Piaggio brings a proven i-get engine and ABS protection in small displacement ride

Piaggio brings its not-inconsiderable scooter experience to bear on its Liberty line to deliver the goods with the new-in-2019 versions of the Liberty 150 and Liberty S 150 models that carry over into MY2020. The proven i-get powerplant reprises its role as the beating heart with highway-friendly speed potential and Euro 4 emissions compliance. Both models come with ABS protection to help you keep it dirty-side down. All of this pairs with that unmistakable Italian style across the board, and of course, the “S” variant brings even more eye candy to the table with custom paint and saddle stitching to breathe new life into the 20-plus year old model family.

  • 2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
  • Year:
    2019- 2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    155 cc
  • Top Speed:
    61 mph
  • Price:
    2999
  • Price:

Piaggio Liberty Design

  • Maturity of design
  • LCD display
  • Flush step-through deck
  • Single-helmet underseat storage
  • 31-inch seat height
  • Lockable storage
2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
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2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
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The Liberty line has always been marked by a certain elegance-- a maturity of design if you will -- and this iteration is no exception.

Piaggio manages to capture the essence of the classic Italian style without slavish adherence to the old-school look that made a name for the marque in the Old Country after the end of the Second World War.

Overall, the Liberty 150 establishes a classy baseline that holds up well against comparable displacements around the world, but the “S” model takes it up a notch with a couple of unique paint packages, gray and Matt Red to go with a shared Nero Matt (black) and generous blackout treatment to elevate the aesthetics further yet.

Both models lead off with a sculpted front fender and chrome “necktie” fairing ornament. The shape of the fender is only partly about looks. The step on the sides of the leading half acts as a shunt for the incoming air pressure to make the slipstream bow out for laminar flow with the sides of the leg guard to maximize penetration. Sure, it doesn’t help much, but every little bit helps when you’re dealing with machines in this displacement bracket, right?

Subtle curves and soft angles define the visage, and the factory took steps to keep the front end clean by recessing the front turn signals behind clear lenses that conform to the curves to give it a well-thought-out look. Up top, a cyclops headlight makes yet another classic connection even though it’s angular itself with none of the roundness associated with the older machines. It comes ensconced in a handlebar fairing that doubles as a housing for the instrument cluster. Said instrumentation is comprised of a round, analog speedometer plus an LCD screen that handles the remaining metrics.

At the inner fairing we find a lockable glove compartment for your possibles to start out the cargo stowage. A flush step-through deck makes for easy mounting and dismounting, but perhaps more importantly, it leaves the ’tween-feet cargo area open for a little lagniappe. A a cargo hook expands the open-air cargo capacity even more.

An electronic locking device locks the bench saddle in place over the usual under-seat storage area, but
[[the compact nature of the Liberty line leaves room for only one full-face bucket or equivalent books/groceries/whatever. The seat rides at 31.1 inches off the deck and comes with plenty of room for a passenger. Flip-out footpegs finish out the pillion’s points of contact, but if you are into solo riding they stow neatly away to look like just another bit of chrome bling.

The rear blinkers are housed in another bit of bling below a substantial set of J.C. handles that meet in the middle to make a small luggage rack to complete the stowage options. At the terminus, a hangy-downy mudguard mounts the license plate and associated light, with rear spray control falling to the close-fit hugger that covers the top of the rear tire.

Piaggio Liberty Chassis

  • Five-position preload adjuster
  • Motorcycle-style front fork
  • Bosch ABS
  • Big wheels
  • Rear drum brake
2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
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2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
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2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
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A single-cradle underframe on the Liberty 150 acts as the main structural component with tubular-steel members and welded-steel reinforcement gussets for the strength they impart to the assembly.

As you might expect, the engine and transmission serve as stressed members that mount the rear wheel and eliminate the need for a proper swingarm.

