Although not exactly the most popular in the US market, maxi-scooters are incredibly popular in Europe thanks to their practicality, adaptability, and affordability. In the states, motorcycles are seen mostly as recreational vehicles and fancy toys, they’re vital components of the transportation infrastructure in Europe and Asia, and maxi-scooters are so popular precisely because they can replace a car for certain trips around town.
Maxi-scooters are best described as a cross between a touring motorcycle and a scooter. Thanks to strict licensing regulations in Europe, we find tiny maxi-scooters that are designed for young beginner riders. These two-wheelers, equipped with a 125cc engine and lots of practical features, are oftentimes the very first vehicle of young folks living in the city. Thanks to the growing popularity of maxi-scooters, we’re seeing more and more new models hit the market. Case in point: the new E125 from Chinese manufacturer Zontes.
Now, we’ve talked about Zontes several times before, and out of all the Chinese manufacturers eyeing to make it big on the global stage, Zontes is one of the few that seems to be doing things right. The new E125 is it’s entry-level offering in the maxi-scooter segment, and shares the same platform as its bigger sibling, the E350. Zontes says that the E125 is all about providing riders with maximum comfort both on short and long trips. The company ascertains that the E125’s styling is meant to convey the idea of comfort, while at the same time giving off a sporty, athletic vibe.
On the tech front, the Zontes E125 is powered by a compact 125cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder with a four-valve cylinder head. With that, the scooter produces 14.6 horsepower – the very threshold when it comes to A1 licensing parameters. For a reliable ride, it makes use of Bosch’s MSE 8.0 Electronic Fuel Injection system. The rider is kept up to date with all pertinent ride stats via a full-color TFT display complete with four modes and a Screen Mirroring feature. There’s even a handy tire pressure monitoring system and ambient temperature readout on the instrument panel.
In terms of underpinnings, the E125 is fairly basic in its construction with standard telescopic front fork and a dual rear shock assembly with adjustable preload to account for riding with a passenger or extra cargo. The E125 comes to a stop with front and rear disc brakes complete with dual-channel ABS for added safety. Meanwhile, up front, a six-focus LED headlight illuminates the road ahead, and a built-in DRL ensures our visibility to other road users at all times. Other standard features include an electronically adjustable windscreen and handguards for added wind and drop protection.
When it comes to pricing and availability, the Zontes E125 is expected to start rolling off showrooms in Spain by late January 2024. It carries an MSRP of 3,887 euros, translating to about $4,215 USD, making it quite an attractive option for riders on a budget, especially considering the amount of tech and features it brings to the table.