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Old 05-26-2014, 02:33 PM   #46
pdks
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A (mildly) contrarian view

.
There is so much scoot-love in this thread that I thought I'd throw out a contrary opinion. At least a moderately contrary one.

I have a Honda SH150i scooter, a Multistrada, and a Harley Nightrod Special in the garage. Very different bikes for very different purposes.

In terms of usage for city riding, I choose to ride, from most to least:

1. the Ducati
2. the Honda (scooter)
3. the Harley

All of the wonderful things people have said about the scooter are true. 100mpg. Twist and go ease. Fun to ride.

The Honda SH150i is a fine example of scooter-pride. Built in Japan/Italy, it was the predecessor to the more affordable Thailand-built PCX150.

The positives above are also true about the Multistrada motorcycle. Here is my comparison list, with the winners in each category.


(An aside, the Harley gets very few hours. I really should sell it, but it is gorgeous, and has amazing mojo. It is not an all-around, every day motorcycle!)


Criteria:

- quick launch. Both are 'throw my leg over, push a button and go' machines. Yes, the scoot is a bit easier to back out of the garage, but anyone of average size and strength who's been riding a while can wheel a bike out in a few seconds. Tie

- storage. The scoot has a top box and under seat storage. The motorcycle has a top box (and panniers, but I don't normally have those on in the city). The motorcycle's top box is larger. Tie

- parking. In our city, both scooters and motorcycles park for free. With the panniers off, I can park the larger (but narrow) motorcycle anywhere I can park the scooter. Tie

- picking it up. If you ride a bike for a long time you will eventually tip it over and have to pick it up. Like fuel economy, the scooter does have an advantage here, but it's not as great as you might think. Honda: 300lbs. Ducati: 500lbs. Adv Scooter

- ease of shifting. I said 'ease' of shifting, not performance, nor fun. The scoot's twist-and-go, shiftless CV tranny is brainless to use. Adv Scooter

- purchase price. New or used, scooters are relatively affordable. Adv Scooter

- fuel economy. 100mpg scooter vs 40mpg motorcycle. Yes, the 16hp Honda beats the 150hp Ducati in fuel use. But 40mpg isn't bad for something as fast and as much fun to ride as a Ferrari. And at 16hp, you think the scooter would get 500mpg! Still... Adv Scooter

- braking. No comparison. The Ducati's brakes, including abs/traction control are awe- (and confidence) inspiring. The little Honda's grabbers are fine, but feel like toy brakes in comparison (and the Honda has big brakes compared to many scoots). Adv Motorcycle

- comfort. Both are very comfortable. Not all motorcycles would pass here, but with a 'dual-sport,' upright riding position, they are is equivalent. Floor boards are easier for women in high heels; the motorcycle has heated grips. Tie

- handling rough urban roads. The SH150i is a very unusual scooter in that it has 16" wheels (vs 17" on the Multistrada). Most scooters have 10-13" wheels. Larger wheels span pot holes, curbs, streetcar tracks, etc. much better than small wheels. Tiny wheels are suppose to make the bike more maneuverable, but to me, the difference is minor. Tiny is cheaper, that's the principle reason they're used. Adv Motorcycle

- handling general. Scooters have very light handling. Modern motorcycles are planted and responsive. Traction control aside: Adv Motorcycle

- versatility. Scooters are great on side-streets and low speed connector roads. Even a relatively high powered scooter like the Sh150i has no place on a city expressway. Most cities are a mix of low speed and high speed roads. Adv Motorcycle

- safety. If you put aside the fact that you might get 'more stupid' behind the controls of a fast motorcycle, I find the higher seating position, better lighting, better handling and better brakes (especially if you have abs) of a motorcycle to equate to a safer vehicle. Adv Motorcycle

There you have it ...one man's opinion!
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:23 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by thesurvivalist View Post

What do you think?
Many have mention why you should buy it. I did an analysis similar to yours, but I left out the purchasing cost of the scooter and I was very nervous about buying a scooter after all these years of having a motorcycle, you know, I knew how to shift already. And it took a big discount from the dealer to convince me to buy a 100 cc Honda scooter, and I did, our love affair lasted 2 years, during this time I got my money back, the Beat got me 70+ mpg and my truck gets like 15, scooter costed me around 2200 usd and I used it everyday unless it rains, and I only change the rear tire.

