Equipped With The New i-Get Engine

Piaggio updated its Liberty scooter range with the all-new, fuel injected “i-Get” engine that boasts improved emission control up to Euro 4 standards on the 150 models and Euro 3 on the 50s with CARB and EPA approval across the board. The change brings increased power output and better mileage to the Liberty stable. A new frame and rider’s triangle improves comfort and feel while the ABS works to improve safety. The list does go on. Needless to say, these are significant updates for the nearly 20 year old model family, and the factory has even more on tap to keep the Liberty at the top of the small-displacement food chain.

Continue reading for my review of the Piaggio Liberty.

  • 2017 - 2018 Piaggio Liberty
  • Year:
    2017- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Top Speed:
    61 mph
  • Price:
    2399
  • Price:

Design

2017 - 2018 Piaggio Liberty
- image 727376
In the redesign, the battery was relocated, making more room for the glovebox, making it a usable storage space.

All three scooter siblings — the 50, 150, and S 150 — follow the same basic design regardless of engine size or trim level. An elegant and mature design greets the eye with subtle angles and curves throughout. Recessed turn signals in the front fairing mimic the look of the new headlight where it sits nestled away in the housing around the also-new handlebar. A chrome trim piece fancies up the front end while tying the various elements of the Liberty’s visage together.

Inside the fairing we find a redesign that had the battery relocated to make room to almost double the size of the glove box to something just shy of a gallon. Since the Liberty uses a proper frame rather than a monocoque-type structure there’s a certain amount of frame intrusion into the step-through, but the factory thoughtfully designed it so the frame tunnel runs vertically along the backside of the fairing to accommodate the downtubes and steering head. Sure, this cuts into the step-through a bit, but better there than between the feet.

Saddle and under-seat storage got a tuneup with an all-new, contoured seat design and 4.5 gallons of lockable dry storage. The stock Liberty models sport a USB port so you can charge your mobile devices, but if you’ve got the cheddar, you can stack the ride with a security system, the “bike finder” push-button key-fob remote and the multimedia interface that turns your smartphone into a systems display.

The Liberty S adds a certain amount of custom appeal with blackout treatment on the wheels, heat shields, luggage rack and mirrors. Beyond that, they all carry a similar look from the front to the tapered rear, where the turn signals and taillight follow the low-profile example set by the front lights. A grab rail and flip-out passenger footpegs round out the pillion amenities. In its stock configuration, the Liberty is about as practical as a commuter as any other base-model scooter, but the accessories catalog offers a top case and a number of other features that could transform the 150 and S 150 into capable day-tripper/grocery-getters.

Chassis

2017 - 2018 Piaggio Liberty
- image 727382
Rather than running with 10- or 12-inch doughnuts, Piaggio graced the Liberty family with a 14-inch rear wheel and 16-inch front so it handles more motorcycle-like than one might expect.

Like so many other features on the Liberty, the single-cradle underframe is completely new. The factory used tubular steel members for the main structure with pressed sheet-metal reinforcement, and the result is a stiffer frame that delivers better handling than the previous gen. There’s a slight variation in the rear suspension between the 50 and 150 models. While both run vanilla front forks and a preload-adjustable monoshock, the 150 gets 2.93 inches of travel at the rear axle where the 50 gets a skosh less at 2.89 inches of travel. Yeah, it’s minor, but there it is. Another minor difference can be found in the brakes. Both run a 240 mm disc and twin-pot caliper up front with a 140 mm drum brake out back, but the 150 models alone get Bosch ABS support for the front brake as part of the stock equipment package.

One feature that definitely makes the Liberty more roadworthy in my eyes is the tire size. Rather than running with 10- or 12-inch doughnuts, Piaggio graced the Liberty family with a 14-inch rear wheel and 16-inch front for hoop sizes that match many of the proper streetbikes and cruisers on the market right now, so it handles and looks more motorcycle-like than one might expect.

