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Preview: Comments on Scooter in the Sticks: 2009 Vespa GTS300 Super: A Beginner's Ride?

Comments on Scooter in the Sticks: 2009 Vespa GTS300 Super: A Beginner's Ride?

Updated: 2014-09-02T04:15:54.295-04:00


anonymous: Thanks for your kind words about my bl...


anonymous: Thanks for your kind words about my blog. I enjoy riding different scooters and motorcycles and sharing what I think. My riding certainly isn't for everyone but I'm glad it might help a little in the tough decisions that come from make a choice about what to buy.

great site...takes me back to the good ol Alleghen...


great site...takes me back to the good ol Allegheny foothills, but guaranteed i'm much happier in California, better riding weather too ;-). your review really made me think about getting a vespa over a honda or an aprilia. we'll see what time brings, but your little photo blog was better than all the other motorcycle/scooter cut and paste BS websites, great pictures and keep up the good work!

Oh man another great post! Had to tell you about ...


Oh man another great post!

Had to tell you about a little jaunt I had a few weeks back. Ran into a couple on one of those Can Am things and a Sportster. So I thought, why not, say Hello.
The guy was as old as dirt. He could hardly swing his leg over the Can Am. The lady proceeded to tell me she "customized" her pipes. Said it was to make it sound like a Harley. To which I replied that it sounded like a Harley when it was stock. That changing it not only made it NOT sound like A Harley but that without rejetting there was a chance the pistons could be toasted. She just looked at me like I was from Mars. The old guy on the Can Am wouldn't look in my direction. She looked over to the Vespa and said, If you don't own a Harley you wouldn't understand. I reached into my wallet and pulled out the five motorcycle insurance cards, thumbed through to the Harley and showed it to her.
Why aren't you on that instead of... That? She pointed to the blue scooter.
Because I'm not concerned about what people think of me. I'm concerned about what I think of me.
I walked back to Kythera to hear them take off with as much muster as their ill concieved images could drape over them.

Riding is about riding. That's why you succeed. Its why so many here who also write about riding are inspired by you.

As am I.


I've often wondered what it would be like on a...


I've often wondered what it would be like on a scooter on very twisty roads. With the floor board is the bike able to lean low? I met a guy on the road on a Suzuki scooter and I think it was 650cc! At first, I took it for a motorcycle. There are no limits to the travel one can do on a scooter--I'm learning.

My moto shop will give out a scooter if your bike has to stay overnight. I might try this next time. I think I would really miss shifting gears? Even when I'm in sixth gear, I will downshift just to change gears...Is that a nonissue for you.

As always, enjoyed the images!

- That photo with the Vespa in the foreground of t...


- That photo with the Vespa in the foreground of the twisty road is *really* nice. Well-planned too, with your buddy up ahead. Is he on the brakes though? It is a shame to be on the brakes on roads like that.


I think a midsize scooter (such as a 300) may be a...


I think a midsize scooter (such as a 300) may be a good choice as a first bike. It really depends on the person though. For me, it would have been bad. I started on a Suzuki SV650, and that was a great choice for me. Quick enough that I wasn't bored after a few years.

Vespa, I don't think that is ideal though, because they are quite expensive. For less money, a Honda Reflex ABS or Suzuki Burgman ABS would offer more room to grow, while still being beginner-friendly, and also adding the security of ABS.

For the folks who really do enjoy the extra involvement that goes with shifting I think a 250cc dual sport bike, such as the Yamaha XT250 is perfect. Bikes that are built to handle dirt tend to handle tip-overs better than pure street bikes. (Vespas included, with their monocoque bodies)

I cannot deny that Vespas have a sense of style that cannot be duplicated by the Japanese scooters. They look sharp & stylish without looking like origami.

In 1988 or thereabouts, ( god, do I sound like a g...


In 1988 or thereabouts, ( god, do I sound like a geezer, or what? ) I did the Western States 1000 with a fellow cop. I rode a Honda GL500 Silverwing. ( not the scooter ) This was a two day 1000 mile ride, early June, nasty weather.

