Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Chandler, AZ
The reason I want a 150cc version is just to make it freeway legal, and yes, it would be nice to have another 5 mph or so. But on long distance trips, sometimes it is almost impossible to avoid the freeway.
I almost have 1000 miles on my recently purchased Zuna 125, and have my first trip planned. It is not "long distance", being only about 700 miles total, but it will give me an idea of the capabilities of the scooter. It will be necessary to ride about 15 miles on I-10, I'l just have to hope I don't get stopped by a cop.
That Heinkel is indeed a beauty, though it doesn't look like it has much ground clearance. I have seen many pictures of Salsbury scooters that I loved the looks of, but I believe that Heinkel has them beat. Not worried about a flat tire on the Zuma, as you can jut plug the puncture, air up the tire, and be on your way. My Stella has a spare tire, but it has an Indian made LML engine, which is not known for it's reliability. I'm afraid of blowing an engine hundreds of miles from home, with no way to get it back. That Heinkel would never leave town, for the same reason. That is a rare and beautiful scooter, and I would never risk losing it on a long trip. I prefer to use generic Japanese scooters for trips, they are nor rare, beautiful, nor irreplaceable.
I am still seriously interested in the Symba, I would buy one next Tuesday when the dealer opens if I weighed 30 pounds less. But looking at it close up, it does look kind of fragile for someone my size (220 pounds) I downloaded and read the owners manual, and was happy to discover that it does not have the rotary transmission of the Cub and Passport, it has a regular motorcycle transmission which cannot be shifted down below first, no up above top gear. It also bothers me that it was originally rated for only 200 pounds, and it's new importer changed that to 300 pounds. Makes me wonder if it can really carry 300 pounds safely, or if that number is just to make it sell better.
Off topic but somewhat relevant: The big Ford Explorer/Firestone tire fiasco that got several people killed, turned out to be 100% Ford's fault. People were complaining about the Explorers harsh ride (it's a truck, what did they expect) so they changed the recommended tire inflation pressures in the owners manual to way below what the Firestone tires were designed for. I always run tires at the max inflation pressure stated on the sidewall of the tire, no matter what the vehicle owners manual says. The vehicle manufacturer did not make the tires.
I noticed that Underboning had some broken spokes on their long distance odyssey, and he weighs less than I do. I put several hundred miles on a VeloSolex 3800, a French made moped/motorized bicycle, knowing I was to heavy for it, and sure enough, spokes started breaking in the rear wheel. Since the Solex has what amount to 23" wheels, it was not possible to have heavy duty wheels made for it, as no bicycle uses that size in the U.S.
I have no trips planned for south of the border. While I rode a couple thousand miles in Mexico on a moped back in the late '70s, it's a different scene now. There is an ongoing war between Mexican gangs/drug smugglers and the U.S. Border Patrol. Several have been killed on both sides here in AZ, very recently. I won't ride anywhere near the border without being armed. I stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint almost 100 miles from the border, they noticed the 9mm I was carrying, and even told me it was a good idea if I was going to ride in that area, as it is in a corridor known for drug and illegal immigrant smuggling. So any border crossings I do would be the Canadian border. I have been to Canada several times on a motorcycle, before it required a passport, but I never got very far into the country.