ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Battle scooters
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-28-2008, 03:34 PM   #1
ldeikis OP
Dirty daydreamer
 
ldeikis's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate NY
Oddometer: 718
Honda Urban Express vs "modern" scooters?

I'm looking into getting a honda Urban Express for my girlfriend--we're moving this winter and it looks like she'll have a commute of about 4 or 5 miles to work, some very small hills, all rural two lane. She doesn't have a moto license and won't be able (and/or isn't interested in) to get one by then, we don't have a spare car, and money is *tight*. So I'm looking at picking up a moped. There's an Urban Express's for sale locally in the $300-$500 range that I'm trying to arrange to see/ride.

Can anyone weigh in on these things? I'd rather see her on a ninja 250 or even a c70, but both require a license that she doesn't have and cost more. I've ridden old Honda Sprees and comparable little crap, and I think it would be enough for what she needs. Is an Express horridly slower than that?

Thanks for the input; I'm trying to go check the thing out soon.

Luke
__________________
"To them, the bike's garage clutter. To us, it's a Beretta, half a mil' in cash, and a forged passport hidden under the floorboards. Whether it's used or not, that choice is always there." --Dan Walsh, Bike, December 2003
ldeikis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2008, 05:26 PM   #2
Tall Man
Freelancer
 
Tall Man's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: The Occident
Oddometer: 988
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldeikis
I'm looking into getting a honda Urban Express for my girlfriend--we're moving this winter and it looks like she'll have a commute of about 4 or 5 miles to work, some very small hills, all rural two lane. She doesn't have a moto license and won't be able (and/or isn't interested in) to get one by then, we don't have a spare car, and money is *tight*. So I'm looking at picking up a moped. There's an Urban Express's for sale locally in the $300-$500 range that I'm trying to arrange to see/ride.

Can anyone weigh in on these things? I'd rather see her on a ninja 250 or even a c70, but both require a license that she doesn't have and cost more. I've ridden old Honda Sprees and comparable little crap, and I think it would be enough for what she needs. Is an Express horridly slower than that?

Thanks for the input; I'm trying to go check the thing out soon.

Luke
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Express
Even in good condition, you're getting a spindly little cycle that's at least 25 years old. Might be worth considering a small loan to get a more substantial product for your girlfriend.

TM
__________________
I prefer cynicism, myself. That's why I warn that no one is ever "just kidding."
Tall Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2008, 06:18 PM   #3
Tinfish
Studly Adventurer
 
Tinfish's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Eastern Washington / Utah
Oddometer: 976
Yeah, I'd be inclined to spend a couple hundred more and get one of those ultra-cheap 50cc Chinese scooters you see online with free shipping for $700-800, or at least a newer used scooter.

I mean, I know scooters are selling for a lot right now with the high gas prices and all, but in the last week locally there was a 10 year old CH80 (bigger than you want, I know) for $800 and a 2003 Metropolitan for $900, for example, plus some no-name mopeds. And this is in a small town at the ass end of nowhere -- if you have a bigger metro area nearby, you have more options.

So I'd look for the newest and cleanest 50cc scooter you can get for around your price range, plus a couple of hundred (since an old bike will need some work, pretty much guaranteed).

I don't know what defines a "moped" versus a "motorcycle" where you live -- in most places, it's a "moped" if it has less than 50cc's and a top speed of less than about 35, but those definitions can get pretty slippery. But anyway, what I'm saying is that it doesn't necessarily need to have pedals to be a "moped," and getting her on a more modern scooter with decent brakes and lights and more reliability would be good for your peace of mind.

Edited to add: I just took a look at the photo on the wikipedia page, and there's a guy here in town who rides one of those. It's SLOW, even compared to other small scooters, when he takes off from a traffic light. Definitely ride it before committing yourself -- if they are all that slow, you don't want her out on a fast rural road on one of those.
Tinfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2008, 12:07 AM   #4
ScootGuy
Adventurer
 
ScootGuy's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Ohio
Oddometer: 53
You could always call East Coast Customs and/or Bultaco Motorcycles and tell them you are looking for a nice cheap 49cc scooter and see what they can find for you.

You may have better luck finding something in a bigger area and taking a bus and driving it home, but, those are probably your best local bets in finding something.....
ScootGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2008, 06:40 PM   #5
ldeikis OP
Dirty daydreamer
 
ldeikis's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate NY
Oddometer: 718
Hmmm... thanks for the opinions.

We're only a couple hours from the city, but anyone who's ever lived in NYC knows that scooters there get absolutely *trashed* (as do most other wheeled objects, I guess) so I'm not super keen on buying one there... nor on riding it home.

If the thing's going to be dangerously slower than a spree or similar, though, I may have to look into a metropolitan or something. It's just that somehow spending $250 or $300 on a poor-handling, slow, single speed vehicle is so much easier to swallow than $800-$1000. And she essentially has nothing at all to contribute to this right now.

