This is the second a series of posts dedicated to living with the Vespa GTV 250 i.e. The first article is here.
Some of the really nice features and details of the GTV 250 i.e.
I took some time to look over the features and details of the Vespa GTV 250. Even Before I picked it up, Dave Meyer of 1000 Oaks Vespa had told me that these 250cc Vespas were “Masterpieces”. I had also talked with some of the hard core Vespa restorers; they all pined for px200s with the 250 engine, and “PLEASE leave the shift in”…
personal rant —
I believe that if CVT could handle the amount of horsepower and torque put out by Formula One Cars, they would adopt them immediately, since 10ths of a second count. If the current semi-automatics can shift in 3/100ths of a second and a human can shift in 1/10 of a second, then the human-powered shift will have no power to the ground 70% longer than the automatic. With a CVT, this pause is non-existent.
The Vespa CVT puts the power to the ground NOW. Zero to 25 in — NOW. Damned thing gets to 60 fast enough to give an old 1500cc Triumph Spitfire a run, that’s for sure. Top speed is an estimated 75-ish. The Vespa has a typical Italian speedometer that, although it has numbers, is best thought of as “slow-medium-fast” as far as accuracy goes.
It IS an updated px200, uh, but it’s not.
Can’t say if it’s better or worse, because I’ve never ridden a 200. It meets my demands, and I understand what the engineers were going after in the design, and agree with it completely. They tried, successfully, to respect the Vespa heritage. A scooter born from the loins of the VB1 that is modern under the skin in every sense of the word. It has excellent brakes, handling, instrumentation and storage. These brakes are designed for the conditions a Vespa is most likely to encounter (streets, uneven surfaces, etc). The weather protection is extremely efficient and yet unobtrusive. It has many small features and details that make it ideal for short-to-mid commutes, around town errand running, and weekend hopping.
Those ABS brakes.
12 inch tires can lock up on sharp, bumpy pavement, like cobblestones or the completely messed up tarmac found at the approaches to intersections throughout Los Angeles and other cities. Larger tires don’t present a problem due to weight, larger contact patch and the torque-arm provided by the radius of the wheel, allowing the tire to continue efficient braking under slight modulation. Even with the smaller tires, the Vespa GTV 250 will stop on “a piece of newspaper”, in any condition that I could identify.
Awesome brakes or no (and they are awesome…), the smaller-tired GTV 250 is best suited to commutes in the city for distances of up to 80 mi round trip or less. It can hang on the freeways just fine, but with the tires and all it really isn’t suited to inter-city travel, although you “can” do it.
Storage and putting stuff in it.
The under-seat storage is big. I was actually able to stuff a 15lb bag of dog food in it. I also like the little detail that involves a couple of small pegs to hook two helmets in, and lock them by just putting the seat back in place. The seat locks completely when the key locks the front forks. A small button on the inside of the front cowl pops it like a trunk release switch on a car. Pushing the key switch in opens the front glove box, with room for gloves and other goodies. Small tool kit is located there.
Some visual details:
More nice touches.
Nicely integrated rear passenger pegs. Definitely not some last-minute fix, they fit into the body of the scoot and pop out when needed, folding back like the flaps of a World War II dive-bomber when not needed.
The Leather seat is also a thing of beauty. Saddle brown, nice and thick and wears like iron. A cover is provided in the inner seat bottom for inclement weather or when washing the bike to keep it nice.
The instruments are wonderful as well, with a touch of vintage and a touch of modern. Integrated into a handlebar set-up reminiscent of the pre-1958 Vespas, with a nice yellowish glow at night. A trip odometer would have been nice here, but it is absent.
Tail Lights are also well-integrated into the body, and thankfully they are not retro in the essence that they are bright, well-placed and make me feel like nobody’s gonna smack me from behind.
As previously stated in other posts, the Vespa GTV 250 i.e. is solid. It’s engineered well and shows an almost Germanic attention to detail. Seams fit cleanly, and after the 5000 miles that have been put on this bike, there’s nothing broken, nothing hanging or vibrating, and nothing that lends me to believe that this bike was not fully tested and it shows that the engineers worked with a lot of people to make damned sure that it was ergonomically sound and well thought out.