Anyone go from motorcycle to scooter?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by chukzelda, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,769
    Location:
    Collinsville Va
    I'm a 15 year scooter commuter all done on a 250. My commute has a maximum posted speed limit of 45mph with traffic flow around 50mph. A 250 is great at 50 but at a sustained 65 I'd look for something bigger. Not that a 250 would not do it, just that it would feel a little frantic day in and day out. Think driving a Geo Metro at 80 everyday.
    #41
  2. jalapenopete

    jalapenopete Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    north georgia
    That's quite a leap from me using a colloquial term such as "lack of respect" to you accusing me of doing "stupid stuff"
    Come ride your scooter down GA 400 during weekday morning rush hour and see what a great time is to be had before making such a dumb comment.
    #42
  3. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,308
    Location:
    Florida Keys
    I have put 66,000 miles on my 2007 Bonneville which is as easy to ride as a scooter. I enjoy it all the time touring or commuting but I miss my old school Vespa 200. So i'm looking to get a restored shifter Vespa to relieve some of the commuting duties for my Bonneville.

    I've owned a Vespa GTS and it kept breaking down, blowing relays and flashing engine faults in the computer after ten months and ten thousand miles. I came to resent the complexity of modern scooters, the belt drives and the pursuit of horsepower. Squeezing 85mph out of a water-cooled four valve 250 with bulbous bodywork is a feat of engineering, but it comes at the expense of simplicity and ease of use. It's easy to ride a gearless scooter, not so easy to replace a rear tire on a Vespa GTS. Broken exhaust manifold gasket anyone? And all that plumbing and computer wiring,oh my!

    I too am of the school that feet forward scooters of the Japanese school don't feel comfortable. However they are also bulky and frequently larger than the motorcycles they replace. I like the Burgman 650’s low maintenance requirements, rare valve checks and maintenance free drive chain however the thing is HUGE!

    My idea for an old school Vespa isn't for everyone (anyone!) but on my 55/60 mph commute in fine weather 27 miles one way is for me a return to my youth. So I get the nostalgia fix and I return to the scooter revolution all in one. On the other hand I would go for an IQ/Smart or Fiat 500 for winter commuting in a cold climate and to save money. I can change my own tires on the P200 (and carry a spare wheel as I go) but they still wear our relatively frequently those little tires....
    #43
  4. hexnut

    hexnut Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    603

    Did I mention YOU specifically. If not and you aren't in the group that does stupid stuff, don't get your panties in such a knot. But If the shoe fits......

    I'm speaking of all the young people I see around here on scooters cutting in and out of traffic, changing lanes with out warning. lane splitting and cutting in front of people, which is illegal here, speeding and a host of other things that is aggravating to other motorist. They are their own worst enemies.
    #44
  5. Dabears

    Dabears --------------------

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    747
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I'm a 'high Viz' kinda guy, so on my BMW i have PIAA driving lights, pulsing brake lights, high viz jacket, high viz tape on my luggage and 3M reflective checkerboard tape on my helmet. I don't usually have problems on this bike, and if someone starts to edge over on me a blast from my Stebel horn usually gets their attention quickly.

    In fact, I've had people pull off the road when they look in their mirror and see me come up behind them. Suspect I may look a bit like a leo with all the gear (+gps, etc).

    On the old Vespa it's my high Viz jacket and helmet only, and the very dim 35w headlight and single taillight. Definitely feel more vulnerable on it, but part of that is that I sit much lower, and being a scooter the first thought people likely have is 'here's another one of those idiots riding a 50cc liquor scooter that won't be able to get out of his own way' so they tend to shift lanes to pass before they even realize I can keep up just fine with them.

    They don't hurt my feelings, I just adjust my riding accordingly, and stay alert all the time and try to stay visible....

    Note: when I run out on an errand and don't wear high viz gear I notice that i get encroached on way more frequently. Yeah, high Viz on a scooter looks stupid, but I do get noticed..:D
    #45
  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,814
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    That's a matter of opinion. In my opinion, wearing proper gear shows that the rider takes his riding seriously, whether on a motorcycle or a scooter. High vis shows that the rider is safety conscious. I have always tried to wear bright helmets and jackets and recently got a hi vis helmet and jacket. Personally I think the guy wearing shorts, T-shirt, and flips flops looks stupid but to each his own.

    BTW, between wearing bright gear and riding offensively, I seldom get encroached on or cut off. On the rare occasion I do, it's usually easy to see it coming. I have not noticed any difference in how I am treated between my motorcycles and scooters. Maybe that's because I wear similar gear on all of them.
    #46
  7. soboy

    soboy Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,294
    Location:
    Roswell, GA
    I started riding motorcycles in 1972, bought my first scooter in 2008 and my second one last year. I have noticed zero difference in the way cages react to me on my Tmax v. any motorcycle I have ever owned or ridden.
    #47
  8. Dabears

    Dabears --------------------

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    747
    Location:
    Atlanta
    500cc, 500 lbs, and from most angles looks like a full size bike...yes I would expect that there is little difference between drivers perception of a full size bike and your scooter.

