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MOTORING: BIKES - Even big bike riders sometimes go scootering.

Byline: William Leece

IRST ground frost of the year and I wimp out, with no apologies. When there's a possibility of pointing in several directions yet only travelling in one, then I'll opt for four wheels down below, thank you very much.

Otherwise I'm pretty well weatherproof. You can just pile on the layers to keep out the cold, hide inside the waterproofs and as long as the visor doesn't mist up too much carry on much as before. Besides, I've just discovered heated grips.

Yet the truth is that it can very very nice to come indoors, warm up and start daydreaming.

One is about a small commuter bike that could justify its fixed costs such as insurance, tax and MoTs by reduced fuel consumption.

So far one hasn't turned up, but you live in hope...

If there isn't small bike to hand, there's always a scooter. These days even big bike riders - the bikes being big, not the riders - are happy to be seen on scooters that their fathers would have died on rather than ridden them.

One of the newest is the Honda PS125i, due to hit the showrooms in May. It will be Honda's leader in one of the largest and fastest growing segments of Europe's diverse motorcycle market: the 125/150cc scooter class. The class includes customers who are new to two wheels and more experienced riders who prefer the power and comfort of a 100cc+ four-stroke machine over smaller capacity two-stroke scooters.

The PS125i is powered by a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected single-cylinder engine and has Honda's HECS3 oxygen-sensing low-emissions system. Like the current Honda Pantheon and SH125i, the new PS125i also features Honda's innovative small-displacement-type PGM-FI electronic fuel-injection system. This not only offers low emissionsand excellent fuel economy, it also means the engine provides strong, low-down power for instant throttle response, all delivered smoothly through Honda's VMatic transmission. The PS125i meets strict new Euro-3 regulations and features the lowest emissions in the 125/150cc class. The look of the PS125i is timeless yet modern, having smooth, contoured, flowing lines and a distinctive style all its own. Comfort is paramount and the PS125i has a broad fairing for excellent weather protection, a wide floorboard for plenty of leg-room and a spacious, supple seat. Comfort for the passenger is also excellent thanks to the wide pillion seat, stowable pillion foot-rests and large luggage rack/grab handle NE for the diary: For 2006 the National Rally, which this column has plugged shamelessly on the grounds it's such good fun, will be changing its name to the National Road Rally and will be finishing at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. There will be a new website coming shortly at www.nationalroadrally.co.uk, and entry forms will be available to download early next yearbillleece@dailypost.co.uk

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Honda's PS125i is typical of a new breed of commuter scooter
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 14, 2005
Words:482
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