With its distinctive slim silhouette and large wheels, the Piaggio Medley is a premium scooter packed with great spec designed to swiftly navigate busy centre traffic.
Housing a now Euro5 compliant engine, the Medley puts out almost 15hp making it one of the most powerful in the 125cc scooter market, but does all of its impressive spec allow this big wheel scooter to keep up with the leading pack?
The Medley has many similarities to its smaller sibling, the Liberty. It is relatively slender, smart, big-wheeled, and designed to make riding a breeze whilst still providing an enjoyable experience, though it's slightly larger than the Liberty and has the addition of some nice sporty curves and a more aggressive headlight cowl. But when comparing the two, the Medley looks the more sportier and grander option.
With LED lighting throughout, the Medley looks like a smart and sophisticated machine and if go for the S version, expect to see some red accents to make it more sports-orientated.
With a large seat, LCD screen (more of this to follow), the Medley does look like a serious and smart option.
The seat height comes in at 799mm, making it bang on average so it should be fine for most riders. It has a longer seat too, with grab handles behind, and retractable foot pegs below with rubber inserts so would be more than suitable for pillion use (if licence and insurance permits).
As standard, the Medley packs some serious storage options.
Under that longer seat is loads of space, enough in fact to fit two full-face helmets (tried and tested with my HJC i70). So this really gives plenty of storage for the rider and pillion, better still it also houses a glove box in the rear of the leg shield. Simply push the key further into the ignition and voilà the leg shield pop opens to give enough storage space for a few smaller items.
So, as 125cc scooter storage goes, the Medley has plenty to offer here, and you won’t get much more in this category. Let’s not forget that you can always purchase a top box if you wished for even more storage.
Dash and controls
Sitting proudly on the instrument panel is a full LCD instrument panel, though it is far from a full colour screen, it’s large and clear with everything nice and readable, even in the bright spring sunshine! Filled with all the vital, and some not so vital figures, the LCD dash is another of the Medley’s premium features. There is a mode button under the screen and another to the switchgear’s right that lets you navigate through your options.
The LCD panel can run the Piaggio MIA system which connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and allows your typical functions such as phone calls, voice commands, and music navigation.
The Medley really packs some great stopping power for a 125cc scooter. With a 260mm brake disc at the front and 240mm brake disc at the rear, you’ll feel plenty of confidence to come to a decent halt.
To back this up further, Piaggio has used two-channel Bosch ABS as standard so, in tricky conditions especially, you can feel reassured by having a great system.
All in all, it’s a great braking system and on the road, I had every confidence in its ability to offer nice progressive braking.
At the front, the Medley has a telescopic hydraulic fork (88mm of travel) and to the rear, it has a dual shock absorber with 5-preload adjustment positions. What this equates to on the road is a nice and comfortable ride for typical urban roads.
When riding the Medley to its full potential it feels great on bends and adds to the riding experience. Hit rougher roads and you’ll feel it a bit more, but the Medley does everything it is designed to well.
One of the Medley’s key pieces of spec is that now Euro5 compliant, liquid-cooled, i-get motor which produces just under 15hp, so right on the cusp of legality for a CBT-friendly 125cc machine.
This means the Medley is one of the most powerful 125cc scooters on the market, and up there with some of the even more premium 125cc maxi-scooters.
The Medley accelerates nicely, though not lightyears away from the Liberty’s air-cooled performance up to 45mph. It is the top end beyond 45mph where the Medley really will pull away from the Liberty, but I’ll get to performance a bit later on.
So by now, you’ll understand that the Medley is a more premium 125cc scooter option, and thus is priced accordingly.
The standard 2021 Medley starts from £3,800, and for an additional £150 more you can get the slightly sportier Medley S.
How it compares
The Medley compares against rivals like the Japanese duo of the Honda SH and Yamaha NMAX, both of which are available from around £3,500 (£300 cheaper than the Medley).
Now the spec is very similar, with disc brakes, ABS, traction control, LCD displays, and a liquid-cooled motor, though of course, there are some differences along the way such as smart key.
There is one key difference in favour of the Medley though and that is the 14.7bhp claimed output, whereas its Japanese competitors are around the 12hp mark. Sadly though, I don’t have the capabilities to do a side-by-side comparison at this time to see if those extra couple of horses make any difference right now, but it is an impressive stat, nonetheless.
On the road
Sitting on the Medley for the first time you soon notice it has really nice dimensions and positioning, the seat is large and comfy, plenty of foot room (for me at least), the seating position is nice and comfortable, with handlebars and switchgear all nicely positioned. So you know once you’ve jumped on, it should offer a great and relaxed riding experience – and it really does!
The Medley builds up speed nicely and will keep up with most traffic, apart from on the faster roads where most traffic will pull away from you at around 55-60mph. The Medley continues to hold the road very well at higher speeds, and you feel confident holding it near the max of its capability. Given a decent stretch of road, it reached 70mph (5mph more than the Liberty), and I dare say given a downward slope and some momentum you might get a bit more, but that really will be pushing it!
The brakes are great, to be honest, front and back are nice, progressive, and perform just as you’d want and with the dual ABS, it really is confidence-inspiring especially when road conditions get a bit tricky. Not to forget the Medley also has traction control as standard too.
The Medley holds the road really well, and as I said earlier, is a good size 125cc scooter so whilst on the road you feel noticeable and significant, and not a small obstacle.
The large wheels really make for an enjoyable and positive riding experience, whether it be city streets or country lanes, the Medley is extremely agile, lightweight, and well prepared.
The Piaggio Medley is a premium scooter loaded with great spec that easily rivals other big hitters in the market. The combination of the 15hp liquid-cooled motor, large wheels, great brakes, TFT screen, loads of storage space amongst others, provides riders with everything they would expect and need.
With typical big-wheeled European city scooter styling, the Medley looks quite smart and reserved, however, the riding experience is actually pretty damn sporty for a 125cc scooter, and I feel offers a great riding experience that will surprise many of you out there.
To try and think of negatives is quite difficult, as personally speaking, I think it’s a great all-rounder!
The make or break it for most though will likely be the cost. Starting at £3,800, not everyone will be willing or wanting to spend such an amount on a 125cc scooter. For those that do though, the Medley is a great scooter that is fun to ride with more oomph than most in the category.
For those that want a cheaper option, well Piaggio have you catered for too, as the no-thrills Liberty shares many similarities with the Medley, but without some of the premium options, resulting in it being available for £2700. If interested, make sure to read more on my Piaggio Liberty road test review article.
Before you go, why not watch the full review on Youtube!
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