Now Equipped With Fuel-Injected 200i Engine

Lance Powersports takes a stab at the cruiser-scooter market with the Cali Classic model range. Produced by the Sanyang Motor Company since 2010 and branded for Lance, the Cali falls into areas already covered by other models in the lineup, but it offers a bit of a more Western flavor in a bid to draw more of the North American market. Neither SYM nor Lance are particularly well-know entities on this side of the pond, but they might be worth a look for someone in the market for a scooter in the 50-to-200 cc range. New this year, the Cali Classic 200i replaces the 150, bringing fuel injection to the table.

Continue reading for my review of the Lance Cali Classic.

  • 2017 Lance Cali Classic
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-1
  • Displacement:
    169 cc
  • Top Speed:
    65 mph
  • Price:
    2699
  • Price:

Design

2017 Lance Cali Classic
- image 712366

No doubt about it, the Cali Classic family is a rebranded SYM Allo. This is no surprise considering the relationship between the two, and in the 50 and 125 models the only difference seems to be the “Allo” graphic on the side of the rear covers. One notable difference is the addition of the fuel-injected 200i to the Lance lineup, whereas SYM stops at 150 cc in its Allo range. A semi-dome leg shield leads the way with a very clean face that sports a chrome trim piece and a couple of vents, but nothing that disturbs the simple-yet-tasteful panache. The front fender comes in monochrome with another chrome trim piece that forms the tip of the spear as it were, and ties the fender and fairing together visually.

At the top of the control column we have some very motorcycle-like features. Buckhorn handlebars run with a cruiser-ish pullback shape that encourages a laid-back and relaxed riding position. The bar is utterly naked, with none of that enclosed Italian handlebar-headlight-instrument cluster business. Standoff turn signals and a lone headlight can join the exposed control cables and wiring in all its glory, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. Mid-height mirrors finish off the top front, and while they aren’t the coolest mirrors I’ve ever seen, they certainly aren’t the ugliest.

Moving aft from there we come to the full step-through with a side-to-side flush deck that leaves plenty of width for between-feet storage, but little legroom for the rider. If you’re over, say, around 5-foot 9-inches tall, you’re liable to feel a little cramped in the legs. Flip-out passenger pegs accommodate the pillion, and a chrome grab rail finishes off the passenger’s details.

From the dome-shaped front to the tapered, chrome-trimmed tail, the Cali displays a certain flow that is completely devoid of any sharp angles or strong features, but instead shows an almost organic symmetry. Definitely one of the better looking, non-classic styles available today in my humble opinion.

Chassis

2017 Lance Cali Classic
- image 712368

A tubular-steel underframe supports the structure sans help from the body panels as you would have with a monocoque design. Not only is this an effective building method, but it also makes body work more easily accomplished if you bang one up a little bit.

Motorcycle-style telescopic forks float the front end while a coil-over monoshock tames the motion of the swing-mount drivetrain. We see a little difference within the family members when we get to the running gear. The 50 and 125 models run the same 12-inch cast rim up front complete with a 110/70 hoop and 180 mm hydraulic disc brake, but the disc on the smaller two models is of the vanilla variety while the 200i sports a 190 mm, wave-cut disc. Drum brakes slow the 10-inch rear wheel on the 50 and 125, but the big brother sports a 220 mm rear hydraulic disc. A Combined Braking System shares pressure from the rear brake circuit with the front for safer, balanced braking, especially in panic-brake situations, and this puts the 200i head and shoulders above its smaller siblings. All three carry the same 30-inch seat height that should be within the means of all but the shortest inseams.

Drivetrain

2017 Lance Cali Classic
- image 712347

As the ingeniously-clever names suggest, the three models come with different power plants. At the bottom of the food chain we have the “50” that runs a 49 cc thumper with an 11.8-to-1 compression ratio. The smallest mill produces 1.9 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 1.56 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm, and comes with its top speed governed at 30 mph. Next up the chain we have the 124.6 cc “125.” The mid-range engine cranks out 8.38 horsepower and 6.14 pounds of grunt with a compression ratio of 9.6-to-1 and top speed around 59 mph. At the top end, we have the 169 cc “200i.” Big Brother runs a 10.2-to-1 compression ratio with electronic fuel injection that replaces the carburetors favored by the other two. At 5,500 rpm, the engine cranks out 9.21 pounds of torque with a total of 11.8 horsepower on tap at 7,500 rpm.

All three engines use a one-lung configuration with an overhead cam-type valvetrain. A ceramic cylinder coating extends engine life across the board and works with the air-cooling system to effectively draw waste heat out of the engine. As ever, a Continuously-Variable Transmission makes the final connection to the rear wheel for effort-free riding.

Price

2017 Lance Cali Classic
- image 712350

Budget-minded comes to mind as I consider the menu before me. The small, limited-speed 50 cc model rolls for a low $1,799 while the 125 asks only a couple-hundred more at $1,999. Both of these are available in Butterscotch Yellow, Arctic White, Ruby Red, Midnight Black or Sky Blue. At the top of the column we have the 200i with its $2,699 sticker in Matte Black or one of the new-for-200i colors: Matte Chocolate or Matte White.

Competitor

2016 - 2018 Vespa Sprint 150
- image 650282
2017 Lance Cali Classic
- image 712383

Piaggio is the yardstick by which all other scooters are judged, so I figured it was fair enough to grab the Sprint 150 by Vespa for my head-to-head. Lookswise, the Vespino effortlessly exudes that old-school, Italian-scoot vibe, but honestly, the Cali isn’t far behind as far as curb appeal is concerned.

