• 2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE

The new high performance engine makes for a more lively ride

LISTEN 08:58

Vespa rolled out its GTS Super 300 line last year with a new high-performance engine that makes the transition directly over into the 2021 model year. Modern safety and comfort features come stock on the entire GTS family to introduce an element of electronic rider support that’ll help you keep it rubber-side down. All of this runs with the classic, large-frame Vespa style that sets Piaggio products apart from the rest of the world.

  • 2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
  • Year:
    2019- 2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
    GTS Super
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    278 cc
  • Top Speed:
    80 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    7199
  • Price:

Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE Design

  • LED lighting
  • Notte blackout design
  • LCD display
  • Old-school styling
2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
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2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
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2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
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We’re looking at two models here with differences in their color and trim, but otherwise share a common platform. The base GTS Super 300 HPE rolls in a selection of four single-color packages, and the Notte version that takes a walk on the dark side with a monochromatic, satin black-over-black finish.

The high-mount front fender bears the classic chrome crest across the board, though of course, the Notte’s ornament is in blackout, as are all the other details that are chromed out on the color GTS Super 300. Items such as the chrome finish along the edge of the legshield, in the classic chevron detail of the “tie” horn cover, around the headlight lens, and up to the mirrors, though both models come with a chrome brand badge in cursive script.

In profile, the legguard has that old-school boomerang shape, but there’s a beefy cross-section to accommodate the radiator and cooling vent grilles. A single round headlight splits the night with LED technology to ensure that you can see and be seen, and the turn signals ride in recesses in the fairing with flush-mount lenses to keep the entry looking clean. I guess since this is a proper, large-frame Vespone the stock blinkers are set far enough apart to meet U.S. regulations without resorting to external turn-signal housings.

The handlebar fairing multitasks as a housing for both the headlight and the elliptical instrument panel. An analog speedometer is joined by an LCD screen and handful of idiot lights to cover the remaining metrics. A wide glove compartment in the inner fairing comes complete with a USB port so you can charge/power your mobile devices under way. Plus, there’s a tool kit stashed in there along with a mechanical release for the seat lock.

For additional security and convenience, the key fob lets you unlock your bike remotely, flash the lights to help you find where you parked, and there’s a chip in the key that enables an immobilizer to lock your bike down electronically when you walk away. A storage bucket under the bench seat has room for two three-quarter-face “demi-helmets,” which gives you a generous cargo area for serious grocery-getting missions.

The rear turn signals are recessed in the side covers so it’s just as clean-looking going as it is coming. For your passenger, a set of flip-out footpegs and a grab-rail provide the important points of contact. Due homage is paid to the past in the classic wasp-like side covers that gave the original its nickname.

Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE Chassis

  • All-around disc brakes
  • ABS
  • Aircraft-landing-gear style front suspension
  • Monocoque structure
2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
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2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
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2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
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Vespa relies on the strength of stamped-steel, spot-welded, sheet-metal members for the bulk of its structure with reinforcement plates welded into the stress points for the final rigidity. Since it relies on a monocoque system rather than an underframe, there is necessarily a short tunnel that protrudes into the step-through, but it isn’t wasted space as the non-skid patch on top doubles as a cover for the bike’s battery.

Rather than using scaled-down, motorcycle-style forks for the front suspension, the factory uses its peculiar, single-side front end that uses a trailing link and coil-over shock to articulate for the bumps in the road. Cast-alloy, 12-inch rims round out the rolling chassis with tubeless hoops in a 120/70 and 130/70 on the front and rear, respectively.

Although the rear wheel is at the bottom of the size range, the factory still found room for a 220 mm disc brake and hydraulic caliper at both ends with ABS protection as part of the stock equipment package. The front suspension is predictably non-adjustable, but the rear shocks sport the obligatory spring-preload tweak that comes with four preset settings.

Load Bearing Structure: Sheet metal body with welded reinforcements
Front suspension: Single arm fork with coil spring and hydraulic control
Rear suspension: Double hydraulic shock absorber with four-position spring pre-load adjustment
Front brake: Hydraulically operated 220 mm stainless steel disc
Rear brake: Hydraulically operated 220 mm stainless steel disc
Braking system: Two-channel ABS system
Front tire: Tubeless 120/70 - 12
Rear tire: Tubeless 130/70 - 12

Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE Drivetrain

  • Traction control
  • 278 cc High Performance Engine
  • 23.8 hp @ 8,250 rpm
  • 19.17 lb-ft @ 5,250 rpm
2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
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2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
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2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
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The real selling point here is still the engine ’cause this is the most powerful plant ever to propel a Vespa product with 19.17 pound-feet of torque at 5,250 rpm and 23.8 horsepower at 8,250 rpm. This “high-performance engine” lives up to its name with enthusiastic acceleration and a top speed of 80 mph that’ll hold it in good stead on the superslab. That kind of speed is perfect if your commute includes interstate travel.

A dry centrifugal clutch couples engine power to the continuously-variable transmission for that twist-and-go operation that scooter riders demand, but that’s to be expected. What isn’t expected is the traction control feature that keeps you from spinning out due to over application of power, and that alone puts the GTS Super 300 HPE in pretty rare company.

As for the layout, the thumper runs a 75 mm bore and 63 mm stroke with an overall displacement of 278 cc, and it doubles as a stressed member to make up the swingarm along with the gearbox.