A coil-over monoshock floats the rear end and dampens the motion of the swing-drive unit with a five-position preload adjuster that lets you dial in for changing cargo/passenger loads. Pure vanilla, rwu stems support the front end to finish out the suspension in motorcycle style rather than the aircraft landing-gear used on other models.

A 240 mm disc and hydraulic binder hauls down the front wheel with a stock Bosch ABS feature to make sure you don’t lock up and front-out in a panic-brake situation, but out back, a 140 mm mechanical drum brake takes care of business sans anti-lock protection. I’m a little surprised at that last considering that the rear wheel has a 14-inch diameter that should be able to accommodate a hydraulic disc, but it is what it is, and it’s sufficient to do the job. A 16-inch cast wheel leads the way with a 90/80 hoop opposite the 100/80 out back to finish out the rolling chassis.

These big wheels give you a more motorcycle feel and less of a scooterish experience to handling.
Frame: High resistance tubular steel
Front Suspension/ Travel: Telescopic hydraulic fork/ 3 in. (76 mm)
Rear suspension/ Travel: Single hydraulic shock absorber with 5-position preload adjustment/ 2.9 in. (74.5 mm)
Front brake: 240 mm disc
Rear brake: Tamburo 140 mm disc
ABS: Front wheel standard ABS
Front tire: Tubeless 90/80 – 16”, 51J
Rear tire: Tubeless 100/80 - 14”, 54J

Piaggio Liberty Drivetrain

  • 155 cc i-get engine
  • Reduced-noise starter system
  • 12.9 hp @ 7,750 rpm
  • 9.58 lb-ft @ 5,250
  • 94 mpg fuel-efficiency rating
2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
- image 876584
2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
- image 876595
2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
- image 876581

The Liberty 150 has a reduced-noise starter system for quieter operation and it comes air-cooled to keep weight, bulk, and complications to a minimum. A 58 mm bore and 58.6 mm stroke gives the thumper its 155 cc displacement with a single over-head cam to time the dual intake valves and single exhaust poppet.

As for power, the engine churns out a total of 12.9 horsepower at the 7,750 rpm top end with 9.58 pound-feet of torque that maxes out at 5,250 rpm. A centrifugal dry clutch couples engine power to the continuously-variable transmission for the shiftless, seamless, twist-and-go operation that scooter pilots demand. At the top of the operation range, the overall gear ratio makes the Liberty 150 brothers turn in a top speed of around 61 mph. Emissions meet Euro 4 standards with a 94.8 mpg fuel-efficiency rating.

Engine: Single-cylinder, 4-stroke, i-get
Displacement: 155 cc
Bore x Stroke: 58 mm x 58.6 mm
Power: 12.9 hp (9.6.2 kW) @ 7,750 rpm
Torque: 9.56 lb-ft (13 Nm) @ 5,250 rpm
Fuel Injection: Electronic injection
Cooling: Air
Lubrication: Oil withWet sump
Starter: Electric:
Transmission: Automatic CVT
Clutch: Automatic centrifugal dry clutch

Piaggio Liberty Pricing

2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
- image 876599
2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
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2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
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At the end of the day, the difference between the Liberty and the Liberty S comes down to paint and trim.

The base Liberty 150 can be had in white with black upholstery, blue with black upholstery or the black Nero Matt that comes with a cream seat and inner fairing for $2,999 across the board.

If you fancy the fancier Liberty S 150 model you can expect to add another Benjamin to the tab. The latter comes in gray over black, Matt Red over black and Nero Matt (black) on black. Additionally, the “S” model rocks blackout treatment at the mirrors and grab rail to set it apart from the base Liberty 150.

Piaggio Liberty Competitor

2019 - 2020 Honda PCX150
- image 777316
2019 - 2020 Piaggio Liberty
- image 876579

Piaggio is a tough act to follow, it’s true, but in the 150ish cc market there’s another serious contender for the urban commuter market, Honda and its PCX150.

