Originally Posted by krobison
I've been commuting on a Piaggio BV500 for a couple of months from Pacifica to San Francisco. I think it's about 12 miles. As far as respect goes, I see no difference between a motorcycle and scooter.
My only issue with the scooter is that it's not made for hard commute riding. Corners, braking, and acceleration all pale in comparison with a modern motorcycle. I have fun, don't get me wrong, but there IS a compromise in riding a scooter.
One place a scooter excels is wind protection, storage space, and low speed maneuverability.
I've had my J-frame scooter go into high speed wobbles several times when cornering on the freeway. Braking is dismal compared to a modern motorcycle as well. This is extreme riding (70-75mph+ sweepers), so I imagine even a few motorcycles would probably do the same thing. I love the gas mileage, but when you consider tire changes and service costs, I don't think you're saving much by riding a scooter over driving a fully depreciated commuter car. Time savings, yes. Fun, yes.
Hmm, may I suggest you have your scooter checked? I've never had high speed wobbles on my BV 500. I did have some wobbles early on that I noticed in a narrow mph range around 25-30 mph. I had the dealer check and he rebalanced the front tire - wobble went away. I rode up I-25 this summer with 50mph cross winds and the occasional 80mph gusts and it wasn't fun but the scoot was generally stable though I did get shifted over a bit on some of the gusts. The only other bike I saw on the road was very large cruiser and they had signs up telling folks towing trailers to stay off the road.
No quarrel with the brakes either on it or my Scarabeo 500 though I find the Scarabeo more comfortable. Since I'm not into crotch rockets acceleration is more than adequate though not as much torque as on the smaller scooters like the Buddy 125 or the loaner Vespa ET 2 50cc, I had when my BV was in for service that I nearly pulled a wheelie on several times by accident. For in-town and commuting my favorite is my Vespa GTS 250. It can go anywhere including freeways up to the low 80s in mph but such a classic style I can park it places nobody lets a motorcycle park.
I'll admit that I occasionally think seriously about getting a naked bike but I'd just be setting myself up for tickets so I resist the temptation.