Scooters are a very unique category in vehicles. Beyond their extremes in engine size (from very small to nearly 1L), style and capability, scooters come from a wild variety of manufacturers. Sadly, engineering and build quality are also all over the map. Better DOT/EPA oversight has helped stem the tide of overwhelmingly crappy mainland Chinese scooters. What crappy bikes remain are pretty easy to spot. And yet, every now and then I see a scooter that I don’t recognize. Take this orange machine, for example. I see this bike nearly every day in my neighborhood, and walking home from the train the other day, I finally stopped and snapped a few photos.
At first glance, I’d hoped it was some new model from SYM or maybe Kymco, who seem to add a new model to their lineup every couple months. As I got closer, it became obvious that not only was this bike not from a well-known manufacturer, it didn’t seem to bear any OEM badging of any kind. That was disappointing. That meant this was likely some kind of bought-in-bulk crate scooter sold at a bargain price to a cost conscious rider who probably didn’t know better. I could be diplomatic and pretend I am not just assuming that it’s a total piece of junk, but that wouldn’t be honest. Great looking though it may be, I’m guessing it’s probably a total piece of junk. For the sake of the owner and for scooters in general, I hope I’m wrong in that assumption.
Usually, I don’t pay much mind to what I perceive as crappy asian scooters. They’re usually as unremarkable looking as they are badly built. However, unlike most bikes of this ilk, this orange machine (which I’ve since identified as a 150cc, “MC30”) is actually really good looking. Most mainland Chinese scooters are extremely bad knock offs of Taiwanese bikes like the Genuine Buddy 125. The more modern, sport-styled scooters are usually just as sloppy — often a sticker-clad mess of sharp edges and poor proportion. Not this MC30, however. This is a terrific looking bike. It’s modern looking without being derivative. It’s got great proportions, nice details and even comes in a variety of contemporary colors. It almost looks like the love child of a Honda PCX and a KTM 990 Adventure.
The specs I’ve been able to find online list the MC30 as powered by an air-cooled, 150cc engine producing a mere 8.3 hp. Listed top speed is 53 mph, which hardly lives up to this bike’s speedy looks. It’s a shame, really. Perhaps a machine like this can be a wakeup call to the bigger manufactures (I’m looking at you PGO, SYM and Kymco) to stop copying each other and do more interesting, original design. Because really, if a bike this good looking were available from a competent manufacturer, how could that not be a good thing?
What do you think? Any readers know more about these bikes? Anybody got one? Sound off in the comments.