A guy on a 250 Honda scooter rode the whole thing. In bedroom slippers, no less. Although they were pretty wet sometimes!

I guess there's a moral there somewhere. Kind of like my middle son. Bought bigger and better electric guitars and amps. Thought it would make him better. He wanted a short cut.

Turns out, if we're not enough with it, we'll never be enough with it.

Probably true with bikes, too.

To Orin: Your scooter will keep up on the Banfield just fine. I rode it last night at 7 PM between I-5 and I-205. Never got over 25 mph!!

Steve, your observations are very interesting. I w...


Steve, your observations are very interesting. I was skeptical about 30cc (the GTS' actual displacement is 246cc, the 300 Super's 278cc) making much of a difference in performance, but if you notice a difference by seat-of-the pants, that's significant.

As for riding a GTS on freeways, I've been doing more of that since I landed in Portland than I was doing in Seattle. It helps that freeway drivers in PDX are rather more laid-back and easygoing (and that the pavement's in much better shape), but the fastest, most direct way downtown from my house is I-84, aka The Banfield.

Expect a bunch of traffic to this post. I'll be making a note of it today.

Scootin' Old Skool"

Steve: Nice comments to Bobskoot. I agree with Bob...


Steve: Nice comments to Bobskoot. I agree with Bobskoot's comment that your photos are photopoems sometimes. Your comments to Dan regarding Harley riders. Thanks for posting that. I was just about to type nearly the same thing for Dan. I find motorcycle riders to be pretty darn friendly to other motorcycle riders generally. The rude Harley riders are the the exception. Remember the 200 harleys that passed us going the other way returning from Black Moshanon? I bet more than three quarters of them waved to us.
Paul Ruby of State College Pa.

bobskoot: Freeway travel at high speeds with lots...


bobskoot: Freeway travel at high speeds with lots of traffic just isn't for the Vespa in my opinion.

Our freeways are much less congested than those near cities. And speed limits are often closely enforced to you don't feel overwhelmed on the highway.

But even with bigger motorcycles I find I don't want to ride on the freeway. Perhaps if I needed to get somewhere fast I would but aside from my commute to work the rest of my riding is either errands or riding for the sheer pleasure of flying... And what fun is there flying along on a freeway?

Steve: We have the same problem here. Traffic tr...



We have the same problem here. Traffic travels too fast. If everyone would just go the actual speed limit then it would be safer for all. I used to have a 250 scooter and I had to navigate away from the freeways. There is just no reserve power, especially in the mountains.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Bryce: You are correct about the GTS not being ab...


Bryce: You are correct about the GTS not being able to keep up with high speed freeway traffic. I have ridden mine on several interstate highways. When there is little traffic it isn't a problem but in denser, high speed traffic moving along at 75 to 80mph you feel a little out of place. The traffic navigates around you but I don't like it.

I have only once ridden on Interstate 80--the big cross country route with lots of truck traffic. One stretch, downhill, with about 12 miles until the next exit. Never again.

When I get to writing the age and riding post I'll let you know. I'm always interested in what others think.

Have a friend here who traded a Kawasaki Ninja 200...


Have a friend here who traded a Kawasaki Ninja 200? for a GT250.
Said friend is not a stranger to any form of two wheeled transport. he bought the 250 with all the whistles, bugles and daisies. It move along very well; what it will not do is keep with the 80 mph or faster vehicles on the Queen Elizabeth
which is from Fort Erie to Toronto Ontario. Otherwise it is just fine
He is long and lanky a age 48. On tight turns his knees get in the way of the turning of the handlebars. I sit on his machine and my knees are higher than handlebars, forget that idea!

Oh and as to your future increasing age and motorcyccing post can well relate, and if you wish can supply some personal fodder.

Peanut Butter/Jam toast and cold milk is just fine...


Peanut Butter/Jam toast and cold milk is just fine with it

Dan: My direct experience with Harley riders has ...


