For a start, the 125cc Suzuki Hayate scooter I had borrowed from Suzuki came keenly to life when I started it, the sound of the running engine was hardly noticeable.
On a quick specification check I cannot find much changes since the model I had tested back on December 2007, still the scooter feels different – I'm not sure how to call it, but road-handling has to my feeling seriously improved.
The new Suzuki Hayate 125 (or UW125SC-H as Suzuki calls it), is pleasantly quick with some snappy acceleration which is the best way of staying away from the rest of the traffic and therefore out of trouble. The suspension quality is about up-to-standard, meaning quite good. The 16-inch wheels and 1285mm wheelbase make the Suzuki Hayate 125 stable at speed, without compensating on movability – not that I sampled too much speed on this brand-new just out of the box Hayate scooter.
The Suzuki Hayate 125 was so new that the Suzuki people told me that I needed to hold-back on opening the throttle for long periods for about 400km. The 400 kilometer remark did shortly let me think of doing a round-trip Hua-Hin/Bangkok, but then the 4.7 liter fuel-tank is not something you can fill with a credit-card – most petrol-stations only accept creditcards for payments over 500 Baht. And the afternoon I had planned to give some quality “mechanical” time to one of my project bikes which are falling behind on schedule.
Something I noticed was that with these new Suzuki Hayate 125 I was able to do a feet-up U-turn in our little soi (small alley), without making it awkward or making it difficult to keep my balance. The Suzuki Hayate 125 is narrow enough to fit through all but the tightest of traffic jams, yet has good road presence.
Despite the narrow body, the Suzuki Hayate 125 leg shield provide good protection. This is useful in several ways. It keeps some of the airborne grit off your clothing, and offers some protection against the raining season which thankfully is behind us...
There's a lot of storage under the seat, more then enough for my needs. The seat is broad and comfortable for both rider and pillion and the riding position is typically for scooters – relaxed and not too restrictive.
Most modern scooters can be a bit anodyne; their styling and their operation are so much alike that I occasionally find myself looking at the badge to see what I'm riding. The Suzuki Hayate 125 is likewise afflicted but maybe it's a good thing – after all, there is nothing wrong with being like something else if that something else is the best there is
The Suzuki Hayate 125 49,500 Baht price tag seems reasonable, especially as there are no obvious signs of corners being cut with design or build quality. The Suzuki Hayate 125 lets you feel at home with the toughest traffic in the world – Bangkok – and that alone is a meaningful recommendation.