Buying a New 150cc Scooter

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Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby Kal El » Wed Mar 16, 2016 00:18

I am in the market for a new 150cc scooter. Actually, it would be my first new scooter ever as I've always gone for second hand and used scooters, but I'm tired of other people's problems.

I've been looking at these two in particular.

Yamaha Smax 155



Kymco Racing 150
This video features the limited Brembo edition, but it's basically the same thing except for some modifications as far as I can tell.



Does any one have any advice (limited to 150cc scooters, not interested in anything smaller or bigger), experience with either model or any ideas of pros vs cons?
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby Kal El » Wed Mar 16, 2016 13:05

I'm a bit saddened no one has chimed in. A Google search on Smax 155 vs Racing 150 brought up a forum discussion several pages long on several brands of 150cc scooters in Taiwan. Sadly, it wasn't our forum.

Anyhoo. I went to two or three scooter shops this fine morrow (which even had sunshine for a wee while) and I think I've settled on the two scooters in the OP. All the Laobans tried to sell me on the virtues of several other brands like the PGO 150, Aeon 150 etc, but they all kinda looked shitty IMVHO.
I'm not looking for a racing scooter, I'm looking for something comfortable (no one needs their piles inflamed at our age, eh), reliable and affordable.
So far, big selling points (for me) on both are as follows:
1. Both a reasonably sized scooters without being too large like the 250s, Majesty and similar brands (I saw an Aeon 300, the thing is bloody huge!).
2. Both look like comfortable rides. I haven't taken either one for a spin yet, but just sitting on the scooters I found both had comfy seats (The Smax probably more so for the passenger than the Kymco Racing). However, even though the Smax is longer and broader in the beam, what it makes up for in passenger seating comfortability it gives up ever so slightly in betweem the legs floor space.
3. On the pro side for the Smax, it is 155cc with a liquid-cooled engine (better for long rides, better overall), whereas the Racing is a 149cc air-cooled engine.
4. On the pro side for the Kymco Racing 150 is the 81 500 price tag vs the Yamaha Smax 92 000 price tag. Both a lot more expensive than the last time I bought a scooter. :eek:
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby sandman » Wed Mar 16, 2016 14:15

I've been using a 20-year-old Kymco Jockey bought from Jeremy at Bikefarm. For more than 10 years. The thing just goes and goes. Which is why he prefers them. He's a pro with many years of experience selling and renting out scooters. You're out of luck, though, if you want shiny plastic, etc. Because that's basically all you're paying for with these modern (HA HA HA!) 1970's-era machines with shiny bits added to the outside.
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby Bu Lai En » Wed Mar 16, 2016 16:43

I'd say ask which one has cheaper parts.

My Kymco 150cc Movie has been going for 14 years. Just passed 100,000km. Still does about 95kmph.

Definitely take them for a ride. When I was buyin, I really didn't like the riding position (centre of balance) of one I'd been considering.

Last of all. See if you can buy direct from your trusted mechanic. That's what I did, and I hadn't even known he sold bikes.
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby SlowRain » Wed Mar 16, 2016 21:37

I have the Racing King 180 with ABS, not the 150. I think they have the same body, though. I had to get the seat built up because I didn't like the riding position. That was less than 1000NT. As for annoyances, I find the passenger foot pegs are in my way whenever I put my feet down. I've had mine for a year and a half and have ~9000km on it. No problems so far.
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby Kal El » Thu Mar 17, 2016 13:53

sandman wrote:I've been using a 20-year-old Kymco Jockey bought from Jeremy at Bikefarm. For more than 10 years. The thing just goes and goes. Which is why he prefers them. He's a pro with many years of experience selling and renting out scooters. You're out of luck, though, if you want shiny plastic, etc. Because that's basically all you're paying for with these modern (HA HA HA!) 1970's-era machines with shiny bits added to the outside.

I get what you're saying, and Kymco is very reliable. But correct me if I'm wrong, you don't drive it (relatively long distances/times) every day, do you? I spend an average of 70-80 minutes on my scooter everyday (town driving), and I'd like something I can go long distances with carrying a passenger (which is where the Yamaha liquid cooled engine seems better).

That said, yeah, the Kymco bikes are Boss, especially affordability and reliability wise.

SlowRain wrote:I have the Racing King 180 with ABS, not the 150. I think they have the same body, though. I had to get the seat built up because I didn't like the riding position. That was less than 1000NT. As for annoyances, I find the passenger foot pegs are in my way whenever I put my feet down. I've had mine for a year and a half and have ~9000km on it. No problems so far.

