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Old 10-17-2012, 02:05 PM   #46
JerryH
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Having a lot of experience with both sport bikes and cruisers (more with cruisers) and recently with step through scooters with floorboards, I've found them all to have issues. I gave up on sport bikes because I simply could not handle the riding position, with low forward bars, you wind up supporting most of your upper body weight with your arms, plus you have to bend your neck back almost all the way to see where you are going. That puts a tremendous amount of stress on your hands, arms, shoulders, and neck. Then you have the high rearset pegs, which means you have to bend your knees as far as they will go. That riding position caused me so much pain that I literally had to stop and get off after 20 miles. And I was already hurting so bad I had a problem even getting off the bike. I would have to stop, sit upright on the bike for several minutes for the numbness in my legs to go away before I could even stand up.


Cruisers and scooters are very comfortable to start with, all of your weight is supported by the seat. Your feet are forward, and (on a cruiser anyway) the bars come back to meet you, so there is a bend in your elbows, so you are not supporting any weight with your arms. But, over long distances, your back is supporting all your upper body weight, and will begin to hurt after a while. It's even worse with small scooters, like the Vino and Zuma, because they have very stiff suspension, to give them an acceptable load carrying capacity. So riding around town on streets with a lot of bumps and manhole covers, it feels like you are sitting on a jackhammer. It continuously pounds your back until serious pain develops. I am seriously considering putting lower bars on my Zuma 125, to take just some of the load off my back, but not all of it like a sport bike. I often ride this scooter with my legs dangling over the sides rather than on the floorboard.

I believe the original standard bikes got it as close to right as possible, long, wide, comfortable seats, pegs that were straight down, rather than forward or rearset, and bars that required just a slight amount of forward lean. This allowed you to support your weight with your arms, legs and butt, with not too much weight on any one part. Today, it is mostly dirt and dual sport bikes that have this type of riding position. My XT225 would be very comfortable if only it had a decent seat. It's pegs are positioned so that you can lift your weight up off the seat if you see a big bump coming up, so the shock is absorbed by your legs instead of your back.

But again, on pretty much anything but a sport bike, a riders backrest will make a huge difference in comfort on a long trip. My Goldwing has such soft suspension that it just floats over most bumps, you never feel them. It rides like a '70s Cadillac. If it had a backrest, it would be all day comfortable, even for me. To bad it has to be so big and heavy, but I guess nothing is perfect.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:35 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
I believe the original standard bikes got it as close to right as possible, long, wide, comfortable seats, pegs that were straight down, rather than forward or rearset, and bars that required just a slight amount of forward lean. This allowed you to support your weight with your arms, legs and butt, with not too much weight on any one part. Today, it is mostly dirt and dual sport bikes that have this type of riding position. My XT225 would be very comfortable if only it had a decent seat. It's pegs are positioned so that you can lift your weight up off the seat if you see a big bump coming up, so the shock is absorbed by your legs instead of your back.
I agree and for the life of me, I can not understand why the manufacturers stopped making UJMs, which were the most comfortable bikes I have ever ridden. My DR650 with a Corbin seat came very close to having UJM proportions, only missing on seat height. My Tmax is just about perfect for me - an almost-standard riding position when placing my feet on the floorboards (just a bit too feet forward for my tastes, but I can live with that). Bars are a bit lower than other maxi-scooters (which I like) and seat is just a bit higher. End result is a comfortable riding position and excellent control of the bike. The stock Tmax ergos just work perfectly for me - seat is comfortable for all day rides and no buffetting from the stock windscreen. But I also did a SS1000 on a stock Vulcan 500, so YMMV.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:47 PM   #48
JerryH
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I have done 2 SS1000s on a Vulcan 750, with riders backrest. But the last one was over 4 years ago. I do not believe I could do one on anything now, as my health has gotten much worse. I did drive a car from Portland to Phoenix last year (about 1500 miles) in almost exactly 24 hours, but it had a really comfortable seat, comfortable suspension, and cruise control. I do have a throttle lock on the Vulcan, but it really isn't much help. Unlike a sportbike, you don't need to constantly move your hands to get some rest. I see many sportbike riders riding down the road with their left hand on their waist, and they put their bikes in neutral at a stop light and do some stretching. I have never heard anyone call a sportbike comfortable, but most sportbike riders say the handling is worth it. That part of my riding life is over.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:10 AM   #49
ScootTour
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Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
My Sport city really bothered my back at first but I have gotten used to it. I think that certain muscles in my back just needed strengthening.....
this is extremely useful information for me. I was leaning toward buying a 'true' maxi scooter next year for long distance traveling. Part of me is thinking along the same lines which is, sitting on my butt for 45 years has just made my back weak and its likely good to work it out anyway.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:14 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
. I gave up on sport bikes because I simply could not handle the riding position, with low forward bars, you wind up supporting most of your upper body weight with your arms, plus you have to bend your neck back almost all the way to see where you are going. ...
this might explain why every hard core sports bike rider I have met has 'beffy' upperbody. most likely not because of the bike but because only guys who work out upper body can tollerate the bike
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:26 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
......................................... I see many sportbike riders riding down the road with their left hand on their waist, and they put their bikes in neutral at a stop light and do some stretching. I have never heard anyone call a sportbike comfortable, but most sportbike riders say the handling is worth it. That part of my riding life is over.
Sportbikes are not all alike. Some are quite comfortable. I put 66,000 miles on a 89 EX500 and regularly rode 400-700 mile days on it. With an aftermarket seat I could easily have ridden further. It had a very comfortable (fairly upright) seating position. My SV650 also had a comfortable seating position but the seat sucked. On the other hand, 15 miles on an RC51 and I was ready for a chiropractor.

