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CLICK HERE to visit the CPI USA Distributor  Review of the CPI GTR-180 Scooter
February, 2009

Mindy Lee from Fly Powersports on CPI GTR scooter

UPDATE
June,2009
The agreement between CPI of Taiwan and Fly Scooters is currently on hold. I do not know when the GTR will be available in the USA.

What’s your definition of a “good guy” in the scooter world? Someone who lets you ride their scooter? How about someone who lets you ride ALL their scooters? How about someone who takes time to listen to you babble on and on AND lets you ride their scooters? OK, what if they let you ride their scooters, listen to you babble AND do it all as they are trying to get ready for the biggest new-business event of the year?  

Yes, Daniel and Leon from Fly Powersports are good guys. They had offered to let me ride scooters at their facility in Oakland California. The only time I could break away from work (I have a day job, really, no kidding) was right before the Indianapolis Dealer Expo. Daniel and Leon literally kept product out for me until the last possible minute before shipping to Indy. I rode a wide range of scooters and the SM250 motorcycle (a very impressive machine), but put the most miles on a GTR – well over 100 miles. 

I don’t normally push a new scooter to its limits during a review. After all, somebody is going to buy the scooter I’m riding at some point. In this case, the GTR was a “demo” so I didn’t feel so bad about making it carry around nearly 100 kilograms (sounds so much better than 217 pounds) and pushing it pretty hard. 

CPI Motor Company was founded in 1991 and has privately owned manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, Indonesia and China. 

Oh yeah, that’s Mindy from Fly Powersports in California sitting on the GTR. 

Speedometer Reading/Speed/Fuel Economy 

One of the first things I did on the GTR was check the speedometer… Are you sitting down? About 3% optimistic. I didn’t believe it either which is why I tested it at several speeds, at least twice at each speed. At an indicated 30 MPH the GPS read 29 MPH. At 55 MPH indicated the GPS hovered back and forth from 53 to 54 MPH. The CPI GTR has the most accurate scooter speedometer I’ve tested to date. 

The CPI GTR 180 is, in fact, 169cc of displacement. Carrying that 100 kilo load mentioned earlier (me) I got it up to a verified 67 MPH. It feels fairly quick from 10 MPH to about 55 MPH and takes a bit longer to find the top end. Going up a steep hill, the GTR held 55 MPH.  Going up a seriously steep hill, the GTR held 50 MPH. If I had been doing this review in Minnesota as opposed to California, I would not expect to encounter such inclines on my regular drive, so the “holding speed” of the CPI is going to depend on your location. 

I rode the CPI GTR 180 about 80 miles before I did a “formal” fuel consumption test. Not nearly enough to break in the motor, but it was the best I could do in the circumstances. Riding hard, fuel economy was 72 miles per gallon. Not bad at all in my opinion. I expect all-out riding with a broken in scooter could result in mileage as low as 65 MPG and being “good” and riding mostly in the city could result in 80 MPG. 

Specifications 

Right about here we would normally have a comparison chart of some kind. I really didn’t know what to compare the CPI GTR to. The closest in spirit would be the Genuine Blur, but that scooter is no longer available. There are some automatic motorcycles from companies like CF Moto, but they don’t really have the same layout as the GTR. I guess the Italjet Dragster would be one but…. Suffice to say I just couldn’t come up with a comparison model. The CPI GTR 180 has a MSRP of $3,395. The warranty is two years with one year of roadside assistance. The engine is liquid cooled, displaces 169cc, is carbureted, and transfers power through an automatic CVT. Wheelbase is 56 inches, weight is 291 pounds, the seat height is 30.5 inches and the fuel tank holds 2.3 gallons of premium fuel. Front suspension is a telescopic fork; rear is a swing-arm with dual shocks. Front and rear brakes are disks and the GTR rides on 70/80-14 tires in the front and 70/90-14 tires in the rear. 

Features

The CPI GTR 180 may look like a motorcycle, but most of its features are quite scooteresque. It starts easily with a push of a button or a kick of a lever. The transmission is fully automatic and brakes are activated with the hands – front brake on the right, rear brake on the left. I have to admit that when I was coming off of a conventional motorcycle, I did fish around a little bit with my right foot for that rear brake pedal.  

CPI GTR Dash and MirrorsThe dash is a combination of digital and analog. The tachometer is a large analog dial positioned to the right of the digital display. I don’t really “get” tachometers on an automatic scooter, but then again I freely admit to being old, un-cool and lame (according to my daughter). The digital display was easy to read even in bright light. A fuel gauge was conspicuously missing from the display. Not a huge deal as most scooter fuel gauges are wildly inaccurate. The mirrors are nicely placed and gave decent rearward visibility. The inside third of each mirror showed me my own shoulders, but I’m kind of a wide load. The ignition key is conventional in function and includes a release for the passenger seat. 

