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Old 09-13-2010, 09:14 AM   #1
jazzer OP
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Question Best Scooter for newbie daughter in SF

Hi All,

One of my daughters recently moved to San Francisco (CA) and wants to get a scooter. She has never ridden before. Her wants are simple. Small enough to easily get around the city , big enough to occasionally carry a passenger , and less likely to be stollen then the one next to it. She is about 5'2" and about 110 lbs.

Any thoughts will be appreciated.

Thanks
Ken
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:23 AM   #2
larryboy
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I'd have her go meet some of the Scooter Girls and get some input from them. It's a fine line between riding and pushing in the city.


http://www.sfscootergirls.com/


I've done a couple of rides with them for traffic control and they're a great group.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:15 AM   #3
approachbears
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Since she's never ridden before she should go take the MSF safety course. That really should be her starting point.

Used and dirty looking might be less of a target. But not likely to get stolen is really a function of where and how she stores and parks it instead of what it is. Does she have actual assigned parking somewhere? Does she have a decent lock? etc...

She needs to sit on a scooter to know if it actually fits. Many woman riders I know chose scoots based not so much on their height, but the seat shape. Some scooters have low seat heights, but wider seats that just don't fit them.

Avoid Vespa's and older scooters. She probably doesn't want the older vehicle upkeep or the premium price for a Vespa that isn't better mechanically than a Honda or even the Tawainese brands.

First, have her ride a 50cc and see if it meets her needs. Ride the Honda Metropolitan. Its utterly reliable, simple to ride and has an easy to maintain 4 stroke. If 50cc doesn't work for her, then move up to the 125/150cc scooters.

You could go buy a new Honda Elite 110, PCX 125 or Sh150i, but you'll be paying a premium even for used one. You might consider a used Yamaha Vino 125 if you want Japanese. But you'll usually pay less and get good scooters from the Taiwanese makers. Have her check out the Buddy 125's and 150's. Those are very reliable scooters. If she doesn't want Italian-like styling, then check out KYMCO's lineup.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:01 PM   #4
techguy
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Have her hook up with the scooter girls They meeting every other Tuesday night. They will have scooter for her to try, dealers for her to go to and schools for her to train at. many of the gals are very safety focused.

They will understand the needs of a female rider better than any dealer.... especially the needs in SF which are different than elsewhere with the fog and the hills.

I would do this before training classes and shopping.

Also subscribe to the SFSG Yahoo group

Location:Buck Tavern
Street:1655 Market Street
City/State/Zip:San Francisco CA 94103
Phone:415 874 9183
b/t Gough and Brady--parking behind the building on Stevenson St.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:53 PM   #5
seraph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzer
Hi All,

One of my daughters recently moved to San Francisco (CA) and wants to get a scooter. She has never ridden before. Her wants are simple. Small enough to easily get around the city , big enough to occasionally carry a passenger , and less likely to be stollen then the one next to it. She is about 5'2" and about 110 lbs.

Any thoughts will be appreciated.

Thanks
Ken
Meeting with the local scooterista club is a great idea, as others have suggested... but bike-wise I'd suggest a Honda Elite in whatever displacement suits best, easily 125-150 to handle those SF hills or carry a passenger. Available, cheap, reliable, parts are easy to find, and less likely to get stolen compared to the newer scoot next to it.

And since she's never ridden before and will be learning in what is probably a pretty treacherous place to learn, when it gets cosmetic dings it won't hurt anybody's feelings.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:39 PM   #6
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Laugh

YA KNOW a ruckus better for locking up than the metro. and they have the same displacement. u have to be creative with storage, but many others have already thought of that. There is a huge amount of options out there for the Ruck. The all metal tubular frame will guarantee that it isn't stolen if you have the right locks. Okay, not guarantee, but way easier to lock up than any other scoot, I speak from experience.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:01 PM   #7
btcn
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I agree with everyone else. She really needs to try the bike out and get a feel for it to know if it is really good. I would really not recommend anything under 100 cc if she wants to carry a passenger and also for safety and hill climbing power. A ruckus could do, but it will lack power and she will want something that can pull up the hills without breaking a sweat and go across the bridge and keep up. If she wants something small and zippy, I would have her take a look at the new Elite 110. Pretty good price, small and light weight and easy to ride, but with a 110 cc fuel injected engine for minimal maintenance that can propel it to around 50-55 mph.

Any thing in between a minimum of 100 cc and a maximum of 250 cc would do well. A 150 would probably be ideal, like maybe a Kymco people 150.

As far as being stolen, the more basic and less flashy, the less likely it will be stolen. But a bigger scooter would be a little harder to steel, but maybe finding good parking or aftermarket anti theft devices would help, or if she is really worried about it, consider one of those small trackers that can be bought for around $200, so she could take it to the police if it is stolen.

