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Old 04-21-08, 07:53 AM   #1
SonataInFSharp
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Scooters (Vespas, et al)

I have wanted a scooter for a very long time (about 10 years now, without taking action on it). Then I thought maybe it would be better to get a motorcycle. After asking various people about motorcycles, I realized that I do not want a motorcycle; it's a scooter that I want. Comparing scooters to motorcycles is like comparing apples to pizza, so I just want to talk about scooters...

Here is the thing, I realized I don't know that much about scooters. I plan to go to a scooter dealer this week, but I want the power of knowledge before I walk in there and let them steer my opinion in the direction they want to steer it.

I know there are different sizes; from tiny scooters that barely go 50 mph to big guns that go over 70 mph. At the moment, I want a tiny-medium one--something that will top out around 55 mph but that will also make it up hills without holding up traffic.

I understand that my state of Minnesota is one of the few states that require a motorcycle endorsement no matter what. I do not have an endorsement yet, but a friend of mine said getting a permit is too easy; 30 minutes of your time and a written test (just can't ride at night, etc). Endorsement will come later.

I thought that no scooters could go on the freeway, but I recently found out that it depends on the engine size and some ARE allowed on the freeway. Is this true? Sounds too scary for me.

So, I am assume there are some scooter enthusiasts on this board. What can y'all teach me before I head to the scooter dealer this week?

Again, I am looking for a small to midsize scooter, affordable (I know prices range from $1,000 to $8,000), powerful enough to make it worth it, and experiences people have had. I know some people live on their scooters for fun, for others it's necessary utility, and others don't like them at all.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-21-08, 12:17 PM   #2
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Be careful taking scooters on the freeway if they can't go at least 55. One guy driving a small one managed to cause a good traffic jam with people having to take evasive action left and right by pulling out on a major highway at 35 mph yesterday.

Other than that, scooters rock for getting around a crowded city or campus.
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Old 04-21-08, 12:31 PM   #3
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Around here anything < 125cc is prohibited on the freeway. Check your laws.

If I were buying one I'd get a Honda Super Cub. Most popular motorized vehicle of all time, they've been making them since the 50s. 49cc, 50 MPH top, 4 cycle, meets California emissions.
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Old 04-21-08, 12:34 PM   #4
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ive been a big vespa fan for ages, and i know how you feel, i ended up burying it deep inside, and upgrading my bike =(.

great on gas tho, and if you have pretty long commutes, prolly a godsend
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Old 04-21-08, 12:41 PM   #5
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I love anything with two wheels.
When I saw the Yamaha C3 I actually went out and bought one that week.
I choose the 50cc route for the fun factor (I have several motorcycles so
speed was not necessary.) What I remember is 150 cc to be legal on the highway.
I had no problems on my fathers Honda Elite 150 on the highway either.
The C3 does do about 40mph and keeps up in regular traffic pretty well.
Also has a killer trunk, no joke I put 28 tubes of caulk in there, easily
holds a 12 pack. Has a kick and electric starter. Is also fuel injected,
and gets over 100 mpg....
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Old 04-22-08, 12:12 AM   #6
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I have ridden scooters since the early 80's. I have had Lambrettas and Vespas.

If you could tell me what are you going to use it for I could help you more on what to look for. Also what do you want to spend?

MV
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Old 04-22-08, 12:23 AM   #7
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oops!
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Old 04-22-08, 03:09 AM   #8
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Use to ride a red Lambretta. I love scooters.
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Old 04-22-08, 03:16 AM   #9
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I hada Stella 150 and it was a great bike ! I really miss it.
On your budget, Id shoot right for a Vespa 200. Can keep
up with hi-way traffic easily and is very well built. You could
prolly count on about 75mpg, too. If youve never ridden one
before it might not be too much of a problem, but if you are
coming from motorcycle you will find scooters to be very
twitchy !! . Get used to it in a parking lot before you zip
around town

Look at Kymco and TGB too !
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Old 04-22-08, 06:48 AM   #10
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I basically want to use the scooter instead of my car when I am going places alone. This would mean going to work DAILY with the scooter, and running errands a few times a week on the scooter. Also, I would ride for fun, too, if there is time left over.

After doing some more research between my original post and now, I am thinking of going with a 125cc scooter. From what I read, this will get me to sustain 55 mph and maybe even hit 60 every now and then (I weigh 180 and am 6'3" with shoes on). That being said, I plan to never use the freeway, legal or not. In MN, the scooters-on-freeways law is very simple: you can ride a scooter on the freeway if it can sustain the speed limit. I still never plan to do it.

I was hoping to spend $2500 at most for the scooter, but the scooters I am finding are around $2700.

