Piaggio Liberty 200 (2004 - 2009) : The narrow boundaries of Liberty.

The scooter  tested was a 2005 used model, with 23000 km (14290 miles) on the clock.
     Engine: The air cooled, two valves, 198 cc engine which is fueled by a carburetor delivers 12.5 bhp/6750 rpm and 1.72 kgm/ 5250 rpm, (12.44 ft lbs/ 5250 rpm) claimed figures.
     The speed of 80 km/h (50 mph) is achieved relatively easy, the speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) slowly. The top speed of the scooter which is 110 km/h, is achieved very slowly.

     Consequently compared to the smaller 125 c.c. model, the review of which is posted here, the increase in engine capacity makes the acceleration of the scooter more powerful up to 100 km/h, (62 mph), although the top speed is marginally affected.
     Therefore once more, Liberty˘s performance its not an advantage for the scooter. An indicative, average fuel consumption figure is 4.2 l/100 km (67 mpg Imperial).
     Riding position: Despite the user-friendly profile of the scooter, the saddle is comparatively high. Its narrow at the front, allowing short riders to step a relatively confident foot on the road. Riders higher than average will step a firm foot on the ground even if they are positioned at the rear of the seat. Concerning tall riders, there may be a possibility that their feet will be really close to the handlebar when manoeuvring the scooter. The space on the saddle provided for the pillion is moderate.
     The dimensions of the scooter, especially the width, are decreased for the standards of the category. The scooter feels light, 107 Kg dry nominal.
     Rider is positioned in and over the scooter, riding position is relatively high, upright and neutral. The handlebar is comparatively high also.
     On the road: The firmness of the suspensions is average. The short wheel travel, 76 mm (3 in) at the front and 73.5 mm (2.9 in) at the rear, does not enhance comfort. The only possible adjustment for the rider is the spring preload at the single shock at the rear.
     The dimensions of the wheels are 100-80-16 at the front, 120-70-14 at the rear. Tires are Savva Bogart. They consist an actually moderate choice.
    On town rides, due to the tall saddle, rider gets an unobstructed view of the traffic. The riding key feature is the robustness, wherever the ride is.
     Rider gets detailed feedback from the wheels. This is like the two sides of a coin: On high quality streets rider gets detailed feedback, handling is superb. On streets featuring imperfections, these are not absorbed adequately, which soon becomes tiresome for the rider. The engine performance is adequate to propel the scooter ahead of accelerating cars at traffic lights.
     On downtown rides the increased firmness just affects agility. Its an agile bike, no doubt. Its not a top class agility though, as set by the standards of the 200 c.c. scooter category. It is average for the scooters˘ standards. The steering radius is great, not top class either.
     At the process of filtering the handlebar height is the same with car mirrors, the mirrors of the scooter are as high as SUVs˘ mirrors. Due to the decreased dimensions of the scooter, filtering will not be a problem.
     Rider gets a clear look behind staring at the mirrors, which are set wide on the handle bar. This often results to a disadvantage: Rider has to focus the sight away from the traffic in order to look back.
     On low friction B roads the increased firmness provides decent feedback from one hand, from the other hand Liberty is a very sure footed scooter on the road. Road imperfections are directly noticed by the rider.
     At the fast pace, handling is neutral, flowing. Rider will discover the limits that will be set by tyres initially. It˘s a controlled process, rider will feel the scooter getting lighter, especially at the rear, before any skidding. Feedback is diminished at a pace like this.
     On high quality high friction factor B-roads, riding quality, feedback and firmness are superb.
     At a higher pace,
handling is still greatly neutral, tempting rider to charge into corners, although feedback is gradually decreased.  If the pace gets even faster, Liberty gets a lightsome feeling, feedback is not sufficient. It is generally accepted that not many people will buy a Liberty to improve their lap times on twisty B-roads. In any case, Liberty 200 exhibits stability, not agility.
     On the highway, the Liberty 200 will meet the expectations of the rider only in case of short rides, due to the moderate top speed.
     On paved-soil roads, the large front wheel steps easily over every bump, however the no-compromise firmness of the scooter make these rides uncomfortable. Also,on roads featuring many imperfections, potholes and bumps are directly noticed by the rider.
     The front 220 mm (8.66 in) disc brake featuring a two-piston calliper provides moderate power and feedback. The rear 140 mm drum brake is comparatively powerful, providing average feedback though.
    Model history/reliability/quality build: The 200 c.c. model replaced the 150 cc former version of the Liberty in 2004. In 2009 it was replaced by the …Liberty 150.
     There are two versions, the base model and S (Sport), indicated by the tribal graphics. Build quality is good, just.
     Comments: Provided that the rear wheel is only 14 inch high, under the seat the storage space is just adequate for the bike˘s paperwork. Ôhe feet floor is level, there is a hook for the shopping bags and a spacious gloves compartment at the front. The top case, at the same colour with the scooter, increases significantly the carrying capacity of the scooter.
     Despite the design and the name model of the scooter which refer to a more lightsome bike, Liberty provides a very firm sensation. This is an advantage on high friction top quality streets, on bumpy roads it becomes exhausting though.
     Ladies who could be the target group for this scooter due to name-design, will be satisfied if their stature is greater than average. Additionally they should be riding on top quality tarmac streets.
     Maybe they are the only target group of people that the scooter is clearly addressed to, defining Liberty˘s narrow boundaries.

+ Firmness

+ Handling

+ Downtown rides

- Comfort  on bumpy streets

- Brakes

- Storage space

- Side stand is not standard

More, specifications Liberty 150 2012 (IT)


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