2012 Vespa GTS300ie
WAIT! Let me explain!
The KEY to the above photo is not the bike, but the rider
. My lovely bride, Cheri, has never wanted to pilot her own motorcycle, no matter how small. However, she has
long (since a kid) loved classic Vespa scooters, and lately has shown an interest in learning to ride one. Since I've always maintained that any scooter that doesn't have enough oomph to get out of the way (of whatever) is unsafe, the only Vespa I said I would even consider was the 300 (surprising torque, top speed of 80mph, etc.). I tried to steer her towards something bigger (Silver Wing, etc.), and even got her to try out an Aprilia 500 Scarabeo, but she ONLY would consider a Vespa brand
scooter with the bugeye headlight, round mirrors, etc.
So...earlier this week, I sold my Aprilia ETV 1000 Caponord (adventure touring bike), and we bought a brand new Vespa GTS 300ie. While there's no comparison, the Vespa has one thing my Aprilia (or my beloved K1200LT) could never have - my wife at the helm!
Right now, she's just driving at slow speeds around our private-drive circle, but she's getting increasingly more comfortable, and is already signed up for the MSF Basic course in a few weeks.
As for the scooter itself? Well, I had to ride it the 20 miles from the dealer (Lynnwood Cycle Barn) home, and I was really surprised at how fun it was/is to ride! It's quite spunky, and it handles better than I expected. While I'd prefer larger wheels, its 12-inch wheels are larger than most (smaller) scooters, and it feels surprisingly solid at 60mph. Cheri says she never plans to ride on the freeway (like I did bringing it home), but I think we'll be able to take trips on regular highways (e.g., down the Oregon coast). And who knows - as she becomes more comfortable on 2 wheels, maybe she'll some day want a "real" bike!