Melbourne Motorcycle and Scooter Expo: The Exhibitors
Well the glitz and glamour of the scooter and motorcycle expo did not disappoint the media this year.
Once again it is a wonderful array of machinery and accessories lined up under the marquees of this country’s largest importers and manufacturers. All the brands and exhibitors had sufficient staff on hand to answer questions about their entire product line, not just what they had on show.
First stop was Eagle-Wing Scooters. Ian Kalmek of Eagle-Wing Scooters was delighted to be at the show saying, Melbourne is an exciting market and Eagle-Wing is enjoying being part of it. Eagle-Wing’s stand is a modest size.
As some the Eagle-Wing models share the same body and chassis, just a variation of different engine capacities, it enabled Eagle-Wing to show more of their range to their customers. Ian went on to further describe that buying an Eagle-Wing scooter was only part of the relationship the manufacturer forms with its customers and dealer network; the after-sales genuine parts backup has the experience and can-do ability to provide the correct parts in the most efficient manner using systems inherited from the world-wide operations of their parent company, Imperial Holdings Group (South Africa). The scooters that Eagle-Wing have on display are an impressive matt black Sport 125, a silver Elegante, a red Cino 125 and a couple of Powermaxes including the very smart-looking blue and white model.
Yamaha has a quarter of their very large display devoted to scooters across their entire range. The display is exhibited on a platform of brilliant white, highlighting their attention to detail on the fit and finish of their scooters. The Melbourne show is their first in displaying some updated models of the range.
The update of the Cygnus 125 to EFI sees Australia now receiving the highly regarded and visually appealing Euro CygnusX (NCX125) with its impressive digital/analogue dash layout. With the CygnusX being priced at $4190+orc it will certainly be on the short list for a lot of buyers in the 125cc market. The flagship TMAX 500 (XP500), in its revised form, is on display and has its own podium.
It looks great from a display point of view and you can get in and have a good look at its undercarriage but it is difficult to get a look at the dash layout. The front edge of the seat set in a gloss plastic creates a defining line in the TMAX’s aesthetics, giving it an even more unique streamlined look, separating itself from others in the maxi market. Other scooters from the Yamaha stable on display are the unique and different BeeWee (YW100), the popular Majesty 400 (YP400) maxi, the sporty liquid cooled Aerox 50 (YQ50), the 50 and 125 retro styled Vino’s (XC50 and XC125 respectably) and old but experienced and reliable Jog 50 (CV50).
Not that it is a scooter – though it is a cheap form of transport and something that might appeal to an audience that want something unique – is the MotoVert RX 125. With its motard looks, electric start, full light system, front and rear disk brakes plus the handling similar to a conventional motorbike, this is ideal for the rider that demands something nimble to get around town or have a play on without having to handle the bulk of a full sized motard/trail bike.
The Industrial basics is the theme for this years VMoto stand. Using checker plate and concrete to give the industrial look lets the brightly coloured scooters shine under lights. The entire Vmoto cast are on display for all to look at.
The metallic British racing green Montego’s looks brilliant and a picture does not do it justice and another major point would have to be its current, sharp price of only $2190+orc, giving it the price lead on any other 4-stroke retro scoot available on the market today. The Monte Carlo was centre stage, displayed in a brilliant matt black, giving it a seriously street-tough look. The Milan, Matrix and Monza 50cc 2-stroke scooters are on display as well as the Monaco 125cc.
Aprilia’s aim was to focus on the Melbourne and Victorian markets. With this in mind plus an the releases of mid-sized engines for the SportsCity and Scarabeo, Aprilia brought a great range of city scooters to the show for display. The Mojito gives the classic tragics an option with a 125cc engine to keep up with urban traffic.
An Aprilia red Scarabeo 250 is on display, giving learners and option to ride a sufficiently sized scooter during their learner and probationary periods without having to upgrade when they roll over to their full licenses. The latest releases of the SportsCity models (125 and 250) are also on display. These two scooters have increased the market penetration for the SportsCity models as the 125cc gives scooter-only riders in NSW a choice outside the Mojito and SR50 DiTech range and the 250cc gives all riders in Victoria a SportsCity model that is more environmentally friendly, yet is still able to keep up highway traffic with a load on board.
Peter Stevens Imports, the importers of Piaggo, Vespa, Gillera and Hyosung have a prominent display at the show. Their main show piece, the new Piaggio MP3, is drawing quite some attention from show goers. The MP3 is a technology breakthrough that is sure to open the scooter market up to a whole group of people that are not quite confident on two wheels. Even though the sticker price for the MP3 is on the high side for a scooter, it is on par with similar capacity maxi scooters.
