STATE OF THE SCOOTER SCENE 2014 - PART ONE
December 15, 2013
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.
Three significantly new 50cc models have been released, which are the Aprilia SR Motard 50, Yamaha Zuma FX/X and Piaggio Fly 50. The Aprilia SR Motard (black) has been long rumoured to be headed to North America, but it’s virtually the same model as the second generation Piaggio Typhoon, so it’s not surprising that Aprilia took their time. The new Zuma FX (called the Zuma X in Canada) is a derivative of the current generation Zuma model but aimed at those who aren’t into the polarizing bug eye headlights. The Zuma FX employs the Asian market single headlight design and concurrently adds colored rims, grips and stripes to stand out as a sportier Zuma. Lastly, the Fly 50 (white) is Piaggio’s high volume machine that offers tasteful and unassuming style for the urban rider. The edgier new model is nice and includes an updated 4-valve fuel injected engine.
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 machine based on its displacement, but the design is solidly in the maxi category. The other new 150cc scooter is Vespa’s new ultra premium 946. This new mid-sized Vespa is being released in hand made limited edition batches, with the first being the Ricordo Italiano edition. This wildly expensive $9946 scooter justifies its price tag through technology (ABS, traction control, FI, 3 valves, LCD gauges) and through premium construction (aluminum, hand stitched leather).
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.
There’s little cause for mourning for the departing models, as most of these machines are sticking around in some form. The only two designs that are leaving us entirely have an average age of 9.5 years. They are Honda’s Silverwing (silver) and Kymco’s Vitality 50 (blue), which arrived for 2002 and 2005 respectively. The Vitality was dropped from Kymco’s USA lineup quite a few years ago (2008), but it somehow lingered on in Canada until finally meeting its demise amidst competition from many new small Kymco’s. The Silverwing on the other hand has been dropped not because of a new model from Honda (maybe the Forza 300 interferes a bit), but rather because sales have likely been declining for years. Honda hasn’t updated the Silverwing since its introduction, which means that new models like Suzuki’s Burgman 650 and Kymco’s MyRoad 700i are likely cornering the market.
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.
One of the biggest losses to the scooter scene for 2014 occurs in Canada, where Vespa has deciding against offering their 150cc models. This means the LX and S designs can still be purchased, but only with the smaller and more legislation friendly 50cc engines.
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.