Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

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Neil82
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Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

Hello Buddy fans,
I've had my 2021 Buddy 50 since January and put on about 1100 miles. I'm looking to upgrade to a larger displacement scooter. I thought I would only be riding in the neighborhood and around town, but I've realized I really enjoy cruising open roads. Most of the roads I cruise are 40-45 mph speed limit and have some inclines (l'm in CO). I have motorcycle permit and will be getting endorsement so I'm legal on a bigger scoot.

My question is: what are the pros and cons of these models: 125/170i/Kick?

I'd like a scooter that is very reliable and I'd prefer to do basic maintenance myself. I'm not interested in doing engine modifications or anything like that.

What do you all recommend? TIA
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by mtbspaz »

I am continually impressed by our used Buddy 2016 Buddy 125 it registers the same 167ish top speed as our 2018 Primavera 150 and a rental 2021 150 Primavera S we rented, accelerates and hill climbs about the same as the Vespas, brakes about as fast though in a more analog sketchier fashion on quick emergo stops, not going to lie the Vespas do everything quieter, smoother with less drama.
Was originally going to use the low standover Buddy as a temporary trainer for my short pilots until we upgraded to a taller bigger scooter but now that we got the Vespa I don’t want to part with the Buddy 125 as it’s such a well running machine and fun as he🏒🏒
I hear a lot of people get away with minimal maintenance on Buddies as well.
I’d be real interested in getting my hands on a newer fuel injected Buddy 170I also hear the 170 Buddy has one of the best power to weight ratios of most all scooters.
BUT have you seen the price point $2800? on the Urbano 200 which is fuel injected and has FRT and rear hydraulic disc brakes.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by mtbspaz »

*67mph top speed on all 3 bikes
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by sc00ter »

I've owned 2 Buddy 125's and loved them both. I bought a Piaggio Liberty 150 because it fit 2 adults better than a Buddy and I wanted the larger wheels but I still miss my Buddy 125's. Genuine got it right with the Buddy 125. Simple, reliable, proven quality and color choices. My local Genuine dealer has never carried any of the newer EFI scooters. I've never seen a Kick in person and the dealer has no urge to carry the new Urbano, But they did have a Rattler 200i last I was in there. I'd pick a Lance Cabo over the Rattler. Better price and seating position. But the Buddy 125 is still a great scooter.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

Thanks for the great replies so far. I should have mentioned that I'm 5'4" (175 lbs) and that's partially why I want to stick with a Buddy over Vespa which has about 1.5" higher seat height. The cost/value of Buddy is also more appealing to me.

I love the simplicity of Buddy 125 and back up kick start. Larger displacement engine is making me consider the 170i, but not if it means more maintenance or loss of bulletproof reliability the 125 has reputation for. I don't see as many posts about the 170i, so that's why I'm asking the group. And I don't want to feel like I need to upgrade again later if I choose smaller displacement engine. Hill climbing power is fairly important.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

@mtbspaz- if I were a little taller, I'd definitely be more interested in the Vespa 150. I know the seat can be modified to bring the seat down a bit. Now that I've gotten comfortable on my Buddy 50, I guess I'm kind of partial to sticking with what's familiar.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by sc00ter »

Hey Neil, you run the low down seat on your Buddy? I ran them on my Buddy and I'm taller. They (low down seat) was just more comfortable to me.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

mtbspaz wrote: Sat Aug 27, 2022 2:10 pm *67mph top speed on all 3 bikes
This is faster than I would have expected for the 125. Is that speedometer indicated or GPS speed? I would imagine anything over 50 mph feels pretty fast on 10 inch wheels!
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

sc00ter wrote: Sun Aug 28, 2022 1:47 pm Hey Neil, you run the low down seat on your Buddy? I ran them on my Buddy and I'm taller. They (low down seat) was just more comfortable to me.
Thanks for the heads up on this! Not sure why I didn't search for something like this sooner. I feel pretty comfortable on my 50cc Buddy, but with a heavier scooter, a little lower seat should help with standing over scooter at a dead stop.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by mtbspaz »

Neil82 wrote: Sun Aug 28, 2022 7:13 pm
mtbspaz wrote: Sat Aug 27, 2022 2:10 pm *67mph top speed on all 3 bikes
This is faster than I would have expected for the 125. Is that speedometer indicated or GPS speed? I would imagine anything over 50 mph feels pretty fast on 10 inch wheels!
67mph indicated my guess around 57mph actual speed, feels pretty good at top speed with good tires properly inflated on decent roads, I do it quite often with a 110lb passenger, about 300lbs total counting me, slower to brake with a passenger but not bad.

