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Author Topic: Scooters  (Read 2069 times)

Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Scooters
« on: September 05, 2009, 11:32:06 AM »
I donít quite understand scooters. Iím not putting anyone down who rides one, and they are becoming more popular now, but while interested I canít justify owning one and I am honestly looking for some insight.
   It seems to me there are 2 catagories: the sub 50cc and the over 50c. In North Carolina, with a sub 50cc scooter you donít need insurance, plates, inspection, license or pay a personal property tax on them. Plates are $28, inspection is $14, personal property tax varies, but lets use $50 for a number, and lets use $200 for insurance. So you save almost $300/yr.  Thatís cool, but I donít live in a city. Itís 12 miles to wal mart, 10 miles to the grocery store. In NC, sub 50cc scooters are limited to 30 mph on a level road. Here in the mountains you can get a skateboard doing more than that going down hill, and puttering along at 20 mph going up the hill with a line of cars behind you doesnít appeal to me.
   Twist and go transmissions (I donít mind shifting), small tires. I always wear a helmet, leather jacket, boots, and Iíd feel like a circus bear on a tricycle.
   You get over 50cc, and you lose the advantage of the fees, and itís the same expense as a motorcycle. One advantage of a scooter is you hop on and go. With the Ural and Enfield, itís more of a project: check the air, check the oil, is it still leaking, I better tighten the chain etc.. But a good jap motorcycle is hop on and go. The wheels are larger, and the durability of the motor has to be head and shoulders above some of the smaller scooter motors.
   The scooters, even the 125cc ones, are not cheap. The prices of the small scooters approach the prices of motorcycles in many instances. I see glowing reports of 80 mpg. I get 65 with the Enfield. I heard of people with Yamaha dual purpose bikes (TW200 and XT 225) approaching 100 mpg.
   I canít see a scooter holding up like a Yamaha XT 225. Storeage on a scooter? Just add a top case to the Yamaha. Park anywhere? Thatís great if you are in a city environment. Fun? Bikes are fun too. So, what am I missing here?
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1971 Triumph Bonneville

UncleErnie

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2009, 12:11:44 PM »
Got pictures of you chain-drive Ural? 
It strikes me that if you're adjusting chains everytime you go for a ride, your bike must be ready for hillclimbs by now.   As far as checking air;  If you keep a small step ladder or stool nearby, you can push on it to get back up after leaning over that far.  Works for me.

Well, Chinese scooters have problems- like no replacent parts for wear items like chains.
BUT- if you're dirt poor -like a student where every penny counts- they're handy.
Drug dealers around here use them for deliveries a lot.  I figure the more scooters on the road, the fewer dirt bikes get stolen.
It's the only way convicted drunks can get around.
16 year olds aren't in as big of a hurry as you are.  (Also not as crabby in the morning)
Run what ya brung

Rick Sperko

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2009, 12:22:01 PM »
I picked up my new 150cc scooter for $800 shipped, nowhere near what my used Bullet cost. It has a giant milk crate on the back and is an ugly work horse compared to my pretty Enfield. A milk crate on the Enfield could do the same job, but would be so wrong on my bike.

That being said, I do not completely disagree, I recently rode the scooter for the first time in a while, and it did not feel as comfortable, or as stable on 10" wheels. While I go over my Indian made bike with a fine tooth comb it is much more difficult on something covered I plastic. I think the cheap chinese scooter gy6 engines are easy to work on and well documented, but they are hard to get to. Finally, obviously, I believe the Enfield quality is better than a 800 sunl.

In the last year I have put 10X the miles on the Bullet over the scooter.

-Rick
Rick in Milwaukee, WI

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Leonard

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2009, 12:26:33 PM »
ISo, what am I missing here?


  I ride with several scooter guys and most of them have motorcycles also.  I'm talking big scoots, 450cc up.  They like to take the scoots when the weather is bad, they stay dry and clean up is a snap.
  They are also great when you get too old and decrepit to throw a leg over a motorcycle, you just step in and go.  One guy has a Piaggio MP3, now that is a unique ride.  He doesn't have to put his feet down when he stops.
A friend rode his 500cc scoot to Minnesota to the REunion with me the last two years and it drew as much attention as my Bullet.  
  But....they ain't cheap.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 12:31:38 PM by Leonard »
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2009, 12:53:32 PM »
  I had one of the Chinese import scooters last year.  Around town a blast to drive, 95 MPG easy.  Would haul 3 bags of groceries easily.  Since it was a Honda knock off 50cc parts were cheap from a parts house out of Texas.  A monkey could fix it, once you got everything tightened up.  Paid like $600 for mine new delivered to the door step.

  Wouldn't put it up against een a 70cc honda step through but for the price, not bad.  Insurance was $50 a year, registration and title set me back about $120, and our bikes/scooters are a 2 year tag.  If I were w/o a sled I'd get a bigger (125cc) scooter in a heartbeat, you can get them used here for $500-700. 

