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I am looking at the specifications of the 2023 Liberty models (on a CT dealer site) and see:

Piaggio Liberty 150 S Euro 5
155cc, air cooled

QJ Motor LTR 150i
149cc, liquid-cooled

So, what do I need to know, should I consider a Liberty buy?
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These are two different conversations.

1) Should I buy a chinese scooter?

See here so we don't have to relive that discussion every month: Chinese Bikes, No Thanks

2) Should I buy a liquid cooled or air cooled scooter?

This is good reading: When is it too hot for an air cooled engine

and if you really want to nerd out on it, I wrote this: https://youmotorcycle.com/liquid-cooled-vs-air-cooled-motorcycle-engines.html

and made this video talking about it:

Should answer all your questions and then some.
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If you're looking for fuel injected, liquid cooled, check out the 2023 Zuma. It's fuel injected, liquid cooled with 4 valves. A cheap Chinese scooter, is usually only cheap once.
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Hmm.. "Chinese", as Piaggio assembled in Asia?

My riding can accommodate either air or liquid, that's fine.
I am more interested in how different engines are on these models, the 149cc and the 155, beyond cooling methods. I suspect one is on the "Sport" side, in Vespa/Piaggio parlance?
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JaytheMoose wrote:
I am more interested in how different engines are on these models, the 149cc and the 155, beyond cooling methods. I suspect one is on the "Sport" side, in Vespa/Piaggio parlance?
Can you give us the link, so we know what you're actually looking at? I can't tell from your description if you're looking at two different scooters or something else entirely.
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JaytheMoose wrote:
I am looking at the specifications of the 2023 Liberty models (on a CT dealer site) and see:

Piaggio Liberty 150 S Euro 5
155cc, air cooled

QJ Motor LTR 150i
149cc, liquid-cooled

So, what do I need to know, should I consider a Liberty buy?
Not clear what you are asking. The QJ Motor LTR is not a Liberty and is not a Piaggio scooter. As adri observes, this appears to circle back to questions about considering alternative scooters designed and built in China.

http://qjmotor.ssrmotorsports.com/models/ltr150.php
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If comparing two very even single cylinder engines, I'd go for air cooled every time.

Higher oil capacity, mechanical engine driven fan (not electric).

No coolant to check periodically, no water pump to break, no coolant hoses to leak, no radiator to get damaged etc etc.

I'm not sure what the QJ motor is but the 150 euro 5 engine has basically been pretty much the same engine since maybe 2013 or 2014? I'm sure some parts have had minor adjustments over the years, but they've run this engine for a decade - its "tried and tested" and extremely reliable.
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Here is what I saw, and perhaps my misreading:

https://www.ctscooterpros.com/inventory/2023-piaggio-liberty-50-s-euro-5-vernon-ct-06066-11848776i

https://www.ctscooterpros.com/inventory/2023-qj-motor-ltr-150i-vernon-ct-06066-12049764i

Hmm.. It seems the "LTR" is not a variant of the Liberty. Never heard of "LTR" before, my mistake.
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As far as I know the Piaggio Liberty is always with an air cooled engine, 50cc, 125 or 150.
The Medley has the 125 or 150cc liquid cooled engine.
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Based on my experiences, Piaggio scooters are better quality than QJ scooters. Also not to mention the subsequent resaleability after a few years usage, and supply of spare parts.
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A liquid cooled engine of the same displacement AND QUALITY will be quicker, more reliable, likely more fuel efficient, and last longer.
Piaggio has, for better or worse, a dealer network in the US, and the US Distribution is run by Piaggio, not some guy who filled a container with scooters. QJ is owned by the Chinese government. QJ does not import, maintain, warrant or supply parts for their products in the US. The person who filled that container does. No matter what is said to you prior to buying the scooter, the first time it needs something that is not germane to all scooters of the same size and displacement, you might be looking at a big paperweight.
Kymco has great scooters in the same price range, and they are also a real company that runs US Distribution for their brand.
If there are problems with a Piaggio scooter, Piaggio has their ass on the line and will recall and repair the scooter, for years after they sold it.
If there are severe problems with the Chinese scooter, for example, brake lining material that falls off the shoes or pads(saw it before), the distributor will likely close down, and another company, probably in the same building, and oddly enough with many of the same employees, will change the phone number, put up a website and take over distribution of new models. But they won't have anything to do with the one that the previous distributor sold you.
The moral of the story- Buy your scooter from a company that can be legally held accountable if it tries to kill you.
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peterpalko wrote:
Based on my experiences, Piaggio scooters are better quality than QJ scooters. Also not to mention the subsequent resaleability after a few years usage, and supply of spare parts.
That's a great point that doesn't get brought up enough.