    I believe if you rode my little 30 year old Vespa on your same Atlanta roads your experience might be different. I know mine has been. I'm not new to this either- I've been riding since 1972.
    #48
  9. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,473
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    I agree with the no respect statements. On the Shadow there was no problem but on the Zuma 125 people think that I am on a 50cc and am going to hold up a whole line of cars so they try their best to get ahead of me.
    #49
  10. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,221
    Location:
    WNC SWFL
    I wear high viz all the time but I still pretend that they don't see me whether I am on my motorcycle, scooter (when I had one), or my bicycle.

    BTW, I've been riding since 1954 but I don't care how long you have been riding. High viz might help but don't depend on it, you had better ride defensible.
    #50
  11. Dabears

    Dabears --------------------

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    747
    Location:
    Atlanta

    I hear ya. I don't 'depend' on hi viz at all, it's just one of many things I try to do to improve my visibility and safety factor. Boots, full face helmets, extra lighting are all good, but a texting driver can only be avoided by being proactive and alert.

    As an aside, I drove my truck to work today and took a different route (over a covered bridge that I won't travel on my bikes). I heard on the radio there was a wreck at the intersection near my house that I most dread on my ride to work because it's a "keep moving" merge onto a 45 mph road that traffic typically runs over 60 on. I had a moment where I thought 'that could have been me' if I'd taken the scooter today. Gave me shivers...
    #51
  12. HisMajesty400

    HisMajesty400 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Hey,

    I wanted to add something about no respect on scooters... I believe that it true. I also do not think it is always the scooter rider's fault. I have a Geo Metro, and people behave disrespectful toward small cars. Granted, we drive the speed limit, but we drive in the slow lane, and drive courteously. People behave badly in bigger vehicles!
    #52
  13. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,096
    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Its the natural pecking order in most peoples minds. Small vehicles deffer to bigger. I can pull out in front of you in my full size van because you are on a scooter and you will slow down. I'm not sure how anyone with any 2 wheeled vehicle or for that matter small car can deny this fact.
    #53
  14. soboy

    soboy Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,294
    Location:
    Roswell, GA
    I agree 100%. I do not get the same respect from cages on my Agility 125 as I do on the Tmax. But I have never had a problem with a cage while on the Agility, as I have always followed the advice given to me by my older and wiser neighbor when I got my first bike at 14 - "ride like you are invisible and all the cages are out to kill you". It has worked for me for the last 40 years. I also don't venture far from home on the Agility or take it on roads with a speed limit higher than 45 mph.
    #54
  15. ScootTour

    ScootTour Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,491
    intrestingly at least here in Houston I rarely see riders with much gear on at all. In fact, sometimes it feels like riders wear LESS gear then they do if they are in a car.
    I do know heat has a lot to do with it but still.
    #55
  16. Rugby4life

    Rugby4life Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Upstate SC (GSP area)
    I won't bore you with tales of how long I've been riding or how far I've ridden. Suffice it to say I've had 30 bikes over the years. I bought my first scooter a year ago (400 Majesty) and have had a blast on it. I ride it more than my "real" bike. That's a lot since I commute daily year round on a bike. I also ride 180 miles (each way) to Atlanta weekly. The Majesty has plenty of scoot to handle Atl rush hr traffic and tops out at a GPS true 105 with my 300lbs on it. It's plenty of bike for anyone's commute.
    I ride by nature's rules of the road - If it's going to hurt me more than them if we collide, they've got the right of way. It's worked well for me so far.
    #56
  17. InlineSkate

    InlineSkate Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Bay City, MI
    I think it depends on the appearance of the scooter as well. Vespa/Retro style scooters seem to be less respected. Probably due to the assumption that they're only 50cc scooters that are barely street legal.

    On the road I don't think it's just large vs small I think it's high vs low power. Respect being determined by your engine output.
    #57
  18. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,164
    Location:
    Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
    Hmm, the asian styled small scoots get the least amount of respect in my experience. People equate them with the 50cc chinese junk, especially when they've been banged up and are missing chunks of their body paneling. My Vespa gets much more respect. Then again its a large frame GTS and any thoughts that its a 50cc piece of junk are usually erased fairly quickly.
    #58
  19. Rugby4life

    Rugby4life Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Upstate SC (GSP area)
    #59
  20. Phipsd

    Phipsd Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    792
    Location:
    West coast British Columbia
    I have a Suzuki C90 cruiser and a V-Strom 1000. I bought a SYM Citycom 300i for commuting which is a bigwheel (16") scooter with a 60 inch wheelbase, stock windshield, upright riding position, excellent steering geometry and a stout frame. The weather protection is very good. It's a zippy little beast that easily keeps ahead of fast moving stop and go traffic.

    An honest 65-70 mph is a smooth easy cruise. The bike fits my bulky six four 1/2 well and is so stable in corners and steers so well that I do almost all my rides on it now.

    In three years of use and over 20,000 km it has proved to be much more reliable and trouble free than my big bikes.
    #60