Chassis: Single cradle structure in high strength tubular steel
Front Suspension: Hydraulic telescopic fork
Rear Suspension: Hydraulic shock absorber adjustable in preload
Front Brake: 240 mm disc with hydraulic control
Rear Brake: 140 mm drum

Drivetrain

2017 - 2018 Piaggio Liberty
- image 727360
Both lumps are air-cooled, and they come with a reduced-noise starter and pull-open/pull-closed throttle for some of the extra comfort and safety the previous generation lacked.

Piaggio powers the range with its new i-Get engine that brings the Liberty into the 21st century with electronic fuel injection and tighter emissions control. Both mills run in the typical thumper configuration with a three-valve head. The 50 has a 39 mm bore and 41.8 mm stroke for a total displacement of 49.9 cc. It cranks out 2.3 pounds o’ grunt at 7,250 rpm and 3.2-horsepower at 7,500 rpm for a top speed of 40 mph.

At the top of the food chain we find the 150 with an actual 155 cc displacement courtesy of its 58 mm bore and 58.6 mm stroke. Horsepower and torque jumps up to 12.9-ponies/pound-feet, and top speed gets a boost up to a very-usable 61 mph.

Both lumps are air-cooled, and they come with a reduced-noise starter and pull-open/pull-closed throttle for some of the extra comfort and safety the previous gen lacked. Mileage for the 50 and 150 is nearly identical at 96.8 mpg and 94.8 mpg respectively. An updated clutch helps the CVT gearbox deliver seamless transitions and twist-and-go operation.

Model Liberty 50 Liberty 150 Liberty S 150
Engine: i-get single cylinder 4-stroke, 3 valves i-get single cylinder 4-stroke, 3 valves i-get single cylinder 4-stroke, 3 valves
Displacement: 49.9 cc 155 cc 155 cc
Bore x Stroke: 39 mm x 41.8 mm 58 mm x 58.6 mm 58 mm x 58.6 mm
Max Power at Shaft: 3.2 HP (2.4 kW) @ 7,500 rpm 12.9 HP (9.6 kW) @ 7,750 rpm 12.9 HP (9.6 kW) @ 7,750 rpm
Max Torque: 2.3 ft lbs (3.1 Nm ) @ 7,250 rpm 9.6 HP (13Nm) @ 7,750 rpm 9.6 HP (13Nm) @ 7,750 rpm
Max speed: 40 mph 61 mph 61 mph
Fuel tank capacity: 1.6 Gal / .39 Gal reserve 1.6 Gal / .39 Gal reserve 1.6 Gal / .39 Gal reserve
Gas mileage: 96.8 MPG (41.15 KM/L) 94.8 MPG (40.3 KM/L) 94.8 MPG (40.3 KM/L)
Distribution: Electronic injection Electronic injection Electronic injection
Cooling System: Forced Air Forced Air Forced Air
Lubrication: Wet Sump Wet Sump Wet Sump
Ignition: Electronic Electronic Electronic
Gears: CVT continuously variable transmission with torque server CVT continuously variable transmission with torque server CVT continuously variable transmission with torque server
Clutch: Automatic centrifugal dry clutch Automatic centrifugal dry clutch Automatic centrifugal dry clutch

Pricing

2017 - 2018 Piaggio Liberty
- image 727363
If your travels don't include the interstate, this is an economical ride, both in initial cost and running costs.

Piaggio turns loose of the Liberty 50 for a surprisingly-low $2,399, with the 150 listed at $2,999 and the S 150 slated to roll for $3,099. If your travels don’t take you on the interstate, this is an economical ride, both in initial cost and running costs.

Model Liberty 50 Liberty 150 Liberty S 150
Colors: Midnight Blue, Bianco Stella Metallic White, Midnight Blue Dragon Red, Matte Silver
MSRP: $2,399 $2,999 $3,099

Competitors

2015 - 2018 Vespa Primavera
- image 728266
2017 - 2018 Piaggio Liberty
- image 727379
When it comes to fit-and-finish and sexy designs, it's really hard to beat Piaggio.

When it comes to fit-and-finish and sexy designs, it’s really hard to beat Piaggio. In order to find a truly apples-to-apples competitor, I had to look to one of the marques under its umbrella, Vespa and its Primavera 150. Both show the expected amount of mature and elegant design, and are likely to appeal to riders with an eye for classic Italian scooters.

