FOCUS – Big-Bore Scoots Prove Prominent in U.S.
November 17, 2004
Filed under Features
Large displacement scooters appear to be the most prominent trend in the modern scooter market. Often referred to as “big-bore” or “maxi” models, these 250cc to 650cc two-wheelers have increased in availability in the United States during the past year.
“American Honda’s research showed that a large displacement scooter with touring capabilities would be well-received in the American marketplace,” the company’s Jon Seidel told Powersports Business. “Introduced in 2002, the Silver Wing was an instant success and our competitors followed with similar product.”
Available in December, the 2005 Silver Wing (MSRP: $7699; ABS, $8199) runs off of a 582cc liquid-cooled four-stroke parallel-twin.
Other maxi scooters in Honda’s 2005 line-up include the returning 250cc Helix ($5099); the 250cc Big Ruckus ($5299); the 250cc Reflex ($5299), Reflex ABS ($5799), Reflex Sport ($5299) and Reflex Sport ABS ($5799).
Yamaha, the world’s second most prolific powersports company, recently joined the U.S. maxi market with its Majesty ($5,799), powered by a 400cc, liquid-cooled, four-valve, four-stroke single.
“The big-bore scooter market is getting to be very popular,” said Yamaha Press Manager Brad Banister. “Our product planners spend a lot of time studying the market and through various types of research, we’ve determined that there is demand for a limited number of ‘large capacity’ scooters like the Majesty.
“We can’t say exactly who the buyer is because it’s a diverse buyer segment, but we expect the Majesty will be sold out.”
Also competing in the market are Suzuki’s three-year-old Burgman 400 ($5,699) and
650 ($7,799); the 500cc Piaggio X9 ($5,999); the KYMCO Grand Vista 250 ($4,399), Bet & Win 250 ($3,999) and People 250 ($3,999); and the Aprilia Scarabeo 250 and 500 ($6,399), the latter a model Aprilia USA’s Robert Pandya described as among his best-sellers.
The Burgman 400 is powered by a fuel-injected 385cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, SOHC four-valve, while the 650 runs off of a 638cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder, DOHC four-valve.
New to the U.S. market in August, the X9 is one of the top-selling Piaggio models in Europe. It features a 466cc single-cylinder, fuel-injected, four-stroke, four-valve liquid-cooled SOHC Piaggio MASTER engine.
Also introduced in August, KYMCO’s 250cc Grand Vista is powered by KYMCO’s proprietary 249cc four-stroke, water-cooled SOHC engine.
Finally, from Aprilia comes the returning Scarabeo models: the 244cc liquid-cooled four-stroke, and the 460cc four-stroke.