Chewing the Fat about Maxi Scooters again

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by GREY.HOUND, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,311
    Location:
    Florida Keys
    As long as its a question of chewing the fat I wish maxi scooters could be more handy. I've ridden scooters for forty years but that means I'm used to sit-up-and-beg Vespas and their progeny..

    I thought long and hard about a Burgman 650 but I couldn't bend my mind around the extremely long wheelbase, the weight and the sensation of riding something more akin to a car with all that plastic.

    I have full use of arms and legs so a clutch isn't an issue for me, and I enjoy shifting. I have saddlebags and a top case for commuting and touring. Yet I feel like I'm missing out when I think about the big scooters. Lately I walk past a BMW 650 GT parked in town and I get a glint in my eye. Hmmm...
    I am conflicted.
    Luckily traditional scooters don't seem to cause me conflict.
    #21
  2. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,069
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    I don't consider maxi scooters to be true scooters, because of their size and almost absurd length. To me, among other things, "scooter" means small. Not that there is anything wrong with maxi scooters, they have a purpose, but they don't really fit the definition of either a scooter or a motorcycle. Kind of like SUVs I guess. Neither a car nor a truck. I like traditional scooters. I've bought 5 new ones since 2005, and still have 3 of them. One of them is a manual shift 2 stroke. They are a blast to ride, and very handy.

    But I am considering replacing a motorcycle with a maxi scooter, for medical reasons. Constant shifting and clutching starts to hurt after a while, and it can sometimes be hard to get on and off of a motorcycle. Since I have a 750cc motorcycle that is probably almost worn out (it may still have more miles left in it than I think) it just makes sense to replace it with a maxi scooter that should solve most of my issues.
    #22
  3. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    432
    Location:
    central valley, california
    Like lots of things it's nice to have choices. We have two cars, my Mazda 3 which is small, sportyish and fun to drive. My wife, well that's a different story. A Nissan Murano with all the goodies, even the passenger seats are heated. (CARMAX saved us almost $12000 vs. brand new) And it has a CVT to boot! The point is, some trips I feel like being more engaged in my drive, others, I feel like I want more luxury. It is without a doubt the smoothest most relaxing vehicle I have ever driven on the highway. And we went through a leasing phase in the late 90's early 2000's for about 10 years.

    So, what does this have to do with scoots? Well, I see my sport city kind of like the Mazda 3 where as a Silverwing, TMAX, Burg650, and BMW's all seem more like the Murano. That 3 hour drive over the mtns. to the coast on 65mph roads can be done on the SC, but I'm sure it would be better on the others. I know the return trip if done the same day sure would be. While that trip hasn't happened yet but it's only a matter of time.

    Mmmm, fat. chomp, chomp...
    #23
  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,907
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    This is why you need to have multiple bikes.:D There is no one bike that can do it all.
    #24
  5. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,098
    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Not sure what the future holds, but I'm hoping Honda updates the silverwing. It's a bit long in the tooth for the kind of cash they are asking for it. I'd also like to see another 300cc scooter by Honda.
    #25
  6. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,557
    Location:
    Wandering (but based in the Tropical Tip of Texas)
    The new Honda Forza (300) is supposed to show up at dealers later this month. Look for the lengthy thread on it here.
    #26
  7. Soulbreeze

    Soulbreeze Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Lake Geneva, WI, USA
    ~~
    As a matter of fact, I just read an article on the Burgman which just got an update. I never paid much attention to them before, but it sounds like they changed up the body work and made them easier to push around, among some other tweaks.
    ~~
    #27
  8. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,069
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    I would like to see a new kind of maxi scooter. One with larger wheels (17" sport bike sized wheels should work fine) a short wheelbase, around 55", and a 500cc engine. It would have the same riding position of a smaller scooter like a Zuma 125, but be larger. But not long. It should have more motorcycle like proportions, but still be a step through with a completely flat floor, and a scooter type CVT drivetrain. I would like to have a much larger scooter, but I don't want one a mile long. Not only do these super long scooters not look good to me, but they are clumsy and awkward around town and in parking lots.
    #28
  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,907
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    I doubt that you will see that. Here's why. Most maxi scooter riders seem to be more interested in being able to stretch out their feet, a low seat height, and have a lot of storage than they are in nimble handling and light weight. The reason for the long wheelbases and smaller wheels are to provide those things, not for stability. Sport bikes are stable due to their rigid frames more than the 17" wheels. If you built a scooter like you wanted, it would likely have a tall seat and limited underseat storage. There are some scooters close to what you want so why not go for one of these: Kymco GT300i, Aprilia Scarabeo 500, Piaggio BV500, and the new BV350 is close but the floor is not completely flat. They all have upright seating positions, 16" wheels, and are very capable of highway riding.

