The new HPE engine makes a noticeable improvement in power and torque

Piaggio’sSport 300 HPE for the 2020 model year, the third such revision for the line over the last nine years, and it brings a new level of capability and tech to the market. Naturally, the old-school Italian charm comes stock with a number of visual improvements as well. Of course, the High-Performance Engine (300 HPE) serves as the almost-hidden crown jewel, and it sports a variety of improvements over the previous generation and comes complete with safety-related electronics to round out the package.

  • 2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    278 cc
  • Top Speed:
    73 mph
  • Price:
    7299
  • Price:

2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE Design

  • Center stand
  • Redesigned seat for improved comfort
  • USB port
  • LED lighting
  • LCD display
2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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Vespa enjoys the distinct advantage of having been one of the brands that gave shape to the classic Italian scooter genre, and the GTS Super line carries the long-established DNA that makes the marque so distinct. This is one of the Vespone (large frame) models, not to be confused with the smaller Vespino scoots, but it maintains much the same look.

It starts with the classic chrome crest on the high-mount front fender as well as the deep valence that serves to contain the spray in inclement weather. Blackout rims roll with an “S” graphic to match the accent stripes on the fender skirt and wasp-like side covers. The legshield sports recessed, flush-mount turn signals set widely enough that they are legal in the U.S., so the GTS SuperSport 300 HPE doesn’t mount the additional external blinkers we find on the small-frame models.

The classic “tie” horn cover rocks the old-school, triple-chevron detail with a chrome script brand badge to finish out the front end. Up top, a round LED headlight splits the night with a duplex arrangement for the high- and low-beam functions.

In another classic touch, the handlebar is enclosed in its own fairing that multitasks as the housing for the headlight as well as the instrument panel to keep the control area nice and clean. In profile, you can see the new honeycomb grille in the edge of the fairing over the radiator vents. Back up top, an elliptical analog speedometer scale and an assortment of idiot lights handle the critical metrics and an LCD screen to cover everything else.

A full-width glovebox provides some secure dry storage and comes with a 5-Volt USB port so you can power/charge your mobile device under way. The key fob activates the immobilizer and remote-opens the seat compartment, plus it works with the Bike Finder feature that flashes your lights on demand if you forget where you parked.

A new faux tuck-and-roll seat comes complete with a pillion area and flip-out footpegs plus a newly designed chrome grabrail to keep your passenger comfy and safe. LED blinkers, taillight, and taglight finish out the gear in the rear, and the shape of the side covers serve as yet another classic reference.

2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE Chassis

  • All-metal body
  • Aircraft landing gear-type front suspension
  • Four preload presets
  • 12-inch wheels
  • Dual-channel ABS
2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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Vespa uses the monocoque method for its main structure rather than an underframe, and that makes the body both strong and light with plenty of room for the internal components. Stamped sheet-metal panels are spot welded with reinforcement plates to buttress the stress points.

For the front end, the factory kept to its single-side, aircraft landing-gear strut that uses a trailing link and coil-over shock to absorb the bumps. Out back, another coil-over shock tames the motion of the swing-mount drive unit and supports the rear end with four preload presets that let you adjust for changing passenger and cargo loads.

Both ends sport 12-inch cast rims with 220 mm discs and hydraulic calipers to match. To meet European requirements an ABS feature is part of the stock equipment package to help you keep it rubber-side down. When it’s time to park you can choose between the new, wider centerstand or the safety-switched sidestand to prop the thing up.

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"

2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE Drivetrain

  • Upgraded 278 cc HPE engine
  • 23.8 horsepower
  • 19.17 lb-ft of torque
  • Traction control
2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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ABS is joined by an updated traction-control system on the GTS SuperSport 300 HPE to prevent loss of traction due to poor surfaces or an overenthusiastic throttle technique. There’s lots of little updates on the 300 HPE to include a new electronic control unit, reworked head design, and higher-volume intake manifold to name just a few.