I do not care for the seating position of most cruisers. The slouched riding position bothers my back and the swept back bars and feet forward pegs are not good for controlling the bike. Also, sitting on your tailbone with limited rear suspension travel means every bump goes directly to your spine.

But then, just like sportbikes, all cruisers are not alike. I'm sure there are some I would find comfortable.
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klaviator screwed with this post 10-18-2012 at 10:33 AM
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:08 PM   #52
JerryH
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I traded an EX500 for a Zuma 125, because it hurt so much to ride it, that it wasn't fun. But then I have medical issues. I have found my Vulcan 750 cruiser with a riders backrest the most comfortable bike I have ever owned. The backrest makes a huge difference, and eliminates the slouch. It gives you back support. It's a lot like the difference between riding a recumbent bicycle and a regular bicycle. The recumbent has a lot fewer pressure points. With a riders backrest, it also helps support some of your weight, so it is not all on the seat, and prevents you from having to hold yourself up. The Vulcan also has passenger footpegs in the perfect position for the rider to use for a temporary change of position. I even find my Stella to be a bit uncomfortable, because the bars are to low, causing you to lean forward, while still having your feet out in front of you, so it puts your lower back in a bind. I had one lower disc removed about 35 years ago, and don't quite have the flexibility most people have, but the main problem is pain caused by arthritis (joints) and fibromyalgia (nerves) which most people my age don't have to deal with.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:19 PM   #53
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I agree and for the life of me, I can not understand why the manufacturers stopped making UJMs, which were the most comfortable bikes I have ever ridden.
I wondered about that for quite a while. But I think I've cracked that nut...

I'm single now. But in the '80s, when the UJMs were just being phased out...I had one of the last great ones, a Yamaha SR500.

Me and the lady would go out on it...it was big enough, and in the context of the time, powerful enough. But...she was shorter in the torso, as women are...although she enjoyed riding and the "quality time" the scenery didn't do much for her.

Because all she could see...was my back.

The "cruiser" style and even some dual-sports...now have the stepped seat. Very uncomfortable for a tall operator/rider. But gives a great view to the pillion passenger - who is almost certainly going to be smaller. After all...how many GUYS get on the back of their GIRL's motorcycle?