Good luck finding her a scooter!
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:40 PM   #8
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Genuine Buddy 125/150.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:06 PM   #9
fullmetalscooter
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as one guy said any honda elite but the 250 cc is best of two up with freeway speeds. An honda helix would do the same. Stay away from china made scooter . Also a Yamaha riva 180 or 200 cc would be good.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:28 AM   #10
approachbears
250cc is 50cc too many
 
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Don't buy her a 250cc scooter. 250cc seems a reasonable choice to those who've ridden awhile and analyze the possible riding environment based on actual experience. Do you really want your daughter or anyone else who has never ridden before riding the freeways or riding 2 up on a regular basis right out of the gate?

2 up for someone who has never ridden before means the rare ride across campus or from the apartment to the corner 7-11 to get a 6 pack with the boyfriend on back. Don't over think the 2 up part; just get something best for her as a new, individual rider in what sounds like will be a dense urban setting. 50 to 150cc is fine for that in most cases. She can always move up later if she loves it.
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:27 PM   #11
miboso
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Having a 250 does not REQUIRE you to ride 2-up or on the freeway. It's just another option after gaining some experience. I think the immediate problem with a 250 is that initial twist and GOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:38 PM   #12
btcn
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Yea, a 250 might be a tiny bit big for someone who has never ridden before. Even though it is automatic, it is still fast. Also, with an automatic, it is easy to get in trouble with the throttle and sometimes there are power curves where the bike will just take off quickly and keep going faster. She could probably easily handle one, but the fact that she has never ridden any motorcycle makes it seem a little big. I have not ridden a 250 cc scooter, I ride a 250 Enduro a lot, and I know it has a lot of power, and will do over 80 mph. It really just takes off pretty quick. I started off on a 50 cc mini scooter when I was 9, and worked my way up. I mean a 250 is usually fine for a beginners first street bike, but for her first ever bike, she should look in the 150 cc range. A 150 running right should do 65 mph, and cruise at 50 with ease. And like approachbears said, she can always move up later, because she will probably want to no matter what she gets.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:17 PM   #13
seraph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btcn
Yea, a 250 might be a tiny bit big for someone who has never ridden before. Even though it is automatic, it is still fast. Also, with an automatic, it is easy to get in trouble with the throttle and sometimes there are power curves where the bike will just take off quickly and keep going faster. She could probably easily handle one, but the fact that she has never ridden any motorcycle makes it seem a little big. I have not ridden a 250 cc scooter, I ride a 250 Enduro a lot, and I know it has a lot of power, and will do over 80 mph. It really just takes off pretty quick. I started off on a 50 cc mini scooter when I was 9, and worked my way up. I mean a 250 is usually fine for a beginners first street bike, but for her first ever bike, she should look in the 150 cc range. A 150 running right should do 65 mph, and cruise at 50 with ease. And like approachbears said, she can always move up later, because she will probably want to no matter what she gets.
I agree that a 150cc range bike would be for the best, but a 250cc enduro will be very different than a 250cc scooter. The CVT transmission of a scooter means it's a lot less responsive to throttle input, as the CVT has to adjust ratio before you go anywhere... it's a huge change from the direct connection of a manual gearbox. Also, scooter engines tend to be much more sedate than motorcycle engines of the same displacement.

150cc would be perfectly adequate for what she wants, as well as a good deal lighter than a 250cc bike. And it *would* be a bit harder to get into trouble on.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:12 PM   #14
btcn
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Thats true. A 250 motorcycle is quicker off the line, but I do also have a Honda Elite 150 and it actually has more midrange acceleration than some of my other bikes. It can keep up with the 250 from 30-50 mph, but then the 250 shifts into 6th and smokes it. The 250 does take it off the line for sure though. The CVT is not really great off the line, but it seems that once it catches on it really takes off well due to the light weight of the scooter. I also have a CRF 100 and a 150, and the Elite smokes them both at any speed past 15 mph. I do agree with you on the horse power in general though.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:44 PM   #15
redhandmoto
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Your daughter has never ridden before?

The MSF course is an absolute. Riding in crowded urban conditions can be hair-raising even for the experienced - it is very, very easy to get turned into pavement pate'.

San Francisco? 2-up? 150cc minimum, which will require an 'M' endorsement anyhow.

This is a fairly daunting picture: a new rider who needs to carry a passenger in city conditions. There is a, uh, learning curve ahead. Not that it can't or shouldn't be done, but the suggestion that she get with the ladie's club a.s.a.p. is a very good idea. They can help coach and guide her along, and will have a lot of insight into commuitng on the SF streets.

Just sayin'...
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