Review: Aprilia Sportcity One 125 Scooter

ASCO

Summary:

If you are like me and view good handling as an important safety factor, then this is one of, if not the best flat footbed scooters you can get. It’s rarity and reasonably sporty look add to its appeal and are enough for me to accept its few flaws. And at $3600 for a one year old model with low mileage like mine, or about $4500 for a new one, it’s a steal.

The Aprilia SportCity One 125cc is Aprilia’s entry range of scooters that are OEMed by a China company called “JinCheng” which makes its own brand of the same 50cc/125cc models with a different fairing design (http://jinchengauto.gmc.globalmarket.com/products/details/motorcycle-50cc-125cc-215485.html).

I’m not sure if Aprilia designed the scooter and outsourced production to JinCheng or simply rebadged a JinCheng design. Anyway, this range comes in a Vespa-ish flat footbed format, and I got the 125cc model.

Pros:
– Flat footbed scooters such as Vespas and the like are rather dorky, but the SportCity One is just about the sportiest looking in this class
– Integrated signal lights add to its sleek appearance
– Larger and thicker-than average 120/70/R14 tyres and rear monoshock give it significantly more grip and stability when cornering and at higher speeds compared to typical scooters with thinner, 12-inch wheels like Vespas and VXRs. It feels more like my old Honda Dream Kapchai than a VXR 200 I also owned previously.
– Identical front and rear tyres allow for rotation
– Generous storage space for its size – large below-seat compartment and has bag hook
– Shares wear-and-tear parts with other small Piaggio scooters (oil filters / drive belts etc)
– Alloy rims look great and are very easy to clean
– Rather rare and exclusive

Cons:
– Rather feeble acceleration and low top speed of 98 km/h (GPS measured) compared to other 125cc scooters / Cubs (makes its “SportCity” name a bit of a misnomer, redeemed only by its handling)
– No side stand, only main stand – if you need to constantly park and go like in the case of couriers, this can get annoying – I’ve found third party side stands online, but all need to have a hole cut into the fairing for installation
– Inaccurate speedometer (13 to 15km/h faster than reality) and no trip meter
– Slightly thirstier fuel consumption of 25km / litre (according to GPS indicated distance) for a 125cc scooter (I suspect it is because of the larger tyres)
– Expensive spare parts – a signal light costs $87 at Mah! (as usual for Aprilia)
– Fuel tank has a tapered top that makes filling the last part very rapid, so it tends to overflow
– Minor gripe: Its body panel screws are horribly prone to rusting. I had to get the shop take all out and rust treat them before re-installing.

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