Bill Mac does the typical scooterboy trick of taking something that works perfectly and messing with it in a quest for more performance.
Will PM Tuning’s ‘Stage 3’ kit for the Scomadi TL200 satisfy his quest to beat the GTS300?
For anyone who remembers, I bought one of the original Scomadi 200’s in the country and ran it on a long range road test to the south of France and back. I also ran it against a Vespa GTS 300 and compared the two using GPS for accurate speedo figures. I also noted all our petrol stops mileages etc. and finally tested both scooters on a dyno to independently and accurately compare them. In two weeks I did about 1600 miles, mostly two-up and fully-loaded. One day we covered over 500 miles in the pouring rain two-up… and we survived. You can still see the report here on SLUK..
Anyway to recap, I said my Scomadi “Poppy” had the following:
- A top speed on the flat of 75mph
- Max power of 15.9hp
- Best mpg was 70mpg (whilst fully loaded 61mpg)
This meant the Scomadi was 2bhp and 1-2 mph behind the GTS 300. Since then as she has settled in and loosened up, she has gained 1mph and hits 76mph most days. Still the GTS had a slight edge. Well, almost 100cc’s of an edge.
What’s in a stage 3 kit?
Paul and the gang at PM Tuning were rumoured to be working on an exhaust design and a fuel mapping device to help the Scomadi along. Then we heard a new variator was also in the offing. The first 100 Scomadi TL200 owners were promised a new exhaust for their loyalty in supporting the model and this would come with the mapping device or Fuel Injection Module (FIM) as it is now called. The Pro-Street variator would be extra but it promised to make a real difference to the scooter. The variator would be around an extra £114.
For Joe Public with the Fuel Injection Module at £229.97, the whole package with the exhaust and variator would be just shy of £600… Would it be worth it?
Now all this tuning on a four stroke auto is not easy and can be expensive.
Aftermarket exhausts for the GTS 300 like the Akrapovic cost up to £396 and only claim 0.6bhp improvement. A friend recently bought the Remus dual-flow exhaust for his GTS and it cost £580. He says he’s happy as it sounds and looks much better and he thinks it has improved his acceleration, but admits it has done nothing for his top speed.
In layman’s terms, to increase both power and top end an exhaust alone is not enough. It often needs a new exhaust and fuel injection mapping device followed by a variator for the gearing. This was the three-part package PM Tuning put together and they call it their ‘Stage 3 tuning package’.
Naturally I wanted one for my scooter and I told the guys here at the mag I would test it for SLUK. My scoot Poppy would get a standard shop-bought kit as you can buy it, not a demo version on a special demo scoot. I’d then test it and independently dyno it.
Would it work? Would it be reliable? Will it beat the GTS? Will it affect the fuel tank range?
I went to Wildcat Scooters in Newport, where I had originally bought Poppy to get it all fitted. They had done one Scomadi stage 3 kit just before and the guy was claiming 87mph, so it sounded great. They would also fit the replacement speedo (all the new Scomadi 200s are coming with these now). The original had issues as documented in my earlier report on SLUK. On the way up to Wildcat on the M5 on the flat sections my GPS confirmed my scoots top speed was 76mph. I was ready to see what the new kit could do.
The new kit variator is quite different from the old one. It is noticeably lighter and shallower than the standard one, a very interesting design. The mapping device – the Fuel Injection Module – sticks to the side of the battery box and lights up. It flashes in operation like a fancy Xmas decoration.
The FIMcomes pre-set for the exhaust but can be adjusted to suit individual scoots. It could also be altered for future developments like the new replacement for the airbox that PM Tuning are reportedly developing…. Could this be Stage Four?
Back to the future
Anyway, Sean and Claire from Wildcat soon had my scoot in the workshop and I snapped these blurry pics as they fitted the package. Fitting only took about an hour and a half and then, as you’re supposed to, you start the scoot up and let her idle for ten minutes. In this time the Fuel Injection Module is calibrating and speaking to the ECU. The scoots rpm goes up and down during this time and the lights on the Fuel Injection Module (FIM) are constantly flashing. It all looks very impressive.
During the ten minutes as I looked at my Scomadi with its little flashing box stuck to the side of the battery box I thought how weird it looked in a way.
