Day by Day cartoon

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Vento Phantom R4i scooters are 125cc!

Not 150cc as advertised. (Here's the post I promised a week ago...)

If you look at the this screenshot taken from the Vento website

Vento Web Page


another screenshot

you will note that the engine size is clearly marked as 150cc. But note the dimensions of the bore and stroke on that second page, 52.4 x 57.8 mm.

If you do the math to find the displacement of a cylinder, which is Pi x radius squared x the height, you quickly discover that the displacement is 124.6cc. It looks like this: 3.14 X 26.2 squared, (686.44) X 57.8 = 124,583.37 cubic millimeters and by moving the decimal 3 places to the left, you obtain 124.58 cubic centimeters. Not the advertised 150cc!

I think everyone involved with motorcycles or automobiles understands and tolerates a little rounding of the displacement numbers for the sake of simplicity or advertising effectiveness and I have no problem calling 124.6cc, 125cc. That's a reasonable rounding. But rounding up by 20% is way out of line. In fact, it is flat out lying!

When I spoke to my dealer about this subject, he assured me that Vento was actually adding a "big bore" kit to the scooters and he went so far as to call the VP of sales at the corporate office in San Diego. He assured my dealer that if the numbers on the web page added up to 125cc that the web page was wrong!

Want further proof that Vento Motorcycles is lying? Let's look at the online parts manuals for the R4i scooter and the previous model, the R3. First the , R3 parts manual, and then the R4i manual. By clicking on the tab at the bottom of each of these pages to the Cylinder Assembly and comparing the cylinder part numbers, you can see that the parts are the same! If the cylinder part number is the same, then the bore must be the same and that tells me the two engine's displacements are the same. In fact, all the parts I looked at on these two pages are exactly the same part numbers!

I have in my possesion, the owners manual for an R3 scooter, which was last year's model, that's what came with my R4i scooter when I bought it. In it, the displacement and bore & stroke figures are exactly the numbers on the Vento website for the R4i scooter. I also have been able to purchase a copy of the Vento dealer's use, Service & Maintenance Manual for the R4i scooter. It is the revision number 1, dated January 26, 2004. On page 8, under the engine specifications, it clearly shows those same familiar numbers, 52.4 X 57.8 bore & stroke and 124.6cc!

Still not convinced? Let's see what the Environmental Protection Agency has to say about the model of the engine installed in my scooter and every other R4i Phantom. Let's look at this link. (Its a slow loading text page, so be patient.)If you scroll down to the end of the document, or do a search for the model number of my engine, 153QMI, you will see that the engine the EPA certified, is certified as a 125cc engine.

The last thing remaining for me to do, to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt is to tear my engine down and measure it and document my work with photographs. That's going to be a Saturday's work in the shop and so it might not get done for a litle while. But its certainly worth the cost of a head gasket to prove that VENTO IS LYING!

So, is the web page wrong as the VP from Vento claims, or is Vento flat out lying? I've no idea how many R4i scooters they have sold this year but it must be several hundred, maybe a few thousand scooters and none of them apparently were as advertised with 150cc engines.

Why do I care so much? Because if I wanted to buy an identical scooter, a clone with a different name on it but sold as a 125cc machine, I could have saved about $600! Remember, I'm a cheap bastard! I could have bought from this dealer, QJ Powersports and paid a third less money for the same bike, if I had known that VENTO MOTORCYCLES IS LYING!

That's it. That's what I know so far. What will I do next? After documenting a teardown, I'll probably sue Vento in small claims court. It won't be too hard to get a judgement against them, I think, but I'll probably not be able to find a soluton to making them pay a settlement. If I do ever receive a settlement, I'll buy the kit from Power Sports Factory to make my scoot truly 150cc.

NOTE: If you're a lawyer and have some advise on this subject, I would love to hear it. If you are a Vento R4i owner and are as unhappy with VENTO LYING as I am, drop me a note. Maybe we can share ideas. And if you are a potential R4i buyer, I'll say this; I love my scooter. Its lots of fun, it looks great and it meets my needs perfectly. I put almost 600 miles on it in a month and hate that its time to put it away for the winter. I'm disappointed and angry that VENTO MOTORCYCLES LIED TO ME!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Nate, I'm looking everywhere for the vento r4i manual. Do you have it in pdf?


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