of the Genuine Hooligan 170i Scooter
READER RESPONSE - CLICK HERE
Designed to be versatile, rugged, and ever so
slightly evil, the Genuine Hooligan dares you to NOT smile while riding
it. I'm adjusting to the "Hooligan" name. As a Brit, for me the word is most
ordinarily tied to football (soccer to you lot) fans who are often
less interested in the game than in the accompanying, sometimes
destructive, behavior in the stands. To be sure, there are already
scooter hooligans. Every city has at least one (in Minneapolis he
goes by the nickname Pooter). Now we have a scooter that tells you
right up front that it's going to encourage you to misbehave a bit.
Genuine Scooters has a history of working with PGO
Scooters of Taiwan to manufacture some outstanding machines for the
North American marketplace. The Genuine Buddy is built by PGO and has
been an unmitigated success for Genuine since 2006. The Hooligan is a
combination of the PGO X-Hot and Libra scooters with some USA-only
modifications. The Hooligan utilizes the same 169cc fuel-injected powerplant as the Genuine Buddy 170i, just
with a longer drivecase to make room for the larger twelve-inch wheel.
Minneapolis generously provided the Hooligan used in this review.
Speedometer Reading/Speed/Fuel Economy
I picked up the new Hooligan 170i
and mounted up a GPS unit right away. Another sporting scooter from
Genuine (the Blur) has a reputation of being wildly optimistic in
it's indicated speed and miles.
Blur 150 I tested about eight years ago wasn't bad, but other 150 owners
reported as much as 20% optimistic readings. The Blur 220i I tested in
2010 was 17% optimistic. In some forums, this reputation has lead to the
creation of BDUs (Blur Distance Units) as a measurement of
distance between a kilometer and a mile. The Hooligan is also
optimistic, though not to the extent of needing to utilize BDUs to track
distance covered. My tests returned 12% optimistic for BOTH the
speedometer and the odometer. When the speedometer indicates 30 MPH the
actual speed is 26 MPH. At 50 MPH the actual speed is 44 MPH. My 11 mile
test run for the odometer registered 12.5 miles on the Hooligan.
I did not have ideal conditions
for a top speed test. I like to get a couple of experienced riders to
assist with this and scheduling just didn't work out, so we are left
with the results of somewhat windy days and a 220 pound pilot. A GPS
indicated 63 MPH was the best I could do. Fuel economy was
good-not-great at 72 MPG. Keep in mind that this was a new machine, not
yet broken in, being ridden fairly hard by a heavy rider. I would expect
that an average sized person, riding a broken in scooter at speeds in
the 35MPH - 55MPH range could expect to see 80 MPG or better.
I mentioned earlier, the Genuine Hooligan is manufactured in Taiwan by
PGO and includes components of the PGO X-Hot and Libra scooters as well
as features unique to the Hooligan. The fuel injected 169cc motor has a
claimed output of 15 horsepower. Doesn't sound like a lot until one
considers that most comparable scooters have to get by on 10 - 12
ponies. An automatic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission)
gets that power to the rear wheel. Dual disc brakes (more on what a
big deal that is later) slow down the 12 inch wheels. The Hooligan
is currently available in flat black or flat green. I don't mind the
flat finish craze, but it would be nice to see just one "shiny" color
The control configuration is
standard for a modern automatic scooter - the left hand controls the
rear brake, turn signals, high and low beam headlight,
flash-to-pass and horn. The
right hand controls the throttle, front brake, engine kill switch and
electric starter. NOT so standard, the Hooligan also includes a four-way
hazard light switch on the right hand controls. To start the scooter, just turn the ignition key to
the on position, grab a brake lever, and press the starter button. Lots
of stuff happens with the main switch. One can engage the front end
lock, turn the ignition on & off, release the seat catch AND open the
high-mounted fuel filler cap. The cap is on the left side of the inner
legshield just below the (handy) covered power socket. The neck
leads down to the fuel tank which is below the floorboards.