Vespa owners manual says ABS doesn’t brake as fast as non-ABS, i’ve heard this is true about motorcycles too, IF the driver is really alert, skilled and good at panic braking, I would tend to believe and agree with this, ABS feels smoother and more secure though
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Mr.FixIt »

It is not all about speed. The Kick has a more refined feel in the handling.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

Mr.FixIt wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 7:17 pm It is not all about speed. The Kick has a more refined feel in the handling.
Good to know! I haven't had a chance to test drive any of these scooters. 45 mph cruising speed is all I need.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by 350kmi »

I own both a Buddy 125 and 170. Both have been very reliable and easy to service, which I really enjoy. I bought the 170 after putting 18,000+ miles on the 125. The 170 is currently has 41,500 miles and while its showing its age a little bit, it still gets me the 44 miles back and forth to work daily with little concern.

As a comparison between the Buddy 125 and 170 - they are really pretty similar to ride. The GPS verified reliable top speed (flat ground, no wind) with me on (6'1", 195#) is 63 mph for the 125 and 64 mph for the 170. Where I feel the 170 does have an advantage is accelerating and maintaining speed on hills. On some of the longer hills along my commute the 170 can maintain 52 mph where the 125 drops to 48 mph. The other thing I like about the 170 is that it has an oil cooler which the 125 does not. The oil cooler matters to me because I do a lot of extend high speed rural riding, if I did mostly in town or slower riding I wouldn't care so much. The fuel injection system have giving me no problems and the scooter always starts right up even if has sat unused for a few weeks. One thing I will note about the 170 is that the fuel injection does require that the battery is in good shape to power both the starter and fuel pump - the 125 will start even if the battery is marginal with the kick start.

I have have only seen a Buddy Kick once and can't say much on how it compares. Physically it is a little smaller than the regular Buddy. The flat seat of the Kick allows you to move around a bit which is nice. It looks well built and solid, the second shock on the rear suspension likely helps smooth the ride and it has a rear disc brake rather than drum like the standard Buddies.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by mtbspaz »

Great info, 🙏
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

350kmi wrote: Thu Sep 01, 2022 7:49 pm I own both a Buddy 125 and 170. Both have been very reliable and easy to service, which I really enjoy. I bought the 170 after putting 18,000+ miles on the 125. The 170 is currently has 41,500 miles and while its showing its age a little bit, it still gets me the 44 miles back and forth to work daily with little concern.

As a comparison between the Buddy 125 and 170 - they are really pretty similar to ride. The GPS verified reliable top speed (flat ground, no wind) with me on (6'1", 195#) is 63 mph for the 125 and 64 mph for the 170. Where I feel the 170 does have an advantage is accelerating and maintaining speed on hills. On some of the longer hills along my commute the 170 can maintain 52 mph where the 125 drops to 48 mph. The other thing I like about the 170 is that it has an oil cooler which the 125 does not. The oil cooler matters to me because I do a lot of extend high speed rural riding, if I did mostly in town or slower riding I wouldn't care so much. The fuel injection system have giving me no problems and the scooter always starts right up even if has sat unused for a few weeks. One thing I will note about the 170 is that the fuel injection does require that the battery is in good shape to power both the starter and fuel pump - the 125 will start even if the battery is marginal with the kick start.

I have have only seen a Buddy Kick once and can't say much on how it compares. Physically it is a little smaller than the regular Buddy. The flat seat of the Kick allows you to move around a bit which is nice. It looks well built and solid, the second shock on the rear suspension likely helps smooth the ride and it has a rear disc brake rather than drum like the standard Buddies.
Awesome info! Thank you. Having a little extra punch up hills sounds good to me. I'm also doing some longer rides, so the oil cooler seems to be of value for that type of riding.

Speaking of oil cooler, is it of any concern to have cooling fins and oil filter exposed underneath? I once read a review that made negative comment about the placement and potential for damage from road debris. Anything to this?

I'd love to hear more about the Kick, if anyone out there is riding one. The double shocks in back sounds like an improvement. @Mr.FixIt mentioned more refined handling. Smaller size sounds fine as long as it's still comfortable for two up riding.

