NEW SCOOTERS GALORE AT EICMA AND TOKYO SHOWS
November 11, 2017 Filed under: 2019 Models | BMW | Vespa | Honda | Lambretta | Kymco | SYM
NEW ELECTRICS AND A SMALL BMW
Each year the Japanese and European scooter manufacturers unveil new concept and production scooters at the Tokyo and Milan (EICMA) motorcycle shows. These shows occur at almost the same time, so it’s the peak time of year for scooter news.
Thankfully 2017 did not disappoint with interesting concept and production machines from a wide range of OEMs. Notable machines this year were electric scooters from Vespa and Honda that are actually headed on sale, new maxiscooters from BMW, SYM and Kymco, and some vintage nostalgia courtesy of Honda (CC110) and Lambretta (V-Special)
Vespa displayed an electric version of their Primavera last year called the Elettrica, but it was a non-functional concept. This year Vespa returned with a fully developed Elettrica they actually plan to start producing next year. Vespa is claiming they are going to sell this new scooter in many markets, so we’ll see where it winds up and if they’re serious.
The Elettrica puts out 4kW of peak power (5.35 horsepower) but can only do 2 kW on a sustained basis, so the power is comparable to a 50cc but the cruising speed probably isn’t quite there. Vespa hasn’t disclosed the battery size, but they did say the range is 100km (62 miles), so we expect that comes from a battery size around 5kWh.
Vespa has designed this scooter for faster speed “level 2” charging, but not ultra fast charging, so it still takes 4 hours at best (and probably 8-12 hours at home). If you’re worried about the range, Vespa is also going to produce a “range extended” version with an on-board gas generator to charge the batteries called the Elettrica X. Mostly likely this version will make an already expensive scooter even more pricey.
HONDA PCX ELECTRIC
Honda is also going to start producing a serious electric scooter. They revised their popular PCX design to come up an electric version that is uncreatively called…..the PCX Electric. Unfortunately Honda hasn’t started with a clean sheet design here, so they’ve had to stuff the batteries in under the seat which cuts the storage space.
Honda has actually teamed up with Yamaha on the battery side of this, so they’re using standardized and swappable batteries that are supposed to be compatible with a range of Honda and Yamaha machines in the years to come. We’ve been skeptical of battery swapping here in the past - particularly when it’s mandatory like Gogoro who disallows home charging - because people like to own all of their scooter. Having the option to swap is fine, as long as manufacturers work towards faster charging as well.
Honda hasn’t released any specs on the PCX Electric yet, but they do claim it’ll go on sale in Asia next year. They’re also prepping a hybrid version of the PCX, which is basically the regular PCX plus regenerative braking and a small battery to store the regenerated electrons. The PCX Hybrid cleverly uses the starter motor to deploy the regenerated power.
BMW unveiled a sweet looking and production ready new scooter called the C400X. Despite the C400X name, this adventure maxi-scooter is actually a 350cc. So it’s quite a bit smaller than BMW’s other C series models and hopefully quite a bit lower cost as well.
BMW has released all the specs for this machine, so we know it’s a 450 lbs, single cylinder scooter with a peak output of 34 horsepower @7500 RPM (that’s 4 HP more than the new Burgman 400) and an 86 mph top speed. The C400X also has standard ABS, traction control and dual 270mm disc brakes up front. Full info here.
The styling is reminiscent of the larger C series models, but it also has an adventure scooter look to it. BMW seems pretty serious with this model as they’ve already announced it will arrive in Canada and the USA in spring 2018.OTHER NEW SCOOTERS
A few other noteworthy scooters this year including the new Lambretta V-Special (above), which is being launched in 50cc, 125cc and 150cc sizes which is a SYM based scooter built in collaboration with the Lambretta Consortium. There’s also a nice looking 465cc maxi from SYM called the MaxSym TL and an interesting 550cc adventure scooter from Kymco called the AK550. Finally, Honda unveiled several new variants of their Cub at the Tokyo show, including the handsome CC110.
THIRD GENERATION SUZUKI BURGMAN 400 DEBUTS FOR 2018
October 19, 2017 Filed under: Suzuki | 2018 Models
BURGMAN 400 GETS SPORTY
Suzuki USA has brought their Burgman 400 back to life for 2018 with an all new third generation of this popular maxiscooter. The Burgman 400 originally went on sale in North America fifteen years ago for 2003, with new generations debuting for 2007 and now 2018.
The new Burgman 400 departs from the ideology of its ancestors by targeting more of a sports touring niche rather than comprising a pure touring machine. The new Burgman moves towards the “sports maxi” segment in numerous ways, including a more forward seating position, slimmer body work, a larger 15” front rim, shedding 14 lbs, more aggressive styling and a trimmed tail that reduces storage space.
The lighter, slimmer new Burgman 400 is quite a bit more handsome than the stocky second generation Burg 400, and should be more fun to ride, but you might want to look elsewhere if you’re after maximum comfort and storage. For that, there’s still Suzuki’s Burgman 650.
For 2018 Suzuki is only offering the Burgman 400 in Pearl Glacier White. The nice charcoal shade shown above is being offered in most markets, but Suzuki’s practice the last few years has been to only offer a single color of each model in North America.
The new Burgman 400 arrives with an MSRP of $8099, which is reasonable $100 increase over the departed second generation last offered for 2016. Head over to the Burgman 400 page for more info on the new generation.
The rest of Suzuki’s line up is largely unchanged for 2018, with both the Burgman 200 and 650 arriving back in American showrooms. The Burgman 200 is unchanged in both price ($4999) and color options (silver), while the 2018 Burgman 650 receives a new shade of white and a $50 price increase to $11,049. No word yet on Suzuki’s Canadian lineup.
YAMAHA ADDS XMAX 300 TO 2018 SCOOTER LINEUP
October 15, 2017 Filed under: Yamaha | 2018 Models
NEW XMAX 300 CARRIES ON THE TMAX SPIRIT
Yamaha has released their 2018 scooter lineup and it is arriving in dealerships now.
The big news this year is the all new XMAX 300, which looks a lot like a mini-version of the TMAX 530 that left a couple years ago. The XMAX is an all new machine that went on sale in Europe earlier this year. It features aggressive styling, good power and sporty handling with a number of high end features including ABS, traction control and a keyless ignition (just have the key in your power and you can scoot off). Unfortunately for Canadian scooterists, the XMAX looks like it’s only headed to the USA for 2018.
The XMAX jumps in where Honda left off with their Forza 300 after discontinuing it last year. Comparatively, the XMAX offers 10% more power (27.6 HP vs 24.5 HP) in a lighter scooter (397 lbs vs 428 lbs), so it should be pretty quick. If you’re worried about handling all that power, Yamaha’s got you covered with standard traction control and ABS. Unfortunately Yamaha thinks everyone in the USA likes white, so the silver and brown colors they’re offering overseas won’t be arriving here this year.
The rest of Yamaha’s scooter line received virtually no attention. Yamaha USA is returning their 5 other scooters without a single tweak to even the colors. Thankfully the pricing is also the same.
Without the XMAX, Yamaha Canada is offering a completely unchanged line up for 2018. Color options are the same, but there are some price increases for the BWs (+$200 to $2999), Zuma X (+$100 to $3099) and SMAX (+$100 to $4099) but no changes in pricing to the Vino ($2899) and BWs 125 ($3699).
MODELS: Vino, BWs / Zuma, Zuma FX / X, BWs 125 / Zuma 125, SMAX, XMAX (USA Only)