STATE OF THE SCOOTER SCENE 2015 - PART ONE


MID-SIZED SCOOTERS ARE TAKING OVER IN 2015


With the new year almost here, it’s time to round up the news on new and departing scooters in North America for 2015. Before we delve into this, please take a second to vote in the poll for your favourite new scooter (If you’re not familiar with this models, read on!). As always, the full details on each manufacturers lineup is found on the respective manufacturers pages, and here we’ll just run down the new and departing models.

New 2015 Scooters:
Genuine Buddy Riot
Honda PCX150
Kymco Super 8 X 50 / 150
Kymco Super 8 R 50 / 150
Vespa
Primavera
Vespa
Sprint
Yamaha
SMAX

News on 2015 models has been a slow trickle this fall, with full 2015 lineups still not announced from Genuine and the Piaggio group. Oftentimes these makers blend one model year into the next with little fanfare except for new models. Thus we’re assuming all the usual scooters will be back in 2015 except for models that have clearly been replaced, such as the Vespa LX and S.

Vespa-Sprint-2015-BlackVespa-Primavera-2015-USA



All told, there are seven substantially new models launching in North America for the 2015 model year, which come in a total of 12 versions as many are offered in both 50cc and 150cc sizes. Interestingly, all of the new machines are either mid-sized (150-155cc) or they come in a mid-sized version. It’s a stark turn around in the mid sized segment compared to 4 years ago when mid-sized machines were less popular.

The first 2015 scooter was announced way back in February, which was Vespa’s new
Primavera (above right). The Primavera is Vespa’s new small frame model and thus replaces the LX. Alongside the new Primavera is the new Vespa Sprint (above left), which is the same core model but with edgier styling that will replace the Vespa S. These scooters are available in both 50cc and 155cc sizes, with the latter featuring standard ABS.

Honda-PCX150-Canada-Bright-Bronze-Metallic
Yamaha-SMAX-2015-Blue


The Japanese makers were also eying the mid-sized segment, with Honda producing a heavily overhauled
PCX150 (above left) that gets new styling, a little more power and new amenities. The PCX looks like it’ll have stiff competition from Yamaha, who launched the new SMAX 155 (above right) in North America this fall. The SMAX is a physically larger scooter that looks like a great modern design featuring a high tech motor and long list of amenities.

The other new models for 2015 are from Genuine and Kymco. Genuine is launching a new limited edition of the ever popular
Buddy named the Buddy Riot (below right), which features an upgraded suspension and a mean looking gunmetal and black color scheme. Kymco’s new models for 2015 haven’t been officially announced, but we’re expecting to hear new X and R versions of a new generation of the Super 8 announced soon. The X version has styling with an off-road slant, while the R version is a street style (below left) This new Super 8 aims to bring sporty transportation to a lower end of the cost spectrum by basing the new Super 8 off Kymco’s lower cost Agility model.

2015-Kymco-USA-Super-8-R
Genuine-Buddy-Riot-2015-Scooter

Dropped Models:
Kymco Compagno 50 (USA Only)
Kymco
Like 50 (USA Only)
Kymco Movie 150 (USA Only)
Kymco
Super 8 50 / 150 (USA Only)
Kymco
Xciting 500 (USA Only)
Vespa
LX
Vespa
S
Yamaha
Majesty (USA Only)

The discontinued models for 2015 are disproportionately from
Kymco USA, who have opted to refine their formerly huge range of offerings from 13 models to 11 models. Even with the trim, Kymco USA is still fielding the largest lineup of any scooter maker. Kymco’s lineup adjustments for 2015 appear aimed at targeting the lower cost end of the spectrum. Their more expensive small and mid sized machines have been dropped, and the new Super 8 X / R models appear to be based on their entry level design so the MSRP should be lower. Kymco has also discontinued the Xciting 500 for 2015, but this move likely reflects the popularity of the newer MyRoad 700i. Kymco Canada has yet to announce their 2015 line.

