CT110 vs Zuma125 Best fire road cruiser?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by NatsFan, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. NatsFan

    NatsFan Adventure Apprentice

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    I'm looking for a round town scoot and something to throw on the truck and ride in the NF. Camping, geocaching, getting lost, etc.

    I have been looking at CT110s(I know they are not really scooters but I see others here) even rode a few around the block. Yes they are very cool looking and durable, but they are 30 years old, and good at burning the tender loin. But they are not exactly cheap either. Yeah, you can find cheap ones without a title, but who wants to deal with that. Seems like every schmuck with one in the back of the garage knows they are desirable. At least round here anyway. Going rate is about a grand. You can get a pretty good deal on a much newer Elite compaired to these things.

    So then I notice the Zuma, and the MadAss. I'm not sure about carrying stuff on the madass though. The CT has an aircraft carrier for a rack. The Zuma I would imagine makes more hp for less gas. Gives up a bit on the rack and of course no low range. How well do they function at altitude?

    Anyway open to suggestions if you think something else might work. No sense riding around in a 4000lb box, it never rains here...
    #1
  2. nacree

    nacree Adventurer

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    Try a Zuma 125- you will love it. They are fuel injected so no issues with running at Altitude. The also have a very large underseat storage area- big enough for a full size helmet and then some. You will be surprised what you can fit in there.

    They are also pretty sturdy for dirt roads and come with nice psuedo knobby tires as well. Find a dealer and take one out for a test.

    The Madass is really cool- I want one but shifting gets old and no storage.

    Later,

    Nathan
    #2
  3. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    I had the ct110 and now have the madass. The madass is a much better road bike, as it's handling is better and disk brakes means it can actually stop. Much better handling than any scooter I have ridden as well.

    The madass has too hard of a suspension for tough dirt though so you would need to change that. You can get panniers racks for it and a rack, honestly though you can carry a small bag on the pillion seat which is enough for a day ride (just be careful not to melt it on the exhaust-placing it across the seat avoids this though).

    Plenty of information around how well the ct goes on dirt.

    Haven't ridden the zuma.
    #3
  4. 12ARX

    12ARX Long timer

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    #4
  5. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    There is a reason the CT90 and CT110 are still so popular after so many years, that's because they're the best at what they do. If you're going to be putt putting around on gravel roads the Zuma would be OK but if you're going to be riding steep rocky jeep trails CT is the only way to go.
    #5
  6. approachbears

    approachbears 250cc is 50cc too many

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    Zuma 125. Less working, more riding. Buy a 30 year old vehicle for a premium price or buy a new vehicle cheap and ride it for the next 30 years.
    #6
  7. YamaGeek

    YamaGeek Ancient trailbike padwan

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    My main concern for the Zuma is how rugged is it's CVT tranny when subjected to rugged, steep trails, and extremely dusty conditions? Could someone come up with an actual ratio spread on the Zuma compared with the dual range CT 90~110?

    I'm thinking the Zuma might be good if the overall CVT gearing ratio is wider than say the single range 1981 Ct 110 or any of the Honda clone engines. The Clone engines seem to have a slight edge in low end pull over the normal 4 speed Honda 90 to 110 cc engines.

    This also begs the question...

    What about all the other Big Four dual sport "trail bikes" with dual range transmission? Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki, made concurrent models that were at times better for off roading than the CT90. I'm not trying to be a Trail 90 buzzkill but I've ridden a few of these models and they were all quite competent in their trail manners.
    #7
  8. approachbears

    approachbears 250cc is 50cc too many

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    Dust will affect the air intake, but the transmission is sealed in a case. So dust will have no effect on it.
    #8
  9. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    What concerns me more about the scooters being used off road is the unsprung weight of the engine, muffler, etc., bouncing over rocks. Also the small diameter wheels and ground clearance.
    #9
  10. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    I looked at a Madass recently. A significant issue for me was no protection for the engine and the battery is mounted under it as well. Doesn't appear to be a good way to put a skid plate under it and no one is making one yet anyway.

