Yamaha Scooter Reviews - the Vino 125 Scooter
by Robert Hawk
(Lithia Springs Ga)
This is the second Yamaha scooter I have owned the first was the Majesty 400 and the second was the 2006 Vino 125 (4stroke engine). I have also owned several motorcycles which include the Yamaha XS1100, Vstar 1100, Vstar 650, XJ 650 Turbo, and the 600RR.
This is just to indicate that my comments come from a wide range of experience with motorcycles and scooters. 1) Comfort:
The Vino is hands down the most comfortable of any of the scooters and most of the motorcycles I have owned. Like all stock seats, it tends to need different padding after 45 min operation. Some gel pad inserts will help a lot but the icing on the cake it to have your seat padding reworked with the higher grade padding (usually layers of different density).
The foot well on this scooter is large enough to hold a size 12 shoe and allow movement. Also you can place your heals on the rear rider foot rests, this allows the rider to move about while riding long distances. The handlebars are at just the right height for operation (although about 2 inches too short for my preference). My weight is under 190 and my height is under 6 feet so judge accordingly.2) Operation of the scooter:
2a. Cold start has never given me an issue although sometimes I have to crack the throttle in hot start conditions (temps in the 90s).
2b. On road operation: Like all scooters, the CVT has to spool up in order to reach speed. Hills will affect the spool up time, the steeper the grade the higher the effect. This is common among scooters no matter the engine size, I had the same effect with my 400 and my 125. Expect the 125 to be able to maintain its speed up grades in the 45 to 50 mph area at wide open throttle, and between 40 to 45 at 3/4 throttle. I have some steep grades to climb and have never had the scooter not be able to maintain 42 mph even on the steepest grades I climb (40% for 1/8th mile).
My top end is 55 although downhill I have hit 65 WOT a couple of times. The scooter will comfortably run 50 - 55 on highways, although it requires a windshield to achieve these speeds.
I use an OE windshield, but I have used an aftermarket handlebar mounted windshield on the Vino as well, it's just difficult to find mounting points for the aftermarket shield.
If you are looking for a high speed scooter that returns 50+ mpg at 75+ mph then the Vino is NOT for you.
If however, you are looking for a scooter that will easily keep up with traffic (45-55 mph) and return 85 - 95 mpg, then the Yamaha Vino 125 fits the bill nicely. My scooter is not modified beyond the addition of a windshield, however if you are going to do a lot of high speed driving, I would suggest removing the air vent under the seat and replacing it with a stiff wire screen.
The fuel tank is smaller than I would like, however since the scooter gets 85 - 95 mpg the the 1.2 gallon tank will carry you over 100 miles before needing a gas station. The best part is the fill up always costs less than $4. You
can just smile at the folks in their SUVs who are watching the $$$ pile up to $50 and $60 and $80 and higher as they fill up. This is where the Vino will really make you a happy. There will always be one person come up to you at the gas pump and ask "so just how fast will that scooter go?", They are usually taken back by your answer them. 3)Handling:
The Vino is a light scooter at less than 300 lbs and it has a short wheel base and small diameter tires. This combination although compact, also has some effect on handling. For the normal scooter rider, you will notice nothing, however the historical sport bike rider will find some bouncing in corners when taken at high rates of speed. I control this by body positioning, I usually ride with my heels on the rear riders foot well, this allows me to distribute my weight in high speed tight turns on the scooter and reduces the bouncing effect.
For a lightweight scooter, the Vino handles very well. Balance of the Vino is excellent, I can stop this scooter and never put my feet on the ground, then take off from a dead stop. I have ridden street bikes and cruisers that did not handle as well as the Vino and did not have the balance of the Vino.4) Brakes:
The rear brakes are adequate, just enough to break without locking up, I assume this was the design focus due to the weight of the scooter. The front brakes do most of the stopping on this scooter and are excellent, even when stopping from 55 mph. Most scooters have both brakes mounted to the handle bars I personally find this gives the rider more control over steering while braking than a foot brake and hand brake as found on a motorcycle.5)Storage:
The underseat storage is cavernous on the Vino compared to some motorcycles I have driven which had saddle bags. Remember the Vino storage area does sit over the engine and it will get warm to the touch after extended riding. Other than that, the storage area will hold my helmet, a jacket, my tool roll and my bungie cord net. I added a simple handle bar bag to my Vino to allow me to put my sunglasses and small stuff into.
Motorcycle saddle bags can in no way hold as much stuff as you can get under the seat storage of a scooter and the best part is the weight is always center mass. 6) Maintenance costs:
Scooters are simple machines which don't require as much maintenance as a motorcycle. There is the oil and filter to change every few thousand miles, the air filter, the CVT belt and finally the tires. This is about all that wears on an air cooled scooter like the Vino. 7) Insurance:
What can I say, I carry liability only, and my cost to insure the Vino 125 is less than $100 per year. Yep I said Year not Month. In summary:
If you are looking for an easy to ride A to B reliable scooter that will get you 85 to 95 mpg and operate at 45 - 50 mph all day, then the Vino is almost impossible to pass up. It's easy to ride, easy to operate and frugal on your purse.
A battery tender like the Battery Tender Jr. can make all the difference in whether your scooter will start right up each spring, after being stored for months.
Just about every scooter owner needs to have a battery tender, sometimes called a trickle charger. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a climate where you can ride all year long, chances are your scooter will be put on ice, figuratively-speaking, for at least a couple months every winter.
One of the key steps in winterizing a scooter is to protect your battery from draining during its "rest" period. This can – and will – happen if you leave your battery sitting untended in your cold scooter over the winter, even if it's in a garage or shed.