More power, more torque, traction control, and ABS make the SuperTech one of Vespa’s best performing scooters

Vespa rolls into 2020 with the new GTS SuperTech 300 HPE as its top-shelf entry for the GTS Super line. The SuperTech carries the updated high-performance engine with a handful of electronic safety features to make your rides safe and comfortable. Special paint and trim sets this unit apart visually from the rest of the family and adds an air of exclusivity to the mix.

2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE Design

  • LED lighting
  • 4.5-inch color TFT display
  • Smart phone connectivity
  • USB power port
2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
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The classic Vespone look shines through the overall design on the GTS SuperTech 300 HPE and illustrates the marque’s deep historical roots. It starts out thick and heavy right out of the gate with a deep-valence front fender that contains the front wheel fling to help keep you dry and comfortable.

A chrome crest adorns the fender below the classic “tie” detail that doubles as a horn cover and comes with blackout chevrons for the first of many model-specific touches. LED emitters light the way and mark your position with a duplex headlight up top and recessed blinker bays set into the front fairing.

In another old-school move, the factory enclosed the handlebar, headlight, and instrumentation within the fairing to keep the control area clean as a whistle. Rather than going the analog route, the factory installed a 4.5-inch color TFT screen to deliver all the critical metrics. The screen is configurable in its layout, and an ambient-light sensor allows it to automatically shift between the daytime screen with its light background and dark lettering and the night-friendly screen with a black background and lighter data.

A Bluetooth wireless connection networks with your smartphone for turn-by-turn navigation, hands-free phonecalls, and a virtual-jukebox feature. If you like to collect your metrics, there’s a ride monitor that keeps tabs on your top speed and trip time to name a few, plus there’s a GPS function that lets your phone remember where you last parked via the Vespa app.

The glove box is secured by a wide door in the inner fairing and contains a 5-Volt USB power port to power your phone or charge other mobile devices under way. You get some open-air cargo capacity between your feet from the hook that deploys from the front of the seat and the non-skid cover atop the shallow tunnel in the step-through. That cover doubles as the battery hatch for easy access.

The spring-loaded seat hides a deep cargo bucket, but unfortunately, it won’t accommodate a full-face bucket — only a single three-quarter face helmet or a pair of half-helmets — but it’ll tote a respectable amount of groceries or a book bag just fine. The seat has a denim-finish cover with yellow stitching to further set this model apart from its siblings. Out back, another set of recessed blinker and a nice-looking round taillight emitter behind a square lens finishes off the rearward lighting.

2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE Chassis

  • Aircraft landing gear-type front suspension
  • Four spring-preload settings
  • 12-inch wheels
  • Dual-channel ABS
2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
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Vespa uses a stressed-skin structure on the GTS SuperTech 300 HPE rather than an underframe for its support, and this produces a strong-but-light assembly with lots of interior space for the internal equipment.

Up front, an aircraft landing gear-type steering column relies on a standing member for the structure. A trailing link and coil-over shock articulate to absorb shocks from the road, and the coil spring comes shot in bright yellow to match the accent decals around the bike. The front shock is non-adjustable, but the rear shock has four spring-preload settings so you can dial in for changing cargo/passenger weight.

A set of 12-inch, gloss-black rims round out the rolling chassis with 220 mm brake discs and a stock, dual-channel ABS feature to meet European safety regulations. Tubeless hoops run in a near-symmetrical 120/70 and 130/70 on the front and rear, respectively, to give this Vespone (big wasp) its small-wheel charm.

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 SuperTech 300 HPE Drivetrain

  • Upgraded 278 cc HPE engine
  • 23.8 horsepower
  • 19.17 lb-ft of torque
  • Traction control
2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
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The new GTS SuperTech 300 HPE is on the receiving end of an engine upgrade that results in a 12-percent increase in horsepower up to 23.8 ponies and an impressive 20-percent increase in torque with 19.17 pound-feet of grunt on tap. These figures make this the most powerful lump ever to power a Vespa product. The four-valve head, higher valve lift, and 3 mm increase in valve diameter combine to provide efficient aspiration and exhaust-gas scavenging to make for cleaner, more-powerful air-fuel charges.

