2009 Aquila (Eagle) 150cc-T (Chinese-made) Scooter Review

by Bob Smiley
(Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX, USA)

(not mine, but it's the same as mine)

(not mine, but it's the same as mine)

Decided to go with a new, less-expensive scooter rather than a motorcycle as my "beginner" biker, since a) I wanted something new that only I had ridden, so if something bad happened I knew it was my fault, and b) if I didn't like riding I wouldn't feel bad since it didn't cost me too much to try it.

Found a new one being sold by a motorcycle shop that shipped in Chinese scooters in-bulk for cheap, assembled them, made sure they were good to go, then did a little mark-up for sale.

I was a bit hesitant to get a Chinese-made scooter, because folks online said the quality was hit or miss (mostly on the miss side). But, a few sites said if you go with Chinese-made, an Eagle or Eagle variant is a solid way to go.

Eagles are manufactured by the same Chinese company which has a higher quality control that some other Chinese companies. Can't quite remember the name, but I think it's Hyongang or something.

Anyways, the scooter works good, and has been very reliable. Only issue I've had with it is the some of the nuts/bolts weren't fully tightened when put together. I attribute this to the folks who assembled it here in the U.S., though, plus I should have taken the advice of some scooter riders and periodically checked/tightened the nuts/bolts.

After riding it for about 2000 miles, I started hearing this whiny chirping noise. I thought the engine was dying, but it still ran good. Turns out the nuts holding the muffler onto the engine were coming off.

One day the bike makes a huge farting noise as the o-ring exhaust gasket gets blasted out and caught in some plastic housing near the exhaust port on the engine. The bike was still rideable (home for repairs), but it was really loud like a Harley.

Turns out this is a common problem others have had with Chinese scoots, and I got an oval-shaped exhaust gasket which works much better, mounting it with some $0.50 nuts and lock washers I got from the local Home Depot.

I have noticed that while it's a 4-stroke engine, it seems to burn oil a bit much. I change the oil every 1000km (my speedometer is in km, so I just do it every 1000km instead of 1000m). I decided to go 2000km between one change just to see how it went.

I'm notorious for not checking the oil, so when it was time to change the oil I checked the dipstick and no oil was registering on it. I was scared that all the oil had gone out of it some how, and I was tearing up the engine. But when I changed the oil, quite a bit came out and it's still been running good. I'm just more careful to change the oil at 1000km and to check it every time I fill up.

Being a Chinese-made bike, it does have its inferiorities to, say, a Japanese or Korean bike. The screws used to hold the plastic paneling in place have started to rust after sitting in a couple of rain storms.

Some of the plastic paneling near where my feet meet the floor mat have broken
their mounting clips from my feet inadvertently catching them. They stick out a little, nothing serious.

The horn on this scooter flat-out sucks. I've been researching upgrading it to either a car horn or a sebel horn.

The under-seat storage compartment can't hold a full-face helmet; had to get a large Givi rear-trunk to do that. The front ABS brake works good, but got a tad warped and squeaks a little sometimes (cheap metal I guess). It's just minor things. Overall it's a solid bike that I've so far put about ~3500+ miles on (4000km).

What I LIKE about the bike is that the "T" in the name stands for "turbo". The Eagle/Aquila (Spanish for "Eagle") have a larger engine. Most 150cc scooters range 8-8.5hp, but the Eagle T's are 9-9.5hp. That extra horse power DOES make a difference.

I regularly run the thing at 50mph down the road (to keep up with the ridiculous traffic where I live), and it can do so easily. It's very peppy off the line, which surprises some people who think I'm going to be putting away like the 50cc's do.

When I fill up at the gas station, it only holds 1 gallon, which means I have to fill up 2-3 times a week depending on how much I ride. At $3/gallon, that's $6-9/wk, versus the $30-40 I was spending with my car.

I get a can of Seafoam for about $10 at the local auto store and add a couple capfuls to the gas at each fill up in order to keep the carb clean and running great. People who ask me about the bike are amazed at how fast I can go and how much the total cost of getting it up and running (cost of bike, gear, license, etc) was, because it's ridiculously less expensive than even the cheapest new car.

Now, I got this scooter NEW for $800, when most folks were trying to charge $1200+ for their USED one. I can definitely say it's been a great deal monetary-wise. But, the part that I've liked the most is the riding. I've spent most of my life commuting using bicycles, so hopping on the scooter was like second-nature. But, riding the scooter is more entertaining than a car. For the week my scoot was out of commission while I was waiting for the new exhaust gasket (which cost $5 and shipped in a regular-sized envelope LOL!), I was pretty down since I had to take my car to work. But once I got my scoot up and going, it just makes me happy again. I look forward to the trip to and from work.

Only other issue I have with it is that it's not highway-capable, at least not for the 70+mph traffic on the highways around here. The scoot gets batted around by winds too easily. I've been wanting to get a bigger/better scoot, like a Honda Silverwing, but I told myself I'd run this one a while first to get my money's worth before moving on.

It's just annoying having to keep a car around for highway travel (and bad weather travel). I'd much prefer a scoot that could do highway, so I could do some minimalist road trips.