Yamaha-Majesty-2012-Black
The other departing models for 2015 are older designs. The Vespa LX and S have been around since 2006 and 2009 respectively, but have now been replaced by the new Primavera and Sprint models respectively. Yamaha’s Majesty (left) hasn’t been replaced, but it is an old model dating back to 2005 in the USA. This model is cut in the USA but continuing on in Canada.

Overall the number of new scooters outnumbers the departing list by 1, and thus the number of scooters on the market increases from 53 models to 54 for 2015, assuming the Piaggio group doesn’t have any surprises in store. The slight increase in new models like reflects the overall health of the scooter market quite well. The scooter market plummeted in half during the 2008 recession and it’s recovery has been very slow with only 5-10% annual increases. When the scooter sales for 2014 are announced around February we’ll issue part 2 of this annual report to discuss the results.


OP-ED: THE FUTURE COULD BE ELECTRIC


Over the last five years there’s been a lot happening in the world of electric powered transportation. Companies like Zero and Brammo are making pretty nice electric motorcycles and upstart automaker Tesla is selling electric cars as fast as they can build them.
Honda-EV-Neo-Scooter-Repsol
However things have been tepid in the scooter market, with only token interest from the big players.

In this opinionated piece, I’ll take a look at the pros and cons of electric powered scooters, what electric scooters are being offered today, where eBikes have gone wrong and what it would take to create a compelling electric scooter.

The Potential For Electric
Before we get into this, we ought to know why there’s even a push to go electric. What are the advantages besides tree-hugger cred? The main draws are instant power, low fuel costs, reduced maintenance and low emissions. Scooters don’t use much fuel, but running on electricity is way cheaper than gas which means $1 fill ups. Secondly, maintenance on an electric vehicle is virtually nil. There’s no oil changes or coolant. You wouldn’t be replacing drivebelts or rollers because electric motors don’t need a transmission. There’s also the perk of reduced emissions, since the only emissions are from when we make the electricity in the first place, which is way cleaner than running on gas even if the power is coming from coal.
CONTINUE READING...

KYMCO USA CLEANS HOUSE FOR 2015


MOVIE AND XCITING MODELS DROPPED, NEW X AND R VERSIONS OF THE SUPER 8

Kymco-USA-2015-Super-8-X
Kymco USA recently updated their website to reflect what appears to be their 2015 scooter lineup. The result is a dramatic trimming of models from 13 to 7, but we expect that count will soon rise as new “X” and “R” versions of the Super 8 are planned for 2015 per Kymco’s official Facebook.

For the time being, the
Super 8 50 & 150, Movie 150 and Xciting 500 have all been moved to the “non-current models” section of Kymco’s USA website, along with the 50cc versions of the Compagno and Like scooters. The larger Compagno 110 and Like 200 will return for 2015. The discontinuation of the Xciting 500 isn’t a big surprise considering it’s an aging model and Kymco has the newer MyRoad 700, but the cancelling of the Movie is unexpected.

Kymco-USA-2015-Like-200-50th

As mentioned, Kymco has new “X” and “R” versions of their Super 8 planned (X is above), which they showed last month at the
AIMExpo. These appear to be a substantially different model than the outgoing Super 8. At first glance, this model appears to not be a Super 8 at all, but rather a naked camo version of their Agility model now being sold under the Super 8 name. Similarly, the new Super 8 R is a sportier version of the Agility with different decals and tires. Both 50 and 150 sizes of these new scooters use the 2 piece buddy seat currently seen on the Agility 50. Perhaps the aim here is to move the Super 8 to the lower cost end of the lineup. The regular Agility 50 is offered for $1699, so we expect the new Super 8 X and R will be priced under $2000 as well compared to $2199 for the discontinued Super 8 50.

