STATE OF THE SCOOTER SCENE 2013 PT 2: SCOOTER OF THE YEAR WINNER
April 02, 2013 -
READERS CHOICE WINNER: 2013 HONDA PCX150
With the votes counted, Honda’s revamped PCX 150 ran away with the top honours in the 2013 readers choice poll. The faster and more refined PCX ruled the poll, capturing a remarkable 40.9% of the vote. The PCX embodies practicality, with world class refinement and technology packed into a machine that delivers both huge storage and a 70mph top speed for $3449.
Piaggio’s new 2013 BV350 capture the second spot, with 29.3% of the vote. Yamaha’s reintroduced and newly fuel injected Vino 50 rounded out the top three with 8% of the vote.
USA: 2012 SALES
Scooter sales in 2012 rose for the third consecutive year, this time increasing by 7.7% to the highest level since the 2009 crash. That’s healthy news for the industry, especially when you consider 2012 sales were mostly current scooters being sold at regular margins, as opposed to the 2009 market crash leftovers that buoyed up sales in 2010 and 2011 with heavy discounts. The chart below shows scooter sales in the USA over the past seven years, but realize that this MIC data doesn’t include several smaller makes (Genuine, SYM) nor does it include the swell of Chinese makers.
Despite the nice annual rise, sales remain a far cry from the 2008 heyday, which was the culmination of years of steady growth. From 2000 to 2007, mainsteam scooter sales hovered in the 40,000 - 55,000 unit range - or about 20% higher than we’re seeing today. Mainstream USA sales were 34,294 in 2012,
which may actually be there new norm as the non-represented Chinese makers have captured a portion. Popular Chinese makers like SunL and Znen are rumoured to be selling in the five figure range.
Another trend worth noting is that bigger scooters (+50cc) are said to be responsible for most of the rebound, with 50cc sales remaining depressed - or more likely drifting to the Chinese. So midsized/large scooter sales are up quite a bit, as are profit margins - while the 50cc market continues to languish. Piaggio in particular reported a 22% increase in their over 50cc models, with 50cc sales stable. Looking ahead to 2013, scooters seem to be poised for a decent year. Sales increased in momentum all year in 2012, with sales up 5.6% over 2011 at mid year, which rose to a 7% lead by Q3 and a final score of 7.7%, so 40K is likely a good stretch goal for 2013.
The news in Canada is both lacking and lackluster, so it slips in here at the bottom. The Canadian industry group (MMIC) is still sitting on the 2012 numbers, but we can report the 2011 numbers which were too late to slip in to this report last year. In short, Canadian scooter sales took a big dive in the wrong direction in 2011. Canuck sales were a healthy 10K units in 2008, which dropped to 6K for 2009 and 2010. Instead of a rebound, sales dropped further in 2011 to 4.6K units. Hopefully things were rosier in 2012. We’ll post the numbers when MMIC releases them.
MAXI REVIVAL: KYMCO'S MYROAD 700i AND AN UPDATED BURGMAN 650
February 17, 2013 -
A LEGEND OVERHAULED AND A NEW CHALLENGER
For several years now it’s seemed like scooter manufacturers had moved on from +500cc machines - a fall from grace from the early years of the new millennium when someone was always releasing something newer, faster and bigger. Aprilia fired the first king-maxi-scooter salvo into North America for 2001 with their Atlantic 500 and Honda upped that to 582cc the following year with their 2002 Silverwing. Suzuki followed suit two years later with the Burgman 650, which boasted 638cc and enough amenities to establish Suzuki as the top dog in the maxi scooter scene.
Kymco’s 2005 jump into the fray with the Xciting 500 was the last news for a while, with Yamaha making a brief 3 year foray with the TMAX (’09-’11). While the big Yammie lives on in Canada and elsewhere, it’s truncated lifespan in the USA seemed to hint that the USA maxi-market had cooled and perhaps the big scooters from Suzuki, Honda and Kymco were living out their final days. Dusty veterans
passing their twilight years in inconspicuous showroom corners behind the dirt bikes. (Aprilia’s Atlantic never really got started, with its 2004 withdrawal being complete just before the segment really took off).
