Modern Tech In Some Features, But Old-Fashioned in Others

Very much a carry over from previous years, the 2018 Vino Classic scooter from Yamaha is one of the many two-wheelers out there that marry vintage looks with modern technology. Equipped with fuel injection since 2013, the 49 cc Vino Classic delivers awesome fuel economy at 127 mpg, has smooth throttle response and lots of storage for running around town or zipping across the campus. With the convenience of easy parking and mad economical operation, the Vino Classic is worth a look. Stylish, yes, but it also appeals to my pragmatic side.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha Vino Classic.

  • 2016 - 2018 Yamaha Vino Classic
  • Year:
    2016- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Displacement:
    49 cc
  • Price:
    2299
  • Price:

Design

2016 - 2018 Yamaha Vino Classic
- image 742129
For running errands around town, the plush seat is comfortable and the underseat storage -- big enough to stash a helmet -- gives you ample room for groceries or a book bag.

While I haven’t been able to find a definitive report of the top speed for this fuel-injected version of the Vino Classic, the speedometer goes up to 45 mph, which you’re probably not going to reach unless you’re petite and riding downhill with a good tailwind. For putt-putting around town or around campus, this little 50 cc scooter is quite capable. I’ve seen figures of between 45 mph and 55 mph, but I’m skeptical. When Yamaha replaced the old two-stroke engine with a four-stroke prior to 2013, the reported top speed was in the 40-to-43-mph range and I find that more believable.

It’s not a highway ride; but for running errands around town, the plush seat is comfortable, the underseat storage — big enough to stash a helmet — gives you ample room for groceries or a book bag and basic instrumentation is easy to read. Add a top case from the accessories catalog for more storage. The small top case adds 6.6 gallons — enough to hold a full-face helmet — and the large top case adds 11.4 gallons of storage — enough to hold two full-face helmets and adds a padded passenger backrest.

The rear-wheel lock ensures your Vino Classic stays where you parked it and prevents ignition switch tampering.

Chassis

2016 - 2018 Yamaha Vino Classic
- image 742128
Normally I would raise an eyebrow at anything with mechanical drum brakes on both hoops, but at only 179 pounds soaking wet, it just doesn't need disc brakes.

Function had to take a back seat to form on this particular scooter. Since the Vino Classic is meant to invoke a certain nostagia, the design was somewhat constrained by convention. The rolling chassis starts on 10-inch, 90/90 tires front and rear. Yeah, kinda small, but proportional to the rest of the machine. Normally I would raise an eyebrow at anything with mechanical drum brakes on both hoops, but at only 179 pounds soaking wet, it just doesn’t need disc brakes. In addition, the drums fit the overall intended look.

Suspension travel is rather short at both ends. The telescopic front forks provide 2.3 inches of wheel travel, while the rear monoshock manages only 2.1 inches. If this sounds a bit firm, just remember this is a street scooter not a mini adventure bike, so keep it on the road, chief.

Drivetrain

2016 - 2018 Yamaha Vino Classic
- image 742132
This little 49 cc one-lung, long-stroke engine gets a whopping 127 mpg making it an economical commuter.

A 49 cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke mill drives the Vino Classic; before you scoff, remember that this little one-lung, long-stroke engine gets a whopping 127 mpg. Fuel injection surely helps with that as well as the emissions. The drivetrain design is fairly typical with a motor-over-wheel, swingmount arrangement, and the ubiquitous Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT) that delivers twist-and-forget delivery to the rear wheel via a V-belt final drive. All pretty standard equipment, but it plays into the dated look quite well.

Engine: 49 cc liquid-cooled four-stroke SOHC single; three valves
Bore x Stroke: 38.0 mm x 43.6 mm
Compression Ratio: 12.0 to 1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel Injection
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: Automatic CVT
Final Drive: V-Belt

Pricing

2016 - 2018 Yamaha Vino Classic
- image 742130
MSRP holds steady at last year's price as well as last year's colorway.

MSRP on the 2018 Vino Classic is $2,299, basically the same as last year. Yamaha offered it in Rosewood Brown for 2016 and went with a Deep Sea Blue/Vanilla White for 2017 that it carried forward for 2018. Yammi covers your scooter with a one-year limited warranty.

