£5999 | 27bhp @ 7000rpm | 21lb-ft @ 5000rpm | Liquid-cooled four-stroke 346cc
Tested by: Carli Ann Smith Images: Joe Dick
There’s a new kid in the three-wheeler scooter play pen – the Quadro 350S. Developed in Switzerland and manufactured in Taiwan, one of the shareholders is Luciano Marabese – the Italian designer who worked on the Piaggio MP3 project. Bike and scooter importer, Clements Moto, will be distributing Quadro in the UK, and we got our hands on one of the first models in the country and took it for a spin…
Tell me about the engine
Prompt acceleration and determined grunts are produced by the 346cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled four-valve engine of the Quadro 350S. It will comfortably cruise along at motorway speeds, and give you plenty more if you want it, producing 21lb-ft @ 5000rpm and 27bhp in a smooth, non-intimidating way (unless you want to ride it like that).
There’s a 13 litre fuel tank which is filled up on the left hand side of the footboard, and opened using the ignition. Whilst riding, the fuel light on the dash came on after 110 miles, the fuel gauge lashing at me and urging me to pull over at the nearest petrol station. 15 miles later, once I got there, it was a bit of an anti-climax as it needed less than nine litres to brim it. These are the kinds of things you get used to with a bike when you live with it though, and it’s good there is so much warning, especially for those of us who don’t live in the city. I got an average of 63mpg whilst on test – and rode it both aggressively and economically.
What’s the chassis like?
The 350S uses a different front end tilting system than both the Piaggio MP3 and the Peugeot Metropolis; the Hydraulic Tilting System (HTS) is – Qaudro says – lighter than that used on the MP3. Having ridden the Metropolis, MP3 and the Yamaha Tricity, I’d say that it definitely feels different to the others, with a slight resistance noticeable in use. The easiest way to say it is that it reacts better to a bit of rough handling and commitment around the corners rather than a gentle coercion.
A digital dash tells you your fuel level, speed, time, odometer and trip A and B readings, whilst lights show the low fuel warning, full beam, hazard lights, water temperature warning, indicator and engine management. There’s water temperature and outside temperature shown on either side of the analogue rev counter too. Information is easy to see thanks to the blue backlight on the dash – however at night time I kept thinking there was an emergency vehicle behind me as it reflected in the windshield.
It looks aggressive for a 350 – much bigger and in the matt black paint scheme we tested, it looks like it means business. There’s a luggage rack with an inbuilt pillion grabrail and plenty of room to take a passenger, with their own pop-out footpegs.
The parking brake is easy to use and locks the HTS and rear wheel, negating the need to use the centre stand. It feels secure and can be used with the wheels tilted too.
There’s storage space for a full-face helmet under the seat and you could fit a small bag in there alongside. There are also two smaller storage compartments at the front – one which houses a 12V socket for charging a phone or powering heated gear. The luggage rack on the rear has been designed for the attachment of an optional rear top box.
Surprisingly, ABS isn’t featured on this machine – but stopping power is strong thanks to the disc brakes with hydraulic calipers on the front and rear. The back brake lever is linked – it operated all three discs at the same time – but there’s the choice of just front brake or using the footbrake too.
Should I buy one?
If you got your full car licence before January 19, 2013, then you can ride the Quadro S without taking a separate test – thanks to the footbrake and the front axle dimensions classing the vehicle as a ‘Large Track’ – but we would suggest that you at least take a CBT so you’re prepared for riding on the road.
It’s not just car drivers that will find the Quadro appealing though – those with an A2 licence can enjoy it too. Commuters, weekend fun riders or anyone looking for something a bit different could all find characteristics of the 350S suit them.
It’s priced at £5999, which is slightly more expensive (around £35) than its closest rival – the Piaggio Yourban 300 – but £1000 less than the Peugeot Metropolis 400i and the Piaggio MP3 500ie Sport, which is £7634.
So what’s it like to ride?
After releasing the parking brake, and feeling the hydraulics settle, it takes a little bit of getting used to, and you have to learn to trust the front end. You can feel the presence of the hydraulics, but they always do as they’re told and after a few corners your confidence builds and you’re attacking them with enthusiasm. I like that you can easily balance it as it means, with some practice, you don’t have to put your feet down at junctions or traffic lights. Handy for me as at 5ft 6in, I struggled to reach from the 780mm seat height when I was sat too far back, but a simple shimmy forward onto the front fixed this (I have this issue on all larger scooters). The seat is comfortable and the inbuilt backrest comes in handy when crunching the miles.
The roads were greasy, wet and icy when I took the Quadro out, but it further proved how much stability the machine has. It’s capable of tilting to 45 degrees – something I understandably didn’t test out to the max in these conditions – but I found myself tipping into corners as if it were a much dryer day.
Cracking open the throttle and making the most of the 27bhp was great fun. Getting through town was a breeze too – filtering on the Quadro can take some getting used to, but you can judge it by lining up the mirrors – if they can get through then so can the rest.
This is just the first machine being introduced from the Quadro range, with a four-wheeler coming to the UK in the next few months – if the 350S is anything to go by, I can’t wait to get my hands on that one…
Engine: Single cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, four-valve, 346cc engine
Power: 27bhp (19.8kW) @ 7000rpm
Torque: 21lb-ft (28.8Nm) @ 5000rpm
Dry Weight: 200kg
Seat height: 780mm
Tank size: 13 litres