Italjet are renowned in the scooter world for their stylish machines, from the funky Formula 125 twin, to the utterly mad – and incredibly fast – Dragster 180.
The new Jet-set 125 is no exception, being styled in the same vein as that German design icon, the Audi TT. It turns a basic commuter scooter into something of a fashion statement, but does the Jet-Set 125 cut it through rush hour traffic too? Alastair Walker, took it for a spin.
Italjet are today´s Lambretta.
When they come to write the history of modern scooters from the late 20th Century, the small Italian brand will be seen in the same influential terms as Lambretta are now regarded.
You see, once, long ago, a Lambretta TV175 Slimline was simply a means to get to work for thousands of people, a poor substitute for a car, which what everyone and their Aunty Hilda aspired to own back in the early 1960s. Now, a clean, elegant TV175 is seen as a design classic, possibly one of the best looking scooters ever created.
Fashion goes in circles, and so the same praise will be applied one day to Italjet models like the Velocifero, Dragster and probably the Jet-Set 125. Because good design matters, especially in a market that is saturated with samey, Far Eastern manufactured budget scoots, mostly using very similar body panels. Thing is, scooters, unlike baked beans, don´t need to look exactly the same, even if they all perform the same urban runabout function.
Step aboard the Jet-Set 125 and you are immediately struck by how light and compact the machine is. Weight is just 103 kilos (dry), which means the scooter can easily be manhandled around garden gates, shed doors etc even by two-wheeler novices.
Follow the usual format of turning on the ignition, grabbing a brake lever, then push the starter button. The single cylinder four stroke 124cc engine burbles into life and a twist of the throttle later you´re off down the High Street.
Acceleration isn´t too exciting, but the four stroke 100-125cc scooter class are all pretty similar in this respect, so its something we have to live with, especially as environmental laws are making the production of two stroke scooters difficult, even in developing countries.
Once up above 30mph, the Jet-Set is an OK performer, topping out at an indicated 65-ish on long straights. Its main area of ability however is at lower speeds, especially when trickling through gridlocked traffic. Here, the ultra slim profile of the Italjet and its steady low rev power delivery, combine to make this scooter perfect for inching your way through the most unlikely gaps.
You soon learn that the mirrors (which are excellent by the way) are the widest part of this scooter, so once they have been successfully squeezed between a Volvo and a Nissan – the rest will surely follow. Oddly enough, the Audi type styling of the Jet-Set seems to make this cheeky behaviour more acceptable to many a car driver, as they see you approach in their mirrors. People definitely approve. Bystanders ask who makes such a good looking scooter.
All of which makes the daily grind of getting to and from work that bit more bearable, I reckon, which is another good reason for choosing a scooter with some style.
Break free of traffic chaos and the Jet-Set is a reasonable handling scooter, hacking its way across the various speed bumps, chicanes and other local authority nonsense, which is designed to make commuting a living hell on wheels. The Jet-Set looks pretty, but under its sexy bodywork lies a regulation Far East commuter machine, which has OK steering, handling and braking, but not in the same league as say, a Dragster 125, or the Torpedo 125.
The Jet-Set has just enough room under the seat to fit a carrier bag of shopping, plus a handy hook mounted near the steering column for another bag. There´s also a little oddments cubby hole in the front section of the bodywork. Serious commuters, who need to carry wet weather clothing, will have to stump up a few quid for a top box.
With an excellent 2 year discount insurance deal, free lock & chain and a 2 year warranty, the Jet-Set adds up to a good value package, at £2,299 on the road. You can match this price level, but you won´t find another 125cc scooter with quite so much style, at this price level.
Get Italjet motorbike insurance for the Jetset 125.
|Engine||Four stroke, single cylinder|
|Claimed power (bhp)||Peak power; 11.9bhp|
|Bore and stroke||57mm X 48.6mm|
|Chassis;||Steel tubular frame|
|Front suspension||30mm telescopic forks|
|Rear suspension||Single oil/air damped shock absorber|
|Brakes||220mm single front, 140mm rear drum|
|Tyres||120/70 12 inch front. 130/70 12 inch rear|
|Top speed||Estimated top speed; 65mph|
|Fuel capacity||10.5 litres|
|Current price||£2,299 OTR|
|Warranty||2 year warranty, discount insurance|
|Colours||Blue, Silver or Black|