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Old 11-15-2009, 02:33 PM   #1
rivercreep OP
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Good 50CC cold weather scooters (starting)

Ok, so Ihave a perfectly good car to commute with in the winter and a DR650 to boot that also runs great but, here's my situation.

The Car sucks because it's a car. (it's that simple!)
The DR650 is new and hasn't been exposed to Pa.'s salty slush roads yet and I'd like to keep it that way to keep her pretty (even if she is covered in mud 50% of the time)(doesn't rust and pit like salt, either)

I'm considering a 50CC scooter (all back roads to travel to work) due to their cheapness and wouldn't mind sacrificing it to the Salt. Also, since aerostitch has screw in tire studs, I wouldn't have to experiment with the DR. This would hardly be my first winter commuting on two wheels, just the first one with studded tires.

What I'm more concerned about than anything is (out of the models I'm looking at), which engine would be easy to get going in super cold temps.
1. Honda Ruckus = 4 stroke with carb
2. Yamaha Zuma = Two stroke with carb and direct oil injection.
3. Yamaha C3 = 4 Stroke with F.I. (this would seem like the obvious choice although I'm looking for real life experiences)

While I'm waiting for replies (thanks in advance for your input) I'll be searching the web for various reviews but, I'm not expecting much since there aren't that many like minded lunatics out there and I know most of them are HERE!

Thanks!
James
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:04 PM   #2
tortoise2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep
This would hardly be my first winter commuting on two wheels, just the first one with studded tires.
Be sure to inform family members of your organ donation wishes! Might have better survival odds on a trike configuration. Why the 50cc stipulation?
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:37 PM   #3
approachbears
250cc is 50cc too many
 
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On the coldest day I've ridden my Ruckus its been about 20 or 25 degrees. Freezing or below it needed about a full 2 minutes to really warm up before taking off. I usually stop riding at freezing because its just too cold for me. May I suggest a snow mobile suit for both warmth and padded crash protection?

I suspect the fuel injected C3 would do better just like fuel injected cars do better with the cold. But if this is a sacrificial scooter, why not just buy whatever used thing you can get your hands on for cheap?
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:19 PM   #4
rivercreep OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tortoise2
Be sure to inform family members of your organ donation wishes! Might have better survival odds on a trike configuration. Why the 50cc stipulation?
Basiclly, the 50 cc "restriction" is based on what I'm willing to spend on a new scooter.
Also, around here, most drivers wont go over 40mph on snow covered roads so the scooters top speed isn't important anyway.

As for my survival odds, I'm a seasoned veteran of winter riding and have probably logged more miles on my previous DR650's (a 91 and a 97) in winter than most guys put on their bikes in 3 summers. (both DR's accumulated almost 50,000 miles within 3 year periods).
For quite some time in my youth, all I had for transportation were my Dr's.
I.M.H.O. Snow covered roads are only as scary as the assholes sliding all around you in their cages. (I don't feel any safer in my car)

My current DR, I'd like to keep pristine as long as possible and not have the frame rot out so I can see if I can get 100,000 miles out of the engine. (based on past experiences, this should be doable)

If I can hit the lottery for just enough money before I make my decision on a scooter, I'll buy a Ural 2 wheel drive "Patrol" for winter duty.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:41 PM   #5
Barnone
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Take tortoise2's suggestion and get the three wheeler.


Who needs any stinking studs?
Big windshield that covers your hands and you would be good to go. In the summer time you could sell ice cream.
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:41 PM   #6
scorch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep
Ok, so Ihave a perfectly good car to commute with in the winter and a DR650 to boot that also runs great but, here's my situation.

The Car sucks because it's a car. (it's that simple!)
The DR650 is new and hasn't been exposed to Pa.'s salty slush roads yet and I'd like to keep it that way to keep her pretty (even if she is covered in mud 50% of the time)(doesn't rust and pit like salt, either)

I'm considering a 50CC scooter (all back roads to travel to work) due to their cheapness and wouldn't mind sacrificing it to the Salt. Also, since aerostitch has screw in tire studs, I wouldn't have to experiment with the DR. This would hardly be my first winter commuting on two wheels, just the first one with studded tires.

What I'm more concerned about than anything is (out of the models I'm looking at), which engine would be easy to get going in super cold temps.
1. Honda Ruckus = 4 stroke with carb
2. Yamaha Zuma = Two stroke with carb and direct oil injection.
3. Yamaha C3 = 4 Stroke with F.I. (this would seem like the obvious choice although I'm looking for real life experiences)

While I'm waiting for replies (thanks in advance for your input) I'll be searching the web for various reviews but, I'm not expecting much since there aren't that many like minded lunatics out there and I know most of them are HERE!

Thanks!
James
I also like the 50cc idea for commuting. Those bikes are on my list as well, and from those as much as i like the ruckus id strike that one out. Mainly because its a naked scooter with no wind protection at all. With the zuma and c3 you can at least be a little protected from the wind.

I've seen zumas and vinos with large windscreens that seem to be extremely effective. They also make these bike skirts? that help you from getting dirty and keeps you warm.

The c3 seems like a good choice, fi and the best mileage from all of those. But just kind of needs to get used to because of its looks
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:06 PM   #7
wanna bECO
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C3 definitely... I haven't owned one but it's on my bucket list. Nothing but rave reviews and I have seen them so cheap on craigs... 1000 to 1300/ never pay more than 1300 for one and put your snow shoes in it's ginormous under seat storage. But I agree.. scoots are close to the ground.. have you thought about the inevitable snow plow a scoot will become just pushing thru the snow..... Have you thought about something with more clearance? I live in phoenix so snow is something I see when I watch "miracle on 24th street" but a 50 cc scoot doesn't seem like the best answer to your needs...