The mirrors spaced far enough apart to allow a decent
view of what's going on behind one. Lighting is freaking awesome on the
Hooligan. Of course it goes without saying that Genuine had to have
front turn signal indicator lights added on to meet the requirements of
USA's Department Of Transportation, but at least these look more like
they belong than so many other scooters. The headlight and "projector"
light up front make for outstanding nighttime visibility. The turn
signal and brake lights are also bright and easy for others on the road
to spot. The dash is a mix of a large round analog tachometer to the
left and a small round digital speedometer/odometer to the right. There
are warning lights in the lower/right corner of the tachometer and
control buttons between and below the two round pods. There's a fairly
accurate fuel gauge on the outer edge of the speedometer. As it is, the
dash looks good and is easy to read even in sunlight. However, my
personal opinion is that a tachometer is of precious little use on a CVT-equipped
scooter and I would much rather see the large, analog gauge contain the
Native storage (what's available on the scooter with
no additions) is pretty good with one minor quibble. There's a small
tray on the inside legshield and good under-seat space. One has to take
some care in positioning one's helmet for storage under the seat. I just
tossed my XXL three-quarter Nolan under there because it LOOKED like
there was plenty of room and then I couldn't latch the seat closed.
Turned the helmet a bit and everything was fine.
Now we get to the quibble. The Hooligan comes with four
attachment points, two on either side of the floorboard, and a cargo
net. I suppose the attachment points would be helpful when securing the
scooter on a trailer or something, but there are already MUCH better
ways to do that. We're supposed to utilize those points and the net to
secure stuff on the floorboards. What a great idea! Sounds like it, but
I don't believe they thought this through. Anything stored there that is
flat and sturdy would be OK, but you'd give up foot/leg room and
anything large and tall (like a helmet) leaves no place for one's feet on
Before I continue, I'm going to rant for a bit. If
you're looking to add some great, useable storage space, get a topcase.
You may have noticed that the Hooligan is equipped with a rear grab
rail, but no luggage rack. That's OK, because Genuine Scooters
understands that different scooter buyers want different things. When
last I checked, Genuine offers a very nice windshield,
cowl guards AND a rear luggage rack for the
Hooligan. All are designed specifically for THIS scooter, very
reasonably priced, and, if Genuine's history repeats itself, of good
quality. When it comes to ACCESSORIES, Genuine gets it. Other
scooter brands in this country don't seem to understand or care about
accessories that actually work and are readily available. Rant over.
The Hooligan seat is large enough for two and there are
BOTH built-in foot rests and flip-out foot pegs to accommodate a
Very nearly as sporty as a
Genuine Blur with better ergonomics. You want more? Really? You've read
all the way down to here and you don't think I can continue to be
ridiculously verbose as regards a scooter? Whew. Apparently you're a
glutton for punishment.
Let's start with the ergonomics
of the Hooligan. The seat is large and nicely shaped. The floorboards
are roomy and flat with a slightly forward cant. The reach to the
controls is just about dead neutral. I found myself in a tiny bit of a
forward lean, due to the floorboards. With a seat height of 31 inches
and those wide floorboards, it's a bit of a reach for the shorter
amongst us at stops. Even with my weight compressing the seat, I
couldn't touch flat-footed, but the center of gravity is so low that it
didn't matter to me at all. I felt very comfortable at stops and at
parking lot speeds on the Hooligan. I had room to move around a bit on
both the seat and floorboards while riding and found the Hooligan to be
VERY comfortable even during an extended parkway ride. I would guess
that the taller and longer-legged may run out of room on the Hooligan,
but most people will find it a great fit.
The Hooligan fired right up
every time and quickly settled into a smooth idle. Well, every time but
one. I did experience a problem with the scooter after about 60 miles of
riding. The scooter started to run roughly, lost power and stalled out.
I couldn't get it re-started. A service truck was quickly dispatched to
me and the Hooligan brought in for repair. It turned out to be a
minor pre-delivery issue. The Hooligan has an additional battery
connection that wasn't connected prevented the battery from re-charging while
running. As such, the scooter's electronic ignition and fuel injection
ran out of juice. It was repaired and the scooter was back on the road.
This can. and does, happen with any machine and the true measure of
quality is how the manufacturer and dealer take care of these rare
issues. Suffice to say that I retain my high opinion of Genuine/PGO
products and support.
Back to riding the Hooligan. The
very first thing I noticed was how neutral the handling is on the
Hooligan. Tight maneuvers at low speeds were easy. "Responsive" is not a
strong enough word to describe the Hooligan. Next thing to grab my
attention was the brakes (grab, brakes, I couldn't help myself).
