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Old 04-20-2012, 11:39 PM   #16
Midnullarbor
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Brooktown is right about those 130/70-12 rear hoops. 2000 - 3000 miles in hot climates . . . more with cold weather, or quiet usage [no highway cruising]. Bridgestone BO2's seem the best for durability, I think.

Belts, rollers . . . and for higher mileage riding, replacement pulleys start to become an expense consideration.
Overall, a 250 scooter is more expensive to run than a 250 motorbike.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:50 PM   #17
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OKC99,
the Dark Horse term I used did not mean any disparagement of the Beverley-350.

A "dark horse" is one that few people have any knowledge of ~ a horse without "known form" ~ but one which might well emerge as the winner of the horse-race.
Sometimes used for a person whose abilities (and aims) are concealed . . . or at least not prominent in the public eye.
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:07 PM   #18
Jimo368
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The stock rear tire (Sava) lasted about 3500 miles, but from what I have read about the Michelins, they should last at least double that.
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:19 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jimo368 View Post
The stock rear tire (Sava) lasted about 3500 miles, but from what I have read about the Michelins, they should last at least double that.
The Heidenau K61 is popular and will net many more miles. Wife and I both riding on those and theyve been great. Good combo of grip and longevity.

( The stock Sava tires are renowned as crap by most Vespisti)
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:52 AM   #20
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The rear rubber doesn't last long once you get out on the country roads.

The Vespa-250 has enough power [cruising at 3/4 throttle] to really chew through the rear tread. 3500 miles on a Sava is excellent, I reckon. A Metzeler will get you even less.
The Michelin is distinctly better, and the Bridgestone BO2 will top that by a further 10 - 20%.
Fast riding in hot weather, and you'll be lucky to see 3500 miles whatever brand you are using.
If only the Vespas came with a wider and taller rear wheel!! But then they wouldn't look like Vespas, I suppose.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:44 AM   #21
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Just to weigh in, I have about 13K miles on my GTS250 from new. I love it, stone reliable, fun as hell, super practical around town. I have a fly screen and rear case which increases the practical factor even if it decreases the sporty factor. Maintenance can be expensive, I don't do my own wrenching, but have a good local independent mechanic. Tires don't last long but the Heidi's last 2x as long and they are excellent. By one that someone has loved and ride the hell out of it. I would buy another without thinking twice.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:27 PM   #22
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You guys are starting to convince me. I found a 2009 leftover at a dealer that would come with full warranty for 5000 + doc fee and tax. Do you think that is a good deal? I just missed a used 2009 already with top case for 4000 which is closer to what I had wanted to spend.

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Old 04-22-2012, 07:15 PM   #23
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2005 GTS 250ie I bought in 2008 from the local Vespa dealership which had used it as a demo at a show where it picked up a couple of scratches so it was put in a backroom to "fix" and promptly forgotten about. I primarily use it for in town riding having a Scarabeo 500 for longer trips but I've took it to Amerivespa when it was in San Antonio a couple years ago for a 1,280 trip. I've also taken a few 200-300 mile trips but most of my Vespa riding is in the 4-40 mile range.

Cons - none other than routine maintenance - oil changes and other service as in the manual. I don't do a lot of mods to my engine. Mine came with an upgraded front shock and I added the Scooterwest power point but everything else on the scoot other than cosmetics (windscreen, chrome and Corbin seat) is stock.

Pros - classic, makes people smile and I have gotten away with parking it places that have run off other scooters and motorcycles because as they said "its a Vespa". Fast enough for the freeway but extremely manuverable in town. Okay, our Buddy is even more manuverable and makes a great scoot for my son to ride to high school but it isn't a Vespa.

Tires I got a bubble on my front tire somewhere around 4,000 miles so I replaced the tires with Pirellis and have been very pleased with them. I've got about that on my current set of tires with no wear issues on front or rear yet.

Seat, I did put on a custom seat but that was as much because I wanted a silver seat to go with my silver scoot as anything else. My husband thinks the stock seat is more comfortable than the Corbin.

Top speed - my GPS verified top speed was coming home from a rally in Galveston on I-45 riding with a friend on a Burgman 650 Executive was .... 82mph. No problems going in the low 70s for an hour or two at a time but I wouldn't recommend keeping it WOT for hours though there are folks who do it. I'm just not comfortable with being at the top of the scoot. I will note that when I've ridden a GTS (loaner when the BV was in for service in Denver) that the top end at altitute is in the mid 70s.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:16 PM   #24
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Top speed of 82 mph is amazing.
Slim rider with no luggage; tires at 45 psi; cool air temp; other factors?
Even a slight [unnoticeable] tailwind can have a huge positive effect.
I have kept my ear open in all directions, but have never heard of (or experienced) a top speed much over 72 mph in flat "unassisted " conditions ~ and hot weather or higher altitudes would give a lesser figure.

Even the Vespa company itself claims only 122 kph [75.8 mph] as the 250's top speed . . . and you know how generously optimistic the claims of manufacturers usually are.
I am not aiming to be especially disputatious here ~ but I think it is important for potential buyers to be under no illusions about what they would be buying into.

