HONDA LAUNCHES NEW LIQUID COOLED 2016 METROPOLITAN


REVAMPED METROPOLITAN HEADLINES HONDA’S 2016 SCOOTER LINE
Honda-Giorno-2016-Canada-USA
The Metropolitan has been majorly upgraded for 2016 with an all new motor, revised style and improved amenities. The new Met gains liquid cooling, an in-floor fuel tank, larger underseat storage and a small glovebox with 12V charging socket. This new Met is essentially Honda Japan’s new Giorno Clip model, which is replacing the discontinued regular Giorno in Asian markets. In Canada, Honda is also offering this new model but under the overseas Giorno name.

The 2016 Met utilizes Honda’s new AF74E liquid cooled motor. This new motor is similar to the GET2 design in the 2002-2009
Metropolitan, with a clever side mounted radiator and reversible alternator that doubles as the starting motor. Power from the new motor is similar with 0.1 less horsepower (now 4.4) but coming at a lower RPM (8000 vs 8250). The main appeal of the new motor is the improved efficiency, made possible with higher compression (12.0:1 instead of 10.1:1) and an idle stop system, although the idle stop system appears seems to be nixed from the North American market. In Japan this model is rated at a staggering 132 mpg in real world conditions (180 mpg in Japan’s wildly optimistic 30km/hr test), which is 13% better than the departing Metropolitan which was rated at 117 mpg. Honda USA is sticking with their 117 mpg claim, but it’s likely they haven’t had the chance to run the new model past the D.O.T. yet, either that the axed idle stop system contributed that much.
2016 Honda Metropolitan Underseat Storage 2016-Honda-Giorno-Storage
In terms of the style, it’s the same core machine but Honda reworked the side flanks with new horizontal streaks and freshened up the front of the legshield. Also new are the 8 spoke rims and instrumentation, which
Honda-Giorno-2016-NCH50-Gauges
gains a digital trip odometer. There’s also new black shrouding under the floor, which conceals the relocated 1.2 gal fuel tank. The frame itself appears to be the same and the wheelbase is unchanged at 46.5”. There’s a good video walk around of the new style here.

2016-Honda-Metropolitan-USA-Red
In terms of amenities, the revised Met replaces the open legshield storage cubby with a smaller one under the ignition good for a bottle of water and then a more useful but small glovebox on the left side. This glovebox has a small 12V outlet perfect for charging a cell phone.

Colors for 2016 are Pearl Blue, Pearl White and Red. Pricing has now been announced and it’s up $400 in Canada and the USA to $2399 (USA) and $2699 (Canada). It’s a big increase that likely partially reflects the increased cost of the machine but also reflects a new strategy for Honda of less skimpy margins.

YAMAHA READIES NEW ZUMA 125 FOR 2016


NEW 2016 ZUMA 125 WHILE REMAINING SCOOTERS CARRY OVER
Yamaha released the better part of their 2016 scooter line up this week for both the USA and Canada.
yamaha-usa-2016-zuma-125-blue

The USA announcement includes the return of all 2015 scooters except for the TMAX and the Zuma 125. So the Vino 50, Zuma 50, Zuma 50 FX and the SMAX are all back unchanged in design and price. As usual there are new color options, with the Vino 50 available in a particularly fantastic Rosewood Brown.

The absence of the TMAX is understandable since Yamaha surprised everyone with a really late 2015 TMAX announcement this spring, so most likely they’re going to hold off a bit on announcing the 2016 TMAX or maybe they’ll skip the year entirely if inventory is high, but we’ll see the TMAX back at some point as soon as inventory is low enough.

The really interesting news is the lack of the Zuma 125. By itself it would be a worrying sign but a look at Yamaha’s Canadian 2016 lineup (which typically mirrors the USA) provides some exciting insight. In Canada is similar except it includes a heavily updated BWs 125, which is the Canadian name for the Zuma 125. Most likely Yamaha USA has delayed announcing their 2016 Zuma 125 because it’s not quite ready for showrooms and they don’t want to tank sales of the outgoing version, but we should see an announcement in the next few weeks.


yamaha-usa-2016-zuma-125 yamaha-bws-125-2016

At first glance, the new BWs/Zuma 125 looks like an all new machine. The styling is hardly recognizable as a Z125, particularly in the rear where the exposed tube frame is gone. Likely Yamaha’s got a new sub-frame here. The front is also way different, with the classic bug eye lights being replaced by somewhat bulgy but more integrated dual headlights. Also new are the rims and the gauge setup.

