Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments


Fri, June 4th, 2010

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2009 CPI GTR 180
The 169cc displacement of the liquid-cooled four stroke single was slightly odd: not quite as big as a 200 or 250 scooter, and between than the usual 125 and 185 cc classes of motorcycles. CPI's own literature sometimes called it a 160, sometimes a 180, and sometimes a 200. It was probably designed to be just a smidgen bigger than the Vespa 150 (not that corresponding displacement guarantees equivalent power output). Despite motorcycle looks, the GTR was really a scooter, with the usual CVT. With less than 300 lbs to push around (plus rider wieght, of course), the GTR was just a little too weak to make freeway riding practical.
With its stiff frame and large-diameter wheels with decent tires, the GTR promised to be a cut above most other scooters, but was let down by a lousy rear damper, lots of unsprung weight out back, and a lousy brakes.
I really liked the GTR's half-scooter/half-sportbike style.
Despite making bikes with nice fit and finish, CPI went belly-up this year. That should tell you something.
If the GTR 180 had been imported to the U.S. in significant numbers before CPI went under, and parts were available, it could have been cheap, fun, city transportation. The rear brake lever on the left handlebar makes it difficult to adapt to from a motorcycle.
It's funky, and attractive for lots of subjective reasons, but there is not really any rational reason to want one.
I would have really liked to see the GTR 180 succeed. I am not surprised it didn't, however.