Am I missing much not getting a motorcycle?

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

  1. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    I have 3 scooters now. I'd have to say the Zuma 125 is my favorite for traveling, and running around town when I want a low effort ride. The Genuine Stella is by far the best when you just want to gave fun, with it's 150cc 2 stroke engine, manual transmission and clutch, and vintage Vespa looks and feel. The Vino 125 mostly just sits there now, since I got the Zuma, but it has been ridden, it has over 24,000 miles on it.

    About finding the perfect bike, my Kawasaki Vulcan 750 is it. I have bought 2 new ones, and put 160,000 miles on both of them together. I would love to have another, but they no longer make them. You get almost Goldwing comfort with a MUCH smaller bike, easily does 80 mph all day, and gets 50+ mpg while doing it. 1000 mile days are not that bad.
    #61
  2. Scott_F

    Scott_F Been here awhile

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    More good advice. My own opinion, big bikes belong on the highway, not the street. I love riding my V-Star, but it is 700 lbs and a pig to ride in rush hour. I'd much rather ride my Burgman, but then I am used to hefting a 700 lb bike around. Calgary traffic depends on 50 mph freeways that make riding a 125 Vino hazardous, but we still ride it on local errands. It is just so convenient! My son has a Scarabeo 200 which can certainly handle the freeway, but that bike has very little storage, limiting its utility. Still, its a much better bike for commuting than a big fat cruiser.

    There is no worse fate that sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, surrounded by fumes, working the clutch to get up a long hill, ten feet at a time. A scooter makes it more bearable, but it's still no fun. Toss in inclement weather, rude or incompetent drivers, and I'd rather be safe in my cage where it is warm and safe and I have good tunes to make the trek more tolerable. That's just my opinion. I have only been riding for four years, but that is long enough to learn that traffic and motorcycles are not the best combination.

    Back to the original post: riding two-up is a serious business. It requires a suitable bike and a rider (and passenger) with experience. I don't like carrying passenger, but I have. I put them on the V-Star, which is a full-size cruiser with a proper passenger seat, sissy bar and footboards to be able to do so safely.

    When we started riding, my wife was happy to hang on and we putted around on our little 125 Vino. Six weeks later I got her a Vino of her own. Ever since then she refuses to ride as a passenger. The next year spring we bought a pair of Burgmans, and haven't looked back.

    Yes, the Burgman is big and fat and hard to handle at very low speeds. Yes she has dropped it, more than once, usually when she is standing still. The first time was a catastrophe, oh no! what have I done, woe! But so what. A few scratches make no difference. BTW, three seasons and 30,000 km later, she doesn't drop it anymore. She is 5'6, 130 lbs, smaller than most riders, but she handles it as well as I do now.

    My suggestion is to take her to Victoria. You can rent 50cc scooters there and you can both zoom around on them. They are very easy to ride, and she may decide that she would rather ride her own than sit on back. If so, you can look at a mid-size scooter, 300 or 400cc. A Burgman 400 doesn't have the features of the Exec, but it is still more than enough to cruise comfortably from Edmonton to Jasper or to do the loop from Edmonton to Drayton, Rocky, Red Deer and back. That's a very nice ride.

    Anyway, you've had some very good advice from posters who have responded in this thread. There are lots of ways to go, but now you have a better idea.

    And BTW, people who make fun of scooters are not worth worrying about. They don't know what they're missing. Eventually, you will start to feel sorry for them.

    Regards
    Scott Fraser
    Calgary
    #62
  3. Noth

    Noth Been here awhile

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    I have a Burgman 650 now (they are all executives now) and had a Piaggio MP3 500 before that.. I started riding at 60..and it never occurred tome that people were laughing at me.. I thought the smiles I got were just people that envied me.. I find a scooter with some power will work just fine.. I put 6,000 miles on my Piaggio in 2 seasons and 4,000 miles on my Burgman last summer.. no issues and enjoyed all of them..

    If You get over people laughing at you consider a Can Am.. they'll cruise at 95 all day and come with all of the bells & whistles..
    #63
  4. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    Traffic and motorcycles are all to often a deadly combination. I will not ride ANY bike in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic on freeways. It's only a matter of time before the cell phone addled idiot in the vehicle behind you runs over you, and you get crushed between them and the vehicle in front of you. It also wears out clutches and brakes in a hurry.
    #64
  5. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Trumpet Strumpet

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    this is my nightmare scenario, and why i stay off the two big arterial freeways during peak hours. wa drivers are tech-addled, panicky, easily distracted morons.
    #65
  6. klx250sfguy

    klx250sfguy Long timer

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    I hope I live long enough (and earn enough) to get me one of these. Talk about blurring the line between motorcycle, car and AIRPLANE: motorcycle engine, sound and smell, wind in your face, killer looks combined with seating accommodations more inviting from a passenger's perspective. Only $50,000 and a two year wait. It's a Morgan 3 Wheeler that uses a 2000cc Harley sourced engine and a slick shifting gearbox sourced from Mazda's MX-5. Being an MX-5 owner, I appreciate what this means. The "cockpit" is airplane-like as is the overall look of this smile-inducing-fun-factory-on-wheels. God I want one. But even if I had one, I would still ride my Honda C70 and my 2-stroke Aero 80. And I would still be Jonesing for a "shifty" Vespa P200, the latest offerings from Honda, BMW, Aprillia, etc etc. No one vehicle (car, bike, scooter, 3 wheeler) can "do it all." Just ask Jay Leno. I think it would be great if the Morgan 3 Wheeler was available for rent. Fly down to the southern US, rent one for a week. That would make for a great holiday.

