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Old 10-07-2012, 09:46 AM   #14
JerryH OP
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Chandler, AZ
Oddometer: 5,069
Originally Posted by thunderkat59 View Post
I did several hundred miles on my Stella and was fine. Very comfortable, relatively speaking.
Im in my mid 50's now, so I look at road trips differently before. Used to be on bigger bikes and fly down the back roads and highways. Now , I prefer to go slow and stretch the ride out for a while. Stop a few times, take in more of the world and relax. If your route is a good one, and you have time, I cant think of a reason why you wouldn't use a small bike. Sort of related, I tried to trade my Burgman even-up on both a Stella 150 4-t (not the PX150) and 125 in those flat black versions they have come out with, but no dealer will do it. Apparently lots of people think small bikes are the best.

The most I've done at once on my Stella was around 200 miles, all of it up in the mountains. The Stella has a huge advantage over a CVT scooter when climbing mountains. I live at 1200 feet, at the base of mountains that go up close to 10,000 feet. The Stella can be downshifted to keep the engine in the powerband and the rpms up. It's slow going, but won't do any damage. My Vino 125 simply will not climb those mountains. It lacks a low enough gear range, and bogs badly. When the speed dropped below 20 mph at full throttle, I turned around and went back. I later tried it again, with an inductive pickup tachometer hooked up to it, and the engine speed at full throttle on level ground was WAY higher than it was at full throttle climbing a long steep grade at 20 mph. It was so low when climbing that it was lugging the engine badly. Had I continued to ride it like that, the engine would have hammered itself to pieces.

When I did the 200 mile trip on the Stella, I was expecting a breakdown, and already had a rescue plan set up. A phone call and my former father in law would have been on his way with a truck.

I am 53, and also changing my views on riding. I now own and ride 3 small scooters. 20 years ago I wouldn't have been caught dead on a scooter. Of course, scooters were not nearly as popular then as they are now either.

I still have a Goldwing 1500, but plan on selling it soon. Several local members of some Goldwing forums I belong to are interested, so I shouldn't have to deal with Craigslist.

I sure wish someone would make a scooter similar to the Zuma 125, only make it 150cc, so it would be technically freeway legal, just in case, AND, give it a manual clutch and transmission. Then it could be ridden anywhere. I have climbed those same mountains many times on a 2 speed 50cc moped, in first gear, which is super low. Speeds got down to about 12 mph (still faster than a bicycle) but could be maintained indefinitely, because the engine was spinning at the same speed as it would have been at the mopeds top speed of 30 mph on a level road.

Back in the late '70s/early to mid '80s, I racked up 20,000 miles on a Puch moped, traveling all over the southwest. I rode it like a bicycle, on the shoulder, and never had any real problems with cars. I still have that moped, and have seriously considered getting it out of the shed and taking a 1000 mile trip on it. MUCH slower than a scooter on level roads, but at least it will climb. With the scooter, I have to take elevation into account as well. Not the case with the moped.

I have never ridden a Symba, but I used to own a Passport, and never did learn to deal with it's quirky transmission. It's neutral indicator was invisible in the AZ sun, and when coming to a stop, you had to be in neutral or first. If you stalled it, it was very difficult to find neutral, and if there was a very angry idiot in a lifted truck behind you, you couldn't just pull in the clutch and push it off the road. Plus the Symba has a 200 pound weight capacity, and I am 220 without any gear or cargo, so that would not work for me. A small motorcycle (I also used to have a Kawasaki Eliminator 125) might be just the ticket, but it had tube type tires and no centerstand, making it worthless on a long trip.

I looked to see if the Symba was still available, and found the SymWolf 150, a small 150cc motorcycle, freeway legal, 350 pound load capacity, and manual transmission. It also has a centerstand. I think I'm going to take a look at that thing.
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