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Old 09-14-2012, 10:20 AM   #1
zombiea OP
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Scooters, shocks and lower backs

hi,

I've been riding motorcycles for a number of years and am currently eyeing scooters as I'm lusting after their gas mileage. From years of riding, I know bikes with insufficient shocks will cream my lower back over time. For me, it's not just normal riding that causes me pain, it's hitting large freeze cracks or bumps in the road at mid to higher speeds.

Can folks tell me little about the ability of scooters to absorb such shocks? I'm kinda interested in the smaller scoots, 250cc or below.

Appreciate the help
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:51 AM   #2
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I ride a Kymco people S 250 because I got old and have degenerative lower back disease. 5 bulging disc. Can't swing my leg over a motorcycle any more. This scooter rides in an up right position and doesn't bother my back at all. It has 16 inch wheels and rides fairly smooth. Bumps are not bad either.

You need to try some and see what you think. Good luck.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:57 AM   #3
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Just like motorcycles, some scooters have a better suspension than others. My Kymco super 8 has a very stiff suspension but the upright seating position allows me to use my legs to absorb the bigger bumps.

My Aprilia Sport City 250 has a softer suspension but I wouldn't call is plush. The seat however, is very plush and helps absorb bumps. It also has an upright seating position which helps. I have ridden both scooters on dirt/gravel roads with no problems.

I don't have that much experience with the maxi scooters but most of them have a more laid back riding position that puts more weight right on your tailbone.

Bigger wheel scooters tend to absorb bumps better than scooters with smaller wheels.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
cdwise
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In addition there are after market shocks for some of the scooter that can be a great improvement over the stock shocks. I have Bitubo shocks but others prefer YSS or Malossi while some simply replace the bushings with Jettin solid bushings if they want to improve the ride.

None of my other scoots have anything but stock shocks and I have had back issues since my last pregnancy. That's one of of the reasons I ride a scooter not a m/c.
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Old 09-14-2012, 04:09 PM   #5
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you definitely need to be looking at big wheel scoots.

i dont think any smaller cc scooter is going to be mega plush but id imagine that the bigger (physically, not cc) models would be more forgiving in terms of damping. you can always upgrade shocks too.
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Old 09-14-2012, 04:30 PM   #6
zombiea OP
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Hmmm.. it didn't occur to me that i could upgrade the shocks. Can anyone give me a rough estimate of the cost of upgrading the shocks on a scooter?

Thanks
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:53 AM   #7
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Not every scooter has an aftermarket shockI. 'd suggest doing a web search for upgraded shocks for the models you are considering. Mine had the upgraded shocks when I bought it and I got a great deal on a scooter with 256 miles that had been used at a trade show where it picked up a few scratches. I know many people have found that the Jetting bushings made the stock shocks work so much better they didn't need the aftermarket upgrades and those are relatiely cheap at $29 for a set. There are other companies that make similar for Vespas and other brands.

BTW, my GTS is considered to be small wheeled at 12" and I rarely even notice a bad road other than grooved ones and I don't like those even in my car. The advantage to the smaller wheels is that it is much easier to go around potholes than it is with a bigger wheeled bike or scooter. I've got multiple sizes in my garage 10" Buddy, 12" Vespa, 15" Scarabeo. In town, the Vespa GTS wins for confort, manuverability while still retaining the option to go on the freeway if needed. My son on the other hand prefers the Buddy because it is so nimble.
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:46 PM   #8
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i bought a yss adjustable rear shock for my vino for 60. really a big improvement. if you know the length of a particular shock you can sometimes match up for scooters that don't have listed aftermarket schocks
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:19 PM   #9
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On my Ruckus I upgraded the shock twice. The first was to a basic aftermarket unit by Daytona which cost me around $60. A couple years later I went to a really nice air shock by Dopler which was around $180.

For comfort, the $60 shock was a huge improvement, I still say its the must-have modification for that scooter, because even at 160 lbs I was bottoming out the stock unit on even mild bumps. If I bottomed out the new shock... well, I deserved what I got because it handled anything I would reasonably encounter on the road with ease.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:51 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=351 power;19602288 if you know the length of a particular shock you can sometimes match up for scooters that don't have listed aftermarket schocks[/QUOTE]

yes if your scooter just has standard type shocks you can just buy the right length in an aftermarket
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:59 PM   #11
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On the Rattler I had, the shock was the first upgrade. Gave me all day ride ability. Stock hurt my lower back and I am young without issues of the back.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:30 AM   #12
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I can vouch for the yamaha zuma 125. Very stiff rear springs, I have a certain set of railroad tracks that I "fly" on my work commute and I have to take them jockey style utilizing the passenger pegs for my feet. If I didn't do that I would be flying of the seat about a foot high! I am not bothered enough to upgrade but if I had back trouble I would definately have to change something. Sharp edged bumps are also pretty harsh. I have never ridden a big wheeled scooter so I cannot comment there. I wish more scooters were set-up with footpegs for standing, but since none of them are really designed for offroad I guess that will never happen. I can't really say anything good about the front forks either. Overall, for normal surface streets the zuma rocks .
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:15 PM   #13
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I need an education on shocks and you have been very helpfull

I ride a Silver Wing with adjustable shocks in setting 1 to 5 I'm using 3. when I go up in adjustment I think it is getting stiffer and less likely to bottom out. With my wife on board we where bottoming out at 2 I ride often and I'm a hefty fella 3 has dampened that with me on board but it also raises the bike. I have wondered about gas shocks? Do they fit in the Silver Wing. would I notice a difference from stock shocks? Would they cost a great deal? I too have back pain which I medicate to relieve when I go on long rides.
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