Style aside, Yamaha gave this machine some nice functional upgrades. The front brake moves to a larger disc (245mm vs. 220mm) and with twin pistons in the caliper instead of one. There’s also a sweet disc brake in the rear now instead of a drum. The suspension details aren’t all announced but the front forks are larger diameter (31mm vs 27mm) and the rear suspension looks different.
yamaha-2015-zuma-125-bws-canada


Yamaha also bumped up space in the cockpit with a claim of more knee room, which is great because the outgoing model was a bit tight here for 6 footers. With that said, it still looks a bit tight in the photos. There’s also nice new folding passenger pegs, a 10% larger fuel tank and somehow Yamaha got almost 50% more space out of the underseat storage area (7.6 gallon vs. 5.2). It looks like this was achieved by extending the butt of the scooter and making it a bit deeper.

What’s not changed seems to be the engine, which has all the same specs. Even there the are some obvious external changes (i.e. exhaust cover, fan cover) so it’s possible Yamaha’s even tweaked this. Hopefully we get some more details and a USA announcement soon.

REVIEW: ULTIMATE SHIELD SCOOTER COVER


HOW DOES A PREMIUM COVER COMPARE?
Scooter-Cover-Ruckus-CarCovers
A cover for your scooter is important, particularly if you don’t have an indoors spot to park. Without one you’ll be dealing with a rusty scooter and fading paint - not great for resale value. I’ve tried quite a few covers over the past decade, but always of the ultra low cost variety because I’ve been a poor student and I wasn’t sure what spending more would achieve.

My most recent foray into the world of cheap covers was last fall when I bought a $9 cover from eBay. It claimed to be for a scooter, but when it arrived it was labelled as a bicycle cover. Hmm.... No surprise it didn’t fit my scooter. I had to slit the back to stretch it on since it wasn’t worth shipping back. Even then it would blow off on windy days because it lacked an elastic bottom or any straps. One such windy day was enough to poke my handlebars through the cover because the material was so thin, at which point I decided the cover was trash. I’ve used other cheap covers that weren’t quite this bad, but they’ve always been the sorta where you know the lifespan is going to be a year max.

Recently I’ve been using a higher end scooter cover from
CarCovers.com. They sent me their Ultimate Shield Scooter Cover (USSC), which despite the superlative name is actually their second best option. The most striking difference from covers I’ve used in the past is the fabric, which is far thicker and doesn’t feel like it’s going to tear when you’re pulling it on.
Scooter-Cover-Fabric
I expect it’ll last years instead of months and it has a 7 year warranty if it doesn’t. CarCovers calls the material fleece lined polypropylene, which is a fair description. Polypropylene provides a waterproof and breathable barrier, while the fleece lining adds some strength, ensures your scooter isn’t scratched and helps it slide on.

The other important feature of the USSC is a bottom strap and buckle, so there’s no chance it’ll blow off in the wind. This is also helped by the fit, which is the best I’ve had in a cover. Unlike a baggy cover, it doesn’t catch a lot of wind. The USSC only flaps minimally in the wind and definitely isn’t going anywhere. Apparently CarCovers has researched the size specs on every scooter out there, so you can simply type in your machine and it’ll set you up with the right size rather than guessing.

A couple other nice features on the USSC are nylon reinforced areas along the engine and exhaust, a clearly labelled front and back and an elastic bottom hem that squeezes around your machine well. There’s also covered vents along the handlebars to increase airflow so your wet machine can dry out faster.

My main criteria for a cover are fit, durability and security in the wind and the Ultimate Shield Scooter Cover scores high marks in all these areas. The main drawbacks are twofold: cost and bulk. The USSC lists for $165 but it seems to always be on sale at CarCovers.com for $89. Even at $89 it’s a decent outlay of cash (hey that’s 18 tanks of gas @ $5 tank), particularly if you’re used to paying in the single digits. In the long run though it’s money well spent as it preserves the condition of your scooter.

