Photo by David HarringtonBy David Harrington

I recently picked up the new Cabo 150 scooter from Marty Mataya at Go Moto in Minneapolis. Marty is one of the most straight-forward dealers I know, and it’s always fun to stop by and visit his shop.

The Lance Cabo 150 is manufactured in Taiwan by SYM (San Yang Motors). The Cabo 150 is intended to be a utilitarian scooter with a sporty bias – the components and features are true to this intent. Walking around the Cabo 150 we see (fairly) knobby 12-inch tires, a large seat, wide and flat floorboard, matte finished panels and an exposed (naked) handlebar. We also see, or rather don’t see, my only complaint with this scooter. The digital instrument cluster is too dim to be easily read in direct sunlight. 

The control configuration is standard for a modern automatic scooter – the left hand controls the rear brake, turn signals, high and low beam headlight and horn. The right hand controls the throttle, front brake, engine kill switch and electric starter. To start the scooter, just turn the ignition key to the on position, grab a brake lever, and press the starter button. The Cabo 150 is carbureted, NOT fuel injected, which contributes to it’s very reasonable price point. And it started, idled and ran just fine during the review. 

The mirrors are shaped to minimize “shoulder” view and spaced far enough apart to allow even a wide load such as myself to clearly see what’s going on back there. Seems like a simple thing, but you’d be surprised how many scooters have really lame mirrors. Lighting is pretty conventional – and, yes, the front lights look cool, but nighttime visibility was average. Nothing outstanding, nothing bad, and utilitarian in keeping with the theme of the Cabo. There are two luggage hooks on the Cabo, one on the inside leg shield panel and one just below the seat. Considering the large, flat floorboard, these could come in handy for hauling stuff between one’s feet. 

The storage space under the seat is decent, swallowing up my melon-head (XXL) three-quarter copter helmet with ease. The fuel filler cap is located under the seat. The Cabo comes with a rear grab rail but no rear luggage rack. 

The 31-inch seat height may seem a touch tall for shorter riders at a standstill, but once you are rolling the ergonomic relationships between the seat, floorboard and controls are just right. I found the seat to be very comfortable. I didn’t feel trapped in a single position as I do on so many scooters, and test riders from 5’ 5” to 6’ 3” have said the same thing. 

I mounted up a GPS, topped off the fuel tank (to start the fuel economy tests) and got on the road. As is typical with scooters, the Lance Cabo 150 speedometer reads optimistically, by 12% – 13%. At an indicated 35 mph, the actual speed was 31 mph. At an indicated 60 mph, the actual speed was 52 mph. The odometer also tested optimistic with 10.0 miles on the odometer being 8.8 miles recorded on the GPS. 

No question of breaking the law during my top speed tests, the Cabo 150 managed 58 mph GPS verified. A touch disappointing for a 150cc scooter. During the testing period I saw 80 mpg in fuel economy. 

Acceleration is zippy off the line and up to about 45 mph. The front disc and rear drum combination functioned just fine and was easy to modulate, but didn’t seem quite as responsive to input as I’d like. The 12-inch tires have a fairly aggressive tread pattern and offered more than adequate traction on the street … and off it.

OK, I didn’t exactly “off-road” the Cabo, but I did find it to have enough suspension and rubber to seek out a little unpaved surface and have a go. No problems. I suspect that the Cabo 150 would be a bunch of fun as a “cabin” scooter – fast enough to go into town, tough enough to ride the gravel side roads. The suspension is firm and the handling solid. Even with my weight, I didn’t bottom out on paved roadways.   

I like the Lance Cabo 150 scooter. It has excellent ergonomics, good suspension and storage, and adequate speed and braking. I suspect it will prove over time to be reliable and have a low cost of ownership. With a MSRP of $2,299, it represents a terrific value in its class.

Twin Cities scooterist David Harrington operates JustGottaScoot.com

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