Speedfight is a name most people with any passing interest in scooters will have heard of. Not surprising really seeing as the French firm has sold over half a million of them since it’s launch in the mid 1990’s.
Back then people either rode bikes, traditional geared scooters, or commuter styled (usually nerdy looking) scooters. The Speedfight (and of course the Gilera Runner) changed all that though, the sports scooter class was born. Up until recently though Peugeot have never built a 125cc Speedfight. Peugeots market share in the 51-125cc class rose by 33% last year. They hope to build on this success with the new Speedfight 125 and the retro inspired Django 125, which will arrive by early summer.
The larger capacity Speedfight shares the same chassis and sharp styling as its 50cc stablemate. Not that it’s a problem because it is a well-sorted little scooter. Angular lines, eye-catching graphics (especially on the IceBlade and Darkside special editions) and a few subtle details make it stand out from others in its class. The Speedfight 125 is powered by a newer version of an existing four-stroke air-cooled engine, as fitted to the Peugeot Tweet 125. The engine has been fettled slightly though to produce more mid range power.
Sitting astride the 125cc Speedfight it feels just like the 50cc version, as you’d expect. It’s a compact scooter with a 1290mm wheelbase, low centre of gravity (thanks partly to the fuel tank beneath the floorboards) and relatively light weight. Having said that though the seating position isn’t cramped so taller riders should manage quite well on this scooter.
There’s no fuel injection on the Speedfight, the simple carb fed engine bursts into life willingly though, it revs quickly and sounds like it’s ready to play. That urgency to get going is evident as soon as you open the throttle, it’s a responsive enough engine and the revised mapping is certainly a big improvement over the Tweet 125 so don’t be afraid to nip to the front of a queue because you will beat most things away from the lights. The Speedfight 125 is actually good fun to ride, it’s quick enough off the mark and despite the new engine only having covered a couple of hundred miles it quickly got up to an indicated 67mph on the flat, I’d expect to see 70mph quite easily after it’s loosened up a bit more. It’ll get around corners well enough too, thanks to the inverted forks and rear mono shock (neither are adjustable) but the rear suspension works well enough and the forks are perfectly adequate. The Peugeots multi spoke alloys are fitted with Hutchinson tyres, which are plenty grippy enough to help you win the rush hour Grand prix. One thing you certainly can’t complain about are the brakes, the scooter has Shuricane discs at both ends. The four pot radial front calliper grabs the wavy disc with enough power to detach a retina if you grab a handful; this is one of the best 125cc scooter brakes in the business and it will easily perform an impressive stoppie in front of your admiring fans down the local chippy.
Peugeot always use nice instruments and the crystal clear digital dash on the Speedfight 125 is no exception, it has a digital fuel gauge, speedo, time, trip, odometer and an analogue rev counter. If there’s one minor thing that lets the feel of the scooter down (other than that ugly standard exhaust) it has to be the switchgear, the cheap generic indicator switch annoyed me slightly but I’m being pedantic. Under seat storage is a big selling point for a scooter and although my full face Arai wouldn’t quite fit under there my Shark Raw did so it is possible to stow a lid, depending on style. You can also charge a phone using the 12v socket under the seat, or power the optional Peugeot Speedfight stereo system!
At £2299 for the standard Sapphire Blue or Dragon Red Speedfight (£100 extra for the IceBlade/Darkside) you’re getting a great little scooter. It may only be air-cooled but the nippy engine, great brakes and attractive styling make the Speedfight a serious contender in the 125cc sports scooter category. It packs a punch, looks hard enough and deserves a fighting chance. Are you man enough to ride one?