the inner fairing so you can store your possibles and charge your mobile devices with the built-in USB port.

A slight tunnel breaks up the foot space, but its low-profile build leaves plenty of room for easy mounting and it comes with a flat top so you can still utilize the ’tween-feet storage trick. The heavily sculpted, flip-up bench seat covers a generous storage compartment that’ll hold up to two full-face buckets or a whole passel of groceries/books/whatever.

The pilot’s section comes with a narrow entry that flares out for full butt support. It bears the slightest shoulder to segregate the passenger and the pilot to make it good for, ahem, getting to know each other better. Chrome J.C. rails and flip-out footpegs finish off the passenger’s gear with a partially-recessed taillight and flush-mount turn signals to handle the rearward lighting.

Now for some info on the trim packages available on this platform. First, we have the base model that adds to its cargo capacity with a chromed, flip-up luggage rack that makes for a nice finishing touch. Next up is the aptly named “Touring” model that adds another collapsible chrome luggage rack forward of the front fairing and a windshield to extend the pocket upwards just a bit for the more adventurous among us. It comes in its own special colors with Metallic Red and Metallic Brown on the palette whereas the base model comes in a choice of Metallic Black, Pastel Blue or beige and gray.

2018 Vespa GTS 300 Chassis

2018 Vespa GTS 300 / GTS 300 Touring
- image 785808
The designers chucked on an ABS feature for stability and safety, so these rides are also suitable for the entry-level market.

The factory sticks to its usual stressed-skin method of supporting the structure that eliminates the frame in its entirety, and the steering shows the same fidelity with a single steering column that operates an aircraft-style suspension system. It sports a trailing-link that articulates the front wheel with a coil-over shock to smooth out the bumps. Unlike the adjustable preload feature on the pair of shocks holding up the rear end, the front comes with fixed values and is non-adjustable.

The factory took the classic design elements just far enough as it went with all-around hydraulic discs and left the drum brakes in the last century where they belong. In another move that firmly plants the GTS family in the now, the designers chucked on an ABS feature for your stability and safety, so these rides are also suitable for the entry-level market as well. Symmetrical, twelve-inch cast-aluminum rims mount the 120/70 front hoop with a 130/70 out back to round out the rolling chassis.

Bearing structure: Sheet metal with welded reinforcements
Front suspension: Single arm suspension with coil spring and hydraulic shock absorber
Rear suspension: Double hydraulic shock absorbers with adjustable preload with 4 settings
Front Brake: Hydraulically operated 220 mm stainless steel disc – ABS
Rear Brake: Hydraulically operated 220 mm stainless steel disc – ABS
Front tire: Tubeless 120/70 - 12”
Rear tire: Tubeless 130/70 - 12"

2018 Vespa GTS 300 Drivetrain

2018 Vespa GTS 300 / GTS 300 Touring
- image 785804
The factory doubles down on the safety angle with its ASR feature that acts as a traction-control device.

Power comes from a liquid-cooled thumper that runs a 75 mm bore and 63 mm stroke for a total displacement of 278 cc. The four-stroke engine sports four-valve heads with electronic injection to control induction, and electronic ignition to time the spark; all of which helps it meet the Euro 4 emissions requirements.

Power figures are respectable. The GTS 300 plant claims 21.2 horsepower at 7,750 rpm, backed up by 16 pound-feet of torque at five grand which should be enough to safely scoot long in traffic, even in sprawling urban areas within the U.S.

I saved the best engine feature for last. The factory doubles down on the safety angle with its ASR feature that acts as a traction-control device monitoring wheel speeds and intervenes by reducing engine power when slippage is detected. That’s a double-whammy of safety that has you covered coming and going, and really moves this scoot higher on the desirability scale.

As usual, the engine and transmission bolt up as stressed members in place of a swingarm, and the CVT “gearbox” delivers twist-and-go operation with no actual gears to shift to drive the GTS to a top speed around 73 mph.

Engine: 4-stroke single cylinder, 4 valves, electronic injection
Displacement : 278 cc
Bore x Stroke: 75 mm x 63 mm
Max Power at crankshaft : 21.2 hp (15.6 kW) @ 7,750 rpm
Max Torque: 16.2 lb-ft (22 Nm) @ 5,000 rpm
Fuel system: P.I. injection (Port injected)
Ignition: Electronic with variable advance
Cooling system: Liquid
Lubrication: Wet sump
Gearbox: Twist-and-go CVT with torque server
Clutch: Automatic centrifugal dry clutch

2018 Vespa GTS 300 Price

2018 Vespa GTS 300 / GTS 300 Touring
- image 785801
MSRP on the base model and Touring version come in under $7k.

The factory will turn loose its base model Vespa GTS 300 for $6,799. Fans of the Touring model can expect to shell out a total of $6,999, and both come with a 24-month warranty.