In NY, a "moped" is essentially defined by top speed, not shifting... but most of them seem to be 49cc and below. Anyone have input on a Tomos A35? TWO whole speeds, but I believe it still qualifies as a moped.

Thanks.

Luke
__________________
"To them, the bike's garage clutter. To us, it's a Beretta, half a mil' in cash, and a forged passport hidden under the floorboards. Whether it's used or not, that choice is always there." --Dan Walsh, Bike, December 2003

ldeikis screwed with this post 09-29-2008 at 07:14 PM
ldeikis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2008, 08:11 PM   #6
ColinDoyle
Studly Adventurer
 
ColinDoyle's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Collegeville, Minnesota
Oddometer: 723
I wouldn't recommend a <50cc machine on a rural two-laner, unless it has a wide, paved shoulder... I live on a hilly county road with a 55 MPH limit, no shoulders. It gets REALLY old having people tailgate me when I'm on the Ruckus.

There isn't really a 50cc suitable for her needs, besides the Aprilias (RS50 and SR50) - and those are spendy. Sure, a small scooter or moped will get her to her destination, but it's dangerous as hell with inattentive car drivers flying around in the same lane at twice her speed.

Colin
__________________
Colin Doyle
2004 BMW R1150R Rockster | 2008 Honda Ruckus
ColinDoyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2008, 08:43 PM   #7
approachbears
250cc is 50cc too many
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Nuevo Mexico
Oddometer: 917
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldeikis
I'm looking into getting a honda Urban Express for my girlfriend... I've ridden old Honda Sprees and comparable little crap, and I think it would be enough for what she needs...
Its a stretch to call the Spree "little crap" since its as solidly built as the Urban Express and built by the same company. Both are now old, old technology. I'm not sure why you put "modern" in quotes in the thread title, since a newer, better tuned and cleaner running scooter isn't just quote/unquote better. It is going to be less maintenance and more.

That said, you are apparently not going to be satisfied by anything 50cc or maybe any scooter at all. But, I hope you realize that this is not going to be your bike, rather its going to be hers. There's usually no better way to make someone you're dating never ride a motorcycle than by forcing your ideas onto them. How about just investing a $100-$150 in the MSF safety class? Then, let her pick something out based on her own experience. Maybe even let her do the MSF course on a scooter (they allow that these days). She might not get a motorcycle even with a license, but you should never bitch about that since its going to make her just that much safer no matter. As someone married to a woman who never, ever wanted to ride motorized two-wheelers and then ended up owning her own bike on her own terms and as a friend of several couples and single women who took the MSF recently, I can't stress enough the value of letting her choose her own ride.
approachbears is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2008, 08:55 PM   #8
approachbears
250cc is 50cc too many
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Nuevo Mexico
Oddometer: 917
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldeikis
...In NY, a "moped" is essentially defined by top speed, not shifting... but most of them seem to be 49cc and below. Anyone have input on a Tomos A35? TWO whole speeds, but I believe it still qualifies as a moped...
Almost any 4 stroke scooter will be much, much less work than the Tomos. I know 2 guys who recently rode a brand new Tomos and an old Puch from NYC to Phoenix. They made it, but they took a lot of work from small stuff (electrical gremlins, hassle of 2 stroke oil mixing, and constant tuning) to big stuff (crapped out rings and cylinders) on both mopeds. The amount of upkeep far outweighed the ease and low cost of upkeep in my mind. Plus, they weren't any faster than my Ruckus. Compare this to many people who have driven modern, mostly Japanese scooters that far or farther. The amount repairs, even normal maintence, is much lower according to their trip reports (look up Rupert Wilson-Young, who rode Alaska to Tierra del Fuego on a Yamaha Vino 50--approx. 20,000 miles, and Wan, who rode his Honda Ruckus 50 across the USA twice--18,108 miles--in 2007-2008).

If you go small, my suggestion is a Honda Metropolitain for reliability, ease of use and negligible repair/maintence costs.
approachbears is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 02:54 AM   #9
Pugsley/Hobbfather
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Barnard, VT
Oddometer: 403
Urban Express: Good!

Just my opinion...

I bought one over a year ago for my G/F, and though it tops out at 28 on the flat with her 150lb frame, it does the same with my (then) 300lb tankness.

It starts every time, even with a dead (or no) battery, has never needed anything, and I use it to get groceries.

The only issue is that on the shoulder, you feel quite vulnerable when people pass at 65mph...I've commuted the 13 miles to work when my 750 was in the shop, and still think the most fun I have per mile is had on this thing.

Sure it's small.

That's the point.

Pugsley/Hobbfather is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 08:42 AM   #10
ColinDoyle
Studly Adventurer
 
ColinDoyle's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Collegeville, Minnesota
Oddometer: 723
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugsley/Hobbfather
I've commuted the 13 miles to work when my 750 was in the shop, and still think the most fun I have per mile is had on this thing.
Yup - scooters are great. Riding a larger motorcycle borders on work... but scooters are virtually effortless, totally flickable, and undeniably fun.
__________________
Colin Doyle
2004 BMW R1150R Rockster | 2008 Honda Ruckus
ColinDoyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 09:57 AM   #11
Pugsley/Hobbfather
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Barnard, VT
Oddometer: 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinDoyle
Yup - scooters are great. Riding a larger motorcycle borders on work... but scooters are virtually effortless, totally flickable, and undeniably fun.
I've noticed that.

