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August 2009 - Posts

  • Vmoto Monza

     

    Is your short daily commute as boring as it is long.

    Been on a 2 stroke 50 lately? I say this because in a world of 4 stroke machines the two strokes can still provide the answer for simple cost effective and fun riding.

    Nothing else provides that unique zip, smell and experience that only a two stroke can deliver, and my recent time spent on the Vmoto Monza is testament to this.

    Remember a 50 cc scooter is still legal to ride on a car licence in a few selected states in Australia, but don’t let this put you off the small capacity if you’re not in one of those states. You see, a 50cc can fill a myriad of duties, perform a number of tasks and do it all whilst putting a smile on your dial and only costing you some loose change.

    But back to the Monza, which like a lot of 50 cc scooters the first thing you realise is that they are so easy to manage.  Low on weight with an easy power delivery means you just need to watch where it is that you’re going. You don’t have the added stress of balancing extra kilos especially at slow speeds as managing the Monza’s 82kgs is a breeze.

    On the road, the Monza darts from side to side, and I found in inner suburban situations the Monza more than capable of keeping up with the plethora of 50 km/h speed limited roads. Large bumps and potholes will do their best to unsettle the Monza but with agility like this you have the capacity to steer around them with time to spare.  

    The Monza will easily cruise at an indicated 60km/h which may be closer to a 50 km/h actual speed. But saying that, it’s ample for the burbs, and I found travelling with the traffic a breeze. Again, with the narrow profile of the Monza  it really does amaze me the size of the gaps I can comfortably fit through, which makes for pretty brisk travel on congested suburban roads.

    I found once up to speed you just needed to feather the throttle; keeping on the upper end of the scooter’s torque curve means maintaining your speed becomes an easy proposition. The Monza easily powered up small inclines and along flat surfaces where maintaining speed limits is not an issue.

    One thing that’s hard to measure is the fun factor. Each time I got the Monza out of the garage it was like boy racer was going out to play. A sense of fun comes over you as you head out, hit the starter, get a whiff of two stroke and off you go with a zing.

    The Monza is comfortable to sit on and again it’s the size thing, an easy reach to the bars and all gauges are easily viewed on the dash. A large speedo tells you your speed and the handy oil warning light lets you know when its time to fill up the two stroke oil reservoir.

    And that’s about as tough as it will get on the Monza, maintenance wise, as every now and then you will need to open up the oil compartment and top up your two stoke oil. Fuel will set you back loose change and service costs will be fairly minimal due to the lack of moving parts. Again living with a two stroke 50 does have its benefits.

    The Monza has plenty of storage opportunities like the lockable top box, underseat storage or even the flat floor with bag hook if required- so shopping runs on the Monza become a breeze.  I found myself taking the Monza on many a shopping trip as you can park in the smallest of places and carry as much home as you could ever wish to feed the family. The odd case I hear you ask? - no dramas, cans or stubbies are easily accommodated.

    Styling wise, the Monza has a sporty appearance with flashy graphics and colour matched rims all suiting the job at hand. Braking is ample for a scooter of this size with a small disc up front and a steadying drum on the rear.

    Sure, the Monza has it foibles, but they’re not enough to take the shine off owning one. Vmoto would do well to enlarge the factory fitted top box a little, and when playing the ‘boy-racer’, the centre stand will scrape on left hand corners. But these criticisms pale compared to the joy and economy of owning the honest little Monza.

    Scootersales.com.au says,

    So; cheap to run, tick. Easy to ride, tick. Easy to maintain, tick.

    The Vmoto Monza certainly does what it was set out to do. The Monza is a scooter that will perform a multitude of inner suburban commuting tasks with ease. It’s a scooter that will be easy to maintain and won’t dig into the weekly budget. And more importantly each time I rode the Vmoto Monza I was instilled with a sense of fun.

    There is something to be said for a 2 stroke 50 cc scooter. As more and more scooters head four stroke to cater for increasing overseas emissions regulations the 2 stroke sits on its own as being unique.  Long live the Monza….

    Posted Aug 12 2009, 06:29 PM by allen with 2 comment(s)
    Filed under:
  • Honda SH300

     

    The SH300i has become a European legend. We find out what all the fuss is about.

    Honda’s SH300i comes with a steady list of credentials, the most significant being it’s one of the top selling models in the home of scooters; Italy. Month after month, the SH300i continues to be one of the best selling two wheelers in Italy, and if it’s not in the top position, it’s only because of its slightly smaller brother, the SH150. As further testament to Honda’s dedication to the traditional European home of scootering, the Honda SH300 is actually designed and built in Italy.

