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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I"ve had the bike several weeks now put over 800 miles on it, and now feel qualified to comment on the Vespa.

Current model is a 300, don't know if it's just a bored out 250 or a new engine.

(When I do FINALLY get this out to San Francisco I'm gonna see if I can have it bored or swap jugs and go up to 300cc, an additional 50cc would make this thing even more outstanding....but read on)

The electronic FUEL INJECTED 250 will push this bike to 82-84mph on the flats with a TALL windscreen. Will easily do the 70-75 you need on most Interstates to "keep up with traffic."

It cerainly does not give the IMPRESSION of much torque or great acceleration, but it gets up to speed plenty quick. Almost like it has a completley flat torque curve that's really only lacking on the bottom end.

Best part is the motor isn't screaming, or even appreciably straining at full throttle, held for minutes or tens of minutes on end. It actually seems to LIKE it.

I suppose with a louder pipe there might be a few more ponies to be had, but...this thing, especially with the super-tall windscreen on it, is very civilized Not loud, no wind buffeting, not gonna get in to work with grease on your pants,

The CVT/clutch work about as expected, engine revs just about the right amount under full throttle acceleration. Hold the brake and rev and you an get a pretty decent hole shot at a light. More than enough to leave inattentive drivers behind or if you've filtered to the front. One or the other, however, CVT/clutch is rattling a good bit on this bike. But at 10,000, I'd assume that's to be expected (although my Elite 250 NEVER rattled.

Exactly as I expected, getting parts for an Italian bike IS ALREADY A NIGHTMARE. One of the windshield padded bolts broke, and....none on ebay, and dealers are damn few and far between.

A duplicate set of keys? Guess what, there's a transponder. So I"m having to FEDX my keys to the S.F. Vespa dealer for duplication.

Vespa seems to go broke every 10 years in this country then re-invent itself. The Vespa website is beyond useless. Can't even use it to successfully find the NEAREST dealer, so I just decided to deal with S.F, since they're probably the largest and best stocked.

Why, oh Why can't Vespa, or for THAT matter, Chinese scooter mfr's put ALL of their parts / inventory online and just let us order it direct and have it come in the way Chinese crap from eBay does. Dealerships are a...anachronism, a thing of times passed, it's time they ALL went broke and we dealt with Indies who passed a test and received factory training.

IMHO, of course.

So the kickstand is freakin useless. Don't know if it's broken, worn, out of adjust ment or what but it won't go over center and STAY. I have to exit the bike to the left and using my RIGHT foot hold the kickstand forward while laying the bike to the side. It gets worse. Where it's positioned I have to LEAN the bike to the right to get the stand forward, and evven deployed, it's so pathetically mis-located as to make me constantly worry it's gonna tip over.

So I use the Center stand constantly. What a pain in the ass. Can't even get a @#$#$ kickstand right.

No kickstand interlock on this bike, which is nice.

The fuel injection works flawlessly. Starts immediately, I get 50-55mpg even running full bore for hours on end. Try and top that!

The underseat storage is great, BUT the damn electric release works even without the key in the ignition, or ignition "On", meaning ANY yahoo can come up and steal my stuff Miswired? BAd repair? Bad design???

The top box I"ve got, the lock for it is equally pathetic and requires numerous tries to get it to hook and latch. What an annoyance!

Brakes are NOT good right now, although they've got a LOT of feel In contrast the Siverwing has enormously POWERFUL brakes with next to zero feel. Don't know if I've got worn pads, if there's an adjustment, or what. With 10K miles my guess is the PO never changed the pads and I'm probably waay down.

I just love the clock and temperature gauge built into the dash. The temp gauge allows you to QUICKLY calibrate what clothing is needed.

This loop around Northern Alabama/Mississippi / into Arkansas, temps ran from 49 to 59 degrees until today, finally, the sun came out and it shot up into the '70s. I knew exactly how many layers I needed and when it was time to add/reduce, adding in mist/drizzle/fog/rain conditions to temp data.

Steering / handling. Not all that great, to be honest. I've ridden other GTS250's and jperhaps this one's got a problem as THOSE seemed much better handling. Doesn't corner with confidence for whatever reason. Whereas the Silverwing with feet forward prefers to be turned by shoving the bike down while counter-leaning, this one will accept either countersteering or mirror-kissing. Seems to prefer mirror-kissing actually, a little bit OVER countersteering.

