Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Which Scooter - Part 1

I've only ever ridden a 125cc scooter and as much as I enjoy it, I've decided to upgrade to a maxi-scooter. 

Years ago I had bought a white electric bicycle with really tiny wheels in a mall for exactly £125. I used it as a daily commuter from West Dulwich to Chelsea. Can't remember how long the journeys were but it was an upgrade to my red bicycle which I used previously. I fell off that red bicycle when riding downhill in a public park and an un-harnessed large dog stopped across my path. As much as I braked, the bicycle hit him with a thud, propelling me over forwards onto the asphalt. My helmet had split and both my hands lacerated. I had other injuries also. The dog owner called an ambulance promptly as I lay there stunned. The paramedic advised me to press charges. I didn't. I just wanted to get better. I was bed ridden for 6 weeks from that incident and haven't been on a bicycle since. I sold the red wreckage. Some time later I left the UK and gave the white electric bicycle to a cousin.

So now, back in the UK for a little while, which maxi-scooter to upgrade to? Another question I had was whether I should explore sports or cruiser motorcycles also. I eliminated that with determining how I wanted to use the machine in the next few years: I'm not enthusiastic about speed ... I want rider comforts firstly and then the minimum motorway capability required. Motorway capability also yields long journey feasibility. So, circa a 300 - 400cc scooter is just fine. Sorry Honda S-Wing 125: I loved you momentarily but I need something bigger. So now, which scooter?

Honda S-Wing 125

The offerings in Europe are plenty but I've managed to shortlist a handful purely on reliable Brand name only: Honda NSS300 Forza, Suzuki Burgman AN400, Yamaha XMax 400, and Piaggio X10 350

Honda NSS300 Forza

Yamaha XMax 400

Next, it has to come in white. I've learned enough from training to conclude that visibility on the road increases safety significantly. The current Honda NSS300 Forza and the Yamaha XMax 400 do not come in white, and since I'm buying new, this eliminates them. Yep, I'm that shallow but you better listen Honda and Yamaha. I'm a buyer and there are plenty like me. 

Down to two. 

NEWSFLASH! Before I've had the chance to publish this, Honda has gone and announced a new high performance Forza 125 scooter today. Some kind of GT version made for the motorway. 14bhp, claiming 123 mpg, adjustable screen, power socket in front glove compartment with tons of storage (two helmets under the seat), and with ABS as standard! And, it comes in white.

2015 Honda Forza 125

I need to think. I'll be back. 


  1. Hi Shazza. Welcome to the scooter world and all its choices. I have ridden both, a Honda Silverwing 600cc and a Suzuki Burgmann 400cc. I liked the Burgy better for its agility, but both are quite heavy. I have since had a Vespa GT200 and GTS300 after, and Vespa is the best scooter I have ever ridden. 300cc gives you enough power to even pass trucks, and gives you 120 kph on the highway. Plus they come in shiny colours (mine is orange). Good luck on your quest finding the right scooter for your travels.

    1. Thanks for the Vespa tip. I hadn't considered them at all. Will have to test ride one now. ;)