Thanks again.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by 350kmi »

I have had no problem with my oil cooler getting damaged by road debris and I have ridden a good number of miles on gravel roads. It has been coated in mud and/or manure many times but due to the location a good ride in the rain or a quick spray with a hose cleans it off easily. On mine the metal guard that protects the cooler has had its paint worn away from front tire debris but the cooler and fins have no damage. I think the cooler placement on the 170 maximizes air flow. The Buddy 150s that came before the 170 had an oil cooler that was placed farther back/closer to the engine which was more protected. In that position the battery box, which hangs off below the floor board, blocks the middle section of the cooler.

The metal plate that acts as a guard seems well designed to protect the cooler from possible bigger hits from below - say riding down a curb that a little too tall. There is a gap between the cooler and the guard that acts as a buffer and the bolts that hold everything in place is attach directly to the frame, so forces largely bypass the cooler.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

@350kmi thanks again for sharing. Your experience is an excellent testimonial considering how many miles you have on the odometer.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Amanda58 »

Buddy 125 is the best choice that you can make as I am using it I love its simplicity than 170i.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Therealslimshaggy »

The one thing people overlook or have no idea is possible is the plug and play options of the buddy kick. The bike is actually a very common scoot know as the pgo jbubu in Taiwan. It’s like the Toyota Camry over there. In Taiwan it comes with abs brakes and also an oil cooler. Because there are literally 1000s of them crashed with low mileage I would bet for about 500 bucks including shipping you could get the ecu front wheel with abs ring and oil cooler and hoses to do a direct bolt on upgrade to a buddy kick in the USA. No genuine scoot comes with abs brakes. Except the kick. If you buy the parts in Taiwan and ship them. The oil cooler is a bonus. Abs is worth a 500 dollar bolt on plug and play upgrade. The other buddy scooters never had abs. They can’t be upgraded. Only the kick. Something to consider if you want abs down the road.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

Thanks everyone for your input. I'm going to see if I can take some test rides this weekend. I don't think dealer has 170i in stock. Hopefully I can ride a Buddy 125, Kick, and Vespa 150. I'm curious what the seat height will be like for me on the Vespa. I'm hearing the iGet engines are very smooth running. Liberty 150 would fit the budget better, but I don't care for the look/style.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Scootergoddess »

I, too, really struggled on choosing between these 3 scooters…. Finally today I rode and compared Buddy Kick 125 and the 170i. In my opinion, the Kick wins hands down. It is way more comfy for a shorty like me (5’3”). It’s quieter, much smoother ride, and plenty of power for the riding I do. I want EFI so ruled out the Buddy 125. Ordering a new Kick and super excited about it!
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

Scootergoddess wrote: Sun Oct 02, 2022 12:58 am I, too, really struggled on choosing between these 3 scooters…. Finally today I rode and compared Buddy Kick 125 and the 170i. In my opinion, the Kick wins hands down. It is way more comfy for a shorty like me (5’3”). It’s quieter, much smoother ride, and plenty of power for the riding I do. I want EFI so ruled out the Buddy 125. Ordering a new Kick and super excited about it!
Sounds like a good fit! Glad you had the chance to ride both and compare. The Kick seems to have reputation for smooth ride and handling. Now that you are ordering one... let's have all the details haha. What color and what accessories? Are you keeping your 50?
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

Going to stray away from the subject line a bit here. Visited two Vespa dealers yesterday. Didn't have time for Genuine dealer. At the first stop, they had a Sprint 150 that caught my eye. Dealer said they don't have demo units or do test drives. Ok, moving on to next dealer...

Looked at a Primavera 150 Touring model and Liberty 150 Baci Perugina. I wasn't a fan of the look/style of the Liberty when viewing online (no offense to Liberty fans out there) but it actually looked better to me in person. I know, sounds weird. Drove both and enjoyed the way they rode. I think the price/value of Liberty model makes it more attractive. Engine runs smooth and handling felt good. Primavera has a very nice feel too, but the sticker price is a hard pill to swallow.

They are both options that I will consider. If I had to decide today, I'd probably go with the Liberty.