If you pay $1000-$2000 more at first, and a few years later when you're ready to upgrade you can sell it for $1,000-$2,000 more because you have a bike that is in high demand, then your vehicle hasn't cost you anything extra, and you've gotten to enjoy a better bike with better dealer support along the way.

Look at how many people in that thread I linked to would actually buy a new chinese bike versus how many wouldn't... Now imagine it was a five year old one with some miles on it... the pool of people you could potentially sell too has gotten even smaller...

I wouldn't set myself up to lose.
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peterpalko wrote:
Based on my experiences, Piaggio scooters are better quality than QJ scooters. Also not to mention the subsequent resaleability after a few years usage, and supply of spare parts.
New here, I see, welcome.
You state: "Based on my experiences, Piaggio scooters are better quality than QJ scooters".

What is your experience based upon?
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Motovista wrote:
A liquid cooled engine of the same displacement AND QUALITY will be … more reliable
Reliability is a tricky one, the engine is less stressed with water cooling, but you don't really hear of people burning out any engines on here - whether air cooled or liquid cooled.

But you do see hundreds of posts about coolant leaks, thermostats, water pumps etc, which are problems that are not applicable on an air cooled engine.
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the water cooled 125/150 available in a vespa gts make more power than the the 125/150 in a vespa primavera/sprint. I assume this is because piaggio is able to push the engine harder with the better cooling. yes not a liberty but interesting.
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PeterCC wrote:
You state: "Based on my experiences, Piaggio scooters are better quality than QJ scooters".

What is your experience based upon?
I don't think that's much of a stretch.
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JakeM wrote:
Reliability is a tricky one, the engine is less stressed with water cooling, but you don't really hear of people burning out any engines on here - whether air cooled or liquid cooled.

But you do see hundreds of posts about coolant leaks, thermostats, water pumps etc, which are problems that are not applicable on an air cooled engine.
You have a point.

Air cooled is simple. Maybe on lifespan liquid cooled may do better, but people that run their scooter for 100k km or more are rare, I think.

In the 50 upto 150cc range for me air cooled is fine.
In the 300 or more range I would choose for liquid cooled.
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SteelBytes wrote:
the water cooled 125/150 available in a vespa gts make more power than the the 125/150 in a vespa primavera/sprint. I assume this is because piaggio is able to push the engine harder with the better cooling. yes not a liberty but interesting.
It is the same in the comparison between a Liberty and a Medley.
The liquid cooled 125/150cc in a Medley makes more power than in the Liberty.
But do you really need that extra 2kW power in a 125/150cc scooter?

If you are convinced you need more power then you go for a 300, a Vespa GTS or a Piaggio BV.
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SteelBytes wrote:
the water cooled 125/150 available in a vespa gts make more power than the the 125/150 in a vespa primavera/sprint. I assume this is because piaggio is able to push the engine harder with the better cooling. yes not a liberty but interesting.
The air cooled ones are all 3 valve, and I think the water cooled are all 4 valve as well.

The GTS 125 has a bit more power than the Sprint 125, but more weight and so the extra engine power leads to pretty much identical performance.

But also raises the point that if you're getting extra performance, you're likely not also getting extra reliability. I imagine they'd stress test the engines for similar total mileage, and similar weather extremes.
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JakeM wrote:
The air cooled ones are all 3 valve, and I think the water cooled are all 4 valve as well.
good point. didn't think of that
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I've owned a Liberty since 2017.
Great scooter....if @58mph will do you.
Simple and well sorted drive train. Simple servicing. Bullet proof for me.
Be aware the $3000 sticker quickly becomes $4000 once dealer/Piaggio fees are added. (Robot fails to mention this)
Still, I'd buy it again......OK well I'd look for a gently used one and save on those silly fees!

O.S.
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For the average road going scooter user I doubt there is any noticeable day-to-day difference between a 150 fan-cooled or a 150 water cooled engine unless one lives in the mountains in a tropical 30-35C climate.

A petrol/gasoline engine is only about 30-35% efficient so about 70% of the heat energy produced has to be got rid of. Half of this goes out of the exhaust the other half or 35% has to be dispelled by the cooling system. The more power the engine makes the more heat it has to dispel.

