STATE OF THE SCOOTER SCENE 2016 - PART ONE


9 NEW OR IMPROVED MODELS ARRIVING IN SHOWROOMS

With 2016 models mostly in showrooms, it’s time to review all the new and improved models. Please take a second to vote for your favorite. If you’re not familiar with the choices, read on!

As usual, complete details for each manufacturers lineup and specific models are found their respective pages here on MSG. A full report on 2015 scooter sales will be released in Part 2 of MSG’s State of the Scooter Scene, along with the winner of the poll. With just one entrant, it’ll be interesting to see if Honda can make 2016 their 4th straight win.

New 2016 Scooters
Genuine Buddy Kick
Genuine Venture 50


Updated 2016 Scooters
BMW C 650 Sport
Honda
Metropolitan
Piaggio MP3 500 Sport
Vespa
Primavera Tourer
Vespa
Sprint Sport
Vespa
946 EA
Yamaha
Zuma 125

Dropped Models
Aprilia SR50
Kymco
MyRoad 700i

Genuine-Buddy-Kick-125-USAGenuine-Venture-50-2016
New scooters are sparse for 2016, comprising just two models from Genuine. These new models consist of a nice addition to the Buddy lineup called the Buddy Kick, and the low cost 50cc Venture. Thankfully quite a few more models received major updates.


For 2016 BMW resumed sales of their
C Sport model, now calling it the C 650 Sport. It still uses the same 647cc motor so the new name just corrects the earlier non-sense of calling it the C 600 Sport. The 2016 upgrades include freshened styling, traction control and tweaks to the suspension, CVT and exhaust. Honda took 2016 as an opportunity to heavily overhaul their popular Metropolitan with a new liquid cooled motor, revised styling, new glovebox, 12V port, rims and an in floor fuel tank to increase underseat storage. The Zuma 125 from Yamaha is also less recognizable, with all new style, instruments, more room and improved brakes and suspension.

2016-Honda-Metropolitan-Pearl-Blue
Yamaha-2016-Zuma-125-Blue-USA


The Italians haven’t been sitting idle either. Piaggio surprisingly resurrected their MP3 in North America after several years in the grave (although it was on sale overseas). The new
MP3 is called the 500 Sport but rather than resembling prior Sport models, it’s actually the softer original MP3 styling but with a new grill, rims and Piaggio’s larger 492cc motor. Vespa reworked three of their models for 2016, adding Tourer and S variations to the Primavera and Sprint models respectively. The Sprint S receives fairly mild styling tweaks while the Primavera Tourer gets the full set of Vespa racks and accessories similar to the LXV of years past. Last is the 2016 edition of the 946, called the Emporio Armani edition. This EA edition gets pretty neat green/grey paint but otherwise is similar to past 946 editions in style, function and price ($10g).

Piaggio-MP3-Sport-500-2016Vespa-Primavera-Tourer-150-2016Vespa-Sprint-S-150-ABS-USA

Aprilia-SR50-USA
Gone for 2016 is Aprilia’s iconic SR50. After 16 years and 2 models in North America (23 years overseas), Aprila’s original and high tech sports scooter is no more. This is the scooter that invented the sports scooter concept and introduced fuel injection, rear disc brake and liquid cooling to the 50cc segment. Hopefully Aprilia will return with a new generation, but if not the SR50 will have a solid legacy from a generation of passionate owners.

Also gone but not nearly as iconic is Kymco’s
MyRoad 700i, which was only offered for two years in the USA and never saw much sales success against the big maxiscooters from the Japanese.

In total there are 52 scooter models being offered from the 9 major manufacturers covered on this site. That’s down 2 from last year but up quite a bit from 45 models 5 years ago.


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.


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 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.


2013 APRILIA SR50 - RACE REPLICA SBK EDITION


APRILIA’s 2013 RACE REPLICA SCOOTER HONORS #3 MAX BIAGGI
2013 Aprilia SR 50 R - Max Biaggio SBK Replica
At 40, Aprilia factory rider Max Biaggi is having a superlative year. He’s out front in the Superbike World Championships (aka SBK) standings and now he’s getting his own race replica edition of the SR 50.

Available now as a 2013 model, Aprilia is honoring Max with a ‘Replica SBK’ edition of their fiesty SR 50. The SBK edition boasts racing derived graphics with Max’s #3 featured on the front end and rear haunches. Pricing for the Replica SBK edition is the same as the regular SR 50 R: $3199. The mechanically identical regular SR 50 R continues to be offered in Diablo Black and Aprilia Orange.


STATE OF SCOOTER SCENE 2012 - PART 1


PART 1: A LOOK AT THE NEW AND DEAD MODELS FOR 2012
Part one of this address looks at the new scooter models are set hit the market for 2012. Please use the poll to vote for what you think is the best and most significant new scooter for 2012.