Yeah, I saw one of those (second hand, not sure if you can get them new anymore). Not a bad bike, but I had similar problems with my old bike and the passenger foot pegs. It's actually a real bitch at traffic lights and if you're trying to manoeuver without driving. Nice size and weight though.

Bu Lai En wrote:I'd say ask which one has cheaper parts.

I did, and Kymco is the winner there, both in terms of parts availability and affordability.

Bu Lai En wrote:My Kymco 150cc Movie has been going for 14 years. Just passed 100,000km. Still does about 95kmph.

That's impressive and that's what I'm looking for. Long term reliable use. I'm tired of other people's second hand problems. My last bike was a second hand SYM Fighter 150 (six months old when I bought it in 2007). It looked good and rode well enough, but it always had problems. If it wasn't the speedo cable it was something expensive that needed changing (fan belt and stuff). Once someone broke my meter gauge (that tells speed, revs, gas etc) and the damn thing cost something like 7-9k to replace. There was always some small malarkey that cost a few grand.

Bu Lai En wrote:Definitely take them for a ride. When I was buyin, I really didn't like the riding position (centre of balance) of one I'd been considering.

I did that today, at my trusted mechanic (and best friend). In the interests of sharing this was my experience.
1. Yamaha Smax 155
The engine purrs like a kitten. Really, it sounds beautiful. The bike itself is gorgeous. It has plenty of space under the seat and the steering column is solid. Also, as the bike is fairly broad and long (broader and longer than the Kymco, albeit with slightly lower seating), it isn't whippy. Perhaps this shouldn't come as a surprise as it is a fairly big scooter, especially in the 150 class. It sits very comfortably and it feels solid and safe. On the other hand, it doesn't turn as easily as the smaller bikes and the Kymco. My mechanic mate said it's because it's more of a long distance bike than the Kymco.
In summary, it's more expensive (parts and to buy), but with a slightly better engine (especially for longer rides). It's very comfortable and solid (stable), but doesn't manoeuver as easily as a smaller bike or the Kymco.

2. Kymco Racing 150
It looks dedent, but sounds a bit like a scooter punk bike (or a bike for younger folks). It sits relatively comfy, but I think passengers won't agree, especially on longer rides. This is why I'll be taking my SO along to try both again this weekend to see how she sits on both riding pillion (also, the feel of riding the bikes and the handling might differ alot with a passenger on the back).
It's shorter and slimmer than the Yamaha and handles easier around turns. It's still large enough to feel stable with slightly more room between your legs for a bag or shopping (but not by much), which probably takes away from the smaller passenger seating.
In summary, it's slightly smaller, easier to handle, cheaper and more affordable (parts), and probably at least as reliable (if not more so) than the Yamaha. I'd say if you're only going to need a commuter for the city it's the clear winner.

Honestly, both are nice scooters.

Bu Lai En wrote:Last of all. See if you can buy direct from your trusted mechanic. That's what I did, and I hadn't even known he sold bikes.

Indeed. Totally agree. :thumbsup:

Thanks for the input, guys. It's highly appreciated. :thumbsup:
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby Kal El » Thu Mar 17, 2016 13:55

Bu Lai En wrote:My Kymco 150cc Movie has been going for 14 years. Just passed 100,000km. Still does about 95kmph.

By the way, mate. I think the Kymco 150cc Movie is basically the older model of what is now the Kymco 150cc Racing. I could be wrong.
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby SuperS54 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 15:46

The racing 180 is still available, comes in 3 versions now, http://www.kymco.com.tw/www2010/kymco_180cc.asp I think all are still a bit boy racerish though. The extra length in the Yamaha will quickly become a pain if you are using public parking and that nice body work spells scratches scratches scratches. Just to distort things further and it's perhaps a little underpowered for you, but have you looked at the Cygnus-X? http://www.yamaha-motor.com.tw/motor/pdtList.aspx
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby Kal El » Thu Mar 17, 2016 21:26

SuperS54 wrote:The racing 180 is still available, comes in 3 versions now, http://www.kymco.com.tw/www2010/kymco_180cc.asp I think all are still a bit boy racerish though.

I'd love one of those, but at 105K with ABS it's a bit rich for my blood, mate.

SuperS54 wrote: The extra length in the Yamaha will quickly become a pain if you are using public parking and that nice body work spells scratches scratches scratches.

That's a very good point, but I almost never use public parking. Still, an important consideration, and I'll be honest, the sheer body size (width, especially) does worry me.

SuperS54 wrote: Just to distort things further and it's perhaps a little underpowered for you, but have you looked at the Cygnus-X? http://www.yamaha-motor.com.tw/motor/pdtList.aspx

Not a bad 125cc, but it's too close to the Kymco 150 IMO. I'd prefer the Racing 150 over the Cygnus.

