Monday, 28 May 2007

VMoto: Milan 50cc vs Monza 50cc Shootout

I only say this because ScrappyV is very unwell. Because my trusty steed has had the magneto and oil pump replaced and subsequently turned into a Jekkyl and Hyde monster intent on throwing me under the wheels of rush hour traffic. Because of this, the VMoto head office took ScrappyV back this morning and gave me a loan scooter to get home.

All kudos toVMoto, this was a good move on their part, and I must say I fairly drooled at the chance to chuck a leg over a blue Monza. I was a bit surprised, I must say. Here's a scorecard:.

Milan: Speedo marked red from 35kph to 60kph, highest speed 60kph.
Score 1 for lack of bullshit
Milan: Top speed level road no wind: 65kph

Score 1 for effort
Milan: Acceleration: Gets to top speed in about 20 seconds

Score 1 for big heart
Milan: Fuel: Tankfull of fuel (5litres) gets me 100km

Score 1 for economy Fuel:
Milan: Small wheels you feel every bump.

Score -1 for comfort, sorry Milan
Milan: Drum brakes all around are reasonable for the machine.

Score 0 for brakes, not spectacular
Milan: Low CG, uncomfortable seat.

Score 1 for overall riding position and comfort
Milan: Scored: 4

Monza: Speedo marked red(ish) from about 50kph and goes all the way to 90kph.
Score -1 for total bullshit and misleading speedo markings.
Monza: Top speed level road no wind: 62khp

Score 0 for top speed
Monza: Acceleration: Gets to top speed in about 30 seconds

Score -1 come on, you're a more recent model your performance should be better!
Monza: Tankfull of fuel (unknown) gets me 70km by the look of it

Score 0 for economy - Why should I fill the tank every day?
Monza: Larger wheels but still quite bumpy.

Score 0 for comfort. Best score so far...
Monza: Disc brake front is overkill, not well matched.

Score 1 for brakes, 0 for matching to machine
Monza: High CG, slightly more comfortable seat

Score 1, because the high seating position is uncomfortable
Monza: Scored: 0

As you can see, the old jx-50 Milan wins hands down. And it's not for any other reason that I can see except that the Monza is not a well-designed well-matched machine. The higher seating position is not comfortable, needs extra structure which costs in weight, and the machine is heavier for a similar engine which leads to a clumsy and sluggish feeling vehicle.

The disc brake on the front is overkill for the Monza machine, and makes it a far more demanding ride in wet conditions. While the Milan's two drum brakes aren't wonderful, they are far better matched to the weight and speed of the bike and stop you in plenty of time. The only downside to the Milan's brakes is that many of them came with really crap compound and squeaked and were very embarassing but I believe the latest pads are far better.

More overkill, the Monza has an remoted alarm system. Totally over the top, and also given what I know about the tiny batteries fitted to scooters, what's the point? It will run out of peep in about twenty minutes, and then the bike will still be just as stolen as a Milan with the steering locked. I.e. you can't secure a machine that one person can pick up off the ground. Steering locks and alarms are pretty much lipstick on a pig in this case, VMoto take note we'd prefer it if there was a chain lock using the same key as the ignition welded to the frame somewhere.

The under seat storage space seems smaller than the Milan's, and that's sad. Also there's no real shopping bag hook, the one on the Monza is almost a vestigial stump of a bag hook and in fact neither bike wins on this point. The Milan has a good solid bag hook but it is at such a bad angle that bag handles slip right off, and on both bikes the hook has been frustratingly placed so that only tiny shopping bags will hang, for all the rest the handles will blow right off the hook.

The Monza looks like it should be the better machine but *just* misses out. Where I can run around for a few days on the Milan before filling up, or manage two trips to Midland and back, the Monza forces me to fill up once before going to Midland and again before the trip back. Where I can carry a spare 5 litres of fuel, a bottle of 2 stroke oil, tools, spare riding gloves and spark plugs, and still have room in the Milan, I was hard pressed to put my lunch and my bumbag under the seat of the Monza.

And I have to confess that if it came down to a choice of which of the two bikes I trust mechanically, I'd still choose the Milan despite the recent breakdown it's had, because the Monza even sounds odd.


Anonymous said...

Hi. VMoto recently started selling here in New Zealand. I weighed up the Milan and the Monza, and I'm glad I chose the Milan.
BTW you can solve the shopping hook issue by purchasing a Carabiner clip from an outdoors store.

teddlesruss dat who! said...

Hehehe the Milan rules! Okay I've had problems with mine but it WAS secondhand so I have no idea how it was ridden before me.

And excellent suggestion about the carabiner - thank you!

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