NORTH AMERICAN HISTORY OF APRILIA SCOOTERS
December 29, 2011 Filed under: Aprilia
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.
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.
CANADA: NEW YAMAHA TMAX & HONDA RUCKUS RETURNS
December 15, 2011 Filed under: Honda | Yamaha | 2012 Models
NEW GENERATION OF YAMAHA TMAX AND HONDA CANADA RETURNS WITH 2012 RUCKUS
This week Yamaha Canada quietly updated their website with the addition of the hugely revised and improved 2012 TMAX maxi-scooter. This new generation of TMAX was announced at Milan last month and the updates have really made this a strong sports-maxi scooter. The styling is significantly overhauled and the best news is the reworked motor which puts out a lot more power and does so at lower RPMs. Also new is a bunch of convenience touches like the adjustable windscreen. MSRP is $10,499. Check out the TMAX page for the full details.
Yamaha only briefly offered the earlier generation of TMAX in Canada for 2009, so its been a few years for Canadian fans. Most likely Yamaha USA will announce the new generation of TMAX soon, but since the previous TMAX was offered there in 2011 they likely need a bit more time to clear out dealer stock. This TMAX addition to Yamaha Canada’s 2012 line likely completes their 2012 scooter stable, which began to take shape way back in mid summer with the new BWs/Zuma 50. The full 2012 scooter line from Yamaha Canada is BWs 50, Majesty and TMAX. Curiously missing for 2012 is the BWs 125 (aka Zuma 125).
2012 news is a bit more sparse from Honda Canada, who quietly updated their website today with the 2012 issue of just the Ruckus. Just like Honda USA announced a month ago, the 2012 Ruckus gets no real changes aside from a spiffy new red/white paint option which joins the always popular black color scheme. The 10th anniversary Ruckus (as it’s called only in Japan) is essentially a white Ruckus with a neat red seat and red decals. Canadian MSRP is unchanged from 2011 at $3069. The Ruckus looks to be the only 2012 scooter offering from Honda Canada, although there are still a few dusty 2010 SH150i in showrooms.
2012 KYMCO'S: PEOPLE GT, NEW SENTO & AGILITY CITY
December 12, 2011 Filed under: Kymco | 2012 Models
2012 KYMCO SCOOTERS FOR USA & CANADA - NEW PEOPLE GT 200 / 300, AGILITY CITY AND NEW SENTO Kymco’s 2012 line of scooter may be sorta old news, as they were announced at Kymco’s press event this summer in South Carolina. However, the full details are now out on all of these new scooters, the Motor Scooter Guide pages are written and Kymco Canada has recently made their announcement for 2012, so the topic of 2012 Kymco scooters can now be discussed in detail.
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.
Kymco Canada is only bringing in one People GT scooter (the 200i) and one Downtown model (300i), but they’ve gone a step beyond Kymco USA in a few other areas by introducing the new Agility City and New Sento models. The Agility City is a more fully featured and larger wheeled version of the cheaper Agility sold in the USA, while the New Sento is a fresh update on Kymco’s retro scooter model. Kymco USA is likely skipping the New Sento model because they are already offering the retro Like 50 & Like 200, which compete very closely.
The Agility City is only being sold by Kymco Canada in a 50cc 4-stroke size, but overseas Kymco makes countless variations. The New Sento is positioned as Kymco’s top of the line 50 with an updated fuel injected motor that makes about 20% more power and delivers improved MPG as well.
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.
NEW VESPA QUARANTASEI - A CLOSER LOOK
November 24, 2011 Filed under: Vespa | 2013 Models
VESPA QUARANTASEI - PRODUCTION BEGINS FALL 2012
At the early November EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Vespa pulled the wraps off a totally new style of Vespa - the Quarantasei (Italian for 46). The name is a reference to the year Piaggio began selling scooters (1946) and it’s also refers to how this scooters was based on the original 1945 MP6 Vespa design by Corradino D’Ascanio. It’s called 46 because it’s one step beyond the ’45 model. Perhaps the most exciting news for Vespa enthusiasts is that Piaggio has committed to getting this scooter in production by next fall.
Since the Quarantasei is meant to be a re-interpretation of the MP6 style, it shares several styling elements including the suspended seat and wasp like tail. There’s also quite a bit of deviation from the MP6 design, such as moving the headlight from the front fender to the headset.
