United Motors, an international company with offices in Florida, imported and rebadged Chinese and South Korean motorcycles and scooters; some were made by Jincheng and Hyosung, but not all. United Motors’ American operations went out of business in 2010, though the company continued to distribute Korean and Chinese motorcycles in South America. The 2007 Powermax, a step-through scooter made in China, was a carryover.
It has an air-cooled, 149cc, single-cylinder four-stroke engine, with an overhead valve configuration, a carburetor, a continuously variable transmission, and a belt drive. The electric starter is backed up with a kick starter, and an engine immobilizer is standard. The front suspension is a telescopic fork; the rear is a twin-sided swing arm. Antilock disc brakes are standard.
The Powermax is not a tiny scooter. It weighs 223 pounds, it’s about six feet long, and its one-piece seat, for rider and passenger, is 33 inches high. The gas tank holds 1.7 gallons. Standard storage space is fairly generous: it has a lockable underseat compartment, a glove box, and a rear rack. The instrument panel, which is rather difficult to read, includes a speedometer, odometer, and tachometer—not a particularly useful feature with an automatic transmission—as well as a fuel gauge and light indicators.
It comes in four different colors, and the styling is sporty and contemporary. Fit and finish is not polished, but for the price, one could not expect Vespa quality. Like most 150cc scooters, it’s designed for urban commuting, so it will fit into tight parking spaces. With 9.4 horsepower, it has the pep to get out of the way of traffic, but it is not intended for highway travel, though it will handle short hops.