A bright spot for 2015 is a new 50th Anniversary edition of the Like 200 (left), which replaces the Like LX as the premium variant of the Like 200. The MSRP for this metallic gold scooter is $100 more than the regular Like 200 at $2799. For the extra funds you get the fancy gold paint and black accent decals which do look quite nice.

2015 USA Models:
Agility 50 / 125, Super 8 X & R, Compagno 110i, Like 200, Movie 150, People GT 300i, Downtown 300i, MyRoad 700i


HONDA QUIETLY RELEASES RETURNING 2015 SCOOTERS


RUCKUS, METROPOLITAN AND FORZA ARE BACK

Today Honda quietly announced the 2015 versions of their returning scooter models. As expected, the Ruckus, Forza and Metropolitan (Giorno in Canada) are back and largely unchanged. Accompanying these returning models in showrooms for 2015 is the PCX 150, which was heavily updated and announced much earlier. We’ve covered the changes to the PCX150 in an earlier news post and on the PCX page, so here we’ll take a look at the updates to the returning models and comment on the health of Honda’s lineup.
2015-Honda-Metropolitan-NCH50-White
USA Pricing for the returning scooters is unchanged at $1999 (Metropolitan), $2649 (Ruckus) and $5599 (Forza), with the updated PCX150 slotting in at $3449 (Honda Canada hasn’t announced pricing yet). Color options are unchanged as well for the Ruckus and Forza. The Forza will again be available only in Pure Red, with Canadians again getting the extra option of Seal Silver Metallic. The Ruckus is now entering its 4th year with the same color options (Black and White/Red).

The USA market Metropolitan fared a little better with one change to its three color option list. For 2015 a two tone color combo of White and Grey (shown) replaces the outgoing Candy Orange/Black combo. Honda Canada didn’t change any of the colors there, but they did spruce up the color names. There was a big shift from two word color names (i.e. Candy Orange) to three word names (i.e. Candy Blaze Orange). Fancy words like “Pearl” and “Gemini” were also liberally sprinkled throughout. Yes, it’s an exciting time to reading Honda press releases. A full year by year color list is at the bottom of the
Metropolitan page.

While the news for most 2015 models is status quo, Honda does have a great lineup right now. The PCX 150 and Forza are both new and great machines that won the MSG Scooter of the Year readers poll for 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Honda-Japan-Silverwing-GT
The Metropolitan / Giorno was also a brand new model for 2013, so only the Ruckus is an older model and that scooter is seemingly a timeless icon. It looks just as good as it did 12 years ago when it was introduced.

What Honda ought to do is flesh out their lineup with new machines at both ends of the spectrum. What’s missing is a modern styled 50cc and a maxi replacement for the Silverwing (2002 - 2013). The Ruckus and Metropolitan are both solid machines, but they appeal to distinct market niches. A broadly appealing modern 50cc like the Honda
Dunk or Dio could be a strong seller to the mainstream practical market at the right price. At the other end of the spectrum, Honda needs a new maxi above 500cc. Their new-ish 580cc Silverwing GT (right) would fit the task. Maybe for 2016?


YAMAHA UNVEILS THE 2015 SMAX - AT DEALERS NOW


YAMAHA LAUNCHES AN ALL NEW 155cc MODEL IN NORTH AMERICA
Yamaha-Canada-2015-SMAX
Two months ago we wrote about how Yamaha received California emissions approval for their new XC155 model, known as the Majesty S and SMAX overseas. Indeed its release was near, as Yamaha USA and Canada simultaneously announced this design as an additional 2015 model bearing the SMAX name.

We’ve exhaustively researched this new model with a new
SMAX page. Briefly, the SMAX lands as a new mid sized scooter that is targeted at machines like Honda’s PCX 150 and Kymco’s Movie 150. In comparison, the SMAX boasts a bit more legroom and fancy engine technology like roller rocker arms and dynamic closed loop fuel injection. The SMAX makes an impressive 14.8 HP from it’s 155cc, but it’s also hauling around 329 lbs so performance is closer to average than class leading.

