Friday, 2 December 2011

First RIding Impressions: GTS

Despite the unseasonably cold weather, I have had some opportunities to take the Vespa GTS for a bit of a longer scoot. Not hours but certainly more than 5 or 10 minutes.

This is a FAST scooter. I am amazed at the difference in speed with the LX50. Yes, I knew it was faster but the acceleration is amazing. I love the feeling and have to keep using my urge to go really fast in check. There is a bit of a funny sound (rollers?) when I first start to accelerate, but after that, the speed is smooth and feels very unstrained. It's not loud or flashy but it is fast! I imagine that this is what it feels like to ride a BMW bike compared to a Honda. The LX50 really feels a bit like a toy now.

The feel of the ride is much more solid. I guess if you're going to go faster, you're going to need something that is heavier and built to perform. The GTS feels great on the road, especially around town, and, more importantly, stops easily with its two disc brakes. I think I'd be uncomfortable with an LX150 which has the same feel as an LX50 and lacks both brakes being disc brakes. That might prove to be a negative thing since an LX150 goes a lot faster than an LX50 but, I believe, has the same braking system. Ditto with a Stella. The GTS stops nicely and quickly, if needed.

One thing I've found is that wind has been bothering me - something that didn't happen on the LX50 or during my motorcycle classes but when I am near or on the Pitt River Bridge, I really feel the wind - not inconsistent but a steady wind that feels strong and pushes hard on my chest. Maybe that area is really windy or maybe it's windy this time of year or maybe I'm just going to have to get used to it! The scooter doesn't feel tossed around but I do feel that I have to crouch down to reduce the wind.

Another thing that happened on one ride is that, while on the highway, I lost power. This happened a few times on the way to my destination  and the scoot actually stalled twice at a light. I managed to get to where I was going and, after a few hours, embarked on my return. This time, there were no problems with the power and, in face, there hasn't been since then. Bad gas? Wonky spark plug? Dirty fuel filter? I don't know but will have to take it for a servicing to check things out.

I am getting used to the GTS and realize it is a bit of a slow process becoming more comfortable with a new scoot. Today, someone asked me if I was going to take it on the freeway. Right now, I don't think so but eventually I will when I am more comfortable. All part of the experience....


Dar said...

Glad you love your new scooter. I loved the feeling of more cc's when I got my 450. It is a whole different world compared to the 50cc scoot. Acceleration is wonderful, it makes a difference when taking off at a light or when you need it. There is no comparison between my scoot & bike. I am riding my bike more and prefer the larger space of the bike. Stalling isn't good, particularly in traffic. Enjoy your scoot, hope you get out on it this weekend. Ride safe!

David Masse said...

Dave, there's a recall on the GTS fuel pump and your GTS may be affected. Your local Vespa dealer should be able to tell. The issue you describe sounds exactly like the fuel pump issue. It's also made worse by heat. The cold weather is likely helping with the problem. If it were summer it would stall and not restart until the bike cooled completely.

Dave Dixon said...

Dar - It really is incredible the difference in power - when I start off riding the GTS, my first inclination is to open the throttle all the way like I used to with my LX - but I'm learning!

David - I'm taking it to Urban Wasp/Vespa Vancovuer next weekend so they can take a look and give it a once-over as well. Unfortunately, if it is the fuel pump, the recall doesn't cover my year.