I suspect there is a radiation space concern with compact engine installations like a scooter as opposes to a regular motorbike. So almost all scooters are fan-cooled as opposed to air cooled. There not being enough space for the cooling fins and insufficient air flow around said fins. There is obviously a limit to the amount of heat that can be dispelled from a compact fan-cooled scooter.

150-ish cc seems to be the modem mass produced cut off point at about 11 to 12hp or about 3Kw of waste heat. Above that water cooling is adopted.

That being said there are tuned two-stroke classic scooters running much more Hp with their original fan-cooling.
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The Kymco 150 people has 4 valves and is air cooled with 13 HP. My Honda SH 150 has 2 valves and is water cooled with 15 HP. The Yamaha Smax 150 has 4 valves and is water cooled with 14 HP. The Liberty 150 has 3 valves is air cooled and has 13 HP.
The reason my SH has the highest HP is because it was built before Euro spec changes.
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I had a Liberty 150. Great scooter all 'round. I just didn't have a good dealer that knew how to trouble shoot a problem. Everyone wanted to "throw Parts" at a random idle issue. So when it came time to replace it I just purchased a Genuine Buddy 125. My cat can service and diagnose a problem on a Buddy. Trust me, my cat knows motors!

If this is a first scooter you'll end up replacing it down the road with something bigger and faster eventually. Buy something brand name (no China off brand junk) that's easier to resell when the time comes. If you're just buying something for commuting, like I did, buy something brand name that has good local dealer support. I've owned everything from 50cc to 300cc and find a 125 does everything I ask of it.

I had a Zuma 125, prior-generation air cooled one, and it was a slow dog for a 125 but it was a tank. Just a poorly wrapped wire loom under the floor board made me get rid of it.
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PeterCC wrote:
New here, I see, welcome.
You state: "Based on my experiences, Piaggio scooters are better quality than QJ scooters".

What is your experience based upon?
There is a local Piaggio/Vespa dealer here in Charlotte as well as a Dealer that deals exclusively in Chinese made scoots. When I walked around the Vespa shop in the back was a small line of scooters being prepped for delivery as well as a few being worked on. Behind the dealer of the Chinese scoots was a mountain of junked machines waiting to be carted off for recycling. There was another pile inside the shop for taking parts off of to be reused. Which would you buy?
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jess wrote:
Can you give us the link, so we know what you're actually looking at? I can't tell from your description if you're looking at two different scooters or something else entirely.
Here you go Jess. The Liberty is a known. The QJ is new.

https://qjmotor.ssrmotorsports.com/models/ltr150.php
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breaknwind wrote:
The Kymco 150 people has 4 valves and is air cooled with 13 HP. My Honda SH 150 has 2 valves and is water cooled with 15 HP. The Yamaha Smax 150 has 4 valves and is water cooled with 14 HP. The Liberty 150 has 3 valves is air cooled and has 13 HP.
The reason my SH has the highest HP is because it was built before Euro spec changes.
Ride a stock any of the watercooled bikes you listed, and then any Piaggio of the same displacement with one stated horsepower less. You will soon realize that that one extra horsepower is from the biggest horse you've ever seen in your life. The liquid cooled bikes will walk away from an air cooled Piaggio scooter of the same displacement. And remember that Piaggio claimed the New Fly 150 got 124 or so mpg when it first came out. Horsepower and MPG estimates from Piaggio are usually extremely wishful thinking. I suspect the Kymco is probably more powerful and will perform better than the Liberty too.
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Motovista wrote:
I suspect the Kymco is probably more powerful and will perform better than the Liberty too.
+1
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Yep, the Kymco does have more disc's, more shocks, longer warranty, more valves, price is $700 more. Over the years owners have lost all but one good source in the USA for oem replacement parts. Some dealers complain of slow response from the distributor.

The Good News - we Kymco owners found that we won't need much dealer support with our well-built scooters, because the N. American distributor of Kymco has always been less impressive than are their products.

Sadly, the People 150 is....well, I find it unfinished & industrial looking - compared to the stylish Liberty.
O.S.
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OldSchooot wrote:
Sadly, the People 150 is....well, I find it unfinished & industrial looking - compared to the stylish Liberty.
O.S.
+1
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From Cleveland Moto no less.

