In a city where most public transport commute feels like a rejected script for a Mad Max movie, personal transport is something many Dhaka urbanites dream of.
However, high import taxes means cars are only an option for the wealthy and motorcycles, while much more affordable, lack storage space and require users to learn the (initially) convoluting art of shifting through gears.
As such, the scooter ends up being the perfect compromise for many of Dhaka's denizens, who find their built-in storage space and twist-and-go automatic gearbox to be a perfect mix of practicality and serviceability. With this in mind, we bring you five scooters of different flavours, one of which might just be what you are looking for.
The affordable - Runner Skooty 110
If you are looking for a bog-standard, no-frills scooter for your daily commute, the Runner Skooty will serve you well. The feature list of the Skooty is sparse; you get a front disk brake, a front USB charger and a nifty engine cut-out hidden inside the under-seat cargo compartment.
The 104CC single cylinder four stroke air cooled engine produces 6.97BHP and 7Nm of torque, which is good enough for most city roads. Overall, if you are just looking for a transport and do not want to trouble yourself with learning the manual gearbox, the Skooty will suit you just fine.
The sensible - Honda Dio 110
While the Scooty certainly fits the description for a no-nonsense scooter, many would prefer their daily ride to have some creature comfort and built quality of a more veteran brand. The Honda Dio 110 comes with advanced features such as Combi Brake System (CBS), automatic LED headlamp with "Position Light" and a plethora of dealer optional accessories.
The fan-cooled 109.19CC engine makes 8BHP and 8.91Nm of torque, which, according to Bangladesh Honda Limited , can push the 103KG bike up to 83KMPH. There is 18 litres of storage space under the seat, which, combined with the front and rear retractable cargo hook, makes for a versatile city mule, if you are looking for one.
The classic - Vespa VXL 125
An often-unspoken fact about classic scooters is that their beauty is usually matched by the time and effort required to keep them on the road. For those who do not want to deal with all that stress, there is the Vespa VXL 125. Its design is pretty much identical to Vespas of the old, with some modern touches such as front disk brake, digital odometer and a modern, 125CC air-cooled engine making 9.52BHP and 9.9Nm of torque.
For storage, there is the usual box under the seat as well as a glove compartment at the front. If you like the nostalgia and consider yourself too much of a gentleman to ride any of the rowdier options in the list, feel free to pick up one of these brightly-colored beauties, along with a three-piece suit for your eventual Vespa Club meet.
The extreme - TVS Ntorq 125
Looking at the other side of the rainbow, the TVS Ntorq 125 is for those who are looking for the latest and greatest. Its 124.8CC three Valve CVTi Revv engine produces 9.25BHP and 10.5Nm of torque, allowing the 116KG scooter to reach a speed up to 95KMPH.
The aggressive styling is backed by the Smart Xonnect system featuring a plethora of advanced techs such as incoming call and SMS alert, navigation assist, lap timer, and many more. These, combined with the 20 litre under-seat storage, makes the scooter perfect for anyone looking for a daily that makes no compromise on any category.
The maxi - Suzuki Burgman Street 125
"Maxi" is the cruiser bike of the scooter world. These large engine scooters are comfortable and suited for long-distance riding. The Suzuki Burgman Street is on the light side when it comes to maxi-style scooters, but it is all our displacement law allows for now.
You get some maxi specific features such as a recliner footrest and lots of storage space along with some good tech such as CBS, front and back LED and a digital speedometer.
Its 124CC fan-cooled engine generates 8BHP and 8.91Nm of torque, which is quite good for its displacement. As it is, the Burgman Street is among the best options for any highway cruising scooter rider, at least until the day the cc-limit is finally removed.