As usual, it’s a one-lung thumper, and it rocks a 75 mm bore and 63 mm stroke for a total displacement of 278 cc. Electronic fuel injection and ignition timing ensures smooth operation, but that’s not the end of the electronic wizardry. The SuperTech comes stock with a traction control system that, along with the ABS feature, goes a long way toward increasing your odds of keeping the thing rubber-side down.

Power flows through the usual dry centrifugal clutch and constant-velocity transmission with an overall drive ratio that turns in a top speed around the 78 mph mark, and that’s fast enough to be reasonably confident on the superslab, with plenty of wiggle room on slower roads. The mill meets Euro 4 emission standards and claims a fuel efficiency rating of 73 mpg (31.2 km/l), so the two-gallon fuel tank will allow for lots of travel time between refills.

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 SuperTech 300 HPE Pricing

2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
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This is a top-shelf bike, so you can expect to pay a premium price for it. The starting MSRP is at the top of Vespa’s range at $7,749, and it comes only in the Grigio Materia (gloss gray) finish.

Colors: Grigio Materia
Price: $7,749

2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE Competitors

2018 - 2020 Suzuki Burgman 400
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2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
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It’s clear that the GTS SuperTech 300 HPE is destined for a discriminating sort of rider base, so I needed something pretty special for my head-to-head. I think Suzuki’s Burgman 400 would appeal to the same sort of rider, though certainly not in the aesthetics, if I’m honest.

Suzuki Burgman 400

2018 - 2020 Suzuki Burgman 400
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The Burgman 400 carries itself as a maxi-scoot with ample angular body details and a tall windshield for rider comfort and protection. The downside of such bodywork is that the step-through is all but completely obstructed, so if ease-of-mounting is a consideration for you, the Vespa is definitely the way to go.

Underseat storage is expanded a bit to 42 liters under the duplex, two-up seat on the Burgman, and it will carry a pair of smaller full-face helmets versus the single bucket tub under the Vespa’s seat to give it some extra utility as a grocery-getter/commuter.

Suzuki supports the front end on telescopic, hydraulically-dampened, motorcycle-style forks, but since they are non-adjustable, they really don’t have any sort of advantage over the Vespa’s link-and-shock arrangement. Out back, a coil-over monoshock takes care of business, but it looks like it’s non-adjustable to cede the advantage to the SuperTech.

Suzuki flips the script in the brakes department with dual front disc brakes against the SuperTech’s single disc, and since both models rock a stock ABS feature, they break even on the technological end of the binders.

The Burgman carries a larger engine – 399 cc to be exact – so it can achieve speeds in the mid-nineties for a definite speed advantage, but fast enough is fast enough, and the Vespa is fast enough with traction control for added stability so I’d argue that the engines more or less break even with one another.

Even though Vespa isn’t one to use price as a selling point, it outperforms Suzuki at the checkout as the 2020 Burgman 400 fetches a premium price at $8,299 against $7,749 for the SuperTech.

Read our full review of the Suzuki Burgman 400.

He Said

“Sure, some folks just want a scooter, I get that, but when you get up around the $8k mark there are a wide range of proper motorcycles that can be had for the same money – even ones with an automatic transmission so you can count on twist-and-go operation. That said, Vespa certainly does not disappoint with its SuperTech. It’s got the look, and the technology, to make for a well-rounded, if premium-priced, machine.

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The GTS SuperTech 300 HPE is a nice scooter. It’s not just the upgraded engine, but that is a big plus. There was so much attention to detail. I mean, even the glovebox door works better. It’s got more power and more torque, and not just a wee bit more. It’s got so much more, it’ll definitely register on the ol’ heinie dyno. Brinigng modern touches to the old-world charm, it has smart phone connectivity and traction control. Performance is stellar.”

2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 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)
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: Grigio Materia
Price: $7,749

Further Reading

Vespa

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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
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All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: motofotoz.com, suzukicycles.com

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