To this point, I've reviewed something like 45 scooters and ridden
dozens more. The Hooligan brakes are second only to its stable-mate the
Blur in the world of scooters. Good, strong disc brakes front AND rear
on a scooter that weighs 270ish pounds with a good suspension and tires
are an absolute joy. The Hooligan's brakes are strong, easy to modulate,
and inspire confidence. OK, OK, I admit, I did one (or may be two)
controlled slides with the almost-too-strong rear brake, but that was
only in the interest of examining the capabilities of the Hooligan for
Acceleration is strong for this
class of scooter up to about 50 MPH. After that, it takes a while to
build up more speed. Roll-on in the mid-range of 20MPH - 45MPH is
excellent. The combination of 12 inch wheels, neutral steering geometry,
more-than-responsive suspension and engine strength make the Hooligan
one of those rides that is likely to be more capable than the rider
piloting it. As I mentioned at the start of this section, Blur-like
sporty fun is to be had here.
Riding around the
Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area was prefect for the Hooligan. It gobbled
up the crappy road surfaces we have here without a problem and made
commuting, dare I say it, fun. Jumping onto the highway for short runs
was not a problem, but the Hooligan is NOT a good choice for a regular
highway scooter. If you live your life at 30MPH - 45MPH with the
occasional short run into the low 60s, you'll be just fine. If you're
looking for an interstate cruiser at 70MPH all day long this is not the
machine for you.
Fit & Finish
I've reviewed several Genuine/PGO
scooters and the quality of components and assembly is very high. This
is one of the things that makes scooters like the Hooligan (and
Buddy, and RoughHouse, and Blur) such a great value. The longer you
own the scooter, the more apparent the quality will become. The body
panels, though dull and lackluster in finish - by design, fit together
well with close tolerances. Damn, if only there were some shiny bits.
Switches, gauges and the like work very well and feel as though they'll still
be doing their job ten years from now.
For this review, I chose to
compare the Hooligan with the Lance Cabo and
Piaggio Fly. I didn't include the
similar-looking Yamaha Zuma 125, Piaggio Typhoon 125 or Kymco Super 8
150 because none of them is in the same performance class as the
Hooligan. Frankly, neither is the Lance Cabo. I chose the Cabo because
to me it represents the closest low-cost alternative to the Hooligan.
Out-the-door a Cabo could easily be $1,000 or more less than a Hooligan.
The Hooligan is not cheap in
components, build quality, or price. Even counting the Yamaha Zuma (which
is a fuel-injected 125cc scooter), the Hooligan is the highest
priced scooter in its class, though not by much. There are elements of
the Hooligan that easily justify the price - rear disc brake, larger
engine displacement, excellent warranty and support, etc. How much are
these elements worth to you? I can't answer that question for you. I can
say that the Hooligan provides very good value for the money invested.
The Genuine Hooligan 170i scooter
is a fine example of how good a modern scooter can be. Very nearly as
sporty as a Blur with better ergonomics. Capable of all sorts of
practical transport tasks. If it were me, I'd add the windshield, rear
luggage rack, and a mid-sized topcase. On top of all this utilitarian
ability, the Hooligan is still true to its name - it's a boatload of fun
to ride and will bring a wicked sparkle to your eye. Thanks again to
Scooterville for facilitating this
You used to send your
reviews out to some knowledgeable people before you put them on your
site. It might be time to return to this practice. I'll start with the
fact checks. All Piaggio and Vespa scooters beginning with MY 2014 have
a 2 year parts and labor warranty. Price on the Fly 150i is $2999.00.
The breakdown you
experienced had nothing to do with the charging system, but rather was
the result of an eager sales staff member wanting to take the Hooligan
out for a spin and not getting the battery hooked up properly. The
Hooligan has an additional connection at the battery for the rectifier
that was not connected on your test bike.
I think you were really
reaching for minuses when you took issue with the price. I've never
heard you say anything short of glowing regarding the Buddy 170i. At $50
more I think it can be argued that the Hooligan is comparably a bargain.
I would suggest the Honda PCX as a scooter to add as an optional
Try a trip to the post
office with several small boxes to mail. On the way back, grab a 12 pack
of bottles. I think you find the floorboard net less of a gimmick.
Really, Dave. Your helmet
on the floor? That belongs on your head. You might need it someday.
