In the wake of record high gas prices last summer, sales of scooters and small-bore motorcycles shot through the roof as consumers who were unable to unload their gas-guzzlers looked for any possible way to save a few bucks on their commuting needs. In order to serve this new segment of the market properly, Consumer Reports announced that it would study the market and look into new testing procedures for 2-wheelers, which the popular magazine stopped testing way back in 1981.
As promised, the first in what we hope will be a series of tests will be included in CR's March '09 edition and will also be available to online subscribers tomorrow. The subjects for this installment include popular small displacement machines, including the Vespa LX, which took top honors in the smallest 50cc class and tied with the Kymco People in the 150cc class, and the Kawasaki Ninja 250, which won a victory over the Honda Rebel in the larger 250cc class.
Testing procedures included a new 5.2 mile testing route that included multiple stops and starts along with a full battery of acceleration, handling and braking tests. Fuel economy scores were also calculated and factored into the overall results. Click past the break for the full press release.