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
Piaggio MP3 500 Sport
Vespa Primavera Tourer
Vespa Sprint Sport
Vespa 946 EA
Yamaha Zuma 125
Kymco MyRoad 700i
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.
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).
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.
KYMCO 2016: XCITING 500 REPLACES MYROAD 700
MYROAD DROPPED AFTER TWO YEARS
Kymco USA has released their 2016 scooter offerings. The big news for 2016 is the demise of the MyRoad 700i, which was teased for the North American market for several years before being launched in 2014. The biggest Kymco has been available overseas since 2008, but it wasn’t a match for North America and didn’t make the cut for 2016.
The most likely culprit here is the high MSRP Kymco set for the machine. At $9699, the MyRoad listed for a similar price as a BMW C 600 and about a grand under premium touring machines like the BMW C 650 GT and Suzuki Burgman 650. The MyRoad was reported a nice enough machine, but once prices get near 5 digits most buyers are going to opt for machines with more of a reputation.
In it’s place, Kymco USA is resurrecting the Xciting 500 (shown right) for 2016 at a more palatable $6899. This Xciting is known as the Xciting Ri 500 ABS and it’s the same machine that was introduced for 2013 and last offered in the USA for 2014 (not to be confused with the single headlight ’09 - ’12 Xciting Ri 500). As the name implies, ABS is standard.
The rest of Kymco’s line is returning unchanged. Even the prices are all the same including for the Downtown 300 which has never seen an MSRP boost in the 6 years it’s been on the market.
To freshen the rest of their line, Kymco has revamped the color palette for their lineup except the Agility 50 / 125. Most of the new colors are nice standard choices. The except is the new “light green” option for the Campagno 110. This mint shade is pretty unique color that will stand out.
No word yet from Canada.
USA MODELS: Agility 50 / 125, Super 8X / 8R 50, Compagno 110i, Super 8X / 8R 150 Like 200, People GT 300i, Downtown 300i, Xciting 500 Ri ABS
KYMCO'S 2015 SUPER 8R / 8X
A NEW GENERATION OF SUPER 8 ARRIVING THIS SPRING
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.
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.
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
Kymco Super 8 X 50 / 150
Kymco Super 8 R 50 / 150
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
KYMCO USA CLEANS HOUSE FOR 2015
MOVIE AND XCITING MODELS DROPPED, NEW X AND R VERSIONS OF THE SUPER 8
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.
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
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
Kymco MyRoad 700i
Piaggio Fly 50
Piaggio Fly 150 (USA)
Suzuki Burgman 200
Yamaha Zuma FX / X
Aprilia SportCity One 50 (USA)
Aprilia SportCity One 125 (Canada)
Kymco Vitality 50 (Canada)
Kymco Downtown 200 (USA)
Kymco People GT 200
Vespa LX / LXV 150 (Canada)
Vespa S 150 (Canada)
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
KYMCO USA LAUNCHES THEIR FULL 2014 LINE
UPDATES TO THE AGILITY & SUPER 8, NO MORE 200cc PEOPLE GT & DOWNTOWN
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.
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
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 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,
Lastly, Vespa’s magnum opus - the 946 - makes its debut this fall. Vespa has poured all their innovative ideas into t
MAD BASTARD SCOOTER RALLY 2013
RAISING THE BAR FOR ENDURANCE AND [IN]SANITY
The 2013 running of the biannual Mad Bastard Scooter Rally unfolded last weekend in southern Ontario, Canada. As usual, the rally raised the bar for both endurance and [in]sanity, with participants covering up to 855km (530mi) while collecting “mad points” en route. To win, you must demonstrate supreme lunacy in attire, machine (low cc and decorated) and action (deranged photo ops and a Timbit collecting bonus spree).
The Mad Bastard Rally is the opus of CMG head honcho Rob Harris and made possible by headline sponsor Kymco Canada, who provide everything from eager volunteers to a lucrative Agility City 50 as the top prize. This was my third MBSR but first doing it right: on a 50cc machine.
I wasn’t eligible for the grand prize as a member of the media class, but it was just as well since a 1 in 8 shot at a case of beer (the media prize) seemed a lot more feasible than outdoing the 99 other lunatics in the room. I scanned the room at the Friday night welcome dinner and was amazed yet again by the humiliation people stoop to. From cross dressing newlyweds and dinosaurs to a quartet of fish tacos and the full gamut of superheroes, standing out in this crowd was impossible. The Mad Bastard Scooter Rally is the ultimate venue for alter egos.
STATE OF THE SCOOTER SCENE 2013 PT 2: SCOOTER OF THE YEAR
READERS CHOICE WINNER: 2013 HONDA PCX150
With the votes counted, Honda’s revamped PCX 150 ran away with the top honours in the 2013 readers choice poll. The faster and more refine
Piaggio’s new 2013 BV350 captured the second spot with 29.3% of the vote. Yamaha’s reintroduced and now fuel injected Vino 50 rounded out the top three with 8% of the vote.
USA: 2012 SALES
Scooter sales in 2012 rose for the third consecutive year, this time increasing by 7.7% to the highest level since the 2009 crash. That’s healthy news for the industry, especially when you consider 2012 sales were mostly current scooters being sold at regular margins, as opposed to the 2009 market crash leftovers that buoyed up sales in 2010 and 2011 with heavy discounts. The chart below shows scooter sales in the USA over the past seven years, but realize that this MIC data doesn’t include several smaller makes (Genuine, SYM) nor does it include the swell of Chinese makers.
Despite the nice annual rise sales remain a far cry from the 2008 heyday, which was the culmination of years of steady growth. From 2000 to 2007, mainstream scooter sales hovered in the 40,000 - 55,000 unit range - or about 20% higher than we’re seeing today. Mainstream USA sales were 34,294 in 2012, which may actually be there new norm as the non-represented Chinese makers have captured a portion. Popular Chinese makers like SunL and Znen are rumoured to be selling in the five figure range.
The news in Canada is both lacking and lackluster, so it slips in here at the bottom. The Canadian industry group (MMIC) is still sitting on the 2012 numbers, but we can report the 2011 numbers which were too late to slip in to this report last year. In short, Canadian scooter sales took a big dive in the wrong direction in 2011. Canuck sales were a healthy 10K units in 2008, which dropped to 6K for 2009 and 2010. Instead of a rebound, sales dropped further in 2011 to 4.6K units. Hopefully things were rosier in 2012.
MAXI REVIVAL: KYMCO'S MYROAD 700i + UPDATED BURGMAN 650
A LEGEND OVERHAULED AND A NEW CHALLENGER
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
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
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
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.
STATE OF THE SCOOTER SCENE 2013 - PART ONE
A LOOK AT THE NEW AND DEPARTED MODELS FOR 2013
Welcome to the first instalment of MSG’s annual State of the Scooter Scene address. In this first half, we’ll run down the new machines going on sale in the USA and Canada for 2013, as well as reflect on the discontinued mounts winding down their showroom days. Part two will follow around March, when the sales figures are released and scooter story of 2012 can be told in full. Please take a second to vote in the poll for your favorite new or resurrected model.
New 2013 Scooters:
Honda Metropolitan / Giorno
Genuine Lemonhead Buddy (USA)
Kymco Movie 150
Kymco Compagno 50 / 110 (USA)
Kymco Like 50 / 200 (Canada)
Piaggio Typhoon 50 (USA)
Piaggio BV 350 (USA)
Yamaha Vino 50
Suzuki Burgman 650 [Late addition]
Kymco Sento 50 (USA)
Piaggio BV 300 (USA)
Piaggio BV 500 (USA)
Piaggio MP3 line (Canada)
While the numbers won’t be released for some time, 2012 appears to have been a stronger year for the scooter industry. Sales were surely up across the board, and confidence from the manufacturers seems to higher than it’s been in some time, with many manufacturers taking the opportunity to introduce new models. Of particular note, Kymco Canada displayed the highest amount of confidence by carrying over all 10 of their 2012 models plus adding three new steeds for MMXIII.
For the coming year things look bright, with the return of some popular scooters (Yamaha Vino 50, Honda PCX), new generations of some old favorites (Piaggio Typhoon 50, Honda Metropolitan) and an impressive list of all new nameplates from Kymco USA and Piaggio. All told, 10 scooters are either new or returning after some time off, while 2 (Canada) or 5 (USA) are on their way out.
This translates to a total of 49 significantly different scooters on sale in the USA (up from 45 last year) from the main eight manufacturers covered here on MSG. Meanwhile in Canada 37 models are going to be offered for 2013, a four scooter increase. And that’s not counting the smaller Taiwanese brands (SYM, TGB) and the seemingly infinite number of Chinese makers.
Before delving into the new mounts, reflection is warranted for the (thankfully few) scooters on their way out. The most noteworthy machine on this list is Suzuki’s Burgman 650. However even here the news isn’t all that somber, as Suzuki showed a heavily revised Burgman 650 at the recent EICMA show, which stands a good chance of landing in North America soon. Still, the Burgman 650 as we know it - all 613 lbs of it - has ended its run after nine years (2004 - 2012).
[Edit: The revised Burgman 650 is indeed coming to North America for 2013.]
Piaggio has unleashed two major new models as 2013. The new BV 350 (left) has been a long time coming as the latest iteration in their BV series. With the overhaul, this new model is the easily the sharpest BV ever and is earning wide praise including accolades from Motorcycle-USA. At 330cc, this new model offers a great blend between highway touring capability and fuel milage (70mpg).
The other new Piaggio is a smaller 50cc version of their Typhoon scooter (top) which initially debuted as a 125 last year.
The biggest news from Kymco for 2013 is their new Movie 150 scooter (right). The Movie takes the sports concept of the Super 8 150 and matures it, while adding a more powerful motor and a rear disc brake.
In addition, the retro yet fuel injected Compagno (50cc and 110cc) makes it way to the USA market after being introduced last year in Canada as the New Sento. Finally, the Like 50 & 200 make it to Canada for the first time.
The other Honda news for 2013 is the return of the PCX (shown at top). This time around the PCX gets a 25cc boost to 150cc, which makes it freeway legal in most states and bumps the top speed 5mph. In addition to the larger bore, PCX150 motor has been refined from the CVT to the bearings.
Lastly, Yamaha is bringing back the Vino 50 (right) for 2013 after a year off. While it’s a bit of a stretch to call this one a new model, Yamaha did give it some nice revisions so it makes the list. The most notable update is a new fuel injection system which creeps fuel milage even higher (~110mg) . The other changes are fairly minor, but it’s still great to have this popular scooter back on the market.
KYMCO CANADA UPS THE ANTE FOR 2013 WITH 13 MODELS
MOVIE 150 AND LIKE 50/200 MODELS ADDED TO CANADIAN SHOWROOMS
Kymco Canada has stepped beyond their 2012 tally of 10 models and has announced an all time high of 13 scooters for 2013. That’s more scooters to choose from than all of the Japanese makers combined - quite a few more.
The biggest splashes for 2013 are the new Movie 150 and Like 50 & 200 machines. The Movie 150 is Kymco’s newest mid-sized sports scooter, while the Like 50 and 200 are Kymco’s most direct take on the ionic vintage scooter style. The Movie 150 was recently announced for the USA market as well, so you can read more detail now in the Movie 150 section.
The Like series was introduced state side a couple years back, but for 2013 Canadians get a white color option instead of ivory. The smaller Like 50 uses a potent 2-stroke motor, so power enthusiasts and larger riders can rejoice.
The larger Like 200 contains a 160cc 4-stroke motor, which really expands the usefulness of this scooter beyond the city. Between the New Sento 50 & 110 and the new Like scooters, there’s a retro styled Kymco in everyone’s desired power range.
Appearing alongside these three new models are a revised Xciting 500 and the rest of Kymco’s 2012 offerings which have all gotten the nod for 2013. With a total stable of 13 scooters, Kymco is marketing a scooter targeted at nearly everyone. For more info on these new models, have a look at YouMotorcycle.com’s first look.
KYMCO USA's 2013 LINEUP: FOURTEEN SCOOTERS OFFERED
For years Kymco has boasted the most populous scooter lineup in the USA and 2013 appears to be no exception. Occupying Kymco showrooms for 2013 will be a total of 14 different machines. The quick breakdown is four 50cc’s, one maxi scooter and an impressive tally of nine mid sized scoots (110-300cc).
Before delving into discussion on the new models, a moment of reflection is warranted to salute the departure of the original People scooters from Kymco’s lineup. Outlasting any of their contemporaries, the People 50 and 150 were introduced in 2001 and 2002 respectively - the former being a member of Kymco’s debut lineup in the USA. After more than a decade on sale in the USA, these two final members of the People family are headed for the great gymkhana in the sky. Also joining the People 50 & 150 out the exit door are the Yager 200 and retro Sento 50.
The outgoing Sento 50 is being replaced by a pair of new retro scooters badged as the Compagno 50i and 110i. This stylish model was actually introduced a year earlier in Canada as the New Sento 50i / 110i, so you can read some more in depth thoughts on it now.
Also for 2013 is an entirely new nameplate - the Movie 150. Resembling the Super 8 150 more than anything else, the Movie 150 is a more subtly sporty model than the flashy Super 8. The Movie 150 boasts some neat features like disc brakes front and rear and dual rear shocks. Finally, the Xciting 500 has been redesigned for 2013 and is now called the Xciting 500 Ri. It boasts fresh styling, new conveniences and a new generation of Bosch ABS.
USA Models: Compagno 50i / 110i, Agility 50 / 125, Super 8 50 / 150, Like 50 / 200, Movie 150, People GT 200i / 300i, Downtown 200i / 300i, Xciting 500 Ri
CMG REVIEWS KYMCO'S XCITING 500
CMG TAKES ON THE BIG KYMCO
While it might seem a tad odd posting to announce news on another great scooter site, anyone who’s a fan of the maxi side of the scooter scene won’t want to miss this. CMG (Canadian Motorcycle Guide) has posted up a great in depth review of Kymco’s flagship scoot - the Xciting 500 Ri. Head on over there for a great read and join the discussion in the comments.
CMG really put the Xciting 500 through its paces and it shows with the great depth of this review. Without giving too much away, the Xciting 500 nabs the distinction of being an ‘overachiever’. For some background info on the Xciting 500 and some more discussion on how it slots in versus the other maxi’s, also check out the Xciting 500 page here on Motor Scooter Guide.
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
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.
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.
2012 KYMCO'S: PEOPLE GT, NEW SENTO & AGILITY CITY
2012 KYMCO SCOOTERS FOR USA & CANADA - NEW PEOPLE GT 200 / 300, AGILITY CITY AND NEW SENTO
Hands down the biggest news for 2012 is the new People GT scooter, which is arriving in 200i & 300i sizes in the USA and just in the 200 variant to the Canadian market. Kymco has really stepped up with this new scooter that replaces the old People S. The new People GT models feature way nicer styling - perhaps the best yet from Kymco and certainly a big step beyond the previous People and People S lines.
These scooters also leap frog past the People S with their advanced new motors. The People S scooters used the same long running motors Kymco has been using for years, while the People GT 300 gets the new 4-valve fuel injected motor also found in the nice Downtown 300i model. The GT 200i scooter gets a new 205cc fuel injected 4-valve motor that it shares with the new smaller 200i sibling to the Downtown 300i. Accordingly, power and fuel milage are both much improved. Check out the People GT and Downtown pages for complete info on these great new models from Kymco.
In the USA, quite a few older or redundant models were dropped for 2012 to make way for these new scooters. Kymco USA has axed the Sting 50 (similar to the Like 50), the 4-stroke Super 8 50 (being outsold by the 2-stroke 50) and the Grandvista 250 and Xciting 250 are gone with the Downtown 300i filling this spot.
Kymco Canada had a less congested line up to being with, so the only casualty for 2012 is the older Sento 50 which is replaced by the New Sento scooters.