I stand corrected, the Piaggio Fly info was pulled from a 2013 review
when I SHOULD HAVE checked it. The comparison table has been updated as
has the description of the battery charging issue. I DO think the
Hooligan's features and quality make it a comparable bargain. For some,
fuel injection alone would make the Hooligan a better choice than any
carbureted scooter. However, Genuine scooters have typically been less
expensive than comparable models as is seen in the Buddy, which is my
choice as the best deal in its class. I stand by the gimmickiness of the
floorboard cargo net. It's fine for some flat things, but forces one's
feet ON TOP of the net. I carry stuff on scooter floorboards regularly -
in a bag, with the bag's handles on the luggage hook and my feet flat on
the floorboards on either side of the bag. I used my helmet in the
picture because it was the closest taller object to hand at the time.
Hooligan 170i vs Buddy 150 Black Jack
Who is the REAL Hooligan?
mentioned in the reader response above, I used to get more input from
other sources on my scooter reviews. I frequently try and get a variety
of scooterists to take whatever I'm reviewing for a spin and give me
their comments. Scheduling just didn't go my way while I had the
Hooligan. That's not to say I didn't get input from other riders, I did.
It just occurred AFTER the review was published.
When one chooses to mention a
local scooterist by name, one shouldn't be surprised when that local
scooterist wants to ride the scooter he was associated with. Yes, Pooter
got hold of me and thought it only fair that he get to take a spin on a
Hooligan. He also mentioned that he thought it would be fun to compare
the Hooligan to the Genuine Buddy Black Jack.
As it happens, Pooter's father owns a Black Jack. It sounded like a
great idea to me. I am very, very fortunate to have a great dealer who
is incredibly tolerant of my requests. Bob Hedstrom of
Scooterville in Minneapolis Minnesota
arranged for the Hooligan to be available and I met up with Pooter and
his father (I'm going to call him Robert,
though he often goes by "Bob" so as to avoid confusion with Bob Hedstrom)
and took a couple of pictures and turned them loose.
Robert's 2009 Genuine Buddy
150 Black Jack has at least a couple of thousand miles on it, so it is
well and truly broken in. It has the absolutely awesome sounding
performance exhaust installed, some nice decals and modified mirrors.
Mechanically, it is as could be had from the dealer in 2009, stock. The
Genuine Buddy Black Jack was a sensation in 2009. Staring with a
standard Buddy 150, Genuine added NCY components including a racing
front fork, adjustable rear shock, large front disc brake. They didn't
stop there, the Black Jack came with a standard exhaust installed and a
Prima performance exhaust included. In my opinion, the Black Jack is the
most fun-to-ride version of the Genuine Buddy platform. I suspect Bob
from Scooterville agrees with me - he was all smiles after taking
Robert's Black Jack for a spin.
Pooter and Robert looked over the Hooligan and then
took off. They were gone for some time and when they returned to
Scooterville, their response to the Hooligan was less-than enthusiastic.
I set up a digital recorder and had them share their opinions. First, the
things they liked.
The brakes, particularly
the rear disc
The larger twelve inch
What didn't they like? "It's
slow compared to the Black Jack" was chimed out in unison by both of
them. "It sounds like crap compared to the Black Jack" and "It's too
big, and not as much fun as the
Black Jack. How can a 'Hooligan' not be
fun?" I think it's important to mention that, unless you happen to
find a used one, you can't go out and by a Black Jack Buddy. They were
made in a limited edition. I thought it would be good to have Pooter and
Robert try a new Buddy 170i which has the same engine as the Hooligan
and standard Buddy suspension, exhaust, brakes and so forth. ONCE AGAIN
the infinitely patient Bob from Scooterville allowed us to take a demo
Buddy 170i off the showfloor and run around. Pooter and Robert both
found the powertrain on the Buddy 170i to be more to their liking than
the on the Hooligan. The extra 50 pounds or so that a Hooligan carries
over a Buddy apparently make quite a difference.
As we chatted with the
digital recorder running, it sounded more and more as though they didn't
like the Hooligan. "No, that's not it" Pooter corrected me, "Throw a
topcase on it and it would be a good commuter scoot. It's just NOT
deserving of the Hooligan name." Pooter and Robert compared the two
scooters side-by-side and did the same things on them. They checked
acceleration from a stop, roll-on acceleration, braking, quickness and
ease of handling, curb climbing, all sorts of holliganesque tasks. The
Hooligan 170i climbed over stuff better (12 inch wheels vs. 10
inchers) and had good brakes, but every other informal test went the
way of the Buddy Black Jack.
