Keeway Sixties 300i Road Test Review: Deceptively Fast
- by Ishan Lee
- Jul 31, 2022
- Views : 1656
Cruisin’ easy is not a biggie for this scoot. But should you spend over Rs 3 lakh for that feeling?
Trust us when we say this, the Keeway Sixties 300i is a total sleeper. Under all its vintage vibe is performance that can leave a few sporty 200cc bikes feeling a little blue. But is that enough for buyers to shell out nearly twice the money that you would spend on 200cc bikes?
As the saying goes…Looks can be deceiving!
See, In India, Vespa restarted the whole “bring back retro” theme in scooters, and it’s pretty popular. Modern-retros have this distinct double shot of “oh that’s just like what my daddy used to ride” design language, which works. People love it, heck, I'm a sucker for retro.
I like what’s happening on the Sixties 300i. Its face wears this unapologetic old-school look with that massive front grille and round orange indicators. But just above that, there’s a really good looking LED headlight. From the front, it looks grand and people tend to take notice.
From the side, it’s long and tapering and very beautiful to look at. It silhouettes an old scooter, a 60’s Cadillac and a Harley-Davidson bagger (more so from the rear). But most of all, it looks good in motion.
That’s great because, like I said, looks can be deceiving. Propelling this throwback on wheels is a 300cc engine that darts this scooter to 60kmph faster than some bikes.
Sprints like a grandad on NOS!
The Sixties 300i is surprisingly quick, thanks to its 278.2cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine. It produces 18.9PS and 22Nm, and the torque spread is consistent through the rev range with both the peak power and torque coming in under 7,000rpm.
Laze around in the city, it feels like any other scooter, but touch the throttle, and wham… torque! It makes hustling through the city a breeze. And it’s the same thing on the highway, this thing will hold an easy 90kmph for long durations pretty comfortably. I managed a speedo-indicated top speed of 130kmph. Told you it was a sleeper.
According to our V-box data, this one is up there with the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V and Honda Hornet 2.0, and both those bikes race on the track. Also, with performance like that, our current champion of performance scooters, the Yamaha Aerox, should be worried.
TVS Apache RTR 200 4V
Honda Hornet 2.0
Yamaha Aerox 155
But what impressed me the most is how refined this motor feels. I must admit, I have a certain degree of bias when it comes to products from China, especially engines. But this changes how I feel about that. It’s smooth and doesn’t feel busy. The throttle isn’t snatchy and the fueling is linear.
Moreover, despite being a big single, you’re only going fast, not shaking from vibrations. So if retro is your vibe, but shifting gears isn’t your thing, this leaves some popular classics in the dust, all while sporting as much leather on a plush throne. While on the topic…
… let’s talk practicality and everyday usability
The scooter weighs 146kg (kerb), but thanks to its all plastic body and floorboard-mounted 10-litre fuel tank, it isn’t as apparent. The weight from the engine and fuel tank hold the CG low and that helps in overall balance of the scooter too.
But there are a few areas of concern. See, while the telescopic fork is pliant, the rear is too soft. It loads up easily over mild bumps and does bottom out frequently, especially when the larger riders go for a ride on it. The ride is not jarring, with small bumps and thuds going through to the rider.
However, it can be uncomfortable for the pillion. These thuds are amplified and felt more prominently. Plus, there is a genuine fear of sliding backwards and falling due to the rearwards slope of the pillion seat. And I really wish they offered a pillion back support.
Wondering why its fuel efficiency split is so wide? Well, for starters, it did heat up a fair bit, not extreme but it was more prominent after back-to-back fast sprints and city runs. We suspect the heavy retro cladding isn’t helping the scooter breathe very well and that’s eating into range.
What could have been better…
Like I said, it’s all plastics on this scooter; and while the finish is nice, the overall quality could have been better. In fact, in just a few days of use and testing we noticed the rear plastic reflector(bottom left of the image) had melted from the heat of the exhaust. It’s the same with features.
I don’t particularly mind the basic analogue cluster with a small digital readout, it looks more period correct with a dash of modern, which is basically the theme, but I see why at its price point it could become a deal breaker for some.
If a feature-packed maxi-scooter is what you're looking for, have a look at Manaal's review of the Keeway Vieste 300; same engine, different experience.
Finally, while you get single disc brakes at either end and dual channel ABS as standard, the full potential of the brakes feel restricted. The ABS is very intrusive and kicks in early. So under heavy braking, you’re wrestling the brake levers a fair bit. Shame, because the Sixties gets Nissin brake caliper. Even the Vieste misses out on that.
What’s the takeaway?
At Rs 2.99 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, this isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s almost twice as expensive as some of those bikes we talked about. You clearly do not buy this because you need one, but because you want one. So, if you're someone who likes a healthy portion of nostalgia with afternotes of performance and are willing to shell out for a premium experience, this is a dish you'll order. But will you relish it as much as an authentic Italian pizza at a fraction of the cost?
Keeway Sixties 300i Video Review
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