  Of course they have no soul, it was cheaply produced mass transit to be used in the city.  Kept within it's parameters better than walking.  Will.Will.
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ace.cafe

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2009, 01:17:40 PM »
There's a certain sub-culture that exists in the scooter world.
It's almost like "geek-chic".
I do think that it's primarily a city thing, where the scooters are a handy little runabout, and the people have their clubs and user groups, just like the motorcyclists do.

I confess that I do think that some scooters are pretty cool, and I find a certain appeal to an old Vespa or Lambretta, and some of them have big enough engines to do 55mph, and work as a commuter.

And there is some heritage to "scooter gangs" like the "Mods" from the 1960s, and there's even one pictured on the Who "Quadrophenia" album. All dressed-up with a ton of chrome crap all over it, just like the old "Mod" scooters.

For the money that a good Vespa or Lambretta would cost, I'd rather own a bike like I have.
But, I can see the certain attraction to it, and if I wanted to wear horn-rim glasses, paisley shirts, and chinos, with a bluetooth helmet to talk to my other geek friends on my I-phone, then it might be cool. Especially in someplace like Rome or Paris.

And, you know, that cute little tear-drop trailer that CMW sells is a copy of the old PAV-40 trailer that is VERY popular with the scooter crowd. That style of  trailer, painted-up in matching colors with an old Lambretta(sexiest scooter around), is a real hot ticket with the scooter crowd. The scooterista like to pull little trailers like that. Very popular and chic to have a scooter with matching trailer.

I read some scooter blogs from time to time, and its an interesting look into another 2-wheel culture. And they are big on modifications and doing all kinds of engine improvements and cosmetic personalizations to their scooters too.
They are not really unlike us.  They do similar things.
They just have a different kind of view on what the "coolest" things are, and that's not bad. Just different.

Now, as far as the "mega-scooters" are concerned, such as the Suzuki Burgman 650, I do think that is a potential direction that commuter bikes will be more like in the future. They are quite at home on the highway, and can easily do interstate highway speeds, and they have comfy "sit-in" riding position that is aerodynamic and protects more from the outside elements, and are easy to ride.
The "feet-forward" riding position has been trying to break-thru for a long time, and alot of innovative designers have been trying to promote the idea. It has alot of good points going for it, but it's not traditional, so there has been resistance in the market. I think the Suzuki Burgman and others like it, are just now beginning to break that  resistance down, and they are becoming more popular.
I think that is a format that we'll be seeing alot of in the future as the commuter bike style of choice.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 01:33:47 PM by ace.cafe »
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Rick Sperko

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2009, 01:27:35 PM »
...with a bluetooth helmet to talk to my other geek friends on my I-phone...

Hey, hey, no need for name calling ;) I haven't bought the bluetooth module yet but...
Rick in Milwaukee, WI

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dogbone

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2009, 01:46:39 PM »
I had a Vespa in the late 60's, what a dangerous vehicle. The tires were so tiny,that an Ohio pothole would almost bury the tire. Ring ding ding ding. BUT, It was a chick magnet, I used the brakes a lot !!!!!
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ace.cafe

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2009, 02:06:53 PM »
Here's Dan Gurney's "Alligator", which was one of the early "feet-forward" designs to hit production, as a combination of a scooter and motorcycle.
It had a Honda 670cc single-cylinder engine and was pretty revolutionary at the time.
It did 152 mph top speed.
Only 36 were made.




Now, Gurney has revived the concept, trying to make it more agressively styled, and stuffing a 2000cc S&S V-Twin engine into it.
It's called the "Instigator" and 50 will be made.
Home of the ACE Fireball 535 Bullet,  Ace GP Hi-Lift Roller Rocker Head . Pistons, cams, etc. Highest performance Bullet engine mods available .  AVL mods. Redditch 700/750 Twin mods. UCE kit soon.

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Vince

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2009, 04:50:24 PM »
     You guys are over thinking this. I sell scooters. The people that buy scooters are not regular motorcyclists. It is a different market with very little cross over. I get to meet a wide variety of riders. The discourse here now has been repeated with only minor variations since there was more than one kind of bike. Sport bikers say the same things about cruisers. Cruisers don't understand dirt bikers. Almost none of them understand Enfield riders.
     The two wheel community is splintered. When I first started riding the Harley and British guys would wave to each other in passing, but they would not acknowledge a Japanese bike rider. Before the Japanese came, the Brits and Harleys would ignore each other.
     Many attempts were made to bridge the various market segments. The Alligator that Ace shows was one of many such attempts. Unfortunately most people stay in their comfort zones. Sometimes a new niche, such as Super Motard, is created with some success.

