As the price of gasoline hovers around $3 all over the country, many people — especially those who live in cities and really don’t need cars for most of their driving — are turning to two-wheeled transportation of some sort. Many have turned to bicycles while others have turned to mopeds and scooters. That’s right, according to sources such as www.motorcycle-usa.com, scooter sales have picked up dramatically over the last few years as a new generation finds out about the benefits of the scooter.
It’s a field that is wide open to experimentation as companies such as Peugeot turn to battery-driven scooters, while the bicycle-maker, Schwinn even offers an electric version of its popular two-wheeler. Two-stroke, four-stroke, CVT automatics, the year 2011 will see it all, according to our look at what will be available for buyers next year.
Peugeot Turns on Juice with 2011 E-Vivacity
You have to give Peugeot credit. They are seriously committing to electric scooter technology because they have found most scooters are used as urban vehicles and drivers seldom go faster than 28 mph.
Called E-Vivacity, the green scooter will use advanced lithium-cobalt battery technology for 1,000 charges.
E-Vivacity has a 60-mile range and fast charge ability but you will need a 220-240 line to charge it.
Honda Adds PCX 125 for 2011
Joining Honda’s lineup for 2011 will be the PCX 125 scooter. Looking like a mini-street bike, the liquid-cooled two-stroke engine has a number of firsts:
• Center or side kick-stand parking so you can park at the curb or in a tight space between vehicles
• The Vmatic automatic transmission. Actually a CVT, you never have to worry about shifting because your gearing is always optimal
• The engine uses programmed fuel injection and this raises its efficiency.
Vespa Adds 3 models for 2011
Manufactured by Piaggio, the Vespa – still an upright scooter – adds the S150, LX150 and LXV150 to its 2011 lineup. Although the powerplants are up to 150ccs, these scooters achieve 15 percent better fuel economy than other 150s in their lineup.
Very stylish, the composite body has some nicely swept lines. Early reports indicate that the new models will achieve 85 mpg.
Piaggio research indicates these will primarily be used as urban vehicles.
Kymco Shakes Up 2011 lineup
Only in this market for the last decade, the Kwang Yang Motor Co. has actually been in business for more nearly three decades. They have hade partnerships with Honda and BMW. For 2011, their lineup expands with a mix of air-cooled and liquid-cooled engines.
For example, the 2012 like 20011I is powered by tiny – many scooter engines are this size – 49 cc two-stroke air-cooled engine and it innovates upfront with a telescopic fork. Bigger than others in this class, it can carry two and has dual rear shocks.
Liquid-cooled powerplants in Kymco line
While Kymco could have used air-cooled engines across its line for economy it chose to use liquid cooling for it 298cc Downtown 300I, this swept-looking composite handles well and is peppier than its air-cooled counterparts.
Interestingly, though Kymco chose a two-stroke engine for its 2011 Super 8 50 2T, it also uses liquid cooling for this sporty scooter. Its swept look makes it a great addition to this line.