Thankfully that doesn’t appear to be the case, with Suzuki recently announcing a significant overhaul for the Burgman for 2013 and with Kymco on the cusp of unleashing their bigger than ever MyRoad 700i (above right) into the northern most continent of the Americas.
While the 2013 Burgman 650 isn’t all new, it is a substantial update that refines the ‘Burg in several key areas. The most obvious revision is the styling, which has been refreshed up with an edgier front end and a slimmed posterior. The new look isn’t radical, which is a good thing. It’s a tasteful update to a perennial favorite. Beneath the new body panels are two major updates: a redesigned ABS system which adds floating front discs yet weighs half, and a new transmission/clutch system which improves performance and reduces drag. Between the new transmission and slimmer silhouette,
Suzuki is claiming a 15% improvement in fuel use. Also helping you realize this boost in efficiency is a new “Eco Drive Indicator” system, which rewards fuel friendly driving by activating a glowing green leaf (shown below right at bottom of tachometer).
The MyRoad 700i was released a few years ago overseas and is Kymco’s most displacement endowed scooter ever at 699cc. This big brother to their Xciting 500 hasn’t been officially announced for North America yet, but the word is that Kymco is planning to have it in USA showrooms by July. This super sized maxi was originally announced as being designed with America in mind, so its been strange to watch its slow progression to North American showrooms. While its release has been pushed back several times, things are looking good for a summer 2013 release in the USA and hopefully soon after in Canada.
While the MyRoad boasts an extra 61cc over the 650 Burgman, power is actually a hair less (59 HP vs 61 HP) from its DOHC 8V parallel twin mill.
Torque and weight are also deadlocked, with the MyRoad claiming 46 ft/lbs of torque to move its 608 lbs and Suzuki listing 45.7 ft/lbs of torque available for its 609 lbs of heft. Although the Burgman sheds 4 lbs in its 2013 form, neither model can be accused of severe emaciation, with either machines equalling seven Honda Spree’s on the scale.
In typical Kymco fashion, the MyRoad sets the bar high for features. The Burgman has always been very well appointed, but the MyRoad goes even beyond this with gizmo’s like tire pressure sensors and electronically adjustable suspension. Even the key has been done away with and replaced with an electronic fob that just needs to be within 5 feet of the bike.
Kymco is still being coy with an official release announcement, but 2013 looks like the year it’ll arrive. With the updated Burgman 650 headed for showrooms now, we just need Honda do to something about their 12 year old Silverwing.
STATE OF THE SCOOTER SCENE 2013 - PART ONE
December 11, 2012 -
A LOOK AT THE NEW AND DEPARTED MODELS FOR 2013
Welcome to the first instalment of MSG’s annual State of the Scooter Scene address. In this first half, we’ll run down the new machines going on sale in the USA and Canada for 2013, as well as reflect on the discontinued mounts winding down their showroom days. Part two will follow around March, when the sales figures are released and scooter story of 2012 can be told in full. Please take a second to vote in the poll for your favorite new or resurrected model.
New 2013 Scooters:
Honda Metropolitan / Giorno
Genuine Lemonhead Buddy (USA)
Kymco Movie 150
Kymco Compagno 50 / 110 (USA)
Kymco Like 50 / 200 (Canada)
Piaggio Typhoon 50 (USA)
Piaggio BV 350 (USA)
Yamaha Vino 50
Suzuki Burgman 650 [Late addition]
Kymco Sento 50 (USA)
Kymco Yager GT 200 (USA)
Piaggio BV 300 (USA)
Piaggio BV 500 (USA)
Piaggio MP3 line (Canada)
While the numbers won’t be released for some time, 2012 appears to have been a stronger year for the scooter industry. Sales were surely up across the board, and confidence from the manufacturers seems to higher than it’s been in some time, with many manufacturers taking the opportunity to introduce new models. Of particular note, Kymco Canada displayed the highest amount of confidence by carrying over all 10 of their 2012 models plus adding three new steeds for MMXIII.