    But enough on the Honda’s credentials, and more on my time with the SH300.  Jason at Freedom Motorcycles in Brookvale phoned me and asked “Al, have you ridden the SH300?” No I replied, because at that point a demo SH300 hadn’t crossed my path. No more excuses, as Jason insisted I get over to Brookvale, pick up his demo SH and “ride it like I owned it” for a couple of days. How could I refuse the invitation…?

    On approach I was actually beaming with anticipation, as here was a scooter that was being touted as one of the world’s best. Performance wise, the SH300 has been hailed as one of the quickest scooters around; so give me those keys and let’s get to it.

    Starting the premium quality, fuel injected Honda is a normal scooter affair, it’s quiet, immediate, and as soon as you twist the throttle the power comes on smoothly with a sweet surge.  And surge it does, very quickly to the 80km/h mark, and continues all the way to illegal freeway speeds. The SH300 engine doesn’t do it in a ferocious, raw or uncontrolled manner; rather, a consistent thrust that feels truly smooth and linear. If you want to accelerate at any speed, as Arnie would say “You can do it”



    The large wheels give you a motorcycle-like dynamic, while maintaining all the convenience of a scooter. To me, larger wheels give you a smoother ride quality, and can also give you the feeling that you’re not going as quick as you actually are. And this is certainly the case with the mighty Honda, as bumps, corners and anything else you might wish to throw at it, just flow under the wheels unnoticed.

    Honda’s extensive ergonomic experience really shines in the comfortable, yet conventional, upright seating position. Top notch comfort is all you will get for both you and your passenger. Some of the other nice features you’ll find include a fully comprehensive dash layout, as well as a nice flip open glove compartment with 12 volt power outlet. And everything has that nice Honda ‘quality’ feel to it that we have come to expect.

    Storage under the seat tends to be limited due to the larger wheels, but you do get the large top box as standard, which also serves as a pillion back rest. The flat floor and bag hook help with the additional shopping, ensuring the SH300 will easily cater for the majority of situations. With the top box though, make sure you are comprehensively instructed in opening and closing it, before leaving the dealership. 



    The suspension around town and along faster arterial roads was perfect for this style of scooter. I found the multi adjustable, twin rear shocks and compliant, conventional front fork, more than sufficient in providing me with a safe, smooth ride. The superb braking is performed by the twin disc combined system that Honda uses across its scooter range, and whilst weight is certainly not a friend of this big selling model, the brakes did a supreme job of pulling up the SH time after time. 



    The domain of the SH300i is on the road. You can go on about specifications, credentials and sales results but the Honda more than excels across the board. I can’t imagine a situation the Honda will do poorly in, or a scenario that will upset it- it reminds me of those students at school that didn’t try very hard but still got the results. You want to cruise above 100km/h? It’s not an issue. You want to accelerate quickly from the get-go? The big Honda does that too. And you want to carve up some back roads? That’s when the 16 inch wheels and EFI power combine to tear up the blacktop.

    Unlike many of its competitors, the Honda SH300 is a true 300cc scooter, which works to its advantage. We did some performance testing against Vespa’s flagship GTS 300, the results we’ve saved for another day, but for now I can tell you from 0-80 km/h it’s pretty even. Over 80km/h is where the extra capacity of the Honda helps and it’s at these speeds the SH300 edges forward. Not by much but it is noticeable.
     
    So I am going to say right here and now, that the SH300i is as good a scooter as you could ever want. You would buy one, keep it and be happy from the moment you ride it out of the shop. If there are any negatives it’s that it does its job with that Honda precision that the brand is renowned for, meaning it can be a little devoid of character at times. 

    The SH300i is technically ‘correct’. It is safe, smooth, 100% reliable, well built, inoffensive and beautifully functional. 



    The only other thing that stands out is there is heaps of plastic covering the Honda, and the styling can come across a little bland or uninspired. In some respects, this goes against the trend of other Italian born machines- making it a Toyota in a sea of Alfas and Fiat’s. 

But given the prolific success of this model in the modern scooter’s symbolic European home, Honda must be doing something right.



    So there you have it, if you’re practical in nature and like your purchases to do what it says on the label, then by all means the Honda must be in your sights. At $8990 it is at the top of the pops when it comes to price, but you will get a damn fine scooter that will satisfy your every scooter need for a long time to come.

    Posted Aug 12 2009, 06:29 PM by allen with no comments
    Filed under:
  • Daelim S1 125

    Impressed by our last meeting, now even more impressed with the 2009 model update.

