Do you remember “Spy vs. Spy” in Mad Magazine? Yeah, that’s what I was tempted to title this review… but good sense (and fear of copyright lawyers) won out in the end. So it’s a combination of “Buddy vs. Buddy” and a general review of the new Genuine Scooter Company Buddy 150cc International Series. A big “Thank You” to Bob Hedstrom of Scooterville in Minneapolis for providing the Buddy St. Tropez used in this review. I will begin with the Buddy 150 and then go into the side-by-side comparison with a first generation Genuine Buddy 125. The Buddy 125 used for comparison belongs to my wife Beverly.
Speedometer Reading/Speed/Fuel Economy
Like the vast majority of the scooters that I review, the Buddy 150 has an optimistic speedometer. In this case, almost 10% optimistic. I checked the speed with a GPS unit and found that when the Buddy 150 was indicating 30 MPH, the actual speed was closer to 27 MPH and at 60 MPH indicated the actual speed was 54 MPH. Other speed and mileage results have been corrected to account for the optimistic speedometer.
The Buddy 150 is quick – really, really quick. The scooter used for this review was new, so I didn’t thrash it. After break-in, I would expect the Buddy 150 to be even quicker and to have a faster top end. I very much appreciate the dealers who let me have scooters for reviews and I know that these scooters will be sold to someone when I am done with them. That being said, I don’t push them to the limits of their capabilities. I am also careful with them, apparently more careful than Kevin Kocur who writes for a well-known local publication. Should you run into Kevin, be sure and ask him how the kickstand works on a scooter…..
OK, enough Kevin-bashing for now. With a 160 pound rider, the Buddy 150 had a top speed of 65 MPH (indicated 72 MPH). Again, I am pretty sure that after break-in this will go up a bit. With a 210 pound rider (me) the top speed was 62 MPH. Fuel economy during the test was 82 MPG. I consider this to be extremely good as the Buddy was ridden at varying speeds, by several riders and was ridden QUICKLY by all.
I selected the Vespa LX150 and the Piaggio Fly 150 for comparison in the following chart. I did not make a comparison chart between the new Buddy 150 and the older Buddy 125.
As you can see, the Buddy looks very good “on paper” and I’m pleased to say that looks even better in person and when you ride it. The Buddy 150 has impressive storage under the seat and a handy tray up front. There is a power socket on the left side and the tray is just big enough to act as a cup holder for a tall and fairly narrow 12 ounce coffee travel mug – didn’t spill a drop. The Buddy pictured is the St. Tropez version and it includes two-tone colour treatment, colour-matched grips and seat, and WAY COOL whitewall tires. The horn is LOUD, the loudest I have heard on a scooter. There is also a green “Italia” version and a dark red and cream “Pamplona” version. All three are really, really good-looking.
Probably the best feature of this (and other) Genuine Buddy scooters is the plethora of accessories available. Genuine Scooter Company has done a great job of making sure that there are plenty of ways to make your Buddy YOUR Buddy with front racks, rear racks, chrome kits, windscreens, baskets, top-cases, and more.
Did I mention that the Buddy 150 is quick? It makes other 150cc scooters seem slow by comparison. This isn’t just me talkin’ – lots of other people took the Buddy for a spin and they all commented on what a little speed-demon this scooter is. The Buddy 150 handles very well and has strong, progressive brakes. It fits shorter riders VERY well and can accommodate riders up to about six feet tall. There is room for two – for short rides anyway – and the Buddy is happiest at mid-range speeds. On faster surface roads (45 MPH posted speeds) the Buddy 150 feels like the quickest thing on the road. The horn is LOUD. This is no little “beep-beep” scooter horn. Several people said they looked around for a big truck when they heard the Buddy horn.
Fit & Finish
Everything fits together well on the Buddy and the finish on the panels is very good. The seat hinge seems a little sloppy and latching the seat closed can take some attention. The components used appear to be of excellent quality.
Buddy vs. Buddy
Waaaaaaaay back in the good old days (2006) my wife Bev bought a Buddy 125. She has been very happy with it and has used it to commute to the office as well as for organized scooter rides and to just zip around St. Paul. This was a “first generation” Buddy, and I thought it would be fun to see how the new Buddy 150 stacks up against the older 125.
Bev’s Buddy is well and truly “broken in” and has had a windscreen, rear luggage rack, top-case, and graphics added to it. The Buddy 150 is new and dead stock. I expected the 150 to be faster. After all, it DOES have an extra 25cc, but the differences don’t end there. The new Buddy has much improved lighting, both front and rear. The larger headset on the newer Buddy is also more in keeping with the retroish design of the Buddy. The lighting improvement apply to the new Buddy 125 as well.
The Buddy 150 is markedly quicker than the Buddy 125. I weigh 210 pounds and Bev weighs MAYBE 115 pounds. With me on the Buddy 150 and her on the Buddy 125 I can keep up. Of course she runs away from me when I’m on the Buddy 125 and she’s on the 150. With two equal weight riders (darn close anyway – 155 lbs and 160 lbs) the Buddy 150 is faster off the line and through the midrange. At faster speeds (50 MPH+) the two are very close. The roll-on and midrange punch of the buddy 150 is considerable. With both scooters cruising at about 40 MPH, the Buddy 150 surges ahead, though the 125 catches up quickly. As mentioned earlier, we got 82 MPG during the test on the Buddy 150. During mostly the same riding, the Buddy 125 returned 90 MPG.
The Buddy 150 International Edition is another hit for Genuine Scooter Company. It is certainly the quickest stock 150cc scooter I have ridden and the combination of nimble handling, good brakes and decent storage make it a great machine. As of this writing, the International Buddy is rapidly selling out at Scooterville in Minneapolis. The St. Tropez was the only choice available for review as all of the Pamplonas and Italias that were in stock had been spoken for. If you are looking for a great urban scooter with some highway capability and are fond of the design – get a Genuine Buddy 150. You’ll be glad you did.
The Genuine Buddy St. Tropez used in the review was provided by Scooterville.