But with the current prices for fuel and families thinking twice about renewing the second car, this is a serious candidate to fill that second car void, even for those that have never thought about riding two wheels before. The Hyosung scooters displayed are the Rally, Rush and Super Cab. In the Gillera corner you have the super sports Nexus 500 in its real red colour scheme.
Apart from three MP3’s dominating the Piaggio display, Piaggo is displaying a couple of other recently released models including the Zip and Fly. These two scooters give Piaggio a model line up for the budget conscious buyer by performing cost saving manufacturing in China under Piaggio specific quality control thus passing this saving directly to the consumer. The new X8, Beverly and Liberty are also part of the Piaggio line-up.
The Vespa line-up was completed with 6 different models including one in a canary yellow paint scheme that stood out from the rest. My pick of the Vespa’s is the GTV250 with the traditional suede style brown seat. If you have not seen a GTV in the flesh, I urge you to check this classic icon out – it is pretty special indeed.
Electric Motor Company (EMC) had a simple stand showcasing their current Ecel Sport range, including an all-pink Ecel. The front runners on the stand and the scooters that I think will make their biggest mark on the Australian market is the new e-Max range. These scooters look like traditional scooters and have performance that is beyond the standard 50cc class that they seemed to have been lumped into under the ADR classifications.
Hence these puppies have had to be severely restricted electronically. The e-Max 110 and e-Max 90 are on display to allow people to get a feeling for these scooters in this new age of climate change, where our selection of transportation will determine the impact we have on the environment of future generation.
Stoney Creek PowerSports have a mixture of models from their catalogue such as TGB, Peugeot and Sachs. The TGB models include the R50X sports 50cc and the 303. Peugeot scooters on display are the ever impressive handling JetForce 125 EFI and the funky, fast and water-cooled Ludix Blaster. Since taking on the Sachs franchise, the product range has expanded from only being the MadAss to now include the City 125/150 retro styled 4-stroke scooter. But wait, that’s not all.
Paul Nobbs from Stoney Creek PowerSports would like to let the readers in on bit of upcoming news. We have a couple of new models going through compliance at the moment, including scooters from the Benelli marquee. He went on to say, But our newest model to watch out for is from the Sachs brand called the Dash. The Dash will be keenly priced at around $2390+orc and will give customers further choice when it comes to selecting a commuting scooter.
We will keep you informed as these new models are released in the not-too-distant future, so stay tuned.
Pioneer Motors Australia are the local distributors for the Zongshen Industrial Group from China. Even though they are not big in Australia and have only two models, Zongshen is large enough to be engaged by Piaggio to build the Zip/Fly range of scooters. Putting the Zongshen range side by side to the Zip/Fly range, you can tell where the similarities lie. The fit and finish of the Zongshen range feel the same as Piaggio.
One thing I do like is the passenger foot pegs that fold into the body work. They look like they were made as part of the design and not just some after-thought that is bolted onto the scooter as it was leaving the factory. There is some seriously high quality craftsmanship now coming out of China, so the next 18 months will be pretty exciting.
The far right hand side of the show has two big manufacturers, Suzuki and Honda. Suzuki has the current Burgman on display in a metallic red Burgman 400 and a metallic gun metal grey Burgman 650. Honda has all of its models on display which includes the Silver Wing, ForzaX, @125, Lead 100, Today 50 and the Scoopy.
Unfortunately these two manufacturers did not have any new releases or concept models to show so nothing new will becoming coming out of these manufacturers to Australia any time soon.
The Arqin stand, for a scooter stand is quite large though they do have to cater for their motorcycle arm as well. The good thing I can see with a stand this large is that there is plenty of room to move around their scooters without tripping over other punters looking at the same time. Arqin has the new V3 on display, which I might say, does look a lot better in the flesh than the pictures and press releases reveal.
The Metro 4 and the Sprint 125 are on display in varying colour schemes, helping customers decide on colours rather than choosing from a brochure. If you ever wanted to know how the GY6 engine works, they have a cut down model on display to give you an idea of how small they really are.
A couple of notable absentees from the show would have to be Bolwell Scoota and Bug. At this point in time it is unknown why they didn’t attend and with both importers representing a large chunk of the models and sales market, there is a lot less choice on the show floor. I am also surprised they didn’t make an appearance with the recent release of the VS125 fromBolwell and the Xciting 500 due for official release by Bug shortly.
Hopefully, this is just a small oversight and they will be back at the show next year.
If you are yet to venture to the show, then I suggest heading down today and checking out what is on offer. Not only will you get to enjoy the great models on display, the large range of accessories for riders should also grab your attention.
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- Demo Ride: Madass 125 – Detroit scooter Examiner.com