The Vespa-250 can make a pleasant long distance tourer, provided you are happy to cruise comfortably at 60 mph (65 feels a bit strained : and is almost full throttle anyway). Sure, you can hum along at 65 - 70 with a good tailwind. But all it needs is a gentle long hill, or a mild-to-moderate headwind, and you are slogging along WOT at 55 mph. And that is one of the shortcomings of CVT belt-drive : in adverse conditions the transmission holds the engine lugging at peak torque, rather than let it zing up to higher revs to get more power (as you would get by dropping down a gear or two in a conventional motorbike gearbox).
And ain't it amazing how, when you are out on a long ride, the gods have usually ordained a 3/4 or full headwind?

If you are a determined highway rider, then the Honda-300, Kymco People GTi-300, or perhaps the new Beveley-350, are better choices because their extra 5 or so rear wheel horsepower give you a comfortable 70 mph cruise. The other 250/300's in general don't quite cut it. (Here I am ignoring the big-fairing maxi-scooters, which are usually 400+ cc anyway. More barge than scooter, some say.)

The Vespa-250 would make a fine & reliable Coast-to-Coast tourer, at a relaxed pace . . . which is what you want for really enjoying the scenery. Just start out with a new belt and new rear rubber.
The only picky criticism to be made : the position of the fuel cap . . . you have to unload your luggage to lift the seat and get access. With just a 9L fuel tank, that becomes an annoying chore. Oh for a better position!
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:39 PM   #25
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Good points, Midnullarbor, and a very fair portrayal of the GTS's capabilities. Last summer I rode my GT200 from San Diego to the Canadian border, and on the less traveled roads power was never a problem because the roads were 55mph and below, mostly. I rode with a friend who was riding a Victory 1800cc motorcycle, but the speed limits made it easy to ride together. We did hop on the freeway in two stretches (which I do not enjoy) and there the GT200 could keep up on flat ground, but slowed to a pace slower than traffic when we hit some hills...I was going 45-50 uphill.

This summer (Lord willing!) we would like to head up thru British Columbia to Hyder Alaska and ride the coast back to San Diego, and the GT200 should do fine on the secondary roads we will be taking. A GTS would be even better... the fuel injection works great at altitude.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:46 AM   #26
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Brooktown, it sounds like a great trip you had, and the proposed Alaska trip sounds like quite an epic adventure in the making. If you were to do that trip by GoldWing, I suspect you would find it only one quarter as memorable . . . and by car, only one sixteenth as memorable.
(There are limits to that philosophy. A 500 mile walking pilgrimage across northern Spain ~ as many actually do ~ is doubtless memorable to one's dying day, but is a poor balance between comfort/discomfort and the leisurely enjoyment of the natural scenery. But perhaps I am wrong about that. I am biased in the direction of "two wheels or horse" for the best adventure holiday.)

The Vespa GT200 is so similar to the 250 (which is just a stroked & fuel-injected 200) that there is no point pining for the slightly bigger engine, which delivers only a small margin of extra performance. At sea-level, anyway!
The 200 has exactly the same good and bad points as the 250.
Those who haven't tried it, will be impressed by how comfortable the seat is (but an Airhawk cushion is still a good idea for long trips). And although the wheel travel is typically ultra-short scooter-ish, the wheels are lightweight enough to give fair comfort of ride, even on moderately rough bitumen roads.
Dirt roads are another matter : quite fair on hard-packed "bedded-down" gravel roads . . . but when shallow sand stretches or loose "ball-bearing" gravel appears, you will soon start wishing for flying saucers & alien abduction.
Deep sand, and mud, I'm not even gonna think about.

For a long trip, whether in remote or settled regions, a two-gallon fuel canister (secured in the foot tunnel) is very good value. I like the red Canadian-made one with the internally-stored hose. As I mentioned earlier, the Vespa fuel tank is small for touring, and is a real hassle to access under luggage. To minimise the frequency of that hassle, the presence of a 9 or 10 L of spare fuel does allow you to run the Vespa's tank down to almost empty, before completely refilling. And the auxiliary canister can be topped up conveniently at any opportunity.
For Alaska, I'd start with a new drive-belt & rollers, and take two spare drive belts. I'm a pessimist.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:56 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnullarbor View Post
The Vespa GT200 is so similar to the 250 (which is just a stroked & fuel-injected 200) that there is no point pining for the slightly bigger engine, which delivers only a small margin of extra performance. At sea-level, anyway!
Actually the GTS250 is not "just a stroked and fuel injected 200", the engines in those different scooters are from different "families" of Piaggio powerplants. The GT200L is the largest in the "LEADER" series of engines, and the GTS250 is the smallest in the "QUASAR" series.

