TGB Bullet 125 – Motorcycle news, reviews & riding tips – bikesales.com.au

15 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on TGB Bullet 125 – Motorcycle news, reviews & riding tips – bikesales.com.au
Sachs Bee 125
Sachs Bee 125

TGB Bullet 125

NOT SO MUCH


• Difficult cold starts

• Firm braking action

• Stiff front suspension

With Australian scooter sales on the up and up and the sheer number of two-wheeled offerings on the market enough to boggle the mind, it stands to reason that newcomers are keen to get their product on the market ASAP. And for consumers, in the most part, that’s a good thing.

What is a little confusing, however, is that the increasing quantities of unknown – and untested – cheaper brands hitting local showrooms often arrive with large question marks on their vital stats: quality, reliability and longevity.

Sure, competitive pricing is one thing, but how do these newcomers stack up on Aussie roads. To answer the question, we took one such number for a rap — the Taiwanese-built TGB Bullet 125 .

TGB, or Taiwan Golden Bee, has been building Vespas under license in Taiwan since 1965, and began manufacturing its own scooters, based heavily on a Piaggio design, from 1978. Today, the firm builds scooters, motorcycles, ATVs and engines for local consumption and export across the globe, the brand even selling four scooter models Down Under (101S, Hawk, Bullet and Delivery).

The sporty looking Bullet 125 is a bargain basement offering that looks the goods and offers a reasonable level of up-to-date equipment that sees it compete fairly well with similarly priced rivals.

Branded as a ‘limited edition’, the TGB Bullet is available in both 50cc and 125cc formats, the latter featuring such manufacturer-acclaimed highlights as chunky 13-inch wheels, front and rear hydraulic brakes, an integrated rear tail lamp, electronic instrumentation, polished aluminium floor boards, electric (and kick) start, a shopping bag hook, plus a lockable under seat storage compartment, just big enough for stowing your helmet.

The format is pretty simple. The Bullet’s layout and operation is as easy as riding the proverbial bike. All switchgear is logical and easily reached, especially the large indicator switch which is not only easy to operate in thick winter gloves, but provides clear left and right signal lamps on the dash instead of the usual one-for-both flasher. There is also an easy-off centre cancel button.

Unlike many two wheelers, the headlamp on the Bullet is not hardwired and must be operated manually, but will switch off with the ignition should you forget.

Instrumentation is electronic, and simple in layout, though for the life of me I don’t see the point of an (analogue) rev counter on an automatic scooter. The dash comprises LCD readouts for time, trip, speed and fuel with separate lamps for headlights, high beam and turn signals.

The twist-and-go throttle operates a fully automatic continuously variable transmission, making Bullet a great little scooter for beginner riders. Power is modest, but enthusiastic, the 124cc single-cylinder Bullet (not 125cc as the name might suggest) capable of hitting a top speed of 93km/h. Fuel consumption is respectable, our official combined figure this week just 2.72lt/100km.

The ride is generally compliant, and through the stiffer suspension handling is especially nimble. But in achieving such a fun ride, the front forks are a little stiff, with some jarring through the wrists noticeable on larger bumps or under heavy braking.

This brings us to the next biggy: brakes.

Although the front and rear brakes are hydraulically assisted – each operating a single calliper on disc arrangement – the level of assistance offered through the levers is negligible, meaning strong hands are required for anything more than a leisurely stop. It’s not a huge issue in the scheme of things, but may catch out riders new to two wheels. When summoned, the Bullet does pull-up pretty quickly.

Sachs Bee 125
Sachs Bee 125

Seating is well padded and comfortably positioned, enough space for two passengers is offered — should you not be in too much of a hurry. Mirrors are easily adjusted but not positioned so conveniently that you can readily look past your elbows — best make a head check when nipping through traffic.

If we had to be picky, the Bullet is a little casual off the mark and quite noisy when up to speed — almost appropriately for its apiarist nomenclature sounding like two bees fighting in a vacuum cleaner bag. We also found the sidestand to be unreliable (best use the centrestand), and that zippy little engine can be a bugger to start on cold winter mornings.

But if you can live with all that, the $2990 scooter is a fun and agile little offering that looks fantastic and will see you cover 250km for less than $10.

And keep an eye out for a Bikesales Network test on the 125’s bigger brother, the Bullet 150.

SPECS: TGB BULLET 125

ENGINE

Type: Air-cooled, four-stroke, single-cylinder

Capacity: 124cc

Bore x stroke: 52.4mm x 57.8mm

Compression ratio: 9.2:1

Sachs Bee 125
Sachs Bee 125


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