“The Bad Boy Returns”

August 11, 2011

Did anyone notice the Piaggio Typhoon was gone? Was anyone clamoring for it to come back? Again, nothing wrong with the bike, but Piaggio USA’s “Bad Boy” marketing is just weird.Perhaps they’re trying to position it as a Zuma 125 alternative: the 80s ‘clawmark’ stickers and yellow paint are definitely from the Yamaha playbook. (You never thought you’d long for spirals, didya?) The Typhoon isn’t quite so, um, “distinctive” as the Zuma (which may be a good thing) and it is $500 cheaper, so maybe there’s hope.


10 Responses to ““The Bad Boy Returns””

  1. boscoitaliaNo Gravatar on August 11th, 2011 10:45am

    ..and priced the same as the Buddy 125. It will be interesting to see what consumers are attracted to when they are side by side at some dealerships.

  2. illnoiseNo Gravatar on August 11th, 2011 11:04am

    I can sort of see it being an alternative to the Buddy too (the Black Jack specifically), but I think the Buddy is distinctive and an obvious sell to more fashionably urban scooterists, whereas retirees and RV people and more suburban-rural men probably see the Buddy as too effeminate. Those are the people that buy Ruckuses and Zumas (and maybe Roughhouses, I don’t know who buys Roughhouses).

    It’s a scooter from a European company, probably made in China, being marketed like a Japanese motorcycle to people to make it seem more “American.” Go figure.

  3. BrookeNo Gravatar on August 11th, 2011 1:52pm

    Rest assured the VIN will not begin with a Z.

    I don’t like it, but the floorboards are relatively flat and close to being in line with the axles. It’s got that going for it, so there are many far worse options.

    Keep in mind those are 12″ rims with non-low profile tires. Make no mistake, it’s going to be a big scooter. Think Aprilia Sport City size.

  4. boscoitaliaNo Gravatar on August 11th, 2011 1:57pm

    The fly 150, even though built in china, still has a zap vin #
    The company is Italian, so I am pretty sure they are able to keep their country designation no matter were it is built.

  5. BrookeNo Gravatar on August 11th, 2011 2:28pm

    I thought it was that not all the Fly 150s were built there?

    With so much of the Piaggio production moving there or VN, the question is if the LEADER will replace the GY6, in terms of ubiquity?

  6. illnoiseNo Gravatar on August 11th, 2011 3:55pm

    That’s an interesting question, Brooke. It seems unlikely, but I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe the GY6 is just simply ‘good enough’ and there’s no need to copy the LEADER? Or maybe Piaggio saw what happened with the GY6 and has taken more steps to prevent it, by limiting access to castings and more aggressively nipping infringement in the bud (as Honda would have done had they known…) China is difficult, but probably not impossible, and it seems like Piaggio knows what they’re doing there.

  7. jprestonianNo Gravatar on August 11th, 2011 11:44pm

    Isn’t there a TGB that you’d swear was this bike? Could it be a Taiwanese TGB?

  8. stefanNo Gravatar on August 15th, 2011 1:37pm

    j, it does have a lot of the tgb laser’s characteristics (cut down fender, shield mounted headlight, etc..) but it’s different enough. the problem is these are style cues that sell abroad because people are over the retro/vintage concept (if it ever existed). and if they plan on putting it against the buddy, i still think buddy wins domestically because it still evokes more classic styling…it’s america’s smallframe!

  9. orinoNo Gravatar on August 16th, 2011 6:12pm

    Yamaha’s Web site doesn’t show a 2012 Zuma 125, so maybe Piaggio smelled an opportunity. This thing looks like a Fly with less bodywork (easy to do when you start with a tubular steel frame), and while it’s only $200 less it probably ends up being more profitable for Piaggio than the earlier Typhoon due to that commonality. If I had to park my scooter on the street where it’s likely to get knocked over, one of these would be on my shortlist…

  10. DannysNo Gravatar on August 31st, 2011 7:20am

    It’s rumored that Eton is not producing the Beemer or Matrix next year for export, only the SYM-China built Sport models.
    From it’s similar looks I wonder if Piaggio could contract enough of these to make that kind of agreement? Just a thought.

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