Vmoto Monte Carlo 150
Remote Start, Stealth Looks and Groovy Name = Fame, Fortune, Casinos and Glamour!
Words and Pictures by: Jason Tubnor
I grew up as a boy enjoying James Bond films. In the 1995 edition of Golden Eye, we saw the man of men racing a beautiful woman through the hilly coast line of Monte Carlo. With breathtaking views and sweeping curves, this is every driver's or, more to the point, every rider's dream.
Skip forward a decade and I am looking at a different Monte Carlo - still something that is beautiful to look at; something that has a new and unique feel about it.
It's the new Vmoto Monte Carlo, fresh to Australia for 2008. This scooter is for those who want something different without having to attend a meeting with the bank manager and go through a business plan.
The sleek lines and headlight layout are far better in the flesh than previous views of this scoot. It looks like a scooter, not like an elongated bus as do some scooters that are starting to grace our shores. The feeling you get when you nip between traffic is that of confidence; it's so compact that when you point the “Carlo” in a given direction, it does it without compromising the ride or yourself with plenty of room for rider comfort.
Victorian-era cobblestone and modern-day tram tracks of Melbourne’s inner suburbs can't fault any of this new scoot's credentials. The suspension is sound and compliant without excessive movement or a rough ride, giving the rider total confidence on even the most challenging of surfaces. With a premium, colour-anodised telescopic fork set-up at the front and a single tuned shock/spring combination at the rear, there is no compromise between rider comfort and sport handling. Twelve inch alloy wheels, similar to those found on the Vmoto Matrix, are standard on the Carlo ensuring an excellent contact patch to the ground.
Assisting in the handling department is the Carlo’s light-weight and rigid chassis. There is no flat floor on the Monte Carlo causing issues for those of us who use a scooter for the bottle-shop run, but this has allowed Vmoto to create a more rigid frame giving the scooter a more refined and predictable feel, which increases rider confidence in corners and at speed.
The problem with this great handling is that it comes at a cost. Sparks flying from the centre stand gave drivers a great thrill when I hooked into a nice tight roundabout. But don’t let that put you off; it didn't kick, buck or throw me to the ground, but produced an audible sound to let me know it was there. Exit speed was still the same and I still couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
Power is developed from a simple 150cc 4-stroke engine, which, with even only 50km under the scooter's belt, gave a sprightly performance. 0-60km/h was achieved in 8 seconds with a top speed of 102km/h making it more than ideal for those of us that have to travel the clogged arterials of Australia’s capital cities on a daily basis. The Carlo handled cross and head winds with minimal destabilisation.
As my time on this scoot grew, so did my confidence with it. Braking with the rear was a bit vague at first but as I dragged it on more and more over the time I had the scooter, it became more responsive. The front brake is a different story; you could grab as little or as much as you want and the single rotor and piston set-up will pull you up without hesitation or complaint from the standard tyres.
Seating is comfortable, though those on the shorter side may find it a little tall. The split footboards provide excellent grip with a well moulded, drilled, brushed-metal covering that's functional and enhances the appearance of the scooter.
The fuel tank and filler is located under the seat towards the rear. Filling was easy and any overflow was taken away from the filler so excess fuel didn’t end up in the storage area. From empty to full takes 4.75 litres of fuel which will limit touring distances, but with fuel stations on every corner these days, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.
The under-seat storage is on par with most of the scooters in this category though my Nolan N84 helmet wouldn't fit. A solid chrome rack fitted to the rear comes standard enabling you to either tie your luggage down or fit an optional top box.
The body work is original with no other importer sharing the same design, giving Vmoto something fresh and unique in the market. Fit and finish was perfect and I couldn't fault one bit of detail. Mirror-finished chrome-covered exhaust and metallic blue paint really made this scooter look like a premium scooter, not something that was slapped together cheaply. Being original, the Carlo attracted the attention of fellow scooter riders and had all the “traditional looking” scooter riders take a second look as they rode past. A bit of good old-fashioned rubber-necking seemed to be occurring as I rode down Beach Road.
The three-cluster dash is well laid out with a nice big white dial in the centre to indicate speed. A reasonably sized, very accurate fuel gauge is located on the left of the dash which also has a fuel low warning light.
I renamed the fuel light on the test to the “Start Walking” light. If this baby starts blinking at you, get to a fuel station fast. To the right of the dash is a third cluster containing only a high beam indicator lamp. This was a little bit of a disappointment as the rest of the space could be used for a simple digital clock of some sort. As you have guessed on that comment, there is no clock.
All the levers and switches have a quality feel to them and operate smoothly. A fob with flick key arrangement comes with the Carlo which gives you the ability to enable and disable the alarm along with remote starting, a very nice feature as long as your steering is already unlocked. Flick keys are great, protecting you and your clothing from being stabbed when your keys are in your pocket.
Overall, this is one scoot that I could actually live with for day to day use as well as for enjoying recreational rides on the weekend. With a price tag of $2990 plus on road costs and a 12 month, unlimited kilometre warranty, the scooter community has a new quality scooter with a unique cosmopolitan look but without the hefty price tag.
Croisière Élégante Sérieuse
Scooter supplied by Moto Galleria 03 9699 6000
Search Scooter Dealers with the Vmoto Monte Carlo for sale Click Here
For more info go to www.vmoto.com.au