For Discussion: Maxi vs. Middleweight Motorcycle

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by GREY.HOUND, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Brooktown Geezer

    Brooktown Geezer scooter guy

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    So right, Klav. The very characteristic you love about a scooter at low speed can be a liability at high speed. For example, a light scooter can't be beat for toodling around town, errands, gas mileage, etc. Take that same scooter on a touring trip where you might need to hop on a freeway for a few miles, and the lack of gravitas (weight) is a liability when a semi passes you going up hill in windy conditions (ask me how I know.) For that planted feeling in gusty conditions, you need weight and power. But that same weight and power are a liability if you head into a parking lot sloped downhill, and need to back up in order to get out.

    Pick the bike for the majority of the riding you plan to do. No scoot is perfect for everything, though some do quite well at most everything.

    I've taken my GT200 to Canada and back to San Diego, and for the most part it was perfect. There were a couple of spots where I wished I had a Burgman with more weight and power, so I bought one. Over time I realized that the Burgman was mostly sitting in the garage, since I really preferred the ride of the Vespa for 90% of my riding. So I *think* I'm done with larger, heavier bikes. I just plan my route accordingly, and when I'm in a place or condition where the light weight of the scoot is a liability, I realize that this too shall soon pass.

    Someone who spends most of their touring time on open highways would likely prefer the Burgman and find their lighter scoot sitting for long periods of time. Like Gogogordy says, a butt for every saddle.
    #41
  2. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I love scooters and own three. Three small ones, two 125s and one 150 (2 stroke Stella) They are definitely real bikes, and will take you anywhere in long enough time. They are small, nimble, and great for running around town. They keep up with city traffic fine. But, IMO, a maxi scooter does not have those qualities. They feel big, heavy, and awkward in town. I would not feel comfortable at all riding a Burgman 650 around town. I test rode one, and it actually felt less controllable at low speeds and in tight situations than my former Goldwing 1500. I'm sure it would be great out on the highway, but if you want great handling at slow speeds and heavy stop and go traffic, a mid sized motorcycle would be a lot better, especially a cruiser or the new CTX700. Very comfortable riding position, easy ton get both feet on the ground at stops, easy to see the front wheel and the area around it. You can even lean over and look under the bike because it is so narrow. Leaning the Burgman 650 over made it feel like I was going to drop it, and there was a slight wobble in the bars. I have no problem leaning a motorcycle over till parts drag.


    IMO, sport bikes are not good for anything but the track, because of the pain their riding position causes. It's no fun at all riding 20 miles through city traffic with a red light every block, sitting their with most of your upper body weight on your arms. You also have to go through some contortions to get your feet off the pegs and on the ground, because the pegs are mounted so high and far back, your legs are all twisted up, and your toes point almost straight down, caught between the peg and the shifter on the left. Cruisers and scooters have similar riding positions, feet in front of you, and no weight on your arms. Very easy to take your feet off the flat pegs or floorboard and put them off the ground, and you can sit there and hold the bars forever without putting any strain on your arms and shoulders. I mentioned sport bikes because many people think there is nothing else as far as motorcycles go. They are commonly known anymore as simply "street bikes" while cruisers are still called cruisers.


    I know for sure I would be way more comfortable on a Suzuki S40 (650 single cruiser) than a Burgman 650 around town, on the highway it would probably be the other way around.


    So, for me, a small scooter or a mid sized motorcycle in town, or a maxi scooter or a mid sized motorcycle on the highway.


    On the other hand, something like a GTS300 Super should also work fine city of highway. It's not so big that it would feel like the Queen Mary, which is what the Burgman 650 felt like to me. It's sheer size and weight made it very intimidating at slow speeds.
    #42
  3. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    That pretty much mirrors my experience as far as the Burgman goes. Had one and just found that the only place it was a pleassure to ride was on the freeway or wide open roads. The maxi form factor just doesn't "fit" me.

    I do like the Italian 500s (Scarabeo or BV) but then they aren't much different from the BV 350 in ergonomics and ride. Given a choice between a Vespa GTS and a Burgman (any size) even for a long multi-day trip the Vespa would win out everytime unless speed to complete the trip was of the utmost essence then I'd simply take a car. Yep, I'd take my car over any scoot if getting there ASAP was the prime consideration.
    #43
  4. SPOFF

    SPOFF Been here awhile

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    LOL! The kick-only Sportster was the XLCH. "CH" stood for "Charley Horse."
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  5. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Actually I find the S40 a very appealing bike, and I actually fit on it at 6' 225 with a 32" inseam. it's not fast, but it rolls down the road with a nice rumble, and will keep up on the freeway, unless you feel you need 50 mph above the speed limit in reserve. I have put thousands of freeway miles on both a Ninja 250 and a Honda Rebel without any problems. The only issue I have with this bike is it's tube type tires.

    I have noticed that scooters cost considerably more than most motorcycles of the same displacement, and can't figure out why. Do they cost more to build?