The overall look is decidedly more edgy and aggressive then recent Vespas. While parts of the design may not suit everyone, there is a lot to like with this new Vespa. The more aggressive and mature look will broaden the appeal of this scooter to folks who find the LX and GTS series of scooters a little too cheeky. The lighting execution on this concept scooter is excellent, with a modern projector beam headlight and the integrated circular LED taillight that surrounds the gas cap, although there’s likely to be changes before production starts.
Other neat design touches from Vespa include running the cables inside the handlebar rather than externally, which really cleans up the handlebar area. Vespa also integrated the LED front blinkers into the ends of the handlebars, which is clever but likely doesn’t meet too many safety regulations.
Powering the Quarantasei is a fuel injected, 3-valve, air-cooled 4-stroke motor that will be sold in 125cc and 150cc versions. The 125cc motor is going to be for countries like the UK that limit learners to 125cc or less, while the 150cc version will be sold in areas like the USA that often require 150cc engines as the minimum for highway travel. While Vespa is calling this motor ‘state of the art’, it’s likely the latest reiteration of their long running LEADER motor. In recent years Vespa has been using a 4-valve, fuel injected LEADER motors in their mid-sized scooters, so the move down to 3-valves is interesting. Vespa may have found a way to beat the power or milage of their 4-valve version using
3-valves, or maybe they just found a way to get similar performance at a lower cost.
Production is slated to being in fall 2012 for the Quarantasei. Between now and then Vespa is going to be making changes to this design to meet safety regulations and tweak the style in a few areas. I personally would like to see the seat area re-worked a bit. The floating seat concept is nice, but I’d like to see it shortened and lowered a bit so it doesn’t stick out so much. The rear end of this scooter is a work of art and hopefully not too many changes are made here aside from the inclusion of a bracket to mount a licence plate. It’s also quite certain that the handlebar end LED blinkers are going to be gone on the production version. It’ll be interesting to watch this design develop over the coming year.
NEW SCOOTERS AT MILAN (EICMA) & TOKYO MOTOR SHOWS
November 09, 2011 Filed under: Honda | Vespa | Yamaha | Piaggio
NEW SCOOTERS FROM YAMAHA, PIAGGIO AND HONDA
It’s the season for motorcycle shows, with the important Milan (EICMA) and Tokyo motorcycle shows taking place in early November and December respectively. This year Yamaha, Piaggio/Vespa and Honda have all rolled out new designs.
A second generation of TMAX is set to be officially released at the Tokyo show in early December and it appears to be quite a nice scooter. Yamaha has overhauled the sporty TMAX scooter with redesigned suspension, a bump up in engine size (to 530cc) and even sportier styling. They’ve done a great job of updating the styling and making it even more aggressive, while still keeping this clearly a TMAX. ABS is going to be an option in some markets.
Also of interest from Yamaha is an updated Majesty which gets new styling on the front end. No word yet if either of these updated scooters will be arriving in North America.
The big news from Piaggio is a new X10 maxi-scooter with a far more modern/futuristic look than their current maxi, the X9. The scooter is going to be sold in some markets in 2012. There’s no word yet on North America, but this scooter looks like an obvious replacement for the aging X9.
The new X10 is going to be sold in 125cc, 350cc and 500cc versions, all of which are liquid cooled and fuel injected. The frame is the same for all engine configurations. The X10 boasts some neat amenities like traction control, backlit handlebar controls and optional electrically controlled rear suspension.
On the concept scooter front, the Vespa turned heads with their new Quarantasei (Italian for 46) concept scooter (above left). This design is interesting as it’s got many true Vespa styling cues (rims, front fender), but it’s still quite a deviation for the Wasp. It is just a concept scooter, although Vespa might be on to something with the slimmer design. Vespa has used a neat 3-value fuel injection 125cc version of their LEADER motor in this concept.
Lastly from Piaggio is a re-styled Fly (50, 125 and 150cc) and a 350cc SportTouring version of the Beverly (or BV 300) that boasts an all new 350cc engine cranking 33hp. The SportTouring variant also gets standard ABS and traction control plus a few nice design touches like different rims. The new Fly is a fairly cosmetic overhaul, with fresh yet familiar styling and the same motor options found the previous generation.
