Saturday, April 4, 2009

Scooter Resource -- Buddy 150

April 3rd, 2009 - I'll admit it, the Buddy 150 wasn't really a bike I wanted to like. It seemed too nice, too friendly, and too easy. Frankly, those are the exact reasons I ended up loving it. When I hopped on the bike it immediately felt like home. The 10" wheels mean it has a low seat height and is inspiring to scooterists of all skill levels. The engine, while powerful, was still forgiving and with just a little caution a beginner could learn on a Buddy no problem. As far as pricing goes, the Buddy 150 MSRPs in the mid $3000s, which is in the upper-middle catagory for new scooter prices but the build quality felt like a million bucks. If I had an extra $4500 laying around, I would have bought a Buddy the afternoon of the test.

Like I said earlier, when I got on the bike I immediately felt like I was home. The seat was very comfortable, the bike's height was perfect for my size, and and I felt confident on the bike. With a push of the electric start the little Buddy fired right up and after a few minutes of letting the engine warm, I was off. I was initially surprised by the power of the bike, and it had great acceleration down low. The Buddy is stopped by a disc front brake and a drum rear. As you expected they worked well and provide a surprising amount of feedback. Genuine was nice enough to even include steel braided brake lines to combat the squish associated with a lot of scooters. In the twisties, the Buddy 150 was a dream. It flicked from side to side with relative ease and the tires' profile made the scoot seem very stable. I was able to outrun the Honda chase car quite easily on the Buddy in the tight sections.

The Buddy 150 also has a bunch of cool extras that normally aren't found on scooters. First is a cigarette-type power inverter for charging electronics, or my favorite use a plug in point for a battery tender so the battery doesn't even have to be removed. Genuine was also smart enough to mould a stash tray in the plastic under the handlebars for storing small items while riding. Under-seat storage was ample and swallowed up my Suomy Jet Light 3/4 helmet. The gas cap is located under the seat which is good for two reasons. Firstly, you have the added protection of random people not being able to access the tank without a key to your scoot. Secondly, the gas filler location allows for the easy addition of a rear rack or hard luggage without having to worry about covering the gas filler location.

If you happen to be looking to have fun while getting from A to B, then Genuine's Buddy is for you. Its high build quality, ease of use, and impressive reliability allow the rider to concentrate on the most important thing while riding, the ride. In today's world, more often than not you get what you pay for, and in the Genuine Buddy 150's case, I think you may just get more.

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