QUICK SPIN on the Piaggio Medley 150 | Bike Tests | Latest Tests
Piaggio is helping save the modern city from congestion – one scooter at a time
So, what’s a scooter doing in an issue jam-packed full of MotoGP goodness? If you are reading this at the MotoGP, take a look around as you walk through the pit/paddock area. Scooters are everywhere, being ridden by just about everyone, including the world’s best pilots. Europeans love their scooters, and many of them love Italian brands – especially Piaggio.
I’m a big fan of scooters, their fun factor and their versatility. There’s no easier way to get around a densely populated urban area than on a twist-and-go.
As Australia’s leading scooter seller, Piaggio is reaping the benefits of this, and despite its models carrying what some would consider a premium price tag, Aussies seem to love a bit of Italian flair. Piaggio is Australia’s leading scooter manufacturer, and the best selling scooter in Australia is the Fly 150, a Piaggio product. The next step up in the Piaggio range from the Fly 150 used to be the BV350 (aka the Beverley 350). The gap between the two has now been filled by the all-new Medley 150 model (Also available in an S version).
In addition to its attractive European styling, the Medley is also fitted with some trick electronic bits, including ABS and stop start technology, which improves fuel economy and helps the environment, and has the added benefit of making your ride through the city a whole lot more relaxing. Sitting in traffic with the engine shut down seems to induce a sense of calm you don’t get when it’s idling away impatiently, waiting to get underway again. The system works without hesitation thanks to a clever design built into the Medley’s 155cc, single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine. The engines brushless stator doubles as a starter, doing away with a conventional starter motor. This design eliminates the delay between twisting the throttle and restarting the engine when it’s time to proceed.
Having no starter motor also saves weight, helping the Medley down to a trim 132kg (wet/claimed) weight. Other tricky little bits include the now obligatory USB port (though located in a tricky to find spot), LED running lights, a sizeable glove box and a cavernous 36-litre underseat storage area that will easily accommodate two large helmets, or the week’s shopping. The seven-litre fuel tank is located in the centre of the footboard, helping to increase storage capacity, as well as assisting with styling. It also means petrol fumes are not mixing with whatever you have stored under the seat. If you’re after more storage, there’s a choice of a 32L or 35L topboxes.
If you want to part with an additional $550, you can connect with your Medley via Piaggio’s multimedia platform. The smartphone app provides a wealth of information about what the engine is doing, including lean angle, engine revs and torque. Speaking of which, the Medley is good for a claimed 14.4Nm and 11kW at 6400rpm and 7750rpm respectively. It’s enough power to make sure you can get away quickly and gap the traffic. The power delivery stays strong (for a 150cc engine) right through to 100km/h
On the road, the first thing you notice is the almost big-bike handling characteristics. This comes via the 16-inch front wheel matched to a 14-inch rear, and low centre of gravity. Having a 16-inch wheel up front allows you to throw the Medley into a corner without feeling the front is about to tuck on you. Another big winner is the bike’s low-speed stability, making it a superb lane filtering machine, as we discovered during the Melbourne CBD launch.
Overseas studies have found that if just 25 per cent of a city’s population switched from cars the motorcycles, traffic congestion would be eliminated completely. Scooters are one of the easiest ways to make the transition from car to bike, so they get my vote.
TEST CHRIS DOBIE PHOTOGRAPHY APL