Engine: Single cylinder 4-stroke Piaggio HPE
Displacement: 278 cc
Bore x Stroke: 75 mm x 63 mm
Max Power: 23.8 hp (17.5 kW) @ 8,250 rpm
Max Torque: 19.2 lb-ft (26 Nm) @ 5,250 rpm
Fuel system: Electronic injection
Ignition: Electronic, with variable advance
Cooling: Liquid
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: CVT with torque server
Clutch: Automatic centrifugal dry clutch

Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE Price

2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
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2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
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2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
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The base GTS Super 300 HPE rolls in Blanco Innocenza (white), Rosso Passione (red), Giallo Estate (yellow) or Nero Lucido (gloss black) for $7,199. For a single Benjamin more, you can get the Notte 300 version in satin black Nero Notte.

Colors:
└ GTS Super 300 HPE: Gialle Estate, Nero Lucido, Rosso Passione, Bianco Innocenza
└ GTS Super 300 HPE Notte: Nero Notte
Price:
└ GTS Super 300 HPE: $7,199
└ GTS Super 300 HPE Notte: $7,299

Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE Competitors

2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE
- image 974187
2018 - 2021 Yamaha XMAX
- image 838887

The Italian style that sets the Vespa apart is just one of the available approaches to scooter design. Other builders favor the maxi-scoot route, and that’s where Yamaha’s XMAX comes in.

Yamaha XMAX

2018 - 2021 Yamaha XMAX
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No resources were wasted on the XMAX trying to replicate a classic design, but instead, the factory put together a very modern, urban design meant to appeal to young professionals. Angular bodywork and a clear windscreen punch a hole in the weather for more protection from the elements than the stock GTS Super 300 HPE.

The tunnel all but completely blocks off the step-through, though to be fair, the XMAX is still easier to mount than your average motorcycle. Seat height measures at 31.3 inches off the deck, just 0.2 inch taller than the Vespa, but is still reasonably proportioned for an average rider.

Yamaha floats the front end on a set of non-adjustable, telescopic forks with dual coil-over shocks out back. That’s not better or worse than the GTS Super 300, just differernt. The XMAX rolls on larger hoops with a 15-inch rim leading the way ahead of a 14-inch rim to give it more of a “big-bike” feel than the Vespa’s 12-inch hoops can deliver.

A 292 cc, single-cylinder engine powers the XMAX with 27.6 horsepower on tap to top the Eye-Tie’s 23.8 ponies and an 85 mph top speed that also beats the Vespa, even if just by a handful of mph. The XMAX breaks even in the safety electronics department with traction control and ABS to help you keep it dirty-side down.

Yamaha gets its biggest win at the checkout with a $5,699 price tag against Vespa’s $7k-plus sticker, but honestly, if price is an issue, you probably shouldn’t be looking at a Piaggio product in the first place.

Read our full review of the Yamaha XMAX.

He Said

“Ya’ know, the GTS Super 300 HPE seems worthy of its pedigree. It shows just a glimpse of the past designs that made the marque such a success, but not in a cheesy grab for recognition; more like a natural progression of design. Lovin’ the traction control and ABS protection, too.

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The new HPE engine gives you about 20 percent more power than the previous engine and the new version of traction control is much smoother than in older models. The new belt and roller setup in the CVT transmission gives smoother acceleration and makes it quicker off the line, as well. The all-metal body gives you a much sturdier vehicle, and the traction control is switchable so you can have some fun sliding it around, if that’s your thing. The short wheelbase and 12-inch wheels make the GTS Super 300 quite maneuverable between obstacles and highway travel is smooth, making your commute a pleasant one.”

Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Single cylinder 4-stroke Piaggio HPE
Displacement: 278 cc
Bore x Stroke: 75 mm x 63 mm
Max Power: 23.8 hp (17.5 kW) @ 8,250 rpm
Max Torque: 19.2 lb-ft (26 Nm) @ 5,250 rpm
Fuel system: Electronic injection
Ignition: Electronic, with variable advance
Cooling: Liquid
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: CVT with torque server
Clutch: Automatic centrifugal dry clutch
Chassis:
Load Bearing Structure: Sheet metal body with welded reinforcements
Front suspension: Single arm fork with coil spring and hydraulic control
Rear suspension: Double hydraulic shock absorber with four-position spring pre-load adjustment
Front brake: Hydraulically operated 220 mm stainless steel disc
Rear brake: Hydraulically operated 220 mm stainless steel disc
Braking system: Two-channel ABS system
Front tire: Tubeless 120/70 - 12
Rear tire: Tubeless 130/70 - 12
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length x Width: 76.8 in x 29.7 in (1,950 mm x 755 mm)
Wheelbase: 54.1 in (1,375 mm)
Saddle height: 31.1 in (790 mm)
Fuel tank capacity: 2.25 gal (8.5 l)
Approval: Euro 4
Fuel economy (WMTC cycle): 73.4 mpg (31.2 km/l)
Top Speed: 80 mph (est)
Details:
Colors:
└ GTS Super 300 HPE: Gialle Estate, Nero Lucido, Rosso Passione, Bianco Innocenza
└ GTS Super 300 HPE Notte: Nero Notte
Price:
└ GTS Super 300 HPE: $7,199
└ GTS Super 300 HPE Notte: $7,299

Further Reading

Vespa

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
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Read more Vespa news.

TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
About the author

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

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