For the coming year things look bright, with the return of some popular scooters (Yamaha Vino 50, Honda PCX), new generations of some old favorites (Piaggio Typhoon 50, Honda Metropolitan) and an impressive list of all new nameplates from Kymco USA and Piaggio. All told, 10 scooters are either new or returning after some time off, while 2 (Canada) or 5 (USA) are on their way out.
This translates to a total of 49 significantly different scooters on sale in the USA (up from 45 last year) from the main eight manufacturers covered here on MSG. Meanwhile in Canada 37 models are going to be offered for 2013, a four scooter increase. And that’s not counting the smaller Taiwanese brands (SYM, TGB) and the seemingly infinite number of Chinese makers.
Before delving into the new mounts, reflection is warranted for the (thankfully few) scooters on their way out. The most noteworthy machine on this list is Suzuki’s Burgman 650. However even here the news isn’t all that somber, as Suzuki showed a heavily revised Burgman 650 at the recent EICMA show, which stands a good chance of landing in North America soon. Still, the Burgman 650 as we know it - all 613 lbs of it - has ended its run after nine years (2004 - 2012).
[Edit: The revised Burgman 650 is indeed coming to North America for 2013.]
A moment of pause should also be given to Piaggio’s MP3 line - which carries on in the USA but has sadly been dropped from the Canadian market. Conversely, the BV 300 and BV 500 do continue on in Canada, while the BV 350 replaces both of these name plates in the USA. Finally, Kymco USA’s ever evolving line claimed two casualties this time around, with the Sento 50 and Yager GT 200 on their way out to make room for newer machines.
Piaggio has unleashed two major new models as 2013. The new BV 350 (left) has been a long time coming as the latest iteration in their BV series. With the overhaul, this new model is the easily the sharpest BV ever and is earning wide praise including accolades from Motorcycle-USA. At 330cc, this new model offers a great blend between highway touring capability and fuel milage (70mpg).
The other new Piaggio is a smaller 50cc version of their Typhoon scooter (top) which initially debuted as a 125 last year.
With 50cc scooters being the most popular, this new model should really increase the number of Typhoon’s on the streets.
The biggest news from Kymco for 2013 is their new Movie 150 scooter (right). The Movie takes the sports concept of the Super 8 150 and matures it, while adding a more powerful motor and a rear disc brake.
In addition, the retro yet fuel injected Compagno (50cc and 110cc) makes it way to the USA market after being introduced last year in Canada as the New Sento. Finally, the Like 50 & 200 make it to Canada for the first time.
2013 is also a big year for Honda, with a new generation of Metropolitan (left) arriving in both the USA and Canada. The new scooter is the same in both markets, but Canada has opted to use Honda’s overseas name of Giorno. The first generation of Metropolitan (2002 - 2009) was a popular model for Honda and this new generation takes over now that excess inventory from the slow 2009 and 2010 years has been cleared out.
The other Honda news for 2013 is the return of the PCX (shown at top). This time around the PCX gets a 25cc boost to 150cc, which makes it freeway legal in most states and bumps the top speed 5mph. In addition to the larger bore, PCX150 motor has been refined from the CVT to the bearings.
The biggest news from Genuine this year is a new Lemonhead edition of their popular Buddy scooter (shown at top). The Lemonhead draws inspiration for an entire scooter from the favorite snack of the Genuine/Scooterworks crew. The result is an individually numbered and limited edition scooter (200 being made) with various neat yellow accents and graphic odes to this bow-tie wearing candy.
Lastly, Yamaha is bringing back the Vino 50 (right) for 2013 after a year off. While it’s a bit of a stretch to call this one a new model, Yamaha did give it some nice revisions so it makes the list. The most notable update is a new fuel injection system which creeps fuel milage even higher (~110mg) . The other changes are fairly minor, but it’s still great to have this popular scooter back on the market.
KYMCO CANADA UPS THE ANTE FOR 2013 WITH A RECORD 13 MODELS
October 25, 2012 -
MOVIE 150 AND LIKE 50/200 MODELS ADDED TO CANADIAN SHOWROOMS
Kymco Canada has stepped beyond their 2012 tally of 10 models and has announced an all time high of 13 scooters for 2013. That’s more scooters to choose from than all of the Japanese makers combined - quite a few more.
