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Review of the Genuine Blur

Genuine Scooter Compay Blur

UPDATE
Blur 220i ReviewJune,2010
The Blur is back! Genuine has brought the Blur back to market with 220cc fuel injected powerplant. We'll have a review posted soon.

 

You're sitting at your favourite Chinese restaurant having just finished a nice meal and you reach for your fortune cookie. Breaking it open with a snap, you find a tightly folded piece of paper. Carefully unfolding it, you read: You are an easygoing person who enjoys group activities and structured events. You prefer a relaxed social environment and are uncomfortable with controversial topics of conversation.

If this fortune cookie is describing you, stop reading now. Just walk away from this review and you'll be perfectly happy never having read another word.  

You're still reading? OK. The Blur is another product of the twisted mind of Philip McCaleb, the founder and owner of Scooterworks and Genuine Scooter Company. The Blur is manufactured in Taiwan by PGO. Winner of numerous quality awards, PGO manufactured components for Piaggio throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s.

I suppose some people would say that the Blur is the answer to a question that nobody was asking. I take more of a "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" approach: the Blur may well be the answer, but are you sure you know what the question is? I promise to spend less time in this review coming up with the question than "Deep Thought" the super-computer took in Hitchhiker's Guide. (If you're just not following any of this, really, it might be best to just back away.)

The Basics

I picked the Blur up from Bob at Scooterville and had it for four days, putting on about 200 miles under varied conditions. I rode in the city, on highways, and with my wife Beverly on the back. I rode on smooth roads and rough roads, in traffic and on quiet parkways. I noticed two things right away - the Blur is just a touch "tall" (even with 200 pounds of body mass, my 29 inch inseam didn't allow me to touch flat-footed) and the mirrors are GREAT. They are shaped and positioned so that, even with a "wide load" such as myself, the rearward visibility is excellent.

Genuine Scooter Company Blur Front & Rear Disk Brakes

Just a mile or so from Scooterville, a minivan decided that it needed to go from the center lane to the right exit lane while slamming on the brakes. Too bad I happened to be right there in the exit lane. (Always ride as if everyone is trying to kill you.) I hit the brakes hard and..... stopped. Right now, no sliding, no lock-up. Wow. The Blur has wonderful brakes, possibly the best of any scooter I've been on. Both front and rear disk brakes are vented.

Genuine Scooter Company Blur Rear Suspension

The telescopic fork front suspension was nicely progressive with minimal dive. The 6-bar linkage centralized rear suspension looks like it came off the crotch-rocket drawing board. The handling of the Blur was outstanding, more about that later.

Genuine Scooter Company Blur Fuel Cap

The ignition switch has a locked position (handlebar turned to the left), stop position and run position. Pushing the key inward while turning also releases the seat latch (counterclockwise) or opens the fuel cap (clockwise). The electric start worked flawlessly. There is a kick-start lever that does the job as well, but it took several tries to get the scooter to fire up that way.

Genuine Scooter Company Blur Features

There is reasonable under-seat storage - enough for a full-face helmet. The passenger accommodations are pretty good. My wife usually complains about the foot pegs, grab rails, and seat. All three seemed to be just fine for her on the Blur. The dash includes a large central speedometer, small tachometer to the right, digital clock to the left, fuel gauge above the speedo, and turn indicators on either side. All good, but nothing earth-shaking.... until we tested function. The speedometer was just under 5% optimistic. To those of you not used to scooters this may not seem like a big deal, but most scooter speedometers are VERY optimistic, often indicating 60 MPH when the actual speed is something like 53 MPH. The Blur indicated 60 MPH at a GPS verified actual speed of 57.5 MPH. Even more impressive was the fuel gauge. It actually indicates the relative amount of fuel remaining. Again, this might not be a big deal to most people, but for a scooterist this is nearly unheard of.

Fuel consumption on our test Blur was excellent with an average of (drum roll....) 89 miles per gallon. Now I wasn't thrashing the Blur during the test.... at least not much... well certainly not all the time.... OK, mileage was 89 MPG while thrashing the Blur pretty much all of the time.

Comparable Scooters

For our specification comparison, I selected the Piaggio Fly and Kymco Bet & Win scooters. I have put some miles on the Fly and the Blur out-handles it by a pretty big margin. I think a Fly is faster right off the line, but the Blur has more mid-range and definitely more roll-on acceleration. Bob from Scooterville did an informal comparison between the Blur and a Kymco Bet & Win 150 and the acceleration was very close.

 
  Genuine Blur 150 Kymco Bet & win 150 Piaggio Fly 150
MSRP $3,499.00 $3,499.00 $3,399.00
Warranty 24 Months Unlimited Miles 24 Months 12 Months
Engine Type Forced air/oil-cooled Liquid-cooled Forced air-cooled
Displacement 150cc 152cc 150cc
Fuel System Carburetor Carburetor Carburetor
Transmission Auto CVT Auto CVT Auto CVT
Wheelbase 53 inches 55 inches 52.5 inches
Dry Weight 264 lbs 304 lbs 247 lbs
Seat Height 31 inches 31 inches 30.9 inches
Fuel Capacity 1.9 gal 2.6 gal 1.9 gal
Front Suspension Telescopic Fork Telescopic Fork Telescopic Fork
Rear Suspension 6-Bar Linkage Dual Shocks Single Shock
Front Tire 120/60 - 13 120/70-12 120/70-12
Rear Tire 130/60 - 13 130/70-12 120/70-12
Front Brake Single Disk Single Disk Single Disk
Rear Brake Single Disk Single Disk Drum

Blur versus...... Ninja???