Dan: My direct experience with Harley riders has almost always been positive even when I approach on the Vespa. Most have struck me first as riders and second as Harley owners. While they may have different ideas from me in terms of helmets and protective gear we had a live and let live attitude.

But I have to admit that I get frustrated and sometimes angry at the loud pipes especially the ones in my neighborhood who feel like showing off how loud they are on the way home every night or at 6am on the way to work. Just seems rude and disrespectful.

Kim and I talk about noise a lot---mowers, chain saws, leaf blowers, and loud motorcycles. I keep telling her that one of these days the legislature is going to clamp down on the noise.

And scaring horses, let alone ones working to transport people in a buggy is just criminal. Alas, in riding as in all human pursuits, there never seems to be a shortage of assholes. Harley riders don't have a lock on that.

bobskoot: Thanks for the comments about the post....


bobskoot: Thanks for the comments about the post. I'm embarrassed. I certainly don't think of what I do as any sort of poetry. I wish it was but I can't see it.

The CanAM is just not a beginner anything. I suspect because it seems as if you don't have to know much to ride one the fellow thought it would be like a glorified automobile. But looks are deceiving.

Coop: Thanks! I appreciate the comment. Jack Ri...


Coop: Thanks! I appreciate the comment.

Jack Riepe: Weird. I sit here writing wishing I had some of the wit and dash that you display in your writing. I haven't figured out how to mimic you and it is probably best that I just stick to what I know and not try to do what you do so well.

I am thinking about T shirts though. I think they are cool. One of these days I am going to order one of yours. I am one of your novice devotees afterall...

The guy looking at the Can Am didn't make a convincing argument. Listening to him it seemed like he was desperate to get his wife off the back of his bike but didn't want to have to make much in the way of accommodation for learning. Listening to your description of the Spyder makes it seem like a really bad choice.

Personally, I have never found any correlation between a vehicle and sex despite what the popular automotive press tries to imply. I had a 1962 Ford Falcon 4 door sedan with a 144 cubic inch engine, 3 on the tree shifter, cherry bomb muffler, lime green paint, and a super sweet tachometer. And I got nothing.

So it's all lies.

The Vespa is a great around town machine. No motorcycle can touch it in my opinion it terms of ease of use and function. Everyone should have one.

Baron's Life: I wonder if you are a fan of pe...


Baron's Life: I wonder if you are a fan of peanut butter toast with a glass of cold milk? I guess I am a total bore when it comes to food....

I think a novice would do fine on the Vespa 300 with the right training. Formal training would be best or careful directed instruction from another rider who is serious about showing a novice the ropes.

The 300 is not overly heavy and the power is not hard to control. With the twist and go transmission a lot of the odd physical confusion of throttle, clutch, foot brake, hand brake are simplified. That said, I little 50cc scooter would be even easier to start with. Less weight, and slowly speeds to work with.

It all depends on the comfort level of the novice rider. To each person a different scooter or bike may be the right starting place I guess.

I have the Age and Riding post still in my idea file with some notes. I'll wait until you have completely forgotten about it and then spring it on you!

Paul: You have the patience of Job. I don't ...


Paul: You have the patience of Job. I don't think many others would appreciate all the stopping and fiddling I do on these rides. I could be wrong but I get the impression that most riders want to ride!

Rick: I appreciate your generous words of support. It is really nice to know that someone likes what you do. Thank you.

I'll continue riding and writing as long as I have something to share. The collaboration with Kissell Motorsports has opened doors for a lot of different experiences. I feel like I am slowly getting a feel for the possibilities with all the motorcycles they sell.

I'll try and keep up with your expectations!

Steve, another good post and as always, great phot...


Steve, another good post and as always, great photos.

Vespas for everyone, please. Especially the Harley riders (apologies to Paul).

This weekend finally pushed me over the edge, I truly hate the whole Harley culture and all who choose to associate with it. Busy traveling all around Central PA this weekend, swarms of loud, obnoxious jerks on loud, obnoxious crap bikes doing their utmost to flip the figurative (and sometimes literal) bird to everyone else on the road.

