2012 125cc Scooter Shootout [Video]

Three different takes on economical transportation

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Conclusion

Picking a scooter to win this test was difficult for a number of reasons. All three exhibit admirable qualities the other two lack. For the price, the Piaggio is our “Best Bang for the Buck” winner, but when it comes to attitude, the Zuma clearly wins there. For outright performance, we’d have to pick the Honda.

In fact, when it comes to choosing a winner in this category, the truth is, they all win. During our testing, all three testers fell for a different scooter with Tom picking the Zuma, Kevin the Typhoon and, yours truly, the PCX. This just goes to show you really can’t go wrong in this category. It all depends on what you’re looking for. What follows is our personal takes on why we picked our respective winners.

Tom Roderick - Yamaha Zuma 125

2012 Yamaha Zuma 125

Expansive storage space, large-diameter wheels and the best engine/transmission combo are undeniable benefits of the PCX in this group of scoots, but its marshmallow suspension and street-only designation lessens its desirability. I’m also not a fan of its styling. The Typhoon and Zuma are more to my liking, with the Zuma getting the nod because it does a better job of being a multi-use scooter and has the benefit of fuel injection. Its styling is more aggressive, and its brush guards and fork gaiters actually help protect rider and bike in off-road circumstances. I prefer the price tag of the Typhoon, but if I can afford the $650 hike I’d take the Zuma.

Kevin Duke - Piaggio Typhoon 125

2012 Piaggio Typhoon 125

Although the Typhoon isn’t the best scooter of this bunch, its unsurpassed value can’t be denied. A $700 price difference might not sound like much, but it adds up to a price nearly 25% cheaper than the others, which is a meaningful amount to those shopping on a budget. Combine the Typhoon’s minimal MSRP with its sharp Italian style, amazing nimbleness and mild off-roadability, the Piaggio is the one I’d choose.

Troy Siahaan - Honda PCX

2012 Honda PCX

Clearly, I’m the odd one out in this group as I don’t mind the PCX’s styling. More important to me, however, is its usefulness. I don’t care about dirt abilities, I like being able to toss my gym bag under the seat with room to spare. The PCX is so easy to ride that its performance advantage can be overshadowed, but it isn’t lost on me. I’m thoroughly impressed at how zippy the little 125 is, and the fact it gets 70 mpg is just icing on the cake. It’s thoroughly more modern and polished in every way compared to the other two scoots and all of these reasons combine to justify its higher price tag in my opinion.

By the Numbers
  Piaggio Typhoon 125 Yamaha Zuma 125 Honda PCX
Price $2,699 $3,350 $3,399
Engine Type Single cylinder, 4-stroke, Carbureted, 2 valves Single cylinder, 4-stroke, EFI, 4 valves Single cylinder, 4-stroke, EFI, 2 valves
Displacement 124cc 125cc 125cc
Bore x Stroke 57.0mm x 48.6mm 52.4mm x 57.9mm 52.4 mm x 57.9 mm
Fuel Mileage 90.0 mpg (claimed) 52.0 mpg (actual) 89.0 mpg (claimed) 58.0 mpg (actual) 110.0 mpg (claimed) 69.6 mpg (actual)
Cooling System Air Air Liquid
Tramsmission CVT Automatic CVT Automatic CVT Automatic
Chassis Steel Steel Steel
Front Suspension Conventional telescopic fork, non-adjustable Conventional 27mm telescopic fork, non-adjustable Conventional 31mm telescopic fork, non-adjustable
Rear Suspension Single shock, adjustable for spring preload Dual shocks, non-adjustable Dual shocks, non-adjustable
Front Brakes 220mm disc, dual-piston caliper 220mm disc, dual-piston caliper 220mm disc, three-piston caliper, CBS
Rear Brakes Drum Drum Drum, with CBS
Front Tire 120/80 - 12” 120/70 - 12” 90/90 - 14”
Rear Tire 130/80 - 12” 130/70 - 12” 100/90 - 14”
Wheelbase 53.0 inches 50.8 inches 51.4 inches
Seat Height 30.0 inches 30.7 inches 29.9 inches
Weight 258 lbs (dry) 269 lbs (curb) 280 lbs (curb)

Related Reading
2012 Yamaha Zuma 125 Review
2012 Piaggio Typhoon 125 Review
2012 Yamaha Zuma 50F Review
2012 Kymco Scooter Lineup Review
2011 Honda PCX Review

View all Photos PHOTOS & VIDEOS

2012 Scooter Shootout 0518
2012 Scooter Shootout 0518
2012 Scooter Shootout 9986
2012 Scooter Shootout 9986
2012 Scooter Shootout 0625
2012 Scooter Shootout 0625
2012 Yamaha Zuma 125 Right 0578
2012 Yamaha Zuma 125 Right 0578
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