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.

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


STATE OF THE SCOOTER SCENE 2014 - PART ONE


A SUMMARY OF THE NEW AND DEPARTING MODELS FOR 2014

In this first portion of MSG’s annual state of the scooter scene (SOTSS) address, we’ll run down the full list of new scooters arriving in North America for 2014. We’ll also pay homage to the departing scooters, of which thankfully there are few.

First, please take a second to vote for your favourite new model for our “Motor Scooter Guide 2014 Scooter of the Year” award. Last year Honda’s PCX 150 took the top spot.

New 2014 Scooters:
Aprilia
SR Motard
Honda
Forza
Kymco
MyRoad 700i
Piaggio
Fly 50
Piaggio
Fly 150 (USA)
Suzuki
Burgman 200
Vespa
946
Yamaha
Zuma FX / X

Dropped Models:
Aprilia SportCity One 50 (USA)
Aprilia
SportCity One 125 (Canada)
Honda
Silverwing
Kymco
Vitality 50 (Canada)
Kymco
Downtown 200 (USA)
Kymco
People GT 200
Vespa
LX / LXV 150 (Canada)
Vespa
S 150 (Canada)

2014-Aprilia-SR-Motard-50
New Models
The new machines announced for 2014 are a diverse bunch, with motor sizes ranging from 50cc to 700cc. Overall there are 8 significantly new scooters for 2014, based on 5 completely new designs and a significant new take on the Zuma style. While the list of departing scooters is a bit longer, many of these machines are only leaving either Canada or the USA. Accordingly, the total count of scooters on sale in the USA rises from 49 to 53 models, while Canadians will be offered 39 models (from 38) from the eight major brands covered here on MSG.

2014-Yamaha-Zuma-FX
Three significantly new 50cc models have been released, which are the Aprilia SR Motard 50, Yamaha Zuma FX/X and Piaggio Fly 50. The Aprilia SR Motard (black) has been long rumoured to be headed to North America, but it’s virtually the same model as the second generation Piaggio Typhoon, so it’s not surprising that Aprilia took their time. The new Zuma FX (called the Zuma X in Canada) is a derivative of the current generation Zuma model but aimed at
2014-Piaggio-Fly-USA
those who aren’t into the polarizing bug eye headlights. The Zuma FX employs the Asian market single headlight design and concurrently adds colored rims, grips and stripes to stand out as a sportier Zuma. Lastly, the Fly 50 (white) is Piaggio’s high volume machine that offers tasteful and unassuming style for the urban rider. The edgier new model is nice and includes an updated 4-valve fuel injected engine.

In the mid-size category, Piaggio has also launched their new Fly design with a 150cc motor boasting similar technology. Suzuki’s new
Burgman 200 also qualifies as a mid-sized
2014-Suzuki-Burgman-200-Canada
machine
2014-Vespa-946-USA
based on its displacement, but the design is solidly in the maxi category. The other new 150cc scooter is Vespa’s new ultra premium 946. This new mid-sized Vespa is being released in hand made limited edition batches, with the first being the Ricordo Italiano edition. This wildly expensive $9946 scooter justifies its price tag through technology (ABS, traction control, FI, 3 valves, LCD gauges) and through premium construction (aluminum, hand stitched leather).

The Burgman 200 (above) is going to be an interesting scooter to watch, as sales could take off if buyers see it as a more affordable way to enter the maxi scene and aren’t put off by a marginal 75mph top speed. It’s Suzuki’s first new scooter in some time, and their smallest offering ever in the USA.

Buyers that are looking for a full speed scooter will also want to consider Honda’s new Forza (below grey), which picks up where the old
Reflex left off. At 279cc, the Forza can close in on 100mph and does so with style and refinement. This scooter is a great model from Honda and early reviews seem to very positive as it blends maxi scooter features with a price tag and fuel usage that is easier to swallow.

Honda-Forza-2014-USA2014-Kymco-MyRoad-700-USA

The last new model for 2014 is Kymco’s MyRoad 700i (white), which makes no secret of its status as a highway devouring mega-scooter. The MyRoad 700 is big and heavy at 608 lbs, but it provides a supremely comfortable and powerful highway tool that offers a larger motor and lower price that Suzuki’s popular Burgman 650.

Appendum: Genuine Scooter Co. is also on the cusp of releasing two substantially new models: An all new 170cc Hooligan rugged scooter and a 125cc Automatic version of their popular vintage Stella model. Here is more details.

