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GREY.HOUND 12-23-2012 12:52 AM

What do you define as "In the city?"
I ask because I think it's relative to each of us. I read that review about the BMW scooters being a little heavy or cumbersome around town and have heard others say that so-and-so scooter is probably to big for city use.

While still new to this thing, when I think of city, I think of my hometown of Fresno. It's got over 500,000 poeple and due to an unchecked and poorly planned explosion in growth, it's mostly suburban with boulevards that criss-cross each other, often with speeds of 40-50 mph. Most of these roads are straight and controlled by stoplights. Again, I only bring this up because I feel my 250 is absolutely the smallest I'd want to ride and feel that any of the maxi scoots would not be an issue (again, never ridden one though).

Now, when I think of the town I grew up in as a child, 14,000 people, 6 stoplights, and only two roads with more than one lane, sure a 50cc would be great because most roads had a 25 mph limit and a Maxi would likely be overkill. Of course, you'd need the Maxi scooter to go anywhere interesting. We had to travel 20 minutes on the single or double lane highway just to get to the closet movie theater, department store or any store that might actually advertise in the paper or TV.

Just some ramblings,

catweasel67 12-23-2012 01:30 AM

To me "too big, too cumbersome" for the city means it can't be whitelined easily. But that's spoken from an English perspective where whitelining is allowed. A scooter/moped's biggest advantage has to be how easily you can weave in and out of traffic, moving between lanes, squeezing through narrow gaps etc. If you end up sitting in traffic like a cager then, cost aside, what's the point........

DudeClone 12-23-2012 02:36 AM

for me "in the city" is within a 25 mile radius of downtown los angeles, give or take. and further treks can be taken "in the city." 25 miles west will put you in the ocean and 25 miles east might get you on some secondary highways. but all in all for me the city is pretty much los angeles and all its surrounding districts and cities north, south, east and west

lots of cars are "in the city." you bob them, weave them, and leave them behind. you are invisible, they never see you pass. you aren't even there for them to see, "in the city."

"in the city" traffic ebbs and flows. sometimes faster, sometimes slower. but its all the same to us scooterist. are they even cars? nope, they are not. in the city everything is just another obstacle to slide by or get through or split. there is no traffic in the city. i never seem to run into any. in the city a scooter makes its own lanes. in cali we can lane split in the city. a city street is my eight lane highway. for me the city is where a small wheeled, nimble 150cc is best. motorcycles be damned, you don't need one in the city. anyone who says you do should not ride anything in the city. i fear for their safety in the city.

but define it? well, you gotta ride the city it to know it. for me its fairly thrilling. its doing 45-50mph in a 35mph zone. i don't have to slow down in the city. all i have to do is slide, glide, and split....and i'm gone in the city :)


Harry'O 12-23-2012 02:59 AM

I see the "city" as a place with businesses and parking on the side. I'm a fan of any scooter except, perhaps, a 50cc. At that point I prefer a bicycle.
My two cents; if you will be in a lot of stop and go, stay small. Never above 50mph? Try a 150cc. Never above 70mph? Try a 2500-250cc. Plan on doing it all including riding with a group to a place some miles away? In this scenario you are looking for the "overkill" bike. I have had many scoots including an Aprilia Scarabeo 500. This thing had power beyond its ability which made it fun. I also was able to get 63mpg all day and twist up to a true 110 mph. But at the end of the day I wished I had bought the Aprilia Sportcity 250 or the Piaggio BV 250.

GREY.HOUND 12-23-2012 09:00 AM

Great to hear different perspectives; again mostly based on our own locations and riding style.

On my 7 mile commute to work, aside from the first 200 meters from my driveway, the whole 7 mile commute is a stoplight infested, left or right turn lane with speeds of 40 mph or more. Fortunately, most of the time traffic is moving at or above those speeds with the exception of the freeway on/off ramp area.

Another thing, in a town like Fresno, it's 99% parking lots and strip malls so parking on the street is usually not even an option.

seraph 12-23-2012 11:59 AM

To add my perspective, "city" means urban Seattle. I live right in the geographic center of the city, and in my neighborhood a lot of roads I contend with are very narrow, with lots of intersections, parked cars lining the road, etc.

You can get anywhere in Seattle proper without breaking 40mph, if you're patient, but being capable of 55-60 makes things easier. Mostly, acceleration from a stop and power for hills (we have many, and they are steep) are key.