Part two will look back at scooter sales in 2011 and evaluate the health of the scooter market specifically in the context of the larger motorcycle market. It will be another month until the full 2011 data is out, but so far 2011 looks to be a big recovery over the painful recession years (2008, 2009) and the slightly better 2010.

New 2012 Scooters:
Aprilia
SR Motard 50 / 125
Genuine Buddy 170i
Genuine Psycho Buddy
Kymco
People GT 200 / 300
Kymco
New Sento 50 / 110 (Canada Only)
Kymco
Agility City (Canada Only
Piaggio
Typhoon 125
Yamaha
TMAX 530 (Canada Only)
Yamaha
Zuma 50F

2009-kymco-sting50
Dropped Models:
Honda PCX 125
Kymco
Sting 50
Kymco
Grandvista 250
Kymco
Xciting 250

The scooter scene is in a positive upswing right now and enthusiasm is high for 2012. Scooters sales recovered quite a bit in 2011 (more on that in Part 2) so the back logs of dealer inventory from 2008 and 2009 are now largely cleared out. The only model to die for 2012 without an obvious replacement is Honda’s PCX 125. The PCX strangely makes it three one year wonders in a row for Honda (SH150 & Elite 110 being the other two), which indicates either sales haven’t been good for Honda or they’re indecisive about what they want to offer to North American scooterists.

The other three dropped scooters for 2012 are from Kymco. The Xciting 250 and Grandvista 250 have been replaced in the last year or two by the newer 2011 Downtown 200 / 300 and People GT 200 / 300 scooters that are a big step up technologically. The People GT is perhaps the first truly good looking large wheeled scooter sold in North America. The smaller Sting 50 is just a scooter who’s time has come, with nicer replacements like the Like 50 already introduced a couple years back.

The new scooters for 2012 are an exciting bunch. The Aprilia SR Motard and Piaggio Typhoon 125 are basically the same machines with tweaked styling and an extra 2-stroke 50 motor option for the Aprilia. These scooters don’t break any technological ground, but they do offer great styling and low MSRPs that will reduce the number of value oriented sales that the Taiwanese (Kymco, Genuine/PGO and SYM) have been snagging.

Buddy-170
The Genuine Buddy 170i is a nice technological boost for the popular Buddy line and should deliver even better fuel economy for a surprisingly small increase in price ($100). The 170i adds fuel injection, an oil cooler and an extra 18cc to the top of the line Buddy models. The Psycho Buddy replaces the Buddy Blackjack in Genuine’s line with its matte black paint and high performance brakes and suspension. The key new differences are the switch to the smaller 125cc motor and the inclusion of the crash bars. Buyers will probably be happy to accept 25cc less in exchange for the $500 chop to the MSRP.

Lastly Yamaha made news in summer 2011 with their early release of the all new 4-stroke Zuma / BWs 50. They played it pretty safe with the styling - choosing to just refine their existing bug eye look rather than try something new. The 4-stroke engine in itself was probably a radical enough change for the Zuma fan base. Having long been known as a peppy 2-stroke that is easily modified, the 4-stroke model will alienate some enthusiasts but attract quite a few more due to it’s increased fuel economy and refinement. While it’s always sad to see one of the last remaining 2-stroke engines go, Yamaha did replace it with perhaps the best 4-stroke 50cc engine on the market right now. No one else can claim to have a fuel injected, liquid cooled 4-stroke engine that uses more than 2-valves.

All told, there are now 52 scooters available to the USA market for 2012 from the eight largest brands which are covered on this site. The number of offerings is the highest its been in a few years and in general the lineups are fresher. With warm weather right around the corner these new models and the annual favourites will by flying out of showrooms soon.


NORTH AMERICAN HISTORY OF APRILIA SCOOTERS


NEW SECTION ON THE HISTORY OF APRILIA SCOOTERS
A new section on the complete history of Aprilia scooters in the USA and Canada is finally complete after a ton of research over the past months and years.

Aprilia SR50 Factory - Orange
This section has been live and partially complete for a few months now, but today marks the completion of this effort with the addition of the SportCity One and SportCity Cube pages. This resource will now be continually updated as Aprilia makes changes to the future scooter line ups. The 2012 models are not yet confirmed from Aprilia, but we do know that the new SR Motard (50 & 125) is coming to North America this spring and the 50cc version uses Piaggio’s peppy Hi-PER2 2-stroke engine.

If you haven’t done so yet, browse the
Aprilia overview page or use the menu to learn about every Aprilia from the obscure Rally 50 to the landmark SR50.