Departing Models

2005-Kymco-Vitality-50
There’s little cause for mourning for the departing models, as most of these machines are sticking around in some form. The only two designs that are leaving us entirely have an average age of 9.5 years. They are Honda’s Silverwing (silver) and Kymco’s Vitality 50 (blue), which arrived for 2002 and 2005 respectively. The Vitality was dropped from Kymco’s USA lineup quite a few years ago (2008), but it somehow lingered on in Canada until finally meeting its demise amidst competition from many new small Kymco’s. The Silverwing on the other hand has been dropped not because of a new model from Honda (maybe the Forza 300 interferes a bit),
2002-Honda-Silverwing
but rather because sales have likely been declining for years. Honda hasn’t updated the Silverwing since its introduction, which means that new models like Suzuki’s Burgman 650 and Kymco’s MyRoad 700i are likely cornering the market.

Kymco has also opted to drop the 200cc version of their People GT (below) and Downtown models, leaving the more powerful and top selling 300 versions to carry on. This decision is hardly worth lamenting except Kymco Canada was only offfering the People GT in 200cc form, which means the end of the end of the line for that model in Canada.

kymco-people-gt-125-i-1
One of the biggest losses to the scooter scene for 2014 occurs in Canada, where Vespa has deciding against offering their 150cc models. This means the LX and S designs can still be purchased, but only with the smaller and more legislation friendly 50cc engines.

Aprilia Canada - which is managed by the Piaggio group like Vespa - has also dropped their lone mid-sized offering, the SportCity One 125. It’s too bad to see the shift away from mid-sized machines, but the SportCity One remains around in 50cc form, unlike the USA where Aprilia has dropped it to reduced redundancy with their new SR Motard 50. As Piaggio Canada also opted not to import the new Fly 150, you can no longer buy any 125-150cc machines from this major group of scooter brands in Canada.


2014 LITTLE HONDA'S: RUCKUS + METROPOLITAN


THE METROPOLITAN / GIORNO RETURNS WITH 3 BOLD NEW COLORS
2014-Metropolitan-Blue
In the traditional fall release season, Honda has announced the return of their ever-popular Metropolitan and Ruckus. Up in Canada (and in the rest of the world) the Italian inspired Metropolitan is badged a
2014-Ruckus-White-Red
s the Giorno, which means “day” in Italian. 2014 marks year two for the second generation Metropolitan (NCH50), while the Ruckus (NPS50) heads into it 12th year in North America.

Honda hasn’t made any changes to either of these models for 2014 except for three new colors for the Metropolitan (NCH50). The 2014 color options for the metro are now pink, royal blue and orange, which Honda has elegantly named Pink Metallic, Pearl Blue/Black and Candy Orange/Black respectively.

The Ruckus heads into 2014 with the same color options as 2012 and 2013: Black or White/Red (shown). Historically Honda hasn’t paid much attention the Ruckus aside from annual new colors, but now with the same colors now returning for a third year it’s clear Honda isn’t paying any attention at all to this older model - or they ordered way too many white and red parts when they made the first batch and they’re still clearing them out.

MSRP’s have yet to be announced, but they aren’t likely to stray far from the 2013 prices of $1999 (Metropolitan) and $2649 (Ruckus).

For complete information on these little Honda’s, check out the
Ruckus and Metropolitan/Giorno pages.

2014-Metropolitan-Orange
2014-Metropolitan-Pink



KYMCO USA LAUNCHES THEIR FULL 2014 LINE


UPDATES TO THE AGILITY & SUPER 8, NO MORE 200cc PEOPLE GT & DOWNTOWN VARIANTS
Kymco-Agility-50-125-2014
In recent days Kymco USA pulled the covers of their full 2014 scooter line. The lone new model for 2014 is the impressive MyRoad 700i maxi, which has already been covered in ample detail so we’ll focus on the rest of the 2014 changes here.

Kymco USA’s tally of 2014 models is 13, which is down one from last year but there’s actually more body styles to choose from since Kymco opted to drop the smaller 200i versions of their popular Downtown and People GT machines. These 200cc machines have been living in the shadow of their faster 300cc counterparts. Costing just $400-$500 extra, the larger displacement 300’s are more comfortable on the highway and thus have wooed sales away from their smaller 200cc siblings. It’s a good move by Kymco to focus on their best models as competition heats up in the mid-sized scooter segments.