Lane splitting/filtering is not legal here, but being small does have advantages for being able to sneak around cars waiting to turn, which itself is enough of an advantage to make my car feel like a burden. A tight turning radius is also a great benefit, as it lets you take advantage of these gaps in stop-and-go traffic as they open.

I think a good 125-150cc is perfect here. My mostly-stock Stella gets me away from normal traffic at lights and keeps up on all the hills, while being small and nimble for making quick u-turns and sneaking past cars. My old Vino 125 did well, too.

Overwhelmingly, the scooterists I know are also on 125-150cc or similar-framed bikes (i.e. a P200). The most common modern 200-300cc bikes are the modern Vespas, which are much smaller, nimbler, and lighter than your standard 250cc maxi.

JerryH 12-27-2012 06:35 PM

To me about the only place for a maxi is on the highway. If you do a lot of long distance riding, they would be great. But in the city, however you define it, you are going to have intersections, stop and go traffic, and lots of turns. You will have to maneuver in tight spots. But you don't have to get a barge like a Burgman 650 to have a cross country scooter. The Vespa GTS300 Super, Piaggio BV300, Kymco Exiting 500 are all smaller very maneuverable scooters with enough displacement to take you anywhere.

alicethomas 12-28-2012 03:33 AM


Originally Posted by JerryH (Post 20341324)
The Vespa GTS300 Super, Piaggio BV300, Kymco Exiting 500 are all smaller very maneuverable scooters with enough displacement to take you anywhere.

Kymco Xciting a very maneuverable scooter? I have the X500 and I wouldn't advertise him for urban riding.

MODNROD 12-28-2012 05:54 AM

The city for me is the first set of traffic lights I come to.
That usually happens after I'm on the 2nd tank of fuel, so about 340km away........:clap

John Bentall 12-28-2012 02:32 PM


Originally Posted by GREY.HOUND (Post 20312052)
I read that review about the BMW scooters being a little heavy or cumbersome around town and have heard others say that so-and-so scooter is probably to big for city use.


If I read that comment, I would have a vision of New York City at "going-home" time on a Friday evening.

GREY.HOUND 12-28-2012 02:47 PM

I'm probably repeating myself, but I don't really consider my riding what those editors say as "city". It's mostly 1/2 mile from stop light to stoplight in a straight line and 90 degree turns. That might go on for 10-15 miles depending on my destination, but still, very little of it involves tight manuevers. I guess my opinion would change with more experience and if I really had to manipulate 500lbs. Right now I do believe my Sportcity is perfect.

cdwise 12-30-2012 09:02 AM

Stop and go heavily congested traffic where you may have to sit through multiple light changes before you can get through an intersection averaging 5mph with lights every half mile or so. Not fun on anything, IMHO but better on a scooter than having to clutch the whole time and balance 800lbs of motorcycle.

Heck, its why my husband prefers an automatic car to a manual.

S/W 12-30-2012 09:06 AM

In New England there are many coastal towns founded back to the 1600's that have very narrow windy streets and no place to park. bicycles will work nice,but, there are lots of big hills too, so a small scooter will keep your sweat down so you don't smell when you get to where you are going. Also, these towns have little parking and the smaller the scooter the better, so you can tuck it in odd places such as in very narrow alleys. You can also legally pass cars on the right with a 50cc moped/scoot, to get through stopped traffic. These towns are very similar to the little towns of Europe where scooters are everywhere.

gregbenner 12-30-2012 09:17 AM

I live in Los Angeles, and I know it's a city:evil

I have a Burgman 650, and plan to get the new Beemer in a couple months. For me, in LA, a maxi is perfect. Lane splitting is legal, and generally the roads are wide enough for a maxi to do this easily.

Perfectly comfortable on the freeways at any speed, plus can ride in the car pool lane legally. Can carry AND STORE all my gear (I also have a Shad top case) plus groceries, etc.

Can park darn near anywhere, and get out of the expensive parking garages free:D

GREY.HOUND 12-30-2012 11:56 AM

I think the previous two posts summarize the reason I asked the question. In a small New England Coastal town or any smalll town for that matter, the BMW wouldn't be practical. But like gregbenner says, in a town like LA it almost seems even more practical to be on a Maxi.

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