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2011 Maxi Scooter Shootout

Monday, June 27, 2011


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2011 Aprilia Scarabeo - Scooter Shootout Video
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Watch MotoUSA put this classic Euro scoot through its paces in our 2011 Aprilia Scarabeo - Scooter Shootout Video.
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2011 Kymco Xciting 500 R - Scooter Shootout Video
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Hop on with MotoUSA as we delve into the specifics of Kymco’s full-sized touring scoot in the 2011 Kymco Xciting 500 R - Scooter Shootout Video.

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2011 Suzuki Burgman 650 - Scooter Shootout Video
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Jump in the cockpit of the largest scoot in our lineup in the 2011 Suzuki Burgman 650 - Scooter Shootout Video.

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2011 Yamaha TMAX - Scooter Shootout Video
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Learn more why the T-Max has recieved high accolades in our 2011 Yamaha TMAX - Scooter Shootout Video.
With gas prices likely to exceed $5 per gallon in the near future (some coastal cities already over $4.50), and the average daily commute for today’s working-class American roughly 60 miles round trip (that’s 300 miles per week), the sheer cost of commuting continues to grow at an alarming rate. Enough so that even us typically thick-headed Americans are starting to take a much closer look at alternative modes of transportation, with SUVs and big truck sales rapidly declining. All of a sudden a vehicle’s fuel economy, a number rarely even glanced at in the past, is now of utmost importance. In fact, some brands are running entire national ad campaigns based solely around the claimed mpg.

And in case you forgot, though some say it is ‘starting’ to rebound, our economy as a whole isn’t exactly flush with cash. As a result, today’s buyer has an entirely new ‘checklist’ when it comes time to buy a new vehicle, be it two-wheeled or four, one placing far more emphasis on overall value and economy. It is also why some modes of transportation previously thought of as ‘alternitve’ are finding their way into American’s garages as ‘daily drivers’ with increasing frequency. And it’s also why Motorcycle-USA.com delivers its first Maxi Scooter Shootout.

Let’s preface things by clarifying that by ‘maxi’ we refer to today’s premiere pass-through two-wheelers, machines that each of the four manufacturers selected to represent as the best it has to offer in the world of scooters. They also provide one or more of the following features for their respective brands: biggest-displacement engine, highest-horsepower output, largest storage capability, or the longest-range tank.

Drum roll, please... The four machines selected to go after the crown are (all 2011 models): Kymco Xciting 500Ri, Yamaha TMAX, Aprilia’s Scarabeo 500ie and Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive. And while these four models differ somewhat in terms of styling, size, and speed, what they do all share is the distinction of being selected by each of their respective manufacturers as the brand’s flagship scooter, sent to try and bring home shootout superiority.

Once we had the four key players in this segment assembled, the scooters largely responsible for the recent class growth seen Stateside recently, our mission was to determine a) who makes the best overall performing scooter, b) which is the most economical (gas mileage, MSRP, maintenance costs, etc), c) can any of them provide the kind of smile-inducing endorphin release a full-on motorcycle does, and d) are any of them up to the task of being a bike enthusist’s main two-wheeled daily driver.

For testing duties MotoUSA gathered a motley crew, with yours truly and Associate Editor and resident scooter expert Justin Dawes joined by road race girl Jen Ross and photographer / videographer extraordinaire Joey Agustin. Road Test Editor Adam Waheed also logged miles on the three that were able to complete the shootout still running (more on that later), providing yet another opinion of these three marquee scoots.

For objective data acquisition we installed our V-Box system on each for a series of closed course runs. And while there isn’t a whole lot one can measure on a machine that struggles to keep pace with most SoCal soccer moms on the 405 freeway, we wanted to have a look at some hard numbers. What this provided was the comparison of 0-60mph acceleration times, 60-0mph braking distances and measured GPS top speeds. Fuel economy was recorded throughout the test as well, of course.

So, without further ado, please enjoy the first all-out big-bore brawl of a scooter shootout to grace the virtual pages of Motorcycle USA...

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Comments
beo07   February 2, 2013 03:08 PM
Interesting situation with the Scarabeo. I've been riding my 500ie since early 2008 and it's got about 7,000 miles on it. I've never had any mechanical problems with it at all. I tend to ride it on suburban avenues, the freeway, and rural highways. It is a bit heavy for the tight confines of the city. I've ridden with Vespa clubs and folks seemed pretty keen on the concept of a classically styled scooter with a motor this size. Plus, nobody else in the club had remote seat release and alarm. This last June I finally got it out for a 450 mile day ride out in the Cascade mountain passes (WA state) and it was just fine. Plus, you can often find them for good prices new. I wouldn't be scared off a 500ie by this test.
bikerrandy   January 9, 2012 01:18 PM
Why no 400 or 500 MP3s ? I have a 250 & a 400 MP3, not to mention a Aprilia 500GT scooter. I have 3 MCs too, but they don't get ridden much any more. The maxi-scooters are more to my liking now.
Scoot   July 4, 2011 07:57 AM
Very poor article. Where are the rest of the scooters like the Honda Silver Wing and the Yamaha Majesty etc. This poor article shows what your interest in scooters really is.
TechGuy   June 29, 2011 09:50 AM
Great article. I would love to see this comparo for some of the newer 300-400cc scooters available in the market now. Kymco has two new models and Suzuki's B400 is quite different than the B650. As to this article, the X500 is one of the older Kymco models and is known to wallow. The B650, while the Cadillac of scooters, is getting older also. But I guess this is the way many of the Japanese brands are, make a good model and continue making it, with minor tweaks, for a long time. The TMAX is one of the newer designs in this article. I read about the 'beo and I assumed it was the fuel pump that failed. It is pretty common to ride it hard, get it hot, take a short break and then it not run again due to a fuel pump failure. Interesting that my comments on page 6 (last page) of this story do not appear with the comments here on page 1.
Seravo   June 28, 2011 09:46 AM
Interesting article, but it is approached from a sideways viewpoint. Instead of "2011 Maxi-Scooter Shootout" the title should have been "Which Scooter Is The Most Like My Motorcycle?". The review misses the point of owning a scooter, namely that they are alternatives to a motorcycles, not substitutes. Developing an appreciation for what something is as opposed to what we expect it to be (fine wine, great art, scooters) comes with age, maturity, and experience so I can't fault the kids that wrote the review. They appear too young to appreciate the subtle differences. Give them time, they'll either grow into the ability to write objectively or will eventually find careers they can do more effectively.
Maggie302   June 28, 2011 06:31 AM
Owning both a Burgman and a TMax I agree with Dawes opinion. I have to go into reading these articles as they are written by motorcycle riders for motorcycle riders, not a scooterist. I have 5 scooters (ok the DN-01 is a crossover) in my garage at the present but each is differing in it's own right. There is never one bike or scooter right for every situation. I am blessed that I can go out and find something that is close to my mood or riding style for the day. I do want to point out that you thinly veiled KYMCO as a low class cast off. That is soooooooo far from the truth. KYMCO scooters are as top notch as the "Big 3" if not better when it comes to quality, IMHO. Why no Honda Silverwing?? Also it was plain silly to add the Beo to in this comparison. I know most motorcyle riders scoff at scooters. Ride with me through the twisties one day and I bet you will have a differing opinion. Having said that I am a firm believer in it's not what you ride it is that you ride. Thanks for giving the Maxi Scooters some press!
klaviator   June 28, 2011 05:07 AM
You assumed that these were the best scooters out there because they were the biggest. I would take a 250-300cc scooter over any of them, or smaller for commuting around town.
screamer69   June 27, 2011 05:32 PM
yea, but where is the Track Shootout?