Urban Scooters Chiswick
Urban Bravo 150
LuxoBarge… This is a term, derived from the words Luxury and Barge (large wallowing boat for transporting heavy stuff) usually reserved for large, European (or occasionally Japanese) sedans. They are big, heavy, super comfortable couches on wheels… well I am going to nominate the Urban Bravo 150 as the first LuxoScoot we have ever tested.
The test bike was one of a handful brought into the country as evaluation models for a potential production run by a local importer. We were very fortunate to get our hands on one, and have some input to changes that need to be made for the production model.
The engine and transmission combination is one of the smoothest I have ever used, it is not fast… it is however faster than it seems. The 150cc 4-stroke will gladly drag the heavy Bravo and a rider along the street without complaint and will tackle hills without missing a beat. Acceleration is brisk without being in any way blistering… as with every part of this bike it is achieved without any fuss or complaint. Then there are the brakes, I normally whinge and complain, so I must congratulate Urban for throwing discs front AND back... Thanks guys, I'm glad someone gets it! I thought it would take me a while to get the knack of riding this bike as my normal riding style is far from relaxed but I felt instant affinity with what was quickly nicknamed “The Whale”. The mode of riding is simple, get on, turn throttle, ride… and ride… and ride, this is very much a machine that inspires wandering. You will be looking for excuses to find a new café to visit… preferably further from home just to sit on the Bravo a bit longer.
The more scooters I review the more I see trends develop. One trend I’m seeing is that 50cc scooters seem to be getting bigger. But not by sitting at home in their lazy-boy, relaxing, eating fried chicken, drinking beer, and watching the game. More, going to gym, pumping iron, getting a new shirt and some smart shoes. In the previous two decades every 50cc bike was tiny, it had little 10inch wheel, drum brakes, and little or no storage. Average European legs would hit the handle bars, and their rumps would hang out off the back of the seat while the rear shock collapsed under the massive strain. But now there is a new breed of scooter, the big framed 50cc scooters. As fuel prices increase so does the demand for fuel efficient vehicles that can comfortably carry your average western rider. So we have a new breed of 50cc bike and the Urban R4 is right there filling the exact needs of much of today's commuting population.
The Urban R4 sits high compared with many 50cc scooters, when riding in traffic it is easy to see over the cars in front. It has 12inch diameter wheels with wide tyres which give it a good solid feeling on the road. When riding, the large seat gives enough room to find the perfect riding positionand will even carry a pillion with ease, a minor point worth noting was that the seat was a little on the hard side for my liking. The R4 is full of features not normally found on a 50cc scooter, or in fact on any scooter. ABS on a 50cc scooter?! Yes.. Now I'm not sure how it works but it does seem to, There wasn't any sensor to be seen, so I can't imagine its the most high-tech system, but the ABS combined with the large wheels makes the Urban a really quick stopper.