HONDA's RELEASES 2017 SMALL SCOOTERS
RUCKUS AND METROPOLITAN QUIETLY RETURN
This week Honda quietly announced the 2017 editions of their 50cc models: the Ruckus and Metropolitan (known as the Giorno in Canada). Both scooters are returning without any updates, nor new color options.
After mixing up the Ruckus color options for the first decade, Honda has apparently decided that black and white/red are the best colors for the Ruckus, as these have now been offered for 6 years running (2012 - 2017). As the previous owner of both black and white Ruckus’s, I agree these are nice shade but I’m still partial to my 2008 shade of silver. All the year by year color options can be viewed on the Ruckus page.
The Ruckus has been on sale since 2003 in North America (2002 in Japan) which means 2017 marks its 15th anniversary here. The white/red color combo was originally introduced for it’s 10th anniversary but obviously has stuck around. Honda has clearly finished updating the Ruckus and it’ll probably just live on until sales reach a certain point. It is still a great scooter - now entering classic territory - and seems reasonably popular. It’ll be interesting to see if it can last longer than the Elite 80 (1985 - 2007), which had an impressive 23 year run in North America.
The Metropolitan / Giorno was overhauled last year, so the lack of mechanical changes isn’t surprising, but I did expect Honda to mix up the colors as they usually do. Instead, white, blue and red are back for a second year.
No word yet on pricing for 2017 but there’s no reason to expect substantial changes. Honda also offers two larger scooters, the PCX 150 and Forza 300. There’s no word yet on the 2017 Forza but the 2017 PCX was announced in early summer as it continues to be popular and sell well. I expect we’ll hear about the 2017 Forza soon.
2017 HONDA MODELS TO DATE: Ruckus, Metropolitan / Giorno, PCX150
YAMAHA RELEASES THEIR 2017 LINE
2017 BRINGS NEW COLORS, PRICES AND NO MORE TMAX
Yamaha released their 2017 offerings for the USA and Canada in recent days. The biggest news is the TMAX is gone for 2017, which has happened a couple times over the past 8 years but this ones looks like it might be for good. Yamaha released the TMAX in North America back in 2009. Over that time there’s been several updates and years off due to slow sales, but now this model is aging and most likely we won’t see it back unless Yamaha brings a new generation.
The rest of Yamaha’s 2017 line is standard fare - which is not surprising after releasing a nice update of the Zuma 125 last year and the SMAX the year before that. All Yamaha’s 2017 scooter models are carrying over unchanged, including the Vino 50, Zuma 50, Zuma 125 and SMAX. Once again there is the single - and better looking - headlight version of the Zuma called the Zuma FX.
Both the SMAX and Zuma 125 are fairly new machines so it’s not surprising there’s no changes here, but Yamaha’s 50cc models are showing some gray hair. Other than a switch to a 4-stroke motor for 2006, the Vino 50 is basically the same machine that went on sale 15 years ago for 2002. The Zuma 50 got a new motor more recently (2012) along with pretty substantial updates elsewhere, but the core platform also dates back to 2002. Hopefully Yamaha decides to release a new generation of their 50cc’s in the next few years.
Pricing changes for 2017 are trivial in the USA, with all scooters rising $9 (e.g. SMAX is now $3699 instead of $3690). Canadian prices are seeing a larger jump, with $100 added to price tags across the board except for the BMS/Zuma 125, which impressively drops $200 to $3699. That’s even more impressive when you consider back in 2009 it listed for $4199 in Canada - a drop over $500 over 8 years. The reduced BWS 125 pricing differentiates it from the more technologically advanced and larger displacement155cc SMAX, which was only $100 more in Canada last year. Now the SMAX is $300 more in both markets.
As usual Yamaha has revised their color offerings. The SMAX and Vino 50 get a single pigment choice, while the various Zuma models offer two. All colors are listed on the individual model pages. Also of minor note: Yamaha re-worked the side panel graphics on their Zuma scooters but they are still excessive.
MODELS: Vino, BWs / Zuma, Zuma FX/X, BWs 125 / Zuma 125, SMAX
70th ANNIVERSARY SETTANTESIMO VESPAS
LIMITED EDITIONS OF THE PRIMAVERA AND GTS
Vespa is celebrating their 70th anniversary (1946 - 2016) with special editions of the Primavera 50, Primavera 150 and GTS. These models are available in limited numbers in both the USA and Canada (and worldwide).
For an extra $300, the Settantesimo comes in two unique colors: Azzurro Metallizzato (which looks like robin’s egg blue) and Grigio Pulsar (light grey). These editions also include gunmetal finished rims and an upgraded dark brown seat with a matching rear luggage bag and rack. Also included are 70th anniversary badges on the legshield and luggage.
The rear luggage bag is really nice, and since this includes the rack the Settantesimo is a pretty good value. Buyers who just want the bag and rack might want to opt for this in the more normal grey, while folks really into Vespa may prefer the light blue, which is sort of a classic Vespa color with similar shades being used on other notable models such as the 2004 limited edition return of the PX to North America.