Price 1: £ 8,750
Introduced in Italy in October 1964 (but not on sale in the UK till May 1965), the SS180 was the replacement for the GS160. The GS in both 150 and 160 forms had achieved iconic status, and being aware of this Piaggio determined that the new model would keep the GS name. The change of mind came very late in the day, too late in fact to prevent the spare parts book describing it as the “GS Super sports 180”. The SS180 (as the name was abbreviated to) was essentially an amalgam of the existing GL and GS160 models. From the former came the front half of the frame, headset, rear light and saddle. The latter donated the rear half of the frame, complete engine and transmission unit, and the front suspension. The only really new parts specific to this model were the panels, toolbox and mudguard. Of course there were detail differences in the engine. Apart from being bored out to 180cc, the small end was now a bearing instead of a bush and the flywheel had five retaining bolts instead of three. To everybody’s relief the ignition was not now dependant on the battery. The SS180 was available in red or white, and later on in blue as well. This in itself was something of a departure by Piaggio who had not previously offered more than a single colour on the home market. Models such as the VB1 and the VBA were made in alternative colours, but for export only. The only significant changes came in October 1967 when the horn casting was altered to accommodate the new type Piaggio badge. At the same time there were a couple of minor alteration to the inner frame pressings.