Thursday, April 4, 2013

A new day, a new season, a new ride

I woke to blue skies, sun streaming through our bedroom window, and a return to more seasonal temperatures.

Many of you know that I have been looking for a new bike.

Today I got exactly what I wanted.
As you can see my new Vespa is nicely equipped with a spacious top case, crash bars, and a Tucano Urbano winter commuting apron.  The pictures are not great, I snapped them with my iPhone once I had parked in the garage at work.  So soon in fact that the Vespa was temporarily on its side stand.  Minutes later it was on the much more trustworthy centre stand.

This bike is the most capable bike in Vespa history.

It is still the perfectly nimble bike more than suited for my suburban to urban commuter needs, but it also has the grunt it takes to ride long distances in the company of any cruising or adventure  motorcycle.

Don't misunderstand. My Vespa LX 150 is also perfectly suited for my commute downtown.  It has also proven that it can handle doing the commute on expressways as well as surface streets.

How will the new bike change things in that regard?

The GTS 300 is a few inches longer, a few inches wider, perhaps a little taller, and adds some great features, including larger wheels, dual hydraulic disc brakes, fuel injection, liquid cooling, more weight, and a substantially larger engine (278cc vs 150cc).

Piaggio rates the top speed of the LX 150 at 95 km/h and the GTS 300 at 129 km/h.  My experience is that on the expressway my LX does between 100 and 107 km/h depending on headwinds and tailwinds.   When I drive my car on expressways I limit my speed to 118 km/h and that's where I set the cruise control.  The GTS has the capability to match that performance.

In the coming weeks I promise to share with you how the new bike changes my commuting experience.

8 comments:

  1. David:

    Congrats on your new2U wheels. You should also find it smoother in rush hour too. It takes less throttle to move slowly

    Did you take the bus to the Dealer, or do you go back for your SUV later

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    1. Susan gave me a lift. Bob this bike needs a gentle hand on the throttle for sure. Took the expressway home, rode in the fast lane all the way, passed all the 18 wheelers I used to draft. That's a first!

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  2. You should notice it's a lot more stable with the larger wheels as well. That will help on the highways. Nice looking bike too.

    So when is the next big adventure?

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    1. Rob, absolutely more stable, and the flyscreen on the GTS is much more effective than on the LX. I think it's because the handle bars are higher on the bike relative to the saddle height. It makes a big difference.

      The next big adventure is most likely July: Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine for sure. Who knows, maybe some portion of the Maritimes too.

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  3. Great looking Vespa! I just took a ride with my new ThermoScud by Tucano Urbano. I understood it to keep my legs warm, but it actually keeps your feet warm as well. I was surprised how much warm air is flowing under that scud.

    I am certain you will enjoy your new ride. I had no problems cruising at 115 fully packed and with my wife on the back. I did add a windscreen because on windy days and long trips seemed to really test my upper body strength. When you were searching for your new baby, di you come across some close second choices? My wife is taking her motorcycle license this month and we too will be shopping for a second Vespa (I think) unless she prefers a bike after her course (I hope not).

    Looking at your pictures, especially from the back, it looks like mine.

    Congratulations and perhaps we will meet on the road some time this summer...

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    1. Peter, the Termoscud did a great job. The thing was I was wearing Tourmaster Caliber pants with the winter lining installed. When I reached in with a bare hand to switch of the ignition it was like Florida in there.

      You're right, warm for the feet as well.

      One of the inflatable bolsters is deflated. It might have a puncture. How the heck do you add or remove air in those things. I fiddled with it for a few minutes but there was no obvious answer.

      I have a very nicely equipped Vespa LX 150 for sale if your wife is interested :) I wouldn't mind delivering it too, if I can convince my wife to drive out with me so that I can get a ride home :)

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  4. David - oh my! How beautiful! What an awesome bike and to have all those accessories come with it is an even bigger bonus.

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    1. Thanks Dar. You'd think there was nothing to add. But I have a laundry list of modifications to do before I'll be satisfied, including power outlets, horn upgrade, LED running lights, LED brake lights, and a foot rack. It adds up to several hundred dollars of expense and happy hours in the garage.

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