Scoot! Rides the Piaggio Typhoon 125
The Typhoon’s keen Military color scheme. An urban assault vehicle?
For some, the 125 cc engine may seem an odd animal: not as slow as the 50cc but not as torquey as the 150. In places like the U.K. one can ride a scooter up to 125 cc with just a car license and by passing a test. Scooters over 125 cc have different (more expensive) license and testing requirements.
In the U.S. where there is no licensing differentiation between 125 and 150 bikes, their appeal is usually in their affordability—a little more power (than a 50) for a little more money.
The Typhoon’s tires are wider than most scoots in its class.
The Typhoon is Piaggio’s contribution to this mid-range market. The Typhoon is sporty with a sharp stance and styling, and has wider tires than its competition (4 inches versus 3.5). At first glance one might mistaken it for a generic Asian scooter.
A closer look reveals something a bit more aggressive. The pointed front legshield almost eliminates the need for a front fender. The legshield-mounted dual headlights have a unique shape, but operate separately (high beam versus low) which is a peeve of ours. We want symmetry! The rear of the bike is over shadowed by a large wheel fender that looks a bit ridiculous with a U.S. license plate on it.
It’s the only thing that detracts from the sporty, streamlined streamed rear of the bike. Flat floorboards (a Scoot! fave) allow for versatility and openness that feels comfortable, not cramped. The controls are standard and the display is simple: fuel, speedometer and light indicators.
The seating position on the Typhoon is comfortable. One feature that I really enjoy is the flat-ish seat that allows the rider to move around on the seat a bit, depending upon his riding style. The floorboards aren’t as wide as other scooters, and I found my feet were often slightly resting on the passenger footrests.
I was curious about how the wider tires would affect the ride of what the rest of the specs would indicate is a quick nimble little scooter. The wider tires made deep turns a little more challenging as the tires have a distinct edge or drop-off (not as curved). Once I got used to that tipping point, the bike handled well. The brakes are solid with short, stable stopping distances.
Off the line, the bike accelerated smoothly. Toward the end of the power band there is only a little bit more before the bike is at max speed. Although Piaggio suggests that the bike is well-suited for country roads the suspension is not really set up for that.
The wide knobby tires might make you think that’s a good idea but, like the Honda Ruckus, you’ll end up with a sore butt if you attempt any off-roading.
The rear fender does no favors for the otherwise smart, sporty design.
While the flat floorboards and sizable underseat storage provide respectable storage space, I recommend a top case. With almost three times the fuel economy of a standard economy car it’s a great way to save on fuel this summer even with its scant 1.8-gallon gas tank, which is typical for this size of scooter.
In the end The Typhoon is a solid, spirited bike that has enough utility and speed to be fun. College students, and urban road warriors will love
Piaggio suggest that the Typhoon is at a price its competitors can’t beat. The Genuine Buddy 125 is $100 less, SYM Fiddle is $400 less, and the KYMCO Agility 125 is almost $1,000 less. Moreover you can get a KYMCO Super 8 150cc for $2,399.
That being said, one shouldn’t choose a scooter solely based on price.
Room for a passenger
No lockable helmet hook
No accessories from Piaggio
Price against competition
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