Piaggio Liberty S 125 (1995- current) : How firm Liberty should be ?The scooter under test is a 2007 model, 5000 Km on the clock. There is a great similarity with Derbi Sonar 125.
Engine: The air cooled 124 c.c. engine provides adequate performance to the scooter. Thus the speed of 20 Km/h comes instantly, 40 Kmph fast, adequately up to 60 Kmph, 80 Kmph slowly. A lot of patience will be needed to obtain a top speed of 105 Km/h.
Actually up to 90 Km/h engine performance is adequate. On minor uphill roads, a speed of 80 Km/h may be obtained, while on average uphill roads, 65 Km/h may be diplayed. Top engine horsepower of 10 bhp at 8000 rpm and torque 1.04 Kgm at 6500 rpm nominal values are the key figures for the predictable performance. These figures are 11.42 bhp/8000 rpm and 10.5 Nm/6750rpm for the 2010 model. Maximum fuel consumption for the test , 3.7 L/100 Km.
Riding position: Despite the friendly design of the scooter, the seat for the rider is relatively high, at the front part its narrow. Thus short riders will step an almost confident foot on the ground. 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 handle bar when maneuvering the bike.
Rider is positioned in, mostly on top of the scooter, riding position is high and neutral. Rider gets an unobstructed view of the traffic. The dimensions of the bike are average for the category standards, that means reduced. The weight of the scooter feels light, 106 Kg dry nominal, centre of gravity feels low. The dimensions of the wheels are 90-80-16 for the front, 110-80-14 for the rear.
On the road: The firm sensation of the scooter is dominant, wherever the ride is. Rider gets the feedback for whatever lies under the wheels. This is like the two different sides of a coin: On high quality asphalt roads, feedback is superb. On the other hand, on roads featuring many imperfections, rider gets detailed feedback , which is soon exhausting.
On town 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 125 c.c. scooter category. It is average for the scooter standards. The steering radius is great, not top class either.
Rider gets a clear vision behind looking at the mirrors, which are at some distance from the handle bar. This often results to a disadvantage: Rider has to focus the sight away from the traffic in order to look back. At the procedure of filtering the handle bar is very often at the same height with car mirrors.
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. Riding is closer to large engine capacity scooters than 125 c.c. ones. Road imperfections are directly noticed by the rider.
Engine performance is adequate for a pace up to nimble, for a faster riding its incompetent. At the fast pace, handling is neutral, flowing. Rider will discover the limits that will be set by tyres initially. ItĘs a controlled process, rider will feel the scooter getting lighter, especially at the rear, before any skidding. Feedback is diminished in a pace like this.
On top quality high friction B-roads, riding quality, feedback and firmness are superb. Handling is genuinely neutral. Riding is close to that of a motorcycle.
At a higher pace, engine is incompetent. It will be sufficient only on downhill roads. Handling will still be a greatly neutral, tempting rider to charge into cornering, although feedback is gradually decreased. On a very fast pace, 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 .
On roads featuring many imperfections, potholes and bumps are directly noticed by the rider. On soil roads, the large front wheel steps easily over every bump, however the no-compromise firmness of the scooter make soil rides uncomfortable.
The front disc brake is exceptionally weak, wooden feeling. Power is just adequate to lock the front wheel on high friction tarmac road at very low speed. The rear drum brake is powerful, providing average feedback though.
Comments: Provided that the rear wheel is only 14 inch high, under the seat there is a storage space for a raincoat or a small travelers bag. A bicycle helmet will not be accommodated. Maybe an ancient jet helmet without screen, due to the curve of the storage space. ‘he feet floor is level, there is a hook for the shopping bags and a gloves compartment at the front.
In spite of 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 its exhausting though.
Ladies who could be the target group for this scooter due to name-design, will be satisfied if their height is greater than average. Additionally they should be riding on top quality tarmac streets. Maybe they are the only group of people that Liberty is clearly addressed to.
- Comfort rides on bumpy streets
- Storage space
- Side stand is not included as a standard