Vento, an international company headquartered in San Diego, California, began producing motorcycles and scooters in 1996; within ten years it had design and development teams based in China, Italy, and Australia, as well as California. While parts came from China, final assembly on many of its machines took place in Laredo, Texas. The company initially spent a lot of money building a presence in the United States, and at the height of its success, it distributed its scooters and bikes in more than 30 countries.
Vento introduced its GT5 line of scooters in 2005 and brought out the LI line in 2007; the chief upgrade was replacing the GT5’s rear drum brake with a hydraulic disc. The two Triton models, the GT5 and the LI, are entry-level 50cc step-through scooters that feature attractive styling.
Powered by air-cooled, two-stroke single-cylinder engines, both models have carburetors rather than fuel injectors, which might cut down slightly on the fuel economy. (Vento does not offer an estimated average mileage.) The LI has an SOHC valve configuration; the G5T has a reed valve setup.
Like all 50cc scooters, the Tritons are rate-limited to a top speed of 30 miles per hour, which means that riders do not need a motorcycle license to operate them. No one who rides a 50cc scooter should expect fast acceleration; these little machines have 4.9 horsepower and 6.8 lb. ft. of torque, adequate for navigating a college campus. The belt-driven continuously variable transmission puts the Tritons squarely in the easy-operating twist-and-go category. In other words, a young rider does not need to learn a complicated shifting pattern. Both models come with standard remote, keyless ignition.
Anti-lock brakes are standard for the GT5. A telescopic fork provides front suspension, and the rear suspension is a single-sided steel swing arm. Neither of these scooters comes with a steering damper, but given the low speeds they are designed for, a rider shouldn’t need it.
The digital instrumentation panel covers the basics: a fuel gauge, speedometer, and odometer are all standard. Rather surprisingly, the Tritons’ instrument panel does have a clock. Storage is fairly limited: there’s a glove box, a lockable under-seat compartment, and a rear rack. Neither scooter has any optional accessories, so you can’t easily add a top box to expand storage space.
The GT5 comes in black only with red accents, including red paint on its 12-inch wheels. The LI color options are yellow, blue, and red, with a matching color on its 12-inch front wheel and black seats and floorboards for contrast. The frame on both models is steel; the standard bodywork includes front and rear fenders, a side cover, and upper fairing to shield a rider from street debris. A center stand is also standard, and the low seat height, just over 29 inches, makes it easy for a rider to plant both feet firmly on the ground to back the machine off that stand. The one-piece vinyl seat is stepped for driver and passenger; both riders keep their feet on the floorboard.
The Vento Triton GT5 and LI are designed for short local commutes or campus use. The scooters’ light weight and short turning radius makes them easy to park and to maneuver in tight spaces.