    Kymco tried to provide a maxi scooter with lighter weight, shorter wheelbase and more nimble handling. Look how well that has sold in the US. I'm talking about the DT300. Every one complains about the lack of legroom.
    #29
  10. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,069
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Anyone who has ridden a Zuma 125 knows it has almost no legroom (that may be the reason why someone came up with aftermarket highway pegs for it) but using them cuts 5 mph off top speed. The Vino 125 has quite a bit more leg room.

    But I find the "stretch out" thing to be odd. I ride a cruiser motorcycle so I can sit upright and stretch my legs out with the forward pegs. The bars are tall enough and come back far enough that you can reach them easily without having to lean forward. Yet this is what most motorcycle riders don't want. They want the pegs to be way back, and the bars to be about the same height as the seat, specifically so they can put most of their upper body weight on the bars, and have their legs all scrunched up underneath them. I never understood why everybody wants such an uncomfortable riding position, but they do. The new Honda CTX700 got tons of complaints because it has a cruiser like riding position, without looking like a cruiser. Will be interesting to see how well it sells.
    #30
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,907
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Look around Jerry, cruisers outsell sportbikes by a wide margin in the USA.
    #31
  12. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Western Montana
    What's the future? It all depends. The things are a pleasure; they save gas; if set up right there's plenty of room even for big riders.

    Somehow they're not catching on. The Chinese scooter is grabbing market; I see them everywhere (gawd help them!) but the maxis? I'm in a town of 30,000 and I think I have the only Burgman 650 out here.

    I thought the B650 was overkill; but truth is, in a rural area, you NEED a big machine. You don't go far without needing freeway speed; and even through town there's limited-access highways. So...it's ideal. Only downside is the gas mileage; 48-50; and that's only a downside when compared to a hybrid car or a small scooter. It's better than many motorcycles.

    So...it should be good; but it doesn't seem to becoming so.
    #32
  13. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,069
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ

    In the real world that's true. But if you don't want to catch hell, don't bring that up in Road Warriors. They hate cruisers. They don't like the new CTX either, because of the cruiser riding position.
    #33
  14. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,069
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ

    9 out of 10 scooters around here are also Chinese. But there is a likely reason for that. $$$. There is a guy who works at a local convenience store who has been riding one for over a year and a half, and it is still going. Right now I'm looking at 300cc scooters. They are big enough to do freeway speeds, and still small enough to ride around town with ease. A Burg 650 is out of the question for me. I had more problems handling one of those in a parking lot than my 1500 Goldwing. To big, to wide, and to heavy. And Kymco and SYM have great deals on 300cc scooters.
    #34
  15. Houndguy

    Houndguy super noob!!!

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Tampa, Fl....home of the Rowdies
    I think the future is bright for scooters although I am not so sure if the bigger Maxi-scoots will ever be a big part of the market. I'll define those as 400cc and above. I do think the 250 to 300cc market will boom in a few years.

    Moving forward we are going to see increased urbanization. That means less parking and increased traffic. Gas prices will continue to increase and, in the USA at least, so will things like student debt and a sluggish economy will continue to put pressure on the markets. Others have all ready mentioned the ease of operation, storage, weather protection and ease of riding.

