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Scooter Review

Yamaha Tricity 125 Review

Yamaha enters the 3-wheel scooter market and gets a glowing review

Peter Dixon



Peter Dixon - Introduction and overview.

The Tricity smashed my initial preconceptions of being another 3-wheeler clone on the market. From the initial curbside appeal I was pleasantly surprised by it's sharp lines and iconic Yamaha flair. Climbing aboard and entering what feels like a futuristic space pod, everything felt right about what Yamaha have created here. The low flat floor gave me plenty of leg room whilst the seat was supportive. I have always had a preference to traditional analogue displays but turning the key the unobstructed and clearly laid out digital display gave me all the information I needed without confusing the situation. Smack bang in the middle is a large, easy to read digital speedo that I found very easy to read at a glance, especially when entering those 40km school zones. This functional simplicity seems to carry on throughout this well thought out scooter from the intuitive controls to the storage space that fits a full face helmet.

My main question with this scooter was is a 125cc motor going to be enough power to get my classic frame up and down Sydney's hills? Again I was pleasantly surprised. Through continued simplicity and having compact but spacious layout, no steering lock and smaller frame and motor than traditional three wheeled scooters weight is kept down to 152kg making it easy to handle and still responsive under throttle. It even managed two up comfortably only slowing on larger inclines. Linked 3 disc braking and larger duel front 14 inch wheels gave a stable, safe and comfortable ride on even the most unforgiving roads. This lightness coupled with the trust you get from two front wheels made it a pleasure to maneuver around the urban landscape of  roundabouts and winding streets yet narrow enough to take advantage of new lane filtering laws.

The 6.6 litre tank was a little on the small side but the engines low friction internals give a reasonable range and the usual fuel cap under the seat could be seen as a small negative but the benefit is the full step through of a traditional scooter in this well priced, competent little surprise package.

Verdict

This is your stable, nimble and fun city ride. Where as previous 3-wheelers' size and weight have made them more of an experienced rider package the Tricity would make a great learner scooter while having enough features and fun factor to to keep experienced riders happy. If you are looking for a daily commuter with Yamaha's race flair then this scooter is definitely worth a ride. A lot of quality and features for a modest price tag of $4999 ride away we expect to see a lot more three wheelers on the road over the coming months. Don't take my word for it. At Scootersales.com.au we wanted as many thoughts and views from as many riders as we could find with varying levels of experience. Take a look at the user reviews below and have a read of  what makes the Yamaha Tricity so special.

Links



Elliot Cook - Experienced thoughts.

An experienced rider with a love of BMW’s. Current stable is a R1200 and a C630GT maxi.

I only managed to get a short run on this charming little scoot, my first thought was gee I'm really getting to like these three wheelers. 

The Yamaha Tricity is a hoot to ride around the city, the steering is light with good feel and possesses a huge amount of confidence inspiring traction. The light and very capable handling is only one of several highlights for this scoot.

The engine is very smooth as is the transmission. Delivering good performance for a 125cc, adequate for the city but with a 90 km/h top speed it is not designed for use on the freeways. 

I love the styling and think that the classy large diameter front wheels really sets off the very smart looks. I gather that the designer Kazuhisa Takano created this scoot for his wife. The love care and devotion of this endeavour clearly shows through in every part of the Tricity. It's very well put together in usual Yamaha fashion.

Verdict

A great scoot for those happy to stay within the confines of the city, and if this fits the bill, a test ride is a very strong recommendation.

Peter Gailey

A two wheeled tragic who will ride anything anywhere. Owns 2 Gileras and 3 motorcycles.

Doing my 50k daily commute as well as all the local rides up to the shops, around town etc, and the Tricity impressed. For a little 125cc it ticks an awful lot of boxes.

It's a very cute scoot to look at, Japanese chic, brilliant design, really well built and put together. The Tricity sure gets lots of attention and heaps of non scooter riders comment about pretty it looks. But what's really exciting about this 3 wheeler is its balance and poise through the corners.

The Tricity’s designer Kazuhisa Takano worked on Yamaha's GP race chassis and the chassis performance of the Tricity is outstanding. It has 50/50 weight distribution front and rear like a race bike, and with the three wheels and low centre of gravity it is a seriously good to ride. Combined with its low weight, and neutral steering, the suspension is untroubled by road surface irregularities. The three discs which are linked with the L hand brake, which means the scoot stops very quickly. It is so stable and balanced when you lean it into sharp corners, it turns faster than any other scooter that I can remember and is a real joy around the roundabouts. All this makes for an exciting ride. While the engine means its not a rocket the handling more than makes up for it.