Scooter Cover Packed Size
Top Vent Scooter Cover

The other downside to the Ultimate Shield Scooter cover is bulk. If you want to bring this cover on the road you’ll need to free up some extra space in your backpack. With thicker material comes a larger packed size, so the USS cover packs to the size of a well fed house cat. It doesn’t weigh much, but the space requirements are double what a thin plastic cover needs. Also, the storage bag that’s included with the cover is twice as big as needed, which exaggerates the bulk as the cover doesn’t stay tightly rolled. Finding a smaller bag would be a good start if you want to take the cover on the road.

Overall, the
Ultimate Shield Scooter Cover does all the important stuff very well. It’s durable, secure and fits great. Price sensitive buyers might want explore for cheaper options, and commuters that need to pack the cover along might want something smaller, but for 80% of scooterists that need a cover for at home this one does it very well. If you’re on the fence on the price or need a smaller cover, CarCovers offer the Deluxe Shield cover that foregoes the fleece and thus costs $12 less and presumably packs smaller.

Disclosure: This cover was provided by CarCovers.com under no obligation to review it.

HONDA RELEASES 2016 EDITION PCX150


2016 MODEL IN SHOWROOMS THIS MONTH

The PCX 150 - a two time winner of the Motor Scooter Guide readers pick poll (2013, 2015) - is returning for 2016 via another early release from Honda. Apparently inventory of 2015 models was running low, which isn’t surprising since the PCX is a great scooter at a great price and Honda released the 2015’s way back in April 2014.

Honda-PCX-150-Steel-Grey-USA
The announcement for the 2016 model was back in April, but the new machines are just rolling into showrooms over this month.

After being substantially revamped last year, the PCX is rolling over without major changes. Honda has increased the MSRP by $50 to $3499 in the USA while also mixing up the color options. In Canada the 2016 PCX 150 is listing for $3999, a bump of $100 over last year which is small considering how much the Canadian currency has devalued.

The new colors for 2016 are dark red and grey, which replace the
2015 color options of black and white in the USA and red and bronze in Canada. Honda USA is calling these new colors Dark Cherry Red and Steel Grey. In Canada only grey is being offered for 2016 but as always the Honda Canada folks have gotten more creative with the naming so they are calling it Matte Techno Silver Metallic.

No news yet on the rest of
Honda’s scooters. That announcement should come in September or October.

TOP SCOOTERS OF THE DECADE: PART 3 - 2000'S


Yamaha-2009-Scooter-Lineup
In the decade from 2000 to 2009 an incredible 77 new scooters models were introduced into the USA and Canada. This was a huge increase from the paltry 6 new models that were introduced the 90’s. More importantly, the scooter market diversified as it grew from a trio of Japanese makers (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki) to include Italian brands (Vespa, Aprilia, Piaggio) and several Taiwanese manufacturers (Kymco, Genuine/PGO, SYM).

The 2000’s are also notable for being when the maxi-scooter concept was really developed, with machines going far beyond 250cc designs like Honda’s Helix and cranking that up to 500-650cc. Another noteworthy change this decade was a shift from 50cc 2-strokes to 4-strokes, with new 2-strokes becoming rare by the end of the decade. Scooter sales during this time had some strong years (2005 - 2008) followed by a 50% collapse during the 2009 recession - a sales level which remains to this day.

Choosing just 3 machine to represent the best of the 00’s from the list of 77 is difficult. The following machines were selected because they combine top notch design with historical importance. There are numerous fantastic machines that have been left out.

Vespa-S-150-USA
Vespa S 150 (2008 - 2014)
Vespa returned to North America in 2001 with their ET model, but it wasn’t until the S was launched in 2008 that Vespa really connected with North American enthusiasts. The ET was a bit awkward and it’s LX successor was a bit cheeky. When Vespa took the same LEADER motor and LX frame and wrapped that in the edgier S styling they had their first real hit in North America in 3 decades and became relevant again.

The
S has been offered in 50cc and 150cc versions, but the 150 is the real deal with power to match the capabilities of the rest of the machine. It lacks the handy glovebox of the LX, but the style is more than enough to make up for it. If you’re in the market for a machine from the 00’s, the S provides edgy style and top notch quality in a reliable package.