    I also looked at a Zuma. Probably OK for dirt roads, but if you're on rocky roads/trails I can't see it surviving long.
    #10
  11. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    I had a CT90 and it was fun, the rack is strong enough that the factory seat attached to it.

    That said, I was always in fear of being run over from behind, even on small roads, with the top speed of only 40 or so.

    One of the bikes I looked at as a replacement was the Kaw KE100. They made them until '01 so there are still plenty of low mileage examples around for $1K or less.

    They are almost exactly the same light weight (less than 200 lbs.) as the the CT90, so easy to handle off road and easy to load in a pickup, hitch carrier, etc.

    They have a top speed of about 65, so I would consider them much safer on road. They're oil injected 2-strokes, so more power than the CTs. Unless you have a problem with 2-strokes, might be something to look into.

    I wound up going with a Yamaha XT225, but that's another story. ;>)
    #11
  12. YamaGeek

    YamaGeek Ancient trailbike padwan

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    The number of small two stroke 90cc-100cc dual sports from that era that were faster than the CT90 would probably include most of them. I'd even say the CL90 and the S90 had an edge in speed.

    I've owned a few as well. I'd be saying the Kaw was probably not good for all day speeds of 65, probably more like 50-55. I've owned a '75 Hodaka Road Toad which back in the old 55 mph days could be run on Interstate 5 for short jaunts with a larger countershaft sprocket. It was the fastest stock 100 cc DS bike I remember from the '70's. My Suzuki TS 90 was another bike that could push past 55 for short trips, but was far more comfortable at 45 to 47.

    The thing about the CT90 and the previous ct200 were that when jetted correctly they could be pinned WOF for long periods because they had small carburetors and pretty restrictive exhausts. I even went to a 17 tooth on my old CT200 and treated fourth gear like an overdrive.

    No-one has mentioned the Genuine Rattler 110. Which is also intended to be a small "adventure" scooter. Being a 2 stroke I forgot what a hoot the old DS 100's were like until I got to test ride one of the scooter shop's Rattlers. The one I rode had a Leo Vince pipe and had been tweaked with better reeds and carburetor. It was decidedly quick up to about 55.
    #12
  13. stiggs13

    stiggs13 Been here awhile

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    you'd be surprised how much abuse a ct-90 can take and still keep on rolling, they are purpose built for trails and fire roads
    #13
  14. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

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    The short suspension travel on most modern step throughs will pound the hell out of the rider on gravel/dirt. Also, those short, fat tires won't exactly roll over rocks with gusto. A mountain bike pedaled by a fit rider would be faster.:lol3 Pick the right tool for the job. If all you want to ride is fire roads and rural pavement, get a small dualsport like the KE100 or a Yamaha TW200, XT225, etc.
    #14
  15. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer

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    Buy both. Ride the Zuma and work on the CT.:rofl
    #15
  16. WILL_S

    WILL_S OUTLAW POSTIE 001

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    Can't give any advice on a zuma ,the ct is another story.I've got one a commute on and offroad it as well .For work i ride one too.I love the things
    Great all rounders, not to hard to make go a bit better,bulletproof and will handle most abuse and still kick over for more.
    Here's some pics of my bike in action on the fire roads.

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    #16
  17. Bud Tugly

    Bud Tugly Gnarly old curmudgeon

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    I had a CT90, and mine would hit over 50 mph wide open and cruise comfortably at 40-45 all day long. The rack is super strong, the engine fully protected from damage by a hefty skid plate, and the dual transmission allows it to climb incredible slopes.

    If you try to keep up with folks riding full-blown dirt bikes on rough but open trails the suspension quickly shows its limitations, but it can be ridden through places it would be difficult to walk. The 2-strokes with dual transmissions of the era were a bit faster, but the centrifugal clutch on the CT90 made it easier to ride in rough terrain.
    #17