I sold it not because it was in poor shape, I did it because I found somebody that could used it more, that would benefit more and he is my best friend, and yes he takes better care of it. Now I am ready to in the next 12 months buy me a bigger (more expensive) scooter, why? because I know I will keep it a lot longer than 2 years and get many more smiles!

JUST BUY IT!!

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Old 05-27-2014, 09:34 AM   #48
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I've put nearly 20k miles on small displacement (under 250cc) scooters since the last gas price hike in 2008.
The limitation of small displacement scooters to sustain above 60 mph is not the engine or power output, it is the suspension and the vehicle's lack of weight.
My 250cc Chinese can get up to 65 mph, or even faster if terrain allows; but the roads has to be butter smooth.
At sustained higher speed, the combination of poor suspension and lightweight will bottom the suspension and send the scoot airborne when roads are not butter smooth. Sure you can put dirt bike suspension with gobs of travel on a scooter that would allow more secure handling and comfortable ride while sustaining higher speed.

My experience with Chinese scooters may be anomaly, but combining 2 Chinese scoot ownership, nearly 20k miles over 7 years, the operating and purchasing costs of both vehicle is rather minimal in comparison to others.

My 08 250cc Honda Helix clone looks like a Reflex, cost $1599 delivered to my driveway,

$35 to insure full coverage the whole year. It get well over 70 mpg, while commuting on backroads cruising 40-50 mph.
I've ridden it dozen times commuting from Philly to NYC, then local jaunts within 5-boro of NYC.
Over 18k, it has never left me stranded roadside, even with a nail in the tire, I plugged it and pump it up with minimal tire pressure with a hand pump and rode it 20+ miles home before I could pump up the tire to full pressure w/compressor. That tire plug even stayed in the tire for another 4k miles before I replaced the tire.
I've carried all sorts of heavy cargo on local runs, multiple 70lb. bag of fertilizer, car tires to the garage for my winter tire replacement:

Even my bicycle loaded along with bike helmet, shoes and change of clothes:

It has been more than reliable vehicle for me, the utility value of this Chinese scooter has it paid off years ago.

Last year I bought a 110cc Chinese made Honda SuperCub clone, $826 OTD, was a leftover from 2011, it sat at the dealership because ppl are not into the larger wheels retro styled scooter, unlike the popular 49cc models that do not require a moto license to operate.

It only weighs about 170-180 lb. Unlike the 250cc scoot, this one has 4-speed gearbox, GP style clutch-less shifting. It out accelerates the 250cc scoot from a stop, and quicker to speed of 40 mph. In NYC traffic, I can even out accelerate most Porsches with the potholes in the way. The larger 17" wheels/tire combo really compensate for the poor suspensions. The 110cc engine loves to rev at full throttle, tops out at about 52-55 mph depending on wind speed and terrain.
Even less expensive to insure than the 250cc scoot and gets about 87-90 miles to run the .7 gal tank to reserve.
I loaded it up with 40+lb. of gear rode it from Philly to NYC back in March and it stayed in NYC since as my favorite vehicle to operate within 5-boro.

I have little over 1200 miles on it so far, done all the mechanical work myself with minimal tools on the sidewalks of Queens and Hoboken, NJ where I base during the week. 250cc scoot stays in PA, designate as local jaunt vehicle and for 2-up riding w/my wife, who prefers the larger passenger seating area and underseat storage.

At home in PA, I also have a 1981 Genuine Honda C70 passport, looks just like the 110cc Chinese scoot, but only 3-speed, about the same weight, no where near as preppy to accelerate from stop and tops out at about 40-42 mph full throttle.

