Keeway The Scooter Scoop

18 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Keeway The Scooter Scoop

Archive for the ‘Keeway’ Category

Keeway ARN 150 – Can Keeway be China’s saving grace?

(Eh, looks somewhat inspired, but still a bit too much like the Chinese’ standard spy-vs-spy design.)

BIG shout out to Orin O’Neill from Scootin’ Old Skool who took it upon himself to give the Chinese a chance with a review of Keeway’s ARN 150. Is it a complete pile of horse poop or a road worthy 2-wheeler. Let’s see what Orin had to say, TAKE IT AWAY ORIN! (oh, and my quips will be lurking in the parens. LIKE THIS! scare ya?)

Keeway ARN 150 Scooter

by Orin O’Neill

For many people, the term “Chinese scooter” is inexorably connected to the term “cheap and nasty.” (go ooooon?) And why not? Chinese scooters have mostly been devices with odd names, sold at big-box retailers or storefronts that also sell mobile phones and do money transfers to Central America. (don’t forget pawn shops and used car dealers.) Cheap, yes, but not particularly well-made, and certainly not supported by anything like a franchised dealer network or service centers. (preach on brutha Orin!)

But this situation is changing rapidly. Just as the bicyclists in Mao suits have acquired BMWs and Italian designer clothes (Hrm… An Armani Mao suit?), China’s automotive industry is ramping up, the goal nothing less than being a major player on the world stage, with products the equal of anything offered by Japanese, Korean, European or even American companies.

Keeway is one of those companies. New to the United States, the company has divisions throughout Europe [including a design and engineering center in Italy], and a product line that includes scooters, motorcycles, ATVs and even go-karts, all powered by engines designed and built by Keeway. (I will say that of all the Chinese bikes I saw at the Indi Dealer Expo, I liked Keeway the best).

Keeway’s ARN 150 plays in a crowded field in Europe, going up against such storied names as Honda, Yamaha and Piaggio. In the U.S. where people are just now warming up to the idea of motor scooters, the ARN 150 has what most Americans are seeking above all else–a low price.

Scooter Gallery of Seattle, which supplied the test example, sells the ARN 150 for $2195, a price that includes a top case and remote-controlled alarm. This compares quite favorably with the Genuine Buddy 125 ($2599) and Yamaha Vino 125 ($2649), both of which give away 25cc to the ARN 150′s 9.4-horsepower engine.

Nasty, the ARN 150 most definitely is not. The styling is modern, if a bit derivative. Yes, the body is plastic but the pieces are of high quality and fit together precisely.

The blue is a perfect match for Team Yamaha blue, so you can easily find a helmet that will match. The chassis components look well-made, and the cast aluminum wheels look expensive. There’s a purposeful-looking hydraulic disc brake in front, and a rear drum brake with a helper spring that adds a weighty feel to the rear brake lever operation. (Yeah, this ARN isn’t the prettiest thing that Keeway has to offer, but I’m glad to know it’s at least put together well.)

On the road, it works well and feels solidly built. Like most Asian scooters, the riding position is a bit scrunched-up for someone 5′ 11″ and 240 lbs. but I was able to place both feet flat on the ground, in my Adidas scooter shoes. (This tends to be the biggest complaint with Keeway scoots.

Scootdawg and I both have experienced displeasure with the ‘high floorboard’.) The seat is harder than you’ll find on most scooters in this class, but the upholstery is somewhat slippery… I found myself sliding forward slightly going down hills. (Ewwwww not good. Might have to sprinkle some of those non-slip cell phone mats on the seat. Reminds me of the time a friend of mine Armor All’d his seat.

It was like riding a greased hog! Not that I’d ever admit to riding a greased hog, mind you.)

The 12-inch wheels combine with an adjustable rear and telescopic front fork suspension to make Seattle’s mostly awful pavement bearable. The ARN 150′s Kenda tires easily passed the Fremont Bridge Grating Nibble Test; there was none. (BWAHAHA! That’s the greatest sounding test I’ve ever heard of.

Keeway Arn 125
Keeway Arn 125

Thanks Orin.) These tires have a tread pattern not unlike the Continental Zippy 3, sort of a slick with diagonal grooves.

(Nice… An expansion chamber on a 4-stroker. Sure to make you look 10 mph faster!)

The engine’s sound is not what you’d expect, the performance-looking (that expansion chamber is really a muffler) pipe giving off a low-pitched growl. Even accounting for a bit of play in the right handgrip, it seemed to require a great big twist to get the bike to move smartly, but once twisted, it will go . We saw an indicated 50 mph, and there was room for more than that.

However, you probably won’t be motivated to do random speed runs with the ARN 150, but if that’s what you want, you’d be looking elsewhere.

This is a bike for the first-time scooter owner. It’s inexpensive, easy to ride, handles predictably, has plenty of power to keep up with traffic and will let you amaze your friends with tales of how far a few bucks’ worth of gas will take you.

And when you’re ready to move up, chances are Keeway will have something for you…

(Say cheese! Congrats Keeway! Your ARN 150 has passed the test. With the expansion of your dealership and support infrastructure I believe you will have a quality product worthy of a TSS reader’s hard earned cash.

I’ve talked to Keeway’s president and voiced my only concern, the high floorboards, and he said they are addressing it now. Great to know! These guys are close to us here at the TSS headquarters, so we plan on paying them a visit when things cool off.)

Thanks again to Orin from Scootin’ Old School for the excellent report! We hope to hear more from Orin in the near future and if you can’t wait for that you should go check out his blog. I’m sure he’ll have something tasty for us when AmeriVespa kicks off on July 12th. Wish I could be there.

TheScooterScoop’s roving reporter, Lawrence Hsu will be on site snapping photos and pondering it’s greatness. Be sure to say “Wassup!?”.

Keeway Arn 125
Keeway Arn 125
Keeway Arn 125
Keeway Arn 125
Keeway Arn 125
Keeway Arn 125
Keeway Arn 125
Keeway Arn 125
Keeway Arn 125

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