After wringing the Tricity’s neck all week commuting, I took it for a couple of outings on the Old Pacific Highway on the weekend. 

The engine had bedded in nicely, much better acceleration off the lights and I was getting a regular top speed of 95k/h. I had hitched a ride with 7 other scooters and a Harley, and I wanted some other riders opinions on this tiny 3 wheeler, so I reluctantly left the Nexus at home and took the Tricity.

At the start of the ride I told the others that I'd be at the back of the pack because I had a 125 but added that I wouldn’t be far behind them. The thing was the Tricity was so good in the corners that I didn’t have to brake or slow down. It was getting boring braking because of the Harley, so I stopped to let the other riders get ahead, then with a clear road in front of me, I was able to push the 3 wheeler through the tight 45k/h corners and was amazed how well it stuck. Although I was only travelling around 75k/h I was having a ball. The Tricity was cutting up one of my favourite twisty roads like a hot knife through butter.

That was about the last I saw of them until we regrouped at Berowra. The Tricity was just too adept at cutting through traffic, the only thing missing was blatt! acceleration, but as long as you could keep the revs up the scooter was totally competitive.

I made sure I was first into the Old Road because the tyres were warmed up and it was mostly down hill. I got it up to 109k/h where it started to feel a little jittery in the front wheels. I hit the hairpin halfway down the mountain and saw Eddie from Old Rd Photographers with some cameras so I leaned the scoot steeper than ever before and hung on as I bounced through the corner thinking this is going to be embarrassing if Tricity doesn't stick. Through the corner and galloping down the road I had reminiscences of racing billy carts at ridiculous speeds when we were kids. When I texted Eddie to see if he had any pics he replied  "So that was you throwing sparks down the road! That was quite a spectacular feat ha ha."  Must have been scraping the stand at that point. 

Gave out a few test rides with the other riders for a promise of a short review. Nearly everyone got off the scooter with a big grin and a surprised look in their eyes. Comments like; it looks great, well built, its light, nicely balanced, WOW! like it better than the Burgman, pity it hasn't got a 150, pity it hasn't got a 250.

After the test rides the group split and we ended up copping a heavy drenching by rolling storms. I did get wet in the deluge but was surprised by how much of my trousers remained dry. The front fairing offers a fair amount rain protection. 

Blue skies followed the storm as and we headed back on a drying road. Again the Tricity galloped away down the ridge and handled the hard riding very well.  The hills slowed the little 3 wheeler down to a real 75km/h but after riding all day on full throttle, as you tend to do on a 125 on the open roads, in the end came in with a fuel consumption of 35km/l. The day before it had been 38lkm/l. 

This mighty little Yamaha Tricity 125cc 3 wheeler really impressed, Despite only being a 125 it was more than capable as a commuter, could handle almost any corner flat out, filtered well, super lightweight and manoeuvrable, good brakes, reasonable storage, great looks, and all in a quality build. 

At $4999 on the road the Tricity would be a definite contender for a first scooter. Yamaha have been in the motorcycle game for so long and they do know what they are doing. Anything from that brand is going to be quality and I’m a firm believer in buying quality when it comes to scooters. While being pitched to young inner city riders particularly females, the Tricity would also a useful addition to someone who has a stable with large capacity motorcycles who is looking for a smaller lighter machine that handles like a race bike for city duties. 

Last night I took it back, after a 750kms week long affair, and already I miss it. It was THAT good!

9.5 shooting stars.



Jordan Kennedy 

Young female inner city rider who has been riding since she was 17. Had a Fly125, a Vespa 200GT and now rides her mums old Sportscity 250.

The Tricity is a cute little bike. It’s smooth on Sydney’s roads like a good hipster made flat white. It corners well both around the city streets and in the bigger turns. Due to three wheels it has a wide base of support which allows for an excellent feeling of stability and control. I was able to do tight turns with it in the small streets which was a wonderful surprise. 