Megan Wilfert Ninja Vs. Blur

This is just my opinion, but I think the marketing "question" that the Blur is trying to answer has a lot to do with sporty performance and individualism. I really don't think the Blur is expected to appeal to the scooter-buying mass market. In the picture above we see Megan - an intelligent 20-something who has no issues with pursuing her own interests. She recently acquired a very nice Kawasaki Ninja 250, her first motorcycle. I thought it would be fun to get her opinion on the Blur and have her ride it side-by-side with her Ninja.

Megan put several miles on the Blur and I don't think she's rushing to trade in her Ninja, but she was certainly impressed with the Blur.

Again, just my two cents, but I wonder how many people will be drawn to the Blur because it's not a motorcycle, yet handles like a sport-bike. I suspect that the appeal of the Blur will go beyond the fact that it's a good scooter and revolve around just how very different it is from the other choices out there.

Riding Impressions

Beverly Harrington Avery Harrington Megan Wilfert Blur Scooter

In addition to me, the Blur was ridden by my wife Beverly who owns and regularly rides a Genuine Buddy 125, my nephew Avery who is a Ducati rider, and Megan who rides a Ninja 250. Both Avery and Megan liked the in-your-face look of the Blur. Bev didn't mind the look, but it wasn't really an advantage or disadvantage to her.

In comparison to her Buddy, Bev thought that the Blur handled better, had better brakes and was as, if not more, comfortable. She has been getting to be a better rider and really enjoyed the responsive handling of the Blur.

Avery, though one could tell he still thought it was "just-a-scooter", also liked the handling and was quite taken with the look. He also commented, several times, on the performance of the brakes. This is a guy who is used to racing-bike performance, so for him to like the brakes says a lot.

As I mentioned before, I don't think that Megan will be trading in her Ninja, but she liked the Blur. We did several "loops", trading off vehicles. Megan and Bev both pushed the Blur a little harder  - probably just because they could.

Most of the miles were put on by "yours truly": 200+ pounds of old-man who regularly rides a Genuine Stella, a Kymco People 250, and a BMW R1200C motorcycle. The performance of the Blur was good in all areas and outstanding in some. I would like a little more power off the line and a little more top end. There. That's about it for my "complaints" about the Blur. Handling was fantastic. I was able to hit the same speed in a tight turn on both the Blur and the Baby-Ninja. The center stand scraped before I ran out of lean angle. The grip of the tires was terrific. The Blur loves to be counter-steered and roll-on acceleration was just fine (even hauling such a heavy load).

Surprisingly, given the Blur's sporting capabilities, it was also a very comfortable ride. The suspension gobbled up rough road and gave excellent feedback to the rider. Even with BOTH Bev and I on the Blur, it would hit 60MPH, and I was able to sustain an indicated 65MPH even up a small hill.

The seating position is SLIGHTLY forward from upright and the seat is very comfortable. All the ergonomics fit me and our other test riders very well. Avery is about six feet tall and I think that someone who was much taller would find the Blur overly compact for comfort. The relatively tall seat height makes touching the ground flat-footed a bit of a problem for someone with less that a 30 inch inseam. That being said, just a little bit of lean puts one foot on terra firma and the Blur is so well balanced that leaning at a stop doesn't seem like a big deal.

Fit and Finish

The quality of components and manufacture is what I expected, which is to say very good. Everything feels tight and and well thought out. From what I have seen, the scooters from Taiwan are getting very close to Japanese scooters in build quality. Of course we do still get the often-entertaining documentation with Taiwanese scooters as shown in the scan from the Blur's owners manual seen below.

Funny Page From Genuine Scooter Company Blur Owner's Manual

Notice the dog touching the hot exhaust. Speaking of the exhaust, the Blur has just about the sweetest exhaust sound of any stock scooter I've ridden. It's throaty but not scare-the-neighbors loud.

Value

Looking at the other choices in 150cc scooters, the Blur is certainly not cheap. It's not meant to be. The performance components and EXCELLENT support (two years of warranty and even one year of roadside assistance) make the Blur's pricing quite reasonable. I don't think that someone who is honestly considering the Blur is really looking for bare-bones cheap scooter transportation to begin with.

Conclusions

This is a tough scooter to make any firm conclusions about because so much of it's personality could be viewed as either an asset or a liability depending on the perspective of the person involved. The Blur is by no means a mild-mannered scooter, and there is no escaping the "look" of the scooter. From a purely technical perspective, it's a wonderful machine with outstanding handling. But is it right for you? If you're looking to be "part of the crowd" then no, this is probably not a good choice.

If you are looking to stand out from the crowd, and in all likelihood run way out in front of the crowd, the Blur is the answer.... and you don't really care what the question is.

Accessories

If there's a single strong point to Genuine Scooter Company's offerings (and it's tough to pick just one) it's the accessories they offer. Have a look at the rear rack for the Blur pictured below. It's a well-thought-out design that mounts very nicely and it appears to be well-made.

Genuine Scooter Company Blur Rear Rack

The available windscreen is also quite nice. It mounts to the scooter well and looks like the integrated component that is is as opposed to a crappy add-on. My wife Beverly had one added to the Blur that she bought. Have a look at the Story of Bev and notice how big her smile is...

Blur 220i ReviewUPDATE
June,2010
The Blur is back! Genuine has brought the Blur back to market with 220cc fuel injected powerplant. We'll have a review posted soon.
 

Send mail to David@HarringtonBusinessGroup.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: August 22, 2013
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