After indulging on big bikes for the past couple of months, it’s quite refreshing to hop on something that’s as light and basic as a scooter. Next to underbones, small displacement commuter scooters are fast becoming the staple among young and trendy urbanites who want to beat traffic and escalating fuel costs. While underbones undercut most scooters in acquisition cost, scooters more than make up for it in terms of convenience and ease of use because of their automatic transmission. Just twist and go. No clutch, no manual shifting gears, no problem. Anyone who can ride a bicycle can easily hop on a scooter and ride. But unlike a bicycle, a restriction 1 on your driver’s license is required to legally operate a motorcycle.
Yamaha, for years, has cornered the biggest slice of the automatic segment with their popular Mio line of automatic scooters. And at the current rate that they’re flying off the showroom floors, it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. But while all the attention is currently focused on the sleek new Mio Aerox 155, Yamaha silently upgraded their entry-level and mid-level automatics, namely the Mio i 125 and Mio Soul i 125 S, respectively, to make them even more fuel efficient. The next step after the Blue Core Engine upgrade is the inclusion of the Stop & Start System in the Mio i 125 S and also the Mio Soul i 125 S. When enabled, the technology allows your engine to automatically switch off after 5 seconds of being idle to avoid unnecessary fuel consumption and low emission. There’s no worry about damaging the battery because it is well protected with advanced circuitry, and you can easily return to your riding with its quick start function, made possible because of the stored air-fuel mixture in the engine. The S version also includes a new answerback key function that assists in locating your motorcycle in a crowded parking area. Furthermore, this edition also has a unique embossed 3D MIO emblem.
The Mio i 125 S has an edgy and modern styling. I wouldn’t be surprised if people buy it because of the styling alone. The large centrally mounted headlight with a conventional bulb is brighter and more effective at night than other LED setups we’ve tested recently. On the road the new Mio i 125 S still exhibited the perky attitude we’ve come to love about Mio automatics like the light and nimble handling, quick acceleration, a fairly comfortable ride, and stellar fuel efficiency, attributes that make for a fun commuter companion in the crowded urban jungle. The new Stop & Start System worked flawlessly during our testing, and it doesn’t exhibited any irritating lag when you suddenly twist the throttle from a standstill. It just starts and goes. Just don’t forget to get the key after you park because chances are you might, especially when the Stop & Start function is activated. You can manually turn it off if you want, but that would defeat the purpose if you really want to save on fuel. Besides, a non-S version is available without the Stop & Start System if that’s what you want. The Mio i 125 S has an SRP of PhP 73,900 and comes in white and black.
Engine: Air-cooled, EFI, SOHC, 2-valve, 4-stroke
Displacement: 125 cc
Max power: 9.39 bhp @ 8000 rpm
Torque: 7.08 lb ft @ 5500 rpm
Seat height: 750 mm
Fuel capacity: 4.2 liters
Curb weight: 94 kg
Top speed: 100 km/h (62.14 mph)
Price: PhP 73,900
Plus: Superb Start & Stop System
Minus: Limited underseat storage capacity, no 12v auxiliary