Honda also made a splash at EICMA, by releasing a smaller their new 700cc Integra model which is half bike and half scooter. This new bike/scoot uses a unique dual clutch transmission that is going to wind up in a few Honda motorcycles as well.
Joining the Integra at the Honda booth is a 50cc version of their also fairly new Vision 110 (released a few months back). The Vision is Honda’s larger wheeled scooter in Europe (as opposed to the smaller wheeled Lead) and this time around you have the choice of a 14” or 16” wheel up front. Lastly, a new model of the Wave110i was released. The Wave110i traces is ancestry to the famous Cub, but it’s a lower end model that’s usually not sold in North American or European markets.
2012 HONDA's RELEASED: RUCKUS AND SILVERWING
November 08, 2011 Filed under: Honda | 2012 Models
2012 HONDA SCOOTER ANNOUNCED: RUCKUS AND SILVERWING
Today Honda USA announced their 2012 line of scooters, which is going to consist of only the Ruckus and Silverwing. Gone is the PCX 125 and any hopes of other scooters like the Met, Elite 110 and SH150i returning after a year or two absence.
The best news for 2012 is ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ of the Ruckus, which gets some special design touches including a classy red seat. Honda USA isn’t calling this Ruckus a 10th anniversary model, but this same color scheme was announced by Honda Japan (who designed this scooter) as a 10th anniversary model two months ago. Honda USA is calling this a White/Red Ruckus and it joins Black as the second color option for 2012. The White/Red Ruckus is essentially a white Ruckus (sold in 2006) but with a red seat and red side decals. Look for it in showrooms in February.
On the other end of the scooter spectrum, Honda’s steady selling Silverwing scooter will be around for another year (its 11th). No new colors are being made available for this scoot, so your choices for 2012 will be black, black or black.
One of the most interesting developments today was that the PCX 125 isn’t returning. Honda seems to be making a strong global push with this model and they put some serious R&D into it, so it’s surprising to see it disappear from the USA lineup after just one year. It’s hard to imagine sales were too bad considering the 2011 PCX 125 was priced fairly well and it’s an attractive looking scooter. As is always a possibility, perhaps Honda just brought in too many and they’re taking a year off. The non-return of the PCX 125 was the only thing wrong with the Motorscooter Guide 2012 Honda Scooter Lineup prediction, which guessed 2 months back that we’d see Ruckus, PCX and Silverwing for 2012.
The Elite 110 and SH150 are two Honda scooters that had already taken a year off after being only offered in 2010. Since these scooters weren’t announced for 2012, that pretty much confirms Honda isn’t going to sell those scooters here again. That’s really too bad, as the Elite 110 is a really nice little Honda. It’s got all the right attributes of a good Honda scooter - physically small size, clean styling, modern engine and lots of well engineered aspects like the storage areas.
Finally, all hope can now be extinguished for the return of Honda’s Metropolitan / Jazz scooter, having most recently been offered in 2009. The only Honda scooter to ever return the North American market after 3+ years away is the Helix, which accomplished this feat twice (not sold 1988 - 1991 and 2001 - 2003). The absence of the Met leaves a hole in Honda’s thin lineup. Hopefully we’ll see some new great small scooters from Honda for 2013.
HIGH QUALITY HONDA & YAMAHA BROCHURE SCANS
October 20, 2011 Filed under: Honda | Yamaha | 80's | 90's | 00's
HIGH QUALITY HONDA AND YAMAHA BROCHURE SCANS
After much delay, high quality scans of many scooter brochures from Honda and Yamaha are now online (to replace the camera taken low-quality PDFs that were online). All of these new PDFs and more are on the Downloads page.
In addition, a few more old Honda (3) and Yamaha (2) brochures have been purchased recently and those will be scanned in soon (Update: Honda USA 2001 and 2008 now added. 2001 is very neat). These old brochures are pretty neat and hard to get. If anyone has any they’d like to share, please Contact MotorScooterGuide.
The brochures that have been re-done are:
Honda USA - 1985, 1989 Accessories, 1993, 2001, 2008
Honda Canada - 1984
Honda UK - 1984 Mopeds and Commuters
Honda Japan - 2003 Zoomer
Honda Australia - NH80 Brochure
Yamaha USA - 1996, 1998, 1998 Alternate Version
Yamaha Canada - 2008, 2009
Check out the Downloads page to see all the brochures and manuals available for download.