Comments for 2009 Aquila (Eagle) 150cc-T (Chinese-made) Scooter Review

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Jan 20, 2013
Lifan Eagle 150cc NEW
by: Neil

I owned a 150cc Lifan Eagle for 2 years and wish that i had read the reviews first.
Over the period I replaced the battery, fuel lines, spark plug, spark plug wires, CDI module, carburetor
and added a fuel shut off under the tank plus a UNI filter for air intake. Also lost 1 exhaust manifold nut.
Total parts were under 200.00 and it was running like a top when I sold it.
If you will spend a few hours and replace these items you will have trouble free scooting.
Of course hard head replaced one at a time and was continually cussing - hee hee!

I have upgraded to a Kymco People 250cc for trouble free riding. Kymco from Taiwan is better than Honda at much less cost.

One hint for those who only ride occaisionally invest in a Lithium phosphate battery. They cost about 120.00 but after a year of sitting they will lose about 2% of their juice. I bought Shorei brand online and since they are much smaller I was able to upgrade to a 12V -12A unit.

Sep 09, 2011
About to buy.
by: Anonymous

Just came across this after googling "2009 Eagle Scooter" to get a little info on what I was thinking about buying. Well I can gladly replace the aforementioned 'little' with 'plenty' thanks to this review. I am going to look at a 2009 Eagle 150 (159.3 miles) tomorrow morning and will most likely be buying it. If this review is as informed as it seems, I can be comfortable picking this up. Thanks for the very detailed, very helpful review. Even if it has been a year since you posted it!

Nov 04, 2010
150 cc eagle
by: rallentorres

I agree with just about everything said in the above posts, although my tires still seem good. I'm up to around 6000 miles on my scooter, I do all the work on it myself and everything has seemed fairly easy.

Today I ordered a couple of the new H4-led bulbs for my headlamps, I will post a review on them here after I put them in. I also busted my drive belt today. Totally shredded. The scooter had been vibrating a bit lately and now I know why.

I would also recommend changing the cheap belt early, maybe 3-4K miles. That's when I started getting the vibrations. I replaced my horn with a car horn and it works great. I wired some led lights into the trunk and attached them to the back tail light. This really helps with being seen while breaking at night.

I have replaced the exhaust gasket, the drain overflow hose from the carburetor, and the speed hub(still doesn't seem to work perfect). I also have to tighten my back brake cable nut about once a month to keep my back breaks engaging (usually just two or three turns). All in all it's paid for itself already, it's way cheaper than the bus.

Aug 28, 2010
Not Bad Quality....So Far
by: Chris

Bought a KMD ITA 150cc scooter. Chinese made, for $950, new. It was a left-over 2008 model from a local scooter dealer.

The workmanship and quality of the scooter is better than I thought it would be, although it is
not anywhere as good as a Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki or
any of the Italian or Korean scooters.

Considering what I paid for it, though, it isn't bad. It seems to be a little cold natured but once warmed up it does pretty good. It doesn't seem to be lacking in power considering it is just a scooter.

The fit and finish rates about a "B", the mechanical might be slightly better, say a "B+". It does seem to have an excessive amount of plastic components rather than chrome and metal on more expensive scooters.

But if you can afford a better-quality scooter, that might be the way to go unless you just don't want to spend the money or can't afford to. I can afford a much more expensive scooter, but decided to take a change and buy a Chinese scooter this time. So far, I am mildly satisfied with it.

Aug 08, 2010
I Just Found This
by: Jim Zeiser

Keep those updates coming. I like to have mileage information from other sources on how far a GY6 scooter can go.

May 12, 2010
8000 mile Update
by: Bob Smiley

In the first 5000 miles, I had to get the cheap back tire, belt & some hoses replaced. The back tire was going bald, the belt was about to break, and there was a hole in an air hose going to the carb. The scooter was very sluggish. After another 3000 miles, the cheap spark plug had to get swapped.

If you follow other peoples' advice and just change the fluids & spark plug from the very start, you'll be doing your scooter and yourself a favor (a very affordable one). At around 3000 miles, I recommend opening the crank case and replacing the cheap belt just for peace of mind.

Once you work off the cheap parts (tires, belt, plug, hoses), the rest of the bike runs good, since it's a clone of the Japanese GY6 engine, which has been tried & true. Like a diesel engine on a mercedes, it'll last practically forever if you keep it maintained and change the oil every 1000-2000 miles (both engine & gear oil). This basically equates to changing the oil once a month for me. A simple 30 minute procedure.

I don't recommend upgrading rollers or gear ratios or other things folks do to make it "high performance". Those kinds of things can put too much stress on the engine. But just replacing the cheap parts / fluids with quality ones makes a huge difference, and will keep you scootin for quite some time.

I was debating getting a larger scooter (400cc+) to do highway, but frankly it doesn't make economical sense. I don't highway drive much, and when I do I take a car. I use my scoot for 90% of my riding/commuting, and the 150cc is enough to handle that while still being affordable and maintainable without much hassle.

It's interesting to note that while Chinese scooters are selling like hot cakes, it's difficult to find mechanics for them here in the states. And when you do, you can expect to pay at least $50/hr+ for labor. Parts are trivial, so if you know how to work on the bike yourself, you'll save loads of cash. You could even go into business yourself by charging others to work on their bikes. Happy scooting!

Sep 24, 2009
by: Anonymous

I'm glad you are enjoying your scooter. If your exhaust goes again you might try a copper ring that is usually at most hardware stores and probably a buck instead of 5.00.

Aug 04, 2009
Thanks Bob!
by: Kathi

Thanks for submitting this detailed review of your scooter, Bob! Should be very helpful to prospective buyers...

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