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Old 10-10-2012, 09:42 AM   #31
chazbird
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The Symba has a center stand as standard. The 200 lb weight seems to be arbitrary, since they upped the weight capability (for Americans?). I weigh 160 and would feel comfortable carrying another 50-75 pounds on the Symba. (My groceries weigh 30+) I also have a C70 Passport and the Symba does everything three times better, but for some reason I can't part with the Passport. Anyway, the Symba is good for 35 mph all day long, maybe 48-50 WOT. I've easily toured on my Piaggio BV250 with no concerns about keeping up on freeways, however the Symba is strictly no interstates/freeways - but it too would be a good tour mount since it is really quite fun although you'd need additional fuel if you're out west and while the seat is comfy it is too short, go for the long seat (if available). With the stock seat you have to saw off the the top portion of the passenger handrail behind the seat, it bashes into your lower back and is quite the torture device.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:31 PM   #32
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You definitely can tour on a scooter. I rode almost 500 miles in one day on my PCX to go ride the Tail of the Dragon with some Rucks: http://hondapcx.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=85

It was loads of fun. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

I've had countless 100-300 mile days messing around in the North Georgia mountains, hitting Wolf Pen Gap, stopping in Helen to go tubing, etc...
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:29 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by chazbird View Post
The Symba has a center stand as standard. The 200 lb weight seems to be arbitrary, since they upped the weight capability (for Americans?). I weigh 160 and would feel comfortable carrying another 50-75 pounds on the Symba. (My groceries weigh 30+) I also have a C70 Passport and the Symba does everything three times better, but for some reason I can't part with the Passport. Anyway, the Symba is good for 35 mph all day long, maybe 48-50 WOT. I've easily toured on my Piaggio BV250 with no concerns about keeping up on freeways, however the Symba is strictly no interstates/freeways - but it too would be a good tour mount since it is really quite fun although you'd need additional fuel if you're out west and while the seat is comfy it is too short, go for the long seat (if available). With the stock seat you have to saw off the the top portion of the passenger handrail behind the seat, it bashes into your lower back and is quite the torture device.

According to the SYM site, the Symba sold in the U.S. has a load capacity of 300 pounds. I weigh 220. with some gear and supplies for a 1000 mile or so road trip (mostly just stuff to repair and maintain the bike) I would be pretty close to that 300 pounds. I used to have an '07 Honda Met, which had a load capacity of 274 pounds, and I rode that with no problems, but rarely over 300 miles at the time. I mostly carried stuff to fix flats. My main interest in the Symba, besides it's looks, is it's manual transmission. I would be able to go places with it a small scooter cannot go, due to the limitations of it's CVT. I live at 1200 feet, and within 160 miles you can get to nearly 10,000 feet. There are a lot of long steep climbs in those 160 miles that a 125cc CVT scooter just won't handle. I have made that trip on a 50cc moped, but it was a 2 speed automatic, and had a centrifugally shifted transmission. When climbing at low speeds, it shifted down into first gear, and the engines rpms went way up, giving it power to climb, and preventing lugging the engine. Sometimes it would shift into second, and I would have to back off on the throttle slightly to get it back into first. A manual shift 125-150cc scooter would be great. I wonder why someone hasn't made one. You could build a modern (reliable) scooter like the Zuma 125 or the PCX 150, with a twist grip shifter like the Stella and vintage Vespas. Seems like a good idea to me, but maybe there is no market for such a bike.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:40 PM   #34
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I had a old Lambretta 175 with a clutch/4 speed transmission but nowadays I think scooters are thought of as synonymous with automatics. I haven't put a ton of miles on the Symba yet, but it seems tough and capable to tour on. About 12 years ago I did a killer ride in Vietnam on a 100cc Honda step through (AKA Symba like bike) way up in the highlands, south to roads, probably 800-1000 miles on all sorts of bad roads (also in Laos and Cambodia, but different trips). Anyway, there was nothing more suitable for the task. Giant Soviet military 4 wheel drive rescue tow trucks were getting stuck, even with their PTO cables on large trees. But I could push and paddle the bike through the worst of it, keeping it in gear and walking it. On a bike with a manual clutch it would have been the end, as would have a scooter with a CVT too. Aside from being a fine very small scale tour bike I am pretty sure it is the ultimate adventure bike. I've found that on the micro bikes you ride for 80-150 miles a day and you're done. But it seems you see and experience so much more.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:25 AM   #35
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I have put 400 miles a day on my Vino 125 dozens of times, but only on mostly level paved roads. Mountains are off limits, as are riding through sand or mud. My new Zuma 125 seems to be pretty much the same as the Vino, just a different look. The Stella has a manual transmission and clutch, and will climb mountains, but it still has the stock LML engine, which is not of the best quality. I don't want to get to far away on it, if it breaks down, I have no idea how to get it back. I also value the Stella more than the Japanese scooters. Despite being made in India, it has the same character and soul as a vintage Vespa, and can be kept going forever with vintage Vespa parts, which, just like air cooled VW bug parts, are plentiful.