They don't share a common engine case, driveline parts, or as you mentioned fuel system. It's a fine distinction, but one that needs to be made as the jump from one to another was a big deal, and the QUASAR engines are still being pushed and refined to larger CC specs and greater performance, while the GT200L pushed the LEADER series to it's outward limit and never went any further....maxed out. The LEADER engine its still sold, but only in the 150cc LX series scooters. The QUASAR engines are still growing in output and the mainstay of the large-framed Vespa family.

Is that to say one is better than another? I'm not inferring that...we have one of each in our garage and both have their strengths and weaknesses. But parts and maintenance-wise, they are 2 different animals. Performance-wise there is a distinction too.

My wife rides the GT200 and I ride the GTS250. Despite our (significant) weight difference, I still "throttle back" for her much of the time as that LEADER engine get's it's wheeze on much more frequently than does the QUASAR. Highway speeds, at altitude and off the line/torque-wise.

Think of the GT200L as a Mini Cooper, and the GTS250 as the Cooper S, there is difference in real world scooting and real world ownership.

have fun!
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:18 AM   #28
Midnullarbor
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My apologies, Gogogordy. I must stand corrected about the Vespa 200 versus 250 engine.

The basic scooter seemed the same . . .and when I saw that both water-cooled engines had the same 72 mm bore, I proceeded to assume that the designers had kept the same cylinder head, with a few minor machining variations, and had simply lengthened the stroke by 11 mm or so.
They say there is no substitute for cubic inches . . . so it has always puzzled me that [even allowing for a small drop in peak revs] the Vespa company had achieved only an alleged 2 more horsepower from a 23% increase in capacity combined with the extra power benefits of fuel injection. My assumption had been that they were using slightly different rating systems, or had beefed out the mid-range torque curve in the 250 (which might explain your "more effortless" advantage over your wife's GT200).

Even so, if I owned the 200, I wouldn't bother trading it in for the 250 . . . but the extra cubic inches of the 300 might prove a temptation.

Now, if they dropped the 33 hp new 350 cc engine from the new Beverley . . . into the Vespa . . . that would be about perfect.
The handling might get a little ragged as you approach 90 mph, but the effortless cruising up to 70 would be delightful.
My only reservation, is that the big new 350 engine has only one balance shaft, so might prove a bit vibey at high revs compared with the Vespa-250, which I rate as beautifully smooth.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:56 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnullarbor View Post
My apologies, Gogogordy. I must stand corrected about the Vespa 200 versus 250 engine.

The basic scooter seemed the same . . .and when I saw that both water-cooled engines had the same 72 mm bore, I proceeded to assume that the designers had kept the same cylinder head, with a few minor machining variations, and had simply lengthened the stroke by 11 mm or so.
They say there is no substitute for cubic inches . . . so it has always puzzled me that [even allowing for a small drop in peak revs] the Vespa company had achieved only an alleged 2 more horsepower from a 23% increase in capacity combined with the extra power benefits of fuel injection. My assumption had been that they were using slightly different rating systems, or had beefed out the mid-range torque curve in the 250 (which might explain your "more effortless" advantage over your wife's GT200).

Even so, if I owned the 200, I wouldn't bother trading it in for the 250 . . . but the extra cubic inches of the 300 might prove a temptation.

Now, if they dropped the 33 hp new 350 cc engine from the new Beverley . . . into the Vespa . . . that would be about perfect.
The handling might get a little ragged as you approach 90 mph, but the effortless cruising up to 70 would be delightful.
My only reservation, is that the big new 350 engine has only one balance shaft, so might prove a bit vibey at high revs compared with the Vespa-250, which I rate as beautifully smooth.
No worries, just thought I'd clarify.

I wouldn't bother trading up for trading's sake GT 200 to GTS 250 either, BUT if shopping now from ground zero, I think the 250 is the sweetest spot in the range...even in comparison to the GTS 300.

Why?

The GT250's are plentiful in the used-but-barely-ridden market, they are considered by many to be of better build quality than the 300, and deliver better fuel economy (BTW- our GT200L and GTS250 when ridden side by side deliver the same MPG) than the GT300. We're really comparing 244 cc to 278 cc, but the seat of the pants is different just like the GT200 to GTS250 (198cc vs 244cc) seat of the pants is.

Enough to justify an upgrade? Not to me.

Now...that new 350cc mill debuting on the BV 350....OMG, that will likely be Piaggio's bread and butter powerplant from hear on out. A technical tour de force. Game changer. Notice, I said Piaggio's, not "Vespa"...there's much speculation it will not find its way into the steel bodied Vespa as we now know them. The motor is too big/Vespa is too small. But wouldn't that be something else!

That being said, tons of people enjoyably and successfully tour on all sizes of Vespa, but presently I think the GTS 250 is the de facto standard of large-framed modern Vespas....the sweet spot for the package...engine, chassis, commonality/availability of parts, power, fuel economy, knowledge base.

I've never met a scooter I didn't like!
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:41 AM   #30
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I just got a line on an 07 for around 3300 bucks. Nor sure of any other details yet but will in a day or so.

Is there any significant difference between the 07 GTS 250 and the 09?

Thanks,

Rick G
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