Yamaha-2015-TMAX-Canada
The SMAX is landing in showrooms now at an MSRP of $3690 (USA) or $3999 (Canada). Color options for 2015 are Matte Titan (silver) or Aquamarine Blue, which Yamaha Canada calls Deep Purplish Blue. We’ll take one in silver.

UPDATE: Yamaha Canada just announced the return of the TMAX (left). When it was omitted from Yamaha’s earlier announcements we assumed that was end, but the TMAX is actually back with updates. The front end has been restyled and several new features added including inverted forks and remote storage unlock. All the details are on the TMAX page.

For 2015 the Canadian price is unchanged at $10,499. Color options are just Dark Metallic Gray.


2015 SUZUKI SCOOTERS


THE BURGMAN TRIUMVIRATE IS BACK

Suzuki has quietly released their 2015 USA scooter lineup. The lack of fanfare matches the lack of changes, as Suzuki has rolled over all three Burgman models with just a few minor tweaks for 2015. Perhaps this was to be expected since Suzuki made big changes for 2013 and 2014.

Some of the best news for 2015 is that Suzuki hasn’t upped their prices. The Burgman 200 ABS is still a great deal at $4999, while the larger 400 and 650cc models remain at $7999 and $10,999 respectively.
2015-Suzuki-Burgman-400-USA
The only updates made for 2015 aside from color changes were a few tweaks to the Burgman 400 (above). This model now comes with a passenger backrest similar to the one on the 650. Suzuki also added hand guards and changed the rims from black to a bronze color. Gone are the red edging on the wheels and red seat stitching.

Suzuki-Burgman-200-2015-White-USA
The other noteworthy change for 2015 is the Burgman 200 will now be offered only in white (“Brilliant White”) instead of silver (“Cool Silver”). The Burgman 200 looks great in white, but it’s a risky choice since the little Burg only comes in one color. Suzuki also switched the lone color option for the Burgman 400 but they played this safer but merely switching between shades of black. Instead of Glass Sparkle Black there’s a new Metallic Matte Black No 2, which appears identical. Suzuki didn’t make any such posturing with the Burgman 650 and merely stuck to offering their handsome but absurdly named “Metallic Mat Fibroin Gray” for another year. In case you’re wondering, fibroin is an insoluble protein made by spiders. Now you know.

Despite the status quo 2015 scooter lineup, it’s still comforting to see these popular scooters return. The Burgman 200 is a unique offering in America, while the larger Burgman’s are stalwarts of the maxi scene and to lose them would a blow. The Burgman 400 and 650 have been sold here since 2003 and 2004 respectively, during which time they’ve cemented their status as legendary maxiscooters. The 650 in particular epitomizes the maxi concept.


WHAT'S NEW AT GENUINE


A NEW BUDDY DERIVATIVE + TURMOIL IN THE BOARDROOM

Genuine has been making news recently for both good and bad reasons. The good news is the recent announcement of a handsome new derivative of the Buddy. New for 2015 is the Buddy Riot, which is a handsome take on the otherwise fairly cute Buddy design. The Buddy Riot uses gunmetal grey paint - or “Limited Edition
Genuine-Buddy-Riot-125-USA
Matte Platinum Metallic” if you ask Genuine - which is accompanied by matte black accents.

The result is a slightly sinister version of the Buddy which slots in well between the cute regular model and more nefarious past editions like the Blackjack and Psycho. The Buddy Riot is being offered in both 50cc and 125cc sizes, with pricing at $1999 and $2799 respectively. Besides the paintwork, the Buddy Riot adds blacked out elements (wheels, bezels, rear rack), sporty mirrors, and a low profile seat. Genuine also snazzed up the front brake with a new rotor design, a braided brake line, a splash of red paint on the caliper and “sport” brake levers. Also tweaked is the suspension, which gets stiffer forks (125cc only) and an adjustable rear shock (both versions).

