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Old 04-18-2013, 07:24 AM   #1
Baloo2327 OP
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Vespa GTS 300 Super vs. BMW 1150 GS

I am in a quandary. I have and love my BMW GS, and it is in very good shape, It's also the sexy blue and white. My problem is that I have also fallen in love with the looks of the Vespa, and reading about all the fun you nuts seem to have with scooters has got my pea little brain thinking.

My dilemma is that I don't think I have room for both bikes, and I know I don't have the time to ride both of them, Unfortunately due to work last year I only rode the GS twice last year. 1 weekend trip really early in the year, and one day trip late in the year.

My concern is that I still like to go on gravel roads and exploring. I don't do serious off roading with the GS mainly because it isn't pretty when a guy my size cries. My question can the Vespa handle gravel roads O.K.? Also is the Vespa as reliable as the GS? I have put almost 24,000 miles on it without any problems. Are there any problems with the Vespa that I should be aware of? Unfortunately none of the others scooters have the look I am interested in personally. I will be doing all my own maintenance, and believe in the old saying, 'Oil is cheap, it cost money to buy parts.'

How stupid am I for thinking about selling my GS for a Vespa? Any thoughts, comments would be greatly appreciated. Let the flaming begin. (Off to work I go)
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:58 AM   #2
andoulli
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baloo2327 View Post
I am in a quandary. I have and love my BMW GS, and it is in very good shape, It's also the sexy blue and white. My problem is that I have also fallen in love with the looks of the Vespa, and reading about all the fun you nuts seem to have with scooters has got my pea little brain thinking.

My dilemma is that I don't think I have room for both bikes, and I know I don't have the time to ride both of them, Unfortunately due to work last year I only rode the GS twice last year. 1 weekend trip really early in the year, and one day trip late in the year.

My concern is that I still like to go on gravel roads and exploring. I don't do serious off roading with the GS mainly because it isn't pretty when a guy my size cries. My question can the Vespa handle gravel roads O.K.? Also is the Vespa as reliable as the GS? I have put almost 24,000 miles on it without any problems. Are there any problems with the Vespa that I should be aware of? Unfortunately none of the others scooters have the look I am interested in personally. I will be doing all my own maintenance, and believe in the old saying, 'Oil is cheap, it cost money to buy parts.'

How stupid am I for thinking about selling my GS for a Vespa? Any thoughts, comments would be greatly appreciated. Let the flaming begin. (Off to work I go)
Do you mind putting out some coin over what you get in an outright sale of the GS? Might have to depending on year, mileage, and condition of the GS. Is the GS a 2002? I'm thinking maybe $7K for the Vespa including taxes.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:38 AM   #3
redhandmoto
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Might want to pose your Vespa questions over on modernvespa.com.

I had the earlier Vespa GTS 250ie. A very high-quality and (relatively) powerful machine (I took it regularly on the superslab with no problems), but not - for me - an off-road/gravel scoot, though I did some trails on it; others have different experiences, including some really epic trips in undeveloped areas, low clearance notwithstanding.

Modern Vespas are (again, relatively) heavy and complex. You may not be happy getting gravel dings in the steel monocoque body work. They're also expensive - in the mid-Atlantic states and hereabouts, you can count on adding about 19% to the MSRP once tax, fees, freight, title & reg, etc, have been added in to get it out-the-door. With added-on racks, topcase, Stebel horn, & assorted other farkles, I had well over eight grand in mine. "Used" might be a cost-effective way to go. YMMV.

They are cool, though; if the appeal is there for ya, why not? Any bike can be an adventure bike.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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I used to have an R1100GS. I now have a Sport City 250. It has the same motor as the Vespa but bigger wheels. Except for leaking fork seals I have had zero problems in 14,000+ miles. Not a good comparison but I had numerous problems in the 87,000 I put on the GS. I do ride my Aprilia on dirt roads. It is much lighter than the GS but has less suspension and I'd hesitate to do water crossings on a scooter because water in the CVT may cause the belt to slip.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:27 PM   #5
JerryH
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That's a pretty far out comparison. I have never owned a BMW, to expensive for me. I'm more the KLR type. For me, the KLR is a bike I don't mind taking off road, getting it dirty, and getting some scratches on it. If I had a Vespa GTS300 Super, I would spend a lot of time washing and waxing it, and never get it anywhere near any dirt. Probably wouldn't even ride it in the rain.

From a functional standpoint, scooters simply do not have the suspension for off road use, they don't even deal with rough paved roads well. And dropping one would cause extensive cosmetic damage.

As for price, my local dealer wants $8499 OTD for a new 2012 300 Super. It is bright red, and I want it so bad. But not at that price. I could get a new Triumph Bonneville for that. I know they are 2 completely different things, But the Bonneville is something else I've always wanted, and If I had that much money, it's probably what I would get. I guess I just have a problem getting past the idea that a 300c scooter costs more than a 950cc motorcycle.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:58 PM   #6
TimCC
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I have an '07 GTS250ie and after 22,500 miles I have had very little trouble with it. I've had to replace the drive belt twice and one wheel bearing. I haven't opened up the engine to do valve checks or anything that intrusive but most maintenance can be done at home in the garage. The internal packaging can be tight and I expect the 300 would be even tighter.

The steering geometry that makes the scoot agile at low speeds can make it feel very nervous on a gravel road. The small diameter wheels and limited suspension will probably make you keep the speeds under 40mph.

The cost of cosmetic damage to the steel body panels can be so high that insurance companies often will total the scoot after a low speed get off.