Suzuki-Burgman-650-Executive-USA
Suzuki Burgman 650 (2004 - present)
Aprilia was the first to introduce a proper maxi scooter to North America with their Atlantic 500 in 2000 and Honda followed that up in 2002 with the even better, but full mastery of the maxi-scooter concept wasn’t demonstrated until Suzuki released the Burgman 650 in 2004.

The Burgman 650 has advocates everywhere and for good reason. It matches highway power with a full array of touring amenities, and goes a step further than touring motorcycles by providing a package that is easier to mount and ride. Quite a few maxi’s have been introduced since, but none have dethroned the Burg 650.

Honda-Ruckus-2006
Honda Ruckus (2003 - present)
More than any other scooter, Honda’s Ruckus is responsible for making scooters cool again in the new millennium. Prior to the Ruckus, most small scooters were meekly styled plastic blobs that most people would be embarrassed to be seen on. I love a good 90’s machine, but it’s fair to say that style struggled to gain mass acceptance.

In addition to it’s rugged style, the Ruckus is also a top notch machine with an aluminum frame, liquid cooled 4-stroke motor and and clever bits like a new alternator design that shed the need for a starter motor. The Ruckus is the complete trio of great style, clever design and top quality. It’s the type of machine that helped Honda build their reputation for reliability.


TOP SCOOTERS OF THE DECADE: PART 2 - 1990'S


Yamaha-1998-Scooter-Line
In the second instalment of this series, I’ve deliberated over and served up my top 3 picks for best scooters of the 90’s. A core requirement is that a scooter must have been either introduced or substantially overhauled in the USA or Canadian markets during this decade. Simply keeping an 80’s machine on sale into the 90’s is not enough to qualify.

The 90’s were a darker time in North American scooter history. This sales had dived after record sales in the 80’s and new models were sparse. It’s a strong parallel to today, where scooter sales have yet to recover to anything approaching the pre-recession levels. Thankfully sales today are 50% of what they were pre-recession, while sales in the 90’s fell to only 20% of the 80’s peak.

As a result of slow sales, scooter lineups in the 90’s were mostly comprised of machines left over from the 80’s boom. Late 80’s machines like Honda’s
Elite 80 and Elite SR, and Yamaha’s Riva 125 were mainstays. In fact, Honda didn’t introduce a single new scooter model to the USA throughout the 90’s after introducing 18 in the 80’s. The extent of their attention to their scooter lineup in the 90’s was resuming sales of the Helix in 1992, introducing the Dio to Canada, and revising their Elite SR with a new motor for ’94. Yamaha didn’t do much better, introducing only the CY50 generation of the Jog in 1992.

Another Japanese maker, Suzuki, had yet to offer scooters in North America in the 80’s, but surprised everyone in 1990 when they released their first scooter, the
Hyper aka AE50, to the Canadian market. It wasn’t offered in the USA, but it qualifies for consideration here as it was both new and sold in either Canada or the USA.

By the late 90’s it was clear that the Italian brands (Vespa, Aprilia, Piaggio) were planning a return to North America, but only Aprilia managed to get their scooters in showrooms in the 90’s when they rolled out a limited release of their SR50 and Scarabeo 50 models in 1999.

Aprilia-SR50-USA-1999
1999 - 2003 Aprila SR50
The SR50 was easily the most significant new scooter launched in the 90’s. When it was launched for 1999 it became the first 50cc scooter sold in North America to offer liquid cooling, fuel injection, a rear disc brake and 13” rims. In doing so, it brought many features normally reserved for bigger motorcycles to 50cc riders.

The SR50 was also easily the most “sporty” scooter offered date, drawing direct inspiration from Aprilia’s sportbikes. It took the semi-sporty concept of scooters like Honda’s
Elite SR and Yamaha’s Jog to an entire new level with advanced technology, impressive power, aggressive styling and class leading digital instrumentation.

With all that technology, the MSRP was high ($2699 in 1999) which limited it to a smaller niche as an enthusiasts machine. Sales were never high, but was a fantastic scooter and remains appealing today on the used market.

1992 - 2001 Honda Dio (Canada only)
The Dio is likely Honda’s best selling scooter globally but it has only appeared once in the North American market. Honda introduced the Dio to Canada for 1992 where it remained on sale for 10 years while American’s were offered the similar but watered down Elite SR.