A 75 mm bore and 63 mm stroke gives the liquid-cooled mill its 278 cc displacement, and the redesigned head rocks a quartet of valves for efficient aspiration. An electronic ignition and fuel-injection system makes for quick/easy starts and good fuel economy with a claimed 73 mpg rating, though that’s for dead-gentle riders; if you like to grab a fistful of that throttle coming out of the hole, you can naturally expect to get less economy.

The power figures are respectable with 23.8 horsepower at 8,250 rpm backed up by 19.17 pound-feet of torque at 5,250 rpm. It flows through a dry, centrifugal clutch that comes with rubber dampers that mitigate chatter and a constant-velocity transmission for the twist-and-go operation scooter riders expect. At the top of the rev range the overall drive ratio will turn in a top speed around 73 mph, and that’s plenty for the highways, maybe even the interstate if you’re brave enough.

Engine: 4-stroke single cylinder, 4 valves, electronic injection
Displacement : 278 cc
Bore x Stroke: 75 mm x 63 mm
Max Power at crankshaft : 23.8 hp (17.5 kW) @ 8,250 rpm
Max Torque: 19.17 (26 Nm)
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

2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE Pricing

2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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The 2020 GTS SuperSport 300 HPE rolls for $7,299 MSRP. You can choose between Blu Vivace (blue) or Grigio Titanio (gray) paint packages.

Colors: Blu Vivace, Grigio Titanio
Price: $7,299

2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE Competitors

2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE
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2018 - 2020 Yamaha XMAX
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Because of the electronics and speed, I expect the Vespa GTS SuperSport to appeal to the upper echelon of scooteristi so I feel pretty good about grabbing Yamaha’s XMAX for the head-to-head.

Yamaha XMAX

2018 - 2020 Yamaha XMAX
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The XMAX is a maxi-scoot that rocks the typical Japanese body style with a windshield to extend the rider’s protection and an obstructed step-through with lots of angular details throughout. Dual LED headlights light the way from their recesses in the front fairing, but the blinkers are external, thus more vulnerable to damage. I know that form follows function, but I vastly prefer the look of the Eye-Tie over the Japanese ride as a matter of personal taste.

Yamaha uses motorcycle-style telescopic forks up front with dual rear shocks to tame the two-sided swingarm assembly in another departure from the Vespa. Hydraulic discs and ABS are stock across the board. As for the engine, Yamaha relies on a 292 cc, liquid-cooled powerplant and CVT transmission to churn out 27.6 ponies and 21 pounds o’ grunt against the Vespa’s 23.8/19.7 figures, and it enjoys a higher top speed with a potential 80-to-85 mph for better confidence on the superslab. Yamaha scores again at the checkout with its $5,699 sticker that may buy it some business away from the $7k-plus Vespa.

Read our full review of the Yamaha XMAX.

He Said

“This is definitely a ride for people who are looking to step up to something beyond just basic transportation. The top speed will hold it in good stead around town, and the safety systems will definitely increase your odds of getting there in one piece. If you are put off by the lack of a windscreen, a quick jaunt through the accessories catalog will fix you right up.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The new HPE engine has about 20 percent more power than last year’s Supersport and you can definitely feel it. While 150 cc scooters are iffy, I feel good about taking this 278 cc scooter on the highway. It keeps up with traffic and has enough left to get out of the way if needed. The drivetrain seems quieter, but I don’t know if it is quieter or if the body panels muffle the sound. Acceleration is quick, especially if you turn off traction control and the saddle is comfortable enough for a reasonable commute. If I were to spend this much on a scooter, however, I’d probably get a SuperTech to have the TFT display and smart phone connectivity.”

2020 Vespa GTS SuperSport 300 HPE 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 : 23.8 hp (17.5 kW) @ 8,250 rpm
Max Torque: 19.17 (26 Nm) @ 5,250 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 x Width: 76 in / 29.7 in (1,950 mm x 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: 73 mpg
Top Speed: 73.3 mph
Details:
Colors: Blu Vivace, Grigio Titanio
Price: $7,299

Further Reading

Vespa

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
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Read more Vespa news.

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 More
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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