Maybe I just need a new front tire. This one's got good tread but is old. Got a brand new michelin on the rear

Riding position is fairly comfortable, neither superb nor bad.

Bike is VERY easy to push around, back up, "ground handling." Easy for a small woman, unlike the big heavy Silverwing, Burgmans, etc.

Horn. Good Golly Miss Molly this thing has a SUPERB horn. Best feature on the bike! Loud, attention getting, but not RUDE. But of course! It's Italian!

Mirrors...constantly adjusting 'em. Maybe they need to be tightened up a bit so they'll HOLD a set.

Style...what can I say. You either love the classic scooter look or you don't. What I can say is this bike draws ENDLESS attention. I don't think I've had a single stop, for food, for fuel, for anything where someone didn't wander over and want to talk about it.

While the guys who ride Harleys are, for the most part, big teddy bears, noisy bikes and tattoos and all theat leather intimidate a lot of folks. Not this bike. I've had garbagemen, cement truck drivers, HD riders, housewives, grandfathers, EVERYONE come over and admire, comment, and inquire.

If youe' a sociable kind of person, you couldn't do any better than a classic Vespa like this.

I tried to buy one JUST like this (but in blue) back RAOUND 2008 or 9, but the guy wanted like 4 large for it, and I simply didn't have that much to put into a scooter. Kinda wish I had now, as this thing's truly superb.

The one comment I really expected (aww, you must be GAY) is, surprisingly, the one I've never heard. Only ONE person felt "that color is pretty darn bright). I guess if it's Italian, it's OK for a bike to be fire engine red,

I think women riders esp newish riders, would really LOVE this thing provided they've got a Tony to handle maintenance & repairs.

Because of the lack of dealerships, parts, etc. I probably STILL would recommed an Honda PCX150 or Yamaha SMAx (155) to MOST folks wanting a scooter. Anything Italian, with the resultant LACK f reliability, service, parts....is only for diehards, or people with more than one bike.''

Cant explain it but after 5 days straight of riding this thing my riding skills have sharpened up a LOT. Got all the rust off and maybe even improved a bit.

Bottom line is the GTS250ie is even MORE scooter than I expected it to be, especially the top end speed. It's damn fun Even if it IS gay as hell, lol

2 minute video shot over the windscreen along a scenic back road in Northern Mississippi (Hwy 5 from NEAR Holly Springs to...Ridley? (and then ON to the NAtchez Trace...) Shot strictly for scenery, MUTE it, nothing but wind noise.

 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
ScooterWest.com jThey've got ALL the parts you (I) needed, AND parts guys who ask "You need the rubber o-rings to go with that?"

I ordered:

Replacement brake handle
Replacement windshield support "buttons"
oil filters
transmission "kit" (belt, rollers, oil, special tool, video)
dual USB charging port that replaces "kneepad" and is plug n Play
crush rings
rear end lube (no, it is NOT astro-glide...get yer mind outta the butter)
key blank for top box
spark plug
brake pads (said hydrualic, no adjustments, must have worn pads and probalby overdue for flush

free shipping with orders over $100 via the web.

I prefer to talk to parts guys on the phone but got free shipping ANYWAY considering size of my order.. but wait, there's more...

A free ScootersWest coozie and stickers
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Some additional comments after owning this thing awhile.

The fuel filler under the seat is a disaster. Perhaps the venting isn't working right, but gas overflows into the STORAGE area every single time before the nozzle clicks off, leaving your apparel, food, whatever smelling of gas.

The kickstand is utterly lousy. Misplaced, weak, just a fallover waiting to happen. I'm thinking mine's been re-welded after some sort of accident as the spring won't go "over center," I have to exit the sccooter to the left and use my RIGHT FOOT to hold the kickstand in place as I set the bike down on it.

Center stand....works well.

Had to order a rear swingarm/bearing PULLER from San Diego Vespa to get it off in order to change the tire. What am I supposed to do, carry this 7# bar of steel with me everywhere I ride in case I flat?

This Vespa does SOME things very, very well, and others just terribly. I intend to trade it in on a S-max or PCX-150 and Honda/Yamaha reliability -- or sell it outright.

How do you teach a beginner to ride a bike you can't even "trust" the kickstand on?
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Following up the 300's are NOT "just" a bored out 250.

But there IS a "big bore" kit for the 250's which will take them to around 272 cc and up top speed a little.

$399 (sale price) from San Diego Vespa. Good guys.
 
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