These rides share a lot, from the low-profile turn signals and handlebar/headlight shroud to the molded saddle and grab rail. The Liberty leaves little to the imagination with its cutaway rear body panels while the Primavera carries the full wasp tail rear end. Vespa used its typical airplane landing-gear suspension up front, and try as I might, I just can’t get on board with it and prefer the motorcycle-like forks on the Liberty.

I also prefer the flush step-through deck on the Liberty, a feature that gets lost due to the longitudinal channel on the Primavera. Both run vanilla suspension and boast front disc brakes with ABS, so there is little to choose between the two in the chassis. Vespa falls within a fraction of a cube of the Liberty with a 154.8 cc displacement engine and gets close on the horsepower too with 12.7-ponies on tap. Vespa’s torque numbers fall off a bit to only 9.4 pound-feet, and this leaves the Liberty with an advantage that will definitely register on your heinie-deyno. It’s essentially the same engine, so the difference looks like mapping.

Vespa gets hosed at the checkout, though that shouldn’t be a surprise. The $5,099 sticker on the Primavera is well above what name-power can justify, and for this reason it is liable to suffer in the same market as the $2,999 Liberty.

He Said

My husband and fellow motorcycle writer, TJ Hinton, says, “Glad to see something other than amusement-park tires on it. The larger front wheel ought to help it feel more natural, especially to someone accustomed to riding a full-size bike. I was a little surprised at the low price and the difference between it and the Vespa to be honest.”

She Said

"The Liberty has essentially the same engine as the Vespa Sprint and the Primavera, which accounts for the similarities, but look at the difference in price. It really is a bargain when you look at other scooters in the engine-size range like the Buddy or the Typhoon, which are priced only slightly lower and aren’t as nice. The Liberty is a nice scooter;. With those big wheels, you get a nicer ride than scooters with little lawn-mower wheels. It’s worth a look if the 150 cc market is what you’re budgeting for."

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: i-get single cylinder 4-stroke, 3 valves
Displacement: 50: 49.9 cc, 150: 155 cc
Bore x Stroke: 50: 39 mm x 41.8 mm, 150: 58 mm x 58.6 mm
Max Power at Shaft: 50: 3.2 HP (2.4 kW) @ 7,500 rpm, 150: 12.9 HP (9.6 kW) @ 7,750 rpm
Max Torque: 50: 2.3 ft lbs (3.1 Nm ) @ 7,250 rpm, 150: 9.6 HP (13Nm) @ 7,750 rpm
Max speed: 50: 40 mph, 150: 61 mph
Fuel tank capacity: 1.6 Gal / .39 Gal reserve
Gas mileage: 50: 96.8 MPG (41.15 KM/L), 150: 94.8 MPG (40.3 KM/L)
Distribution: Electronic injection
Cooling System: Forced Air
Lubrication: Wet Sump
Ignition: Electronic
Gears: CVT continuously variable transmission with torque server
Clutch: Automatic centrifugal dry clutch
Chassis:
Frame: Single cradle structure in high strength tubular steel
Front Suspension: Hydraulic telescopic fork
Rear Suspension: Hydraulic shock absorber adjustable in preload
Front Brake: 240 mm disc with hydraulic control
Rear Brake: 140 mm drum
Front Tire: Tubeless 90/80 - 16
Rear Tire: Tubeless 100/80 - 14
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 76.6" (1945 mm)
Width: 27.2" (1945 mm)
Wheelbase: 53.9" (1945 mm)
Seat Height: 50: 30.7 " (780 mm), 150: 31.1" (790 mm)
Dry Weight: 50; 233.7 LBS (106 KG), 150: 255 lbs (116 KG)
Details:
Type Approval: EPA, CARB, Transport Canada
ABS: 50: NA, 150: Front wheel only
Colors:
50: Midnight Blue, Bianco Stella
150: Metallic White, Midnight Blue
S 150: Dragon Red, Matte Silver
MSRP:
50: $2,399
150: $2,999
S 150: $3,099

References

Vespa Primavera

2015 - 2018 Vespa Primavera
- image 728266

See our review of the Vespa Primavera.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: piaggiousa.com, vespausa.com

Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: