Originally Posted by Woodsrat
The relatively tall seat heights and wider seats on scooters does make touching the ground difficult for short people. I'll be curious to hear the answers to this problem.
Regarding frequent maintenance of small scooters--to achieve the performance to keep from getting run over in real-world traffic you're almost going to have to have a fairly high strung motor which in turn is going to require more frequent maintenance and rebuilds. Although virtually all small motors nowadays are incredibly reliable they're simply not going to last as long as a larger motor running at a more relaxed pace. To get the most life from them you're going to have to change the oil, adjust the valves and such more frequently. They don't hold much oil and personally I wouldn't go 2500 miles on a smallbore (under 250cc) scooter without changing the oil. Depending on conditions changing it at a thousand miles or less wouldn't be a bad idea. I live by the motto "oil is cheaper than crankshafts."
There are some motors nowadays that call for as much as 25,000 between valve checks/adjustments and folks I know blissfully ignore checking them until they reach this mileage. The thing is how do you know the bike was properly adjusted at the factory? (Always remember that your bike was made by a human who goes out for three beer or saki lunches just like anyone else.) It's not that big a deal to periodically give them a look-see with a feeler gauge even if you don't have the tools or ability to adjust them. For example if you see the clearances suddenly closing up it's a sign that your valves may be cupping or the valve seats wearing away. Frequent maintenance like this is simply a way of staying in touch with your motor and how it's doing during it's lifespan.
Coming from someone who does own a PCX 150. The main problem with a lot of high maintenance scooters is that the engines themselves are very hard to get to. I wouldn't mind checking valves at 2,500 if I didn't have to virtually take the thing apart before I get to the engine.
That alone is what drives up maintenance costs, because the owner is overwhelmed by the process and just takes it into the dealer to have them handle it at the cost of $100.