Taking a scooter that's hard to ignore around Auckland City's streets
Scooters occupy a funny area in the New Zealand market. They're broken up into so many categories it's often hard to rank them at a glance.
Scomadi has a wide range of scooters from 50cc up to 200cc, at one end perfect for inner city riding, at the other a machine that can exceed the open-road speed limit.
Our TL200 test bike comes with the premium chrome colour option, which adds $210 to the $5990 price of the TL200.
If you like to be noticed by absolutely everyone, that added cost for the mirror finish is totally worth it. Riding along the motorway it seems everyone's heads are on a swivel as you glide by. From an old bloke in an SUV, to entire busloads of school kids, no one could resist the eye-popping finish.
Despite the name, Scomadi is, in fact, a British company. Founded in 2005 as a joint venture between Scooter Innovation Ltd and PM Tuning Ltd. Scomadi scooters are designed in Britain and assembled in China.
Under the large, classic, Italian-styled cowling is a 189cc water-cooled single cylinder engine mated to a CVT gearbox. Coming off a much larger motorcycle to the TL200 I was pleasantly surprised at the ease at which the little motor pulled its way to 100 km/h and above on the motorway commute to the Driven office.
On top of the handlebar is a stylised gauge cluster, which is one of the few parts that shows the Scomadi's origin.
Although the digital readout displays everything expected, like speed, engine temp, and the fuel gauge works well, the back lighting could be better, especially behind the indicators, which were often hard to discern whether I'd switched them on/off.
With a short wheelbase of 1370mm, it was at first a little scary doing those kinds of speeds, as the little scooter felt quick to change direction with little input to the handlebar, but once I had adapted it turned into a fun little machine. The ability to ride on the motorway is a plus and the TL200 sets itself apart from its smaller capacity siblings.
Although the smaller machines are plenty capable around town, the extra capacity of the 200 makes a huge difference when throttling away from traffic lights and climbing steep hills. With only 125.5kg to push. the modest 13.7hp and 15.5Nm the engine gets the Scomadi up and moving quickly enough so that you don't feel like you're going to be run over by a faster car.
If the Scomadi is let down in any one area compared to the more mainstream competition, it is in the storage department.
In many scooters you can pop up the seat and store anything from your helmet to a half-week's grocery shopping, but under the Scomadi's seat is its fuel tank. The only storage you get apart from the cool looking luggage rack ( great for strapping on a box of "beverages") is the glove box in front of your knees.
But that doesn't matter all that much for someone who just wants to be able to nip about the city or suburbs with ease.
While trying to decide on the perfect photo location we rode through much of the inner city. In High St we rolled on through as casually as you can with the world's shiniest scooter. After parking, I took a step back as the photographer set to work and the attention the Scomadi attracted was simply insane.