The more I think about it, the more I want to add a Symba to my collection. I still wish it were 150cc, so it would be freeway legal. Not that I would want to cross the country on freeways on it, but at least you wouldn't get busted if you needed to get on a freeway for a short time. I seriously considered the PCX150 before getting the Zuma, it seemed to have similar performance, but was freeway legal. I eventually decided against it because of the absurd valve adjustment procedure, which required practically taking the whole scooter apart. 10 minute job on the Zuma and Vino.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:30 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
I

The more I think about it, the more I want to add a Symba to my collection. I

[peer pressure] DO IT, DO IT, DO IT Woo Woo Woo Woo [/peer pressure]
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:35 AM   #37
chazbird
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Due to its transmission I'd think the Symba is as peppy, if not more, than a Zuma 125. It is probably considerably lighter, too. It also has a nice electric starter and a handy kick starter as well.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:02 PM   #38
MODNROD
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I've been thinking about this same sort of thing for a while, not necessarily touring, but exactly what I NEED out of a bike, now that I'm definately past my 20s and street-racing (at least, that's what I've heard some 20-somethings do.........).
I always used to have some big-bore hotrod (like my Vmax I currently have), coz I'd ride the 200 miles to the drags, race all day and night against the long-bikes until one of them finally beat me, then the next day ride home on the hotrod again.
But to be honest where I live out here, I rarely do more than 75MPH any more at the most, usually 65-70, too many trucks/road trains/roos/sheep/John Deere harvesters/New Holland 4WD tractors, etc, just around the next blind bush-covered bend. I travel 60 miles to get to work (4on/4off) at 2am, home at 3pm 4 days later, and lately I've been sitting on 55MPH anyway (what is it with my cars and weeping head gaskets dammit?!?! ) for the trip.

I think travelling on low rolling hills sitting on 60-65MPH all day/night (to keep ahead of the road trains) is no issue for a 150cc mild hotrod or a 200cc stocker scoot. If you're just riding to the next town 20 miles away or travelling cross-country for days on end, what's the difference really.

I think that 2010 Sportscity 125 a mate has offered to me for $2G, then resurrect my old Kwaka Zed for the drags, and tell the lovely wife I need the family car (trailer for the Zed) a few times a year would be great.
Oh yeah, and roll out the old VW Beetle for those days when it's pisn down and I have to deal with crap weather and slippery red grease clay muck!

Do the road trip man, then write about it here, that way I can read about your exploits and get enthused!
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:28 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by thunderkat59 View Post
The definition of "small bike" has changed too. Back in '67, Honda called their 450 "A big bike with a big ride".
Now people call a 600, small

If a bike can get 55mph, its good enough for me
The definition of "road" has changed a bit, too. Used to be, all roads were two-lane roads. If you wanted to make time, you took the train.

Today, even lesser state highways are four-lane, limited-access in places. Often there's no option to either taking the Interstate or a road just like the Interstate, with drivers just as crazed and as fast.

I went from Madison, Wisconsin to Colorado's Four Corners area last month on my Burgman 650. Even though I had the power, I wanted to stay off the major expressways - the bike, even with a Givi windscreen, doesn't do tractor-trailer buffeting well.

Mostly I was able to. In places, though...there WERE no other roads; and it wasn't SAFE to keep the speeds down. And often times I wanted to...it was COLD up in them-there hills. Slower speeds meant more comfort and that I could keep the helmet's face-shield up, enjoy the mountain air.

I had some problems at the launch of the trip; I considered - seriously - taking the Big Ruckus instead. Glad I didn't - traffic would have had me in a constant spaz.
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:20 PM   #40
gatling
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I rode my California Scooter (it's a 150cc motorcycle) the length of the Baja peninsula and back (about 2200 miles). It was great. You can read that trip report here: http://www.motofoto.cc/california_sc...quer_baja!.htm

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Old 10-14-2012, 07:44 AM   #41
max57
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Spare

A scooter with a spare tire is the best place to start. I drive my Heinkel anywhere- I have been to Bar Harbor, Maine and NYC. My uncle, who bought it new in 1960, took it off the showroom floor and went from DC to LA by way of Mexico. You just have to keep the revs within safe limits. He made the trip in the late 50s on a Vespa. Said he liked the Heinkel better, larger and more comfortable, and got more respect. It has gravitas.The Stella is probably your best bet. A flat tire will hold you up for a half hour maybe.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:57 AM   #42
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Looks like a fun trip. I've been thinking about doing a similar trip on my small motorcycle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gatling View Post
I rode my California Scooter (it's a 150cc motorcycle) the length of the Baja peninsula and back (about 2200 miles). It was great. You can read that trip report here: http://www.motofoto.cc/california_sc...quer_baja!.htm
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:41 AM   #43
thunderkat59
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Originally Posted by max57 View Post
A scooter with a spare tire is the best place to start. I drive my Heinkel anywhere- I have been to Bar Harbor, Maine and NYC. My uncle, who bought it new in 1960, took it off the showroom floor and went from DC to LA by way of Mexico. You just have to keep the revs within safe limits. He made the trip in the late 50s on a Vespa. Said he liked the Heinkel better, larger and more comfortable, and got more respect. It has gravitas.The Stella is probably your best bet. A flat tire will hold you up for a half hour maybe.
Can you post a pic of this Heinkel? I think these are the Holy Grail and Golden era of scoots. Maicos too . . .
If you ever want to sell the mighty Heinkel , PM me ?

The most gorgeous sheet metal work in the history of bikes

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Old 10-14-2012, 02:07 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH
...I sure wish someone would make a scooter similar to the Zuma 125, only make it 150cc...


Taotao BWS150. It looks better in black .


If this came in a 250cc version, I think I'd have to buy it. I'm just too big (heavy) for a 150.
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:07 PM   #45
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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.
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