Tomos XL 45 Review: first ride
Getting back to basics need not mean sacrificing a bit of style and fun, which is exactly what we found when itsgotwheels took the Tomos Classic XL 45 out for a ride.
Yup, it’s a moped and bristles with a 49cc single-cylinder engine. However, power is not the point of the Tomos, it’s much more about the fun of nipping through traffic and just enjoying the ride.
We had a hoot in London’s busy streets, though some of the steeper hills found us wanting a bit more oomph than the tiny motor can offer. Still, the automatic two-speed transmission makes life simple as you don’t have to think about what gear you’re in.
It would be better, perhaps, with four gears and a manual shift, as per a Vespa, or maybe a continuously variable transmission like most modern scooters use. Then again, the Tomos harks from a different age and it’s part of the ‘ped’s appeal that it does things differently.
Based closely on the original’s design from the 1950s, the XL 45 weighs in at 55kg to make it a doddle to manoeuvre and even lift up and around to point the right way in a parking space. The simple saddle offers more than enough comfort for the average commute, while the 3.5-litre fuel tank gives a range of around 80 miles.
This new Tomos has a four-stroke engine, so no faffing around with pre-mix and two-stroke oil here. Just jump on and press the electric start or give the pedals a twirls and off you go.
The handling is nimble thanks to the light weight and the ride is surprisingly supple, even over the less than silken roads of our capital city. Beyond urban limits, the Tomos is out of its depth due to a 28mph top speed and the reality is 25mph feels flat out.
However, we can forgive the Tomos a lot as it just looks so darned cute. Granted, not everyone will fall in love with the moped style, but as an antidote to modern scooters with screaming exhausts ridden by yoofs, the XL 45 is pleasingly relaxed. It’s easy to see why company boss Paul Keppler reckons a lot of people will buy a Tomos as secondary transport for motorhomes to nip out for a pint of milk.
As for year-round use in London or other cities, the Tomos has a decent level of fit and finish to put it alongside most other scooters. It’s also easy on the wallet with a list price of £1395 plus £72 registration fee and delivery of up to £100.
As a no-hassle, bags of fun and stylish way to get around town, the Tomos XL 45 may be slower than some two-wheelers, but you’ll definitely enjoy the journey on this quirky moped.
Words: Alisdair Suttie
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