VESPA GT / GTS / GTV SERIES
As the largest displacement scooters in Vespa’s quiver, the GT / GTS scooters represent the pinnacle of Vespa performance and style. These scooters are the modern day ‘large frame’ wasps and as such, contain distinct differences from the smaller ET, LX and S series models. These GT/GTS models headline Vespa’s showrooms in terms of size, power, style and price.
Prior to Vespa’s 1980’s withdrawal from the North American market, the P200E (and Rally 200 predecessor) were the largest Vespa’s ever offered. When the GT 200 was first introduced in North American for 2003, it equalled that displacement. In the years since, the GTS has continued to push the performance envelope and as such, is the most powerful Vespa of all time.
The original GT 200 featured new classical styling that took the look of modern Vespa’s into a new era. The GT ended up inspiring the LX series, which have both been very successful models. While the styling of these scooters is similar, the GT/GTS is noticeably larger in real life with a wider and more aggressive rear end. Vespa equipped this large frame scooter with larger 12” wheels, dual rear shocks and a disc brake at both ends.
The original GT debuted in North American for 2003 as the GT 200. This scooter used a unique large frame design that made it quite distinct from the smaller Vespa’s. The GT 200 remained unchanged for three years until Vespa introduced the GTS 250 for 2006.
The GT S250 was a significant update over the GT 200. While still using the same frame, the GTS250 featured overhauled styling and an entirely new 244cc QUASAR engine. Compared to the GT 200, the GTS 250 got a chrome ornament on the front fender, a new rear rack and an altered seat. The GTS 250 is shown above in red and the GT 200 is shown at left in silver. With the increase in engine size came a name change to the GTS 250 (Grantourismo Super 250cc).
Also introduced for 2006 was a higher end heritage variant called the GTV 250 (below in creme). Originally billed as a 60th anniversary edition, the GTV has continued on sale ever since as a more expensive and exclusive model for wasp enthusiasts. The GTV comes a significant premium over the GTS, which adds retro instrumentation, a small windscreen, chrome handlebars, a fender mounted headlight and a gorgeous split leather seat amongst other accessories.
The GTS 300 moniker was introduced for 2009, when Vespa bumped their QUASAR engine from 244cc to 278cc. As such, the GTS 300 Super replaced the GTS 250 as the record holder for the largest motor ever offered by Vespa. This extra power is a welcome boost for passing at highway speeds. The ‘Super’ suffix for the new GTS 300 was added to mark the addition of a number of sporty touches. These include two-tone rims, a red front suspension spring and updated grills on the sides of the leg shield. The GTS 300 Super was available in only black or white for 2009.
While it’s merely semantics, the astute may have caught Vespa’s double use of the word “Super”. The core GTS name is an acronym for “Gran Tourismo Super”, so launching a “Super” version of the GTS results in a rather superfluous use of this adjective. In any case, buyers desiring a mono-super large Vespa had reason to cheer a year later when a regular version was added. For 2010 Vespa launched the standard version of GTS 300, which replaced the black and white colors and matte accents of the GTS 300 Super with more traditional colors and chrome highlights. The non-Super GTS 300 gives up the blacked out rims, comes with a rear rack instead of a grab handle and it has a regular seat instead of the sporty saddle standard on the GTS 300 Super.
Also for 2010, Vespa released a new version of the GTV dubbed the GTV 300. The overall concept is similar to the GTV 250, but now you get a few more chrome accessories included like a front rack and there's the extra 34cc from the larger mill (GTV 250 shown).
Finally, the most phonetically endowed GT yet debuted for 2013 as the GTS 300 Super I.E. Sport SE. This black themed ‘Sport SE’ version adds a neat ribbed seat with white piping and “Super” graphics on the rear flanks. The “I.E.” letters are a reference to fuel injection and have seemingly been added to all the GTS/GTV model names for 2013. The use of fuel injectors has been a GTS staple since 2006, but Vespa has been emphasizing it more lately now that the LX and S series offer it as well.
GT 200: 2003 - 2005. 198cc LEADER motor.
GTS 250: 2006 - 2008. 244cc QUASAR motor
GTS 300: 2010 - Present. 278cc QUASAR motor
GTS 300 Super: 2009 - Present. 278cc QUASAR motor. White or Black sport version.
GTS 300 Super Sport SE: 2013 - Present. 278cc QUASAR motor. Adds sportier seat and additional graphics to the Super.
