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Old 02-10-2013, 09:13 AM   #1
dbk23 OP
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Edmonton
Oddometer: 4
Am I missing much not getting a motorcycle?

I am new to riding and am trying to figure out what to ride. I have seen the threads about working your way up through the cc's just to go from larger to smaller bikes as you get older. Being 50 I guess my need for speed differs from that of a 20 year old. I never really considered a scooter until I came across some forums dedicated to scooter riding. I want to be able to do long distance touring with my wife and so am looking at the Burgman 650 executive. But then my wife might want her own so would look at the 400 or 300's. Obviously want something that can easily do highway speeds.

I guess am I going to be missing something if I go straight to a scooter and not get a motorcycle? Should I get a motorcycle, experience that then get a scooter if I still want one? Or should I just get one off the bat and not worry about the laughs and looks people on scooters get from the motorcycle crowd. I know there are people who have ridden motorcycles then switched to scooters, or ride both so looking for their advice.

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Old 02-10-2013, 09:16 AM   #2
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Realizing that you're asking this on a motorcycle forum, you should get what best suits your needs and/or wants but if you want my honest opinion, the two are just not the same. Go for the motorcycle. There are more things you can do, greater distances you can go, and just the overall pride in the machine. Just my two cents.
"A straight road never made a skilled rider"
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:16 AM   #3
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I enjoy motorcycles and scooters equally.
With getting a larger "maxi-scooter" the only thing you'll be missing is all the shifting. With smaller scooters, you'll be missing performance.

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Old 02-10-2013, 09:19 AM   #4
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Nope. Put the wife on and ride.
Yes, Android AND iphone GPS works without cellular data. Use offline maps and enjoy. (thanks drtbyk!)
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:23 AM   #5
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"...not worry about the laughs and looks people on scooters get from the motorcycle crowd..."

You gotta be kidding....You're fifty years old and you're afraid someone will laugh at you? Maybe you should buy a hog and move in with the look-at-me crowd. Be sure to get one with ear-splitting pipes so you'll really belong. Jesus.

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Old 02-10-2013, 09:41 AM   #6
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Location: Bowling Green Kentucky
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I'm 37 and I ride everything as no 2 bikes are truly the same. As stated for the difference you don't have to worry about shifting on the scooter that's why I use mine routinely for short trips around town lighter and more convenient. The only true downside on a scooter is down a mountain you really don't get the engine braking of a motorcycle. My scooter happens to be just a 50 so blue highways I grab the transalp almost 100percent. Interstate I prefer the heaviness of the pacific coast. However there is really no where you can't go on a big scooter. I have a friend in his 60s that is over 300lbs and his wife is over 200 and they ride a 250 helix 2 up all the time(His wife prefers to ride it 2 up Instead of riding on the back of his V-strom). If your fashion conscience or get your feelings easily hurt you wont get waved at by the poser doctors and lawyers playing badass for the day on a scooter but in my experience the actual riders on Harleys still will. Hell in the dead of winter I get returned waves on a Honda metropolitan since the posers are stuck in cages. We live in Ky and the farthest I have seen my buddy take is helix solo is around 400 miles to Alabama and up to Deals gap in the other direction. Come to think of it just get a pacific coast all the features of a motorcycle with the added advantage of being snubbed cause everyone thinks its a gigantic scooter! J/K. I had a nasty wreck end of last year and have thought about a burgman myself just depending on how much my knee ends up healing in the end. Big and heavy enough for everything on pavement and since you have floorboards you can move your feet around a bit instead of being confined to the pegs.

Eladbern screwed with this post 02-10-2013 at 09:55 AM Reason: wanted to!
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:51 AM   #7
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It is a good idea to start smaller and get a year or two under your belt before doing a lot of riding and
touring two up. A 300cc scooter is smaller compared to most bikes and can be used for two up travel.
There's a lot of new 300's right now too. I'd look for a fuel injected one and try it for a while to see how
it works. You can always sell it and get most of your money back if you decide on something different
down the road...
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:16 PM   #8
How's that work?
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I've had motorcycles and I now have scooters. The difference is very significant, so much so that it's very difficult to answer your question. A scooter is less challenging and less intimidating, so if you are just getting into it, a scooter is easier. No shifting is a big deal in town, not so much out on the highway, of course. For me, motorcycles always made me want to go faster, and that urge was annoying when I was out to just have a nice ride on a sunny day. With scooters, I don't feel that at all. It's a lovely cruise. I found a full size motorcycle to be a nuisance in town, running errands. There was little storage space and much more involvement with the machine. On a scooter, you just get on and ride. Yes, you wear protective clothing and a helmet, but somehow it's less complicated.

As far as the Harley riders treating you badly; I just don't care. That's their problem.

Riding on 2 wheels is a choice every time you do it. So, if you decide to ride, then the choices are all yours, not some jerk on a Harley or in a Toyota or on a bicycle.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:06 PM   #9
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Chandler, AZ
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First of all, motorcycles and scooters are pretty much completely different. I love both, and own and ride both. I have 3 smaller scooters, two 125s and a 150. The 150 is a manual shift 2 stroke. I also have 3 motorcycles, a Goldwing, a cruiser, and a dual sport bike. I couldn't care less what someone else might think when I'm riding a small scooter. I have nothing to prove.