That brings us to my first (small) complaint about the CPI GTR – storage. Turn the key anti-clockwise and the passenger seat comes off revealing a small storage area and a pull-release for the driver’s seat. Under the driver’s seat are the batteryCPI GTR Storage box and a tiny additional bit of storage. If the GTR were a motorcycle, this would seem like a lot of storage, but for a scooter it’s pretty minimal. I understand that a sort of “tank bag” is available for the GTR and I would imagine that someone will come up with a rack or trunk that takes the place of the small passenger seat. The passenger accommodations are there; seat and foot pegs, but I did not have to opportunity to test them during this review. I imagine they are fine for a short fast ride or around town, but I view the CPI GTR as a mostly one-person machine.  

Lighting, turn signals, horn, all operated as “normal” for a scooter and worked well. The fuel door is conveniently located, locks, and is easy to operate…. Unless you’re in California. I forgot how much I dislike the California mandated fuel nozzles for fueling up motorcycles and scooters. It was a bit tough to get fuel to flow into the tank without some manipulation that is un-necessary in other states. Yeah, California might have nice weather and some great riding roads, but in Minnesota we can fuel our scooters MUCH more easily. 

CPI GTR Fuel Door

Riding Impressions 

CPI GTR Twisty RoadThe CPI GTR looks like a sporty machine and in most areas it fully delivers on that impression. This brings up my second (and final) small complaint – the front brake could be stronger. OK, OK, I’d also like more power but I say that about pretty much everything I ride. CPI has a 250cc GTR in the works, so I expect that those of us who weight more some scooters will have an alternative power-plant to select (at significant additional cost no doubt). 

Leaving from the Fly Powersports warehouse in Oakland California, I rode the freeway to Fish Ranch Road and spent a good deal of time on Skyline and other roads in that area. Wow. Twisty, lots of elevation changes, breathtaking scenery, wow. The GTR just gobbled up the miles. I rode one or two sections several times, pushing the scooter harder each time. I think a Genuine Blur would out-handle a GTR, by a narrow margin, but overall the GTR felt more like a smallCPI GTR Brakes displacement sport bike than a scooter. Kawasaki Ninja 250 riders will be right at home on the CPI GTR. Handling was nimble with no “wallowing” in the turns. The brakes were easy to modulate and I only detected some weakness up front on hard breaking. The suspension was compliant and confidence inspiring. Protection from the weather and road dirt was OK. Nothing like a maxi-scooter, but on par with (or better than) a lot of motorcycles.  

The ergonomics of the GTR are much better than one would expect from the “look” of the scooter. Yeah, it’s not a step-through design, so one has to swing-a-leg to mount or dismount the scooter. Once atop the seat, the riding position is upright and fit me just fine. Ed Raschke was along on the rides and at 6’ 3” he is at the ragged edge of ergonomics for this scooter. Still, Ed put quite a few miles on and had no complaints. I would say that most people from 5’ 4” (with at least a 29 inch inseam) and 6’ 3” will be able to find a comfortable position on the CPI GTR.

  Ed Raschke CPI GTR       CPI GTR Seat Height 

The lack of storage would make the GTR a questionable choice for weekend overnighters, but the scooter is otherwise capable of long distance (for a scooter) riding. 

Fit & Finish 

This is the first CPI scooter that I have had any direct experience with. I came to this review with fairly high expectations and I would say they were met by the CPI GTR. The quality of components appeared high. One can usually spot a low-end scooter (even when brand new) by looking at the switches and fit of body panels. The turn signal, ignition and other switches on the GTR were of good quality and functioned flawlessly. The body panels fit well together and the fasteners looked to be of high quality. The paint work was very nice. The padding and stitching on the seat covers was excellent. Only time will tell, but I expect the CPI GTR will take its position right up there with scooters from Kymco, SYM and others. 

Conclusions 

Good for you. You made it all the way to the end (or you cheated and jumped right down here). The CPI GTR is a sporty machine that combines some of the best aspects of small displacement sport-bikes and scooters. I don’t expect that the GTR will be the biggest seller for CPI. That’s not saying anything against its performance or quality; I just think its design will appeal to a smaller segment of the scooter-buying public. If you want a big-wheeled, sporty, reliable and FUN machine the CPI GTR would be an excellent choice. 

I am glad to see another better quality scooter brand in the US marketplace. Again, my thanks to Daniel, Leon, Mindy and the rest of the crew at Fly Powersports. For more information about CPI products and to find your nearest dealer, visit: www.flypowersports.com  

CPI GTR Sport Scooter

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