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kz1000ST wrote:
Here you go Jess. The Liberty is a known. The QJ is new.

https://qjmotor.ssrmotorsports.com/models/ltr150.php
Looks like someone copied the Yamaha Fino and found a way to get rid of all that pesky Yamaha reliability.
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Motovista wrote:
Looks like someone copied the Yamaha Fino and found a way to get rid of all that pesky Yamaha reliability.
I would like to see the statistics that opinion is based on.
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The statistics that it's based on is why you still see old Yamaha scooters on the road, from as far back as the 80's in some cases. All these sub-par China bikes will be broken down for recycling instead. I'll get a picture of this. I pass a impound lot on my ebike and they have a bunch of China scooters lining the back lot. I didn't see one Honda, Yamaha, KYMCO, Piaggio or any other respected brand in that line up. Not saying all China scooters are junk but me, I'll stick with brand name.
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sc00ter wrote:
The statistics that it's based on is why you still see old Yamaha scooters on the road, from as far back as the 80's in some cases. All these sub-par China bikes will be broken down for recycling instead. I'll get a picture of this. I pass a impound lot on my ebike and they have a bunch of China scooters lining the back lot. I didn't see one Honda, Yamaha, KYMCO, Piaggio or any other respected brand in that line up. Not saying all China scooters are junk but me, I'll stick with brand name.
The issue here is someone calling a scooter from QJ Motors sup-par. QJ is part of a corporation, Geely, that is a huge concern. They own both Volvo and Lotus. QJ is building Harleys for China and the Asian market along with working with MV Augusta. They're not Tao Tao or any of the other small timers. Only time will tell if a major Chinese company has the legs to last.

I get you sticking with Genuine. You do some miles on a scooter.
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I remember laughing at KYMCO when they first started out. Now I know they're not Chinese but still, Ha ha! Look at the foreign scooter! I've owned a few KYMCO's and loved them. It seems, to me at least, that breaking into a market with a new, unheard of, product is harder in the age of social media awareness. If this QJ company takes off and wins many customers, loyal customers, over to their products then I'll eat my words. Until then I'll stick to my name brand/know quality scooters.
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kz1000ST wrote:
The issue here is someone calling a scooter from QJ Motors sup-par. QJ is part of a corporation, Geely, that is a huge concern. They own both Volvo and Lotus. QJ is building Harleys for China and the Asian market along with working with MV Augusta. They're not Tao Tao or any of the other small timers. Only time will tell if a major Chinese company has the legs to last.

QJ is a Chinese State owned company. This means they are owned by the Chinese Government. QJ has made parts for Yamaha. Now they make another scooter that looks like a Yamaha. They have made parts for Honda. And they made scooters that look like a Honda. They made a scooter that looked a bit like a Yamaha Vino. It looked so much like a Yamaha Vino that the body panels were interchangeable, and if they didn't crack and break when you hit a bump, you would swear you were on a Vino with a very bad suspension that was going to blow up soon and leave you stranded on the side of the road. QJ made an engine like the one in the Honda SH 150. The parts were interchangeable. Their four stroke air cooled engines are exact copies of Kymco engines. If you go through their lineup, the scooters they make look almost exactly like scooters they didn't make, often down to interchangeable body panels and engine parts.
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Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: UTC
Posts: 14558
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
 
Sergeant at Arms
@greasy125 avatar
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: UTC
Posts: 14558
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
UTC quote
kz1000ST wrote:
The issue here is someone calling a scooter from QJ Motors sup-par.
and we will all continue to do so until proven otherwise.
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Molto Verboso
Dongfang 170cc, CF Moto Fashion 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1882
Location: Hyde Park, New York
 
Molto Verboso
@kz1000st avatar
Dongfang 170cc, CF Moto Fashion 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1882
Location: Hyde Park, New York
UTC quote
Motovista wrote:
QJ is a Chinese State owned company. This means they are owned by the Chinese Government. QJ has made parts for Yamaha. Now they make another scooter that looks like a Yamaha. They have made parts for Honda. And they made scooters that look like a Honda. They made a scooter that looked a bit like a Yamaha Vino. It looked so much like a Yamaha Vino that the body panels were interchangeable, and if they didn't crack and break when you hit a bump, you would swear you were on a Vino with a very bad suspension that was going to blow up soon and leave you stranded on the side of the road. QJ made an engine like the one in the Honda SH 150. The parts were interchangeable. Their four stroke air cooled engines are exact copies of Kymco engines. If you go through their lineup, the scooters they make look almost exactly like scooters they didn't make, often down to interchangeable body panels and engine parts.
And just when did all these Chinese maladies occur. I've been doing this scooter thing for fifteen years and this is news to me.
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