    Having recently spent some time on the 2008 model we couldn’t help but be impressed by the ‘bang for your buck’ value the Daelim S1 offered. Released onto the world stage for the first time in 2007, the S1 offered a host of features, like somebody had sat down with a blank piece of paper and said “now what should we include on this scooter”.  

    Features like a fuel injected motor, combined analogue/digital dash, linked braking and a 12 volt power outlet, just to name a few. Nice touches included the courtesy light under the seat and the passenger back rest incorporated into the sturdy rear rack. The 9.5 litre fuel tank is one of the largest on a scooter of this capacity and the external fuel filler is unique in this class. Now all this at the time of writing came with a base price of just under $4000 before on-roads.

    On concluding our time on the older model we thought maybe the seat comfort could have come in for some attention, but as for the build quality and dynamics, the Daelim S1 did nothing but impress us. And for 2009 it just keeps getting better, as somebody has taken all the feedback collected from around the world and made the relevant changes.

    Take the seat for example; the padding has been revised and now feels softer and more supportive in the way it allows you to sit ‘in’ rather than ‘on’ the scooter. I would still remove the hump that rises for the pillion, but I’m happy to say that the seat is far more comfortable than before. Red stitching just adds to the look and feel of the seat and adds another dimension.

    Some remapping of the EFI unit means that the power delivery now comes on with a surge from the get-go, making the 2009 model just seem a little more seamless. The 4 valve engine, fuel injected with oil cooler, is a sturdy solid unit known for its effortless performance and reliability. So no change to the power plant itself, just a better way in delivering the 8.5kw of power.

    Styling–wise, new colours and black painted wheels make a cool point of difference from previous models. Also a black surround on the front dual headlight and the clear indicator lenses emphasise these changes. I like the new look and it gives it a meaner, direct kind of purpose. Like to say “hey, I’ve been here for a while but now I’m even better then before.”

    So everything else remains unchanged, dynamically the Daelim remains solid and true on the road. The quality is at the top of its class and the feature list remains intact.

    So the 2009 Daelim S1 125 is all about making an already feature rich, dynamic package even better. And still for a base price under the $4000 barrier, amazing value for such a machine.

    Scootersales.com.au says,

    The Daelim S1 125 is a go anywhere commuter with a host of features, meaning that ownership will not just be an overnight flirtation. You will soon run out of reasons why you would ever need to upgrade, as the performance of this scooter will suffice in 99% of cases. If you’re after long-term, economical and reliable ownership then the Daelim S1 should be on the list of choices or certainly an upgrade option. Styling changes for me are a huge improvement and help give the scooter some intended purpose. Overall a clear winner in most areas and still for a base price of $3990.

    See our Daelim S1 125 video and review HERE

     

  • Scooter Community helps Thea

     

    When we heard about this story we just had to give it some air-time. Community helps out fellow scooterist in time of need.

    Allen Drysdale

    Thea Jones, a University Student working two jobs on the NSW/Victorian border city of Albury woke one night to the sounds of a scooter in flames.

    You see somebody had performed the cowardly act of setting her only means of transport alight, a Honda Today that she had bought 2nd hand to get about town. Thea used the Today to attend University and get to work and just like any other student these days budgets were tight and the frugal Today performed a task. Being short on cash, and a second hand scooter Thea didn't have insurance.

    Now after the fire brigade had gone, all that remained of the Honda Today was a charcoal mess and resurrection was certainly out of the question. Come in Nic Wilke a local long term Scooter Community website member and moderator who heard about Thea's plight and quickly spread the word amongst its members asking for donations to get Thea back on the road

    Nic said "It was fantastic to help out a person in a time of need. Crimes like theses are treated with little regard, and as it was only a scooter, and no one was injured, it would normally go un-noticed"

    The management of Scooter Community soon leapt to Thea's cause starting a paypal donation appeal. The response was inspirational to say the least with a total of $1975 being raised in just over 7 days to get Thea back onto two wheels. Donations came from far and wide with donations even being received from countries such as Japan and Canada, making this a truly global effort.

    The end result in raising the money saw Thea back on two wheels in less then a fortnight. Select Scoota importer for SYM in Australia performed a mammoth effort as after hearing about Theas situation they promptly delivered a brand new SYM Jollie with top box. They also supplied an SYM jacket and other goodies, just amazing.

    But it doesn't stop there. Full comprehensive insurance was provided by Sydney Scooter dealer Scooter Central as well and with the money raised Thea had enough left over to cover all her on-road costs.