Next, I need to visit Genuine dealer to try Buddy 125 and Kick. I'd like the opportunity to ride a 170i, but they seem to be in short supply at the dealers in my area.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Scootergoddess »

Keeping my Buddy 50 for sure. My teenage son will be learning to ride soon so he can start on her. Plus she is such a fun scooter. No desire to sell her. Hoping to get a Buddy Kick 125 in turquoise. Will definitely add a Prima windscreen and a cheeky seats seat cover. My two favorite accessories!
Where are you? If you are ANYWHERE near Ohio I cannot recommend Capital City Scooters enough. So worth the 3 and 1/2 drive from Lexington.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Dooglas »

Neil82 wrote: Sun Oct 02, 2022 7:57 pm Looked at a Primavera 150 Touring model and Liberty 150 Baci Perugina. I wasn't a fan of the look/style of the Liberty when viewing online (no offense to Liberty fans out there) but it actually looked better to me in person. I know, sounds weird. Drove both and enjoyed the way they rode. I think the price/value of Liberty model makes it more attractive. Engine runs smooth and handling felt good. Primavera has a very nice feel too, but the sticker price is a hard pill to swallow.
I agree with you. The Liberty represents the value sweet spot in the Piaggio/Vespa lineup. For some only a Vespa will do, but for value and durability - the Liberty is an excellent option.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Therealslimshaggy »

Down the line I plan to get a kick. I want to do the complete kick Taiwan jbubu conversion. Abs front brakes eco and wheel. Also the jbubu/kick in Taiwan has an oil cooler. And a really cool futuristic front led light that’s not a bulb but a complete led housing. If there is interest here maybe I can order the direct bolt on parts for 2-3 scooters and have them shipped over in one package. Pretty much the Toyota Camry in Taiwan is the buddy kick. Long term parts and massive production numbers. Possibly more produced than the other buddy models.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

Scootergoddess wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 12:02 am Keeping my Buddy 50 for sure. My teenage son will be learning to ride soon so he can start on her. Plus she is such a fun scooter. No desire to sell her. Hoping to get a Buddy Kick 125 in turquoise. Will definitely add a Prima windscreen and a cheeky seats seat cover. My two favorite accessories!
Where are you? If you are ANYWHERE near Ohio I cannot recommend Capital City Scooters enough. So worth the 3 and 1/2 drive from Lexington.
Good call keeping your 50. They are so fun. Hopefully your son will enjoy it. Those Cheeky Seats covers sure are cool!

I'm in the Denver area. Sounds like Denver dealer has Kicks and 125s in stock, but not 170i. Maybe they'll get a used one as a trade in.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by mtbspaz »

Neil82 wrote: Sun Oct 02, 2022 7:57 pm Going to stray away from the subject line a bit here. Visited two Vespa dealers yesterday. Didn't have time for Genuine dealer. At the first stop, they had a Sprint 150 that caught my eye. Dealer said they don't have demo units or do test drives. Ok, moving on to next dealer...

Looked at a Primavera 150 Touring model and Liberty 150 Baci Perugina. I wasn't a fan of the look/style of the Liberty when viewing online (no offense to Liberty fans out there) but it actually looked better to me in person. I know, sounds weird. Drove both and enjoyed the way they rode. I think the price/value of Liberty model makes it more attractive. Engine runs smooth and handling felt good. Primavera has a very nice feel too, but the sticker price is a hard pill to swallow.

They are both options that I will consider. If I had to decide today, I'd probably go with the Liberty.

Next, I need to visit Genuine dealer to try Buddy 125 and Kick. I'd like the opportunity to ride a 170i, but they seem to be in short supply at the dealers in my area.
Still deciding on which one?
I sold the Buddy 125 and got a used 2018 Primavera 150 with 11” wheels, that extra 1” wheel size really stabilizes the handling over bumps and the ABS front brakes make for a safer smoother braking experience.
Not poo-ing on the Buddy 125, it’s the best bang for the buck scooter out there IMO but too small for 2 up riding for me.

The Liberty 150 seems like a great value as well.
If the Liberty is too tall the after market rear shock lowering bracket works on it as well as the Primavera.
My guess is that it lowers seat height about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch depending on your shock preload setting.
I also lost some rear shock travel as it is important on my model that you use the shock reducing spacers so the muffler doesn’t dent the lower side of the scooter body.
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Handles almost as well but also lowers ground clearance
Handles almost as well but also lowers ground clearance
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

@mtbspaz- yes, still weighing options. Can't rush this decision. My better half advised this needs to be 'forever' scooter haha. Well, what she is really saying, is that I can't upgrade every year. That's a reasonable request.