As far as "working your way up the cc ladder" that is just so much nonsense. I started riding on the street in 1975, have had 46 motorcycles and scooters, from 50cc to 1500cc, and in no particular order. As I get older, I've really started enjoying the smaller bikes more. But I tend to get bikes I like, regardless of size. I'm 53, 6' 220+ I put 20,000 miles on a 50cc moped, 20,000 miles on a Honda 250 Rebel, 180,000 miles on 2 Kawasaki Vulcan 750s, 40,000+ miles on a '95 1500 Goldwing, and 24,000 miles on a Yamaha Vino 125, just to name a few.

You can find some very inexpensive used motorcycles on Craigslist, I would try both a motorcycle and a scooter. You can sell either one if you like the other best, or keep both. In addition to size, there are many different types of motorcycles and scooters. You might like one type and not another (I dislike sport bikes because of the painful (to me) riding position. If you need to be able to ride on the freeway or carry a passenger, you will need a big enough bike to do that with, be it a scooter or motorcycle. The world of 2 wheelers is huge. Though I have owned 46 of them, there are hundreds more I would like to try. So many bikes, so little time.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
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Location: central valley, california
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Glad I started with 250cc

Since I just started riding in November, I feel your "confusion" not sure that's really to right word though. I originally thought about a motorcycle and the advice said start small. So, I started looking...eventually scooters caught my eye for many reasons. So I decided on a 250cc Aprilia Sportcity. I can only say this: Perfect. Maybe someday a bigger scooter might be calling but as of now, nope.

As I look back on the first 1000 miles, I'm so glad I started small. Little things that I did due to lack of experience might have led to me dropping the bike. I can remember a couple of times where I called myself an idiot and was very thankful the bike only weighed 325 lbs.

Sure I take lots of crap from my friends and co-workers, some have motorcyles, most don't. Still, it was the right choice for me and I don't regret it at all. That's not to say other scooters or even motorcycles aren't appealing, but you can only choose so much from the menu at once. Get what suits you now and get some miles under your belt before taking long tours 2-up.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:11 PM   #11
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53 years

Originally Posted by larrylarry75 View Post
"...not worry about the laughs and looks people on scooters get from the motorcycle crowd..."

You gotta be kidding....You're fifty years old and you're afraid someone will laugh at you? Maybe you should buy a hog and move in with the look-at-me crowd. Be sure to get one with ear-splitting pipes so you'll really belong. Jesus.

You've hit the nail on the head Larry.

People have been laughing at me for 53 years. For one reason or t'other.

Seriously...I gotta be me, you gotta be you, and whether you ride a scooter, Road King, Hayabusa, whatever.

I know some extreme scooterists....Olympia Wa to Florida and back on a Vespa, San Diego to Bellingham on a Vespa, San Diego to Washington DC and Alaska, and Tennessee you name it.

Oh wait, that very last one? A lady...a 5 foot lady.

You wanna earn the respect of others? Start with yourself and ride what/where/how YOU wanna ride.
Isn't it past your bedtime?
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:44 PM   #12
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Agree with GogoGordy and the others.

Ride what you like. Disregard others who disrespect the scoot. They're ignorant and their scorn is not worthy of your concern.

I caught a bit of a ration about my scooter (Silverwing) at a Patriot Guard Rider mission last year from an old guy riding a Yamaha Road Star who claimed to be a former Marine. He gave me some static until I told him I'd just returned from a 1900 mile tour into Oregon and Washington. After hearing that, THEN he wanted to talk about his great feats on his cruiser. I'm cool with his bike and his touring, and if he got a check on his attitude about what I ride, cool...if not, his problem, not mine. Incidentally, I'm not the only guy in our area who rides a scooter on PGR missions...there's a Burgman 650 rider and a Piaggio MP3 500 rider I run into once in awhile as well...

Bottom line...I don't disrespect anyone who rides and I don't jam them for what they ride. If they disrespect what I ride, that's THEIR problem. Respectfully, worrying about what other people think about what you ride is not productive and only causes you stress...
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:01 PM   #13
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A great starter/long term bike that will get you around and is trip worthy is a Kawasaki Versys and or the Suzuki Vee Strom. Both are 650 cc class bikes. Both pretty well bulletproof drive lines. Get on and ride sort of thing, with some chain maint. of course. Good fuel economy too, and farkles around for both. I would say "KLR" but you need to wrench a bit on em as they are a "Kit bike"..... (i have one, I can go there...).

I also see the little Royal Enfields for $4000 grand or so here and there with no miles hardley. Cute as hell, but I rode one around for a while in a test ride, and felt I would get bored with it, probably just me, but there's a reason there are many out there with low miles. You might like one, who knows.

Before you buy, consider what dealer/brands are close to you for the eventual parts or service. If the nearest KTM dealer is 500 miles away, then I might avoid that choice. Just me. I am in between about 3 Kawi dealers, so guess what I got.

Dont get a scooter man. Just saying. Ef no!
First the Earth cooled. Next came rats, cockroaches and KLR's... and life was good.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:43 PM   #14
Here...Hold my Beer.
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Greenville, SC
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Depending on the Original Posters height, the Versys or Vstrom may be a little tall for a new rider to really feel comfortable on. Once moving they are great but at stops they may be a little daunting for a shorter newbie. If height is not an issue then both great suggestions.
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:51 PM   #15
Here...Hold my Beer.
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I have both and really enjoy riding them both.
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