In my experience, you need to know the limitations of small displacement scooters before you operate them at their limits. Don't expect them to perform like a 400-500 lb motorcycle w/suspension that is comfortable at sustaining highway speed.
Honestly, do you see yourself riding more than 3k miles a year on a scooter? i do and it is not easy to stack up miles on small displacement scoots.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:05 AM   #49
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Just get a used PCX. They're the best scooters Honda has ever produced.

Look at this: http://macon.craigslist.org/mcy/4417757850.html

I see deals like that at least every 2-3 months. $1500 for a basically new bike with ultra-reliable FI that will get 100mpg? Sounds like a steal to me. There were concerns earlier in the thread about dropped PCXes... A whole set of new panels takes under 2 hours for me to install, a noob maybe an afternoon, and will cost around $200 before shipping. That's hilariously cheap.

PCXes have great support too. There's pictorial how-tos for ALL the maintenance here: http://hondapcx.org/viewforum.php?f=3, and I'm working on a how-to right now for replacing all the body panels. It's actually very straightforward.



That said... I'm going to laugh at the thought of Jerry somehow taking 3 hours to remove 3 body panels. I really hope you're exaggerating and not just being a sensationalist .
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:50 PM   #50
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After 45 years on motorcycles (very small to very big), I thought I had bought my "forever" bike when I got my Bonneville America. Then my wife got a China scoot (150cc) and of course I had to ride it. Then I rode it some more. Then I rode it even more. I enjoyed it so much, I broke down and started looking for a scooter that I had always thought unique; the Honda Big Ruckus. Now, between the China scoot and the Big Ruckus, I rarely take out the Triumph. Don't get me wrong, the Triumph is staying 'cause it has its purpose, but the scooters are so much more fun for the majority of my rides and make me feel like a kid again. I even did a 250 mile ride on the BR while waiting for new tires on the Triumph and had no regrets. I keep looking at all the new models, but I can't see myself ever buying another motorcycle again. The PCX will be my next bike - when I wear out the China bike.

Go for it. Even if you absolutely, positively, hate it (you won't, BTW), you can always sell it and not take much of a hit.

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Old 05-28-2014, 08:26 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddiedog View Post
Just get a used PCX. They're the best scooters Honda has ever produced.

Look at this: http://macon.craigslist.org/mcy/4417757850.html

I see deals like that at least every 2-3 months. $1500 for a basically new bike with ultra-reliable FI that will get 100mpg? Sounds like a steal to me. There were concerns earlier in the thread about dropped PCXes... A whole set of new panels takes under 2 hours for me to install, a noob maybe an afternoon, and will cost around $200 before shipping. That's hilariously cheap.

PCXes have great support too. There's pictorial how-tos for ALL the maintenance here: http://hondapcx.org/viewforum.php?f=3, and I'm working on a how-to right now for replacing all the body panels. It's actually very straightforward.



