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Thread: Scooters?

  1. #1
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    Scooters?

    Anyone here have a scooter? (Vespa, Honda, whatever.)

    $4.20 gas prices = $50+ per week in gas just to commute to work. A 100mpg scooter, with no insurance/ registration/ license costs, has some appeal.

    Wondering about 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke, real usability of a 50cc motor for in-city use, and other n00b questions.

    (and yes, I know, it's the ultimate in dorkiness...)

  2. #2
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    My first "motorcycle" was a 1978 Vespa P125 X. 2 stroke, 4 speed. Greater than 80ccs so it needed License & registration. Sold it for way too little -- turns out those fuckers are collector's items now.

    Slow (too slow for the Highway,) handled like shit due to the small wheels, but it had panache. Was fun to go downtown and get fucked up on.

    Last edited by Tippster; 05-29-2008 at 09:36 PM.

  3. #3
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    Lots of scooters and cool-looking electric bikes in Vancouver.

    But electric bike people: get off the bike paths! Just because you don't use petroleum doesn't mean you can make your effortless commute home in the damn bike lane. Get on the fucking road with the motorcycles - the bicycle commmunity does not accept you!
    "Active management in bear markets tends to outperform. Unfortunately, investors are not as elated with relative returns when they are negative. But it does support the argument that active management adds value." -- independent fund analyst Peter Loach

  4. #4
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    Hey scooters are like fat chicks, they're fun to ride until your friends catch you.

  5. #5
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    Scooters! They're like bikes for lazy people.

    Really I have nothing against them - but a friend at work is going through all the trouble to a shiny new one for $1400 for his 1 mile ride to work on back roads. Yes he will save gas, but I pedal on my clunker commuter to the same place (twice as long for me, 2 whole miles!) in about ten minutes.

  6. #6
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    I was leafing through an Automobile mag at the Tire center Saturday, and they had a little piece about a new electric scooter that does 0-60 in 5 sec. A penny a mile, but, damn, $11000 right now.

  7. #7
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    damn chup. i didn't read this thread, but you're gay!

  8. #8
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    You'll kill yourself. I don't want to see a photo of your mangled body trapped under a Yamaha Razz! on the front page of the RGJ.

    When i was in Italy a few years back I was astonished by the number of scooters. They probably comprised 30% of the transportation.

    I also recall reading in a RacerX or MXA or something like 8 years ago about these guys tricking out their 2-stroke scooters with grunty pipes and suspension and riding them around the arenacross track.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dromond View Post
    Scooters! They're like bikes for lazy people.

    Really I have nothing against them - but a friend at work is going through all the trouble to a shiny new one for $1400 for his 1 mile ride to work on back roads. Yes he will save gas, but I pedal on my clunker commuter to the same place (twice as long for me, 2 whole miles!) in about ten minutes.
    I remember back when I lived in the flatlands and was trying to be a speed skater I would just skate to and from school. I would get home with enough time to smoke a bowl and eat a microwave pizza before the bus went by.

    I also know a couple people here who ride their scooters everywhere, and I have been debating getting one.

  10. #10
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    Two summers ago a friend of mine wanted to get rid of his slightly used Honda Metro for $750.



    I rode it for a week and it was a fun way to get around Denver, but at the time it just didn't make sense. Now looking back it was stupid for me to pass it up, because I probably could sell it today for $750.
    I just would have had to get over the fat chick jokes.

  11. #11
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    If you live in CA you need a motorcycle license to ride anything that goes faster than 20 MPH. This is new: you used to be able to ride a 50cc 30MPH scooter on a regular class C drivers license, but no more.

    Also you need to register anything >20 MPH as a motor vehicle with the CA DMV, get plates for it, and so on.

    In Nevada, you can ride scooters and mopeds up to 50cc/30MPH on a regular driver's license. Anything greater requires a motorcycle license. You don't have to register it *if it has pedals*. If it doesn't, it's a scooter, not a moped, and you need to register and insure it like any other motor vehicle.

    So you really have two options IMO:

    1) Electric bicycle. If your commute is ~12 miles or less, this is a really good option because you don't have to register it, you don't have to buy any gas at all, and you can park it on the sidewalk (it's illegal to park anything with plates on a sidewalk). A lot of them can be modified to go faster than the legal limit, too, if you're into that sort of thing.

