Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A new season, a new ride

As soon as the first ABS Vespas appeared on the scene, I wanted one.

Last fall a fellow vespa addict mentioned to me that both he and his girlfriend had ABS Vespa GTSs and that it was possible they were selling them. Hers was a red 2016 model, and his was a matt grey 2018 model.

As between the two, my preference was the red GTS. The timing wasn't quite right for me, and I said I would put off a purchase to the spring.

I assumed that I had passed on both those opportunities. Oh well, I would just begin a fresh search in the spring.

A couple of months ago, my friend reached out and said that while he had decided not to sell his GTS, his girlfriend was definitely selling hers.

The challenge was that while he lives here in Toronto, his girlfriend lives in cottage country north of Montreal. The logistics proved to be a hassle: a) the April weather has been atrocious (ice storms, snow storms, massive flooding...), b) figuring out how to weave between the somewhat inconsistent motor vehicle regulations of Quebec and Ontario was a little bit of a puzzle requiring multiple phone calls to the authorities, and c) riding a GTS 550 kilometres back to Toronto from the seller's home with the atrocious weather made us reschedule the pickup.

But when the prospect of a new Vespa GTS 300 with ABS and traction control is the bait, the rest is child's play.

This morning I am tackling the last hurdle between my Vespa and its new Ontario license plate.

One unexpected and really, really useful perk with the new Vespa: dual trip odometers. They came in really handy in minimizing the number of refuelling stops on the way home. This was no pleasure ride, so I took the most direct route: ~500 kms on the 401 at ~120 kmh. The closest I came to a dry tank was when I opted not to stop in Kingston, gambling that I had enough fuel to make it to the first service centre ~20km west of the city. The low fuel light had come on, and the last bar on the digital fuel gauge had gone white.

The Vespa thirstily gobbled up 8,55 litres of premium gas: I was down to about 1 3/4 cups of gasoline. That was close.

There may be a video in the works, so stay tuned. If one gets done, it will show up here.




11 comments:

WhenIRide said...

Congrats on the new Scoot!! Now that you have "broken it in", get out there and put some real miles on it.

RichardM said...

Looks pretty nice! And with traction control and ABS. No excuse for not riding in inclement weather...

Conchscooter said...

Now you have two? Hmmm....

bocutter ed said...

So, is the red one faster, or does it just collect 'awards' faster?

David Masse said...

@WhenIRide, I don't commute anymore, but I'll do my best. In the week I've owned it I managed ~700 kms. I won't keep that pace going though :)

@RichardM, well Richard sadly I have discovered my inner wimp. When I commuted I was virtually unstoppable, rain or shine. I rode ~60kms in the rain at ~1C a couple of weeks ago, and to be honest, it wasn't much fun.

@Conchscooter, planning a trip to Toronto Michael? Either bike is yours to ride, but once I transfer the various bits and pieces needed on the new Vespa, the black one with ~52K kms will be offered for sale.

@bocutter ed, Ed the prevailing opinion on the ModernVespa.com forum is that the red ones are indeed the fastest. Not sure about "awards" though. I'm currently working on a project with StickerYou.com that will certainly make my new Vespa stand out, hopefully in a good way.

Trobairitz said...

Congrats on the new to you ride David!! Happy riding this summer.

SonjaM said...

Whoohoo! Great move, David. Glad to hear you're back (or will be back soon) on the road. Red is the best colour (Roland seconds that opinion). How much of a difference is riding ABS and traction control? You make me curious. Cheers and many miles and smiles, SonjaM

David Masse said...

@Trobairitz, Thanks Brandy! I am really looking forward to this season, I have high hopes indeed.

@Sonja, I am not a very aggressive rider so I don’t anticipate being able to express an opinion on the ABS, and quite possibly not the traction control either. The red matches my Chinese birth year: Dragon Red. It also makes me feel like I’ve come full circle since my first Vespa was also Dragon Red.

Steve Williams said...

Sorry for being late to the party David. Congratulations on the Red Vespa.

I have to ask because I've toyed with the idea of having a second scooter -- why two scooters? Or will you be dropping the non-ABS scooter? I've not been able to come up with a reason to have a second scooter that's basically the same save for, "It's a backup." I have an easier time convincing myself of a second machine being a motorcycle for a different riding experience.

Hopefully you can provide an argument to help fuel my delusion!

David Masse said...

@Steve, Insurance is a killer here compared to Quebec where the cost of a second scooter would be nominal, so the black beauty is for sale. Surprisingly it is generating more interest than I thought.

The only advantage to a second scooter is to be able to make it available to friends who ride who might come into town by other means (planes, trains, automobiles). So far, other than Sonja, that has never happened.

I tried to lend it to Ed Thomas whose two motorcycles are in pieces in his workshop, but Ed demured.

Every bike is slightly different. The 2015 GTS not only has ABS, it also has a redesigned front suspension that goes a long way to eliminating the infamous Vespa wobble. Oddly, Piaggio went back to the traditional configuration. Maybe Vespitis complained that without the wobble, it just wasn't really a Vespa.

bocutter ed said...

I demurred mostly because the last time I borrowed a vehicle was a tad expensive ...

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.