Vento, an international company headquartered in San Diego, California, entered the U.S. motorcycle and scooter market in 1996; it had design and development teams based in China, Italy, and Australia, as well as California. The company created the Colt, which it described as an entry-level cruiser, in 2005 and carried the model over through 2007.
The Colt, Vento’s first motorcycle, bears a strong resemblance to the company’s other 2007 cruiser, the V-Thunder. Like the V-Thunder, the Colt runs on a fuel injected, air-cooled, 249cc V-twin engine with 24.1 horsepower and 11.6 lb. ft. of torque. Vento’s idea was that a beginner should be able to get big cruiser style without being overwhelmed by a big engine that might be too much for him or her to handle. And with a dry weight of just 375 pounds, the cruiser is not so big that a beginner would feel overwhelmed by it.
The front suspension is a telescopic fork, with a twin-sided swing arm and an adjustable spring pre-loaded shock on the rear. Unfortunately, the suspension is very stiff and does not take potholes or bumps with grace; since the front fork cannot be adjusted, there’s no way to improve it. Anti-lock hydraulic disc front and rear brakes are standard. One experienced rider found that modulating them was very difficult and described them as barely adequate.
A standard heel-toe pedal works with the chain-driven, five-speed transmission; the toe part of the pedal may be too close to the front crash bar for taller riders to use it easily. The cruiser rides on 16-inch wheels, with a narrower tire in front and a wider one in back. The gas tank holds 3.4 gallons, and the estimated mileage was around 65 miles per gallon. Vento said that the bike’s top speed was 78 miles per hour, and one reviewer did get it up to that speed on the highway but commented that the bike didn’t seem happy about it. Like most cruisers, the instrument panel features the minimum: a speedometer, an odometer, and a fuel gauge. It also has a standard alarm system.
The steel-framed Colt looks great. It has lots of chrome, a big pressed-steel front fender, dual shotgun-style pipes, and a raked front end with an attractive spoke wheel. In 2007 it was available in five colors: black, orange, purple, silver and black, and titanium and black. There are no optional accessories. The seat height, 27.8 inches, is typical of the cruiser style; it’s designed to let the rider sit low and relaxed in the vinyl scoop seat. A passenger rides higher on the two-piece seat, and it comes with a fixed backrest—a feature that is generally an add-on with other cruisers.
As an entry-level machine designed to give beginners great looks, the Colt is a success. However, in terms of ease of use and reliability, the consensus is that it needs some improvement.