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Old 04-18-2013, 02:15 PM   #7
hexnut
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Expensive to buy, small wheels and when you add a top case they develope a front end wobble. Vespas are more of a cult thing or status symble not unlike Harley Davidson.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:22 PM   #8
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In fairness to the OP, I have to say I understand but for me it's hilarious to the least as for the 2 machines in question. Vespa vs. GS Giant
A little scoot tire will not negotiate much in the way of ruts or soft mud,sand, loos gravel,etc., so not fair to the Vespa to ask that of it? OTOH, most GS bikes are used for "soccer mom" duty" and never go into much in the way of serious nastiness. Speaking from just the experience of living for many years on dirt & gravel roads in my native KS, a Vespa would not have gotten me to work or back home on many days of the year-PERIOD! And thats just talking basic transportation in the boonies, not riding there on purpose.
I vote for what you can afford & maybe thats a fun & useful dirt bike thats tagged and perhaps a scoot to go with it if you like.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:22 PM   #9
gogogordy
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No

you wont want to use a Vespa on gravel roads, or off road for that matter.

Yes, you'll have a hella good time riding one, and its a fine little tourer as well as the perfect urban runner.

Apples and oranges...
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:26 PM   #10
baloneyskin daddy
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I have a 250 Honda Elite and a Reflex and ride a lot of dirt roads and even some not so nice trails including crossing shallow creeks and have no problems. Yeah the small wheels and lack of clearance can make it interesting but they're light enough to get off and walk and lift them over obstacles.The Elite is actually better because its shorter and more agile.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:46 PM   #11
Baloo2327 OP
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Thanks

I appreciate all of the replies. I know it's an apple to oranges comparison, but what can I say, it is just the way my A.D.D. mind sometimes works. The gravel roads I am talking about are the same roads that I can basically take our mini van on. If I want to do serious off roading, I have a dune buggy for that. I do have to admit I didn't think about the paint getting all chipped up though on the Vespa. I am just so used to the GS hose off if time, and go mentality.

On a side note, I found a dealer with a couple of 2012 left over that I can pick up for $7,400 out the door with windshield, rear bracket, and matching top case. Still expensive, but aren't all toys one way or another.

It sounds like though I still better keep the Clydesdale instead of getting a little burro for my style of riding still.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baloneyskin daddy View Post
I have a 250 Honda Elite and a Reflex and ride a lot of dirt roads and even some not so nice trails including crossing shallow creeks and have no problems. Yeah the small wheels and lack of clearance can make it interesting but they're light enough to get off and walk and lift them over obstacles.The Elite is actually better because its shorter and more agile.

Your underbone scooters feature a tubular...motorcyclish frame cloaked in plastic, AND traditional style forks.

The Vespa is spot-welded monocoque structure, with a single-sided fork so it's not going to be as forgiving...Im sure you could do it, but not without some serious maintenance/breakage issues as a result.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:17 PM   #13
GSAragazzi
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No, you cant compare.
I had a Vespa, my wife's LXV150. Other thn the occasional run to Home Depot we had no use for it really.
If I lived in Santa Monica or any other similar city a scooter would be ok but I rather have a proper bike
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:34 PM   #14
conchscooter
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2007 Vespa GTS



I had a 250 GTS for ten months and 10,000 miles from new. It developed endless issues with electrical relays and fuel pump issues and i got rid of it. It was simply too unreliable.
It was without doubt the most comfortable motorcycle i have ridden. It is fast smooth and highly addictive. However an 85mph 250 single with lots of bodywork that returns 65mpg easily, requires enormous technological wizardry which is expensive to build and appalling to maintain. The rear wheel is impossible to remove and the tire lasts but 3500miles, the exhaust has a split to remove the muffler whose bearing is a notorious source of problems. But you can easily ride it on gravel.





http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...spa+everglades


With so little riding done I suggest the GS is too much motorcycle for you. When a thing gets overhwleming in size and weight the joy of being able to slip out for a quick ride or for grocery run disappears. The Vespa, all $7400 of it might achieve a higher frequency of use. My tales of woe are rare and with the sort of low mileage you seem likely to achieve even with a lot more use, tire wear, belt wear (change every 10,000 miles these days Vespa says) and exhaust bearing woes will be of little consequence.

If you plan on doing a lot more miles I'd say look elsewhere but a huge BMW not being ridden doesn't do you much good while a pleasant cruise on the nimble GTS might be just the ticket. When running it is a great ride and it looks a million bucks.

My Bonneville by comparison has 72,000 miles in five years and is going strong. I don't see a GTS accomplishing that. But that isn't your concern (or mine anymore!).
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:00 PM   #15
rider33
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a large frame Vespa will handle a gravel road about as well as most street bikes tho with 12" wheels it's not its strong point. They will also do freeway duty as well tho at under 300cc's (depending on the model) there is not a lot of juice to spare above 70. What they do exceptionally well is to dart in and out of city traffic in the 30-60 range carrying you, a passenger, and a fair amount of groceries in style and comfort. The bikes are very well built and other than some teething problems when the EFI's first came out quite reliable as well. All that said, if I lived in Idaho I would not sell a GS to get a GTS. I'd buy the GTS and then pick up a 3-5 yer old KLR to scratch the gravel itch. Unlike the GS it will be happy to live under a tarp in the back yard and if you drop it you'll only tick it off. One bike is a nice Idea but there really is no one bike that does everything well. If the separate heated garage and Leno-like sable is out of scope remember, Craig's list is your friend.
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