So far I have been checking out the Yamaha Vino 125 and the Genuine Buddy 125. I recently discovered a Baron dealer here, too, but my concern is that their scooters are $1,000 less than the Vino or Buddy for the same size and more storage, bigger seat, etc. Is there something wrong with the Barons that they cost so much less? Also, I have been reading a lot of completely opposite opinions regaring Kymco; what gives with that?

I haven't test ridden any yet; I am still doing online research at this point but plan to visit local dealers yet this week (and not on the weekend because they are so darn busy).

Thank you for all the replies so far!
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Old 04-22-08, 03:35 PM   #11
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Baron = No !!!!

Junk, E-Bay Chinese crap with no parts or support after you get it.

A Buddy 125 is a great bike A used Kymco or talking a dealer down
on a TGB 9 would be your best expenditures of money.

Vespa, Stella, TGB, Yamaha (Vino only), Dealim, Honda 80cc version
or one of those new Lambrettas are the only scooters I would consider.

Baron, Rokeeta etc....all chinese junk ! Dont waste your time or money !
There is a reason they sell for so cheep !
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Old 04-22-08, 04:21 PM   #12
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A Buddy 125 is a great bike
I have one and I love it! Got the two-tone green one, and it is really great transportation. 90 mpg, tops out at about 65-70mph, sharp looks. My insurance for the whole year was $101. 2 year parts and labor warranty, 1 year roadside assistance. Nifty. People get jealous.
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Old 04-22-08, 06:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
I have wanted a scooter for a very long time (about 10 years now, without taking action on it). Then I thought maybe it would be better to get a motorcycle. After asking various people about motorcycles, I realized that I do not want a motorcycle; it's a scooter that I want. Comparing scooters to motorcycles is like comparing apples to pizza, so I just want to talk about scooters...

Here is the thing, I realized I don't know that much about scooters. I plan to go to a scooter dealer this week, but I want the power of knowledge before I walk in there and let them steer my opinion in the direction they want to steer it.

I know there are different sizes; from tiny scooters that barely go 50 mph to big guns that go over 70 mph. At the moment, I want a tiny-medium one--something that will top out around 55 mph but that will also make it up hills without holding up traffic.

I understand that my state of Minnesota is one of the few states that require a motorcycle endorsement no matter what. I do not have an endorsement yet, but a friend of mine said getting a permit is too easy; 30 minutes of your time and a written test (just can't ride at night, etc). Endorsement will come later.

I thought that no scooters could go on the freeway, but I recently found out that it depends on the engine size and some ARE allowed on the freeway. Is this true? Sounds too scary for me.

So, I am assume there are some scooter enthusiasts on this board. What can y'all teach me before I head to the scooter dealer this week?

Again, I am looking for a small to midsize scooter, affordable (I know prices range from $1,000 to $8,000), powerful enough to make it worth it, and experiences people have had. I know some people live on their scooters for fun, for others it's necessary utility, and others don't like them at all.

Thanks in advance!
I know you just want to talk about scooters, but can you share what turned you off about motorcycles? Models like the Ninja 250 can be had for very cheap...
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Old 04-22-08, 06:57 PM   #14
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Honda Ruckus is the coolest scooter ever
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Old 04-22-08, 09:58 PM   #15
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I know you just want to talk about scooters, but can you share what turned you off about motorcycles? Models like the Ninja 250 can be had for very cheap...
Personally, what turns me off about them is that it is very hard to find an automatic motorcycle that is reasonably priced. Manual transmissions are nice on the freeway, but in day to day traffic, where I do all my riding, it's just a freakin' hassle. From another perspective, it's become a sort of an obnoxious American thing for fat Walmartians to dress like Frisco Leatherman so they can pretend like they are Wild Bill Hickock on the weekends instead of CPAs. A lot of them seem to think it passes for a "culture" and act like ******brains accordingly. Scooters are pleasantly nerdy, and really, to me there is no point in riding a motorcycle if it gets the same mileage as a Honda Civic.

Another thing-Honda Goldwings-It's ridiculous, just drive a car if you want a stereo, airbag, satellite linkup and trunkspace for all your possessions. This reminds me of hunters I know who attempt to get back to their roots by bowhunting, then buy charcoal-lined coveralls with GPS navigation software, a $6000 graphite compound bow with a lazer sight and night vision scope-it just ruins it. Stop it. If anything is worse than Harley people it's Goldwing people.

Forum admin Brian is the exception to all of these clever little anecdotes of mine, of course. He looks good dressed like that.
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Old 04-22-08, 10:05 PM   #16
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Honda Ruckus is the coolest scooter ever
+14...

Although, the Big Ruckus is pretty badass
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Old 04-22-08, 10:07 PM   #17
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+14...

