Pattaya’s lightening quick Yamaha Elegance

.The  lightening quick Yamaha  Elegance  is absolutely the finest all around motorcycle for Thailand cities such as Pattaya, bar none.

my lightening quick Yamaha  Elegance
My lightening quick Yamaha Elegance is in the foreground, the new 125 c.c. Nouvo I rented to road test behind it. Two attributes combine to make the Elegance such an outstanding motorcycle., its strong for its class 135 c.c. engine and the overall design of its chassis that combine extremely quick turning with excellent (for its size and weight) straight line stability.

These are outrageous claims verging on the hyperbole, especially when one considers that the Yamaha Nouvo Elegance’s engine is only 135 c.c’s,

the bike cost less than $2000 brand new, and that the Elegance will only do 70 miles an hour on a good day.  But consider the following attributes.  Among the many general purpose motorbikes one can buy here in Pattaya, Thailand,  I can’t think of one that will out turn a Yamaha Nouvo Elegance.  Or for that matter the newer Yamaha Nouvo SX that’s replaced it.

Just take a close look at the picture above and notice how close the front part of the bike’s seat is to the Elegance’s front wheel.  Or how long the motorbike looks to the point of nearly appearing ungainly.  This design is no accident, and I should know because I used to own a Yamaha Nouvo MX.   I sold i to a friend when I got the Elegance, but first I took a measuring tape to both motorcycles.  My new bike seat compared to the old one I was about to sell,  measured 2 inches closer to the center of the front wheel.  It was also 2 inches taller.

What this means is when one compares the 115 c.c. Nouvo MX to the significantly more powerful 135 c.c. Elegance

if the driver sits forward on the seat he’s practically on top of the Elegance’s front wheel.

He’s also sitting 2 inches higher in the seat, and this gives his butt much more leverage on the bike which provides it with superior handling to the old model.  The seat forward riding position also provides incredibly quick turning.  Considering that the 16 inch wheels of the Yamaha Nouvo’s are much larger than the 12 inch wheels of the Yamaha Filano I later got my girlfriend, one would expect my Elegance to  turn much more slowly.  But, motorbike manufacturers must make compromises.  And larger diameter wheels are much more stable than smaller diameter wheels.   Which offset this disadvantage by being able to turn on a dime.

But the Yamaha Elegance and its Nouvo SX replacement offer the best of both worlds.

 The long wheel base and relatively large diameter 16 inch wheels offer good straight line stability and a decent ride

but the placement of the bike’s seat compared to the front wheel provides the same skateboard quick handling that is offered the small wheels  of Yamaha Filano or a Vespa.

This was absolute brilliance from Yamaha.  But when it comes to the Yamaha Elegance’s 135 c.c. engine, its power and efficiency enabled it to walk all over the Elegance’s predecessor, the Nouvo MX.   For one thing, the Elegance is water cooled  whereas the MX was air cooled.  In my opinion this enabled Yamaha to tune the Elegance’s larger engine to a higher specification than what air cooling might have allowed in the earlier model.  But whether this is true or not the 135 c.c. Elegance turns out 11.2 horsepower to the Nouvo MX’s 8.9 for a whopping 27 percent increase in power.   And it offered better fuel efficiency while doing it.

That 135 c.c.engine Yamaha put in its Nouvo Elegance was one helluva engine, the kind that only comes along every few years.

When Yamaha came out with its 135 c.c. Elegance most of its competitors were only offering 110 c.c. or 125 c.c. engines thus giving the Elegance a decisive edge in power.  But here one must keep in mind that the Elegance delivered all that power courtesy of a carburetor which even then was considered pretty low tech.

So when Honda introduced its excellent 125 c.c. PCX it was able to make the most of its “so called claims of superiority”.  But my Yamaha Elegance would get significantly better fuel economy than the Yamaha MX I used to own.  Even though it had 135 cc’s to the Nouvo MX’s 115 while developing 27 % more horsepower.

There must have been something very special about the Elegance’s fuel delivery system that could deliver such performance superiority.