Overall I'm really leaning towards the Kymco, but from talking to my mechanic mate today Yamaha is offering me much better extras and financing terms.

Edit: Excellent links! Thanks for that. :thumbsup:
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby Kal El » Sat Mar 19, 2016 13:55

SlowRain wrote:I have the Racing King 180 with ABS, not the 150. I think they have the same body, though. I had to get the seat built up because I didn't like the riding position. That was less than 1000NT. As for annoyances, I find the passenger foot pegs are in my way whenever I put my feet down. I've had mine for a year and a half and have ~9000km on it. No problems so far.

I finally decided to go with that. Signed the papers this morning. :thumbsup:

Kal El wrote:
SuperS54 wrote:The racing 180 is still available, comes in 3 versions now, http://www.kymco.com.tw/www2010/kymco_180cc.asp I think all are still a bit boy racerish though.

According to Kymco (perhaps the site hasn't been updated yet) they now only have 2 models. With ABS and camera and without.
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby SuperS54 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 15:46

Kal El wrote:I finally decided to go with that. Signed the papers this morning. :thumbsup:

According to Kymco (perhaps the site hasn't been updated yet) they now only have 2 models. With ABS and camera and without.


Congrats!! If you don't mind me asking, how much did you end up paying and what is the delivery time? I assume you went with the one without the camera.
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby SlowRain » Sat Mar 19, 2016 22:25

Kal El wrote:
SlowRain wrote:I have the Racing King 180 with ABS, not the 150. I think they have the same body, though. I had to get the seat built up because I didn't like the riding position. That was less than 1000NT. As for annoyances, I find the passenger foot pegs are in my way whenever I put my feet down. I've had mine for a year and a half and have ~9000km on it. No problems so far.

I finally decided to go with that. Signed the papers this morning. :thumbsup:

The 180?
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby Kal El » Sat Mar 19, 2016 23:31

SuperS54 wrote:
Kal El wrote:I finally decided to go with that. Signed the papers this morning. :thumbsup:

According to Kymco (perhaps the site hasn't been updated yet) they now only have 2 models. With ABS and camera and without.


Congrats!! If you don't mind me asking, how much did you end up paying and what is the delivery time? I assume you went with the one without the camera.


SlowRain wrote:
Kal El wrote:
SlowRain wrote:I have the Racing King 180 with ABS, not the 150. I think they have the same body, though. I had to get the seat built up because I didn't like the riding position. That was less than 1000NT. As for annoyances, I find the passenger foot pegs are in my way whenever I put my feet down. I've had mine for a year and a half and have ~9000km on it. No problems so far.

I finally decided to go with that. Signed the papers this morning. :thumbsup:

The 180?


Ok, lads. This is what I did.
Kymco Racing King 180cc (Because of the lad above!! )

Standard Kymco Racing King 180cc = 96 000
That's the entire price with no ABS or camera (I chose matte blue) + 1800. The extra 1800 = if the bike is stolen in the first year Kymco gives you a brand new bike of the same kind.
Then I asked my mate to add a camera (Front and back = 3800) and I bought additional insurance for the second and third year = 3980.

So the entire bike with cameras and insurance cost me 105 580.

I would say that's a bit pricey as you could get the Kymco Racing 150 for 80K. :idunno:

Bike + 1800 insurance = 97 800 (plus helmet and insurance, registration etc)
Camera, front and back = 3800
Extra insurance (Stolen, second and third year) = 3980
Total = 105 580
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby SlowRain » Sun Mar 20, 2016 08:38

You didn't want the ABS one? I would've thought that would be the biggest selling feature of the scooter. I chose mine because of the 175cc engine and the ABS.

I was told the camera that Kymco installs is not great, so that was probably a good idea going with an aftermarket one.

It's a zippy little thing in the city. It does okay on longish trips, too. It's not as great in the mountains as a motorcycle with gears is, but it isn't gutless, either. You may notice a bit of vibration initially when idling at red lights. That has diminished with time on mine. I think it just has to wear in.

Good luck. Enjoy the scooter.
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Re: Buying a New 150cc Scooter

Postby Kal El » Sun Mar 20, 2016 09:11

SlowRain wrote:You didn't want the ABS one? I would've thought that would be the biggest selling feature of the scooter. I chose mine because of the 175cc engine and the ABS.

ABS is a nice feature for sure, but not sure the extra expense warrants it for city driving. I tend to be a bit of a conservative driver due to traffic conditions here, so I don't go over the limit or screech to a halt at lights and so on.
You're looking at a price difference of 96k to 112k. That's quite a lot for brakes and a so-so camera. :idunno:
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