Peugeot Jet Force 125 Compressor

Some of you, we're sure, regard scooters with roughly the same enthusiasm you would a major appliance. But what about a supercharged scooter, one that promised a way for streetbikes to get up to 50 percent more power and torque from a petrol-driven engine without serious penalties in terms of weight, increased bulk, throttle lag or heat concerns? Would that get your attention, Mr. I'm too cool for scooters?

That's precisely what Peugeot's Jet Force 125 Compressor has to offer, as I discovered while riding through the hills and villages of the Costa del Sol above Fuengirola on Spain's southern coastline. There the Jet Force proved it isn't so much basic transportation as a way of arriving at your destination with a smile on your face and a few scalps to your credit. That's especially true if the road's twisty, with lots of slow turns so you can power past other traffic, your passage signaled by the unmistakable whine of the compressor rising to a subdued scream at full throttle and max revs.

And all with no throttle lag, too. Where turbochargers make you wait for power, superchargers don't, as evidenced by the way the Compressor charged up steep hills. Such performance will have you convinced it's got serious torque of the kind usually delivered by a blower, only in this case a mechanical rather than exhaust-driven one, with instant response from the light-action twistgrip.

The Compressor's signature tune is like nothing else on the road, and its acceleration is frankly startling for a 125 single, with genuine oomph off the line. Most 250cc scooters will be history as well in the stoplight GPs, and even a few 400cc to 500cc motorcycles will get left behind, too, not to mention most four-wheel tackle short of the odd Ferrari or two. And the only one of those I met aboard the Peugeot spent too long gazing at the Compressor as we sat alongside at a light on the four-lane Malaga coast road to notice when it changed to green. History! Well, until he hit third gear with a wall of noise as he powered past me at 60 mph or so. Bet he was thinking about investing in one himself for those boring trips into town: street cred sans parking problems, and fun getting there and back again in Mediterranean sunshine.

Except for some manufacturers' engineering exercises, supercharging hasn't been fully explored for streetbike applications in modern times. Peugeot's Jet Force 125 Compressor shows just what's possible--and offers a glimpse at one potential, and very quick, future for motorcycling.