    The Izip Street and Mountain are nice because the batteries are in the frame, meaning you can actually lock them up places and not automatically have your batteries stolen, but there are plenty of choices. Here's a forum:
    http://visforvoltage.org/forums/elec...s-and-pedelecs

    2) Take an MSF course, get a motorcycle license, and get something fast enough to ride on the freeway if you have to. There's really no point in getting an M2 (< 250cc) license, since it's no harder to get an M1 and then you can ride anything. A Buell Blast will get you ~70 MPG, a Ninja 250 ~60, and they're real motorcycles, so they're actually fun to ride.

    Buell Blast:


    2008 Ninja 250:

  12. #12
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    Scooters?

    Scoot scoot
    Last edited by skinny_kid; 06-28-2022 at 09:30 PM.
    We Make Memory When We Do Bussiness

  13. #13
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    I debated getting one to ride to campus, not so much because of the gas prices (I don't usually drive there anyway), but because the campus police don't ticket scooters parked at bike racks. In the end, I just pedal - it turned out to actually be faster thanks to riding bike paths versus roads...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spats View Post
    In Nevada, you can ride scooters and mopeds up to 50cc/30MPH on a regular driver's license. Anything greater requires a motorcycle license. You don't have to register it *if it has pedals*. If it doesn't, it's a scooter, not a moped, and you need to register and insure it like any other motor vehicle.
    I don't think this is accurate about no pedals = registration/insurance. AFAIK, it's a 50cc motor cutoff -- which is why I'm thinking scooter, not motorcycle. Google research suggests a 50cc 2-stroke can be tweaked to 45-50mph fairly easily (removal of restrictor stuff put on the motors to hold them closer to 30mph).

    Edit: Nevada DMV confirms:
    http://www.dmvnv.com/motorcycle.htm#Mopeds

    I know a motorcycle would be more fun (and rednecks like McPoser wouldn't be chucking beer cans at me from their Ford pickups), but I'm looking at this purely from a cheap transportation perspective. If I have to register & insure it, that drives the total cost up.

    I still need to check my insurance policy and see if I'd be covered under existing auto insurance, without needing to add a scooter to the policy.

    My commute is ~14 miles each way, there's no place to shower at work, the building won't let me bring a bike inside (locking it outside = likely theft), and I usually bring a laptop back & forth (heavy). And it's hot here in summer. When my commute was ~5 miles each way, and I could bring the bike inside, no problem.
    Last edited by El Chupacabra; 05-30-2008 at 08:16 AM.

  15. #15
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    Mrs Tex had a Honda Spree 50 when we met - she rode it all over San Diego for a couple of years. it was originally governed to 20mph, but you can fix that pretty easily.

    Who gives a crap about the fat chick jokes - I rode that thing every once in a while and it was fine. it also got about 90mpg and she sold it for like $150

    shoulda kept it.

  16. #16
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    I won't comment on the legal aspects (license, insurance...).
    IMO, a 50cc is rather limited for anything for urban riding, rather cramped and a real PITA to ride with a passenger. It's the most economical option though.
    A 125cc is adequate for most occasions.
    A 250cc / 300cc rules, but may be out of the price range (or requires a license).

    Motorbikes are better to climb sidewalks, to navigate in traffic jams (better clutch control) and get a sligthly better mileage and lower maintenance costs. Drawbacks are poor protection from the rain and the shifter can damage your dress shoes. I use a bike with a windshield and this :

    dry and warm when winter comes.

    As far as scooter are concerned, big wheels models are the way to go if your pavement is not perfectly smooth. Something like this Honda will be a longlasting workhorse.



    Oh, yes, 4 strokes. Better reliability, better mileage, less pollution.

    Edit :
    I've checked Honda, Ymaha and Suzuki US... No 16' wheels scooters. A piaggio BV ?

    ANd, for the record, I've demoed a Piaggio MP3. Impressive. the 125cc is totally underpowered, and the steering is rather heavy. But a really intuitive riding and very confidence inspiring on wet roads. A 400cc would be a great all weather commuter. (it's a best seller in Paris those days.)
    Last edited by philippeR; 05-30-2008 at 08:30 AM.
    "Typically euro, french in particular, in my opinion. It's the same skiing or climbing there. They are completely unfazed by their own assholeness. Like it's normal." - srsosbso

  17. #17
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    I've got a 3 mile commute in town and ride an 80 cc Honda scooter. 90-95 a gallon. Goes 45 (after awhile)


    Quando paramucho mi amore de felice carathon.
    Mundo paparazzi mi amore cicce verdi parasol.
    Questo abrigado tantamucho que canite carousel.


