The Piaggio brand started out in 1884 and survived (barely) two World Wars while building rail machinery and aircraft. In an effort to provide affordable transportation for post-WWII Italy, the factory launched the iconic Vespa scooter line in 1946. That model fueled the success of the company, which now operates in over 50 countries worldwide. Piaggio literally wrote the book on scooters, and they add another chapter with the 2015 Typhoon 125. Let’s take a look at what 60 years of scooter evolution looks like.

Continue reading for my review of the Piaggio Typhoon 125.

  • 2015 Piaggio Typhoon 125
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    LEADER single cylinder, 4-stroke, 2 valve (Hi-PER 2, 2-stroke)
  • Displacement:
    124 cc
  • Price:


2015 Piaggio Typhoon 125 Exterior
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Typhoon, as a model family name, has been around since the early 1990s – plenty of time to develop a reputation and definitive design features. This model keeps the distinctly Typhoon, jet-fighteresque nose on the front fairing, along with the fat tires seen on previous models, providing visible family ties.

The two-up seat is fairly comfortable, according to test riders, and within easy reach of the ground at 30-inches tall. Short to average riders will find plenty of legroom in the step-through behind the fairing, but taller riders may feel a bit cramped after a while. Whatever your stature, the low center of gravity will make it easy to handle at low speed, and it should never turn into a wrestling match. Below-seat storage provides enough room to hold your brain-bucket or a few groceries, and a glove box adds enough room for a wallet and phone.


2015 Piaggio Typhoon 125 Exterior
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Tubular steel members make up the double-cradle, trellis frame for the backbone. This rides on the hydraulic front forks, and a preload-adjustable, hydraulic monoshock in the rear, and wide 12-inch tires. A dual-pot caliper binds the front wheel via a 220 mm brake disc, and a 140 mm drum (how quaint) slows the rear wheel. Normally, drum brakes make me a bit nervous, but I have to admit that they are probably sufficient for a ride that weighs in at a mere 258 pounds. This model trends toward the smaller end of the spectrum with an overall length of 76.3 inches and a 53-inch wheelbase. If nothing else, it should be easy to find a place big enough to park it! (wink, nudge)

Piaggio mounted a 120/80-12 up front and a 130/80-12 in the rear with an offroad-friendly tread on them to allow for some off-the-beaten-path shenanigannery.


2015 Piaggio Typhoon 125 Exterior
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The swing-mounted, 124 cc, four-stroke engine cranks out 9.3 ponies at 8,500 rpm and 6.05 pound-feet of torque at 7,500 rpm – plenty for this nimble little ride. Forced-air cooling draws off the waste heat, and the designers removed the kick starter for the American models, leaving only the electric starter. Personally, I like the redundancy of having both kick and electric start, but if I had to choose just one, it would definitely be the push-button starter.

That power is funneled to the rear tire through Piaggio’s “Twist ’n go” CVT automatic transmission that gives the Typhoon a top speed of 60 mph and a phenomenal 90 mpg.


2015 Piaggio Typhoon 125 Exterior
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The Typhoon can be had in Cult White or Graphite Black for a base price of $2,899 in the U.S. market. (Cult White?)

He Said

“Like most scooters, I think this ride probably has a place in certain urban areas or maybe a college campus, but I would never try to hit the highway with it. The offroadish tires do make it look like it would be fun to play around with off the beaten path.”

She Said

My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "For mad fuel economy in urban areas, you can’t beat a scooter. Maybe it’s just my mood today, but I’m not feeling the fierce enduro look of the Typhoon 125. Ask me another day and I’ll probably change my mind. For a 125 cc scooter, I think I’d prefer the three-wheel action of the Yamaha Tricity."


Engine: LEADER Single Cylinder, Four-Stroke
Capacity: 124 cc
Bore X Stroke: 2.2 inches/ 1.1 inch
Power: 9.3 Horsepower at 8,500 rpm
Torque: 6.05 pound-feet at 7,500 rpm
Fuel System: Carburetor
Cooling: Forced Air
Lubrication: Wet Sump (Automatic Mixer Controlled According To Throttle Opening And Engine Speed)
Starter: Electric Starter
Transmission: CVT With Torque Server
Clutch: Automatic Centrifugal Dry Clutch
Chassis: High Strength Tubular Steel Single Cradle Frame
Front Suspension: Hydraulic Telescopic Fork
Rear Suspension: Hydraulic Shock Absorber With Four-Piston Spring Preload Adjustment
Front Brake: Hydraulically Operated 220 mm Disc
Rear Brake: 140 mm Drum
Front Tyre: Tubeless 120/80 – 12 Inch
Front Tyre: Tubeless 130/80 – 12 Inch
Length: 76.3 Inches
Width: 28.3 Inches
Wheelbase: 53 Inches
Seat Height: 30 Inches
Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.85 Gallons
Emissions: EPA and CARB
Color Options: Cult White, Graphic Black
Price: $2,899.00
What do you think?
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