Honda SK50 Canadian Market
The Dio has long represented Honda’s best effort at making a practical and sporty 50cc. It’s a highly refined, supremely reliable and notoriously easy machine to squeeze more power out of. Only the base model was offered in Canada, but that’s just as well as it leaves the joy of bolting on cheap and readily available suspension bits, rims and go-fast parts to the owner.

Honda eventually shoehorned the Dio’s 5.6 horsepower motor (AF16E) into the
Elite SR for 1994, but the result wasn’t quite as elegant since that scooter still used the previous generation of exhaust, carb and intake. Elite SR owners can brag about their glovebox, but the Dio has superior telescoping front forks and most of the design is a decade newer.

The lasting greatness of the Dio is apparent on any forum for 80’s or 90’s Honda scooters, where the common response to anyone asking about souping up their scooter is to “get a Dio motor” and mod from there. Whether you get a proper Dio or just a ’94+ Elite SR, you’re benefitting from the finest 2-stroke 50cc design Honda’s come up with to date. Yamaha’s CY50
Jog was a tough competitor, but the Dio was the best small 2-stroke of the era.

Aprilia Scarabeo 50 - Black
1999 - 2006 Aprilia Scarabeo 50
The Scarabeo 50 is a noteworthy machine that makes this list not because it was great, but because it was the first big wheeled scooter offered in North America. Aprilia took a gamble introducing the 50cc Scarabeo into North America hoping buyers would be practical like they are in Europe. They weren’t, but Aprilia still sold enough to keep it in the lineup.

The ‘Beo was the best 90’s machine for the practical scooterist. In that sense it was the opposite of the SR50 which catered to the pure enthusiast. It’s large wheels worked well on rough roads and with glove box storage and an optional top case it was easy to live with. A 4-stroke motor would have been even more practical, but no one offered 4-stroke 50’s in the 90’s.

TOP SCOOTERS OF THE DECADE: PART 1 - 1980'S


Honda-1984-Scooter-Lineup
For a new series, I’m going to run down my picks for the top 3 scooters of each decade, starting with the 80’s. These top three lists will leave out a lot of great machines, but I think they’ll capture most of the machines that stood out.

In the 80’s Honda and Yamaha pretty much had the scooter market to themselves with Vespa and Lambretta on the way out. A lot of neat machines were introduced during this decade, with some of the best machines coming in the late in the decade after the
scooter craze died off. 1983 - 1985 were huge years for scooter sales, with ’86 - ’89 selling only a small fraction of that.

In the 80’s
Honda and Yamaha combined to serve up 18 new models which ran the gamut from practical (Honda Elite 150) to just plain weird (Honda Gyro).

Yamaha Riva 180 - Red
1987-91 Yamaha Riva 200
Like the other scooters on this list, Yamaha’s big Riva had teething problems in the early years. The Riva 180 suffered from autochoke issues that makes nearly all machines hard to start today. However, when Yamaha returned for 1987 with an upgraded version that added 28cc (171cc to 199cc) and remedied the autochoke issue, they had a real winner.

The Riva 200 rips on the highway with an 80mph top speed. With gold rims and the spaceship look, the Riva 200 combines 80’s glory with highway cruising practicality. It gets the win over Honda’s big scooters for being just as fast as an Elite 250 while looking even more awesome. Full info
here.

1985 Honda Aero 50 - Monza Red
1986-87 Honda Aero 50
Honda’s first generation of Aero 50 was a neat machine, but the second generation introduced for 1985 improved everything (faster, easily upgradable, glovebox, better suspension, new seat). The first year of the second generation lacked a kickstarter and throttle controlled oil injection, but when these were added for 1986’s Honda arrived at 2-stroke 50cc perfection.

The final version of this masterpiece was only sold for ’86 - ’87, but if you can find one in good condition it’s a great buy. They are seemingly immortal and have to been one of the most useful and fun 50cc scooters to own. Compared to 50cc’s from Yamaha, the Aero 50 was years ahead in power and engineering. Full info is here.

1985 Honda Aero 80
Honda-Aero-80-1985-Scooter
The Aero 80 is the most fun to ride stock small scooter ever, with it’s incredible torque making wheelies easy in stock form. It’s a package that’s gotten even more fun with time, as cruising around today on an Aero 80 combines memories of the 80’s with that amazing blast off the line. Moving slow or fast, the Aero 80 is awesome.