The popular
Agility (left) and Super 8 models have both received attention for 2014, with new graphics all around. The Agility 50 and 125 get fresh stripes and a two-tone look in your choice of 3 colors (Orange, Blue, Red). MSRP for the 125 model is unchanged at $1899, while the 50cc moves up $100 to $1599.
Kymco-Super-8-50-2014
Even with the increase, the Agility 50 remains unfathomably affordable and is the lowest cost quality scooter you can buy in America.

The popular Super 8 also gets new graphics, with racing inspired slashes across much of the machine. The Super 8 also receives a tasteful new headlight array, which merges the dual headlights into a single new opening. Color options are also new, with your choice of red, white or orange being paired with black accents. With the tweaks the MSRP for the Super 8 remains unchanged at $2199 (50cc) or $2499 (150cc).

The rest of Kymco’s line carries over for 2013, which is expected as all of these machines are either new or reworked in the last few years. MSRPs and colors are unchanged from 2013 for the returning models. For more info check out the year by year history of Kymco scooters or browse the individual machines below:

USA MODELS: Compagno 50i/110i, Agility 50/125, Super 8 50/150, Like 50/200, Movie 150, People GT 300i, Downtown 300i, Xciting 500 Ri, MyRoad 700i

2014 GETS EVEN BETTER: FOUR MORE NEW MACHINES


NEW SCOOTS: APRILIA SR MOTARD, VESPA 946, SUZUKI BURGMAN 200 + KYMCO MYROAD
Suzuki-Burgman-200-USA
2014 is continuing to shape up as an exciting year for scootering. In addition to the bounty of 2014 models already discussed, four more new scooters on their way. Three of these models have been tempting North Americans from overseas markets for several years, so their delayed launch here comes with a sigh of relief as we’d begin to doubt they’d ever arrive.

The longest overseas hold out is the Suzuki Burgman 200, which has been on sale elsewhere since 2007. In recent weeks it has received approval for sale in the USA, so we can expect the official announcement at any time. The Burgman 200 offers maxi scooter amenities in a far more affordable and fuel sipping package than its larger siblings. The 200 isn’t quite comfortable on the open road (top speed is 70-75mph) but
Aprilia SR Motard 125
it can hold its own if you don’t try sneak a passenger on the back. It’s great to see Suzuki bringing in more affordable options for people without five figures to spend on a scooter.

Also eyeing the North American market in recent years with some trepidation has been Aprilia’s SR Motard and Kymco’s MyRoad 700i. Aprilia Global initially announced the SR Motard for North America a couple years ago before changing their mind and releasing its Piaggio branded twin - the Typhoon - here instead. Finally for 2014 Aprilia gets new SR Motard for their North American showrooms (USA & Canada). Aprilia has opted to bring in the 4-stroke 50cc version, which means mediocre power and excellent milage. MSRP for the SR Motard 50 is an impressively affordable $1999. On the other end of the displacement spectrum is Kymco’s MyRoad 700i,
Kymco-MyRoad-700i-USA
which takes maxi scooter opulence a step beyond their Xciting 500 model. The MyRoad 700i is a zero compromises highway devouring touring machine, which isn’t for the faint of heart or frail of wallet. The USA MSRP has been announced at $9699, and make sure you’ve got some extra leftover for fuel which likely be consumed around 35-40 mpg.

Lastly, Vespa’s magnum opus - the 946 - makes its debut this fall. Vespa has poured all their innovative ideas into t
Vespa-946-USA
his model including traction control, ABS, aluminum bits, all new style and even hand sewn leather. It’s a flagship model that is only going to be produced in limited edition batches, with the first of them being called the Ricardo Italiano edition. Technically this is a 2013 model but Vespa’s had some trouble getting it to showrooms so rubber won’t hit the road until November. This flagship model isn’t cheap. Even though it’s a 150cc the price tag is heavier than Kymco’s MyRoad 700i. Vespa has set this limited edition scooter at $9946, which charges into uncharted pricing waters for a 150cc. It looks like there’s not very many coming, with dealers having just one opportunity to place a small order. None of this is news to potential buyers though - as anyone passionate enough to lay down for a 946 has been watching this story unfold since EICMA 2011.

YAMAHA'S EARLY 2014 LINEUP RELEASE


YAMAHA 2014: FEWER MAXI’S, BOLD COLORS AND THE ZUMA X HITS CANADA
2014-Yamaha-Zuma-BWS
It’s become the norm to release the occasional model far ahead of the traditional fall release season, but Yamaha has taken things a step further for 2014 by announcing what appears to be their full lineup in June. Now that the details have coalesced, we can take a closer look at Yamaha’s plans for the year ahead.