This bike teaches you nicely to push down with your hips into corners instead of steering with your arms and handle bars. The two front wheels makes it feel awkward and stiff to try and steer with the handle bars alone and therefore you naturally you start to lean into and around corners as it’s the more comfortable way of riding.

The Tricity decelerates quickly especially at slower speeds, I had difficulty rolling up to the lights using throttle control alone and found I had to power up to them and brake more often than I’m used to. This also translated to heavy traffic riding where it felt quite jerky during the constant start stop. This bike is only a 125cc bike and therefore I found it was a little sluggish taking off at the lights and accelerating up hills. 

I loved the gadgets and features on this bike, it was easy to rock off the stand and was very light and needed very little effort to reverse it into park. It starts with the lightest press of the ignition and is up and running almost instantly with no mucking around. The dashboard is nice and big and the speedo is easily visible and big to read. I like the novelty of having the outside temperature gauge and it’s something that I would look at regularly and wish I had on my current bike. 

Under the seat has a nice large area for storage that could easily fit my handbag and a change of clothes if I needed it while I’m riding and my motorcycle jacket and gloves when I’m not. What would make this bike even better is if it had a helmet hook then you could just hang it up and be ready to roll. Also another minor point is that the hook at the front doesn’t close, I prefer a clasp style hook as it give me peace of mind that nothing is going to accidentally slip off and I can also hang large bags with wider handles knowing that it will stay in place. 

Verdict

As a city bike this is perfect for first timers. It handles well in the city, behaves and responds beautifully to the rider and brakes smoothly and easily while not being too touchy. Of course most importantly it is looks nice, it’s sleek, light and sporty and the black and white looks very crisp and modern. This bike suits my lifestyle and is one I would be happy to ride.




Ian Waldram 

Experienced motorcycle and maxi scooter rider with an engineers understanding of motorcycle mechanics. 

Here is probably one of the most interesting scooter concepts to appear since Piaggio’s three wheelers were first presented back in 2006. Well the Tricity does a fine job of which its designers should be proud. 

Here is a smallish urban scooter which combines many fine qualities. Safety, style, price, practicality and low cost of ownership are just some of those qualities. 

  • Safety – the extra front wheel brings many benefits – traction under brakes and while cornering are outstanding. Even without ABS the scooter impresses under brakes.
  • Handling – also due to the dual front end traction and security in cornering are too outstanding – well done Yamaha. The steering too has good feedback – something lacking on MP3’s. Weight distribution is near ideal and much better than an equivalent two wheeled scooter – again contributing to stability in corners.
  • Style – the large front wheels give the Tricity a balanced and aggressive but unique look. Better than most plastic bodied scooters.
  • Ergonomics - The Tricity should accommodate most riders in its designed urban role.
  • Brakes – the pair of front discs provide powerful but safe braking even in poor conditions.
  • Suspension – Yamaha have fitted this scooter with a novel design front end parallelogram setup. Each wheel has a pair of parallel conventional forks working together attached to each front wheel hub. Together with a pair of cross arms similar to the MP3. Anyway it works quite well too thank you!
  • Storage – smallish space under the seat but no room for a glove box or cubby holes.
  • Street cred – well pretty good, stylish and certainly something different…
  • Price – at $5K on road – well a bargain.
  • Engine – I’ve left the only negative till last. Actually that’s perhaps a little unfair. The engine itself is fantastic and gives 110%. It’s just a little stretched in the cut and thrust of traffic light derby’s and can struggle up the bigger hills. Yamaha fit an 180cc or 200cc engine please?
Verdict

So here we have a fine machine that should be on anyone’s buying list for city/urban scooter. The Yamaha Tricity – highly recommended.

Conclusion

  • Economical 125cc liquid-cooled 4 stroke engine
  • Confidence inspiring innovative 3-wheel chassis design
  • Parallelogram link leaning multiwheel system
  • Agile and lightweight at only 152kg including 6.6L of fuel
  • Unified brake system
  • Cheap to insure, cheap to own
  • Cheaper to own that your average bus or train pass
  • Capped price servicing

Tricity is now available in Competition White and Mistral Grey at $4999 ride away, plus to make Tricity even more attractive to Australian customers, Yamaha offers this model with a capped price servicing program. Visit your local Yamaha dealer to test ride this exciting new urban commuter.

Find your local Yamaha Scooter dealer using dealer locator on www.yamaha-motor.com.au

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published 29/03/2015

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