Ok, so now that we’re all done laughing, a Moderator can place this in the Reviews Forum. I am posting it in General Discussion initially, as instructed. I have some time on my hands this evening, and after spending nearly 600 miles on an Agility 125cc and 250 miles on a Blackjack 150cc the last couple of months, I have come away with some fairly solid impressions of both.
I am a brand new rider, and those 850 miles are all the experience I have on two wheels riding anything with a motor attached. In fact before these scooters, the last I was on two wheels was a bicycle 28 years ago. And even then, not often. So these are fairly wide eyed impressions of both scooters, and may serve the new rider particularly well if looking for your first scoot. Or even a seasoned rider of larger bikes who may be looking to go a little small.
I will cover both scooters in each category to make things simple, going over the Blackjack first and perhaps making little comparisons along the way.
Build Quality, Fit And Finish
The Genuine Blackjack does not disappoint here. It’s matte black paint and red trim is very smooth looking, and it seems a quality job was done. It’s an aggressive looking scooter with its red wheels, whitewall tires, and Prima pipe. This scooter is simply styled and presented, but still completely unique.
It’s flat black like an old time primered hot rod ready to be painted, but of course will never be. The Blackjack looks like a cool scooter, and it feels that way riding down Hollywood Blvd at 4:00am on a dark Saturday morning. It stands out in the scooter crowd, that’s for sure. As refined as a Vespa LX150 is, which would draw your eye at a stoplight if they pulled alongside you together, the Vespa or the Blackjack?
Easy answer there.
The Kymco Agility 125cc is another story all together when it comes to aesthetics. While the scooter does feature a lot of black trim like the Blackjack, um, its supposed to be a red bike. Although it could be argued all U.S.
Agility’s are actually black scooters with some giant painted trim thrown on, just in case someone get’s wise to that fact. Available in Black/Red, Black/Blue, and Black/Silver, it would seem the Toyota Corolla of scooters. And that isn’t such a bad thing.
It’s just not very original or inspiring. It has mini sport bike looks up front. and mini dirt bike looks at the rear. The paint is fine and looks good, and the trim looks decent.
Hey look, it’s just a scooter! Luckily for the Agility its bland looks are probably its biggest shortcoming.
All in all both scooters display good enough levels of fit and finish for what they are. The Blackjack however LOOKS like a $3,500 scooter, the Agility does not. And it shows.
I am happy to report both scooters seem well screwed together and don’t display any unusual shakes, rattles, or rolls. And while these are not automobiles, it would almost be fair to judge them in this regard as you might the interior of an auto. You ever been in a cheaply made car? Things creak, squeak, rattle, groan and moan. Well cheap scooters do the same thing.
You sit on one and think is the plastic supposed to sound like that? why is there a panel gap here? how come the controls feel like cheap toys? Well, because its crap. I sat on and saw many a poorly built scooter while shopping, and these two scooters aren’t like any of them. Have a seat, solid.
Move the scooters around, solid. Get out on the road, over some bumps and rough spots, solid. The Kymco doesn’t feel as much so as the Blackjack, but again, it’s as if the Agility were a Toyota Corolla and the Blackjack a BMW 3 Series. Both are good, but there is a certain measure of getting what you pay for thrown in.
Both are composed, solid, and feel safe on the road. They are also $1500 apart at full retail.
The Everyday Commute
Both scooters meet the necessary criteria for everyday urban use, and secondary highways. Offering punchy and fluid acceleration all across the rev range, the Genuine Blackjack can pull away from most eager cars at stoplights, and pass them easily on city streets. From 0-60 the power is there, so far as that goes with a scooter.
And the more you twist the throttle the happier the scooter is to get you where you are going. Riding in and out of traffic is a stress free exercise on the Blackjack, as is tackling the occasional hill or steep grade. I haven’t had the scooter past 65mph indicated, but from what i can tell by the effort it takes to get there and sustain it, the little hot rod has at least several more mph to give me.
The Kymco Agility is somewhat less then the Blackjack in all the above categories. It’s 125cc engine is peppy for what it is, but the 150cc Blackjack is downright punchy for what it is. The Blackjack has significantly quicker acceleration to 40mph, if not dramatic. This makes the Agility seem less then confidence inspiring at times.