    Then there is the size difference, and the S40 is an excellent example. It's just enough bigger than the Rebel that I can fit on it. It is still a very small bike. Compare it to the Burgman 650 size and weight wise. The Burg is twice as big. Why can't a freeway capable engine be put into a scooter say the size of a Zuma 125 or close? Actually I guess that is what Genuine almost did with the Buddy 170. Make it a full 200cc and it should be a great cross country ride.
    #45
  6. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Vespa GTS or GTVs aren't that much bigger than a Zuma and are very freeway capable. Our Buddy is just a bit too light and with 10" wheels not as solid on the freeway as my GTS 250. Sports City 250 with its larger wheels still isn't that much bigger but is rock solid on the freeway as well. I just did 500 miles in a combination of I-40 and various state highways at 70-80mph on the Sports City in one day (1708 over the course of 4 days) , only issue was a burned out light bulb (5 year old scoot). I find the Sports City's floorboard area a little short for me but it suits my son and husband very well. Personally I'd have preferred the GTS for the trip but it wasn't really my choice on which one to ride. Still considering the 2014 Scooter Cannonball on the GTS depending on the route and timing.
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  7. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    second vote for the sportcity 250. it's roughly the same size/weight/wheelbase as the sh150i, but has MUCH better midspeed acceleration and is very freeway capable -- it gets up to 75 without a hitch and can be worked up to 85. it's an excellent scoot.
    #47
  8. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    The Buddy 170i is prone to overheating (CEL) pronto when pushed to freeway speeds for more than a brief stint...it's just too much for that platform.

    Having worked at a Genuine Scooter dealership I would still pick the Genuine 125cc and dispel any thoughts of freeway use with it. Having said that we had both a 150 Blackjack and a 125 Italia in our personal collection for several yers and the only difference was in the fuel consumption.

    The 125 is the sweet-spot for that powerplant design.

    If/when Genuine launches a larger scooter Im certain it will be wrapped around a different engine design....in fact it will have to be.
    #48
  9. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    It's all relative. Middleweight motos are about the bulk of maxi scooters. Motos often lean, brake, and handle rough pavement differently from scooters. Most scooters tend to have smaller wheels/brakes/bars/travel. The rake, trail, and weight bias could also be considerably different for most.

    I know that my 650 thumper dualsport is a lot more flickable than my 600 I4 UJM and their weights aren't hugely different. The rake, trail, bars, and weight bias are very different though.
    #49
  10. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    The Sport City is obviously highly thought of here. Only problem is there are none available new in my state. If I could have anything I wanted, it would be the Vespa 300 Super. But that is a $10,000 scooter here, by the time the dealer gets through adding on all the "fees", and that is a bit over my limit. I have sat on one, and it does feel like a traditional scooter to me. So does the original Elite 250. To bad about the Buddy 170, but I've heard that a number of other places as well. Maybe if it were liquid cooled it wouldn't have that problem. The current trend seems to be more toward the maxi design, even for smaller scooters, like the PCX150.
    #50
  11. luckychucky

    luckychucky Long timer

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    I'll take mine in white, no don't have to kick it, I don't know how much it weighs, I'm not sure of the foot lbs, or the torque, but I know it's fun to ride, and I can get by with parking it just about anywhere [​IMG]. But, I think my Prius gets better gas milage, than any scooter rode by me!
    #51
  12. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

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    this post reflects my thoughts. and having rode scooters a few years before MC's i have come to believe them small bikes, preferably with smaller wheels. for nimbleness and maneuverability around city streets where a scooter really shines

    for me a maxi is for touring or straight line highway use. i don't ride one but would need a physical limitation to do so. and even those with hand and foot problems can opt for an auto trans from Honda in a motorcycle these days. it may be seen as a compromise bike, but its still a motorcycle. and for me a scooter is still a small thing, not a big one

    a BIG scooter for me is sort of like that small motorcycle Honda just put out might be for others. it's just the opposite of what i would like a scooter to be. which is a small. lightweight, around town bike. thats it. a maxi is "more." for me a scooter is about less

    until it has to be otherwise. if it has two wheels whatever it is, i want to be on it until i leave this earth. so if a cushy maxi scoot is in my future somewhere down the road, i am sure i will be ready for it. not just yet, though
    #52
  13. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I have a Genuine Stella, which is a 150cc scooter with a manual transmission. Unfortunately it is not modern, it is an Indian made copy of a vintage Vespa. It looks great, and is a blast to ride around locally on, but not reliable enough for long distance travel, which is to bad, since it's manual transmission would be great for climbing mountains. I have wanted a modern, reliable scooter with a manual transmission for a long time. I don't see there being a big market for such a bike, but it seems there would be a big enough market for one or two manufacturers to sell them. IMO, the Zuma 125 would be great with a 150cc engine and a manual transmission.

    Small motorcycles have their place. I would love to have a 250cc cruiser with tubeless tires. I can't handle the riding position of a sport bike. So far the best I've been able to do is an XT225 with a centerstand. At least I have a way to fix those tube type tires out on the road or trail.
    #53
  14. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

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    #54
  15. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I think the Honda CTX700 DCT vs the Silverwing or Burgman 650 would be a good comparison. All 3 should be comfortable highway cruisers, but I see the CTX being more maneuverable in town, due to it's being narrower with bigger wheels.
    #55
  16. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

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    oh i like small motorcycles myself. but this Grom just seems a novelty of sorts. unless you're a very small person. very small....

    a scooter of the same size with its seating position and auto trans is more bike for most. i am sure some hearty adventurers will make the most of Honda's little bike, but it sure has nothing that calls to me

    now what you describe, because of the different design of a scooter, that sounds sweet. say 200cc of strong shifty on 12in wheels? sign me up

    but tiny motorcycles need not apply
    i like how the "scooter guy" rider in the comparo liked the motorcycle more then the big scooter, and found the mc more "scooter like." sounds like my kind of mc :)

    these guys did not care much for either the Honda or one of the BMW scoots or the other. seems they thought they were just OK :/

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8amppGTKWkY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #56