WHAT'S NEW AT GENUINE
A NEW BUDDY DERIVATIVE + TURMOIL IN THE BOARDROOM
Genuine has been making news recently for both good and bad reasons. The good news is the recent announcement of a handsome new derivative of the Buddy. New for 2015 is the Buddy Riot, which is a handsome take on the otherwise fairly cute Buddy design. The Buddy Riot uses gunmetal grey paint - or “Limited Edition
Matte Platinum Metallic” if you ask Genuine - which is accompanied by matte black accents.
The result is a slightly sinister version of the Buddy which slots in well between the cute regular model and more nefarious past editions like the Blackjack and Psycho. The Buddy Riot is being offered in both 50cc and 125cc sizes, with pricing at $1999 and $2799 respectively. Besides the paintwork, the Buddy Riot adds blacked out elements (wheels, bezels, rear rack), sporty mirrors, and a low profile seat. Genuine also snazzed up the front brake with a new rotor design, a braided brake line, a splash of red paint on the caliper and “sport” brake levers. Also tweaked is the suspension, which gets stiffer forks (125cc only) and an adjustable rear shock (both versions).
In less upbeat news, the 2013 ousting of Genuine CEO and all around good guy Philip McCaleb appears to be less amiable than initially assumed. This situation has been in the news in recent months as a result of a lawsuit filed this summer by McCaleb. The suit brings to light all sorts of conspiratory and nefarious behaviour by the new board members that arrived in 2011 when a struggling Genuine sought outside investment during the tough years after the 2008 recession. In short, McCaleb claims that new board member (and current CEO) Dorothy Hanley spearheaded the creation of a “toxic” work environment where McCaleb was mistreated, pressured out and manipulated into selling his shares for well below value.
This suit likely won’t be settled anytime soon, but our sympathies certainly go out to McCaleb who has invested a lot of energy into the scooter scene in North America through both Genuine Scooter Company and ScooterWorks. More reading over at Modern Buddy
YAMAHA'S SMALL SCOOTERS RETURN + NEW MAJESTY S?
RED AND WHITE SMALL SCOOTS + DOES YAMAHA HAVE A NEW 155cc?
Yamaha has announced the return of their perennially popular small scooters for 2015. The 2015 editions of the Vino Classic, Zuma (aka BWs), Zuma FX (aka Zuma X) and Zuma 125 will be arriving in both American and Canadian showrooms later this month. Unsurprisingly, Yamaha hasn’t made any updates to these models for 2015 except new colors, but its still nice to see these stalwarts of the scooter scene back for another year.
One new theme for these returning 2015 models is red and white paint jobs, with 3 of the 4 scooters available in this layout. The Vino gets “Spartan” red paint with white accents, while the Zuma FX and Zuma 125 are being offered in white (or extremely pale silver) paint with sporty red accents.
Vino: Spartan Red
Zuma: Dark Metallic Green, Matte Titan (Grey)
Zuma FX: Team Yamaha Blue & White, Alpine White & Heat Red
Zuma 125: Stardust Silver, Competition Silver & Heat Red
USA MSRPs remain unchanged for 2015 at $2290 (Vino), $2590 (Zuma, Zuma FX) and $3390 (Zuma 125).
There’s no word from Yamaha USA on a 2015 version of the Majesty, which isn’t a good sign considering the Majesty is
an older model and Yamaha Canada has already announced it there, indicating that the Yamaha has made their full announcement of returning models. However, Yamaha USA may simply be skipping a year - as they did in 2011 - or they may have something else up their sleeve like the newer Majesty currently being offered to overseas markets. Fingers crossed for a new maxi from Yamaha.
While the bigger Majesty may be in trouble, there’s good reason to think a smaller machine bearing this name may be in the pipeline. California’s emissions people recently approved Yamaha’s Majesty S aka SMax for sale in the state, indicating Yamaha plans to release this model in America eminently. The Majesty S (XC155) looks poised to take on Honda’s PCX150 in the popular mid-sized market. This scooter would fill the void left by the aging Riva 125 when it departed after 2006.
VESPA SPRINT ARRIVES IN MAY
NEW VESPA SPRINT REPLACES THE VESPA S
Vespa has wasted no time in announcing the Sprint as a sporty derivative of their new Primavera platform. The recently unveiled Vespa Sprint will be sold alongside the Primavera in the USA and Canada, much like the Vespa LX and S duo of the previous small frame Vespa generation.
Vespa is introducing the Sprint in both 50cc and 155cc versions in the USA, while Vespa Canada thus far has only announced the 155cc. Vespa Canada has announced standard ABS, while Vespa USA hasn’t released all the details but the price implies ABS will standard on the Sprint 155.
The Sprint is mechanically identical to the Primavera, but achieves a mature look with the trapezoidal headlight, new mirrors and larger 14 spoke 12” rims with low profile rubber. The Vespa Sprint also uses a number of red accents including on the coil springs and glowing red upper edges on the front vents. The Sprint shares the same instrument panel as the Primavera, but with a switch to red backlighting and red speedometer needle. Vespa has also created a number of sportier accessories for the Sprint including blacked out rims, racing stripe decals and a solo seat (shown below left).
Vespa has talked about a new instrument panel for the North American market, much like the departing Vespa S which used different gauges than the LX. However thus far we haven’t seen any new gauge layouts and the Sprint is scheduled to go on sale in the USA mid-May and is set to be arriving in Canada this month, so it additional changes look unlikely.
When it arrives, the Sprint will be available in both 50cc and 155cc versions as early 2015 models. USA Pricing for the Sprint 50 is similar to the Primavera at $3699 (50), while the 155 is up $400 at $5099 which likely accounts for standard ABS. Vespa Canada is listing the price at $5295, which definitely includes ABS. Canadian colors are Yellow (Giallo Positano) and Shiny Black. No word yet on USA colors. Check out the Sprint page for full details.
NEW HONDA PCX + HONDA FORZA TAKES SCOOTER OF THE YEAR
CAN HONDA WIN IT THREE YEARS IN A ROW WITH THE NEW 2015 PCX150?
Honda’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. 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 however. 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.
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.