Vespa GTS 300 HPE
A Vespa is the kind of motorcycle you can readily mount while donning your best formal attire, and you wouldn't look bonkers doing so. The GTS 300 HPE seeks to expand on the brands sporting portfolio, with the “HPE” denoting its performance credentials meaning High Performance Engine. This isn't merely a colourful acronym given to the GTS 300 by Vespa’s marketing team - in HPE guise the GTS 300 carries the most powerful engine to come out of the Vespa stable. When the fellas with big foreheads came together for this project, they were able to extract an extra 12% of power and an 18% increase in torque from the 278cc engine.
Vespas always stand out for their classic and timeless design and unique novelty to them. Being the sportiest Vespa on the lineup, the HPE is offered in 13 vibrant hues which give it the flair it needs to be the athletic Vespa it seeks to be. The bump on the power and torque figures do translate in performance, resulting in a good dose of poke from the tweaked 278cc. Roll-on acceleration is evident even on the highway. The Vespa will dive into gaps and change lanes with the enthusiasm of a Jack Russel if need be.
The great build quality offered by Piaggo made these machines stand apart from a sea of Chinese imports, with ride refinement being par for the course. The GTS 300 maintains these standards even in this sportier trim.
The pricing of every item on the Vespa catalogue will always be a contentious issue for many in the local biking wheeled community, with the argument being that one can afford to buy something twice the size, with twice the engine capacity and potentially more rewarding for the price of one Vespa.
This is the quintessential sports Vespa, but it remains a true Piaggo product in its core attributes. When fitted with an Akrapovic exhaust the HPE still sounds very muffled, where with other models the aftermarket pipe makes these scooters sound like angry hornets. Unfortunately, due to Euro 4 regulations, the Vespa's loud voice will remain subdued for the foreseeable future. Having said that, these motorcycles have always embodied grace and elegance in their overall demeanour and were never purposed to be noise-making machines. So perhaps this is a good thing.