The Suzuki Saluto 125 retro scooter was first introduced in Taiwan at the 2019 Taipei Motor Show as a rival to the likes of Vespa and Lambretta scooters.
Manufactured in Indonesia, it was formally launched in Taiwan last February 2020 just before the global lockdowns.
We think this model can also be successful here in the Philippines if Suzuki PH decides to bring it as well.
It will be a welcome addition to the very limited scooter models available to Pinoy riders who prefer uncluttered, non-sporty rides with a classic, elegant and premium image.
If you are in the market for one, the choices are few like the expensive true Italian scooters such as the Vespa 125s and Lambrettas and the more affordable but equally stylish Kymco Like.
We believe that it could be the first Japanese retro-scooter that could have a strong staying power in the local market, unlike the Fino and the Scoopy which were both sold for a few years and are now discontinued.
Unlike the Fino and the Scoopy whose styling were more Oriental, the styling and packaging of the Suzuki’s Saluto follows the direction set by the more luxurious Italian scooters like the Vespas and Lambrettas which areclassic and timeless.
It has plenty of chrome treatment from the front apron, the headlamp surround, the speedometer bezel, rear passenger grab rail, as well as the rear-view mirrors.
The body has lots of character lines that are artistic, well proportioned and clearly defined which gives the Saluto a premium and more expensive presence. In our opinion, as time moves on, the shape will not go out of style as quickly as others.
We think Filipinos who are looking for retro scooters will like this styling better. The other non-European brand that also went in this direction is the Kymco Like, which is now sold continuosly in the local market for a decade now and is on its second generation.
Like the modern Vespas, the Saluto also has modern features such as full LED headlamp mounted on the handlebar cowl, along with LED daytime running lamps on the front apron. It gets a U-shaped LED tail light as well as a uniquely designed turn indicators.
Other modern luxury features include keyless ignition, an external fuel filler cap, a multi-function ignition slot, USB charging port, hazard lights, as well as a semi-digital instrument console.
Meanwhile, the fuel tank has been placed under the floorboard to provide the Saluto with a large under-seat storage.
Another great thing about the Saluto is that it is powered by a similar 124 cc single-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC, fuel-injected engine as Suzuki’s most successful scooter here in the Philippines, the Skydrive 125, so its reliability and durability is already proven on Philippine roads and weather conditions.
In the Saluto, it is better since it is now fuel-injected (FI) and produces 9.4 hp of power and 10 Nm of torque. With Suzuki’s Suzuki Eco Performance (SEP), the claimed fuel consumption is 51 kms/liter.
Like the Italian scooters of the same engine size, the Saluto has small 10-inch wheels and suspended by a conventional telescopic fork at the front, and a single shock absorber at the rear. It has a front disc brake and a rear drum brake. We are not sure if ABS will be available.
The price of the Suzuki Saluto in Taiwan is 78,000 Taiwanese Yuan, which converts to almost Php131,000. Considering it is manufactured in our ASEAN neighbor Indonesia, it could well be priced below that level if ever it comes here.
So, would you buy the Saluto?
If so, make sure you let Suzuki Philippines know so they can consider. As of the moment there are no annoucement that it is coming.
Souce Gaadiwaadi, Maxabout, Rushlane
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