The ’83 - ’84 Aero 80’s suffered from a few issues, specifically the power cuts off at full throttle so a careful hand is needed for peak acceleration. Honda remedied this for 1985, plus they boosted the top speed and added storage in the side panel to achieve perfection. While an 80cc scooter isn’t as cheap to operate as a 50cc (insurance, fuel), the 1985 Aero 80 is easily the most fun to drive scooter from the 80’s. Full info is
here.

Honorable Mentions
Honda Helix - The original maxi scooter
Yamaha Riva 50 / Salient - Not a great machine, but a neat looker
Honda Aero 125 - Another 2-stroke torque monster
Honda Elite 150 - Perhaps the most practical 80’s machine.
Honda Gyro - This 3 wheeler easily wins the odd-ball award

STATE OF SCOOTER SCENE 2015 - PART TWO


HONDA PCX150 WINS READERS POLL, SCOOTER SALES FLAT FOR 2014

2015 Readers Pick: Best New Scooter
Honda continued their dominance of the annual MSG readers poll for best new scooter, having won the poll three years in a row. The substantially overhauled PCX150 was voted into the top spot with 42% of the vote. That’s the second win for the PCX150, which also nabbed the award when it was last overhauled for 2013.

Honda-PCX150-2015-MSG-Winner

Yamaha’s new
SMAX was also a popular pick with 31% of the vote. Third place (16%) went to Vespa’s new Primavera and Sprint models, with offerings from Genuine and Kymco lagging with single digit support. Consistent with other trends, mid-sized scooters dominated the poll.

Scooter Market Sales
The USA scooter sales figures for 2014 are in from the Motorcycle Industry Council. The faint recovery from the 2009-2010 recession seems to have stalled in the USA as sales were flat at 33,528 units. That’s down 1214 machines or 3% from 2013 (34,742 scooters) and about half of the pre-recession sales.

While a full recovery would be great, the 2006 - 2008 period was an unusual spike in scooter sales second only to the mid-80’s boom. The current level of sales at 30-40k units is about the historical norm for scooters, as similar volumes were sold from about ’88 to 2004.

USA-Scooter-Sales-2006-2014 Canada-Scooter-Sales-2007-2013

As usual, the 2014 figures aren’t in yet for Canada but the MMIC has finally posted the 2013 numbers. In Canada scooter sales rebounded moderately after a pretty dismal 2012. Including all the major, non-Chinese brands, 3912 scooters were sold in Canada in 2013. On a per capita basis, that’s a bit better than in the USA but still a far cry from the pre-recession popularity. Hopefully things take an upturn in 2015. eBikes seem to be stealing sales from the 50cc segment, but mid-sized scooters seem to be selling well.

VESPA GTS 300 GOES HIGH TECH FOR 2015


GTS GAINS ABS, TRACTION CONTROL AND PHONE INTEGRATION

For 2015 Vespa has made a slew of updates to their GTS model. Unlike the last few updates, the motor is staying the same but the features list is getting some nice additions. Most noteworthy is ABS, which arrives as a standard feature for 2015 on all of the GTS models. Also debuting is traction control which Vespa is calling ASR or Acceleration Slip Regulation. ABS is a welcome addition, while ASR is mostly a burn-out killing gimmick.

Vespa-GTS-300-Super-2015
Smartphone integration is the neatest feature being added. This functionality lets you connect your smartphone via USB. This charges the phone and also lets you use your phone as a computer to display a wealth of information. Once connected, your phone can display speed, RPM, horsepower, torque, fuel milage, lean angle and supposedly even tire condition (although a simple glance downwards is likely more informative than a presumably milage based estimate of wear). With the Vespa App you can also help navigate back to your machine in the busy parking lot because it’ll make a note of the GPS coordinates where the motor got shut off. Neat stuff.

Also new for 2015 is an updated suspension design that draws on the ideas implemented with the new Primavera and Sprint. It’s still the Vespa classic single sided trailing link design, but the angles have been reworked and a new pin + hinge has been added at the base of the shock. The shock is mounted to the trailing link via a new hinge which allows for some “suspension slide”. It appears the base of the shock can slide fore/aft slightly, but some saddle time will be needed to evaluate how well it works.

