Feet-forward scooters are a good idea; with more room for the rider, they enable you to stretch your legs out, feet up at a comfy angle. They generally cost more than the sit-ups, and the Suzuki Burgman 400 comes in at almost £6000. But there’s a few cheaper 125s as well, notably Honda’s PCX at £2699. Cheapest of all though is this, the 2016 Keeway Cityblade 125.
Keeway obviously decided to give the 2016 Cityblade 125 as much on road presence as possible. How else do you explain its big ‘face’ with two massive headlights? That apart, it’s all pretty neat and sober; the test bike in dark metallic red with grey alloy wheels, silencer and lower forks and everything else in black.
Given the price, it’s pretty well equipped. The underseat space wasn’t big enough to take my full-face lid, but you do get a flat floor for bags and there’s a rack, drilled and ready to take the optional top box. A shielded ignition switch is standard (makes it trickier for ‘lowlifes’ to force in a screwdriver) and the dash has an analogue rev counter as well as a digital speedo and fuel gauge.
The riding position is as roomy as it promises to be. You sit upright, but with your legs stretched out on the front apron. I’ve always been a fan of this type of scooter, especially for longer journeys, and the Cityblade 125 also has a comfy seat (just 760mm off the ground).
So far so good, though the scooter’s budget price shows up in the basic spec engine, an air cooled two-valve 125 that produces 9.25bhp – the test bike was one of the final Euro 3 machines, with carburettor instead of injection.
The lower power shows up in the performance. The Keeway Cityblade 125 accelerates up to an indicated 40mph quickly enough for town, so you don’t feel vulnerable away from red lights. But venture beyond 40mph limits and it starts to feel out of its depth. Acceleration slows up to an indicated 50mph, and then the speedo creeps up to 60, but will not go any further. At higher speeds, the engine sounds quite busy and hard-working, so it’s not really a 125 to cope with fast dual carriageways and motorways.
The other thing that might put off open road commuting is that low screen and narrow front apron. Again, it’s all fine in town, but there’s not a huge amount of protection from wind and rain.
It does handle okay though. Long wheelbase scooters tend to be more stable than the sit-ups, and the Keeway Cityblade 125 is no exception, with 14in wheels doing their bit to increase stability. It feels less nervous than a shorter wheelbase scooter, along with reasonable quality forks and single rear shock, the latter with five-position preload adjustment. The tyres are Cordials (ad slogan: ‘such friendly rubber!’) which grip well on dry roads.
The brakes are discs at both ends, which is good for a budget 125cc scooter, and work well – the Euro 4 bikes, which start to arrive in the UK late this year and early next, will have linked brakes. If you can’t come up with the purchase price in one go, importer Moto GB is offering 0% finance over 12 months.
Keeway Cityblade 125 Specifications and Price
Engine : 4-Stroke, Single-cylinder, SOHC 2-Valve per Cylinder, Air Cooled
Bore x Stroke : 52.4 x 57.8 mm
Capacity : 125 cc
Compression Ratio : 10.3 : 1
Induction : Carburettor
Power : 9.5 BHP @ 7.500 RPM (claimed)
Torque : 9.4 N.m @ 6.000 RPM (claimed)
Dimensions LxWxH : 1.950 x 755 x 1.130 mm
Wheelbase : 1.330 mm
Seat Height : 760 mm
Fuel Tank Capacity : 7 Litres
Weight : 123 kg (dry, claimed)
Frame : Steel, Rocker Type Frame
Front Suspension : Telescopic Fork
Rear Suspension : Dual Shock Absorber
Front Brakes : 240mm Discs, with 2-piston Caliper
Rear Brakes : 220mm Disc, with 1-piston Caliper
Front Tyre : 90/90 – 14
Rear Tyre : 100/90 – 14
Price : £1599