Covered Scooter Week: Velux review from Ron

Sat, Jun 25, 2005


(Ron, Gina & the Velux)

Ron. What a great guy! I had run into his Washington based blog while doing research on covered / roofed scooters. He had some pictures of this baby on his blog so I asked if he would be so kind as to write up his impressions of this mechanical marvel and here’s what he had to say:

“Steve Guzman asked my opinion of the Diamo Velux. I am not a “professional” rider, nor a motorcycle mechanic. I work for a religious book store and have no connection with any particular dealership or manufacturer. Both my wife and I own Vespa ET4′s…have been riding less than two years…completed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course…belong to three different motorcycle organizations…and ride frequently.

It is early Saturday afternoon when Carolyn and I are off to visit the local Diamo dealership. The weather is warm, but cloudy and overcast…typical Washington weather… as we arrive at Scooter Gallery Seattle, the exclusive Western Washington dealer for the Diamo line.
We chat with the owner, Alex, for a while about the dealership, scooters in general and the Diamo Velux. I tell him that we want to take a Velux for a test ride in order to write a review of the scooter. He agrees and quickly begins to assemble the state required test ride paperwork. Yes, we have our motorcycle endorsements…yes, we have proof of insurance…yes, we have our riding gear; helmets, boots, gloves, leather jackets.
The Diamo Velux is a unique vehicle because of its retractable roof and fixed windshield with wiper. In my opinion, it has a very ‘space-age’ looking appearance to it. As Carolyn says, “…like something from the Jetsons…”
Alex takes us outside to the test bike…he starts it…and briefly goes over the controls with us. We found the control set-up typical as any other scooter…with a couple exceptions. The windshield wiper On-Off switch is on the right…up close to the handgrip. The washer squirter On-Off switch is on the left…again close to the hand grip. The AM-FM-CD Player is located to the left of the speedo unit.
I notice immediately that the Velux is resting on a kickstand…similar to that of a motorcycle…it is also equipped with a center stand. Both Carolyn and I like this feature…the ease of a kickstand for quick parking and the center stand for long term parking or maintenance.
The Velux’s 150cc engine idles smoothly and quietly. As I got onto…or into…the scooter I did bump my helmet against the roof. I only did this once and figured this was due to being unfamiliar with the design. Carolyn later commented on bumping her helmet during her test ride.
I stand five foot, eight inches…Carolyn is about five six. In the short test ride I didn’t get completely comfortable…I have that ‘knees in the dash’ feeling. The seat height is 29″…I am used to 31.5″ on my Vespa. Perhaps if I were to spend more time riding the Velux, I would settle into a comfortable position. Carolyn did not experience any discomfort. I experience some trouble getting my foot in and out of the rider compartment. I kept getting hung-up on the piece of chrome trim by the floorboard on the front body cowling. I do wear a rather large boot. Carolyn does not seem to have any difficulties in this area.
I find the mirrors mounted too low for my liking…again, perhaps after some additional riding time I would become comfortable with the location. Carolyn made the comment that she was “…not really aware of the mirror location…”
The roadway where our test ride begins, in front of the dealership, is in poor condition …I am guessing from all the heavy truck traffic making deliveries to neighboring businesses. This road condition is important to note, because as scooterists, we do encounter rough roads now and then. Right off I am impressed with how smooth the ride was under these conditions. I attributed this to the Velux’s thirteen-inch tires. Our Vespas have ten-inch tires…I can only imagine the ride on an older scooter with eight-inch tires! Carolyn agrees with me about the smoothness of the ride. The Velux has disc brakes both front and rear. On a deserted dead-end street, I accelerate to above fifteen miles per hour and apply the brakes hard. I come to a smooth, complete stop in what I feel is a good, safe distance…I experience no pulling to either side. I am pleased with the stopping ability of the scooter.
I was curious, prior to the test ride, if I would notice any strangeness in handling due to the roof. I have no sensation of being top heavy at all…again I feel that the ride is extremely smooth. I make right and left turns from a dead stop and at the twenty-five mile per hour posted city speed limit. I am aware that it is a heavier machine than my Vespa, and I can feel the extra weight. Carolyn, who does not like large, heavy motorcycles, also commented that it “…feels heavier than my scooter…” and “…it seems very stable.” I wonder how it would perform if it were fully loaded with several days worth of travel gear. It has a lower load capacity than the Vespa.
I am disappointed in the low-end performance. I do not feel that the scooter had any great pickup moving away from a stop signal…I find it to be rather sluggish. To be fair…I do not have the opportunity to take it out on the faster roads. I do not go over twenty-five miles per hour, on this test ride…the inner city speed limit. It may well have good-top end performance. Carolyn also noticed that it was not as powerful as her own scooter. The sound that the engine makes on acceleration is a little bit distracting to my ear. I am used to my Vespa’s higher pitched, smooth whine…the Velux has a lower, more gravelly sound. Later, Carolyn would also comment on the engine sound.
During my ride it begins to rain…I am very pleased with this sudden change in the weather. Rather than ruining an otherwise beautiful scootering day…it allows me the opportunity to test the roof – windshield – and wiper features to the max. I stay dry! I found the wiper On – Off switch very easy to operate…within easy reach of one extended finger…even wearing heavy leather gloves. The wiper is a single speed motor…so the wiper stops wherever it happens to be when you hit the switch. I quickly master the technique of stopping it off to one side.
When we were done riding, Carolyn and I talk some more with Alex.
“Who are most of your customer…college students…middle-age yuppies…older folks looking for new toys?”
“I have not sold one Velux to anyone under twenty-five,” he responded, “mostly to professional people.”
“I know the spec sheet lists eighty to one hundred miles per gallon…is that with a professional rider on a perfect test track?”
“No, not really,” he continued, “I ride mine daily…to and from work…across the bridge…I get well over the eighty.”
“What about parts? You are the only dealership around.”
“The parts are quite readily available,” he said, “the Velux uses the same engine parts as the Kymco. And the drive belt is less that half the price of your Vespa.”
I play with the retractable roof, while we talk. Unlatch the storage lid…unlatch two clips…and it fold away. Certainly a lot less time that it takes me to get rain pants out of the saddle bag and put them on!
Alex tells us that he had just finished installing the first “hop-up” kit conversion for a customer, who was looking to do some serious freeway riding. Seven hundred dollars installed and increased the engine to thirteen horse power.
Factory information mentions future releases of a 50cc and 250cc version of the Velux

