Slight, stylish Vespa scooters offered a way for frugal Italians to get around following World War II, but Vespa’s new GTS 300 Super takes a decidedly “more is more” approach to step-through transportation. Though it wears the unthreatening Vespa silhouette, the GTS 300 Super is the fastest scooter to come from the Italian company. Features include adjustable rear suspension and decent under-seat storage, but the bike’s liquid-cooled, 278cc power plant is the main attraction. The GTS 300 accelerates strongly and handles nimbly, though its small 12-inch wheels sometimes feel twitchy on the highway. Top speed is rated at 80 mph, and we hit an unofficial (and ticket-worthy) 92 mph on a downhill stretch of Southern California freeway. Yikes.
At 326 pounds dry, the Vespa GTS 300 Super might have more in common with some motorcycles than it does with the manufacturer’s humble roots. But for power-hungry tifosi, this is the best thing to come out of Pontedera in a very long while. (www.vespa.com)