Warranty: One-Year Limited Factory Warranty
Color:
2016: Rosewood Brown
2017, 2018: Deep Sea Blue/Vanilla White
Price:
2016: $2,290
2017, 2018: $2,299

Competitors

2015 - 2018 Vespa Primavera
- image 728266
2016 - 2018 KYMCO Super 8
- image 660222
It might be out-classed going up against a Vespa, but the KYMCO seems more in the same league.

Little 50 cc scooters abound, but if you want to stay in the vintage look, the obvious pick would be a Vespa, probably the Primavera 50 or the Sprint 50. While Vespa makes an awesome scooter, the difference in price is significant between the Vespas and the Vino Classic ($3,699 for the Sprint 50 versus $2,299 for the Vino Classic). Yes, Vespa has some definite advantages — like disc brakes and digital technology — but I think I’ll take another route.

My competitor pick – the Super 8 50X from KYMCO — embraces a more contemporary, almost military-esque design. Where the Vino Classic and the Super 8 50X differ in styling, they’re comparable "under the hood," so to speak.

Both engines displace 49 cc, but while the Vino Classic uses liquid-cooling to keep from getting too hot under the collar, the Super 8 vents heat through forced-air cooling. Air-cooling is simple, but water-cooling is more stable. It really comes down to which system you are more comfortable with.

One definite bonus on the Super would have to be the kickstarter. I am a big believer in redundancy, and I find comfort in the knowledge that I can kick the bike to life in a worst-case scenario. After all, there are no new batteries in a zombie apocalypse.

Price is really a wash. The Yamaha Vino comes in with a $2,299 sticker, and the KYMCO a little less by a few bills at $1,999 — a difference likely evident between the air-cooling and liquid-cooling. Not much difference, and if you are the least bit interested in historical references, then the Vino Classic is well worth a look.

He Said

My husband and fellow writer, TJ Hinton, says, "I liked the Vino Classic last year, and I still like it! I ain’t wild about the brown and cream paint job from 2016, but that is easy enough to fix, yeah? The 2017/2018 color is better, imo. While I can’t quite put my finger on the exact era, I definitely pick up on the antique vibe Yamaha laid down on the VC.”

She Said

"I do prefer the Deep Sea Blue and Vanilla colorway on the new Vino Classic over the Rosewood Brown offered in 2016. It’s a colorway they brought forward from 2014, I believe. Cosmetics aside, I think, though, that I’d spring the extra couple hundred bucks for the Zuma 50F or Zuma 50FX and get disc brakes on the front. Yeah, I know it’s only a 50 cc scooter and drum brakes are okay enough, but I want what I want, you know?"

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine Type: 49 cc liquid-cooled four-stroke SOHC single; three valves
Bore: 38.0 mm
Stroke: 43.6 mm
Compression Ratio: 12.0 to 1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel Injection
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: Automatic CVT
Final Drive: V-Belt
Chassis:
Frame Type: Backbone
Suspension, Front: Telescopic fork; 2.3-inch travel
Suspension, Rear: Single shock; 2.1-inch travel
Brakes, Front: 110 mm drum
Brakes, Rear: 110 mm drum
Wheel, Front: Cast, J10 x 2.15
Wheel, Rear: Cast, J10 x 2.15
Tires, Front: 90/90-10
Tires, Rear: 90/90-10
Rake (Caster Angle): n/a
Trail: n/a
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 65.6 inches
Width: 24.8 inches
Height: 39.6 inches
Seat Height: 28.1 inches
Wheelbase: 45.7 inches
Ground Clearance: 3.3 inches
Minimum Turning Radius: 70.9 Inches
Fuel Capacity: 1.2 gallons
Fuel Economy: 127 mpg
Wet Weight: 179 Pounds
Maximum Load: 201 Pounds
Details:
Warranty: One-Year Limited Factory Warranty
Color:
2016: Rosewood Brown
2017, 2018: Deep Sea Blue/Vanilla White
Price:
2016: $2,290
2017, 2018: $2,299

References

Vespa Primavera

2015 - 2018 Vespa Primavera
- image 728263

See our review of the Vespa Primavera.

KYMCO Super 8

2016 - 2018 KYMCO Super 8
- image 660580

See our review of the KYMCO Super 8.

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

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