In less upbeat news, the 2013 ousting of Genuine CEO and all around good guy Philip McCaleb appears to be less amiable than initially assumed. This situation has
been in the news in recent months as a result of a lawsuit filed this summer by McCaleb. The suit brings to light all sorts of conspiratory and nefarious behaviour by the new board members that arrived in 2011 when a struggling Genuine sought outside investment during the tough years after the 2008 recession. In short, McCaleb claims that new board member (and current CEO) Dorothy Hanley spearheaded the creation of a “toxic” work environment where McCaleb was mistreated, pressured out and manipulated into selling his shares for well below value.

This suit likely won’t be settled anytime soon, but our sympathies certainly go out to McCaleb who has invested a lot of energy into the scooter scene in North America through both Genuine Scooter Company and ScooterWorks. More reading over at
Modern Buddy


YAMAHA'S SMALL SCOOTERS RETURN + NEW MAJESTY S?


RED AND WHITE SMALL SCOOTS + DOES YAMAHA HAVE A NEW 155cc?
Yamaha-Vino-USA-2015
Yamaha has announced the return of their perennially popular small scooters for 2015. The 2015 editions of the Vino Classic, Zuma (aka BWs), Zuma FX (aka Zuma X) and Zuma 125 will be arriving in both American and Canadian showrooms later this month. Unsurprisingly, Yamaha hasn’t made any updates to these models for 2015 except new colors, but its still nice to see these stalwarts of the scooter scene back for another year.

One new theme for these returning 2015 models is red and white paint jobs, with 3 of the 4 scooters available in this layout. The Vino gets “Spartan” red paint with white accents, while the Zuma FX and Zuma 125 are being offered in white (or extremely pale silver) paint with sporty red accents.
Yamaha-Zuma-125-USA-Silver-Red Yamaha-Zuma-X-2015-Red
2015 Colors:
Vino: Spartan Red
Zuma: Dark Metallic Green, Matte Titan (Grey)
Zuma FX: Team Yamaha Blue & White, Alpine White & Heat Red
Zuma 125: Stardust Silver, Competition Silver & Heat Red

USA MSRPs remain unchanged for 2015 at $2290 (Vino), $2590 (Zuma, Zuma FX) and $3390 (Zuma 125).

There’s no word from Yamaha USA on a 2015 version of the
Majesty, which isn’t a good sign considering the Majesty is
Yamaha-Majesty-S-USA-2015
an older model and Yamaha Canada has already announced it there, indicating that the Yamaha has made their full announcement of returning models. However, Yamaha USA may simply be skipping a year - as they did in 2011 - or they may have something else up their sleeve like the newer Majesty currently being offered to overseas markets. Fingers crossed for a new maxi from Yamaha.

While the bigger Majesty may be in trouble, there’s good reason to think a smaller machine bearing this name may be in the pipeline. California’s emissions people
recently approved Yamaha’s Majesty S aka SMax for sale in the state, indicating Yamaha plans to release this model in America eminently. The Majesty S (XC155) looks poised to take on Honda’s PCX150 in the popular mid-sized market. This scooter would fill the void left by the aging Riva 125 when it departed after 2006.


VESPA SPRINT ARRIVES IN MAY


NEW VESPA SPRINT REPLACES THE VESPA S

Vespa has wasted no time in announcing the Sprint as a sporty derivative of their new Primavera platform. The recently unveiled Vespa Sprint will be sold alongside the Primavera in the USA and Canada, much like the Vespa LX and S duo of the previous small frame Vespa generation.

Vespa is introducing the Sprint in both 50cc and 155cc versions in the USA, while Vespa Canada thus far has only announced the 155cc. Vespa Canada has announced standard ABS, while Vespa USA hasn’t released all the details but the price implies ABS will standard on the Sprint 155.