Overall, I found it to be a good scooter for someone looking for an all weather commuter vehicle…as an alternative to the automobile. It was a fun test ride of a very innovative and interesting vehicle. For myself, I think I’ll stay with my Vespa. I don’t like a windshield on my scooter…I want to be able to experience all that the open road has to offer me…including warm sun and wet rain.

For this comparison chart I used information gathered from the manufacturers’ web sites. I did not include any other scooters for comparison, simply because the Vespa ET4 is the only scooter that I own and ride.

Diamo Velux Vespa ET4
engine 150 cc 150 cc
fuel tank 2 gal 2.5 gal
m.p.g. 80-100 60 (I am getting 68+)
top speed 65 mph 60 mph (I have topped-out at 70 mph)
weight 341 / 389 lbs* 236 lbs
load 330 lbs 442 lbs
tires 13″ 10″
power 9.8 hp 11.26 hp
brakes F & R disc F disc, R drum
height 29″ 31.5″
price $3995.00 $3999.00

*The Diamo web site lists 389 lbs; the Diamo dealer spec sheet lists 341 lbs.

Ron McNerney

“and Gina…mia bella donna”

visit my travelogue at

Thanks a billion Ron for spending some of your hard-earned free time to help the world know about the Velux. I’d love to check one out myself. If you’d like to learn some more about the Velux or just want to see what Ron, Carolyn and Gina are up to, check out his Vespa Travelogue Blog.!

Oh… and see some more pictures here.

5 Responses to “Covered Scooter Week: Velux review from Ron”

  1. Steve Guzman Says:

    Hrm… This line here:

    ..I have that ‘knees in the dash’ feeling.

    Not good. I’m 6’2″ and I’m sure I’d have that grown-up trying to ride a tricycle feeling.

    Hope they come out with a 250 and that its roomier.


  2. Anonymous Says:

    A 250 cc version of the Velux is indeed in the works. However, it will share the same body as the 150 cc.

    Mike Sanders


  3. Anonymous Says:

    What about a long run experience?

    Has anyone performed a 500 miles trip?

    Has anyone reached a 10k total mileage?

    How many of these are in use so far?




  4. Anonymous Says:

    I saw a bike like these while visiting my Grandmother in California. My mom and I are very interested in a vehicle like this because we can’t always ride our bicycles everywhere. We live in Washington, but have never seen these bikes and I am having troubles finding this type of motorized bike on the website. Any help????



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