Colors:
GTS 300: Metallic Black, Beige/Grey, Pastel Blue
GTS 300 Touring: Metallic Red, Metallic Brown
Price:
GTS 300: $6,799
GTS 300 Touring: $6,999

2018 Vespa GTS 300 Competitors

2018 Vespa GTS 300 / GTS 300 Touring
- image 785803
2018 Yamaha XMAX
- image 733833
Yamaha matches Vespa in the engine-tech department and comes in $1,200 less at the check-out counter.

It’s tough to match Vespa’s style on the world stage, but ya’ gotta’ try, right? Yamaha takes a shot at the same displacement bracket with its mini-max XMAX scoot that bills itself as a modern urban commuter. It has none of that old-world charm that the Vespa pulls off so easily, but instead goes the route of the angular Euro scoot with an almost sport-tourish front end complete with a windshield and dual headlights. Yeah, the rest of the design hits many of the same high points, though the Yamaha surrenders most of its step-through and all of its ’tween-feet storage.

The takeaway here is the look; I will always prefer that classic Italian style as a matter of personal taste, and if you disagree, you need to get you some taste. Under the skin, the Tuning Fork Company uses tubular-steel framing to support the structure versus the boneless Vespa build, and while I prefer to have a proper frame under me, both systems have their merits. A motorcycle-like fork system handles the front suspension, so it looks/feels/behaves in the same way, but like the Vespa, is non-adjustable. The only ride quality tweaks to be found are in the spring preload adjusters out back.

All-around disc brakes stop the XMAX with ABS protection as part of the stock package. Yamaha also matches Vespa in the engine-tech department with a traction-control feature that makes the XMAX as safe and stable as it Italian counterpart. At the dyno, the XMAX acquits itself admirably with a claimed 27.6 horsepower and 21 pound-feet of torque against 21.2/16 from the Vespa, and it also claims a higher top speed at 80-to-85 with arguably greater comfort from the stock windscreen.

So far they’re fairly equal, looks notwithstanding, but Yamaha brings the pain with a $5,599 sticker that falls $1,200 shy of the lofty Vespa. That kind of money can buy a lot of new loyalty at this end of the price spectrum.

He Said

“Good looking little ride, and I think it’s great that ABS and traction control are making it onto the machines that are actually likely to see a net-new rider. I also like how faithful they seem to try to be to the old-school rides, and marvel at how similar they really are.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The Touring has never really been offered on the GTS before. It includes the front rack, not unlike the GTV model, and comes in a metallic red that harkens back to a colorway offered on some models in the 70s. As a touring model, I’d like to see a topcase come with it, but that might be a personal preference.”

2018 Vespa GTS 300 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 4-stroke single cylinder, 4 valves, electronic injection
Displacement : 278 cc
Bore x Stroke: 75 mm x 63 mm
Max Power at crankshaft : 21.2 hp (15.6 kW) @ 7,750 rpm
Max Torque: 16.2 lb-ft (22 Nm) @ 5,000 rpm
Fuel system: P.I. injection (Port injected)
Ignition: Electronic with variable advance
Cooling system: Liquid
Lubrication: Wet sump
Gearbox: Twist-and-go CVT with torque server
Clutch: Automatic centrifugal dry clutch
Chassis:
Bearing structure: Sheet metal with welded reinforcements
Front suspension: Single arm suspension with coil spring and hydraulic shock absorber
Rear suspension: Double hydraulic shock absorbers with adjustable preload with 4 settings
Front Brake: Hydraulically operated 220 mm stainless steel disc – ABS
Rear Brake: Hydraulically operated 220 mm stainless steel disc – ABS
Front tire: Tubeless 120/70 - 12”
Rear tire: Tubeless 130/70 - 12"
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length/Width: 76 in / 29.7 in (1,950/755 mm)
Wheelbase : 53.9 in (1,375 mm)
Seat height: 31 in (790 mm)
Fuel tank capacity: 2.5 gals (8.5 liters)
Emissions compliance: 4 Euro
Fuel Economy: 76 mpg
Top Speed: 73.3 mph
Details:
Colors:
GTS 300: Metallic Black, Beige/Grey, Pastel Blue
GTS 300 Touring: Metallic Red, Metallic Brown
Price:
GTS 300: $6,799
GTS 300 Touring: $6,999

References

Yamaha XMAX

2018 Yamaha XMAX
- image 733831

See our review of the Yamaha XMAX.

Vespa GTV 300

2016 - 2017 Vespa GTV 300 ABS
- image 701551

See our review of the Vespa GTV 300.

Vespa GTS Super 300

2018 Vespa GTS Super 300 / GTS Super 300 Sport
- image 785810

See our review of the Vespa GTS Super 300 and GTS Super 300 Sport.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: vespausa.com, yamaha-motor.com

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