It's too bad; but youth is, or used to be, where the money is in that business. Dedicated riders are apparently left out...maybe some day someone will put out a quality bike for a SINGLE rider?
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:30 PM   #54
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How about the new Honda NC700X? He gets great mileage, enough power for the freeways, and no shifting.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:56 AM   #55
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How about the new Honda NC700X? He gets great mileage, enough power for the freeways, and no shifting.
OMG!

I wasnt aware of this, a non-shifting adventure motorcycle....oh this just got added to my very much want list.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:48 AM   #56
JerryH
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How about the new Honda NC700X? He gets great mileage, enough power for the freeways, and no shifting.
That also has a very thin, stepped seat, and a sportbike like riding position, not as extreme, but moreso than the old UJM. And I just can't get past it's looks. Looks a lot like a modern sportbike to me. I liked the SOHC Honda 750 and Kawasaki KZ900 standards. The only bike I know of that is still sold in the U.S. that comes close to that style is the Triumph Bonneville, and I would probably have one if I can afford it. But my Vulcan 750 with a backrest is comfortable enough, it has a one piece stepped seat, but the step just happens to be in exactly the right place. I have never carried a passenger for more than a few miles on anything but a Goldwing. Myself and my 135 pound daughter overload the Vulcan, causing the rear suspension to bottom out.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:03 PM   #57
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I agree with everyone who says you are nuts to try and ride a scooter in the summer in Phoenix, unless you have some sort of evaporative cooling system for yourself.
That said, a Vespa 200L, Honda Reflex, or any of the big wheel 150cc liquid cooled bikes would be great as a sole vehicle.I ride a Vespa ET4 right now, with a 45 mile daily commute and it's fine for the occasional run on the interstate and great around town, where a scooter shines. You seem to be getting responses that assume that the only important aspect of your ride is roaring down the freeway, and if that's what you are doing, you are better off with a used Civic or Corolla, because if you break down the cost per mile between a cheap car and a maxiscooter, the car is much cheaper until gas goes way up in price.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:39 PM   #58
JerryH
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I have always considered motorcycles and scooters toys. Almost never use them for transportation. 2 years ago I got a really nice 2001 Chevy Malibu with 98,000 miles for $4000. This is not the stripped down model, it has power everything, 6 way power seats, power moon roof, great stereo, the works. Just like a small Cadillac. And it rides like one. A/C is ice cold. I'm sitting in traffic in 115 degrees, in cool comfort, and cringe when I see someone on a bike. I've ridden plenty in those temperatures, so I know what it feels like, and it is not for me. The car get 30 mpg, requires less maintenance than a bike, and should be good for at least 200,000 miles before things start going wrong. Modern cars are not worth fixing when they get that kind of mileage on them, you just scrap it and buy another one. I paid $3000 for a new Zuma 125. It is more fun, but cannot go on the freeway, haul anything, carry passengers, wouldn't be much fun in the rain, etc. I wish I lived in a place where I could use a bike for my main transportation, but Phoenix just isn't it. Even then I would have to have a car/truck for those times when a bike just wouldn't work. So for transportation, I would always put a car first, then get a bike(s) (I have 7) for fun.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:49 PM   #59
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One of my closest friends, who is 70 years old, rode his Piaggio BV250 over 50,000 in the last 12 months. He lives in St. Augustine, Fl and has a home in Cresson, Texas. He has ridden out there and back about a dozen times this year. It has the optional hard bags and the Piaggio top box. Pretty slick really. He rides I-10 all the way cruising at an indicated 70 mph. Never a problem mechanically in the last 50k miles. Uses no oil and consistently gets 65 to 70 mpg depending on wind factors.

Without a doubt the 250 is up to the task.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:21 AM   #60
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Check out cfmoto fashion 250. Yes, Chinese but reliable, 247cc, 70mpg, 78mph, storage, water cooled, and Honda parts fit so service is not a problem.

IMO, I would buy a pcx 150. Our dealer here had one for $3000 new. Not sure what finances are for you but that is cheap enough to still afford a craigslist car for freeway runs. Fwiw I love my scooter and commute on it daily, but sometimes you just don't feel like riding the scooter. (Headcolds and helmets don't always get along)
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