I was riding my Kymco Agility 125 yesterday on my way to the health club. The weather was cool and overcast, fairly typical for early November...
As I was cruising down the road, a big smile spread across my face. This happens a lot. Riding a scooter makes me happy. It really does. I probably look like a crazy man to those driving in the other direction, but I smile nevertheless...
Feeling on top of the world, an interesting thought crossed my mind. I started comparing the joy I was experiencing with the pleasure one has driving a high end sports car.
I thought about how my bike stacks up to the beautiful Mercedes SL500.
At first glance, one might think, "How can you compare these two? They are apples and oranges..."
One is a two wheeled scooter made in Taiwan, the other a high end German automobile.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized how the two had more in common then most would guess...
So I broke my comparison into 7 categories: Power, Handling, Fun, Function, Price, Costs to maintain, and finally Wow Factor/Looks...
Kymco Agility 125 vs. Mercedes SL 500
The Kymco Agility 125 is powered by a 125 cc engine, which generates 9.3 horsepower.
The Mercedes SL500 has a V8, which generates 429 horsepower.
Big win for the Mercedes.
The Kymco is a 2 wheeled bike weighing 232 pounds. It darts around town with ease.
The Mercedes is a beast weighing just under 2 tons (3950 pounds). With its surprisingly soft suspension, the car handles more like a luxury car than a sports car. If you are not careful, you can find yourself in a ditch if you make many aggressive manuevers.
Kymco wins for handling.
Both are lots of fun. Driving with the wind in your hair (OK, I am bald) is a pleasure owners of both can enjoy.
However, I smile like a crazed fool when riding my scooter. I have never had the same feelings when driving anything with four wheels.
Advantage again goes to the Kymco, probably coming as a surprise to many..
Both the scooter and the car are two seaters. Neither is suitable for driving with small children or car seats.
Both also have limited storage. The scooter has a trunk under the seat, while the Mercedes has a small trunk in the rear.
Riding a scooter, the driver is vulnerable to the elements.
The Mercedes, however, comes with both a soft top and a removable hard top. This makes it good for rainy or cold days. It also has air conditioning for driving in the summer heat.
Finally, the Mercedes has fantastic traction control, making it drivable through the winter. I would not drive my scooter in the snow.
The advantage here goes to the car.
The MSRP on the Agility is $1,899.
The Mercedes retails for $105,500.
Cost to operate/maintain
Maintaing a scooter is cheap and easy. I filled up the tank today, and it cost me $3.88.
Basic maintenance like oil changes and headlight replacement can be done quite easily on the Kymco, even with little or no mechanical expertise.
The Mercedes, however, is a different animal, and the costs are exponentially higher. I would never consider doing any work on the Mercedes. Many complex parts and technology. Any repairs should be left to professionals.
Finally, the cost of a new set of tires on the SL 500 is about the price of a new scooter.
A big win for the Agility 125.
This is a close category.
They both look great in red, and both draw plenty of attention.
One can certainly argue that the car is better looking, but I downgrade the Mercedes slightly for the "What is this guy trying to prove?" look you receive when you are driving a car that costs as much as a small home.
I rate this category a draw.
Bottom line, both of these vehicles are fun to drive, and both get a lot of looks. I have owned both, and honestly, I enjoy my Kymco more than I did the Mercedes.
So if you are looking for a fun, econonomical, environmentally friendly vehicle that is suprisingly functional, buy a scooter.
If you must experience German automobile engineer, I understand. I like German cars too. However, I recommend you still buy that scooter, and with the $100,000 you save, go pick yourself up an Audi A6.
They look great in red too, have a big trunk, and will still leave you with $50,000 to play with.