2008 Genuine Buddy 125 Motor Scooter Review
by Lyn L
A 125cc Genuine Buddy Scooter
Within a year of buying my first scooter (Yamaha Vino Classic), I was ready for a scoot with a bigger engine. After reading many reviews about various scooters on the net I decided that I wanted a scooter that, like my Yamaha, was name brand and could be serviced by a dealer. I found a used Buddy on Craigslist and since Genuine had a really good reputation I went for it.
Here is the list of my pros and cons:PROS
- Nice design, a combination of trendy and retro
- Fairly high seat height (good since I'm 5'9")
- Great acceleration and responsive handling
- Reliable performance... Starts right up in cold or hot weather; has never stalled or given me any performance issues. When I bought her in May 2009, she had 900 miles; she had 3500 when I put her in for the winter in November. During the winter I have been starting her every 10 days to keep the battery from dying; no problems starting even when the temperature outside is 1F.
- Pretty fast. I'm not sure what the top speed is; I've gone 55MPH without turning the throttle all the way but never have found out how fast she will go at full throttle. 55 is just about pushing my limits on 10" wheels. FYI, I weigh 125, so your actual speed may vary.
- Easy to do simple maintenance like clean the air filter, change motor and gear oil. Uses actual oil filters, not just a little screen; filters can be purchased from various online
- Plastic body panels. To some people this is a con but for me it's a pro. The paint job is top quality, so the scoot has a quality look even with plastic panels. The real pro is that if any of the panels are damaged they can easily be removed and replaced. I also was able to easily disguise a chip caused by a flying stone by buying some plastic paint at Michaels.
After a bit of mixing I got a pretty exact match. Not perfect but good enough for a spot the size of a pea.
- Cell phone charger. Not a big deal but it's convenient to know that I have a fully charged cell phone when I'm scooting. Just remember to remove the charger when the scoot is off; it will continue to pull power from the scoots battery.
- Kick start option. I've never had a problem with the battery or electrical system but the kick start makes a nice backup. I'm not very heavy so kick starting is difficult for me but I can do it. Just takes some effort.
- Plenty of storage under the seat, enough for a full face helmet.
- When you hit a bump or pothole you really know it. It's quite a jolt. This could probably be improved with different shocks.
- Stock mirrors are junk; one actually fell off the stem when I was riding. I haven't bothered to buy a new one; I simply took the right hand mirror from my Vino and put it on the Genuine; both Genuine and Yamaha use counter threaded right hand mirrors. When I ride the Vino I just swap the mirror back.
- Even with adjustments and a new pad the rear brake isn't that good, unlike the front brake, which is superb. The rear brake works, but I really have to squeeze the lever. I always use both brakes when I ride, but have tested stopping with just front brake and rear brake; just using the rear brake requires nearly 1.5 times as much stopping distance.
- The rear seat rack has started to rust around some of the welds. She's only been rained on once, so I think the metal isn't the best quality. I use a very fine steel wool pad to keep the rust in check but the rack will have to be replaced eventually.
Despite any cons, I adore my Buddy. Genuine makes a great bike and has an excellent network of dealers who know their stuff. They are releasing a new model in Fall 2010, a 250cc I think. I don't know if it will be a Buddy, but it will be a Genuine and might very well be my next scooter!
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