The motorcycle industry is currently in a transitional phase where older generations of motorcyclists are starting to hang up their leathers while manufacturers do their best to entice younger prospective riders to take up and enjoy our dear sport of motorcycling. The small-displacement market has been on the rise for some time, with several successful models within the 250cc-400cc range that aim to get beginner riders started.
Latching onto these popular trends and confident it can create a bike that can outperform current options is 47moto. Based out of Minnesota and led by Mike Samarzja, a former Buell design manager of 17 years, 47moto plans to offer three lightweight 250cc models tailored to urban life, where increasingly more people are living these days. Its flagship model, aptly named the Mosquito, is targeting those who are looking for a small, economical and easy-to-use motorcycle but don’t want to compromise when it comes to style.
What’s unique about the Mosquito is the modular nature of its frame. It will allow riders to adjust their footpegs and handlebars as well as ride height without sacrificing suspension travel to create a tailored fit for nearly any size of rider. This has two likely benefits. It provides beginners the ability to find comfortable, confidence-inspiring ergonomics, and it allows more experienced riders to dial in a setup they prefer without costly modifications. Also paramount to 47moto is the Mosquito’s affordability both in the purchase price and in maintenance costs, making it easy for the buyer to justify the expense of owning a motorcycle. But most importantly, 47moto stresses the Mosquito is about having fun on two wheels, and we can all get behind that.
47moto will be working closely with SYM, a Taiwanese manufacturer who has built engines and vehicles for Honda and Hyundai that also has its own line of small-displacement motorcycles. 47moto will import and dismantle SYM T2 250i motorcycles and retain certain components. Shared parts will include the 250cc single-cylinder, four-valve, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected motor with six-speed transmission as well as the 17-inch wheels and adjustable front brake with steel braided line. From there, however, 47moto will upgrade and build the rest of the bike based off its own design.
The Mosquito was unveiled at the AIMExpo along with plans to build two other models including the Dragonfly and Firefly City X Adventure. The Dragonfly will be a two-up version of the Mosquito with a windscreen, and the Firefly will add cargo racks and hand guards in hopes of capitalizing on the growing adventure-bike market. 47moto has plans to bump the displacement up to 300cc for the three models and also add a Bosch ABS braking system down the line.
Performance-wise, the current 250cc powerplant claims output of 25 hp with a 90-mph top speed and 90-mpg fuel economy. Bringing the Mosquito to a halt will be a four-piston radially-mounted front caliper. As of now pricing is set at $4,995, which is not the cheapest in the quarter-liter segment. For reference, Honda’s Thai-built CB300F retails for $4,149 ($4,649 w/ABS), while KTM’s 390 Duke has an MSRP of $5,299. However, the Mosquito’s adjustability, stylish looks and American assembly should entice prospective buyers here in the United States.
The entry-level motorcycle market is broadening to attract younger riders, with plenty of options to choose from. Can a small, start-up company from Minnesota throw its hat into the ring and compete with the likes of the Japanese Big Four? Only time will tell, but we admire their efforts and hope to someday throw a leg over the Mosquito and find out for us here at MO just how it stacks up.