The biggest splashes for 2013 are the new Movie 150 and Like 50 & 200 machines. The Movie 150 is Kymco’s newest mid-sized sports scooter, while the Like 50 and 200 are Kymco’s most direct take on the ionic vintage scooter style. The Movie 150 was recently announced for the USA market as well, so you can read more detail now in the Movie 150 section.
The Like series was introduced state side a couple years back, but for 2013 Canadians get a white color option instead of ivory. The smaller Like 50 uses a potent 2-stroke motor, so power enthusiasts and larger riders can rejoice.
The larger Like 200 contains a 160cc 4-stroke motor, which really expands the usefulness of this scooter beyond the city. Between the New Sento 50 & 110 and the new Like scooters, there’s a retro styled Kymco in everyone’s desired power range.
Appearing alongside these three new models are a revised Xciting 500 and the rest of Kymco’s 2012 offerings which have all gotten the nod for 2013. With a total stable of 13 scooters, Kymco is marketing a scooter targeted at nearly everyone. For more info on these new models, have a look at YouMotorcycle.com’s first look.
KYMCO USA's 2013 LINEUP: FOURTEEN SCOOTERS TO CHOOSE FROM
August 27, 2012 -
KYMCO USA ANNOUNCES THEIR 2013 LINE
For years Kymco has boasted the most populous scooter lineup in the USA and 2013 appears to be no exception. Occupying Kymco showrooms for 2013 will be a total of 14 different machines. The quick breakdown is four 50cc’s, one maxi scooter and an impressive tally of nine mid sized scoots (110-300cc).
Before delving into discussion on the new models, a moment of reflection is warranted to salute the departure of the original People scooters from Kymco’s lineup. Outlasting any of their contemporaries, the People 50 and 150 were introduced in 2001 and 2002 respectively - the former being a member of Kymco’s debut lineup in the USA. After more than a decade on sale in the USA, these two final members of the People family are headed for the great gymkhana in the sky. Also joining the People 50 & 150 out the exit door are the Yager 200 and retro Sento 50.
The outgoing Sento 50 is being replaced by a pair of new retro scooters badged as the Compagno 50i and 110i. This stylish model was actually introduced a year earlier in Canada as the New Sento 50i / 110i, so you can read some more in depth thoughts on it now.
The Compagno slots in as Kymco’s premium offering in the retro scooter niches with MSRP’s of $2599 (50cc) and $2999 (110cc). At $300 more than the Like 50, the Compagno 50 delivers about 10% better milage and power thanks to its 4-valve, fuel injected mill.
Also for 2013 is an entirely new nameplate - the Movie 150. Resembling the Super 8 150 more than anything else, the Movie 150 is a more subtly sporty model than the flashy Super 8. The Movie 150 boasts some neat features like disc brakes front and rear and dual rear shocks. Finally, the Xciting 500 has been redesigned for 2013 and is now called the Xciting 500 Ri. It boasts fresh styling, new conveniences and a new generation of Bosch ABS.
USA Models: Compagno 50i / 110i, Agility 50 / 125, Super 8 50 / 150, Like 50 / 200, Movie 150, People GT 200i / 300i, Downtown 200i / 300i, Xciting 500 Ri
CMG REVIEWS KYMCO'S XCITING 500
June 07, 2012 -
CMG Takes On The Big Kymco
While it might seem a tad odd posting to announce news on another great scooter site, anyone who’s a fan of the maxi side of the scooter scene won’t want to miss this. CMG (Canadian Motorcycle Guide) has posted up a great in depth review of Kymco’s flagship scoot - the Xciting 500 Ri. Head on over there for a great read and join the discussion in the comments.
CMG really put the Xciting 500 through its paces and it shows with the great depth of this review. Without giving too much away, the Xciting 500 nabs the distinction of being an ‘overachiever’. For some background info on the Xciting 500 and some more discussion on how it slots in versus the other maxi’s, also check out the Xciting 500 page here on Motor Scooter Guide.
