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Old 10-11-2012, 07:39 AM   #1
Firestorm OP
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How much scooter do I need/ Recommend me a scooter?

So,
Im back in the Phoenix area without a car and bike-less currently. I'm thinking of maybe going scooter as only vehicle. Most of the roads here are 45 mph speed limit, with a bulk of travel here via freeway at 65 mph (everyone goes faster then that).
So how much scooter would I need to deal with suburban/freeway traffic?
Can anyone recommend a cheap scooter that can do this all (and carry groceries) that gets amazing mpg?
Bonus points if you can suggest something that looks cool.

Thanks.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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2500cc - and above will work for you.

I would recommemd a used Yamaha Majesty 400cc or something like that. If you are getting on the freeway, you will need something that is at least a 250cc or it will not be able to keep up with the demands of traffic. A 400cc or larger in a scooter would be suffiicient.

OOOPPPPSSSS! sorry about the extra zero in the title response. I think 2500cc would be a rocket ship! hahaha
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:00 AM   #3
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I agree with scooterchick.

You can go less than 250cc but 250cc(+) is the sweet spot for a car free life.

I am car free and I have a 250cc scooter. I have a sportscity, I have taken it from Houston to Austin two times now, often on the freeway and roads in and around the city. I have a top case and two saddle bag pairs when I need the room.

I might be getting a maxi scooter next year but it will almost entirelly be for long distance touring.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:00 AM   #4
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Not sure 'cheap' aligns well with your goal to keep up with 70mph traffic.

Also, what looks cool is pretty much up to the individual. I think the Piaggio BV350 is nearly the perfect scooter, and I think it looks cool, but others would probably disagree. Also, at $5200 it's by no means cheap, but by what it delivers it's a heck of a great value, especially if you compare to a maxi scooter or a 300cc Vespa.

Your criteria should be to find something that fits you well (don't know if you're tall, short, heavy or light) since scooters vary a lot in ergonomics. Secondly, make sure the brand your looking for has adequate dealer support in your area. A great scooter isn't great once you find you have to haul it 300 miles to a dealer for warranty service.

If you're looking used, there are tons of writeups on here about scooters that should at least point you in the right direction.

The Burgman 400 gets good reviews, as does the T-max, and even older scooters like the Honda Reflex. Used Piaggio BV 500s are available, but these big scooters don't get great mileage.

I'd steer clear of anything under 250cc as the others have said....Good luck in your hunt!
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
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I had a vento phantom 150cc. Always thought that if it was a 250cc it would be perfect. I like the chassis, handling ride, jsut needed a little more umph. At 6k' where I live I could only get the thing up to 55mph. There were a few of these style scoots with a 250cc engine in them. I do not like the "touring" type scoots that are more typical of the 250cc class Bandit scooters made one, but I can not seem to find their site anymore. Flat floor and upright seating position is great.

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Old 10-11-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dabears View Post
Secondly, make sure the brand your looking for has adequate dealer support...
as a side note the 4th largest city in the US of which is perfect for scooters (Houston) has terrible, I mean terrible accross the board doesnt matter which scooter you get...service.

well I say that but I bet the honda would be an exception

edit: well I say terrible but more like, meh at best.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:09 AM   #7
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If I only had 1 bike and no car, I would be able to make do with nothing less than my 600cc Silverwing or a Burgman 650. A 400 or 250 isn't enough power for 2-up on the highway.

If you never had to go on a highway, a 125 or 150 would be all you needed though.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:32 AM   #8
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If I only had 1 bike and no car, I would be able to make do with nothing less than my 600cc Silverwing or a Burgman 650. A 400 or 250 isn't enough power for 2-up on the highway.

If you never had to go on a highway, a 125 or 150 would be all you needed though.
I am carless, get on the freeway often and am on a 250cc.

Having said that, I will likely upgrade to a Maxi
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:47 AM   #9
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You can also buy a Suzuki 250 street bike...will take you on the highway and only cost about $3500 new.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:48 AM   #10
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I commuted on the highway, occasionally 2-up for over a year on a 250cc Reflex. It was great until you had to get out of a tight spot at 60mph. You had no choice but to slow down, because it had no guts at 60mph. I could have floored it and EVENTUALLY have gotten up to 65-70mph to get out, but by then, whatever was invading my lane would have ran me over.