Although, the Big Ruckus is pretty badass
im hoping to buy one at the end of 2008 that thing is bad ass
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Old 04-22-08, 10:10 PM   #18
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im hoping to buy one at the end of 2008 that thing is bad ass
They stopped selling them in America last year. I'm hoping to score one on e-bay someday. Best looking scooter ever.
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Old 04-22-08, 10:22 PM   #19
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Make sure you wear a helmet, seeing a scooter rider being pulled over is not cool.
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Old 04-24-08, 06:19 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
Personally, what turns me off about them is that it is very hard to find an automatic motorcycle that is reasonably priced. Manual transmissions are nice on the freeway, but in day to day traffic, where I do all my riding, it's just a freakin' hassle. From another perspective, it's become a sort of an obnoxious American thing for fat Walmartians to dress like Frisco Leatherman so they can pretend like they are Wild Bill Hickock on the weekends instead of CPAs. A lot of them seem to think it passes for a "culture" and act like ******brains accordingly. Scooters are pleasantly nerdy, and really, to me there is no point in riding a motorcycle if it gets the same mileage as a Honda Civic.

Another thing-Honda Goldwings-It's ridiculous, just drive a car if you want a stereo, airbag, satellite linkup and trunkspace for all your possessions. This reminds me of hunters I know who attempt to get back to their roots by bowhunting, then buy charcoal-lined coveralls with GPS navigation software, a $6000 graphite compound bow with a lazer sight and night vision scope-it just ruins it. Stop it. If anything is worse than Harley people it's Goldwing people.

Forum admin Brian is the exception to all of these clever little anecdotes of mine, of course. He looks good dressed like that.
Considering you don't appear to ever have done any real mileage on a motorcycle, I don't know how you're qualified to make a blanket statement on the owner group of bike designed as a hardcore touring machine, but here we go anyway...

Dad had a Gold Wing for 25 years. Not an 1800, an '83 1100. An older Gold Wing. More miles on that bike than every car he had during those 25 years put together, the bike's been in every province except Prince-Edward-On-A-Stick and many states. The 1800 is where they really went overboard-his new BMW (the F650GS he put a deposit on yesterday) has as much or more extra trim, with only the luggage kit, a GPS and a centerstand. Do 350 miles a day on a 125cc scooter for 29 days straight and let me know how that works out.

As for the Buddy 125, I'd still take a dual purpose like a Suzuki DR200ES or a Honda CRF230L over the scooter, considering both those bikes probably get as good or close to it in the mileage department, will keep up with highway traffic much better, are more stable, quite capable of any road or dirt trail, etc.
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Old 04-24-08, 08:01 PM   #21
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Considering you don't appear to ever have done any real mileage on a motorcycle,
Do I know you? I thought it was fairly clear that I was comparing scooters and motorcycles having ridden both. Also, thought it was fairly clear that I was posting opinions and not Gospel.
Anyhoo, was being a little tongue in cheek about the Goldwing, although an airbag is taking things a little overboard. More of a fan of simplicity.

Wouldn't want to deal with a manual transmission in stop-n-go commuting traffic, if I was hitting trails I would get a dual sport, I usually stick to the asphalt. I'm fairly certain the scooter gets quite a bit better mileage, as well. Those things look like mutts, anyway.
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Old 04-25-08, 01:25 PM   #22
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+14...

Although, the Big Ruckus is pretty badass
Eh, for almost $7K there's cooler.
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Old 04-25-08, 01:43 PM   #23
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Do I know you? I thought it was fairly clear that I was comparing scooters and motorcycles having ridden both. Also, thought it was fairly clear that I was posting opinions and not Gospel.
Anyhoo, was being a little tongue in cheek about the Goldwing, although an airbag is taking things a little overboard. More of a fan of simplicity.

Wouldn't want to deal with a manual transmission in stop-n-go commuting traffic, if I was hitting trails I would get a dual sport, I usually stick to the asphalt. I'm fairly certain the scooter gets quite a bit better mileage, as well. Those things look like mutts, anyway.
Having ridden a motorcycle is a completely different thing from having done real mileage on one. For touring, which is what it's designed for, the Gold Wing can't be beat. The owner group doesn't tend towards touring, true, but the bike excels as a touring machine.

The scooter I rode I found sterile, boring and frustrating. It also handled terrible and it was difficult to get weight on your feet for the bumps. I'm not used to it, which could be part of the problem, but I'm pretty sure I won't get used to the total lack of power or twitchy handling anytime soon. There's also no hope of a scooter being safe on the highway, or with even moderately quick traffic,

As for dual sports looking like mutts, that's an opinion, if a weird way to word it. They look like dirt bikes with signal lights, which is what they are, basically.
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Old 04-25-08, 02:57 PM   #24
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all good answers and advice in here.

PM me if you want, or have any questions. i was a scooter/moped mechanic for a few years, both new and vintage.
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Old 06-25-08, 01:58 AM   #25
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why does yamaha use two stroke engines?
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