The elegant Yamaha Filano is a stlish way of getting around Pattaya so long as you stay in the slow lane and keep the distances short. Just don’t expect it to behave like a real motorcycle or keep up with its bigger brother the Yamaha Elegance.
Its got the same classy rounded lines of an Italian Vespa but it costs only half of what a new Vespa costs at slightly under 50,000 baht. But whereas a Vespa still l has a direct drive from its transmission to its rear tire, the Yamaha Filano uses a belt, which doesn’t sound as technologically advanced even though the Vespa direct drive was engineered in 1946. But that’s a good thing because that direct drive doesn’t leave a lot of space for the scooter’s rear tire which is limited to having a 10 inch diameter.
I have never driven a Vespa so I really can’t comment on its ride or handling. But it seems plausible to suggest that a Vespa 150 with its 11 inch front tires and 10 inch diameter tires should be even less stable than the Yamaha Filano with its 12 inch tires. I do know that the Filano with its smallish 12 inch wheels is way behind my Yamaha Elegance stability wise due to the Elegance’s much larger 16 inch diameter tires. Driving the Filano is similar to the feeling one gets while piloting a speedboat in the waves. The prowl of the speedboat sort of wanders around this way and that as its being jostled by the waves. The small diameter 12 inch wheels of the Filano are also easily taken off course as the tires encounter imperfections in the road. Smallish wheels and tires just simply go not impart the gyroscopic straight line stability that much larger diameter wheels provide. The effect is magnified by the absence of upper bracing that keeps the bike’s frame from flexing.
But so what if the Filano and similar bikes with small diameter wheels and tires doesn’t track like an arrow the way a real motorcycle or underbone does. So long as one keeps speeds down to 20 to 30 miles an hour or less, one can expect a little bobbing and weaving or what I will now call the cork in the waves effect.
The Filano is a great little device for getting around in the city so long as one is not in a hurry. There’s a lot of room under the Filano’s seat for carrying groceries and other things and there’s a hook between the driver’s legs above the floorboard for carrying bags of whatever. The little scooter’s fuel injected engine starts up immediately, and the bike seems very well put together. The drive belt should last for at least 50,000 kilometers. There’s very little on this little bike to go wrong, so maintenance should be close to non-existent. The turn indicators, horn and brakes have a nice feel to them and are well placed. But if you are wanting to keep driving at anything faster than 30 miles an hour, you would be a lot better off getting yourself a real motorcycle or a good underbone like a Honda PCX, or Yamaha Nouvo SX 125.