Slowing down is often less than ideal on the highway, especially if someone suddenly invades your lane. With my Silverwing, I can accelerate past the danger. With the Reflex, I'd have to slam on my brakes, risking getting rear-ended. I'd much rather have the power to get away than risk not having enough power and getting squashed.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:07 PM   #11
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I also live in Phoenix. If you for sure want a scooter, and it needs to be cheap, or at least reasonably priced, definitely look for used Japanese models, or a Kymco. I have ridden on the 101, 202, 51, and 60 with a 250 Rebel and an XT225, and it is scary. While the speed limit is 65, they do some serious speeding on those roads, I've been passed while doing a GPS indicated 80 mph. A 250cc scooter will be a little bit slower than a 250cc motorcycle, to to it's less efficient CVT drive. I would want something bigger. at least 400cc. A 125 would be fine on surface streets, and if you are willing to take the long way around, you can get anywhere in the Phoenix valley that way.

But while I don't recommend getting on any of those urban freeways with a small bike (with the possible exception of the Ninja 250) I have had no problems riding small bikes on I-10 from Phoenix all the way into Texas. Things change bigtime once you get out of town. I have made many trips on I-8 from Eloy to Yuma and back on I-8 on a 125cc scooter, even though it is technically not legal, I had no problems. It's mostly a long deserted road, with mostly truck traffic.

No way would I ride a Chinese scooter on any of those urban freeways, even one with enough displacement. When it breaks down (and all Chinese scooters will) you are likely to be run over. I always rode the small bikes in the far right lane. Depending on the time of day, traffic on those roads is like a stampede. If your bike breaks down, you are likely to be run over several times before anybody realizes what's going on. They will be scraping parts of you off the road for 1/4 mile.

While it can be done on a 250cc scooter, IMO it would not be safe. Look for a used Majesty, Burgman 400, Kymco exiting 500, BV500 etc. on Craigslist. These scooters are somewhat awkward compared to the smaller ones, but are necessary for the freeways. I have zipped around all over the Phoenix area on a 125cc Vino and Zuma with no problems, I just avoid the freeways
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by maddiedog View Post
I commuted on the highway, occasionally 2-up for over a year on a 250cc Reflex. It was great until you had to get out of a tight spot at 60mph. You had no choice but to slow down, because it had no guts at 60mph. I could have floored it and EVENTUALLY have gotten up to 65-70mph to get out, but by then, whatever was invading my lane would have ran me over.

Slowing down is often less than ideal on the highway, especially if someone suddenly invades your lane. With my Silverwing, I can accelerate past the danger. With the Reflex, I'd have to slam on my brakes, risking getting rear-ended. I'd much rather have the power to get away than risk not having enough power and getting squashed.
well two things
1. fair enough on two ups I dont two up so its better.
2. people often talk about speed to get out of a tight spot however in nearly all tight spot situations when it comes to speed there are only two options, speed up or slow down. The vast majority of the time when 'tight spot' reveals itself slowing down is the safer option.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:11 PM   #13
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You can also buy a Suzuki 250 street bike...will take you on the highway and only cost about $3500 new.
Sportscity 250 $3900 no shifting required.
arguebly better sitting position
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:27 PM   #14
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I am surprised no one mentioned that a major consideration for this replace-the-car-with-a-scooter is one that is known to be able to handle Phoenix's brutally high temperature's. I ride in up to the mid 80's (it rarely gets hotter than this) and my scooter's fan kicks in, keeping the temps slightly above mid-line. There may be scoots that don't do well in 110-120f temps.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:46 PM   #15
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I am surprised no one mentioned that a major consideration for this replace-the-car-with-a-scooter is one that is known to be able to handle Phoenix's brutally high temperature's. I ride in up to the mid 80's (it rarely gets hotter than this) and my scooter's fan kicks in, keeping the temps slightly above mid-line. There may be scoots that don't do well in 110-120f temps.
true, not to mention rider not doing well.
I would think liquid cooled would be important.
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