Do any of you guys ride scooters? Know a good forum? I'm thinking about getting a 50cc for my daughter and I don't know jack about them. New Hondas are 2k. Chinese scoots are $750. Then there is the used market...
(OT) scooter forum?
A few years back I bought a 49CC for the wife (MD, treats motor scooters that sized like a bicycle - no registration, license, etc...). It was fine for a while. She rode it regularly on her commute to a coaching (volleyball) gig for a season. Gig ended, kids arrived - scooter's days were effectively over.
Keep in mind - MD laws required her to remain on the shoulder if one was available. As such, people didn't look for traffic there. She got hit by a car making a right turn. She and the driver were both at fault and not at fault. A state trooper witnessed the crash, and scratched his head as he could find no violation by anyone. There are no rules to yield to traffic on the shoulders of roads, he used a signal, she missed it, turned in front of her in a non-aggressive fashion, etc... Bottom line - the head-on profile is about the same as bicycles, but speeds are much faster (it cruised easily at 50 mph, 35 was ideal for fuel mileage).
It was nice being able to both hop on and scoot somewhere at 90 miles to the gallon... However, I felt far more vulnerable riding it than I do cycling on roads without shoulders.
If two-wheeled power transportation is what you're looking for - go with the power of a motorcycle. Other's experience and mileage will vary.
I have two Honda Metropolitans. 100mpg. Gets up to 40mph. Water cooled. Around town, it can't be beat. It holds two sacks of groceries under the seat.
Where I live 40mph is plenty fast for around town. People in cars pull up to me all the time asking price, gas mileage, and how fast it goes.
Ultra reliable transportation. Honda has made a jillion of these things. Don't forget; after WWII, scooters were the main motorized transportation in Japan. Reliability was priority.
Anecdotal reports are the Chinese scooters are junk.
Bigger wheels IMHO are safer if you're riding on rougher surfaces or faster, but they cost storage space, and enough storage to hide a helmet is handy.
As you search, it's helpful to emphasize small displacement. Large displacement high performance scooters like the Suzuki Burgman are becoming popular as motorcycle alternatives, but doesn't sound like that's what your looking into.
IMO, a scooter is a motorized vehicle and should be operated as such. I see them in bike lanes all the time. I'll take the real thing anyday.
I got one like this (not nearly so nice) for $450 off Craigs list. If only I had time to work on it.....
If you do get a scooter, take a MC safety course, wear a helmet, and DON'T wear sandals or flip flops when riding.
Yo Mike, It's not a matter of the real thing or not. I used to ride a Ducati road bike. Now a Honda Metro. The only thing in common was the red paint. The scooter is almost like a bicycle. I'm not sure how to explain it. Almost a mini bike, but more refined, but not a motorcycle.
It's as basic as it gets, I guess. They are fun. I NEVER thought I would own one. Honda just made the deal too good. If they knew that fuel would be what it is today. I can sell my scooter for more than what I paid for it a year and a half ago.
BTW- You stole that Yamaha. There is so much you can do with those. I have seen several done in cafe style gear and they look so classic, but not the classic price. With that engine,it just has that look.
I picked up this 49cc Yamaha in 2009, and ride it rather than drive the Mini from April to October weather-permitting. Got a reaonable deal and the wife thought she'd ride it a lot. She has mostly stuck to her Forester, while I love it.
125-150km / 4.5L tank. Cost me damn near $5 last fill-up... premium of course. Drivers licence only, and insurance was reasonable.
Perfect for town/grocery runs where the item total/size is not going to be too large. I can get away with up to 4 bags of groceries (seat and rear carrier)... and I have managed to transport a 5 gallon water jug standing between my feet. It has prevented a few impulse purchases, as getting the item home would not have been pretty. No slurpie cup holder.
No problem running with the cars. Own your lane if you can keep near the speed limit. I won't take it on the highway, but in town it's great.
That's one bad-ass ride!
I'll take a bike over these gasoline-to-noise converters anyday. Scooters are not an improvement in my book.
Gasoline to noise? I can hardly hear my Honda when its running. An improvement over using my p/up truck just to get a few items? You bet. The bicycle, as much as I love them, is not always a practical solution for transportation. When time is a factor, the bicycle is no match for a 40mph scooter. And I'm still not having to fire up my truck. Gas savings, and less mileage on the truck..win/win IMO. I still use my truck, still ride my 100mpg scooter to get me to work, and still ride my bike.
