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Top five… mid-capacity scooters for 2024

Mid capacity scooter title2

Mid-capacity scooters are very popular in mainland Europe and enjoy a small but loyal following on these islands too. There’s a very good reason for that, they are extremely practical and versatile enough to tackle pretty much any journey you need to take.

While small (and by this we mean under 125cc machines) capacity scooters are very accessible because they can be ridden without the need to take a full bike test, they do have their limitations. With top speeds of around 60mph, 125s like the best-selling Honda PCX 125 and Yamaha NMAX can make the rider feel a little vulnerable when riding on dual carriageways and open roads, but with these middle weight bikes (which are often up to 400cc) they easily have enough performance to cruise at 70mph (and above). Despite this, they’re physically not much bigger than the more premium 125s on the market and, in many cases, don’t cost all that much more to buy.

As a result, we love these machines at Insidebikes. With their fully automatic twist and go transmissions they are very easy to ride, as well as a great way to reduce commuting times and costs for many people. Here (in no particular order) are five of the best you can buy today…

Honda Forza 350

 

Honda ADV350

 

No motorcycle manufacturer produces a wider variety of motorcycles than Honda, and the Japanese giant has a very strong scooter game, with three mid-capacity models in its range which are worthy of consideration.

 The range starts with the SH350i, while we’ve been well impressed with the ADV350 when we’ve reviewed it in the past, but our choice here is the mechanically similar Forza 350. They’re both powered by the same 330cc single cylinder engine, producing around 29bhp. This makes it easy to sit on the motorway speed limit, with a little in reserve for inclines and head winds.

The Forza 350 is a ‘GT’ style scooter with plenty of weather production and a lot of underseat storage. It’s a bike capable of long journeys as well as daily commutes, with a learner legal 125cc version also available for those who don’t have a full motorcycle licence.

 

Yamaha XMAX 300

 

Yamaha XMAX 300

 

Like Honda, Yamaha has a comprehensive scooter line up. They’ve been one of the pioneers when it comes to bigger capacity machines, their 500cc TMAX long being the benchmark in the maxi scooter sector.

But in the midi-scooter category the XMAX 300 is right at the top of the class. As with Honda’s Forza, the XMAX comes in the choice of a learner legal 125 or a bigger version requiring an A2 licence – with this 300 delivering more than enough performance to cruise at motorway speeds.

It’s not cheap, but it is very classy – especially when specified with the Tech Max pack which includes a TFT dashboard and Garmin sat-nav system. 

 

Suzuki Burgman 400

 

Suzuki Burgman 400

 

At over £7000 new, the Burgman is the most expensive scooter in our selection but, as one of the most established ‘big’ scooters on the market there are plenty out there, with many lightly used examples available on the second hand market. If you’re on a budget, a pre-owned Burgman may well be worth a look.

The ‘Burger Van’ has been around in one capacity or another for over quarter of a century and although the latest version may not quite have the tech gadgets of many of the other scooters here, the old dog remains one of the comfiest ways to travel with that big seat and large fairing making it a very pleasant place to be.

 

Kymco DTX360

 

Kymco 2

 

Taiwanese manufacturer Kymco is relatively unknown to many riders, but despite not quite having the brand recognition of the big players, they’ve built a strong reputation for building modern and high quality scooters.

The DTX360 comes in 125 and 320cc versions and has a light adventure bike feel to it. It’s a good bit cheaper than the equivalent from Honda, and although it can’t quite match the ADV350 on spec or performance, it’s a quality product with more than enough for most riders.

You can read a full review here.

Vespa GTS300

 

03-vespa-gts-touring-300-hpe

 

We tested the top spec Vespa GTS 300 Super Tech last year and loved the combination of the modern four-stroke powertrain with the fashionable colours and classic Italian scooter lines.

Those classic looks make the Vespa a little less of ‘grand tourer’ than the other bikes here, although it’s still more than capable of holding its own on the open road with a 70+mph top speed.

If you want a scooter which turns heads and makes a statement, there really are few rivals to the iconic Vespa. It’s also available in a 125cc version, if you prefer to ride on a provisional licence, and it comes in various different levels of specification too.

 

What are the other options?

 

Although there is not a huge amount of choice when it comes to mid range scooters, there are still other options to consider.

BMW has been pretty active in making scoots in recent years, with the C 400 range being a premium priced alternative to the Hondas and Yamahas out there. They’re powered by a 350cc engine and come in X and GT trim. The German manufacturer also offers an electric alternative in the sector, in the form of the futuristic CE04.

Vespa owners Piaggio make some less retro models under their own banner, with the big wheeled Beverly providing a unique alternative to the other scoots we’ve featured. Piaggio also produce the three-wheeled MP3 scooter which, like Yamaha’s Tricity, offers more stability than the two wheeled alternatives. Peugeot’s massive Metropolis is another trike option, and these have the benefit of being able to be ridden on a standard car driving licence.

For riders on a budget, Lexmoto now has a range of three 300cc scooters – including the range-topping XDV300, which shares quite a resemblance to the Honda ADV350.

 

Bigger, better, faster, more?

Want something bigger still? Maxi scooters deliver even more performance thanks to their larger (usually twin cylinder) engines. They’re physically bigger and come with loads of storage space as standard, although they can be less agile to ride in heavy traffic. We’ve reviewed the Honda Forza 750 and Yamaha TMAX, with other examples including the Kymco AK550 and the Taiwanese SYM Maxsym TL 508.

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