Help me pick a the smallest scoot that will interstate, for the Mrs.

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by doogiepooch, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. doogiepooch

    doogiepooch Been here awhile

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    Guys/Gals I need some help picking out a scooter for the Mrs. First let me say she's tiny. Bumping 5' 1" is streatching it, so I don't want a T-Max or anything like that. Not because they are particularly tall, just need something smaller, (cheaper) easier to handle, etc. I had pretty much settled on a Zuma 125 but she has it in her head she wants something that could do interstate for several miles if the destination called for it. I do long distances on my KLR and it might be nice to do some long trips together. I'm not a scooter guy so this section is teaching me alot. Today I was doing alot of reading on the Kymco products and really like the GT 300. It's almost pushing the size limit so I wonder about the 200 but I have a suspision it's not going to be happy cruising at 60-65 for long periods. It doesn't really have to go faster than that as my KLR doesn't like much faster than that for cruising. But I'd like something not to be straining it's guts out to keep up. What are my other options, recomendations?
    #1
  2. tortoise2

    tortoise2 Been here awhile

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    Include the Honda Helix clones in your research . . low seat height. Research resource (review previous years results).

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. scooterspirit

    scooterspirit Ilovekitty

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    Check out the RV250 SYM, that is a nice highway ride. I have heard about some shorter ladies liking it. For anything less than the highway, the 200 is good, kind of a tall posture in a traditional scooter, for her height, I would think. I don't like my HD 200 on the highway, just blows all over the place, i have seriously leaned that thing into the wind before, kinda fun, but you know...
    The Kymco Downtown 300, I bet she would fit on that? Sweet ride, too short for me though. It's a looker though, but the Vespa is classic. Maybe the Reflex works, it's good on the highway as well.
    #3
  4. Sportsman Matt

    Sportsman Matt Xtremely Bad Example

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    Anything over 200 would be fine, I'm running a Honda Big Ruckus PS250 that will do 65 MPH without batting an eye at it.

    Also depends on the gearing and the weight load, heavier rider/riders will make the CVT work harder at times, and depending on tuning, may not be adequate for being overloaded at highway speeds (55 MPH max instead of 65 MPH, higher RPMs, etc.)

    There are some good rides out there, and nows the time to buy, before the snow clears and prices jump.
    #4
  5. D0N

    D0N Banned

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    I know the 87 ch150 elite will run on the interstate legally and fairly safely. I wouldn't want to ride it on the highway for more than a few miles because you basically have to hold it WIDE OPEN to keep a constant 60-65mph speed.

    It would be the perfect scooter for a small woman... if women were into riding scooters.

    I applaud you for trying to get your wife into one of the same hobbies that you have but trust me... it won't work. It never does. You'll end up selling the scooter in a few months. :huh
    #5
  6. alphaBETAdog

    alphaBETAdog Been here awhile

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    Hey Don, let the guy try... :wink: At least he'll have another bike to play with for awhile.

    #1 lie in motorcycling: "It's the wifes bike."
    #6
  7. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    Understand that she's small and all, but selecting a bike which might just be barely freeway legal (not to mention barely freeway capable) is not, respectfully, a good plan. It's best to have a machine which possesses some level of reserve power-enough to power your way out of a problem, if necessary, or to execute a pass safely if need be.

    I suggest at least a 250, perhaps the Vespa, the Kymco or the SYM others have described above. The Honda Big Ruckus would be a good choice, as previously noted. A Yamaha Morphous might also be a good choice, as it has reasonable power and is pretty low as well. Here's a link to a review on the Morphous:

    http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/yamaha/2008-yamaha-morphous-review-86699.html

    Yamaha discontinued the Morphous in 2008, but used examples are still available. Here's a shopping resource so you can locate these and other scooters for sale out there:

    http://www.scooterfinds.com/

    A Yamaha Majesty 400, Suzuki Burgman 400 or Kymco 300 would be a better choice for your intended purpose if she is willing to put up with a bit more weight. Many smaller women have machines of this size...one of the ladies in my church rides a Majesty 400...she's 63 and about 5' tall and she's very good with it. It's just a question of motivation.

    Good luck on your shopping!

    Bob
    #7
  8. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Its ALL about distance. If her main riding will just be short interstate zips [A few miles] with mainly backroad and 55 MPH two lane roads then an Elite 150 or equivalent will work fine. I have ridden my Elite 150 on the Interstate, and it does need WOT to keep up, but stay in right lane and cruise nice at 55-60 MPH and your okay. It will run 65-70 MPH tops. But they REALLY aren't comfortable at these speeds.