    [​IMG]
    #66
  7. klx250sfguy

    klx250sfguy Long timer

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    In response to ScottF, your suggestion of going to Victoria and renting a couple of scooters really resonated with me. That is EXACTLY how I got hooked on two wheels: Victoria BC, summer of 1990, a buddy and I rented a pair of Honda Sprees. I will never forget the fun we had bombing around on those little pip-squeaks. Here's a pic of a much younger and thinner (and fuller head of hair) Klx250sfguy on "the bike that started it all."

    [​IMG]
    #67
  8. larrylarry75

    larrylarry75 Aye Chihuahua

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    I admit traffic snarls on a daily commute wouldn't be my choice for scooter riding either, at least not on one of the little guys. I'm comfortable on either one of my scoots but they're 250 and 500 cc machines with enough power to keep up with any traffic.

    Touring on the other hand is a blast; for me the back roads are far and away the most fun but often in order to get there you need to deal with traffic first. If doing so makes you uncomfortable to the point of panic I'd say don't go there, but if it's only for a short time/distance you'll be alright if you pay attention and avoid rush hours.

    I'm curious, don't the riding schools help students learn to deal with this or do they simply focus on staying upright and riding around pylons? No slur of these courses is intended, I'd expect pylon riding is used to help develop turning skills, balance, etc. I know for motorcycles there are a lot of advanced riding schools too, many of which focus on track riding but I'd think there are some aimed at developing skills for ordinary riding? I'm so damned old that when I started riding schools like these didn't exist so I've never attended one. I'd hope they include riding in traffic as part of their curriculum.

    LL75 :D
    #68
  9. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

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    I took the MSF basic course in October. Very little of it dealt with traffic; a little during the one night class, less during the riding portion. It mostly focussed on balance, turns and stops.
    #69
  10. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    The MSF Basic Riders course, required by many states to get a new motorcycle license is just that - basic. It includes gear shifting (most are taken on motorcycles), quick braking, going around cones at various spacing intervals, figure 8s in a confined area, staying within relatively narrow set of circles, quick turns and stops. A motorcycle or scooter is provided for you to take the course on. There is also an Advanced Riders course which has more to do with the items you asked about and improving your skills. You must provide your own ride for that class which is on both a closed course and open road. Plus there is a group riding course which our local scooter group United Scooter Riders had taught by one of the big local motorcycle/power sports dealers at no charge by one of the dealership's instructors. There maybe other courses available as well but those are the ones I know about.
    #70
  11. Scott_F

    Scott_F Been here awhile

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    My experience as well. The course is focused on teaching a new rider how to control the motorcycle. There is an evening class that discusses traffic, among many other things, but other than that the time is spent on a lot, with pylons and lines and obstacles and so on. "This is the clutch..." It is an excellent course and should be mandatory for anyone just starting out.

    Traffic conditions vary widely from one place to another. Most of us suffer life in the city, most all of which are choked with cars. In Alberta, where Darren and I live, it is a very hostile environment. People drive too fast, they tailgate, and they are very aggressive in how they drive. They don't pay attention. They don't look for motorcycles so they don't see them. Too many of them are just plain incompetent, untrained, unaware of even the basics of how to drive. The licensing requirements for an ordinary car license are so slack they are ludicrous. It's a war zone out there and it is up to ME to keep myself alive. That's the bottom line.

    Back to the original question... No, Darren, your not missing a damned thing. A scooter IS a motorcycle. It is just as dangerous on a scooter. Gear is just as important. Riding within your limits matters just as much. Knowing your vehicle and it's limits is just as important. Deer don't care if you have a clutch, and there are lots of deer on the road around here. Make no mistake. A scooter is just as dangerous as a motorcycle because it IS a motorcycle.

    As for the rest of it, I love my scooter. It will be the last bike I sell. I love the others, too, but the Burgman is just the most practical, and the most comfortable. It just is. People don't make fun of me. They come up to ask what it is. They are amazed that I can put a five-gallon jerry can in the trunk and take it down the road at 100 mph (not that I do).
    Other riders might scoff at it, but only until they see it in action. There are lots of converts on the Burgman forum, people who once rode Harleys and Goldwings and who now ride scooters. They do the job so well, its hard to consider choosing any other bike, any other motorcycle. :-)

    Anyway, carry on. I've seen a couple of low-mileage Burgmans in the showroom and on kijiji for around $6000, not bad for what it is. A similar sized cruiser will be as much or more. In fact, check this one out in Wainwright.

