Monday, April 22, 2024
HomeNews & FearuresBike ReviewsUpgraded: The Big Boy Velocity Cargo 175

Upgraded: The Big Boy Velocity Cargo 175

Photo credit: ZA Bikers

Regular readers of ZA Bikers, accustomed to reviews of more, shall we say, ‘interesting’ motorcycles, might be wondering what we are doing reviewing what is called a delivery bike, a name frequently used in a derogative manner.

Delivery bikes or, rather, the riders of delivery bikes, are not other road users’ favourite things to encounter. It is true that many of the riders are poorly trained (if they have a licence at all) and the state of their bikes and their riding kit leaves a lot to be desired. In short, they are seen as a menace.

Photo credit: ZA Bikers

However, there are different ways of looking at the issue. Firstly, these same delivery riders whom we are so quick to condemn are right there working to deliver your takeaway or groceries when you are not able or simply can’t be bothered to do it yourself. Come rain or shine, while you stay dry or cool, they are out there working to make a living and make your life a little easier.

Photo credit: ZA Bikers

Secondly, and this might be a little hard to palate, but delivery bikes are the most relevant two-wheel vehicles on the road in SA right now, simply because they are selling in huge numbers, while sales of motorcycles from the mainstream manufacturers are stagnating (unless they have ‘delivery’ models in their range). Whole businesses have sprung up renting, servicing and maintaining delivery bikes, creating further jobs. So should we be so quick to be dismissive?

Photo credit: ZA Bikers

The subject of this review is a familiar sight in towns and cities across the country. Big Boy has built an enviable presence in the delivery bike market and, while a few days riding the latest Velocity Cargo 175 has not convinced me to give up the day job and join the Uber Eats or Checkers Sixty60 army, it has given me a little more insight into the qualities required from a delivery bike and, to a lesser extent, the stamina required by their riders.

Big Boy

The Velocity Cargo 175 is a new addition to the Big Boy range and has clearly been designed to withstand the rigours of rough treatment and near-24-hour operation. Big Boy has clearly taken heed of what has failed in previous generations of the model and re-designed accordingly. On the 175 we see a bunch of upgrades: an improved standard box bracket, new clocks, a wider softer seat, bigger forks and shocks, more power, a stronger swingarm and new handlebars for an improved rider position. On top of all these new updates, Big Boy also offer a few optional extras: an LED light bar and a thick crash bar.

Photo credit: ZA Bikers

Chief among the improvements is the enlarged 169cc, single-cylinder engine which, it has to be admitted, gives the bike a surprisingly decent turn of speed and acceleration, more than enough to keep up, or ahead of, traffic. Even on the highway, it is not a dangerous embarrassment. It is not a refined engine and, if the gearbox was a little recalcitrant at times, it has to be borne in mind that the bike was brand new, with a tiny mileage showing, so any baulking could be put down to that, not to mention that the performance should improve as the engine loosens up.

Photo credit: ZA Bikers

Elsewhere, the chassis and suspension have been beefed up which, in the case of the rear suspension, has rendered it much stiffer than the 150 Velocity. These bikes carry shopping and other very heavy loads, and for this, I think the new Velocity is well equipped. The beefier front suspension, by comparison, is less noticeable than the rear shocks but works as intended.

Photo credit: ZA Bikers

The brakes are drums at both ends and work acceptably well. The riding position is comfortable, the lighting bright and comprehensive and there is a special fuel gauge that never seems to move: frugality is assured, no matter how hard or fast it is ridden.

Photo credit: ZA Bikers

Of course, the big question marks are quality and reliability and, in this, it would be unfair to point to any of the thousands of examples plying their trade on the streets of Johannesburg, many of which are in the hands of uncaring and plain bad riders and have lead a hard life.

Photo credit: ZA Bikers

It would be interesting to see how well one would stand up to a year of use in the hands of a good rider, who was using it for the daily commute or just general running around while being properly maintained. I suspect that it would be possible to keep it looking smart and with both wheels pointing in the same direction.

Photo credit: ZA Bikers

In a way, it is rather unfair for the Big Boy Velocity 175 to be branded a ‘delivery bike’, with all the connotations involved because it is, in all honesty, not a bad piece of kit, especially when you factor in the purchase price of R18,499. The Big Boy commercial range is surprisingly large, evidence of the popularity of the brand in the SA commercial market.

Whether many are sold to private owners is largely irrelevant: Big Boy can obviously sell all it can import to businesses, but I would argue that anyone looking for a cheap means of transport – surely becoming more relevant day by day as fuel prices continue to rise – could do a lot worse for the money.

Photo credit: ZA Bikers

Big Boy Velocity 175 Cargo

For more information on the bike featured in this article, click on the link below…

2024

Big Boy Velocity 175 Cargo

Pricing From R18,499 (RRP)


Brand: Big Boy
Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Harry has been obsessing about motorbikes for over 45 years, riding them for 38 years and writing and talking about them for 13 years. In that time, he has ridden everything from an Aprilia to a Zundapp, from the 1920s to the 2020s. His favourites are the ones that didn’t break down and leave him stranded. While he loves the convenience of modern bikes, he likes nothing better than getting his hands dirty keeping old bikes running, just as long as it’s not by the roadside! Old enough to know better and young enough not to care, he knows you don’t stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding.
RELATED ARTICLES

STAY CONNECTED

74,000FansLike
10,500FollowersFollow