Such as when getting ahead of traffic safely after a red light goes green and you split lanes to get to the front of the pack. On the Blackjack I don’t care what kind of car is upfront, I just go there. On the Agility I always check to see if any fast cars are upfront who might try to flatten me as I get out ahead of them. On the Blackjack I’m already through the intersection by the time cagers have their foot off the brake and on the gas.
On the Agility I am perhaps 2/3’s through the intersection. Simply put, its a slower scooter. Which is not to say its slow. It gets to 40mph fast enough, and is very flexible from there to 50mph. Once it goes above 50 however, the trek to a top speed of 55-60mph is somewhat leisurely.
Add a headwind, long incline, or little hill to the mix, and it might just stay at 50mph. To make a comparison, the Agility is working pretty hard above 50mph, feels like it has a lot more to give, but somehow it just can’t. You goose the throttle and the scoot responds by speeding up ever so gradually.
On the other hand at 50mph when you goose the throttle of the Blackjack, you feel the bike take off as you are thrown a bit backward on the seat. It makes it seem like it could go twice as fast as the Agility working half as hard. And while that may not be true, its a good feeling to have when traveling roads with 45mph posted speed limits at 55mph, and knowing full well you have some usable power left.
On the Agility at 55mph you just hope the road stays nice and flat so you can somehow push it to 60mph if need be.
So, what is the real difference between the 125cc Agility and 150cc Blackjack in everyday real world riding? Well, 25cc may not sound like a lot, but if you consider it can make a 10-15mph difference in top speed on scooters that are most happy going 55-60mph, its pretty huge. That 25cc affects everything from what I can tell.
Off line acceleration, midrange punch, top speed, holding speed on hills and inclines, and the overall flexibility of the engines across the powerband. The Agility shows some flat spots in its climb to its top speed, while the Blackjack will have none of that. I read a review which said when riding a Blackjack, a little evil grin comes to the face every time you twist the throttle. And it makes you want to twist it more and more and more. That is true, but not of the Agility.
Again I hate to return to the car analogy, but being such an inexperienced rider that’s all I’ve got. Agility = sensible but fun to drive compact car. Blackjack = Honda S2000.
Both these scooters will get you down the road daily. Both will be fun to ride and keep up easily with 50mph+ traffic in the Agility’s case, and 60mph+ in the case of the Blackjack. But only one will give you a feeling of excitement when anticipating a light going green and you’re up front.
Only one will go up a steep local hill at 45mph with more power on tap, while the other is at WOT at 48mph on the same hill. And only one will make you wonder how much a lean you might get on your scoot for that one particularly fun stretch of twisties you never noticed in your car, but brighten up the end of your workday now that you ride. And that one wears a Genuine badge.
The Blackjack has it in spades, pardon the pun. As a new rider, I don’t know how to express this, but it is more then a subjective opinion. Its obvious.
The Genuine Blackjack is just flat out fun to ride. When I was a real brand new rider I would get on and off the seat and think ‘What is so special? What are they talking about?
NYC this and NYC that? Who cares, it’s a scooter!’ Well of course you might think that if you just rode the damn thing in a carport and parking lots and empty neighborhood streets like its a bicycle.
But as I have gotten in more miles of riding, the Blackjack has revealed itself to me. This thing goes around curves, turns, and otherwise with confidence inspiring handling and stability. It’s a flingable, point and shoot sort of experience.
Look where you want to go, and the bike goes there. Look at where you want to stop, apply brakes, and the scoot stops on a dime. This little scooter tears up and down city streets and backroad sweepers with enthusiasm and gusto. The combination of good road feel, stability, responsive throttle control, and excellent braking always leaves a good impression, and the rider wanting more. I have nothing to reference this from except my experience on the Agility 125.
Which is somewhat different, to say the least.
The Agility feels stately by comparison. Hopping off the Blackjack and onto the Agility and you immediately notice how much bigger the scooter seems. You sit fairly high in the seat, and even if not much higher then on the Blackjack, if certainly feels that way as the seat itself is much bigger then the solo Blackjack seat.
