I’m shortly going to be joining the ranks of the London scooter commuting fraternity, having finally given up with SW (Seriously Woeful) Trains.
I’m coming in from the South via A217 on a 17 mile each way trip across a mix of dual carriageway and then through Tooting etc up to the parking thieves of Westminster. Scooter wise, I have narrowed my choice down to the S-wing or the SH125. I’ve never owned a scooter before, so what is the level of weather protection like on the SH125? I like the increased protection and comfort of the S-wing, but the SH has bigger wheels, less weight and therefore more responsive and manoeuvrable. I sat on a SH today and it is a little more cramped around the foot area I thought and feels smaller in general anyway. The extra storage on the S-wing is nice but I struggle to see what I would carry that couldn’t go in the SH top box or at worst, in a backpack.
Anyway, I welcome any opinions please! I’m a full licence holder with a Triumph Street Triple R as a weekend toy, so the scoot is purely for commuting purposes.
Because to be honest, I don’t need a bigger scooter for the journey I have to make. I did consider the SH300, but it is a fair bit more expensive and for my journey I don’t think it’s worth the extra cost to buy or run.
On your original question. I have not ridden the SH, so can’t really comment. The SW was very nice to ride, and I know both have very good reputations.
125s are OK for commuting, but can leave you a bit vulnerable. They have very little pull once you get to 50 mph and top out at not much above 60 which can make things uncomfortable on a hill on the dual carriageway for example.
A 180 or 200 is a huge improvement. The new 300s are lovely to ride, but as you say are very expensive. I would be looking at an older Vespa Granturismo 200 (or GTS 250 if you have the money). Reliable and easy and cheap to maintain and get parts. As long as the bodywork is not rusty (check the weld behind the front wheel) there is nothing to stop these bikes running for ever that can’t be fixed reasonably cheaply. Replacement engines can be got for as little as £350 for the 200 for example.
I have considered a PCX but they seem very plastic and obviously built to a price. Plus, even less weather protection which is important to me as I will be travelling in work dress with a blanket for the legs and then jacket. Ideally looking for something as new, and I’ll actually be buying 2 because I have a close mate I work with doing the same thing. We can’t share though as we leave the office at different times.
Don’t buy new.Service to keep the warranty will cost you £140 after first 600 miles and then £140 every 2.5 k.That is a bit too much for changing oil and air filter.
I got honda PES 125, it’s really good bike for commuting ., I’ve tried pcx too, for me it wasn’t that comfortable, but it has slightly better acceleration.
The SH is very basic and not ideal for the 17 miles you have to cover each way in terms of comfort. The S wing ticks all your boxes but I would consider the PCX as it is comy and comes with stop-start tech that delivers over 100mpg+ in the real world (around London).
If it were me, I’d get the PCX, put a taller screen on it and save over a grand compared to the S-Wing.
PCX is 20Kg lighter too so better Power-to-Weight and more manoeuvrable.
The PCX is not the best selling scooter 2011 for no good reason and you will be well impressed by it daily.
The clocks are awesome IMO.
i have just got a pcx and still not run in has a good turn off speed for a 125 and the bike is very well put toghether , and has been designed to give good mpg and look a bit more like a motor bike , look at it head on and its lines are big bike ( bigger honda bikes)
i am happy with it 3 days ago i was on my xjr1300 and the pcx is fun to ride today:laugh:
have a look on clubpcx.com
I had an S-Wing, Doble still have my old bike up for sale on their site at £3295 - I used it for six weeks, passed a full test and moved onto something bigger. If that’s your price range, I’m sure that they would negotiate off that price - I used the bike for six weeks and put 1800 miles on it, and I looked after it well, I had one minor off with cosmetic scratches which they have put right by replacing the damaged fairings - but I digress. If it’s not in your price range, my advice would be to go there anyway and take it for a test ride, find out yourself what it’s like to ride
It’s great for London commuting. The storage is great, the weather protection superb, the ABS useful, and it has a good presence on the road (much more than say an SH125 or PCX or SH300). I passed my test on my S-Wing (it was the easy thing to do at the time, no lessons so only the £90 odd cost of taking the tests). The examiner for the mod 1 said he didn’t think it would make the speed part of the test - but I proved that it can with room to spare if ridden correctly ;-). The only thing I’ll say is, don’t consider it if you ever plan to use it on a motorway or NSL dual carriageway for more than one junction. It just doesn’t have the oomph to handle it - you’re stuck at an absolute maximum speed on the straight of 72mph, and if you start going uphill that drops. This was the main reason I did my test and got something bigger.
If it must be between the SH125 and the S-Wing, the S-Wing is the one to go for. Honestly, if I were in your shoes, I’d go for a 400cc scoot - something like my Xevo, or a Suzuki Bergman, or a Yamaha Majesty or something. Even when I get a “proper” bike, I’ll be keeping the scoot for work travel just because it’s so damned convenient! (Just don’t expect me to be out on it on the weekend:-).
If you want to try out my Xevo you’re more than welcome to - I live not far from the Ace and happy to meet up.
Purely for the dual carriageway part of your journey. I’ve been there, it was frustrating as hell being on a motorway or dual carriage way and being stuck behind lorries unable to overtake. It just loses the grunt for those kind of speeds. It’s great when you stick to NSL single carriageway roads, but you’ll get upset at the 70’s (especially if you’re used to a fast bike) unless you are really patient.
If those are only a small part of your journey, go for it, S-Wing is great
I am not sure yo uneed a 400 unless you plan a lot of 70mph roads, but I agree with Simon that you would be better served with something that isn’t restricted to 15bhp as all 125s are by design. A 200/250/300 will fly along the 50 mph sections of your journey whilst the 12 will be past max torque when going up the hilly sections of the A217. Despite what owners say, (and they nearly all have speedos that are very optimistic) 125s simply don’t do more than about 65mph max (many struggle to do 62/63) and need a good level run up to achieve that. From 50 they are completely gutless.
A 125 will do the job you want, but a secondhand 250 would do the job far better and would probably save you money on fuel and servicing. Certainly when I went up to 250 I got far better fuel economy when commuting as the 125 was revving away even at 30mph. Service intervals on 250s can be has high as 8000 miles but are usually 4000 miles on 125s.