Again, I am no expert, but if I worked at a motorcycle dealer and someone walked in wanting to comute in snow, would I recomend a 50 cc scoot.? Only if I really hated him!!
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:14 PM   #8
approachbears
250cc is 50cc too many
 
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:24 PM   #9
approachbears
250cc is 50cc too many
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanna bECO
...I live in phoenix so snow is something I see when I watch "miracle on 24th street" but a 50 cc scoot doesn't seem like the best answer to your needs...

Again, I am no expert, but if I worked at a motorcycle dealer and someone walked in wanting to comute in snow, would I recomend a 50 cc scoot.? Only if I really hated him!!
You couldn't be more wrong, but I forgive you since you're in Phoenix.

50cc scooters are generally very light weight machines with a very low center of gravity. Tall is not your friend in snow. Plus, you don't have to keep your feet occupied with pedals, braking and shifting. So you can let them act as skis when things get hairy and you need to manhandle the bike. 50cc keeps you from getting too fast for conditions, but still give plenty of speed.

Check these videos out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMUHMlGkHxA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q36LtmCxyH4&feature=fvw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijXo0ckmNKI

BTW, it might be worth considering that you can find plenty of Ruckus and Zuma videos of scooters in the snow, but I didn't find any C3's (even under its alternate names Giggle and Vox) in the snow. Maybe its just the owners?
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:08 PM   #10
Woodsrat
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What re-exposed me to the wonderfulness of scooters was a seizure in '01 and the doctor telling me I couldn't drive/ride until I went six months seizure-free. My buddy at the Honda shop sold me an Elite at cost (figuring if I did short-circuit again I wouldn't hurt anyone on something like this) and I rode it all winter in temperatures down to 12 degrees. A couple of things I discovered were that the scooter would start and run immediately even in severe cold--but if I didn't let it warm up completely it would die if the stoplight near the plant made me stop and wouldn't restart until it cooled off enough for the automatic choke to work again. Another thing that happened was during the typical schizophrenic Indiana weather one day it was 50 degrees and pouring rain and then a cold front hit. The scooter got put away wet in a semi-warm garage and I rode it to work the next day. That night the brake cables were frozen. Admittedly this could have happened on a motorcycle as well but it's something to consider.

I didn't have to ride on many days when it was slick but when I did it wasn't too bad. I used a backstreet route across town and many of the streets got little to no salt so the roads tended to be on the slick side but the combination of low power output and low gearing made it completely controllable.

Locally a Roketa 50 can be had for $495--cheap enough that you could ride it all winter, sell it in the spring and not have to worry about the rust/corrosion it would have. If gas goes back to $4+ a gallon that's what I'll be riding.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:15 AM   #11
rivercreep OP
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Thanks for the replies!

I have given thought to the ground clearance issue but, figure I could just drag it through a good snow drift.
LOTS OF SNOW I'd probably just take out the DR since the roads never get plowed around here right away (or salted).
In hind sight, I regret having traded my 08 XT250 in on another DR. I should have just kept the XT (for snow use) and still bought the DR.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:46 AM   #12
wanna bECO
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xt 250??? isn't that a yammy...I haven't riden one of them, but they look snow worthy. I would wanna ride a friends bike or another inmates bike in the snow first, but it totally sounds like you have a ton of snow plowing experience on bikes, so you can be the judge. If you are dead set on 5o cc, I am going to rerecomend the C3. And already being a fan of yamaha you might have a good dealer near you. Maybe a bit bigger scoot, just cuz the snow might require a bit more uhhhmph to get over. whatever you choose, I wanna see pics of that bad boy plowing away while you shiver on the back. I promise to send you a pic of me on one of my scoots in flip flops that same day.

Keep us posted, and whatever you chose, the first few months with a new bike is like sex with a new woman.... ALL GOOD
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:11 PM   #13
Mike in flossmoor
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Talking

I use the Zuma light and decent duel purpose tires as standard. I find the muffler rotted and not the frame or aluminium this is a good "thahing" as used mufflers are cheep on ebay. If it is colder than 10 fahrenheit it needs a jump to start but security does that no problem(no it will not kick start that cold either, carbs you know) I carry a SAE adapter to a cigarette lighter for the jump that way no need to remove the battery cover. Light enough to pick up from the handle bars. I haven ridden to work with both feet on the ground (outriggers as you can guess) no problem.

As long as the snow is less than 4" more than that and the tires are to small and the front wheel snow plows. If the snow is more than that or its colder than 10 I let the wife drive me in the Subaru.

No use being stupid, unless I am riding a scooter to a BMW club meeting;-) did that in -15 weather just to show off.

Mike
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:53 PM   #14
windburn
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Outrigger feet

I had a Honda 90 in 1970 and I was attending college in the Rockies. It was cold and snow covered in the winter and I would ride to college with my feet sliding along the street. I started work as a 4am janitor on campus and I would slide along under the street lights in the snow and Ice. You just do what you can with what you've got. I was so poor, It was 25 cents for hot cracked wheat . Lunch was a 25 cent salad. at night I worked in a sub sandwich shop. Work ,school work, home work and bed. The girls took a liking to me or concern for my life and would invite me to dinner on occasion. I could not have made it without that old Honda. and of course Gayla and Annie.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:07 AM   #15
Woodsrat
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One thing I didn't mention--during my winter commutes on the Elite I wired up my electric vest to it and it worked fine. It's nice to be gaining heat rather than a constant fight to preserve it.
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