Am I missing much not getting a motorcycle?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by dbk23, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. dbk23

    dbk23 n00b

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    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.

    Thanks
    Darren
    #1
  2. doc4216

    doc4216 Chronic High Fiver

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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.
    #2
  3. TINGLER

    TINGLER Swamp lips

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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.
    #3
  4. ohgood

    ohgood Long timer

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    Nope. Put the wife on and ride.
    #4
  5. larrylarry75

    larrylarry75 Aye Chihuahua

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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. :knary:knary:knary:knary

    LL75
    #5
  6. Eladbern

    Eladbern Adventurer

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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.
    #6
  7. MotoRandy123

    MotoRandy123 Been here awhile

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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...
    #7
  8. Wentwest

    Wentwest 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.
    #8
  9. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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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.
    #9
  10. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

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    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.
    #10
  11. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    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.
    #11
  12. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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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...
    #12
  13. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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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...). :puke1

    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. :evil

    Dont get a scooter man. Just saying. Ef no! :eek1
    #13
  14. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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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.
    #14
  15. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    I have both and really enjoy riding them both.
    #15
  16. larrylarry75

    larrylarry75 Aye Chihuahua

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    I've got a well used 2006 Ninja 650R that's low enough to the ground to suit me and it's been a wonderful touring machine as well. I seem to accumulate all sorts of bikes & scooters but when it comes time to head out I always seem to pick the Ninja. The reasons are many but first and foremost is the reliability factor with ergonomics a close second. For some that latter might not apply but I knew the very first time I threw a leg over it I'd found my ride. Much as I love my scooters and a couple of higher end bikes I always gravitate back to it, not unlike wearing a favorite pair of boots. If ever the beastie dies I fully expect to buy another one just like it, and in fact I've been thinking about finding one of the same year and just stashing it away for that day. Silly isn't it?

    LL75 :clap
    #16
  17. Nihon Newbie

    Nihon Newbie Been here awhile

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    Just my 2 cents, but what about renting or borrowing one of each, separately, and riding them on the same routes. This should give you the basic feel of what operating each of them will be like for both short trips, and longer ones.

    As far as other people's opinions about what you choose, I say forget it. I get a kick out of it when people talk trash about my riding scooters, despite not knowing anything about what a capable rider I am on so many other platforms. Ride what you like, and what you enjoy owning, simple as that, IMO.

    Lastly, I'm glad you mentioned your need for speed being different from that of [most] 20 year olds. With that in mind, I will just say that you can always ride your motorcycles slowly, but not every scooter can go fast. If you really don't care about the go-fast, then I'd lean even more towards scooting. :freaky
    #17
  18. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    hi Darre;

    I have one of each and like them both, and I have to say today I do not know what I would keep if I had be be done to just 1, my KLR 650 is my fast, 2 up, dirt, and interstate bike, the scooter is 100 cc of fun fun fun !

    If you want the burgman I think you have a winner there! since it is all the speed you want, a lot of comfort for you and maybe the wife too. What will you not get with the scooter? well no off road (unless you really want to) and??? no I can't think of it unless 150 mph is your thing.

    as mention above,rent or barrow one of each and then make your decision.

    Cheers

    Damasovi
    #18
  19. Scott_F

    Scott_F Been here awhile

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    Motorcycles are motorcycles and fall into different groups. There are highway bikes and racing bikes and off-road bikes. Then there are scooters, which are another kind of motorcycle, one without a clutch. There are different kinds of scooters, too, urban scooters and highway scooters.

    Only you can define what kind of riding you want to do. The first question is if you will ride two-up or in pairs, depending on how your lady wants to travel. Two-up? Get a cruiser, at least 1100cc, better a GoldWing. That's what they're for.

    For a single rider on the highway, a smaller cruiser or a maxiscooter is just fine. There are also adventure touring machines like the V-Strom or different BMWs that are just as comfortable, and in fact any motorcycle can be set up comfortably with handlebar risers, aftermarket seats, etc. I have an 1100 V-Star and a 900 Vulcan as well as two 650 Burgmans and a 125 Vino. I also have an Aprilia 200 Scarbeo, a 250 Ninja and a Honda CB500 to ride. They are all very different, all fun in their own way. Some of them do not go on the highway. Others don't get ridden in town.

    I love my V-Star. It is big and fat and silver, makes a nice sound as I motor along. It's a Silverado, decked out with windshield and bags, chromed out, rejetted with Jughugger pipes and a Kuryakyn scoop. It's a very nice bike, the bike I always wanted as a kid. My wife's Vulcan is a Classic, also appointed and modified for performance. They are lots of fun on the highway, but big and clunky around town, at least compared to a scooter.

    I ride a scooter in the city. My Burgman on crosstown trips and our Vino when I don't have to go on a freeway. A lighter bike is fun, but a clutch is not a thing to put up with in traffic.

    We ride our cruisers on day trips and weekend overnighters to some destination 250 miles away. They're fun for that, and there are lots of other riders out there with similar bikes, some even Harleys. For longer trips we go out on the Burgmans, simply because they are better.

    Why? Better weather protection, more storage, longer range, better mileage, less vibration, less fatigue, Twist the grip and they go, effortlessly. They handle better through mountain corners than the cruisers and go faster, quicker, with less buffeting at high speed. My favourite switch is the adjustable windshield although my wife likes the heated seat. They are hard to beat.

    BTW, don't get wierded out by the scooter thing. People don't know what they're looking at, least of all other riders. They don't know what they're missing, until you start to tell them, then they are amazed at what it is and can do.

    Anyway, those are my random thoughts. Whatever bike you choose, you will enjoy it.

    Regards
    Scott Fraser
    Calgary
    #19
  20. MiniBike

    MiniBike Been here awhile

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    Some good responses here.

    Sportbike riders don't understand cruiser riders who don't understand dual-sport riders who don't understand HD only riders who don't understand scooter riders. Once you put a DILLIGAF sticker on the bike of YOUR choice, it just doesn't matter as much anymore. :wink:

    Just grab something - anything and start riding. You'll soon figure out what makes you happiest.
    #20