Scoot around on Peugeot’s SpeedFight 4
Even when parked on its main stand, the Peugeot SpeedFight 4 125 R-Cup scooter looks fast.
If you think that the French brand better known for its cars just got into the business of making scooters, well, you cannot be more wrong.
Peugeot motorcycles, the oldest two-wheel manufacturer in the world, celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2017. Naturally, Peugeot knows a thing or two about making motorcycles.
The liquid-cooled automatic SpeedFight 4 is the latest incarnation of the original two-stroke SpeedFight which made its debut in 1997.
What makes the new Peugeot appealing is its sleek and compact design. Twin projector lights, metal floorboards, passenger grab rails that look like a spoiler and faux air scoops on its body give the scooter the impression of stealth and speed.
A detachable passenger seat cover adds to the look of a one-seater race scooter. But taller riders may find the four-stroke scooter's cockpit a little tight.
On its handlebar is probably the smallest LCD display in existence, showing the basics such as speed, fuel gauge and trip meter. Under the seat is storage for only one full face helmet.
You get extras like a mount for your mobile device, including a concealed USB port to charge it. A foldable hook under the handlebar is perfect for attaching that bag of kopi-o.
Now here is the reality. With about 11bhp at 7,400rpm, you are unlikely to break the land speed record on our expressways saddling the fuel-injected Peugeot.
The SpeedFight 4 will max out at about 100kmh. Its non- adjustable 32mm forks and preload adjustable rear shock will protest over bumpy roads too.
But what you lose in terms of speed, you make up in time when traffic builds up or when narrow gaps appear.
You do not actually stop moving on the belt-driven Peugeot until you are at the head of a traffic light stop. In lower speed, city-riding situations, the Peugeot gets you to your destination "vite" (fast in French).
The light - it has a 121kg dry weight - and agile Peugeot turns at a drop of a dime. Look in the direction of a turn and its quick-steering demeanour will move its 10-spoke, 13-inch diameter wheels in tandem.
Lean out or lean with the scooter, and you will find the SpeedFight 4 holds its cornering line provided there are no potholes in your way.
But do not lay off the throttle for too long as the lag from its CVT or continuously variable transmission will take some time to come up to speed again - a typical trait of most automatic scooters.
Some riders may also be slightly embarrassed when they hear a "toot-toot" sound every time the turn signals are activated. It is a safety feature.
Not surprisingly, the Peugeot is a fuel-saver capable of achieving about 30km/litre on its 8 litre fuel tank.
What was a pleasant surprise are its brakes, which bite with almost sportsbike quality. The front brake is radially mounted for braking power and the rear is a linked unit.
And with a machine price of $5,999, the SpeedFight 4 will not burn a hole in your pocket.