Vespa-Sprint-Headset-2015

The Sprint is mechanically identical to the Primavera, but achieves a mature look with the trapezoidal headlight, new mirrors and larger 14 spoke 12” rims with low profile rubber. The Vespa Sprint also uses a number of red accents including on the coil springs and glowing red upper edges on the front vents. The Sprint shares the same instrument panel as the Primavera, but with a switch to red backlighting and red speedometer needle. Vespa has also created a number of sportier accessories for the Sprint including blacked out rims, racing stripe decals and a solo seat (shown below left).

vespa-sprint-usa-2015-155
Vespa has talked about a new instrument panel for the North American market, much like the departing Vespa S which used different gauges than the LX. However thus far we haven’t seen any new gauge layouts and the Sprint is scheduled to go on sale in the USA mid-May and is set to be arriving in Canada this month, so it additional changes look unlikely.

When it arrives, the Sprint will be available in both 50cc and 155cc versions as early 2015 models. USA Pricing for the Sprint 50 is similar to the Primavera at $3699 (50), while the 155 is up $400 at $5099 which likely accounts for standard ABS. Vespa Canada is listing the price at $5295, which definitely includes ABS. Canadian colors are Yellow (Giallo Positano) and Shiny Black. No word yet on USA colors. Check out the
Sprint page for full details.


NEW HONDA PCX + HONDA FORZA TAKES SCOOTER OF THE YEAR


CAN HONDA WIN IT THREE YEARS IN A ROW WITH THE NEW 2015 PCX150?
Honda-Forza-300-2014
Honda’s 2014 Forza claimed the title of 2014 MSG Scooter of the Year in the readers poll, with a healthy 36% of the vote, beating Suzuki’s new Burgman 200 at 22%. The new Forza is indeed a well engineered and sharp looking machine. It also helps that the Forza lands right in one of the hottest scooter segments right now: 200-400cc maxi’s. Just 2 of the 7 new scooters for 2014 are small maxi’s, yet they collected a huge 58% of the vote. That reveals just how popular these new affordable and fuel sipping pseudo-maxi’s are. Compare that to the three 50cc models that are new for 2014, which collectively nabbed only 18% of the vote. Times sure have changed.

This win by the Forza makes it two years in a row for Honda, who nabbed the readers pick a year ago with the revised
PCX150 capturing a dominating 41% of the vote. Now Honda will have a chance at making it three years in a row with a new 2015 PCX150 that was just announced for the USA and Canada.

The new 2015 PCX150 (below) resembles the bigger Forza more than before and will be available in July wearing Metallic Black or Pearl White in the USA. No you can’t have the wonderful grey below, but you can have Candy Noble Red or the classy Bright Bronze Metallic (think mahogany) if you’re in Canada.
honda-pcx-125-2014_01
This iteration of the PCX is heavily overhauled but not entirely new. In short, it’s a new body and a tweaked motor packed around the same frame. The updates are plentiful and noteworthy. Besides the new styling, there a big increase in glovebox storage in the legshield with a 12V charge port inside. There’s also an extra half gallon or 2 liter boost to the fuel tank capacity. This new 2.1 gallon tank in combination with efficiency improvements (reduced engine friction, faster rolling tires) pushes the PCX150’s range beyond 200 miles. Other new features include all LED lighting, a clock and a hazard lighting button on the dash. The LED lighting reduces power demand which of course is a good thing since there are 720 watts in a horsepower. This means the conversion of the headlights to LED’s frees up a solid 0.1 horsepower for other uses like smoky burnouts. There’s also a new seat that opens via a loaded spring and is claimed to be much more comfortable. The previous seat on the previous PCX150 was widely criticized, so hopefully the new saddle is much better.

Honda PCX125 (2014) Side
Powering the 2015 PCX150 is the same core motor, but tweaked to deliver an extra 0.4 ponies. The grand total is now 13.4, which equates to a 3% rise. Unfortunately Honda has again nixed the idle stop feature from the North American market. There does seem to be a new catalytic converter in the 2015 model and a trio of new bearings in the final drive that minimizes transmission drag. For all the tech details check out the press release, but be aware quite a bit of the engine tech claims were actually new for the 2013 model (ie. offset cylinder, spiny cylinder) and they’re being re-hashed.

