VESPA GTS 300 GOES HIGH TECH FOR 2015


VESPA ADDS ABS, TRACTION CONTROL AND PHONE INTEGRATION

For 2015 Vespa has made a slew of updates to their GTS model. Unlike the last few updates, the motor is staying the same but the features list is getting some nice additions. Most noteworthy is ABS, which arrives as a standard feature for 2015 on all of the GTS models. Also debuting is traction control which Vespa is calling ASR or Acceleration Slip Regulation. ABS is a welcome addition, while ASR is mostly a burn-out killing gimmick.

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Smartphone integration is the neatest feature being added. This functionality lets you connect your smartphone via USB. This charges the phone and also lets you use your phone as a computer to display a wealth of information. Once connected, your phone can display speed, RPM, horsepower, torque, fuel milage, lean angle and supposedly even tire condition (although a simple glance downwards is likely more informative than a presumably milage based estimate of wear). With the Vespa App you can also help navigate back to your machine in the busy parking lot because it’ll make a note of the GPS coordinates where the motor got shut off. Neat stuff.

Also new for 2015 is an updated suspension design that draws on the ideas implemented with the new Primavera and Sprint. It’s still the Vespa classic single sided trailing link design, but the angles have been reworked and a new pin + hinge has been added at the base of the shock. The shock is mounted to the trailing link via a new hinge which allows for some “suspension slide”. It appears the base of the shock can slide fore/aft slightly, but some saddle time will be needed to evaluate how well it works.

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As a refresher, Vespa offers four variations of their GTS platform. The GTS 300 ABS and GTS 300 Super are basically the same machine with minor style differences. The Super trades the rear rack for a grab handle, adds vent cutouts to the right flank, comes with a black seat rather than beige, has blacked out wheels and is offered in black, white or blue rather than black or gray. Both models list for $6599. The GTS 300 Supersport is a premium machine at $6799. The Supersport is equipped with a ribbed single rider seat with accent color piping and gains sport decals which are orange for 2015. Lastly, the GTV is the most substantially different scooter with a revised headset that exposes the handlebars and moves the headlamp down the front fender. This scooter comes with a full list of normally optional equipment including a windshield, luggage racks at both ends and a leather seat. The price for this luxury cruiser is $7199.

These updates appear limited to the three GTS models, as they aren’t specifically mentioned for the GTV. Also, the MSRP of the GTV hasn’t risen in price by $200 like the rest of the models. At $200, these upgrades seem downright cheap for all that’s been added.


KYMCO'S 2015 SUPER 8R / 8X


A NEW GENERATION OF SUPER 8 ARRIVING THIS SPRING

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There’s been extra room in Kymco’s lineup since they axed quite a few models from their lineup a few months ago including the Super 8. We broke news of a rumoured next generation Super 8 in X (offroad) and R (sports) versions at the time, but now more details are available.

In recent days Kymco Canada has
added the Super 8R 50 to their website as a 2015 model, while Kymco USA’s Facebook account claims a spring release for both the 8R and 8X in 50cc and 150cc sizes. Interestingly, Kymco Canada is opting for a 4-stroke 50cc motor in the 8R, while Kymco USA is planning on releasing both models with either a 2-stroke 50cc, or a 4-stroke 150cc, similar to the outgoing Super 8 options. The outgoing Super 8 is remaining on sale in Canada in only the 150cc form for 2015, likely to clear out inventory.

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The new Super 8 models appear to be an effort to streamline Kymco’s scooter operations by using a common platform. The main idea seems to be restyling the Agility model to achieve a more sporty look, while simultaneously slipping in the higher output versions of their motors that were previously used in the Super 8. In doing so, Kymco has made a number of nice changes to the Agility design including new aluminum rims, a brushed aluminum rear rack, folding passenger pegs and a neat digital gauge setup. The main downside is the Agility frame is quite a bit smaller than the outgoing Super 8, so riders above 5’10” won’t be well accomodated. Overall it looks like a reasonable move if Kymco is able to pass along some of the cost savings to buyer and retain the performance of the Super 8. We expect full details to be announced in the next few weeks. For now, check out the new Super 8R / 8X page for more details.


BMW ADDED TO MOTOR SCOOTER GUIDE


NEW RESOURCE ON THE BAVARIAN MAKER

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Maxi-scooters have admittedly not been the main focus here at MSG but BMW has been building some great ones for a couple years now and they deserve recognition for it. Hence, a new section on BMW at MSG.

Introduced into 2013, BMW’s C series of scooters has provided stiff competition to maxi’s like Suzuki’s Burgman and Kymco’s MyRoad for a few years now. For 2015, BMW has dropped the cheaper Sport version of their C series scooters, and is forging ahead with only the C 650 GT for 2015.

Despite the lineup trim, BMW is still investing heavily in their C series of scooters with the all electric C Evolution likely to be officially announced sometime soon for North America. BMW has already indicated it will be released here soon, but
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the MSRP and launch date have yet to be revealed.

What we do know is that the C Evolution will be an impressive machine with perhaps the fastest 0-60 mph time ever for a scooter at a claimed 6.2 seconds. The C Evolution also has an electronically limited 75 mph top speed and 60 mile range, with charging taking about 2 hours for an 80% top up. Unfortunately the price for generation one looks to be a tad expensive at $13-17g estimated MSRP.

Check out the
BMW overview page for a year by year account of BMW’s lineup and the C 600 / C 650 page.