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Old 04-12-2006, 12:14 PM   #1
Towpilot OP
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Which cheap Chinese scooter ?

My brother in fla needs a scooter. He's 55yrs old, and just needs a grocery getter. He is not an enthusiast. He has chronic depression problems. He would likely have trouble changing a spark plug or mixing oil to the correct ratio, but I don't think he'll have any trouble riding it. He does not drive a car anymore.

My dad is helping him out, with a place to live & getting him a scooter. He's been looking at the chinese scooters under 50cc, 2 & 4 stroke, selling for around $800~$1000.
Yes, I know they're likely junk, but if I put a gun to your head & made you buy one, can you tell me which would be the best pick? I know 4 strokes will be slower, but easier for him to deal with I think.
I doubt I could convince them to spend more to get a better rig, or to shop for a used one, so Im limiting the choices to around $1000, new.
Are any of these cheapies ay good? does one stand out above the others?

Thanks for your helpfull opinions,

-Dan
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:19 PM   #2
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As a cheap run-around grocery getter, I've been very happy with my Vento. I haven't done a lick of maintenance to it in the 8 or so months we've had it and I even killed the battery over the winter. Even with the dead battery, it starts on the first or second kick. Lights are bit dim with no battery...


I'm sure Photog will be around any second to give her own thumbs up for Vento, and send you some good links for where to get them. As I recall from my own hunt, there's at least one place in Florida.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:25 PM   #3
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Spend a few hundred more and get a Vento. Had one, loved it, would buy another. They're all being cranked out of similar factories and rebadged in the US; the Vento lineup is a CPI-clone scoot designed in Austria; the mechanicals are typically Minarelli motors which are bulletproof and easy to get parts for and anyone who services scoots can work on them. The difference in clone brands is 1)component quality level and 2) the quality control connected to the brand and Vento has been doing fairly well in that regard.

Zip R3i if he's 5'8" and under. ~ $1375 shipped
Base-model Zip ~$1100 shipped

Triton if he's taller than 5'8". ~ $1475 shipped

try www.qualityscooters4less.com -- they'll ship it to your door.

If you can't go the extra money it's a crap shoot with a Geely.

A used Honda Elite 50/80 would be a nice option.

If you think he's gonna space on putting premix in it, go with a 4 stroke.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:28 PM   #4
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Photog - 6 minutes later... right on cue

(I always forget that link for qualityscooters )
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:29 PM   #5
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There's another good dealer...can't think of the name of the joint...
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:37 PM   #6
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Thanks, you folks are quick!
....Doing the research....
-Dan
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Old 04-12-2006, 04:33 PM   #7
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I am 5'11" and I fit fine on a zip. I usually sat on the back elevated portion of the seat. I loved the zip....was a total hoot and quite a bit of clever storage. Even a place to carry my morning coffee. One thing I really miss with my stella.
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:18 PM   #8
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I saw a scooterist helmetless today (I'm in a mandatory helmet law state) trying to navigate a left turn from a stoplight by sticking his left foot out, dragging it, and going so wide he bumped off the curb hard enough to dislodge him from the seat.

It made me think about a major caveat--people tend to think of scooters as some sort of low-level transportation device that anyone can jump on and ride. At first glance they are--light, easy to maneuver, and so on. But the rider is still in traffic, just like a motorcycle, and still needs the same skills any commuter on a bigger bike needs. Think of 'em as small-displacement motorcycles.

If you're not sure of how he'd do in terms of keeping his head in the game in traffic, send him to an MSF class. They also have scooter classes but if there's not one locally send him to a BRC. He'll have a great time and learn some street survival skills and the basics of cornering and braking--the two big killers on bikes, no matter what size they are.
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