NEW 125cc SCOOTER ENGINE FROM HONDA
September 25, 2011 Filed under: Honda | 2013 Models
HONDA ANNOUNCES NEW GLOBAL 125CC SCOOTER ENGINE
Honda (Worldwide) announced an new mid-sized ‘global standard engine’ for their future 125cc scooters. This new motor is a 125cc liquid cooled 4-stroke that will be used in quite a few future scooters starting next year. Honda hasn’t announced any specific scooters that will use this engine yet, but it’s good to get to know this motor, as it will likely make it to the North American market in some form in the future years.
Honda announced this motor as a ‘global standard engine’, which means they will eventually create quite a few variations to meet different price points and scooter designs (ie. different swing arm lengths to accommodate different wheel sizes). On first glance, this motor might not look like anything radical, but there are a number of nice improvements that will benefit scooterists. Honda claims they focused on three areas with this new motor: durability, fuel economy and quietness. The most interesting of these areas is the fuel economy.
This engine ‘accommodates an idle stop system’, which means that higher end scooters sold in places like Europe and Japan will get the idle stop system which shuts off the engine at stop and instantly restarts it, while in other markets Honda will cut costs and omit this system. Honda’s first scooter to incorporate an idle stop system is the 2011 PCX 125, which doesn’t get this system in the USA market, but does elsewhere. Like the idle stop feature, fuel injection is another feature that this engine ‘accommodates’, so most markets will get that but some countries will get budget versions with carbs.
Honda claims a big overall improvement in fuel economy of 25%, which likely assumes the use of both the idle stop feature and fuel injection. Honda also improved fuel economy by making a big effort to reduce friction in many areas of the engine. This friction reduction has been accomplished by a large number of small tweaks. Some of the more note worthy ideas are needle bearings on the rocker arm shafts (most scooter engines have no bearings here and just rely on oil), roller rocker arms (very cool, a 125cc scooter first), an offset cylinder to reduce friction against the wall (see diagram below), a more efficient radiator which requires a smaller lighter fan, lighter piston, less oil agitation in the transmission etc. Ideas like idle stop technology and fuel injection are already present on some Honda 125cc scooters, but the needle bearings on the rocker arm shafts and the roller bearing rocker arms (on left where they contact the camshaft) are an industry first in a 125cc scooter and very nice to see. These features are normally only seen on higher end motors. Fuel economy and friction aside, Honda has made a few other neat tweaks. They’ve found a new ‘high-elasticity’ rubber for the drive belt that is both quieter and more efficient which is good news. Typically scooter CVT’s are only about 80-85% efficient, so there is some real room for improvement here. Honda has also included a brushless ‘ACG’ starter which has been seen on a few other Honda’s before this (ie. Honda Ruckus, Metropolitan and PCX 125). This ACG design is great (simple, lighter and silent) and for this new generation of engine Honda has increased their electronic control over this starter to make the idle stop system work better and all starting easier.
One thing that stood out from Honda’s press release, was this motors similarities with the current Honda PCX 125 engine (idle stop system, fuel injection, 125cc displacement, ACG starter etc). Digging a little deeper revealed that the bore (52.4mm) and stroke (57.9mm) of this new engine are coincidentally identical to the PCX 125 motor. Accordingly, this ‘new’ engine might be better considered as a new generation / refinement of the current PCX powerplant. While likely PCX based, the engine improves in a large number of areas including overall weight, lower friction in the transmission, offset cylinder, new drive belt material and the great roller rocker arms and needle bearings on the rocker arm shafts.
Honda plans to announce the first models using this engine next year as 2013 models. The USA/Canada might get this motor in an updated 2013 PCX 125, or North America might lag a bit further behind and not receive this motor until the 2014 model year. There’s also the possibility Honda won’t roll it out here for a number of years until they replace the PCX 125 with a new model. Honda is impossible to predict for the North American market, but I do think they’ll make an effort to get this engine here eventually.
2012 HONDA SCOOTER LINEUP PREDICTIONS
September 10, 2011 Filed under: Honda | 2012 Models
HONDA SCOOTER LINEUP PREDICTIONS FOR 2012
The 2012 model year is approaching, with Honda traditionally announcing their next years line up sometime in September or October. At present, one can only speculate what Honda might do for next year. It seems to me that the SH150i is not coming back. While Honda often skips model years as they did for 2011, the SH150i didn’t seem to sell that well in 2010 and Honda’s newer PCX 125 seems to have the SH150’s spot in the line up covered.