Listening to Pooter and
Robert talk made me start to think of the Hooligan 170i as more of a
"Junior Blur" than anything else. Did we come away from this not liking
the Hooligan? No, just the name for this particular scooter. Did we come
away wishing for a 170cc fuel injected Black Jack Buddy with a
performance exhaust named "Hooligan"? Hell yes!
Thanks again to Pooter,
Robert and Bob at Scooterville for their time and work on this.
A Hooligan Buyer Gives His Views
picked up my 2015 Genuine Hooligan last week from College Scooters &
in College Park, Maryland. I exchanged emails with four area
dealerships, but Navid at CSC was by far the most responsive and
helpful. He walked this complete newbie through everything from the
50cc-versus-something-larger debate, whether to test or take the Basic
Rider Course, to which scooter best met my needs (something big enough
for myself (at 6'2", 230 lbs) plus an adult passenger, and something
rugged and reliable.) My interest in scooters stemmed from having only
one vehicle, the family van, which is just too massive and gas-guzzling
for every single little trip to post office or grocery store. But the
expense of a second car was more than I wanted to take on. After
looking at Vespas, and Hondas, I was closing in on a Buddy 125, but was
then sold on the Hooligan by David's review at
Just Gotta Scoot,
another review at
Scooter Stop's video review.
Since this is my first scooter, I can't really comment on how the ride,
braking or acceleration compare with other scooters. All I can say is,
with zero prior experience, I felt very comfortable on it before even
rolling off CSC's parking lot, for the leisurely 10 mile ride home I had
carefully mapped out before hand to keep me on quiet roads.
Half-way home however, I had what turned out to be precisely the same
experience David described in his review: the engine began to sputter.
Pulled over, and was unable to start it up again. I called Navid at CSC,
who I'm sure was incredibly busy in the shop on a beautiful Spring day.
But, having not yet had a moment to register my Genuine Roadside Service
(I had only just left twenty minutes earlier) he personally closed up
shop and drove out to meet me. He threw in another battery and the
scooter fired right up. I thanked him, continued on my way. ...almost
made it home when the engine began sputtering again. Pulled over, no
start. Close to home now, I just rolled it the rest of the way. His shop
was closed by now, but he still responded to an email later that evening
assuring me that he would make this right, and that I was now registered
for the Genuine Roadside Service. I called them in the morning and they
picked the scooter up within 40 minutes (!) and drove it back to CSC.
Navid called an hour later to say they had missed a step in the
post-delivery prep process: the Hooligan's battery has a third cable for
recharging, which they hadn't seen on other scooters and hadn't spotted,
since it was tucked away under the compartment. I appreciated his
honesty because, of course, it's at this point I finally remember
David's review describing having exactly the same experience after about
60 miles of riding. I suppose it happened sooner with me because I had
stopped and started several times on the ride home, to admire the bike,
adjust the helmet, etc. At any rate, like David, I was left completely
impressed with Genuine/PGO, their warranty and support network and
dealers like Navid.
So, on to the scooter: as I say, it's my first, but it feels very solid.
Shocks feel great. Seat closes with a
nice firm click. Gas cap opens and closes neatly. Seat storage is
cavernous - I can easily drop in my XL helmet and a few other items. I
rather like the storage net at the bottom, where I can securely strap
down two large portable soccer goals. The mirrors are a nice distance
apart, for a full view of what's behind me. The Hooligan starts up
quickly and idles quietly. Lighting is awesome. The only thing on this
scooter I would change is, as David notes, the sizes of the tiny
speedometer and massive tachometer really need to be swapped. I guess
the tachometer is helpful, but it's an automatic, right? I'm more
concerned about my speed, which I can now barely read without taking my
eyes off the road for split seconds longer than I'm comfortable. The
dash is the
part of this bike that doesn't look quite right.
Oh, David asked for a few pix. Note: I removed the Hooligan sticker from
the sides. I had mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I really
like this scooter, and am happy to help advertise a Genuine product -
indeed, that's why I wanted to send in this review. On the other hand,
I'm not English, but I follow, play and coach soccer and don't think
means what the folks at Genuine think it means. Anyway this 45-yo father
of four just felt a little silly bearing the moniker.