STATE OF SCOOTER SCENE 2012 - PART 1
February 23, 2012 -
Part 1 - A Look At The New and Dead Models for 2012
Part one of this address looks at the new scooter models are set hit the market for 2012. Please use the poll to vote for what you think is the best and most significant new scooter for 2012.
Part two will look back at scooter sales in 2011 and evaluate the health of the scooter market specifically in the context of the larger motorcycle market. It will be another month until the full 2011 data is out, but so far 2011 looks to be a big recovery over the painful recession years (2008, 2009) and the slightly better 2010.
New 2012 Scooters:
Aprilia SR Motard 50 / 125
Genuine Buddy 170i
Genuine Psycho Buddy
Kymco People GT 200 / 300
Kymco New Sento 50 / 110 (Canada Only)
Kymco Agility City (Canada Only
Piaggio Typhoon 125
Yamaha TMAX 530 (Canada Only)
Yamaha Zuma 50F
Honda PCX 125
Kymco Sting 50
Kymco Grandvista 250
Kymco Xciting 250
The scooter scene is in a positive upswing right now and enthusiasm is high for 2012. Scooters sales recovered quite a bit in 2011 (more on that in Part 2) so the back logs of dealer inventory from 2008 and 2009 are now largely cleared out. The only model to die for 2012 without an obvious replacement is Honda’s PCX 125. The PCX strangely makes it three one year wonders in a row for Honda (SH150 & Elite 110 being the other two), which indicates either sales haven’t been good for Honda or they’re indecisive about what they want to offer to North American scooterists.
The other three dropped scooters for 2012 are from Kymco. The Xciting 250 and Grandvista 250 have been replaced in the last year or two by the newer 2011 Downtown 200 / 300 and People GT 200 / 300 scooters that are a big step up technologically. The People GT is perhaps the first truly good looking large wheeled scooter sold in North America. The smaller Sting 50 is just a scooter who’s time has come, with nicer replacements like the Like 50 already introduced a couple years back.
The new scooters for 2012 are an exciting bunch. The Aprilia SR Motard and Piaggio Typhoon 125 are basically the same machines with tweaked styling and an extra 2-stroke 50 motor option for the Aprilia. These scooters don’t break any technological ground, but they do offer great styling and low MSRPs that will reduce the number of value oriented sales that the Taiwanese (Kymco, Genuine/PGO and SYM) have been snagging.
The Genuine Buddy 170i is a nice technological boost for the popular Buddy line and should deliver even better fuel economy for a surprisingly small increase in price ($100). The 170i adds fuel injection, an oil cooler and an extra 18cc to the top of the line Buddy models. The Psycho Buddy replaces the Buddy Blackjack in Genuine’s line with its matte black paint and high performance brakes and suspension. The key new differences are the switch to the smaller 125cc motor and the inclusion of the crash bars. Buyers will probably be happy to accept 25cc less in exchange for the $500 chop to the MSRP.
Lastly Yamaha made news in summer 2011 with their early release of the all new 4-stroke Zuma / BWs 50. They played it pretty safe with the styling - choosing to just refine their existing bug eye look rather than try something new. The 4-stroke engine in itself was probably a radical enough change for the Zuma fan base. Having long been known as a peppy 2-stroke that is easily modified, the 4-stroke model will alienate some enthusiasts but attract quite a few more due to it’s increased fuel economy and refinement. While it’s always sad to see one of the last remaining 2-stroke engines go, Yamaha did replace it with perhaps the best 4-stroke 50cc engine on the market right now. No one else can claim to have a fuel injected, liquid cooled 4-stroke engine that uses more than 2-valves.
All told, there are now 52 scooters available to the USA market for 2012 from the eight largest brands which are covered on this site. The number of offerings is the highest its been in a few years and in general the lineups are fresher. With warm weather right around the corner these new models and the annual favourites will by flying out of showrooms soon.
2012 KYMCO'S: PEOPLE GT, NEW SENTO & AGILITY CITY
December 12, 2011 -
2012 Kymco Scooters in 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.