Let’s do the twist-and-go
A no-fuss budget commuter, the Liberty gets off the mark smartly
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.