The way I see it chinook is, I have different bikes for different tasks. Road, TT, hillclimbing, Mtn,etc. So why not have a selection of transportation to suit the needs at hand. I know motorcycle riders who use scooters to go back and forth to work. On weekends?; Out come the Harleys! Sort of like the mechanic who has many tools. Use the one that is the best suited for the task.
Here is something I have wondered about. Why not use more golf carts for just running around town. They get you from point A to B. Slower than a car, but they could work. Fuel? Negligible. Quiet.
Those ARE some good points.
The Yamaha XS650 was one of the first motos I ever wanted, and when I saw one for cheap, I snapped it up. It is a bit of a nod to the classic Brit Twins, but much more reliable and without the oil leaks. I've replaced the coils, wires, plugs, headers, fork springs / oil, and added case guards, but there is a lot more to do.
I do see a lot of these 'chopped' which is not my taste and I think a bit of a shame. There was a 'Standard' version - 1970 to 1979, I think - which was only named so retroactive to introduction of the 'Special' and I have a 4 gal 'standard' tank that will fit and with flatter bars, it will look a right proper roadster.
I'm not that much into going fast - let's be reasonable - but I do like going well. The crotch rockets of today are as unappealing to me as the flip side of the coin: the Harleys and the cruisers.
Thanks for the feedback. My interest in buying a scooter is not having to drive my daughter to all of her parent-endorsed activities. The alternative would be to upgrade her driver’s permit to a license (no license required for sub-50cc scooters here), which would cost me $50/month in auto insurance alone. It would actually probably cost me more, since I carry liability only insurance on my vehicles and would want to bump to full coverage with a routine teenage driver. Less gas + wear & tear on the cars are a bonus.
I just hope she keeps the rubber side down.
Hey I'm glad there are quiet and efficient options out there since my experience with the majority of scooters and motorcycles is that they are noisy and the exhaust is reminiscent of pre-1985 automobiles.
And I have to stand up for bike transportation because if cyclists aren't using their bikes for transportation, who is?
Quick feedback on the crap China scooters. My store used to sell them when I first started. It was the bane of our existence. A high end bike shop selling motorized vehicles that cost less than bicycle wheels we had on display... uh?
They were absolutely the lowest quality garbage around. 75% were DOA. We hired motorcycle mechanics that could do very little to make these things actually work. The costs and headaches associated surely were greater than just getting something from Honda (as most of our customers eventually did).
Many of the long-term problems stemmed from non-standard parts. Too much sh!t out there. We ended up selling off the whole remaining junklot off for $500 cash (like $7k worth of scooters). All in all the store lost about $50,000 in the scooter business.
Chinook; nothing against using bikes for transportation, but if its rainig hard, or 15deg, or a dust storm is blowin from West Texas, and I have the choice of the bike or my truck, its a no brainer. I just feel I have the best of all worlds, cause I get to choose which one for whatever I have to do. I love riding the bike to work in the morning, if I'm not going to need the truck.
As for the noise; Its hard to believe how much better they have gotten since 85. There are times in the shop I work at, where a mechanic will come up and tell me he "thinks my scooter is running". I'm cleaning up and clocking out, and nobody really knows its running other than the headlight. Its watercooled, 4 stroke, so gone is the smoke trail that you used to see on scooters. Go down and test a metropolitan. You'll be surprised. On the other hand, I get teased all the time by my fellow mechanics on the scooter. And they always park the big motorcycles next to the scooter. Its not even half as big. I just tell them that in about 15yrs, my scooter is going to grow up and become a teenage motorcycle!
what ever happened to mopeds? i wanted one bad when i had a paper route.If you are not hallucinating, you are not trying hard enough
Just traded in my Chinese-made Benelli 50cc for a Piaggio MP3 250 a week ago.
twelvecat is spot on: the Chinese made 50cc scooters are junk. They are two-stroke engines (oil burners) and are very very finicky machines. Any little thing and you're hiking back home. Take the idle jet for example...the opening is the size of a human hair. Any little bit of dirt in the fuel and the scooter shuts down.
Not to mention the wonderful Chinese fasteners that may look like steel but are actually some kind of lead alloy. They'll twist apart in your fingers.
Scooters are great fun, get terrific mileage, and are just the ticket for those quick trips when the car is too much and the bike is too sweaty. If you do buy one, go Japanese or Italian...stay away from the $750 Chinese junk."Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." - Albert Einstein
Yamaha Vino is a good quality scooter if you are looking for something for a younger person to "scoot" around on.
I had a Honda MB5 back in the day.It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
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