Kymco has lowered the MSRP on the People 150 to $2,799. In my opinion, this is a great value.
Hey Dave – How about some scooter reviews OTHER THAN new stuff with no miles on it? Hmmmm, not a bad idea. I am a fan of Taiwanese scooters. They tend to have top-of-the-line build quality at a price that reflects very good value. Taiwanese companies like Kymco, SYM and PGO produce some of the best scooters in the world. At the time of this review, all three offer two-year warranty coverage (as opposed to one year coverage from most Japanese and Italian brands) and are building strong USA dealership networks. I have a Kymco People 250 that has several thousand miles on it and I’m very happy with the scooter. But what about a smaller Taiwanese scooter that SOMEBODY ELSE has racked up some miles on? Do they hold up?
Thanks to Bob Hedstrom at Scooterville, I had the opportunity to review a 2006 Kymco People 150 with over 5,000 km on it. It had a few scuffs and scratches, but otherwise represented a good basic scooter that had seen some use. Other than cosmetically, I treated this scooter the same as I would a “new” one for the purposes of this review. I did not make any “allowances” for its age or miles in my expectations. As far as the specifications go, this scooter is virtually identical to a new 2008 model, so I used the “new” specifications in my comparison chart. I suppose that will be the next step – doing side-by-side reviews of multiple USED scooters…. Yeah, I really need to get a life.
Speedometer Reading/Speed/Fuel Economy
I picked the scooter up from Scooterville in Minneapolis, Minnesota and did a quick check-over (tire pressure and whatnot) and topped off the fuel tank. Then it was testing time. As this scooter had over 3,000 miles on it, I didn’t hold back as far as acceleration or top speed goes. I was, dare I say, pretty hard on the machine. After a little over 100 miles, I think I have a pretty clear picture of what to expect from a Kymco People 150.
No great shock, the speedometer was nearly 10% optimistic. That is to say that when it indicates 40 Miles-Per-Hour, the actual speed is 36 MPH. I checked this with a GPS unit at several speeds and it was always about 10% off. The top speed with a 210 lb. person riding was an indicated 70 MPH, or an ACTUAL 63 MPH. I had a 150 lb. “volunteer” ride the scooter and he got it to over 70 MPH indicated, but didn’t have the GPS unit with him to verify. In all likelihood, the actual top speed is probably 65 MPH.
Remember, I was not gentle with this scooter and spent a good bit of time at higher speeds. The actual fuel economy was 82 Miles-Per-Gallon. That’s corrected for the optimistic speedometer. I consider this to be very good and wouldn’t be at all surprised if a lighter person who was NOT running the scooter hard could expect to see 85 – 90 MPG.
The Kymco People 150 is in a high-demand class of scooters – small enough to be VERY easy to ride and not at all intimidating, yet big enough for (relatively short) freeway jaunts. I chose to compare it to the Genuine Buddy 150 and the Vespa LX 150.
As you can see from the comparison chart, all three scooters are 4-stroke, 150cc air-cooled, carbureted, automatic scooters. They range from seat heights of 29 inches (Genuine Buddy) to 30.9 inches (Kymco People) and weigh from 223 lbs (the Buddy again) to 245 lbs (the Kymco again). All three have disc brakes up front and drum brakes in the rear. The difference really hit home in the wheelbase and tires. The Kymco has a 53 inch wheelbase and 16 inch tires as compared to the Buddy’s 48 inch wheelbase and 10 inch tires. These specifications will really come into play when we talk about the ride of the Kymco People.
The Kymco People 150 has reasonable, though not great, storage. There is a small locking glove box and a small under-seat bucket. The under-seat area could NOT hold my ¾ style XXL helmet. It was close, but I couldn’t latch the seat back down. There is a clip for locking a helmet by the D-ring under the seat. On the storage plus side, the People 150 comes with a very nice luggage rack that would be an additional-cost add-on to either the buddy or the Vespa. The rear rack on the People 150 is just screaming for a top-case. With the addition of a nice SHAD or Givi removable top-case, the People150 would have very good storage capacity.
The seat on the Kymco People 150 is comfortable and can accommodate two people. There are flip-put passenger foot-pegs which I like. A lot of scooters have passenger footrests that are integrated in the body of the scooter and they tend to be overly “tight” to the scooter and force the passenger into a bowlegged position when riding. The People 150 has all of the “usual” controls and a nice dash with a clear and easy-to-read speedometer and fuel gauge as well as indicator lights for high beam, low beam and turning. The People 150 is equipped with push-button electric starting and a kick-starter. There are both side and center stands for the scooter.
I did do a little night-time riding and found the headlight to be adequate. The rest of the lighting was good and the required number of reflectors are on the scooter, but I still found night-time visibility to be just barely adequate. Of course I find this to be true of just about EVERY scooter which is why I always recommend additional reflective material on scooters and/or riders.
Everything still worked just fine on my test People 150 after 5,000 km. The seat latch was just a little lose. Every switch, control, etc. was in perfect working order, I’d say, “as good as new.”
I have to admit that it’s kind of nice to hop on a scooter and NOT be concerned about engine break-in for a review. Full throttle, hold her open, damn the torpedoes! I’m not sure what I expected from the Kymco People 150. I mean, I OWN a Kymco People 250 and have been thrilled with it. I KNOW how nice riding on big wheels can be. I KNOW how strong Kymco motors are. I suppose I was expecting to be “let down” by the 150, especially because I am so used to the 250. Boy, was I ever wrong.
The Kymco People 150 is one of the nicest riding 150cc scooters I have been on. Most of the 150cc scooters in the marketplace have small wheels (the Genuine Buddy has 10” wheels, the Vespa 10” & 11”, the Piaggio Fly 12”) and I enjoy the quick, responsive ride from the smaller wheels. Also, most people typically think of a scooter as having small wheels – its part of the look that a scooter is “supposed” to have. Big wheels on a scooter make for a smoother and more stable ride. The Kymco People 150 may not be as quick handling as a Buddy, but the ride at speed is pretty darn nice on the Kymco.
The disc/drum brakes worked just fine with no fade and easy modulation. The Kymco People 150 is not as quick off the line as a Buddy 150, but is quicker than a Vespa LX150. The People 150 is happiest in the mid-range, say from 20 MPH to 45 MPH. I didn’t have any ergonomic issues with the scooter. I can see that a person with long legs and/or large feet might run out of room on the People 150, but that could also be said of the other scooters in this class. My wife, Beverly, rode the People 150 and she also fit just fine. Both of us said pretty much the same thing about the Kymco People 150 – it’s a smooth ride.
Fit & Finish
Having owned a Kymco for several years and being able to see a good number of them at dealers, I am completely impressed with the fit and finish. Kymcos are right up there with Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki for high quality finish. The People 150 that I reviewed had some scuffs and wear on it, yet the overall scooter still looked great. The panels still fit well and nothing rattled or otherwise seemed loose. The one item that was showing some wear was the hinge for the seat, but it was minor and took only slightly more care than normal to close and latch.
In my opinion, the choice of the “best” scooter for any buyer comes down to how they will use it and their own preferences. The Kymco People 150 is not as “retro” looking as a Genuine Buddy or a Vespa LX. It isn’t as sporty as any number of other scooters. The People 150 is a top quality, practical and fun scooter with a smoother ride than the small-wheeled competitors. If it fits you and your riding needs, you’d have a tough search to find another scooter as good.
Kymco has lowered the MSRP on the People 150 to $2,799. In my opinion, this is a great value