    Regardless of what you ride, ridde safe.
    Scott Fraser
    #71
  12. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

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    if you want a scooter get a scooter. if long distance touring is in order a 650 is beneficial. especially two up. when motorcyclist laugh at you, laugh back. and point, too. but tbh those kinds of things don't happen too often, if at all. most motorcyclists understand scooters. the ones who don't ride for dumb reasons, among other reasons. but dumb is some of those reasons, most likely. don't worry about all that

    just consider the speed and power you might need for your travels and get enough bike to sustain a good cruising speed with some room to spare. if a 650 isn't enough, get a mc i suppose

    i started riding at 45. i ride small scooters. you're good to go:D

    edit: skimming the thread i see its taken off. so yeah, learn how to ride well enough before your travels
    #72
  13. DarthJ

    DarthJ Been here awhile

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    While I love my Shadow and will be purchasing a Victory in the future, scoots are always awesome things. In fact, I plan to have a Victory Cross Country Tour and right next to it in the garage, a Honda Helix for a project and eventually, in-town runabout.

    So, ride what you want, 2 wheels is 2 wheels. Though I will say get it delivered if you can and practice, practice, practice. If I see ya, I'll wave.
    #73
  14. FoldArt

    FoldArt Been here awhile

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    Wow! 72 replies and the original poster hasn't checked back in to thank anyone for their time and effort!

    Hope he is still around.

    PS - he posted the exact same question on Maxi-Scoot and one other forum (I think the Silverwing forum) too.
    #74
  15. Phipsd

    Phipsd Older but not wiser.

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    One night I was shopping at Safeway and got a little carried away; I wasn't thinking about the scoot. I had quite a pile of bags but I did manage to get squared away. The Diet Coke and the milk and ice-cream fit under the seat and the lighter stuff stuff between my knees on the Citycom's grocery hook.

    An older Harley guy (well, older than me LOL) came running over and said" I was wondering how you were going to do that. What kind of scooter is that?
    I've never seen one like it. I like the look of it." It's a big wheel SYM Citycom 300i.......

    Well it turned out that he had bought a Burgman for his wife to ride and was having so much fun with it, that he was the one putting most of the miles on it.

    So will you be missing much with a scoot? Only the shifting.
    #75
  16. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    "Traffic conditions vary widely from one place to another. Most of us suffer life in the city, most all of which are choked with cars. In Alberta, where Darren and I live, it is a very hostile environment. People drive too fast, they tailgate, and they are very aggressive in how they drive. They don't pay attention. They don't look for motorcycles so they don't see them. Too many of them are just plain incompetent, untrained, unaware of even the basics of how to drive. The licensing requirements for an ordinary car license are so slack they are ludicrous. It's a war zone out there and it is up to ME to keep myself alive. That's the bottom line"

    That is EXACTLY how it is in Phoenix, AZ. Most definitely a war zone. Not a good place to learn to ride. Even a lot of veteran riders get run over here. A beginner doesn't have much of a chance under those conditions. I was lucky, and was able to get used to it a little bit at a time, as it happened. I started out when there wasn't much traffic, and no cell phones, and watched it get worse and worse over the years.

    As for what you will be missing, the sport of riding is so varied you will always be missing something. I agree that a scooter is a type of motorcycle. But there are many types of motorcycles, cruisers, sport bikes, adventure bikes, dual sport bikes, full on touring bikes, there are even a couple of standards left. And in all those categories, there are a lot of different bikes. Big ones, small ones, fast ones, not so fast ones, red ones, blue ones. I've had 46 so far, and have still missed a lot. There is a lot more to it than just scooters and motorcycles. There is an almost infinite number of different motorcycles. You will never get to try them all. Get what appeals to you the most, and enjoy it. If later on you find something else that appeals to you, and can afford it, try that. Riding is addictive, and very few riders manage to make it through life with only one type of bike.
    #76
  17. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Idiots gravitate to larger groups. Avoid the congested, clogged arteries, and find the gold mine of side streets.

    Scooter, cruiser, thumper, whatever. There is excellent riding in every town I've been to, if only you leave the masses of asses, behind.
    #77
  18. vortexau

    vortexau Outside the Pod-bay

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    [​IMG]

    Unless one's a dentist! Riders in this profession cannot inflict these levels of pain, and still ride a scooter.

    #78
  19. Dranrab Luap

    Dranrab Luap E-Tarded Super Moderator

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    Reading the book Proficient Motorcycling is e very very good idea for anyone new to riding or new to commuting.
    #79
  20. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

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    Thx for the advice. I actually did pick that book up before the MSF class; still reread parts of it now and again.
    #80