Scooters are probably the easiest type of motorcycle to learn riding on. I for one, had my first experience of riding a motorized bike on a 50 cc Honda Dio back in the day, when these scooters were brought in somewhat unconventionally from the Ilocos Region and could be easily bought from the grey market. Things have changed dramatically over the last 20 years since the days of the Dio, as scooters have become more powerful and more sophisticated. One of these scooters, is the newest iteration of the Like, the Kymco Like 150i Noodoe.
The Kymco Like 150i Noodoe is powered by a 149.8 cc electronically fuel injected, four stroke powerplant that produces 13.5 PS (13.3 hp) @ 9,000 rpm and 12.5 Nm of torque @ 6,500 rpm. For comparison, the 150 cc Honda PCX produces 14.6 PS (14.4 hp), the 154.8 cc Vespa Primavera has 12.8 PS (12.6 hp) and the 155 cc Yamaha NMax produces 15 PS (14.8 hp) of power. While both the PCX and NMax are liquid-cooled, the new Like 150i Noodoe kept its cooling system simple, opting for classic air-cooling.
The fuel tank's capacity is 7 liters and has a range of about 241 kilometers from the brim down to its half a liter reserve. I was able to get a decent 37 kilometers per liter on mostly city riding. Top speed? Well, I was able to get the Like 150i up to 115 kilometers per hour on an open stretch and it feels like this scooter could push for more, if given more tarmac.
One cannot be blamed if they see the Like 150i as a classic scooter. It was inspired by the elegant scooters of the 60's and 70's, complete with a (synthetic) leather seat.
As classic as it may seem, the new Like 150i Noodoe is packed with modern gizmos: full LED lights from the front to rear, Anti-lock Braking System for both wheels, a full LCD screen that is customizable via the Noodoe App, an underseat compartment that can fit a half face helmet and other small items, and a GPS navigation system, also courtesy of the Noodoe App via Bluetooth connectivity. The GPS works by using your phone's GPS (which can be plugged in on the underseat USB port) and displays it on the Like 150i's LCD screen, where it will tell you how many blocks until the next turn and its distance.
The new Kymco Like 150i Noodoe also features a key with an anti-theft lock, front glove box that has a provision for another electric socket/ charger.
Taking care of the bumps are the front telescopic fork with 95 mm travel and rear twin spring shock absorbers with 90 mm travel with adjustable preload. How does it feel? Well, the suspension feels just about right — not too soft and not too hard. On winding roads, I could attest that the Like 150i handled pretty well, even at high speeds where its 110/70-12 front and 130/70-12 rear Sobek tires stayed planted on the tarmac.
While most scooters in the same price range either have a single ABS (front only) and drum brake for the rear, the new Like 150i has dual-piston calipers and ABS equipped in the front and rear disc brakes.
These are, for me, practical technological solutions for added rider and pillion safety and should be made standard for all motorcycles, if the price is not an issue. Good thing that Kymco is leading this positive trend.
I really enjoyed riding the new Like 150i. It is powerful, stylish and sophisticated, and is a genuine head-turner.
Although its GPS navigation via the Noodoe App is laudable, it worked in a way that was comparable to an old Toyota Fortuner stock GPS unit. It would have been better if it was integrated with Google Maps or Waze mobile applications so that riders could get the most up-to-date maps available plus access to the real-time traffic situation, especially here in the traffic-laden Metro Manila streets. There were also times during the Like 150i's stint with me that the Noodoe GPS lags or hangs completely, that's why I missed a couple of turns. But that may just be me and my getting used to the Noodoe GPS App. It is negligible compared to the tons of happiness I enjoyed when riding this scooter. And besides, an Innovative Cube mobile phone mount from Bikerbox Inc. should solve this issue (just use your own phone's Google Maps). Even my wife, a genuine pillion rider who is very critical in terms of “backride comfort”, says that she enjoyed every bit of riding with the new Like 150i and never felt any buttsore throughout the ride. Would I buy this scooter? Definitely.