A scooter may not strike you as a serious means of transportation, especially in the car-focused transportation infrastructure of the US. However, for folks living in Asia and Europe, scooters aren’t just a means of mobility, they’re a way of life. With that being said, those of you who’ve been reading my stuff over the course of the nearly half-a-decade of me writing for RideApart would know that I’m in fact not based in the US, but in the Southeast Asian country of the Philippines.

Here in the Philippines, scooters vastly outnumber any other type of vehicle on the road, especially in the nation’s capital of Manila. Owning a small-displacement two-wheeler is seemingly the only solution to escape the near-constat gridlock every rush hour. On top of that, they’re really easy to park, cheap to maintain, and quite frankly, tons of fun when navigating the dense urban landscape. So when I decided to bite the bullet and get a scooter, it had to tick the following boxes: affordable, reliable, practical, and stylish (emphasis on stylish).

I’ll admit that I’m pretty vain, especially when I’m on a bike, as such, I had to get a scooter that stood out. I used to own a Vespa, but decided to sell that to prioritize other things. Now, more than a year after having sold my little Italian scoot, I wanted something with a similar retro flair, but with a different flavor – something easier to maintain, specifically when it comes to spare parts and aftermarket accessories. This is where the Yamaha Fazzio enters the picture.

How I Ended Up Owning A Yamaha Fazzio

2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Standing

Those who know me would instantly say that the Fazzio is the polar opposite of what I like when it comes to two-wheelers, and indeed, to a certain extent, that’s true. I’ve always gravitated towards performance-oriented machines, and before the Fazzio, my daily ride around town was a Yamaha MT-07. Arguably, a 70-horsepower hooligan machine was pretty excessive for the urban roads and traffic-laden streets I frequented. Apart from the 07, I also have a Triumph Street Triple RS in my garage – another bike that leans towards the performance side of the spectrum.

It wasn’t until I was able to get an incredibly good deal on the Fazzio that I decided to pull the trigger. A friend of mine had just purchased a Triumph Trident 660 from another friend of mine, and I brokered the sale. After she picked the Trident up from my place, she left the Fazzio with me for a couple of days. Let’s just say I took the Fazzio for a spin without her permission, and decided that it was staying with me for good. After some negotiations, I purchased the scooter for an irresistible price.

First Impressions

2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Night, Parked

Yamaha makes some of the best bikes in the business, and has always been all about reliability. In the case of the Fazzio, well, I’ve clocked in about 1,500 miles on it and it’s never skipped a beat. In terms of fit and finish, it’s surprisingly well-built, with the bodywork in its vibrant red color scheme being very well put together. The switchgear, handlebar, controls, and brakes all feel very solid. It glides along smooth roads with ease, however its suspension is a little on the softer side, and its small 12-inch wheels struggle to keep the scoot tracking straight on rough roads.

What I like in particular is the bike’s charming styling. It’s obviously a retro-inspired design that takes some styling cues from the likes of Vespa, but I think Yamaha’s done a good job of differentiating it and making it look more unique. I also really like the scooter’s mild hybrid system, and the way it makes it feel like it’s packing a lot more grunt than a 125cc scooter should have – but more on that later on.

User-Friendly Design

2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Side Profile, Saddle Open
2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Underseat Storage
2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Headlight

As an everyday companion, the Yamaha Fazzio ticks all the boxes, well, for me at least. My daily routine involves me waking up a 5:30 AM, heading to the gym at around 6:30, before coming into my office at around 9:00 AM. As far as carrying all my stuff goes – my laptop, gym clothes, and other essentials – the Fazzio can do it all. It has ample under-seat storage, although it’s not quite big enough to house a full-face helmet. When I’m riding, I keep my laptop and other gadgets under the seat, and my gym bag is nestled comfortably between my legs. There are even hooks on the apron and under the saddle for extra convenience!

2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Front Storage

Speaking of the apron, on the right side, there’s a small cup holder which I actually used as a cup holder. Needless to say, I spilled a bunch of hot coffee all over my right leg. I guess it’s better for holding small bottles instead of cups. Meanwhile, on the left side, there’s a cubby hole with a cover for you to store your valuables. There’s even a charging port in there for you to charge your phone as you ride – and yes, it’s big enough to fit larger smartphones, too.

Surprising Performance

2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Engine.jpeg
2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Exhaust

At the heart of any motorcycle is its engine, and the little Fazzio has a heart of gold as far as efficiency is concerned. It’s powered by a 125cc, air-cooled, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine – but not just any single-cylinder engine. It has a trick up its sleeve, and that trick is mild hybrid technology. Officially, it’s called Blue Core Hybrid, and it makes use of a Smart Motor Generator (SMG). It doesn’t work the same way as your usual hybrid system, but instead is connected to the crankshaft of the internal combustion engine.

Here, the SMG handles starting duties for the engine, so there’s no cranking sound as the engine fires up. As the engine idles, it does so extremely quietly thanks to the sizable muffler on the right side of the scoot. That means the Fazzio is the perfect scooter for sneaking out at night or in the wee hours of the morning without waking your neighbors. At low RPMs, the SMG also plays an important role. It provides electric assistance to the ICE engine, giving you a boost of acceleration that’s enough to pop a little wheelie (if you try hard enough).

2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Display

All in all, Yamaha says that the Fazzio produces a peak power of 8.3 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 10 Nm (about 7.4 pound-feet) of torque at 5,000 rpm. What I can say, however, is that it feels like it produces quite a bit more, especially under heavy acceleration when the SMG provides some of that zesty boost.

A Comfy And Laid-Back Ride

2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Parked

At the end of the day, the Yamaha Fazzio is a scooter, and scooters are all about chilling – especially when they look as chic and stylish as this. Yamaha makes good on this aesthetic with an extremely comfortable rider triangle. The handlebars are tall, and the seat is high enough for you to have a confident perch atop the bars. Your elbows are bent in a very relaxed manner, and it’s easy to shift your weight around the spacious saddle.

I’ve ridden the scooter to the outskirts of town – about 50 miles south of Manila, and it’s given me a fresh perspective when it comes to riding. It’s the perfect ride to just sit back and enjoy the scenery; admiring the sights, sounds, and smells of the countryside, and that’s because you have no choice. This thing tops out at about 50 miles per hour, and besides, given how small it is, probably doesn’t have any business going any faster than this.

All This For An Incredibly Affordable Price

2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Night, Parked

As I mentioned earlier, the Yamaha Fazzio ticks all the boxes when it comes to being an urban commuter, and one of those was affordability. It carries a price tag of P92,900 PHP, or about $1,650 USD. Here in the Philippines, it’s more expensive than other scooters of its displacement, but that’s largely due to its styling and technology. In terms of availability, the Yamaha Fazzio is, unfortunately, not available in the US market (or at least not yet). It is, however, available in other Asian markets such as Indonesia, Thailand, and India.

2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Ignition
2023 Yamaha Fazzio - Cockpit

We've seen a lot of scooters that originated in the Asian market make their debuts in the US market. Bikes like the Honda ADV 150 and PCX 150, as well as scooters from brands like Kymco have entered the US market, with hopes of transforming urban mobility. Do you think there's a place for a scooter like the Yamaha Fazzio in the US market? Sound off in the comments below.

Gallery: 2023 Yamaha Fazzio Owner’s Review: A Charming, No-Frills Commuter

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