Scooter Underground

Where are scooters made? Taiwanese vs. Chinese vs. Korean Scooters - Our experience to date

Taiwanese Scooters

Most of the brands of scooters we carry are from Taiwanese-based companies and most of the product is made in Taiwan. Brands such as KYMCO, SYM, TGB, PGO, and CPI are all Taiwanese nameplates.

People often lump Taiwanese scooters with Chinese and Korean scooters in the “Asian Crap” category.

At Scooter Underground, we are always on the lookout for the very best products - products that deliver the best value for the money.

Brands such as Vespa, Honda, and Yamaha, are not necessarily made where you think they are. For example, most people think of Honda and Yamaha as Japanese-made and Vespa as Italian-made. Well, it’s time to look again. When you buy a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla in Canada, it was probably made in the United States in a factory that is under Japanese supervision. The same thing happens in the world of scooters and the place where most high-quality scooters are made is Taiwan.

Companies like KYMCO and SYM got their start manufacturing scooters under license for companies like Honda and Yamaha in Taiwan.

Vespa has had long-standing relationships with the Taiwanese companies TGB and PGO – for example, TGB produces CVT transmissions for Vespa. Some scooters under the Piaggio umbrella of brands are made in Spain.

We can now say that we have seriously evaluated close to 100 scooters to arrive at our current product lines. We can also say that we firmly believe that Taiwanese produced scooters are at the top of the heap for a combination of great quality and value. The Taiwanese companies often offer the longest warranties because of the confidence they have in their product.

Our experience with product quality, parts availability, and support has been terrific for all our Taiwanese brands. Since we service almost all brands including Vespa, Honda, and Yamaha, we are in a pretty good position to comment.

For example, while we think the Honda Jazz is a great little scooter, we think the SYM Mio is even better in that same category.

Chinese Scooters

We have tried many scooters that were made in China. Now, there are many levels of quality coming out of China and we only try to look at those in the upper echelon. Even then, we still approach these with trepidation. Brands such as TNG and Keeway showed a lot of promise as did the Sachs MadAss but after we put both the scooters and the support system to the test, they did not meet our standards.

Most big brand manufacturers are moving to Chinese production – this is true with Honda, Yamaha, Vespa, KYMCO, SYM, and others. We are currently looking at the SYM Symply which is Chinese produced in SYM’s factory under Taiwanese supervision. These units show promise and are the first scooters that we are carrying in the under $2,000 CDN price point that we are willing to stand behind.

KYMCO is has some plants in China but all the units we are getting in Canada are coming from Taiwan and we are very happy about that.

The new brands produced in China by Chinese scooter companies have proven very difficult for us to deal with. We cannot get a good comfort level with the parts availability, warranty, and other crucial issues that we need to inspire customer confidence.

Even where parts were available, we experienced variances in quality, fit, and finish which proved very frustrating to our technicians.

I am sure that the good, established brand names will figure out a way to get their Chinese factories producing good scooters and parts but we are treading very lightly and taking a “show me” approach.


When you are thinking of scooters, think of Taiwanese-made products as the good stuff. Do not make the mistake of lumping Taiwan, China, and Korea into the same category – Taiwan is a cut above based on our evaluations of many, many scooters.



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