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by philippeR View Post
    I won't comment on the legal aspects (license, insurance...).
    IMO, a 50cc is rather limited for anything for urban riding, rather cramped and a real PITA to ride with a passenger. It's the most economical option though.
    A 125cc is adequate for most occasions.
    A 250cc / 300cc rules, but may be out of the price range (or requires a license).

    Motorbikes are better to climb sidewalks, to navigate in traffic jams (better clutch control) and get a sligthly better mileage and lower maintenance costs. Drawbacks are poor protection from the rain and the shifter can damage your dress shoes. I use a bike with a windshield and this :

    dry and warm when winter comes.
    OK I've seen Hippo Hands - but what is that other thing?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    (and yes, I know, it's the ultimate in dorkiness...)
    Yeah, you'll get some that, but I think they are a ton of fun to drive.

    I just got this one. It's a 2008 KYMCO People 50 2T. It's a Taiwanese brand that has been around a while. It have pretty good pickup and goes over 40 mph. It does good on getting up hills as compard to some of the weaker four stroke engines. The cost benefits are great: No motorcycle license required, insurance not required, $5.25 registration for five years, you can park on the sidewalk with a moter 50cc or less.


    $2600 including all dealer fees
    Two Stroke Engine
    Estimated 75-85 mpg
    Larger 16" tires
    50cc engine
    Buddy seat
    Electric Start
    "The quickest 50cc on the market"

    My work commute is 2.3 miles each way. I get compliments on this from people every day. No jokes yet, but I'm sure they'll come.

    Other things you'll need:
    Helmet - about $70
    Chain - about $60

    Last edited by encore; 05-30-2008 at 03:16 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tex1230 View Post
    OK I've seen Hippo Hands - but what is that other thing?
    I don't know how you call that in english. In french it's a tablier (literaly "apron"). Like a blanket for your legs, protects you from the rain and the cold. attached to the frame, the tank and the pegs. Unsuitable for speeds over 60mph. Ubiquitous on Paris messenger's bikes.
    And considered as the ultimate in dorkiness. No one ever tried to steal my bike.


    Meet Chistian, a Paris coursier on his Vespa avec tablier...

    Last edited by philippeR; 05-30-2008 at 09:16 AM.
    "Typically euro, french in particular, in my opinion. It's the same skiing or climbing there. They are completely unfazed by their own assholeness. Like it's normal." - srsosbso

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by NippleHighPow View Post
    Hey scooters are like fat chicks, they're fun to ride until your friends catch you.
    You like fat chicks? I mean that's cool you can admit it, we are all friends here.
    "Hold my beer...Watch this!"

  22. #22
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    honda ruckus is appealing. goes for ~$2500 CAD new:




    another alternative, but this one needs a license, is the honda cbr 125r. still > 100mpg, but a bit less toy-ish. goes for $3500 CAD. it doesn't seem to be sold in the US, unfortunately.


  23. #23
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    That new Ninja 250 looks just like it's big brothers. That is cool.
    that's all i can think of, but i'm sure there's something else...

  24. #24
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    I have got 2 vespas. A '74 150 super and an '68 Allstate which has been stroked out to about 168cc or something. Both go way faster than you want to go. I have been thinking about getting a 50cc scooter though for the reasons that encore stated above. A few years ago nobody could tell the difference between a 50cc and a 150cc so I could park on the sidewalks and drive without a license or plates and nobody would care. But with the rising popularity cops/metermaids know the difference and I have gotten enough warnings to actually be warned. Get a new one or learn to love working on the old ones. Mine run perfectly for about a week at a time.

    And I have 100% success ratio with the ladies on mine. You get a girl on the back of your scooter and it is guaranteed that she is willing to get naked with you.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcsquared View Post
    And I have 100% success ratio with the ladies on mine. You get a girl on the back of your scooter and it is guaranteed that she is willing to get naked with you.
    Are motorcycles different?
    that's all i can think of, but i'm sure there's something else...

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