Vespa-GTS-300-Supersport-2015
As a refresher, Vespa offers four variations of their GTS platform. The GTS 300 ABS and GTS 300 Super are basically the same machine with minor style differences. The Super trades the rear rack for a grab handle, adds vent cutouts to the right flank, comes with a black seat rather than beige, has blacked out wheels and is offered in black, white or blue rather than black or gray. Both models list for $6599. The GTS 300 Supersport is a premium machine at $6799. The Supersport is equipped with a ribbed single rider seat with accent color piping and gains sport decals which are orange for 2015. Lastly, the GTV is the most substantially different scooter with a revised headset that exposes the handlebars and moves the headlamp down the front fender. This scooter comes with a full list of normally optional equipment including a windshield, luggage racks at both ends and a leather seat. The price for this luxury cruiser is $7199.

These updates appear limited to the three GTS models, as they aren’t specifically mentioned for the GTV. Also, the MSRP of the GTV hasn’t risen in price by $200 like the rest of the models. At $200, these upgrades seem downright cheap for all that’s been added.


KYMCO'S 2015 SUPER 8R / 8X


A NEW GENERATION OF SUPER 8 ARRIVING THIS SPRING

Kymco-Super-8R-50-Canada
There’s been extra room in Kymco’s lineup since they axed quite a few models from their lineup a few months ago including the Super 8. We broke news of a rumoured next generation Super 8 in X (offroad) and R (sports) versions at the time, but now more details are available.

In recent days Kymco Canada has
added the Super 8R 50 to their website as a 2015 model, while Kymco USA’s Facebook account claims a spring release for both the 8R and 8X in 50cc and 150cc sizes. Interestingly, Kymco Canada is opting for a 4-stroke 50cc motor in the 8R, while Kymco USA is planning on releasing both models with either a 2-stroke 50cc, or a 4-stroke 150cc, similar to the outgoing Super 8 options. The outgoing Super 8 is remaining on sale in Canada in only the 150cc form for 2015, likely to clear out inventory.

Kymco-Super-8X-50-2015-USA
The new Super 8 models appear to be an effort to streamline Kymco’s scooter operations by using a common platform. The main idea seems to be restyling the Agility model to achieve a more sporty look, while simultaneously slipping in the higher output versions of their motors that were previously used in the Super 8. In doing so, Kymco has made a number of nice changes to the Agility design including new aluminum rims, a brushed aluminum rear rack, folding passenger pegs and a neat digital gauge setup. The main downside is the Agility frame is quite a bit smaller than the outgoing Super 8, so riders above 5’10” won’t be well accomodated. Overall it looks like a reasonable move if Kymco is able to pass along some of the cost savings to buyer and retain the performance of the Super 8. We expect full details to be announced in the next few weeks. For now, check out the new Super 8R / 8X page for more details.


BMW ADDED TO MOTOR SCOOTER GUIDE


NEW RESOURCE ON THE BAVARIAN MAKER

BMW-C-650GT-USA-2015
Maxi-scooters have admittedly not been the main focus here at MSG but BMW has been building some great ones for a couple years now and they deserve recognition for it. Hence, a new section on BMW at MSG.

Introduced into 2013, BMW’s C series of scooters has provided stiff competition to maxi’s like Suzuki’s Burgman and Kymco’s MyRoad for a few years now. For 2015, BMW has dropped the cheaper Sport version of their C series scooters, and is forging ahead with only the C 650 GT for 2015.

Despite the lineup trim, BMW is still investing heavily in their C series of scooters with the all electric C Evolution likely to be officially announced sometime soon for North America. BMW has already indicated it will be released here soon, but
BMW-C-Evolution-USA-2015
the MSRP and launch date have yet to be revealed.

What we do know is that the C Evolution will be an impressive machine with perhaps the fastest 0-60 mph time ever for a scooter at a claimed 6.2 seconds. The C Evolution also has an electronically limited 75 mph top speed and 60 mile range, with charging taking about 2 hours for an 80% top up. Unfortunately the price for generation one looks to be a tad expensive at $13-17g estimated MSRP.

Check out the
BMW overview page for a year by year account of BMW’s lineup and the C 600 / C 650 page.