I like to ring the changes in my reviews. Last month was the humongous Harley-Davidson Road King Special at 1868cc engine size, and this month, it’s the scoot- aboot-town Suzuki Avenis 124cc! I wanted to see what learner riders/commuters felt after riding big bikes myself for many years. Motech in Newcastle offered me a ride out on this six-month-old Suzuki scooter with 900 miles on it. It’s a sharp, up-to-the-minute looking scoot and one of three brothers, the Address, the Avenis and the Burgman, all at 125 cc. All the scooters are twist-and-go CVT belt transmission 4-stroke single cylinder/ Euro 5 compliant.

I tried to fit in the scooter ride amongst the latest storm deluge/monsoon/showers and thought I had a window today to take it out. On the way to Motech, the heavens opened again. Marvellous. Fortunately, I had all my waterproof gear on, including battery-operated heated gloves, so I was warm as toast and dry.

The rain was actually ‘stotting’ off the roads when I went to pick the scooter up. It’s the usual modern feet-forward design with small wheels, and I worked out how to start it up by pulling in the left-hand rear brake lever on the handlebars and pressing the start button. Off we went with a quiet whirr. No drama. I came to realise that the power delivery was smooth, unfussy and without distinct bands, which is a great help on greasy, wet roads and for perhaps first-timers. In and out of the traffic with my visor part tilted up to stop it from fogging. Parking and manoeuvring wasn’t a problem – low seat height/lightweight so you could put your feet on the ground. Up to 50 mph on the dual carriageways (I’m told it’s 60 mph flat out) on this learner-friendly A1 licence version. I used most of the 8.6 bhp on this single-cylinder SOHC air-cooled engine and had no problem with control whatsoever. It was easy to filter alongside the massive queues I encountered in rush hour, and what it lost on the dual carriageway, it made up for in the 30 mph areas and traffic jams. I would bet I got to my destination quicker than the cars!

Who is the target audience? I’ve read a few reviews and you could say that this is targeted at 17-20-year-olds/commuters, or you can hook it on the back of a motorhome. All ideal. Also, first timers because the

power delivery was so easy to get used to. A 17-year-old could ride this with a provisional licence, pay £22 per annum road tax, and I’m told by Mark at Motech who reckons that he can put this scooter on the road for less than the cost of a weekly bus pass! Its’ claimed mpg is 148.67, but in the real world, it’s 113 mpg plus and it would cost £7.50 at current prices to fill up the tank. The fuel filler cap is not underneath the seat and is outside and back of the pillion – a really good feature to stop the slopping of fuel into the dry area underneath the seat. I’m told it will take an open-face helmet or a gym bag.

There were some other excellent touches. The two all-important shopping bag hangers, one underneath the handlebars and one in the front of the seat. It’s a digital speedo display which shows the mpg. The pillion passengers’ footrests are well-made alloy flip-outs underneath the bodywork. It not only has a centre stand but also has a side stand which I thought was a really good point. On the left-hand side underneath the handlebars there is a closable cubbyhole where you could put your mobile with a USB socket to recharge, and on the right-hand side there is an open cubbyhole for ‘stuff’! I also noticed an additional kickstart, which was easier to start facing the rear and pushing down with your right foot. It is so easy to ride and move this scoot at rest and at slow speeds.

What would it be like out on the road? I splashed and squished my way through the traffic and decided to go through Whitley Bay town centre along the coast to a coffee stop in Blyth’s new South Beach retail development. It coped with everything really well and I didn’t feel that it was overawed by the traffic.

Caffé Ginevra is a new coffee shop with sister shops in the area. I looked out onto the South Beach vista with my massive flat white and cheese/sundried tomato/pepper focaccia panino. Both splendiferous. A recommended coffee shop for the discerning two-wheeler!

This scooter is extremely well made, and comes with a Suzuki three-year warranty. You get the comfort and security of a global manufacturer of quality bikes, producing this cheap scooter (cheap in price not in terms

of quality) which is on the road at £2,799. So, you get Suzuki build, reliability and kudos in your scoot aboot toon! This is a good- looking, extremely easy-to-use, very cheap two-wheeled form of transport. A world away from lifestyle/expensive bikes, but it does what it says on the tin – or the metal/plastic (even though I couldn’t find a definition of the word Avenis that I was happy with)!! Many thanks again to Mark at Motech for the use of the scooter. This is an “L” of a scooter! 

Mark Hipkin is a Partner/ Head of the Personal Injury and Civil Litigation department. He welcomes your e-mails or calls on the law (or your biking experiences) at wbay@aldersonlaw.co.uk or call 0191 2533509.

Mary was born and has lived all her life in the North East of England. Her first interest was science and she originally studied Biomedical Science at Northumbria and worked in the scientific research field and the NHS, before studying part time, again at Northumbria University, to obtain her degree in Law. Since then she has enjoyed a varied career covering many different areas of law, before specialising in Children Law, which she has done almost exclusively for the past 5 years.