Cabo Cruz

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2009, 07:36:03 PM »
Here you go, Br. Blue...

http://www.sym-usa.com/line%20up/symba/line_up_symba.html

P.S.  It's the reincarnation of the HONDA Cub with a 101cc motor and it goes faster (about 70mph) than you'd wanna go on a 200 lb. two-wheeler with skinny tires.
Long live the Bullets and those who ride them!

Keep the shiny side up, the boots on the pegs and best REgards,

Papa Juan

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BIKE:   2004 Royal Enfield Sixty-5
NAME: Perla

Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2009, 12:51:07 AM »
Got pictures of you chain-drive Ural? 
It strikes me that if you're adjusting chains everytime you go for a ride, your bike must be ready for hillclimbs by now.   As far as checking air;  If you keep a small step ladder or stool nearby, you can push on it to get back up after leaning over that far.  Works for me.

Well, Chinese scooters have problems- like no replacent parts for wear items like chains.
BUT- if you're dirt poor -like a student where every penny counts- they're handy.
Drug dealers around here use them for deliveries a lot.  I figure the more scooters on the road, the fewer dirt bikes get stolen.
It's the only way convicted drunks can get around.
16 year olds aren't in as big of a hurry as you are.  (Also not as crabby in the morning)



Waking up with 16 year olds is what got you in trouble before. I hope your parole officer doesn't see this. ::)
REA #25
2008 Royal Enfield Deluxe (Blue)
2006 Ural Patrol
1978 BMW R 100s--SOLD--
1977 HD XLCR
1971 Triumph Bonneville

Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2009, 12:54:01 AM »
Here you go, Br. Blue...

http://www.sym-usa.com/line%20up/symba/line_up_symba.html

P.S.  It's the reincarnation of the HONDA Cub with a 101cc motor and it goes faster (about 70mph) than you'd wanna go on a 200 lb. two-wheeler with skinny tires.




Drums on both ends, top speed 56, 2500$. A low mileage 200cc bike can be had for that.
REA #25
2008 Royal Enfield Deluxe (Blue)
2006 Ural Patrol
1978 BMW R 100s--SOLD--
1977 HD XLCR
1971 Triumph Bonneville

Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2009, 12:56:56 AM »
Actually Vince, there seems to be quite a crossover. i could understand someone starting out on scooters and moving up to motorcycles, but it looks like there is a large movement the other way. That's what I have difficulty understanding.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=36
REA #25
2008 Royal Enfield Deluxe (Blue)
2006 Ural Patrol
1978 BMW R 100s--SOLD--
1977 HD XLCR
1971 Triumph Bonneville

Mr_Gently

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Re: Scooters
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2009, 01:20:33 AM »
I own 5 scooters and 2 motorcycles. As a rider who comes to the Royal Enfield world from the world of scooters, I think i can give you a valuable perspective on this.

People who buy 50cc scooters are generally folks who are more than likely complete newbies and are not quite sure if they are going to like riding, OR they are using the bikes for getting around campgrounds or college campuses or in congested urban settings where faster speeds are not even a possibility. Often these folks bought their bikes in a panic over gas prices within the last few years.

 The folks that get sucked in to our world usually are ready for something bigger within a couple of weeks. I never went that route, never wanting to be limited to the slower speeds and limited rang of such a small engine. My first scoot was a Bajaj Chetak 150, built in India that now has over 11,000 virtually trouble free miles. Flogged like a rented mule and ridden all over the state.

The next group of people are the hard-core classic scooter aficionados.These folks like to wrench on their bikes and make them go faster, or they like to find hulks in barns and restore them to new.  Most of the people here would get along with these people quite well, as they have the similar attitudes about bikes and riding as we Bulleteers.  A lot of the hard-core classic scooter people are also into old Brit bikes, old BMWs, Italian lightweights and cafe racers.  These folks love to work on bikes as much as they like riding them.  . They are some of the most fun people you will ever meet. They are very much like Bulleteers.  They are used to being disrespected by guys who think they should "get a real bike".  Many of these folks ride their old Vespas and Lambrettas everywhere, forgoing cages in all but the most hostile weather.

I don't know much about maxi-scoots, as they call the bigger displacement scooters like the Suzuki Burgman, etc.   These folks mostly seem to be older folks who want to ride but don't want to be bothered with shifting.  Some of these bikes are very very fast and handle really well, so I think they've got a pretty good option available to them. Last summer I rode a big Kymco people 250S across 3 counties (delivering it to someone who had just bought it).   That thing cruised effortlessly at 75 and felt like I was riding on a cloud.

There is a coast-to-coast scooter race every two years called the "Cannonball Run" in which riders on scooters dash across the continent in less than 10 days for little more than bragging rights.  In 2004 J.D. Merrywether rode a Bajaj Legend stock, unmodified to a second place victory by riding from Virginia Beach to LA. Merrywether was actually hit by a car in Memphis and broke his wrist, but continued the race.  His bike suffered no mechanical breakdowns on the3,750 mile trip!