After taking test rides, I found the seat height of Primavera/Liberty 150 are not an issue. A little bit higher than the Buddy, but plenty manageable.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

Oh and thank you @mtbspaz for letting me know about the lowering bracket. It felt like the seat height would be fine, but I'll keep in mind. And I know what you mean about the wheels- just one inch larger wheel is a noticeable difference. Nice to have the bigger wheels for cruising at 30+ mph.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Scootergoddess »

My 2023 Buddy Kick came in yesterday!!!! It will be delivered to me sometime in early November (dealer bringing it to my house). I am beyond excited! Cannot recommend Capital City Scooters enough - Caitlin is the best!
As soon as I have gotten in some riding time I’ll post my impressions.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

Scootergoddess wrote: Fri Oct 28, 2022 4:55 pm My 2023 Buddy Kick came in yesterday!!!! It will be delivered to me sometime in early November (dealer bringing it to my house). I am beyond excited! Cannot recommend Capital City Scooters enough - Caitlin is the best!
As soon as I have gotten in some riding time I’ll post my impressions.
Nice! Your scoot arrived pretty quick. I'm hoping to get over to the dealer next week for a test drive.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

Finally got down to Genuine dealer the other day. Test drove a Kick and Buddy 125 with big bore kit/exhaust/cvt upgrades. No stock 125 or 170i in stock.

Kick was a pleasure to drive. A little different than my Buddy. Not in a bad way. Floor board felt a bit higher, I think due to gas tank being housed here. The seat is comfy. Engine runs very smooth and throttle is responsive. Nice pick up. Handling is great. Feel and function of dual disc brakes is an improvement over Buddy. The speedo/display and ignition setup seem more modern than Buddy. As far as that goes, I guess I'm partial to my Buddy. This is probably just because it's familiar to me. The Kick seems like a great value and plenty fun to ride.

The souped up Buddy 125cc felt like everything I love about my Buddy 50, but with more power. The aftermarket Prima exhaust has a nice growl. Throttle response was a bit more sluggish than the fuel injected Kick. Handling is good and feels just like my 50 with some extra weight. This scooter felt like it had some really good mid range and top end, but I wasn't going to push it driving around the busy streets of Denver. Great scooter with a larger price tag due to the upgrades.

Knowing that I like the familiarity of the Buddy line up, I was hoping to test drive a 170i this year. Dealer said they won't see any more of these until spring. Checked with other dealers in CO, same response. No units available to order from distributor until next year. Now I'm getting curious. Where could I find one? Started calling around and found one in stock at Genuine dealer in Provo, UT and another in Lubbock, TX. About 8 hours or 9 hours drive, respectively. Brit racing green was the color I had in mind, if I had my pick. Turns out Lubbock, TX has Brit racing green... Is it reasonable to drive 18 hours round trip for a scooter? Do you see where this story is going? :lol:
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by zino »

Road Trippin to buy a buddy
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

zino wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 11:30 pm Road Trippin to buy a buddy
You know it!

It was a memorable trip. Left Denver at 3am. Saw the sunrise in NM on the way out and sunset in NM on way back. Nice warm day in Lubbock, TX. A quick test drive and then loaded up my hitch mounted motorcycle carrier. Strapped down the Buddy and on our way.

So far, only been out for ceremonial ride around the block. Love the feel of it. Engine sounds nice with stock exhaust. Already moved backrest over from my 50. Daughter came along for the first ride.
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Dooglas »

Neil82 wrote: Sun Nov 13, 2022 6:32 pm [It was a memorable trip. Left Denver at 3am. Saw the sunrise in NM on the way out and sunset in NM on way back. Nice warm day in Lubbock, TX. A quick test drive and then loaded up my hitch mounted motorcycle carrier. Strapped down the Buddy and on our way.
Hey, I love it. A 170i in British racing green comes home. The heart wants what the heart wants!
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Re: Buddy 125/170i/kick comparison

Post by Neil82 »

Thanks to all for your input on this thread. Much appreciated! I probably could have been happy with any of the scooters we discussed. I just couldn't resist the 170i. I love my Buddy 50 and the 170i gives me the larger displacement engine that I wanted (and to feel safer) for cruising roads with posted speed limits of 40-50 mph.
2021 Buddy 50
2022 Buddy 170i
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