Some obvious differences between the two would be the classic handlebar fairing that tidies up the control area of the Sprint, and the one-sided, trailing-link front suspension, all of which is typical of the brand.

The Vespa runs a hydraulic disc up front with a drum brake in back, but still manages to get ABS protection on there for an advantage over even the CBS brakes on the Cali 200i. Vespa claims around 59 mph and 110 mpg from its 154.8 cc mill for a top end that’s a trifle shy of the 65-plus claimed by Lance, but better mileage than the 89 mpg from the Cali.

Between the ABS and Vespa’s name power, the Sprint is doomed to be the prouder of the two at $5,399, substantially higher than the more frugal $2,699 sticker on the Cali. Not a big surprise here, and if you don’t need that Piaggio name, the Lance/SYM products are certainly worth a look.

He Said

My husband and fellow motorcycle writer, TJ Hinton, says, “Cute little scooter I reckon, but looks just like a third of everything else that’s out there if you ask me. Having never lived in “scooter country,” I have a hard time seeing how these are useful in the States. When I was in Europe, there were plenty of scooters, and the infrastructure supported them quite nicely. Here? Not so much.”

She Said

"I really like this Cali Classic, especially the new 200i. It’s a little powerhouse of a scooter that can bob and weave through the city like a boss; easy to park and easy to filter through traffic. I’d definitely put a windshield and a top case on this. It’s a nice little commuter for the campus or the office. I’m not a big fan of the matte colors, but that’s not a deal breaker."

Specifications

ENGINE / DRIVE TRAIN:
Displacement: 49 cc 124.6 cc 169 cc
Type: 4 Stroke Single Cylinder with Ceramic Coating Cylinder Technology 4 Stroke Single Cylinder with Ceramic Coating Cylinder Technology 4-Stroke (EFI) Electronic Fuel Injection Engine (OHC) with Ceramic-Coated Cylinder
Compression Ratio: 11.8 : 1 9.6:1 10.2±0.2 :1
Horsepower: 1.9 HP - 8500 RPM 8.38 HP - 7500 RPM 11.8 hp - 7500 RPM
Max Torque: 1.56 lb/ft - 6500 RPM 6.14 lb/ft - 6500 RPM 9.21 lb/ft - 5500 RPM
Cooling System: Air Cooled Air Cooled Air Cooled
Transmission: C.V.T. C.V.T. C.V.T.
Clutch: Centrifugal Type Centrifugal Type Auto Centrifugal Type
Drive: Belt Belt Belt
Starter: Electrical Starter Electrical Starter Electrical Starter
Ignition: CDI CDI ECU
Spark Plug: Torch A7RC Torch A7RC CR7HSA
Battery Capacity: 12V 6Ah (closed type, maintenance-free) 12V 6Ah (closed type, maintenance-free) 12V 8.6Ah (Closed Type, Maintenance-Free Battery)
Top Speed: 30 mph (Restricted) 59 mph 65+ mph
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION / BRAKES:
Frame: High Strength Steel High Strength Steel High Strength Steel
Front Suspension: Telescopic Fork Telescopic Fork Telescopic Fork
Rear Suspension: Unit Swing Unit Swing Unit Swing
Front Brakes: Disc (180 mm) Disc (180 mm) Disc (190 mm) with Sport Style Wave Rotor and CBS-Combined Braking System
Rear Brakes: Drum (110 mm) Drum (130 mm) Disc (220 mm) with CBS-Combined Braking System
Front Tires: 110/70 - 12 110/70 - 12 110/70 - 12
Rear Tires: 3.5 - 10 3.5 - 10 120/70 - 12
Wheel: Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
CAPACIITIES / DIMENSIONS:
Weight Capacity: 333 Lbs 333 Lbs 333 Lbs
Net Weight: 220 Lbs 220 Lbs 231.48 Lbs
Fuel: Unleaded (90 octane or higher) Unleaded (90 octane or higher) Unleaded (90 octane or higher)
Fuel Capacity: 1.18 Gallons 1.18 Gallons 1.37 Gallons
Ground Clearance: 7.5 in 7.5 in 7.5 in
Length: 76.37 in 76.37 in 76.37 in
Width: 34.25 in 34.25 in 34.25 in
Height: 44.88 in 44.88 in 44.88 in
Seat Height: 30 in 30 in 30 in
Wheelbase: 51.57 in 51.57 in 51.57 in
Age Recommendation: 16+ 16+ 16+
DETAILS:
Government Certifications: EPA & DOT Approved, C.A.R.B. Approved for CA EPA & DOT Approved, C.A.R.B. Approved for CA EPA & DOT Approved, C.A.R.B. Approved for CA
Warranty: Build by SYM with 24 Months Limited Warranty Build by SYM with 24 Months Limited Warranty Build by SYM with 24 Months Limited Warranty
MPG: 117 MPG 90 MPG 89 MPG
Colors: Butterscotch Yellow, Arctic White, Ruby Red, Midnight Black & Sky Blue Butterscotch Yellow, Arctic White, Ruby Red, Midnight Black & Sky Blue Matte Black, Matte White & Matte Chocolate
Price: $1,799 $1,999 $2,699

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended.

Image Source: vespausa.com, lancepowersports.com

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