Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Bambina

As a first post, I couldn't really pass up introducing my Bambina. I've only had her for a bit under 2 months so far, so she's fairly new. (I did have an LX150 for two years prior, but he's gone off to live as a get-around for a lovely greek man on an island in the Seychelles.)

My ride's a Vespa GTS 300ie Super in Rosso Dragon (or Red, in non-copywriter speak), and to my knowledge was the very first Red 300 sold in Australia. I picked her up 2 days after she came off the ship from Italy (I was without a Vespa for month and boy was it a long wait!). Props to Frank from Vespa House in Melbourne for pulling out all stops to get her in early for me.

Background on the 300 - it's the largest displacement Vespa has ever created in its' lineup, sitting at 278cc (up from 248cc for the GTS 250ie). They're also the first liquid cooled engine Vespa's ever made. Very similar body type to the 250, but it's slightly extended/lower slung in the front and tuned up for a sportier ride.

Some subtle design revisions were added in homage to the original '69(?) 150 Supers too - the gorgeous air intake vent for the engine on the right flank, blacked out wheels, and a grill-style front. And I'm not 100% sure, but I think the hips might be wider. (She really does have a big behind.) They've got the Super badging on the rear and front wheel. Also, there's a purely analog instrument panel - none of that ugly digital they had on the Granturismo and still have partially on the 250s. Also, no rear rack for a cleaner line (although that does mean you'll need to add one of those if you add a Top Box).

Real Stuff - the throttle's super sensitive, and it took me a week to get used to her after my previous LX150. I chatted to a GTS 250 driver I see sometimes on the way to work the other day, and found out the 250 has a flat spot in the throttle (he'd driven both), which the 300 doesn't.

She's got torque galore - first drive I took her on she just glanced at a steep hill and ate it for breakfast. No making sure she's in the right spot to start on it.

Frank's said to be very careful with her especially when U-turning because of that torque, and I've managed to spin the rear wheel on start-off without intending. The balance is perfect, and I like the extra weightiness of the beast. However, she does have a tendancy to get a bit warm when idling for a while. Run the engine at max down the highway and no troubles, but sitting in traffic you don't get air coming in over the radiator, so the temp guage creeps up. Vespa's answer to this is a great big noisy fan in the front which keeps her cool.

Photos were taken with my sister's little point-and-shoot digital first weekend out. It was raining a bit, so it was a day of creeping out in between the showers. The last photo, the mono one, was the feature on's March Community Photos Page, and they also used the shot on several country homepages (incl. Italy and the UK) and on the Facebook group promo.

I smiled. Alot.

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