Vespa GTV 300 Review
Special scooters don't come around like this everyday.
When we were down at the recent MP3 300 launch, my ears pricked up when I heard mention that Vespa Australia was going to demo a limited Edition "Via Montepelone". Why the excitement? Well, I just happened to be in Milan when this model was launched back in 2009, loved it back then, I love it even more now.
The GTV 300 "Via Montepelone" or just GTV for short.
It looks stunning in the flesh. Black gloss paintwork, chrome rims, a matching grey covered saddle. These features add to the already stunning appearance. Like the exposed handlebars with analogue dash or the rounded headlight mounted on the front mudgaurd. All these items pull styling cues from the past, yet coming together to put Vespa's slant on the present.
As soon as you take a seat on the GTV you get the feeling that this is going to be something very special, all class, royalty even. The seating position feels good, especially for somebody my size (under 6 foot), and I reckon it's far more comfortable then the leather seats on both the standard GTV and the GT 60 even. In the long run probably easier to maintain as well.
Initially I found myself sitting on the GTV for an extended period admiring the bits and pieces, the fit and finish. The polished chrome 12 inch rims look good from every angle. The cut out grill in the rear bodywork as shared with the GTS 300, a nice touch.
After a while it then occurred to me that I needed to start the engine and not just admire. Vespa made sure the GTV "Via Montepelone" was the complete package. They shoehorned the latest addition Quasar motor into the GTV. The 278 cc engine is at the top of the game, no better in my reckoning. A nice 15.8 Kw and 22.3 Nm of torque, all ready and at your service.
The seat opens electronically via a dash mounted switch located just above the glove box. Storage is long and wide, relatively shallow, though complemented by the bag and helmet hooks provided. The GTV does have a rear fold out chrome carrier if required and you could fit a topbox if you must.
Twin shocks on the rear are fully adjustable, and the front suspension as with all Vespa's is that iconic cantilever type set up. A 220 mm disc brake up front and of-course a matching 220 mm disc on the rear. Spring mounted side stand (don't use) and a centre stand comes standard. Flip out footrests help accommodate the passenger who has a nice pillion position thanks to the split seat.
On The Road
On the road the GTV is just sensational. Nothing vintage at all about this machine, a modern missile in every sense. Speed around town is only limited by the limit, and this machine will never be found wanting.
Quick is an understatement and power remains on tap straight from the get-go, up until you become uncomfortable that is, and can no longer hold onto the bars. The front screen does little for protection once the speeds rise. But for short motorway jaunts and inter-suburban carving, the GTV just rocks. Hills on the GTV tend to flatten out as you twist the throttle.
Actually you could put the GTV on Highway 1 and circumnavigate Australia if you wanted, but really as with all Vespa's, the urban jungle is home.
In the handling stakes, we have a short all-in-one chassis combined with a compliant suspension package. Its not super firm, yet it isn't soft either. The GTV isn't sports focused like the GTS 300 Super, nor should it be. Handling fits the profile nicely and only when pushing hard does the GTV get a little flighty : Plenty of power in a short chassis will do that.
Braking is generations ahead of the past and you could pull the GTV up on a dime, love the rear brake.
The GTV is one of those scooters you purchase and you probably never sell, well not for a long time anyway. It has the go and has plenty of show, both combining to make a high class effort.
That said the Vespa GTV " Via Montepelone" does come in at $9990 + ORC, so it will set you back a few bucks. In comparison, the standard GTV 250 is currently being run-out at only $8490 + ORC, yet this isn't what it's all about. The special edition plate, the mix of gloss black and chrome, the fact that you know you have something very special in the garage.
A heap of people say to me, "I can get a great deal of motorcycle for that kind of money". I say, "Well go and buy a bike, you just don't understand".
If you can still find and afford one, then lucky you, but stock I dare say is getting pretty thin on the ground.
Special scooters like this don't enter the garage too often, and the GTV "Via Montepelone" is worthy of such accolade. Maybe importer Peter Stevens can turn this demo into a long termer...... Please?