If you’re thinking about buying a scooter, you have two choices.
Go high, and spend 3-to-6 grand on a Vespa or a Honda-quality machine. Or go low and buy a Chinese scooter that’s in the 1-to-2 thousand dollar range.
The catch, of course, is that if you go high you’re pretty sure what you’re going to get — for a price. If you go low, you’re never sure about the quality of the parts and material, let alone how road-ready the scooter is once you finally get it. In fact, scooterfocus.com has an entire article devoted to the prep work you should do to any Chinese scooter before you ever hit the road with it.
Amigo plans to change all that.
Making their showroom debut at AIMExpo in Las Vegas (to build their dealer network,) they’re an American company that currently imports Chinese scooters under the Chinese brand Znen and sells them through a network of 22 dealers. But they’re different in two ways.
First, they’ve applied for a license to put their name on their imported Chinese scooters. They should have it by next year, they say.
Second — and this is the bit that might matter to you — they claim that an Amigo scooter will be the best that China can offer. And furthermore, that scooter will be checked for mechanical soundness and road-tested before it ever goes on sale. None of the scary scenarios described in the scooterfocus.com article, in other words.
As they explained to us at AIMEXpo, if you buy from Xnen in China, you get a choice of three levels of quality for every part. Most importers go for the cheapest because they’re fixated on keeping their prices low.
But Amigo already orders scooters made exclusively with top-end parts. More than that, they work with Znen to build to their own custom specs, including custom dual-stage paint-jobs that are, again high quality. Options include a screen, 2-tone paint, white wall tires, LED lights, a trunk, powder coated rims, ABS (on some models) and a USB charger. The scoots can come with a key fob that has an alarm and remote start. The LED ring around the headlight is a touch they point to with pride.
The Amigo scooters will be priced between $1200 and $2000 and they hope to be branded and available in 2019.
Amigo are aiming for the middle ground between well-known brand names and the often-sketchy Chinese option. By building with the best materials and thoroughly vetting their machines before they go on sale, they expect to achieve high-level reliability with low-level cost.
If they can pull it off, it’ll be an impressive achievement.