In fact the seat of the Agility is longer, wider, and taller then many midsize scoots. Its great for comfort and storage, but the riding position you’re left with is less then sporting. The two scooters differ in size but not much in weight, and while the Agility does live up to its name, it does so in a pedestrian manner.
As said before, acceleration is pep as opposed to punch, a couple of flat spots can be felt on the climb to top speed, and its stock tires make the scoot seem as if it might come out from under you when maneuvering aggressively. But its just a feeling, and the scooter gets through twists and turns without much fuss or excitement. Not to wear out the car analogy anymore, but I have to make the comparison once more. So you’re going out, some fun roads are ahead, you feel good.
You have two choices: The perfectly competent and somewhat sporty Honda Civic Si coupe, or your 2011 Mustang with the performance shocks, brakes, and aftermarket pipe.
That’s the difference in performance concerning these two scooters. And while it is substantial, it is not as huge as it might sound on paper. Both scooters get down the road great, both have reasonably complaint suspensions for small scooters, both exhibit secure handling, braking, and reasonable small scoot comfort. In other words, hey, they’re both scooters and they work! But have no doubt, the Blackjack is a badass 150cc classic style scooter, and it looks it.
A somewhat unique scooter in the world of mainstream scoots, its a blast to ride and fun to be seen on.The Agility is, um, fun to ride and ain’t much to look at. But she gets a good job done nonetheless. She’s just doing it slower, being quieter, and not making too much a fuss about it.
When it comes to amenities the Buddy has a few the Agility doesn’t, such as a legsheild compartment and a 12V charger to go along with a bag hook or two. The Agility on the other hand has a simple hook on the legshield, and that’s it. However it does beat the Buddy hands down in under seat storage capacity, and comes standard with a large rear rack.
Something you’ll pay extra for on the Blackjack.
And that’s all there is to it. The Buddy Blackjack is obviously the superior bike here in just about every category save ride comfort, as the Agility is sprung somewhat more softly. But, that’s the trade off you make for excellent handling, and that’s the trade you get with the Blackjack.
I did not understand a review i read where riders were saying how easy it was to scrape the side stand during a lean into a turn on the Blackjack, but now i understand. And its a great thing to realize about riding. If I had gone after that same realization on the Kymco Agility I would have learned a hard lesson by hitting the hard pavement.
That is not the purpose of the Agility, but it does what it does well nonetheless.
So if you’re in the market for a small scooter as a new rider, or already ride scooters and want to own another or own again, which of these scooters should you choose? Well, the one you want and can afford if it suits your basic needs. Both scooters are well made, reliable, and durable. Both have great warranties. And surprisingly, the Agility has been attracting as much positive attention to it lately as the Blackjack does for itself.
I hear comments like i’ve not seen one like that before and its not really a small scooter, is it and its cool it looks like a little motorcycle. And of course when all is said and done, the final question: How much does it cost, how much did you pay?
Ah yes, the devil is in the finances in the end, isn’t he. The Genuine Buddy Blackjack retails for $3500 but has been found on discount recently for $3100, give or take. And you could probably get one wrapped up and OTD for for a couple hundred dollars more. Quite a deal on an excellent scooter.
However the Kymco Agility 125 already being a low cost, high value scooter means it’s price can only go further down, still. And since its not a sought after piece of work like a Blackjack, its price can go way down in certain instances. If you’re looking for a bargain on one new or used, you can come out spending upwards of $2000 LESS then you would for a Buddy Blackjack, and even substantially less then for the regular Buddy 125cc and 150cc scooters.
Final tally – Genuine Buddy Blackjack, full retail with home delivery – $3850 OTD
Final tally – Kymco Agility 125 with dealer discount – $1600 OTD
As said, the Civic or the Mustang, the choice is yours. But either way you will be more then happy with what you paid for, and what you actually get in return
- 2012 Kymco People GT 300i First Ride – Motorcycle USA
- 2005 Kymco Venox Road Test Rider Magazine Kymco Reviews
- Kymco Australia & New Zealand
- Like NEW 700Km Kymco Downtown NEW in 2014 with TONS of extra’s