That said... I'm going to laugh at the thought of Jerry somehow taking 3 hours to remove 3 body panels. I really hope you're exaggerating and not just being a sensationalist .
Yep the new old stock pcx 125 are 2250 online so I not shock at 1500 . Really buy what you like and ride till you or it drop to the ground dead.
Go have fun becasue that the thing to do.
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:14 AM   #52
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To the OP: get one, you'll love it. Life is short and goes by quickly, so get what you want. Will you save enough money in fuel to make it a smart financial decision v. your Buell when you factor in the purchase price of the new PCX? No. If you want to actually come out ahead financially (if that is important to you), then you need to buy used. Here is my experience: in 2008, I was recovering from foot surgery and could not ride my motorcycles. My daily driver was a V-8 Tundra that got 14 mpg. When gas went up to $4 a gallon, I bought a Kymco Agility 125 for $1800 (it had under 200 miles and was for all practical purposes, as good as new). The Agility was a lot of fun to ride and got 90 mpg. I sold the Kymco to a friend last month for $1000. I saved way more than $800 in fuel during my ownership and I never spent one cent on repairs or maintenance (it never had any mechanical problems and it came with a maintenance contract so all maintenance was done for free at the dealership). So in my case, it was a financially successful purchase. And, it was fun to ride. I now have a Yamaha T-Max that is even more fun. Scooters are addictive!
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:19 AM   #53
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I'm dead set on the new 2015 pcx due to the bigger gas tank and redesigned seat. Although I think the Chinese big ruckus clone looks pretty interesting.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:26 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by thesurvivalist View Post
I'm dead set on the new 2015 pcx due to the bigger gas tank and redesigned seat. Although I think the Chinese big ruckus clone looks pretty interesting.
are they out?
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:27 PM   #55
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The original intent was "saving gas."
It isn't rocket science but if we parse the term "saving gas" to mean "saving money" spending 1500 units to buy a scooter versus buying fuel at say 5 units...until you buy 300 units of fuel you are not "saving gas." Never mind all the other criteria required to make sense io the original question- upkeep and legal costs of ownership versus "saving money." The reality is that motorcycle purchases and common sense do not go hand in hand.

Scooterists in North America are a cult, enthusiastic and keen, so asking "should I buy a scooter" the answer is bound to be yes. In the Law it's called leading the witness. What is more interesting to me is how consensus has formed around the Honda as the best thing since sliced bread and canned beer.
So we are still expected to meet the nicest people on Hondas?

To me the best criterion for owning a scooter as well as a motorcycle is having a back up ride. And variety. Switching from motorcycle to scooter and back refreshes each ride experience. And using the wrong tool for the job (ie scooter touring or motorcycle grocery shopping) offers a small daily challenge. Check the motorcycle versus scooter arguments so cogently laid out above. Not cultish but interesting.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:29 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by conchscooter View Post
The original intent was "saving gas."
It isn't rocket science but if we parse the term "saving gas" to mean "saving money" spending 1500 units to buy a scooter versus buying fuel at say 5 units...until you buy 300 units of fuel you are not "saving gas." Never mind all the other criteria required to make sense io the original question- upkeep and legal costs of ownership versus "saving money." The reality is that motorcycle purchases and common sense do not go hand in hand.
Not so, my friend. If you compare scooter versus car you are basically paying yourself $200 every time you ride the scooter 1000 miles. Buy a used scoote Fora grand, and 5000 miles later it's paid for itself. Then it's like free money.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:07 PM   #57
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My current rides are a significantly modified 2007 Triumph Speedmaster bagger and a moderately modified 2008 Genuine Rattler 2T scooter. I enjoy riding the SM far more than the Rat. So, my next bike purchase won't be a 'cooter (not that there's anything wrong with that )...it will likely be a relatively light, good handling twin, prolly in the 744cc range...currently undecided if I'm gonna keep the Rat or not.

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Old 06-04-2014, 03:11 PM   #58
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... If you compare scooter versus car ...
Why do that?
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:19 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Cat0020 View Post
...
...Last year I bought a 110cc Chinese made Honda SuperCub clone, $826 OTD,......I loaded it up with 40+lb. of gear rode it from Philly to NYC back in March and it stayed in NYC since as my favorite vehicle to operate within 5-boro.
....
Now that was well bought! What route did you take from Philly to NYC on it?
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:06 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by conchscooter View Post
What is more interesting to me is how consensus has formed around the Honda as the best thing since sliced bread and canned beer.
You almost say that like Honda isn't. I think Honda's even better. The best thing since titties or something.


Quote:
Originally Posted by conchscooter View Post
To me the best criterion for owning a scooter as well as a motorcycle is having a back up ride. And variety. Switching from motorcycle to scooter and back refreshes each ride experience.
Not everyone has the luxury of more than one bike though. If you gotta have one that will do it all, and do it all extremely economically, you can't beat a scooter for it.
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