My Scomadi looks like a Lambretta GP of from ‘Back in Time’ and this weird kit like something ‘from the future’, then it hit me. Poppy was going ‘Back to the Future’ and this fuel injection module was its Flux capacitor. I wondered as I waited, if we hit 88mph would it generate 1.21 gigawatts and where could it take me?
After ten minutes we turned her off, then after a while, back on again to check the base settings. After chatting with Claire I opted for +1 on both modes above the base settings to run richer. I always liked to run my Lamby richer on long trips. In my head richer = safer.
Fuel Injection Module settings
In Mode 1 the lights are green which is for cruise. The base setting is two green lights on 3 and 4. You can go up and down by pressing the + or – buttons then hit the ‘mode’ button again. This selects Mode 2 for full throttle conditions, here the lights are red and base setting is the red five. Again, if you press the + or – buttons, you can go up or down.
As I said I went +1 on both. Once selected you just leave it for 15 secs and it’s locked in to the memory.
To my understanding Green (Mode 1) is like idle and low speeds and Red (Mode 2) like your main jet and top speeds. Maybe not, but that’s how I think of it.
Then after a friendly chat and a cuppa I fired Poppy up outside and headed off to the garage to fill her up and begin the test proper. I quickly noticed she sounded great, like a two stroke almost, which pleased me. I’m not so sure about my neighbours or my MOT man though, it’s quite a bit louder than standard.
The acceleration seemed very rapid, very crisp. At the garage I filled her up and noted the fuel taken and mileage on my brand new speedo; which no longer seemed to revert to KPH when I stopped and also seemed less jumpy. Then quickly I fired Poppy up and headed out of Newport and onto the M4 keeping her down to around 60mph; which was easy as the traffic was heavy. All too soon the M5 loomed and I decided I would let rip and see where the cards fell.
Whenever the traffic permitted I rode her flat-out all the way home. Each time she accelerated quickly to 65mph, to 70mph then would steadily climb to 75mph (GPS figures). It was then I noticed the new speedos were +6mph out at high speeds, so a clock speed of 75mph but only read 69mph on the GPS.
At lower speeds it was only 3mph out but at high speeds was definitely 6mph. Still, with this in mind I kept winding her up, the Scomadi would slowly climb from 75 mph GPS to 80 mph. Despite heading south into a headwind this was still a 4mph improvement over this morning.
All the way home whenever I could on the flat, I thrashed her and she hit 80mph. The temp gauge never rose above three quarters on the motorway; which was the same as before. Also unchanged was the climb in temperature around town, at lower speeds. The increased airflow on the rads at higher speeds is what the Scomadi enjoys; Stage 3 or not.
Next day I filled her up with petrol (higher octane unleaded) and played with the settings*.
I put her back to base settings -1 on both modes, but she cut out at the lights a few times. Then I went the other way to base settings +2 on each mode. Each time I took her up the motorway and back to test performance. Finally I went back to base +1 on both modes and took her up and down the motorway and dual carriageway on the A303. She was now topping out on the flat at 81mph on the GPS or 87mph on the speedo. That’s a 5mph improvement in a day on a four stroke, which is not bad at all. I’d now done over 160 miles at full whack and took her in for fuel and went home. When I added up the fuel figures I was shocked ….she was doing 71mpg, which improves on my previous best when I got 170 miles on a tank in a ‘run her dry’ test. Amazing!
Now, I’ve got to say every scoot is slightly different and somebody lighter than me (I am no longer the slim athlete I once was) could affect the figures slightly. I could realistically see some Scomadi 200s clocking 84mph on the GPS, or 90mph on the speedo, particularly with the new air-box option that is in the pipeline. For now though, my Scomadi is quicker in acceleration and top end and the mpg is great, so for the moment I’ll keep is as it is.
Its looking good that it is now at least on a par with the GTS300. Compared with some GTS exhausts it seems that almost £600 spent on this kit does produce more noticeable results, but of course the dyno will tell the full story. That’s for another episode.
Words and photos: Bill Mac
To be continued…
*We would not recommend straying too far (+/-1) from the initial settings of the FIM box without dyno testing to ensure correct fuelling.