New for 2023, the GTS Super 300 Sport sees the legendary model get a new facelift, with one glaring weakness.
This beauty arrived at our shop here in Grapevine, Texas, already spoken for by a very eager customer, but needing a test ride after it was prepped. Once the battery had its initial charge, we spent almost an hour attempting to change the language from Italian to English, as the manual speaks of an easy course through the menus, but I found it to be rather difficult. The “toggle” meant to navigate the menus takes quite a few stabs to bring you to your desired selection, which isn’t really a big deal, as everything was eventually set, but it did take longer than expected. Another thing, starting this beast requires a fob, which must be passed over the historically useless panel to the left of the hook, then if all is well, you turn the keyless switch to on, then you can start.
Being a GTS owner myself, I found the entire process to be too lengthy, as I’ve always loved hopping on, turning the key and burning off asap. Past the starting time, I really can’t complain about the overall feel of the bike, certainly it hadn’t been properly ridden and broken in, so I was experiencing a virgin GTS. Mine may be lacking versus this model, but after 12,xxx miles, it’s perfectly in tune with me, offering quick acceleration and offering a smile everywhere I take it. This model continues with the hefty, low center of gravity, but with more than enough power to make up for its near solid metallic construction. In the two corners I managed to squeeze out of the first 2 test miles, it handled them with ease, a ninety degree turn at twenty miles an hour? No problem, with proper experience mind you. Given the low speed limit, I couldn’t let the horses gallop, but I could feel their restless nature, brimming with potential.
I must admit I’m a fan of the direction they took with the lower panel. Indeed, it does have hiccups, but overall it does the job of informing the rider admirably, mixing the analog with the digital. Of course, I wasn’t focused on this, I wanted to see if it could match the Primavera for ride dampening, something I’ve noticed is lacking in the entire GTS 300 lineage. Sadly, the tradition continues, with a feeling of virtually every imperfection on the road translated through the seat. Given I had a conversation with its new owner, I do plan to update this review once it’s passed two thousand miles, as I’ll be able to give it a proper vetting after it’s been thoroughly broken-in.
Love it or hate it, the new carbon fiber accents, with all chrome accents not glossy black certainly give the model a markedly different feel. The GTS Super 300 Sport looks born to tear the streets apart. He may not be the fastest cat in the jungle, but he’s more agile than the others, the smaller tires giving him a benefit that is oft-overlooked by his target audience. All the GTS 300’s are meant to carve through traffic, taking those passes that a motorcycle rider would scoff at, believing it to be too dangerous. Given I’ve always torn away from every light, pulling the throttle with every open stretch, edging it to its maximum velocity, passing shocked drivers on the highway, I can attest to the longevity of the model. At 12,000 I had the belt replaced and some minor periodic services, but the engine never quits so long as it’s adequately bathed in oil.
If you’re thinking about this model, I’d highly recommend it, but heed my words, before attempting to tame the GTS, be cautious and grip those handlebars tightly. As a dealer, I’ve seen quite a few lose control on their first ride, as if you think this horse is submissive to the rider, a sore ass may be the result. You’ve been warned!
2023 Vespa GTS Super 300 Sport Photos