The price tag for 2015 remains unchanged at $3449 in the USA. No word yet on Canadian pricing. Check out the
PCX150 page for all the details.


APRILIA AXES THE SCARABEO & SPORTCITY


APRILIA THINS 2014 LINE TO JUST SR50 & SR MOTARD 50
If you’re after a 50cc, Aprilia’s got two great 2014 models to sell you. If you’re after a more substantial scooter you’ll need to look elsewhere. That’s the outcome of Aprilia’s recent move to drop all their scooters over 50cc.

Aprilia-Scarabeo-2013
From 1999 to 2013, scooterists could always purchase at least one large wheeled Scarabeo model (right) from Aprilia, with versions ranging from 50cc to 500cc over this impressive 15 year run. In recent years the Italian maker has fielded a three model Scarabeo line with 100cc, 200cc and 500cc machines. That has all changed for 2014, with this trio of Scarabeos’ getting a unceremonious deletion from Aprilia’s USA and Canadian websites.

A similar fate also befell their SportCity line (below), which previously filled the niche for sporty scooters at an affordable price. The large
SportCity Cube 250 model has been dropped outright, while the smaller SportCity One design has been replaced with the newer SR Motard model. The SR Motard utilizes the same frame and quite a few components, but thus far only the 50cc version of the SR Motard is being offered in America, which means buyers looking for a 125cc model will need to look elsewhere.

As a member of the Piaggio Group, the recent trimming of Aprilia’s line is likely part of a broader strategy. In Canada this new strategy is pretty clear: stop selling mid sized scooters. In addition to the truncation of Aprilia’s 2014 line, Piaggio Canada isn’t offering their Fly or Typhoon models with a
 Aprilia-SportCity-Cube-USA
motor bigger than 50cc and even Vespa only offers their 946 in the midsized segment, although the introduction of the Primavera may change that. Currently the 946 is the lone Canadian machine between Piaggio’s 50cc offerings and their full speed Vespa GTS300 and Piaggio BV 350 models.

Thankfully the situation is less bleak in America. Piaggio is reducing overlap and competition within their brands by prioritizing models sold under the Piaggio name plate, while still competing in all segments. In recent years Piaggio added a version of the SR Motard called the
Typhoon in both 50cc and 125cc sizes (which makes it surprising the SR Motard 50 has been introduced at all for 2014). The cancellation of the Scarabeo and SportCity Cube 250 models is disappointing, but Piaggio does have the Fly 150 to stand in for the Scarabeo 100/200, and Piaggio’s new BV350 is an outstanding machine that is a better purchase than the SportCity Cube 250 and Scarabeo 500 anyways.

The move to Aprilia’s emaciated scooter line is unfortunate, but the withdrawn models were aging designs and there may be a silver lining. By reducing overlap between their divisions in the mid-sized segment, Piaggio may find room to re-enter the maxi segment. This move might free up the capitol to bring in Aprilia’s promised SRV850 super maxi, or perhaps Piaggio’s X10 highway cruiser.


VESPA's PRIMAVERA 50 / 150 NEAR READY FOR LAUNCH


VESPA’S THIRD GENERATION MODERN SMALL FRAME HEADED FOR USA, CANADA

Vespa’s most important model in years, the Primavera, is poised to hit North American showrooms this spring as a 2015 model. The Primavera is thought to be the eventual successor to Vespa’s top selling LX and S series of small framed scooters.

Vespa-Primavera-Motorscooter
The new Primavera is clearly inspired by Vespa’s flagship 946 model, but it makes this new style accessible to most scooter enthusiasts with a price tag around half. USA pricing has yet to be announced, but look for an MSRP around $3800 (50cc) and $4800 (150cc). While more expensive that most machines, these prices will be about half that of the 946. In Canada the MSRP’s are $3895 and $4995 (50cc and 150cc respectively).