One must also look at the fact that the Yamaha Elegance first came out in 2008. And it was still being sold in 2013 before Yamaha replaced the carburetor of the Elegance with the state of the art fuel injection of the Nouvo MX.  So whether Yamaha’s reliance on carburetors was old fashioned technology or not, the fact remains that the Yamaha 135 Nouvo Elegance was being sold for six years from 2008 through early 2014.

During the same basic time frame Honda went from a 110 c.c. engine to a fuel injected 125 in both its Air Blade and Click models. Then  it supplanted the 125 c.c. engine of the PCX to a better performing 150 power plant.  It can certainly be said that the 135 c.c. Elegance is a tried and true design that didn’t need any modifications whatsoever.  Moreover, other than timely battery and tire chances, replacing of headlight bulbs, and oil changes there’s virtually no maintenance whatsoever to a Yamaha Elegance.  My old Nouvo Elegance my ex neighbor bought from me has 70,000 kilometers on it and he hasn’t even replaced the drive belt.   Whereas another friend who bought one of the first Elegances to come out reports he hasn’t changed his belt either nor has he had anything of significance go wrong with it.

I can go on an on about the many fine attributes of the Yamaha Nouvo Elegance such as its offering kick starting.

Whiles its main competition (the Honda PCX) does not.  Or I can applaud its facility for easily carrying all kinds of things.  Such as grocery bags and even desktop computers.  Or that it has two rear shocks whereas much of its “so called competition” offers just one (eg.  The Honda Click, Scoopy, etc).  You will find out a lot more about how well the Yamaha Nouvo Elegance stacks up against the competition.  As well as its successor, the fuel injected 125 c.c. Nouvo SX in my Jack Corbett motorbike reviews.  But let’s get back to my original hyperbolic claim that the Yamaha Elegance is lightening quick and that it is the best all around motorbike for Pattaya.

In a city such as Pattaya most driving is at speeds of less than 50 kph (30 miles an hour).

The new Honda Click has an excellent 125 c.c. engine that provides it with terrific acceleration for its class.

Yet, up to 50 kph the 125 Click is not quite up to the lightening quick Yamaha Elegance Elegance’s figures.  And there is no way that  Honda Clicks are going come close to a Yamaha Elegance for good handling.

And the increased width, weight and chassis dynamics of the Honda PCX 150 puts it at a disadvantage to the svelte lightening quick Yamaha Elegance for slithering through tight city traffic.  Even though it offers excellent highway performance for this class of motorbikes.

But consider for a moment the city  driving conditions  we have in Pattaya, Thailand.  What I mean by quick is how quickly one can get from point A to point B.  It is arriving at my destination that counts.  Whether its getting to the next bar for a beer,  restaurant, or  to do a little shopping.

My Honda Civic is much faster than my motorbikes,

my Yamaha Nouvo Elegance or my Yamaha SR400.  But parking my Civic in Pattaya is problematical.  Furthermore,  my Honda Civic is going to take me more than twice as long to get to practically anywhere.  If I take .  Even a really fast motorcycle will take me longer to reach my destination.  Such as a Kawasaki 650 Ninja or a 1000 c.c. BMW.    I will still be able to get from point A to point B faster on my lightening quick Yamaha Elegance.  This is  due to its being so agile in traffic.  Not to mention its slim frame that  gets it through the smallest holes in traffic.  I can also park the Elegance much easier than I can a much larger motorcycle.

For years I’ve been trying to find something that’s better than my lightening quick Yamaha Elegance.  I  considered the old model Honda CBR 150,  the Honda CBR 250  and the Honda PCX.  I finally bought a Yamaha SR400 which  is an excellent motorbike forThailand.  But I’m still not selling my 2008 Yamaha Nouvo Elegance.  Which I still regard as the finest all rounder for this part of the world.

But sell it I did.

My lightening quick Yamaha Elegance was really all I needed and it never let me down.

Yamaha finally replaced its 125 c.c. fuel injected Nouvo SX with the Nmax.  With disk brakes on front and rear and anti lock brakes  I couldn’t pass up the 155 c.c. Nmax.
The Yamaha Nouvo Elegance

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