Mary loves reading and history and at a weekend can often be found at one of the many historical sites the North East has to offer and has even been known to play video games when she can find the time.

Chris was originally a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives from 1997 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2001.

He has over 25 years experience in private client work comprising Wills, Trusts, Probate, Powers of Attorney and other Court of Protection Work such as Deputyship applications. Chris has been a Partner in several firms in the North East, being Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate.

He brings a wealth of experience to his role and works closely with clients, providing them with a service tailored to their needs

Susan was born and bred in the North East, spending all of her working life in Blyth. She qualified in 1981 and, after some years at Alderson Law, began to specialise in family law, covering both private and legal aid. Susan was a member of the Law Society Family Panel and an accredited Resolution specialist, specialising particularly in private children law and domestic violence.

Susan took part-retirement in December 2018 but still works as a Solicitor here at Alderson Law. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, walking, reading, and spending time with her family. She has also been a Brownie leader for over 40 years.

Originally from East Yorkshire, Jasmine moved to the North East in 2012 to study at Northumbria University undertaking the M Law Exempting (BPTC) course (the only undergraduate course in England and Wales which incorporates the Bar Professional Training Course), graduating in 2016 with a First Class Honours and a Very Competent in the Bar Professional Training Course. Prior to joining Alderson Law Jasmine specialised in RTA Fraud in a Personal Injury firm, before moving to another firm to work as a Family Law Paralegal.

In 2018 she joined our team as a Family Law Paralegal and before qualifying as a Solicitor within the Family Law Department based at our Morpeth office. Jasmine represents clients in a wide range of matters including; divorce and matrimonial finance, disputes regarding the arrangements for children as well as parents who are subject to Local Authority involvement both before and during Court proceedings.

In her spare time Jasmine likes visiting the beach, going to the gym, watching live music and looking after her pet rabbit.

Julie is a highly experienced property solicitor. She studied Law at Northumbria University and, after qualifying in 2000, went on to work at national and international firms prior to joining the team at Alderson Law in 2017. She works alongside her clients, advising on residential and commercial property development, property investment, portfolio management, property finance, landlord and tenant, easements and restrictive covenants.

Fiona is a specialist private client lawyer providing advice and assistance with wills, trusts, tax planning, probate & estate administration, lasting powers of attorney, court of protection and elderly client work. Having previously worked with a number of Newcastle-based firms listed in The Legal 500, Fiona brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. She is a full member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), the association for specialists in family inheritance and succession planning.

Fiona grew up in Northern Ireland and studied law at Durham University, and has remained in the North East ever since. She enjoys spending time with her family at their cottage in Northumberland.

Mark Hipkin, partner at Alderson Law LLP, has been advising businesses and claimants since he qualified as a solicitor in 1982.

Mark’s passion is for representing claimants on two wheels in complex, serious and catastrophic motorcycle, scooter and cycle injuries, but he also has extensive experience of acting for claimants in many other personal injury areas including occupiers and public liability work and accidents at work. He specialises in challenging and complex cases. Mark always puts the client first, looking from the first day of instruction to obtain the best and fairest outcome for a claimant, no matter how long a case may take. He is a fan of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and early neutral valuation as alternatives to litigation. Sometimes, however, litigation is the best option, together with the necessary drive to see every matter through to a fair conclusion.

Mark also, having started his own business, advises business clients, often with motorcycle-, scooter- or cycle-related businesses and also deals with complex commercial disputes, professional negligence cases, and general civil litigation.

Mark likes to spend what free time he has with his family and practising Tai Chi and Tang Soo Do (Korean Karate – in which he is a second Dan).

Having worked in family law for over 25 years, Julie is a highly accomplished specialist in her field. She has a vast body of experience in dealing with family law, from divorce and related financial issues to complex child-related cases. Julie was the first person in North Tyneside to achieve the status of an accredited advanced family law specialist, and is a member of the Law Society Advanced Family Panel, which demonstrates her experience in complex contested family cases and other subject-specific matters.

Though multi-talented and highly experienced, Julie’s particular speciality is in complex ancillary relief (financial settlement) claims and complex residence and contact disputes.

In her spare time Julie enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family and three grandchildren. She attends clients at our Whitley Bay and Blyth offices.

Tracey is one of our Partners and qualified as a solicitor in 1997. Throughout her career she has had a varied caseload undertaking matters in most areas of civil and private client law. Tracey can assist clients in a wide range of matters including: Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney, Debt Recovery, Residential and Commercial Conveyancing as well as Licensing and Landlord and Tenant matters.

Tracey is one of our most senior practitioners with over 20 years of local experience, having graduated from both Newcastle University and Northumbria University. When not in the office she enjoys walking, cycling, and cooking with her family.