Originally Posted by Lobby
My wife is really jonesing for a scooter. But she doesn't want a 2 stroke.
So what do you all know about 4 stroke scooters?
- Brands? Vespa clones?
- can they be souped up?
On the low end there are gazillions of 125/150cc "clones" out there (and now I've forgotten what they're based on...CPI bikes probably) but one distributor to look at is Vento.
for an idea of pricing (includes shipping). Most of these bikes--they all look pretty much alike and have different graphics--are based on the same motor, with varying degrees of quality in terms of the rest of the components and QC.
Go to http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/VentoScooters/
to check out the owner group.
Be aware that a lot of the 150's are actually125's. You'll find that out after hanging out a bit on the Vento Yahoo group.
Hop-ups are generally limited to some mild head work, pipe, and variator mods on those bikes.
TnG is a good brand--the Baja 150 (as mentioned earlier) looks like a neat deal in a scoot.
The Bajaj Chetak is a tough little 150cc 4-speed scooter. Not all the Vespa parts fit but it does have a look very similar to the Vespa PX-150. They used to make a model called the Legend but I believe they're just going to bring the Chetak into the states. Used they go for about $1700-$2400.
The Stella is a LML-built Vespa PX-150 with a few upgrades--reed valve engine, gas shocks. It's essentially a brand new 20 year old bike. Requires a bit more hands-on to make the relationship work--sorta like buying a Ural or a Royal Enfield versus a new Japanese bike--but absolutely fantastic if you want a bike with endless customization and go-fast possibilities. Used they go for about $2000-$2500.
Then there's the major manufacturers--honda, yamaha, Kymco, and so on. You start getting into some money.
IMHO the best way to go in is a used scoot--you'll recoup your money a bit faster in terms of gas savings, and usually end up okay on resale.
A good buy in a used scoot would be Honda Elite 250 or older (80's era) Honda Helix (250). Usually under $2K and bulletproof. The little Yamaha 125's have a good following, too.
I think my wife would want something that would do 45mph. Me? I want it to do 65 - 70, just in case.
For a 50cc bike a solid cruise of 35-40 is good; being able to hit 45 is very handy.
For the clone 125-150 automatics, expect a cruise of 50 and a top end of 65. The nicer bikes--TnG, Kymco, Honda, Yamaha, Vespa, etc - a bit more on cruise and top end.
So far, I'm aware of the new Vespas (ET2 and ET2) but they're really pricey. I've seen this scooter clone (Bajaj sp?) that on the surface looks nice.
What say the intelligentsia?
Find a couple you like. Test ride them. That's the fun part.
On the used 50cc bike, I recouped my purchase price in gas savings in 3 months.
I'm probably saving around $150/mo. on gas right now with the Stella, though gas savings isn't the only reason I have it. The damn thing is more fun to ride around town than any other bike I've ever had.