GTV 250: 2006 - 2008. 244cc QUASAR motor. Adds a fender mounted headlight, leather seat and many accessories.
GTV 300: 2010 - Present. 278cc QUASAR motor. Adds a fender mounted headlight, leather seat and many accessories.
In the engine bay, the first Grantourismo (GT 200) used an enlarged 198cc version of Vespa’s LEADER engine, which is also found the 150cc ET and LX scooters. This engine was boosted from 150cc to 198cc and Vespa added liquid cooling to keep a handle on the heat generated by this high performance variant.
If you’re on the hunt for parts, a virtually identical 198cc liquid cooled LEADER engine was used in Aprilia’s Atlantic 200 scooter, while Piaggio’s BV 200 used a similar but air-cooled version.
For 2006, Vespa introduced a new 244cc QUASAR engine as part of the new GTS 250. This new engine utilized both fuel injection and 4-valves, both firsts for Vespa. Accordingly, this QUASAR engine is an awesome modern motor that provided a powerful 22hp and 75mph top speed in its 244cc incarnation.
For 2009 Vespa bumped this motor 34cc to a grand tally of 278cc. While the horsepower remained unchanged at 22 ponies, torque is up 10% to 22.3 (from 20.2) and both peak much lower which means acceleration is nicely improved. Top speed also rises to 80mph, making the GTS/GTV 300 scooters quite capable on the highway.
Storage & Convenience
Besides the powerful motor, Vespa’s Grantourismo scooters offer other attractive features. These scooters have awesome storage capacity including a glovebox and a huge storage space under the seat. In this under seat storage you have enough storage to hold both a full face helmet and a half lid helmet (as shown). This storage area would be incredibly useful for all sorts of uses like picking up some groceries or tossing your laptop in here. Just be careful with the ice cream because the large motor heats this area up nicely.
These Vespa’s also feature the same microchip theft deterrent system present in all modern Vespa’s. A rear rack is also standard which folds down to hold more of your stuff. Another neat touch is the passenger pegs which collapse to fit flush into the body work. The design of this scooter is absolutely top notch. No matter where you look you are going to see beautiful design work.
Unlike most scooters, it’s hard to pit Vespa’s directly against the competition. Vespa knows it has a niche product and as such, their scooters stand alone as more expensive but also higher end machines. The ample use of chrome and neat microchip key are two examples that set Vespa’s apart. While the features list won’t be enough to justify the MSRP to the frugally minded, these large Vespa’s are fairly priced for the high end machines they are. Vespa’s attention to detail is fabulous and high tech features like fuel injection and 4-valve heads keep these scooters at the cutting edge.
Modern wasp enthusiasts will find these to be quite excellent machines. Those looking for something similar but at a lower price point won’t find too many scooters to consider in this class. Kymco’s Like 200 is perhaps the largest displacement classically styled scooter, but it only boasts 160cc so its performance is quite different from the 278cc GTS.
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Key Specs (GTS 250, GTS 300):
* Engine: 244cc or 278cc single cylinder, 4-stroke, SOHC 4-valve, fuel injected
* Cooling: Liquid cooled
* Bore & Stroke: 72mm x 60mm (244cc), 75mm x 63mm (278cc)
* Power (244cc): 22 hp at 8250 RPM, 20.2 Nm torque at 6500 RPM
* Power (278cc): 22 hp @ 7500 RPM 22.3 Nm torque at 5250 RPM
* Top Speed: 76 mph (244cc), 80mph (278cc)
* Fuel Capacity: 2.4 gallons (9 litres)
* Milage: 65 mpg
* Ignition: Electronic (with inductive discharge, variable spark advance and three-dimensional mapping)
* Chassis: Load-bearing sheet steel chassis with welded structural supports
* Front Suspension: Single-sided trailing arm with dual chamber hydraulic shock absorber with coaxial spring
* Rear Suspension: Helical spring with adjustable four-position pre-load and dual effect hydraulic shock absorbers
* Brakes: 220 mm disc (front and rear)
* Tires: 120 / 70-12" (front), 130 / 70-12" (rear)
* Length: 76.4" (1941 mm)
* Width: 29.7" (755 mm)
* Wheelbase: 54.9" (1394 mm)
* Seat Height: 31.1" (790 mm)
* Dry Weight: 326 lbs (148 kg)
* Colors: Dragon Red, Cortina Gray, Midnight Blue, Shiny Black, White, Plum, Bronze