    Cameron Saunders GM of Scooter Community went onto say " When ScooterCommunity.com.au first heard about Thea’s plight from one of our moderators, we thought there had to be some way we could help. One of our members from Albury, Dozer, offered his graphic design services in the hope a dealer could offer a scoot, but knowing how much the trade has taken a hit this year, we decided to recruit the help of the entire scootercommunity instead. This was new territory for us, and the result was quite overwhelming. In less than two weeks, we had raised enough to get Thea back on a brand new SYM scoota, complete with rego, top box and comprehensive insurance. We were so proud of the support offered by our members. And really, it came as no surprise to know the members are happy to give a little back to the forum when in need"

    Scootersales.com.au contacted Thea who just couldn't believe that something like this could happen to her.

    She went onto say, "Today i was the humble recipient of a brand new black SYM Jolie, thanks to the help of all on the Scooter Community. I cannot even begin to describe how thankful I am. This is, without a doubt, the nicest thing that has ever been done for me."

    A truly inspirational effort by all those on the Scooter Community website who banded together to make a difference.

    Local media "The Border Mail" ran an article over the weekend and you can see that HERE

     

    The end result of the fire, order up one slightly overdone Honda Today. From this........

    To this, one happy individual with her brand new SYM Jollie

    Scott from Select Scoota hands over the new SYM Scoota to Thea.

     

    Scott takes some time out to teach Thea a few maintenance tips on the Jollie.

  • Kymco Appoints Braaap Frankston

    They are one of the world’s largest manufacturers of power-driven products and now Kymco is coming to Frankston in a new partnership with the growing braaap brand.

     




    braaap, on Playne Street in Frankston, has recently been appointed the dealer for Kymco’s top quality range of scooters on the Mornington Peninsula.  Already with two stores in Hobart and Launceston, the growing braaap empire will be opening a new showpiece store and head office in Frankston on the 29th of August.        

    For the past nine years, Kymco has been successfully marketing its range of scooters to become the fourth largest scooter manufacturer in Australia.  And now the company has just launched a tough and reliable range of All Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s) tailored for Australian conditions, and will introduce a range of entry-level motorcycles to the market in Q4 of this year.     

    While still in its relatively early stages in Australia, Kymco is an absolute global phenomenon.  The company manufactured over 570,000 vehicles last year, which means that every 55 seconds someone, somewhere in the world was purchasing a Kymco.This fast-growing company is a perfect fit for braaap, who have experienced incredible success themselves and are on the cusp of rolling out a nationwide franchise network to take on the braaap label. The brainchild of Australian Young Entrepreneur of the Year, 21-year-old Brad Smith, braaap was recently named Australian Specialised Small Business of the Year and has gone from strength-to-strength to become a genuine multi-million dollar business.

    Brad, in fact, is the Mini Supercross Champion of Australia and it was designing and selling his own bikes (braapsters) that saw the formation of braaap three years ago.  The braaapsters are still a big part of the business, but braaap now also offers a massive range of apparel, helmets, riding gear and, of course, genuine Kymco scooters and accessories.  “Kymco is a great fit for braaap,” said Smith. 

    “We wanted to diversify our business and offer something extra for our customers.  We did our research and found that Kymco are the best quality and most stylish scooters on the market.“Our commitment to the highest level of service was in line with Kymco’s philosophy of delivering the best products backed up by the best possible service.”

    “You only need to look at the pedigree of Kymco to understand what a massive global business it is, with a reputation built around quality, reliability and style.”Kymco is, indeed a very unique business.“Kymco is one of the few “self-sufficient” companies across the globe, manufacturing almost all of its own components, from wheels to carburetors and engines to brake pads,” says Stuart McLean, Chief Executive Officer of Kymco Australia & New Zealand. 

    “Where other manufacturers have buyers running around Asia sourcing parts and components, most of what you see on a Kymco is manufactured by Kymco itself.”“We are delighted to have a dealer of the calibre of braaap to provide an exceptional level of service to our customers on the Peninsula.”The team at braaap are a perfect fit for Kymco, who know nothing but quality in everything they do. 

    The company has been awarded ISO 9001 – the world manufacturing quality assurance rating.The company has forged a strong relationship with the global scooter and motorcycle industry, manufacturing engines for BMW Motorcycles, components for Honda and Arctic Cat, along with a number of other manufacturers.“The fact that a company with the prestige of BMW are willing to put their reputation in the hands of Kymco speaks volumes for our product”, McLean said.

    Kymco, in fact, was established to manufacture parts for Honda in 1963.  The company manufactured its first scooter in 1970 and began marketing under the Kymco banner in 1992.  The BMW G450X enduro engine (manufactured by Kymco) has won huge acclaim and adds yet another feather to the Kymco cap.