The first interesting note from Yamaha’s release is the reduced maxiscooter presence in both the USA and Canada. There is still plenty of time for things to change, but presently it looks like the American and Canadian markets are each losing one maxi. Yamaha USA hasn’t announced the return of their only large scooter - the aging
Majesty, while Yamaha Canada has issued a 2014 Majesty but omitted their larger TMAX 530 from the 5 model line up. Yamaha has missed model years before with their larger machines (ie. no 2011 Majesty in the USA), so the lack of news could merely be a sign of some time off or an impending release of new/updated model, much like Suzuki did with their 650
2014-Yamaha-USA-Vino
Burgman last year. There are some signs that Yamaha has more in store, such as the Yamaha Canada Majesty page, which refers to the Majesty as “one of 2 maxi scooters in our lineup”.

The most sweeping change for 2014 is Yamaha’s creativity in paint booth, which reaches a bold new high. After sticking to safe colors for many years after some strange 90’s missteps (ie. purple
Jog’s), Yamaha has continued their 2013 trend towards aggressive colors. The 2014 Zuma/BWS 50 pigment options are orange (Burnt Orange Metallic) and silver (Matte Titan) in the USA, while up in Canada there are 3 options: blue, silver (Matte Titan) and a funky red (Vivid Metallic Yellowish Red). The Larger Zuma/BWs 125 gets the same options as its little brother in the USA, while Canadians can choose from Black or Red (Vivid Metallic Red). The boldest color decision is certainly the
2014-Yamaha-Zuma-X-Canada
2014 Vino 50, which is only going to be offered in a three color Captain America scheme (blandly named Dark Metallic Grayish Blue). It’s a good look, but a surprisingly bold choice for the sole color option. Like the Vino 50, the Canadian market Majesty gets just one color offering but it’s a beautiful “Deep Metallic Red” which everyone will like.

The news stops there for Americans, but Canadians get more to look forward to in the form of the new Zuma X. This new model is essentially the BWs 50, but reincarnated with a sporty graphics and a single front lamp instead of the bug eyes. The bug eye lights have always been a polarizing aspect of this BWs/Zuma, so now there’s something for everyone. The Zuma X has a much cleaner and simpler front end which draws the attention elsewhere to the sportier silhouette of this nice machine. The Zuma X also boasts a number of white accents (rims, underbody and elsewhere) and special “race inspired” grips to set it apart. Regardless of which version you prefer, owning either one will be cheaper than a 2013 BWs, as the 2014 BWs gets a $380 MSRP drop (now $2699 in Canada) while the two tone Zuma X costs $200 more.

2014 PIAGGIO FLY + HONDA FORZA HEADED TO NORTH AMERICA


THREE NEW 2014 MODELS HEADED FOR NORTH AMERICAN SHOWROOMS
Piaggio-Fly-50-2014
The scooter market just got more interesting in recent days with major announcements from both Piaggio and Honda.

Piaggio’s line has taken a huge step forward with their announcement of a second generation of the popular Fly scooter. The original Fly debuted in North America for 2005, so it was due for some revisions. Piaggio took the wraps off the second generation style in fall 2011 at the Milan show and with producing starting last fall, but up until now we’ve been left wondering if it’ll arrive in North America and what motors will be offered.

That speculation ended this week, when Piaggio announced both 50 and 150 models for the USA and only the 50cc variant for Canada - all of which are arriving now. The Fly 50 continues to use Piaggio’s fancy 4 valve motor (of Vespa fame) which was added for 2011, while the Fly 150 gets Piaggio’s much anticipated 3 valve fuel injected 150cc motor. This new motor boosts both power (+0.5hp to 12.1) and fuel economy over the outgoing model.

Piaggio-Fly-150-2014
The styling of the Fly is a breath of fresh air. The edgy look is unique among scooters and far less generic than its predecessor. The result is a sleek package that’s going to draw stares on the street and in Piaggio showrooms for years to come. And the best part: MSRPs remain unchanged at $2199 / $2899 (USA) and $2295 (Fly 50) in Canada. Pretty darn reasonable for a scooter this nice. Check out the full Motor Scooter Guide write up and the full details from Piaggio.

