Vespa GTV250 i.e. – Day 2 – Features and Details

This is the second a series of posts dedicated to living with the Vespa GTV 250 i.e. The first article is here.


Some of the really nice features and details of the GTV 250 i.e.

I took some time to look over the features and details of the Vespa GTV 250.  Even Before I picked it up, Dave Meyer of 1000 Oaks Vespa had told me that these 250cc Vespas were “Masterpieces”.  I had also talked with some of the hard core Vespa restorers; they all pined for px200s with the 250 engine, and “PLEASE leave the shift in”…

personal rant —

I believe that if CVT could handle the amount of horsepower and torque put out by Formula One Cars, they would adopt them immediately, since 10ths of a second count.  If the current semi-automatics can shift in 3/100ths of a second and a human can shift in 1/10 of a second, then the human-powered shift will have no power to the ground 70% longer than the automatic.  With a CVT, this pause is non-existent.

The Vespa CVT puts the power to the ground NOW.  Zero to 25 in — NOW.  Damned thing gets to 60 fast enough to give an old 1500cc Triumph Spitfire a run, that’s for sure.  Top speed is an estimated 75-ish.  The Vespa has a typical Italian speedometer that, although it has numbers, is best thought of as “slow-medium-fast” as far as accuracy goes.

It IS an updated px200, uh, but it’s not.

Can’t say if it’s better or worse, because I’ve never ridden a 200.  It meets my demands, and I understand what the engineers were going after in the design, and agree with it completely.  They tried, successfully, to respect the Vespa heritage.  A scooter born from the loins of the VB1 that is modern under the skin in every sense of the word.  It has excellent brakes, handling, instrumentation and storage.   These brakes are designed for the conditions a Vespa is most likely to encounter (streets, uneven surfaces, etc).  The weather protection is extremely efficient and yet unobtrusive.  It has many small features and details that make it ideal for short-to-mid commutes, around town errand running, and weekend hopping.

Those ABS brakes.

ABS Brakes on the GTV 250
ABS Brakes on the GTV 250

12 inch tires can lock up on sharp, bumpy pavement, like cobblestones or the completely messed up tarmac found at the approaches to intersections throughout Los Angeles and other cities.  Larger tires don’t present a problem due to weight, larger contact patch and the torque-arm provided by the radius of the wheel, allowing the tire to continue efficient braking under slight modulation.  Even with the smaller tires, the Vespa GTV 250 will stop on “a piece of newspaper”, in any condition that I could identify.

Awesome brakes or no (and they are awesome…), the smaller-tired GTV 250 is best suited to commutes in the city for distances of up to 80 mi round trip or less.  It can hang on the freeways just fine, but with the tires and all it really isn’t suited to inter-city travel, although you “can” do it.

Storage and putting stuff in it.

The under-seat storage is big.  I was actually able to stuff a 15lb bag of dog food in it.  I also like the little detail that involves a couple of small pegs to hook two helmets in, and lock them by just putting the seat back in place.  The seat locks completely when the key locks the front forks.  A small button on the inside of the front cowl pops it like a trunk release switch on a car.  Pushing the key switch in opens the front glove box, with room for gloves and other goodies.  Small tool kit is located there.

Under seat storage is cavernous. note peg for helmet lock in front. Sign reads "no pets" -- I don't even want to know why.
Under seat storage is cavernous. note peg for helmet lock in front. Sign reads

Some visual details:

Helmet Lock Detail
Helmet Lock Detail
glove box -- push key to open.  Button with lock is for seat release.
glove box -- push key to open. Button with lock is for seat release.
No Pets sticker.  I don't want to know.
No Pets sticker. I do not want to know.

More nice touches.

Passenger peg, retracted.
Passenger peg, retracted.

Nicely integrated rear passenger pegs.  Definitely not some last-minute fix, they fit into the body of the scoot and pop out when needed, folding back like the flaps of a World War II dive-bomber when not needed.

The Leather seat is also a thing of beauty. Saddle brown, nice and thick and wears like iron. A cover is provided in the inner seat bottom for inclement weather or when washing the bike to keep it nice.

Passenger peg, deployed.
Passenger peg, deployed.

The instruments are wonderful as well, with a touch of vintage and a touch of modern.  Integrated into a handlebar set-up reminiscent of the pre-1958 Vespas, with a nice yellowish glow at night.  A trip odometer would have been nice here, but it is absent.

Tail Lights are also well-integrated into the body, and thankfully they are not retro in the essence that they are bright, well-placed and make me feel like nobody’s gonna smack me from behind.

Instrument cluster - homage to the past.
Instrument cluster - homage to the past.

As previously stated in other posts, the Vespa GTV 250 i.e. is solid.  It’s engineered well and shows an almost Germanic attention to detail.  Seams fit cleanly, and after the 5000 miles that have been put on this bike, there’s nothing broken, nothing hanging or vibrating, and nothing that lends me to believe that this bike was not fully tested and it shows that the engineers worked with a lot of people to make damned sure that it was ergonomically sound and well thought out.

9 thoughts on “Vespa GTV250 i.e. – Day 2 – Features and Details”

  1. Hey there. Great, thorough reviews. Just curious–weighing the BV 250 versus Vespa GT for daily riding in NYC. Was on an old Italian bike (remember Moto Morini?), recently been on a SYM HD200 & am ready for something more classy. Just curious about the relative comfort and maneuverability of each. Is the Vespa significantly slimmer or easier get to the front of the line? Is the BV significantly more stable? Is either one vastly more comfortable? I ride just about 20 miles a day, mainly getting into and around Manhattan. Streets can be nasty, bumpy and torn up (frankly, I think about a dirt bike, too…), so I want to make sure whatever I get can handle the ‘off-roading’ I do.


    1. For your case, that’s an easy one. Go for the BV250 Piaggio. Has 16″ tires that you’ll appreciate when riding through the rougher roads in your area. Since I moved to Chicago I’ve learned to understand the difference between bad roads and downright crappy, embarassing ones. There were some bad roads in LA, but the roads around this town are reprehensible. I give the Piaggio the mark for being “skinnier” as well, and it does have a little bit better weather protection. The Vespa’s got the style and I love the all-steel feel. I’d ride both, but I think for what you need, the big-tired 250 Tourer is your bike. Funny thing, the 500 has a smaller rear, and I don’t recommend it over the 250 unless you’re doing serious miles.

      Hope This helps! Let me know.

  2. Hey Danilo… great article and review!!! I’m thiking about buying a GTS/GTV as a daily driver in LA and this was extremely helpful.

    One question – I didn’t think the GTV had 14″ wheels or ABS. From my research, it appears all GTS/GTVs have 12″ wheels and ABS is only available in European markets.

    Oh yeah… are you in IL or LA now? The weather in LA has been great.


  3. Danilo,

    I love that you love bikes and scooters! My wife gave me a Vespa 250 GT ie as a Christmas present a few years ago, and, well it now lives with my Guzzi Cali Titanium, and her Nevada. Both boughtafter we were introduced to two wheels ala Vespa. We live on a private airstrip, and I can get the Vespa to it’s top speed of 72mph by the time I reach our taxi way, which is 2000′ ldown the runway.(You should see my neighbor wail his Viper). 0-50, it goes like stink and looks great doing it. I routinely get 73 mpg! And, I agree, that while it can go on the Interstate, it is best suited to urban and country riding. The roads of Bucks County, PA where we live were made with this little jewel in mind.

    Lou La Salle

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