2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401
Husqvarna is known for a lot of things — dirtbikes, chainsaws and such — but the marque looks to add “entry-level streetbikes” to the list this year with the Vitpilen 401. The so-called ’White Arrow’ brings a unique interpretation of the classic café racer look to the table in an effort to draw in the newest generation of riders without actually being a café at all; more of a roadster, really. A 375 cc thumper packs 43 ponies with a user-friendly delivery that should fit well and feel fairly non-threatening to the apparently bike-shy Millennials with a catalyst in the exhaust to make the bike meet the emissions expectations of same. Exciting, fresh and new, the Vitpilen range (and its sibling the Svartpilen) looks to be coming out of the hole strong in an otherwise sluggish market, evidenced by the fact that they’re already oversold in the U.S. market before they even hit our shores. I’m itching to find out what other see in it, so join me while I dig into this interesting little machine.
Continue reading for my look at the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401.
2018 KYMCO Xciting 400i
The Kwang Yang Motor Company doggedly pursues its share of the rather limited American scooter market with its new-for-2018 XCiting 400i ABS that replaced the 500 from 2017. Sporty looks and cornering performance are the hallmarks of the XCiting family — possibly from whence the rather uninspired name springs — and the factory continues that legacy with this newest model. A 42-degree lean angle and 35-horsepower mill point to great potential for shenaniganery, or at the very least, a non-boring commute. Sleek and slim, the new 400i most definitely departs from the dated “classic” scooter design, and is a thoroughly modern ride.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO XCiting 400i.
2014 - 2018 KYMCO Like 200i
Retro designs that hail back to the ’60s and ’70s are all the rage right now, and the Kwang Yang Motor Company out of Taiwan is trying to capitalize on that phenomenon with the Like 200i. KYMCO brings retro design and contemporary performance together on this ride with a 163 cc power plant and disc brakes under a body that rocks an appealing, dated look.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO Like 200i.
2014 - 2017 KYMCO Compagno 110i
The Kwang Yang Motor Company brings classic, Italian scooter style and modern performance together on the retro-flavored Compagno. This Taiwan-made ride sports a 112 cc mill that cranks out just shy of 10 ponies, and boasts electronic fuel injection with a quad-valve head.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO Compagno 110i.
2019 Honda PCX150
Honda’s metro-tastic PCX150 [scooter2256] line gets an upgrade that we’ll get to see on U.S. showrooms come July of 2018. It includes a facelift from stem to stern that further polishes its ’luxe metropolitan looks to bring more of the swank and swagger associated with the marque, and it comes paired with a more voluminous underseat storage area to increase its ’commuterability’. Style and function is a tough combination to beat, so let’s dig a little deeper and see what else the Red Rider engineers have in store for us.
Continue reading for my look at the Honda PCX150.
2019 Honda CB300R
Honda expands its Neo-Sports Cafè lineup with the new-for-2019 CB300R that brings more of the same cafè-tastic vibe that we got with the CB1000R, just in an entry level-size package. This naked little pocket crotch-rocket — or “Sport Naked” as the factory has dubbed the style — looks to pull in younger riders with a user-friendly, 286 cc powerplant and lightweight design. After a race to the bottom of the usable displacement range for the sport and naked genres, Honda is refining its bottom-tier rides, so join me while I take my first look at this all-new machine from the Red Riders and see how it stacks up against some of the other current pocket-rockets.
Continue reading for my look at the Honda CB300R.
2017 - 2019 Honda Grom
Introduced in 2014, the Grom from Honda is a compact bike with sportbike styling, two-up capabilities if you don’t mind having to Fred-Flintstone the take-off, has amazing fuel economy, and offers a little something more for folks who might consider a scooter in this size-range. Marketed in other countries as the MSX125, the Motrac M3, and the Skyteam M3, the Grom is a spunky little — “little” being the operative word here — motorcycle, good for folks new to two wheels or for anyone else who wants a fun ride. It’s not fast, but that’s not the point.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Grom.
2016 - 2018 SYM CityCom S 300i
Back in mid-2016, Taiwan-based SanYang Motor updated its CityCom line with the new CityCom S 300i that brings a sportier style and upgraded performance to the U.S. scooter market. The factory was going for a more aggressive-looking machine with the chops to back it up, so it boosted horsepower up to 27.9 ponies, and top speed up to an interstate-capable 83 mph. LED lighting increases visibility from the rear for greater safety, and the machine was given a generally brushing up for the next gen. Join me while I dive into the details.
Continue reading for my review of the SYM CityCom S 300i.
2018 Toyota Aygo
Developed in partnership with Citroen and Peugeot and launched alongside the C1 and 107 (later renamed the 108), the Toyota Aygo needed just a few years to become one of the most appreciated vehicles on the mini car market. Praised for its bold styling, agile handling, peppy three-cylinder engine, and rock-solid reliability, the Aygo is among the most popular of small hatchbacks in Europe. Redesigned in 2014, the second-generation Aygo received its mid-cycle facelift at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
With a redesigned front end, new wheels and paint options, the Aygo is sportier than ever design-wise. The interior carries over mostly unchanged, but Toyota added new upholstery and a more premium look on the options list. More importantly, it refined the car’s suspension and the steering in order to fix some of the complaints it received from customers and outlets in recent years. But is it enough to give the competition a run for its money? Let’s find out in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Aygo.
2015 - 2018 SYM Fiddle III 200i
Equipped with a new 169 cc fuel injected engine, the Fiddle III 200i from SYM is rated for 89 mpg, making it attractive as a commuter or an around-town errand runner. New bodywork gives the Fiddle a retro look and new seating provides more comfort for on-the-road travel. As one of SYM’s mid-range scooters, you get modern performance with an accessible price tag.
Continue reading for my review of the SYM Fiddle III 200i.
2018 Lance Cabo 200i
Lance Powersports — importer of SYM products to the U.S. market — brings the new Cabo 200i to our side of the pond to replace the outgoing Cabo 150 for the 2018 model year. The family line has always been about fun, and though the factory sells it with a “not intended for off-road use” caveat, I believe the owners are just trying to limit their liability and that the knobby tires tell the truth of the matter. This scoot could possibly pull double duty as a pocket-adventure platform. Street knobbies support that theory, as do the rally-style over-under lights, but the 11.8-horsepower engine and claimed 65-plus mph top speed indicates a certain amount of urban mobility as well. An interesting ride, to be sure, so let’s dive in and see what else SYM has in store for us.
Continue reading for my review of the Lance Cabo 200i.
2018 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401
Husqvarna Motorcycles, long known for its off-road prowess, takes the plunge into the sort-of streetbike market with its new Svartpilen 410. Set up like an urban scrambler, Husky bills the Svartpilen as an entry-level commuter/explorer with an easy-to-ride and fun nature. A 375 cc thumper drives the “Black Arrow” with 43 horsepower waiting to be unleashed under the control of a ride-by-wire throttle and slipper clutch that couples engine power to the six-speed gearbox. Suspension and rolling gear reflect a certain amount of off-road capability, useful for crossing medians and cruising down the beach (check local laws first) or other soft surfaces, the Svartpilen has a certain amount of ’everybike’ in its DNA.
Continue reading for my review of the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401.