With public transportation becoming less reliable and traffic getting heavier, more and more of the savvy youth are turning to scooters to get around town. Bikes in the entry-level AT scooter segment are among the first these buyers will look into.
As such, it’s rather timely that Suzuki is promoting its latest model, the Skydrive Sport.
Launched last year, the Skydrive Sport is a smaller, more compact version of the popular Skydrive. This affordably-priced motorcycle (SRP: P67,900) comes with all the basics needed to get moving.
What Suzuki is proudest of is its styling. The bike features a large, cyborg-like headlight, crisp edges, magenta stripes (in the black and silver models), or a solid magenta version. In the back, it sports a sexy single swingarm setup. No spoke wheels here. All Skydrive Sports get stylish wheels as standard.
It’s powered by a a 113cc, 4-stroke single cylinder air-cooled, fuel-injected SOHC engine that produces 9.1-PS at 8,000 rpm with 8.5-Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. It’s paired to a CVT that drives the rear wheels. It’s then brought to a stop with a disk in front and a drum in the rear. It has a 3.7-liter fuel capacity. Nonetheless, that should be more than enough to move its 93kg curb weight for quite some distance.
To give us a taste of what this new model has to offer, Suzuki organized the Skydrive Overload Ride for us to sample the bike around the city and out of town. The ride would take us through 150-kilometers of mixed city and provincial road riding.
Members of the media were gathered early in the morning at Biker’s Café in the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. There, 20 motorcycles, all in magenta, were prepared for the ride out.
The first stop was in Calle Real in Tanza Cavite; a heritage restaurant with a history of serving traditional Caviteno dishes. Next up was the Kaybiang Tunnel on the way to Nasugbu. After a stop for photos along one of the scenic overlooks, it was off to Tagaytay to Balay Dako. From there, it was one last stop at Museo Orlina in Tagaytay, before capping the day at Escala Hotel in Tagaytay.
The Skydrive Sport proved to be an excellent choice for a long ride. Believe it or not, it managed the whole trip without refueling. The bike itself is very accessible, particularly for petite riders, thanks to its low seat height of 740 mm. For taller riders, it will be just fine too, with enough room for large feet on its floor board. The tight turning radius lets it squeeze through traffic quite easily. At higher speeds, it still handles pretty well, taking on sweepers with some pretty good stability.
What we love most is the comfortable ride. Being an entry-level scooter, we were expecting a bouncy ride, but the Skydrive Sport is actually quite smooth over bumpy roads.
For longer journeys, the Skydrive Sport features two large pockets behind the front shield that will easily fit large water bottles. There’s a hook in between them for hanging items. There’s also a small compartment under the seat. While it won’t fit a helmet, this locking compartment will be great for storing more sensitive items.
With just one rider, the Skydrive Sport managed the ride fine. It has a top speed of 100 km/h and can maintain an average speed of 80 km/h easily. It will take on some steep inclines, albeit a little more slowly. Thankfully, you’re more likely to encounter these out of town than in the city. For those planning to ride with a pillion, we recommend taking a slower pace. We love the brakes, which can stop the bike pretty quickly, before even locking up. Finally, make sure to lean forward when going full throttle from a standing start. The front has a tendency to lift up (not wheelie), but can be worrying if you’re not ready for it.
All told, the Skydrive Sport is definitely worth a look. It may not have the tech or features its competitors boast about, but it’s very easy to hop right on and ride. No learning curve at all.