Honda PCX150

2019 - 2020 Honda PCX150
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Flowing bodywork and generous pilot protection are the hallmarks of the PCX150. It leads off with a broad leg guard area and smoked flyscreen that punches a hole in the weather for your legs and torso. Unlike the Liberty, a bulky tunnel all but fills up the step-through to make it somewhat more difficult to reeve your leg through, and it necessarily precludes the possibility of carrying a bag of whatever between your feet. The glove box comes with a 12 Volt power socket in the glove box, but the box is open to the elements so use it for your electronics in inclement weather at your peril.

Honda’s instrumentation is entirely digital in another departure from the Liberty’s layout, but common ground can be found in the chrome passenger footpegs that look like part of the trim package when stowed. Speaking of stowage, Honda takes the cake with enough room for not one but two full-face helmets in the under-seat compartment.

Suspension is a wash with fixed-value forks and preload adjustable shocks though Honda doubles up with two shocks out back against Piaggio’s single unit. Honda leaves a few cubes on the table with a smaller, 149 cc thumper against Piaggio’s 155 cc mill, and its heads are somewhat less advanced as they run a two-valve system against the Liberty’s three-valve head.

As for output, Honda claims a total of 13.3 horsepower for a slight edge over the 12.9 horsepower Liberty, but that’s an advantage that won’t register on even the best-calibrated heinie dyno. Also, Honda claims a 70 mph top speed, but in truth it tops out in the low sixties to more or less break even.

At the end of the day, it comes down to two things; looks and price.

A fan of one style may not necessarily appreciate the charms of the other, but I think we can all agree that the $3,699 sticker on the PCX150 is harder to swallow than the $2,999 tag on the Italian ride.

Read our full review of the Honda PCX150.

He Said

“Cute machine, but I’m not sure I’d pick it over a proper mini-max scooter such as the above Honda for a serious daily commute. Sure, it’s capable enough, but it’s not quite as substantial as that other style and that’s a dealbreaker for me; I like to feel like I got something solid between my legs. No giggity.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “Big wheels with little brakes, but it is just a little machine, so I’ll forgive that. That 16-inch front wheel gives you a nicer ride and better handling. The Liberty 150 has, I believe, nearly the same engine as the Vespa Sprint 150 and Primavera 150, but the Liberty is almost half the price of the Vespas. That’s something to consider if you’re looking for a 150 cc scooter.”

Piaggio Liberty Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Single-cylinder, 4-stroke, i-get
Displacement: 155 cc
Bore x Stroke: 58 mm x 58.6 mm
Power: 12.9 hp (9.6.2 kW) @ 7,750 rpm
Torque: 9.56 lb-ft (13 Nm) @ 5,250 rpm
Fuel Injection: Electronic injection
Cooling: Air
Lubrication: Oil withWet sump
Starter: Electric:
Transmission: Automatic CVT
Clutch: Automatic centrifugal dry clutch
Chassis:
Frame: High resistance tubular steel
Front Suspension/ Travel: Telescopic hydraulic fork/ 3 in. (76 mm)
Rear suspension/ Travel: Single hydraulic shock absorber with 5-position preload adjustment/ 2.9 in. (74.5 mm)
Front brake: 240 mm disc
Rear brake: Tamburo 140 mm disc
ABS: Front wheel standard ABS
Front tire: Tubeless 90/80 – 16”, 51J
Rear tire: Tubeless 100/80 - 14”, 54J
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 76.5” (1,945 mm)
Width: 27.1” (690 mm)
Wheelbase: 52.7” (1,340 mm)
Seat Height: 31.1” (790 mm)
Fuel tank capacity: 1.58 gal (6 liters)
Fuel Economy: 86.5 mpg (36.8 km/l)
Top Speed: 61 mph (est)
Details:
Color: White, Blue, Matt Black / “S”: Gray, Matt Red, Matt Black
Price: $2,999 / “S”: $3,099

Further Reading

Piaggio

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TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
About the author

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

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