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Aller à la version française

Two-wheel fun and performance that's perfect for city commutes and touring adventures!


by Marc Cantin ,

FSE scooters are selling like hot cakes these days, not only because of their modest prices and operating costs but also their increasingly interesting performance. They represent a smart choice for those who want to buy an exciting two-wheeler without having to sell their house!

With a 50-year love affair with motorcycles, the rise in popularity of scooters used to leave me rather indifferent: I prefer big bikes over these little "toys". However, my first ride on a more powerful scooter really opened my eyes and changed my attitude toward these machines. Allow me to tell you about the models that helped me become a devoted fan.

Florida Keys, January 2005
My first experience with the Honda Silver Wing during its January 2005 introduction in Florida changed my mind almost instantly. After riding the all-new CBR600RR on the Moroso Speedway in West Palm Beach, I took the helm of a Silver Wing around 3 pm and headed south toward the Keys for a 150-kilometer trip.

2005 Honda Silver Wing

Since I wanted to put behind me the ridiculously boring section that extends to Southern Miami as fast as possible, I took Highway 95 where anything slower than 130 km/h sees other vehicles flying by on the left. The Silver Wing easily kept pace and was always willing to crank it up to 150 km/h. When I had to slow down, the ABS brakes kept the fun going, especially with maximum use of both brakes; the absence of nosedive due to the low, extended configuration limits front braking power, so I also applied the rear brake to enjoy motorcycle-like (and even car-like) stopping performance.

I still remember all those drivers with a dumbfounded look on their face as I sprinted past them, comfortably planted on the ergonomically-designed seat and nicely tucked behind a very effective windshield. After my frenetic stint on 95, I arrived in Homestead and then Key Largo on Route 1. Once again, I was able to enjoy the tropical sun on my back, the Atlantic Ocean to my left and the Mexican Gulf to my right. Here, life is cool. I had to beware of sneaky cops, though, as the speed limit unexpectedly changed from 50 mi/h to 35, 30, 40 and then back to 50 as I crossed the town, bridges and roadwork that separated me from Key West.

Being able to relax under the setting sun while enjoying a lounge-style riding position, with the legs extended and arms falling naturally on the handlebars, is definitely a memorable, almost divine experience. Too bad my relationship with the Silver Wing ended there... since every other journalist wanted to try it out after seeing how much fun I had!

France, 2007
Our French colleagues have been riding the Yamaha TMAX well before us (lucky ones!), more precisely a 400-cc variant of this super machine. On a day when my editor told me to attend a race in Magny-Cours, I was offered the opportunity to test-ride this model which I was totally unfamiliar with. I quickly realized, though, that the folks who lent me the scooter knew exactly all about it!

Leaving Paris at dawn, I hit Highway A6 toward the south. Whoa, this thing can haul! If the Silver Wing was a cannon, the TMAX is a rocket -- even with a 400-cc engine instead of the regular 500-cc.
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