Honda has also been juggling their scooter line in recent years, with short lived forays with the
Elite 110 and SH150i before finding success with the PCX150. In that same vein, Honda’s new Forza takes the style of the PCX150 and amps it up into the highway devouring category. The Forza 300 has now been announced as a 2014 model for both Canada and the USA and is expected in showrooms in the next few weeks.

Honda-Forza-300-2014
The Forza (model code NSS300) is actually the modern incarnation of the Reflex, which was known as the Forza globally but rebadged here. North American missed the last generation of the Forza (2008 - 2012) but this all new machine attempts to make up for that. The Forza 300 gets the boost to 279cc and is capable of exceeding 90mph. Besides power, the Forza provides the complete package of features from well designed storage areas and classy black rims to ABS (optional in the USA).

Unlike their misstep with the SH150, Honda has priced the Forza aggressively from the get go. In America the MSRP is $5599 - directly in line with Kymco’s competing Downtown 300i. Antilock Brakes add $500 for a $6099 bill, while ABS is standard in Canada as part of the reasonable $6399 price tag. It’s great to see Honda filling in the gaps in their lineup and getting more aggressive with pricing instead of resting on their laurels.

2014_Honda_Forza_USA
If there is a complaint with the Forza, it’s the rather slim selection of colors. American buyers won’t need to spend too much time mulling over the color swatches, as Honda has decided that all Americans like red. Those tough to please Canadians are a bit luckier and get a choice between Pearl Red and Silver. For full details, check out the complete Motor Scooter Guide write up on the new Forza.

Both the new Fly scooters and the Forza are attractive and highly practical new offerings in their respective segments. It’s great to see manufacturers introducing excellent new models and pricing them to sell. We’ll be seeing a lot of all three on the road in the years to come.

MAXI REVIVAL: KYMCO'S MYROAD 700i + UPDATED BURGMAN 650


A LEGEND OVERHAULED AND A NEW CHALLENGER
Kymco-MyRoad-700i-2014
For several years now it’s seemed like scooter manufacturers had moved on from +500cc machines - a fall from grace from the early years of the new millennium when someone was always releasing something newer, faster and bigger. Aprilia fired the first king-maxi-scooter salvo into North America for 2001 with their Atlantic 500 and Honda upped that to 582cc the following year with their 2002 Silverwing. Suzuki followed suit two years later with the Burgman 650, which boasted 638cc and enough amenities to establish Suzuki as the top dog in the maxi scooter scene.

Kymco’s 2005 jump into the fray with the
Xciting 500 was the last news for a while, with Yamaha making a brief 3 year foray with the TMAX (’09-’11). While the big Yammie lives on in Canada and elsewhere, it’s truncated lifespan in the USA seemed to hint that the USA maxi-market had cooled and perhaps the big scooters from Suzuki, Honda and Kymco were living out their final days. Dusty veterans
Suzuki-Burgman-2013
passing their twilight years in inconspicuous showroom corners behind the dirt bikes. (Aprilia’s Atlantic never really got started, with its 2004 withdrawal being complete just before the segment really took off).

Thankfully that doesn’t appear to be the case, with Suzuki recently announcing a significant overhaul for the Burgman for 2013 and with Kymco on the cusp of unleashing their bigger than ever MyRoad 700i (above right) into the northern most continent of the Americas.

While the 2013 Burgman 650 isn’t all new, it is a substantial update that refines the ‘Burg in several key areas. The most obvious revision is the styling, which has been refreshed up with an edgier front end and a slimmed posterior. The new look isn’t radical, which is a good thing. It’s a tasteful update to a perennial favorite. Beneath the new body panels are two major updates: a redesigned ABS system which adds floating front discs yet weighs half, and a new transmission/clutch system which improves performance and reduces drag. Between the new transmission and slimmer silhouette, Suzuki is claiming a 15% improvement in fuel use. Also helping you realize this boost in efficiency is a
Suzuki-Burgman-650
new “Eco Drive Indicator” system, which rewards fuel friendly driving by activating a glowing green leaf (shown below right at bottom of tachometer).

The MyRoad 700i was released a few years ago overseas and is Kymco’s most displacement endowed scooter ever at 699cc. This big brother to their
Xciting 500 hasn’t been officially announced for North America yet, but the word is that Kymco is planning to have it in USA showrooms by July. This super sized maxi was originally announced as being designed with America in mind, so its been strange to watch its slow progression to North American showrooms. While its release has been pushed back several times, things are looking good for a summer 2013 release in the USA and hopefully soon after in Canada.

