ArgoUSA’s AR150-18

After admin SE’s tease on the ScooterBBS yesterday promising a “New Bajaj line,” ArgoUSA unveiled their new scooter today. It’s decidedly not a Bajaj, but the “AR150-18,” another presumably-Chinese-made Vino clone, mostly indiscernable from the TNG Milano, Schwinn Graduate, Baron 150VLA, and a dozen other generic scooters already on the market (although it does have front-and-rear disc brakes, and a Yamaha-manufactured engine). Saddled with a generic name and a $2500 MSRP (same as the Baron, more than the Schwinn or TNG) the AR150-18 is probably a decent scooter, but too little, too late to get the scootering world talking about ArgoUSA again, especially when you consider how few scooter dealers will be interested in adding yet another 150cc Vino clone to their lineup. The site promises “more models coming soon,” hopefully they’re a little more exciting. (Thanks for the tip, Professor Matthew)

9 thoughts on “ArgoUSA’s AR150-18”

  1. From the Argo USA home page:

    Reliable 150cc Yamaha engine with the optional 98 watt 8 pole generator and a 10,000 mile drive belt. Due to its proven track record for durability and reliability, this engine design is widely copied, usually made with inferior components. We use an authentic Yamaha engine.

    So take that for what you will. What is funny is the problem with the Bajaj is that it was quickly eclipsed by the Stella and now this bike is too late. Can’t get the timing right. It should be well put together though, the Bajaj was. Mine is for sale by the way.

  2. I missed the Yamaha engine part, I added that in the main post. If it is a global-market Yamaha-manufactured engine (and not a Chinese-market “yamaha-designed” engine) that is a big bonus (in which case you have to wonder why Yamaha’s not selling a Vino 150), but again, I don’t think most dealers are going to rush to order these when they already are loaded up with bikes that are cheaper and that look exactly the same to a consumer. A shame, because I like Al and I want to see him succeed, but it’s just not very promising from what I can tell.

    If the engines are truly better than the rest, Al might end up selling more engines to dealers than bikes.

  3. : (

    When I was prying Al, long ago, he said something was in the works but he wouldn’t go into details. He said “When the time comes, you’ll know about it.”.

    Well, what I’ve seen so far has sprinkled a little saltpeter on my overzealous anticipation.

  4. I had been hoping for a Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle actually. It would be interesting to see if someone could have a go of it selling cheap quality super efficient small cc motorcycles. It would be a small market here in the U.S., but, if they were sold right, someone might find a solid niche.

    Part of the reason scooters are successful here is that the US motorcycle market doesn’t offer much in the way of small displacement motorcycles. I guess there is the Honda Nighthawk or whatever but the style seems dates and I bet they’re still expense. They’re probably used mostly to up-sell customers anyway. Big heavy motorcycles are a hassle to ride every day.

    They Kymco and Chinese small motorcycles don’t seem as cool as the Bajaj ones to me. Either they are cruiser styled or the quality seems dubious. The Bajaj motorcycles have a very narrow wheel base, so they probably are fun to ride like a scooter.

  5. Looking EXACTLY like a TnG Milano/Baron/Geely/Tank/Roketa etc. It’s going to suffer loads of guilt by association.

    This is not the “completely new – from the ground up” scooter I was promised.

  6. Steve, don’t talk about your saltpeter in public, Dave, I’d LOVE to see the Pulsar come here, though I think the Ninja250 has that market pretty wrapped up. Matt, exactly, that’s the saddest thing, if Al’d even done some sort of careful Genuine-style branding to distinguish it (did he learn nothing from the Stella?) it might have actually worked, and Phil, there’s always hope that the “more soon” is, in fact, MORE.

  7. Al’s on top of all current trends I see. what a shame Argo/Bajaj never embraced the scooter scene. I understand most are broke jokes but the way he marketed the Chetak and Legend, The way he donated scooters to hospitals (honorable but not business savvy) and the such instead of scooter events left him in the dark. He over priced the 3 wheeler and completely missed the mark on this one too. Shame.

  8. I response to Nitro, I hear what you’re saying but I’ve got to defend Al a little bit here. He has done a lot for for the scooter scene. To be fair, I’m not sure his marketing and approach have been the best, but he did donate quit a large number of scooters for raffles at rallies over the years. He donated a Legend to JD Merryweather from the VCOA to be used as a Cannonball bike and he has spent tons of money in ads in various scooter magazines, Scoot!, American Scooterist, Scooter World and Scooter Rider.

    Also, unlike any other scooter importer, he was accessable by phone and kept in touch with the Bajaj owning community directy via his website and the Bajaj Yahoo groups.

    You may not agree with his marketing style or decisions but he did give a lot of the scooter community.

    Also, I’m not sure he could do much about the pricing of the three wheelers. I sure a huge part of that expense is simply the cost of doing a low volume business in this country.

Comments are closed.