I do expect we’ll see the PCX 125 return as Honda has high hopes for that scooter as a world wide model and it is indeed a great scooter. Scooter sales were slower in 2011 though, so it’s possible Honda will skip a year. The Elite 110 is a tough call, because this is a great little scooter but it also overlaps a lot with the PCX 125.
One of these years the long-running Silverwing is going to get the axe, but it has avoided being dropped for a decade now so I bet it’ll hold on for another year yet. Since Honda doesn’t really have a replacement for it, most likely the Silverwing will return with the usual new color offering and continue to sell at low numbers.
The most interesting area for 2012 is the 50cc segment. The Metropolitan wasn’t sold for 2010 or 2011, but Honda definitely needs to fill this spot (50cc aimed at urban/retro/female riders) in it’s lineup now that existing dealer inventories are pretty much depleted, so I think we’ll either see the return of the Met or a replacement sometime in the next year or two. My guess is we’ll get something new, but not until 2013 or later. I think the safest bet for 2012 is that the rugged Ruckus will again be offered because Honda has little else like it and it’s a popular scooter every year. The Ruckus design is long paid off and I think it’ll continue to be sold until sales eventually drop too low...which could be many years away.
Honda Canada usually has a very similar lineup as Honda USA, so we can learn a bit from the situation there. In Canada, the SH150 and Jazz (same scooter as Metropolitan) are both being cleared out a steep discounts (ie. $1000 off a Jazz) so it’s pretty clear these scoots aren’t coming back to Canada or likely to the USA. The Silverwing is also completely gone from Honda Canada’s website (last offered for 2009 there) so it’s days are likely numbered in the USA as well.
So without further ado, my predication for Honda’s 2012 Scooter Lineup is: Ruckus, PCX 125 and Silverwing. I’d love to see a 50cc replacement for the Met which is going to be less retro and more modern - perhaps the Honda Today or Giorno - but I don’t think that’s going to happen until 2013 or 2014. While I’m at it, I’ll guess Honda USA’s 2013 lineup is going to be Ruckus, new modern styled 50cc and PCX 125.
The above list is what I think is most likely to happen, but perhaps Honda is reading this so it would be a shame not to mention what I would like to happen. I would love to see Honda add a sports scooter to their 50cc offerings. This scooter would of course be the Dio which is looking particularly sharp these days (see left). Please give us a nice JDM spec and not a stripper model with drum brakes and devoid of neat features.
Besides the soon to be hugely popular Dio, of course they would keep the Ruckus, but please upgrade it to the fuel injected, 4 valve engine found in Europe. Maybe the carb can stay to make working it easier, but please give us 4 valves for a little more power.
The Elite 110 would stay because it’s a great little Honda and so would the PCX 125. Fleshing out Honda’s lineup would be the nice 250cc Forza. The Forza is an awesome new model that looks a lot like a big brother to the PCX 125. I’d be fine to see the Silverwing go away for a year or two (or maybe try offering the Silverwing 400 GT instead to mix it up). The Silverwing has been a good scooter but it’s due for a redesign. If Honda isn’t going to give it any attention then they axe it.
The Metropolitan could stay, but I’d rather Honda mixed it up for a couple year and offered us the Today or Giorno that are sold overseas. For a look at some of the fine scooters Honda offers overseas, check out Honda’s Japan Lineup.
NEW YAMAHA ZUMA / BWs 50 FOR 2012
August 19, 2011 Filed under: Yamaha | 2012 Models
NEW YAMAHA’S FOR 2012
It’s now mid-August, which means we’re only a couple months away from the main period of announcements for the 2012 scooter lineups from the major manufacturers. Yamaha has early announced their new 2012 Zuma 50 / BWs 50, so check out that page for complete information on that new model. In a surprise move, Yamaha has gone with a 4-stroke engine in the new generation of Zuma. Accordingly, the 2011 Yamaha Zuma 50 is likely the last 2-stroke scooter we’ll ever see from Yamaha in the North American market.
The other early Yamaha news for 2012 is the return of Majesty, which was missing for 2011. Sometime in September or October, we can expect to learn which existing Yamaha scooters will continue to make the cut for 2012.