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Scomadi Turismo Leggera a little glimpse of Italy on two wheels
By Mathieu Day • 26/07/2015
SCOMADI SCOOTER IS AN EASY RIDER THAT MAKES THE COMMUTE A BREEZE
The Euro-stying of the Scomadi scooter is both practical — with its well-proportioned glove box — and pleasing to the eye.
Scooters are having a resurgence in our main centres, thanks to their easy-on-the-wallet running costs and affordable prices.
Having arrived on Kiwi shores only recently, demand for the Scomadi Turismo Leggera scooter is growing fast.
You’d be forgiven if you’d never heard of Scomadi — I hadn’t until the week of my quick test ride. Scomadi is basically a UK-based design team with the scooters being assembled in China. The result is an incredibly good-looking machine with sharp pricing that’s hard to look past.
The Turismo Leggera 50 (TL50) is styled in the same vein as the Vespa. Up front is a single headlight and wide plastic fairing providing plenty of protection for your legs — so long as you’re moving.
The lines of the bike flow onto the rear, where underneath the plastic coverings and bold graphics is the 49.6cc 4-stroke, single-cylinder engine, 11-litre fuel tank and preload adjustable rear shock absorber.
While there’s no storage under the slightly firm saddle, there is a genuine, real-life glove box built into the front fairing which is opened and closed with the ignition key. There’s more than enough space to keep your gloves, phone, wallet, and even a small laptop should fit, as well as a few other bits and pieces you want out of the elements when you park up.
Apart from the styling, other stand-out features include the beautiful chrome luggage rack, double hydraulic preload adjustable shocks with a trick looking anti-dive linkage, and a phenomenal (for the application) front brake.
Of those, the luggage rack is a personal favourite, adding not just extra authentic style but also making up in part for the lack of underseat storage. I can see riders strapping down a box of tasty beverages to the rack and riding to the house party down the street.
Riding the TL 50 is an exercise in patience at times. Equipped with a 4-stroke sub-50cc means there is no powerband to speak of, you just wind on the throttle and wait for the CVT gearbox to put the 2.4kW output to the ground.
Once the little scoot has managed to build up a bit of momentum things become much more fun. It holds speed well, though steep hills bring your speed down as it slowly but surely chugs its way up to the top. The adjustable suspension soaks up speed bumps, while the short wheelbase of just 1380mm contributes to an incredibly tight turning circle. Perfect for negotiating tight spots when looking for somewhere free to park in town.
Combine the awesome suspension with small wheels, in the case of the Scomadi 12 inches in diameter, and you find the limit in some circumstances. For instance when you fall into a pot hole or find a groove in the road things can get slightly uncomfortable as you bounce your way out.
Thankfully it’s only a small problem and is synonymous with all classically inspired scooters.
When it comes to stopping, use varying amounts of pressure on both the front and rear brake levers. Use too much force on that powerful 2-piston front brake with braided brake line and you can inadvertently make stopping a little too exciting.
Once you’ve come to a halt at your chosen locale, comes the often dreaded (for me at least) task of setting the TL50 on its centre stand. Weighing only 89kg, and with the luggage rack making a great grab handle, getting the TL50 on its stand is easy.
Accessories-wise you can grab one of the stylish windscreens to increase protection from the elements, but out of the box it is already an attractive package.
The Scomadi is available from select dealers in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington and retails for a measly $2390, plus on-road costs. There’s also a gruntier 125cc model available (which you’ll need a class 6L motorcycle licence for) available from $2999, plus on-road costs.
SCOMADI TURISMO LEGGERA 50
ENGINE:49.6cc four-stroke single cylinder
FUEL TANK:11 litres
PROS: Great looks, huge fuel tank, real-life glove box