Stuck in line for ten miles in Penns Valley a couple of vehicles behind an ear-splitting Harley, watched in dismay when he intentionally swerved at and blatted his exhaust to frighten the horses pulling an Amish buggy.

Had a couple in their sixties run a stop sign in front of our car in State College, missed them by a foot or two. Another pack ran through Boalsburg blocking both lanes, making so much noise they set off a couple of car alarms.

We should have let Harley go bankrupt in the eighties instead of bailing them out. Let their sociopath demographics drive monster trucks, or force them to convert to Vespas.

Steve: I am always enamoured of your photos and y...



I am always enamoured of your photos and your narration which is pure poetry to the eyes, not unlike a symphony to your ears.

I think a Can-Am is the wrong machine. I spoke to a Can-am rider recently and it takes a while to learn how to take the corners. The machine wants to throw you off and left turns are nagivated differently than right turns. I think part of the thrill of riding is the ability to "lean" into and out of . . . corners

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Dear Steve: I have always tried to model my blog ...


Dear Steve:

I have always tried to model my blog after yours... If for no other reason than to reach the same purity of soul that is so clearly manifest in your photos and text. I will keep trying until I have mastered the art of mimicing your sincerity.

I cannot imagine any sensible BMW rider even thinking for a minute that a CanAm Spyder (with its incredibly unique handling characteristics) would be a good match for a spouse. A better match would be a BMW convertible, which would have no problem keeping up with a bike of the same manufacture, and which would most likely guarantee this guy superior sex for the next three years.

If I had the dough, I would own a Vespa. I can't think of a better, less complicated way to get about town. Tough I must confess, I would be tempted to ride in a short-sleeved shirt (still with a helmet), which makes no sense at all.

Launching the K75 for a short run to the Post Office or to the drug store is a collossal pain the butt. And I could easily see spending the afternoon riding around with the Amish buggies, or crossing the Commodore Barry Bridge to head to the Jersey Shore, on a Vespa. But before I spent $6 grand on a new Vespa, I'd be tempted to go for $8 - $10 grand for a slighty used BMW GT1200.

While the 130 horses of the GT1200 would still be overkill for running about town, it would enable to fulfill my destiny in a morgue someplace, on schedule.

Great post. Great scooter.

Fondest regards,
Jack • Reep Toad
Twisted Roads

Once again, just wonderful Steve. Thanks.


Once again, just wonderful Steve. Thanks.

Steve...I always look forward to reading your post...


Steve...I always look forward to reading your posts for content and photography and genuine regular food I can eat in my mother's or wife's kitchen....or at the grease joint down the road from where I live in BC.
VEPAS are not vehicles to be ignored...they do the job very well and I am a keen fan of VESPA as I grew up around them and have many a fond memory of the machine...
a 300cc machine might be too dangerous for a novice to handle..what do you think?
The wife and I were stationed in the Far East for a while and we did a run from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia...her riding a Yamaha 150 and me a Vespa 90
The Vespa was pretty sturdy and handled itself very well and I had no trouble keeping up with traffic...bicycles, buses, chikens, cows, donkeys, monkeys, pedestrians, cars, lorries,
you name it , it was on the road... and all going like 60 miles an hour on the wrong side of the street as they ride on the opposite side (British style) it was a fun ride and I do have a lot of respect for and do love the Vespa..I then upgraded to a P150 and that Vespa was as good as the triumph I'm riding now. I might seriously look at the 300 as I want a lighter vehicle for my old age...BTW...I'm still waiting for your previouly suggeted post...age and riding...should be very interesting
Thanks for sharing Bud

Steve: In my RSS Aggregator program, Newzcrawler, ...


In my RSS Aggregator program, Newzcrawler, I have SitS at the top of the folder of motorcycle sites. It's where I start. Your output and posts are thankfully prolific and I dearly hope it keeps coming. The link up with Kissel is hopefully a good match for you both and is certainly, without doubt, sublime reading for us. Your insights are without peer. And I do read nearly everything, but like your hearty breakfasts, I look forward to your next chapters with utter glee.