Let’s do the twist-and-go

A no-fuss bud­get com­muter, the Lib­erty gets off the mark smartly

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - TWO WHEELS - CRAIG DUFF

BIG­GER is bet­ter when it comes to scooter wheels, which is why the Lib­erty has been a global hit for Pi­ag­gio. The 150cc ma­chine is an en­try-level scooter but feels far more sub­stan­tial than its $2990 price im­plies. And a lot of that is about how se­cure it feels on the road. There are none of the mid-speed wob­bles that can af­flict smaller-rimmed scoot­ers and it rides over pot­holes and bumps rather than crash­ing into them.

It still has the un­der­seat stor­age and a hook for shop­ping bags seen on all Pi­ag­gio mod­els and it will eas­ily ac­com­mo­date a pil­lion for a cross-city com­mute. Don’t ven­ture too far on the free­ways two-up, though — the Lib­erty will just hit triple­fig­ures solo and 80km/h is as much as you can hope for with two aboard. One neat touch is the pil­lion pegs that fold away into the body when not in use.

The bike was up­dated with fuel in­jec­tion in 2010 to give the 150cc sin­gle-cylin­der engine a bit more zip and it can be po­si­tioned at the front of the traf­fic lights se­cure in the knowl­edge not much on four­wheels will beat it from launch to 40km/h.

The 32mm front forks ab­sorb the worst of the city streets and the steer­ing is light with­out los­ing too much feed­back. It is that level of tyre and sus­pen­sion com­pli­ance that makes the Lib­erty such a com­fort­able ma­chine to spend time on.

A well-padded seat helps, as does the fact your pos­te­rior is only 775mm off the pave­ment de­spite the ex­tra height from the 15-inch front wheel.

As with all scoot­ers, the brakes are com­pe­tent at city speeds. There isn’t a lot of feel from the levers but, with only 112kg of bike to slow down, the an­chors cope well enough with re­peated ap­pli­ca­tions.

As a no-fuss bud­get com­muter it is hard to see past the Lib­erty. Its smaller-wheeled sib­ling, the Fly 150, leads the scooter pack in Aus­tralian sales this year but for mine, if you’re in the mar­ket for a twist-andgo ma­chine, the Lib­erty is the one to own.

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