    In other words, a scooter is a cheap and excellent means of transport. :D While we may never see streets clogged with scooters like many Asian cities are, I can see a day where maybe 1 out of ever 500 vehicles on the road is a scooter.

    http://www.2smallerwheels.blogspot.com/2012/05/future-is-maxi-scooter.html:clap
    #35
  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,907
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    I almost never see Chinese scooters around here. I don't think anyone sells them around here. More than anything else, this a Harley town. Scooters in general don't sell that well around here as all the dealers tell me. As for the scooters I do see around town, I probably see more maxi scooters than I do smaller ones.

    Huntsville is actually a great town for getting around on a small to midsize scooter. I'm not sure why scooters haven't caught on here but perhaps the lack of effective marketing on the part of the dealers is part of the reason.
    #36
  17. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Western Montana
    The most expensive thing in the world...is cheap junk.

    Especially when you buy it with the idea it will hold up for a time. My two chunks...Chinese junks...were a waste. One blew the motor while under warranty; and then spent NINE MONTHS waiting for parts. Then, back home once more, I hit a deer with it. Broken panels I cannot replace. I'm trying to rig the frame to ride without the tupperware.

    The other, I sold for 60 percent of what I paid for it. I want NOTHING more to do with Chinese trash - there's no quality and no support.

    When the Chinese learn what they have to do to keep their stuff running and service it in this country when it brakes...I'll buy. Not until.
    #37
  18. Rugby4life

    Rugby4life Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Upstate SC (GSP area)
    I see the maxi scooter segment as ripe for two major developments. First is a push to create a true mid-sized touring alternative to the Goldwings and K1600GTs. You'll see serious luggage space with integrated saddlebags along with the under seat and topcase storage. Larger fuel tanks, standard cruise control and audio systems will also be part of the package. Possibly the most important addition to these new tourers will be an electronic overdrive to lower the RPMs at highway speeds to improve fuel milage. One unnecessary change will be the push to engines of 750cc to get past the American mindset that "real" big boy bike has to have at least a 3/4 liter engine.

    The second push will be to reduce weight and improve the nimbleness of the larger 4-600cc commuter scooters. Bigger wheels, centralized mass, and monocoque chassis will combine to make the big scooters handle like current 250s. This may sound far out but two factors are converging to make scooters more acceptable. The riding public is getting older and as joints stiffen, stepping through becomes preferable to swinging over. Automatic transmissions give weakened left wrists a break in around town conditions. Also, many folks coming back into the riding scene have been out for decades as they raised families. As such, they aren't invested in the current motorcycle vs scooter paradigm. They are children of the tech revolution and are attracted to the latest and greatest tech toys. The question is, which manufacturer will be the first to develop the scooter equivalent of the original iPhone?
    #38
  19. Valentino Magoo

    Valentino Magoo Like a speeding slug

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,432
    Location:
    Faytown, Arkansas
    I live in a college town. About 3-4 years ago, it became "cool" (or at least not uber-dorky) to ride a scoot. We went from <200 scoots registered on campus to over 2,500 in that time. This year I'll bet that runs up over 3,000. The school has about 25,000 students.

    Overwhelmingly "disposable" Chinese ruled 3 yrs ago, but experience has taught our market that you gotta spend more. SYMs are getting pretty common now, as are Kymco and the other "mainstream" brands. We have really steep hills here, and most now are 125cc and up, but still too many overloaded 50cc's around running 15mph up hills. That stretched-naked Big Ruckus clone (Mad Dog 50cc) popped up big time this summer.

    I wonder what these "kids" will do after college? They'll drive the future market more than old farts like me. I ride 2 wheels every day to campus. It is interesting that when I park my Burg 650 among them, I get no comments. Ever. If I park my Harley or my WR250 there, I get questions or comments more than twice a week. I love my Burg, but it clearly is not considered cool by our students. I don't see them adding to the maxi (as it is today) market.
    #39
  20. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Western Montana
    Actually, the college market is perfect for the Chinese crapola.

    Disposable. No need even to bring it home. Sell it for a few bucks; or just abandon it. And if it gets stolen, 'tain't no big thang...

    And a college kid, IN college...can be flexible about arrivals in a way few others can. If the thing breaks en route...it's a lotta cursing and a discarded scoot on the side of the road. Nothing more.
    #40