Vespa is making the Primavera available to the USA and Canada with either a 50cc or 150cc 4-stroke. The smaller motor option is the same Hi-PER4 motor as the LX50, while the Primavera 150 gets the latest iteration of Piaggio’s mid sized motor which is a fuel injected 3-valve motor with 12.7 HP. This motor is up 0.7 HP over the LX150, which means a top speed of at least 65 mph and a nice boost in milage as well to about 80 mpg.

The Primavera brings a number of new features besdies the updated 150cc motor and completely new body. Most notably, Vespa has moved to a larger 11” rear wheel, upsized the rear drum brake, added tasteful new rims, LED lights front and rear and created a tasteful new instrumentation cluster with an analog speedometer and a larger digital display that reads time, fuel and odometer including trip odometer.

The full details on the new Primavera can be found
here. Look for this scooter to launch in the April - June window across the USA and Canada.


2014 GENUINE: HOOLIGAN 170 + STELLA AUTOMATIC 125


BIG CHANGES FROM AMERICA’S LITTLEST SCOOTER COMPANY

After keeping things steady for 2013, Genuine Scooter Company is widely expected to make substantial changes to their arsenal for 2014, including an all new scooter (Hooligan 170) and a new version of the Stella (Automatic 125).
hooligan
The internet is abuzz with these rumours, but no official announcements have been made which is the only feeble excuse I can offer for missing these fine new machines in the State of the Market 2014 report last month.

Most exciting is the reclusive new Hooligan 170i, which Genuine leaked a teaser photo of last November. Photographic evidence of this new steed is rare, but it’s clearly heavily based on
PGO’s X-Hot 150. The Hooligan 170i essentially takes the X-Hot frame and front end, tosses in an amped up motor and the cleaner back end from PGO’s Libra model and then coats the whole thing with macho paint and performance touches like larger rims and a rear disc brake. This new stealth fighter scooter is expected in showrooms in a couple months - likely April. The performance oriented Hooligan builds off Genuine’s sporty Roughhouse and Rattler models, but it’s got a new look and thus a new name.

Genuine-2014-Stella-Automatic-125
The $3399 Hooligan has been endowed with the sporty 169cc fuel injected motor that Genuine and PGO co-developed for the Buddy 170. This motor should propel the Hooligan to around 70 mph, while returning about 80 mpg. With this respectable top speed and a more satiable appetite for fuel than the old Rattler 110, the Hooligan is going to be the most well rounded of Genuine’s macho scooters yet. Look for the Hooligan in showrooms this spring in both Matte Black and Matte Army Green.

The other substantially new machine from Genuine Scooter Co. is an Automatic 125cc version of their venerable 4-stroke
Stella. This scoot is a more accessible machine to new scooterists thanks to the easy learning curve of a CVT and the $200 lower MSRP. It’s hard to see too many purists choosing to give up the manual shift and extra 25cc’s though. Regardless, it’s an impressive feat that LML - who manufacturers the Stella for Genuine - was able to cram a CVT under the Stella’s left flank. The left haunch is normally home to the spare tire, so the Stella Automatic shifts that over to the right haunch, which is a far better solution that eliminating this classic feature. The MSRP is expected to be $3499 in the USA when it hits showrooms this spring. Pigment options are Cream or you choice of three metallic options (Red, Blue or Black).

The Hooligan 170 and Stella Automatic join the complete return cast of 2013 machines to form Genuine’s 2014 lineup. No word yet whether the Stella Automatic is being sold outside USA.

USA MODELS: Stella, Roughhouse, Buddy 50 / 125 / 170i, Psycho Buddy, Hooligan 170, Blur 220
CANADA MODELS: Stella

The Stella Automatic’s impressively compact new CVT
Stella-Automatic-125-CVT