While the MyRoad boasts an extra 61cc over the 650 Burgman, power is actually a hair less (59 HP vs 61 HP) from its DOHC 8V parallel twin mill. Torque and weight are also deadlocked, with the MyRoad claiming 46 ft/lbs of torque to move its 608 lbs and Suzuki listing 45.7 ft/lbs of torque available for its 609 lbs of heft. Although the Burgman sheds 4 lbs in its 2013 form, neither model
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can be accused of severe emaciation, with either machines equalling seven Honda Spree’s on the scale.

In typical Kymco fashion, the MyRoad sets the bar high for features. The Burgman has always been very well appointed, but the MyRoad goes even beyond this with gizmo’s like tire pressure sensors and electronically adjustable suspension. Even the key has been done away with and replaced with an electronic fob that just needs to be within 5 feet of the bike.

Kymco is still being coy with an official release announcement, but 2013 looks like the year it’ll arrive. With the updated Burgman 650 headed for showrooms now, we just need Honda do to something about their 12 year old Silverwing.

EICMA 2012: NEW SCOOTS FROM VESPA, SUZUKI AND HONDA


2014 SUZUKI BURGMAN 650, VESPA 946 AND HONDA FORZA 300
As always, the EICMA show in Milan delivered as the years most exciting new scooter event. This time around there were many special edition scooters from all manufacturers as well as several new machines. In addition to the three new scooters highlighted below, Piaggio also revealed the production versions of their new Fly and X10 models which are going into production eminently. You can see the new Fly here (and read about it too if you’re Italian).

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Vespa 946 / Quarantasei
A year after debuting the concept scooter, Piaggio pulled the wraps off the production version of their new 946 scooter (aka Quarantasei, which is Italian for 46). The biggest surprise here was the lack of changes for the production variant. Vespa kept this one very true to the concept, which is great news for the enthusiasts out there. There hasn’t been an announcement for North America yet, but the 946 is expected to go on sale globally and there’s a good chance North Americans will see it for 2014.

The new 946 uses Vespa latest mill - a 3-valve single putting out 11.7 hp in 125cc form. However, a North American models would likely be equipped with a more powerful 150cc motor in the 14 hp range. Compared to the concept, the changes are fairly subtle. The rear end is less pointy and lacks the indentation on the sides. There’s also been a few body seams added to the flanks. Up front there’s been some minor reworking of the horn grill area and of course mirrors had to be added. Without comparing the two scooters side by side, it’s tough to spot the changes which is a good thing.

Honda Forza
Honda-Forza-300-2014-NSS300
In a surprise move, Honda took the wraps off their 4th generation Forza scooter. This time around everything is new from the 10% lighter frame, to the crisp body lines and fuel injected 279cc motor. Honda wasted no time announcing this scooter as a 2013 model for Europe and as a 2014 model for Canada. No word on the USA, but the Forza will be arriving in Canadian showrooms this spring.

The new Forza (NSS300) is a successor to the Reflex that was offered to North Americans from 2001 to 2007. Compared to that scooter, the new Forza is a technical tour-de-force offering fuel injection, roller rocker arms, 4-valves and ABS. While ABS is optional in Europe, it’s slated to be a standard feature in Canada.

Canadian pigment options are Pure Red and Seal Silver.

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Suzuki Burgman 650
Perhaps the most famous maxi-scooter of all time, the
Burgman 650, was at a crossroads recently with Suzuki pulling it from their 2013 USA line. Suzuki’s lack of attention over the past few years left many wondering what the future held, if anything.

At EICMA 2012 Suzuki revealed what they had been up to when they unveiled an overhauled Burgman 650. The core frame and motor carry on with just small refinements, but the transmission is new and more efficient. Most noticeably, the styling is tastefully reworked to freshen the look and give it a slimmer profile. The instrumentation is also brand new and contains a mix of analog and digital instrumentation.

It wouldn’t be an update to the Burgman if new features weren’t added, so Suzuki continued to up the maxi-scooter ante with power folding mirrors, heated seats and even heated backrests. A number of Executive trim features have also become standard perks.
Suzuki-AN650-2013


Even with the same motor, Suzuki is claiming a 15% increase in fuel efficiency due to the subtle refinements, a new clutch design and the slimmer shape. Also noteworthy is a new ABS system with uses floating discs and weighs half what the older system did.

The new Burgman will enter production shortly and hopefully we’ll see it arrive in North America mid-2013.

For more pictures of the reworked style and a look at the new dash, head over to the
Scooter Station.