2012 Piaggio Typhoon 125Piaggio | June 9, 2012
Latest trend amongst the car manufacturers is now reaching coveted mark of 40 mpg. It is really nice, round number till now exceeding what the sedans – even miserly ones – are capable of just few years ago. With the gas prices which aren’t getting cheaper, it is really easy to see why the fuel efficiency is now really important. We motor cyclists have touted virtues of 2-wheel economy of fuel forever, & 2012 Piaggio Typhoon 125 is latest example of why.
Piaggio claims that Typhoon achieves astonishing speed of 90 mpg from the small 124 cc four-stroke, single-cylinder engine. We assume that the rider is really delicate along with controls & he avoids continued the high speeds for achieving maximum of fuel economy. With our testing of real-world, which had involved twisting throttle to stop very frequently for escaping from four-wheeler, inter city traffic, which the number considerably dropped to about 52 mpg. But this number is still really impressive considering that I trashed it a lot in my scooting test. Getting mileage that is worse than this would be almost impossible.
One more figure that is really notable is its price. At simply $2699, this Typhoon is natural choice for any one who is looking for reliable & cheap transportation, & puts well below the competitors like Honda PCX (having a price tag of $3399) & Yamaha Zuma 125 (which costs $3350). We will have comparison for all 3 scooters soon.
From Italy, with lots of love
For the people who are unfamiliar, Piaggio, is an Italian brand which specializes with scooters. While MP3 line up of the 3-wheel scooters which lean like conventional motor cycle might be the best-known version in U.S., this company also makes models which are more traditional. Piaggio Group, the parent company, also has a lot of brands for drawing the knowledge from, including Vespa, Gilera, Aprilia, & Moto Guzzi, amongst others.
For 2012 Piaggio Typhoon 125, frame of steel trellis incorporates design that is step-through from simplifying the egress and ingress. Despite malevolent name of Typhoon, it is powered actually by modest 124 cc single cylinder engine which Piaggio says that it churns (insert smirk) stump-pulling 6.0 feet lbs. torque & 9.6 hp. It is mated to CVT or continuously variable transmission for true usability of “twist-n-go”.
I will admit that there was a bit of apprehension while first riding Typhoon as I was not sure if I could be moving road block amongst sea of the cars. All these fears were overcame quickly as this scoot had good power for blending amongst traffic. It also has enough of pull for holeshoting stoplight-2-stoplight races of drag against the unsuspecting drivers of cage, though Typhoon bogs slightly leaving one stop; which is indication of the lean fueling. Piaggio says that top speed of about 60 mph, but the speedometer had registered very high speed of 70 mph on the level ground & it goes faster along with help of steep decline. It should be noted, that because as the engine is below150cc, this Typhoon isn’t legal for the free way use.
All this is better, too, as stability from 120/80-12 on front & 130/80-12 on rear knobby tires gets bit skittish @ higher speeds. The suspension consists of non-adjustable, conventional telescopic fork at front & rear single shock, adjustable for the spring pre load. Considering that Typhoon is made to live on the bumpy streets of city, damping is touch on soft side, but not really excessively so, providing good and comfortable experience of scootering.
The duties of braking for 258-pounds (dry) Piaggio are due to 220 mm single disc on the front clamped by 2 piston caliper. Surprisingly, line of steel-braid feeds some fluid for brake lever that is very positive-feeling. In rear there is 140 mm drum. The lever feel is bit squishy, but there is enough of power for locking rear wheel when you wish to play some hooligan.
Different kinda riding experience
Having ridden the sportbikes lately almost exclusively, going aboard Typhoon could not more different. The wedge like seat is about 30 inches from ground, which means that 30-inches inseam can just manage placing balls of feet on tarmac. Seat has sweet short spot, as the riders who are taller than five foot eight will find upward slope to portion of passenger crowding too far forward for some roomy comfort. The light weight makes it look like toy, and this equates to an easy maneuvering through the traffic. Downside for this really small stature is handling that is fidgety while faced along with strong cross winds or the roads which are poorly maintained, as more of effort is needed for maintaining line, even while going straight.
The accommodations of passenger aren’t forgotten, as Typhoon has well padded seat of pillion along with rails of grab & floor boards instead of the footpegs. Grab rails too double up as handle for helping place this scoot on center stand when it is parked. While it is really easy for levering on to centerstand, not counting the side stand is minor inconvenience.
The area of storage is now confined to single compartment under saddle, big enough for accommodating 3-quarter helmet but not much of else. One hook underneath bars is really great to affix the grocery bags, but the fairing doesn’t have any convenient things like holder for water bottle or any kinda storage cubbyholes.
These aren’t my only gripes. Carbureted engine may get temperamental while the cold starts, some times needs more than just one attempt at button before it comes to life. It too is one more another indicator that Typhoon runs pretty lean. Once it is on, automatic choke activates & raises speed of engine while it reaches the optimum temperature of operation. We did notice few occasions that engine got stalled while applying heavy throttle dose while it was still cold.
This isn’t a necessarily gripe, but Typhoon’s CVT or constant-velocity transmission exhibits noticeable shudder when you ask it to select the equivalent to the 1st gear (CVTs do not have any gears). This is evident most while coasting to stop & accelerating quickly again.
Cure for road rage
If you are just like me, numerous every day errands are close to your home. Jumping in car or suiting for the sport-tourer just for running in bank looks like an overkill. 2012 Piaggio Typhoon 125 is affordable and sensible alternative. More than simply cheap, the reliable transportation, this Typhoon is also gate way scooter in to world of bigger 2 wheelers. More of storage compartments will be pretty nice but for $2699, I would be willing for making some concessions. It is also available in black color if yellow model isn’t your style.