    Kymco’s headquarters are located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and the company manufactures through five production factories across Asia.  Over 17% of the substantial Kymco workforce is dedicated to research and development alone, including developing tailored products for global markets such as Australia and New Zealand.  For more information, please contact braaap Frankston on (03) 9775 5525 or visit www.braaap.com.au

  • Triumph Nullarbor Adventure

    Triumph is pleased to announce the great 'Triumph Nullarbor Adventure'.
    What is essentially a 'social ride' for Triumph owners and friends, will commence from Port Augusta on Thursday 4th March, 2010 at 9.00am, and will culminate at the Ulysses 2010 AGM in Albany. (Only registered Ulysses members are able to attend the actual AGM).

    Once riders hit Norseman it will be up to the individual if they head south/west to the Ulysses Rally in Albany, or make their way elsewhere in W.A.

    For more information visit http://www.triumphmotorcycles.com.au/nullarbor/ or contact your local dealer.


    About Triumph:
    Triumph Motorcycles, the iconic British motorcycle marque, is solely owned by Bloor Holdings Ltd. First established in 1902 and now located in Hinckley, Leicestershire, Triumph has always set the pace for category-winning machines. From the iconic Bonneville to the award-winning Daytona 675, Triumph offers a blend of design, character, sex appeal and performance that combines to create truly distinctive motorcycles. The rebel choice of 1960s stars such as Steve McQueen, James Dean and Bob Dylan, today Triumph continues to attract a diverse range of screen heroes, music idols and sports stars such as Tom Cruise, Nicholas Cage, Joseph Fiennes and Hugh Laurie.

  • New HART Centre For Victoria To Celebrate Opening August 29th

     

    The first phase of work has been completed on the massive site in Melbourne's north that is now operating as the new location for Honda Australia Rider Training (HART).

    To celebrate the training centre's opening at 200 Sydney Road, Somerton, HART is hosting an open day on Saturday, August 29th from 9am - 4pm, with formal proceedings taking place at 12 noon.

    The event is being supported by the RoadSafe councils of Westgate, North East and North West who are offering a special promotion on the day to encourage riders to wear protective clothing and take up motorcycle training.

    Anyone who books into a subsidised HART training course at the open day will receive a free pair of summer riding gloves valued at $49.

    The event will also include free "Try It" sessions for beginners and experienced Riders (bookings required ahead of event on 03 92701377), $50 off any course booked and paid for on the day (subject to availability), and free demo rides of the Honda road fleet (bookings required on the day).

    HART has long been considered the preeminent provider of rider training and licensing in Victoria, and now boasts two massive road ranges allowing for both novices and experienced riders to obtain realistic road speeds and situations.

    In addition to learners, licence, intermediate and advanced road riding courses, the new facility offers off road training for kids and novice adults, as well as ATV training on a purpose built track.

    "This is one of the most exciting developments since HART's initial opening 20 years ago," said HART National Manager Mark Collins.

    "We are particularly excited to be able to appeal to even more riders at the new site as we have access to excellent off road training areas as well."

    Further highlights will include a sausage sizzle at lunch time, Riding Simulator sessions conducted by senior HART instructors, protective clothing available for purchase at discounted prices, plus road, off road and ATV demonstrations.

    For more information, please visit: www.hartridertraining.com.au

  • Vespa Winter Warmers

    Get warmed up this winter and be the toast of the town with a saving of up to $500 on 4 top selling Vespa Models. The current model LX 50, S 125, LX 125 and GTS 250 are all reduced to make your winter a warmer one and help you to get in early before spring breaks.

    The LX 50 two stroke wonder, normally priced at $4290** is now just $3990** a saving of $300

    For a bit more get up and go, you can commute in style on these two Vespa favourites. The LX 125 and the S 125 are both normally $5990**, now just $5690** a saving of $300.

    The venerable GTS 250i.e. is the perfect all rounder. Normally $8490 it is now just $7990** a massive saving of $500

    "In no time at the all the wattle trees will forecast the changing of the seasons and spring will arrive before we know it" according to Vespa Brand Manager, Simon Gloyne. He added "Even if you are just starting out riding, a Vespa is just the ticket as all models are Learner approved Australia wide.

    What a great time to own a Vespa".

    Offer Ends 31/08/2009 or while stocks last.

    **PRICES quoted are MLP (Manufacturers List Price).

    **PRICES quoted are MLP (Manufacturers List Price). MLP is the component to which other components must be added to calculate a single or ride-away price. Components can include but are not necessarily limited to Registration, CTP, Stamp Duty, Dealer Delivery fee, Transport etc.

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