For hundreds of dollars less than some 50 cc motor scooters like the top-rated Vespa LX 50 (MSRP: $3,300), which you can’t ride on the freeway, experts point out that you can buy a Kymco People 150 — a well-built, freeway-legal, 150 cc gas scooter that delivers a smooth ride and hefty gas mileage. Buyers are attracted to the little Vespa scooter, which costs $500 more, because they can park it on the sidewalk (in some cities) and a 50 cc bike doesn’t usually require any special motorcycle license. However, the Vespa LX 50’s top speed is only 39 mph.
Kymco doesn’t publish the People 150 scooter’s top speed, but one reputable test pegs it at 57 mph. Another reviewer gets it up to about 65 mph, checked against GPS. That’s technically fast enough for the highway, but reviewers say the Kymco People 150 scooter isn’t really big or powerful enough for heavy freeway use. “I found it more than a little unsettling, especially on grooved pavement where the tires danced around trying to find their line,” says Susan Carpenter of the Los Angeles Times.
Experts say the Kymco People 150 is a quality scooter, although it’s not as elegantly styled as the Vespa it tries to mimic. The Kymco scooter offers a two-year warranty, while more established brands like Honda and Vespa only offer one-year coverage. One area of weakness in the Kymco People 150 is storage space: testers find they can’t fit a full-face or even three-quarter helmet under the seat.
The Kymco People 150’s four-stroke, air-cooled 152 cc engine is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Kymco estimates it will deliver 84 mpg, but real-world results vary, ranging from 55 mpg to 82 mpg.
Consumer Reports conducts a direct comparison review, pitting the Kymco People 150 against the Vespa LX 150 and Yamaha Vino 125. The People 150 is one of six scooters in the Los Angeles Times’ test, but reviewer Susan Carpenter doesn’t directly compare the scooters. Scooter enthusiast Dave Harrington at JustGottaScoot.com provides a valuable test of a used People 150, going so far as to check its speedometer against GPS. Mother Nature Network picks scooters based on their environmental friendliness.
- Estimated up to 84 mpg
- Good build quality
- Smooth ride
- Quick acceleration
- Two-year warranty
- Real fuel economy may be lower
- Not good for heavy freeway use
- Can't fit full-face helmet under seat