I'm getting a 500 running, and will soon have an old Honda CL90 on the road as the uber commuter...sell the 750 and keep the express as the BeerRunner...
Pugsley/Hobbfather is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 10:35 AM   #12
Reposado1800
Juicy J fan!
 
Reposado1800's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: 5th and Main
Oddometer: 5,741
Get a new Zuma 50 and mod the throttle stop. It will hit 40mph on the flat no problem. Think of it as an investment. When you sell it, you will get 50% or more back of the purchase price. $1000 outlay in the end for a bike that is new, quick and gets near 100mpg and won't break.
__________________
Hate gets you nowhere.
Tequila is a weapon of mass destruction.
Reposado1800 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 01:43 PM   #13
newride
Studly Adventurer
 
newride's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: San Fran
Oddometer: 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by approachbears
Its a stretch to call the Spree "little crap" since its as solidly built as the Urban Express and built by the same company. Both are now old, old technology. I'm not sure why you put "modern" in quotes in the thread title, since a newer, better tuned and cleaner running scooter isn't just quote/unquote better. It is going to be less maintenance and more.

That said, you are apparently not going to be satisfied by anything 50cc or maybe any scooter at all. But, I hope you realize that this is not going to be your bike, rather its going to be hers. There's usually no better way to make someone you're dating never ride a motorcycle than by forcing your ideas onto them. How about just investing a $100-$150 in the MSF safety class? Then, let her pick something out based on her own experience. Maybe even let her do the MSF course on a scooter (they allow that these days). She might not get a motorcycle even with a license, but you should never bitch about that since its going to make her just that much safer no matter. As someone married to a woman who never, ever wanted to ride motorized two-wheelers and then ended up owning her own bike on her own terms and as a friend of several couples and single women who took the MSF recently, I can't stress enough the value of letting her choose her own ride.
Very true,
My first motorized 2 wheel vehicle was a Urban express. Guy before me rode it through the woods all the time and then ...........hit a cat on it going fast. So yeah, they are tough.
__________________
1975 BMW R90/6

My moto blog: http://jbloggie1.blogspot.com/
newride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 07:32 PM   #14
ldeikis OP
Dirty daydreamer
 
ldeikis's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate NY
Oddometer: 718
Quote:
Originally Posted by approachbears
Its a stretch to call the Spree "little crap" ...I'm not sure why you put "modern" in quotes in the thread title
Whoa, chief, I didn't mean to offed anyone. Lighten up. The only sprees I've had experience on were beat to hell, and I can't imagine there's too many around these days that aren't. RE modern, I have a KLR and compared to the little SL100 I learned on, it's pretty modern. But no one who knows their ass from their elbow could call KLR technology modern without using quotes... which is kind of what I meant--I'm not comparing an 81 Urban Express to a 2009 Aprilia Rocketshippa, I'm comparing it to (for instance) an 86 Spree... you know, turn signals, bodywork, looks like a "scooter" and not a refugee from Gidget.

And I'm not interested in forcing her to ride a bike, if I were she'd have learned years ago. What I'm interested in is seeing this situation solved before I'm in a situation where I've got to go out and get her transportation RIGHT NOW when she realizes that she's not riding a bicycle 5 miles at 5:30 in the morning next spring.

Thanks all for the input. I guess I need to just ride some of these things and check them out, and keep my eye open for a metropolitan or something... as well as maybe let it be her problem to a larger extent.

Thanks.

Luke
__________________
"To them, the bike's garage clutter. To us, it's a Beretta, half a mil' in cash, and a forged passport hidden under the floorboards. Whether it's used or not, that choice is always there." --Dan Walsh, Bike, December 2003
ldeikis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 07:12 AM   #15
NameHere
like rust in a spray can
 
NameHere's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Des Moines: French for "The Moines," Iowa
Oddometer: 1,537
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldeikis
Thanks all for the input. I guess I need to just ride some of these things and check them out, and keep my eye open for a metropolitan or something... as well as maybe let it be her problem to a larger extent.

Thanks.

Luke
I'm not sure why we anyone thinks a Metropolitan is going to be much (if any) faster than an Express or a Spree.

I've ridden them all, and there's not much noticeable difference in takeoff or top speed. Plus, anyone who has a Metropolitan is convinced they are worth their weight in gold, so you'll pay a premium for it. If you have even passing familiarity with a typical two-stroke engine, they're also super easy to work on and mechanically bomb-proof.
__________________
Pioneering mobile pervert, I salute you. ~ bwringer | My AVATAR | Get your FIL!
There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. Ezekiel 23:20
NameHere is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 01:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014