    A 250 will run on the highway better. 250s are ideal for short distance interstate jaunts [NO more than 8-10 miles]. But really, I personally don't feel most 250 scoots have the guts for long interstate cruises. They have absolutely no passing power, and just feel a bit crowed. I have ridden 250 Dual Sports that will hit 80 MPH on the Interstate, and I still felt I didn't have quite enough power for comfort, and trust me these will outrun almost any 250 scooter.

    Some models are better than others though. For example, the Elite 250 and Helix top out at 70-72 MPH, while the Reflex will run around 78-80 MPH actual. However, the SYM RV 250 is an interstate comfortable 250 scoot! It does 91 MPH and runs fine on the highway!


    BUT if you are planning on any sort of interstate trips [30+ miles] your gonna need the right tool for the right job. Bite the bullet and get a 300-400 class scooter. The Kymco Downtown 300i will run on the highway at 65 MPH all day long. The Burgman 400 will cruise along at 75-80 MPH effortlessly. These big scoots are the perfect tool for the job.


    Highway comfort is about RPMs and vehicle weight. A bigger, more powerful bike with nice highway gearing will be much more enjoyable than a little 125 cc scooter screaming like theres no tomorrow at 55 MPH [There probably won't be a tomorrow for it if you keep running it like this:lol3].
    #8
  9. Black Sheep Radical

    Black Sheep Radical Fusionista

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    Or better yet, a real Helix. I wouldn't be sending someone I loved out onto the motorway on a Chinese scooter.
    #9
  10. ronnath

    ronnath Long timer

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    i have to agree, BSR, the real deal is a better choice.

    there are lots of used ones around. they tend to hold their values very well and honda has a strong dealer network to keep them roadworthy.
    #10
  11. JerseyBiker

    JerseyBiker Living the life!

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    First, as said above - it is all about distance. Is she going to ride mostly city with occasional interstate for a couple of exits or will she be doing touring with you. Apples and oranges.

    From a short guy who has owned or at least ridden most of the scoots mentioned above (not the RV250) - an all around scoot that will be great for her is either the Helix or the Morphous. I loved my Helix for around town and light touring. Cheap to buy, easy to work on - great Yahoo group for support when issues come up.

    Another possibility is the SYM HD200 - again I love it around town and it can easily do highway. BUT, I cannot flat foot it - my inseam is about 26" - so she might not like it but it is a light scoot so she might - worth trying.

    I find most traditional scoots - the Vespa and such - to be like the SYM. I can't flat foot them but by leaning to the side at a stoplight they are easy to hold up and they are light AND, IMO, the smaller scoots are a lot more fun around town than the larger ones.

    Finally, probably not what you want but something to think about, for some reason I have always been able to flat foot my Silverwings so you might want to have your try one of those to sit on.

    Finally, finally - as I said above, personally I find smaller scoots to be more fun so, especially if she is just getting into riding, I would go for something smaller and lighter and let her get a bunch of fun riding in before moving to any touring.

    Good luck - shopping for bikes is fun - wish my wife would ride - let us know how it turns out and what you decide to do.
    #11
  12. Mucka

    Mucka Been here awhile

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    Check the laws in your state. I think in Ohio the minimum motor size is 250cc for the freeway.

    Just a thought.

    Russ
    #12
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Does the Mrs have any riding experience? If not, start her out on something small and unintimidating. I think that the number one thing that causes women to give up on riding is starting out on something too big. Trust me on this...I know from personal experience. Get something used in the 125 -150 range and let her start on that. AFTER she is comfortable riding and it looks like she will stay with it, you can put her on something larger. If you get a good deal on the used scooter you should be able to sell it without losing money. If gas prices continue to go up you may even make a profit.

    If she does have a decent amount of riding experience then disregard and get her something 250 or larger.

    BTW, I have a lot of motorcycle riding experience including over 26K on my KLR650. I recently got a Kymco Super 8 150 and I love it. It is way more fun and practical around town than any motorcycle I have ridden. Get a small scooter and you may decide to keep it after moving her up to a bigger scoot.

    My ride report, mostly on my Super 8 is here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=647784
    #13
  14. soboy

    soboy Long timer

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    Since she is height challenged and wants to do interstate, your choices are limited. I recommend you get her a 250cc scooter that she can flat foot at stops. Either a Helix or a Morphus will do the trick just fine. I can not imagine taking anything smaller on the interstate and having it be anything other than a hideous experience. Some of the other bikes being mentioned are too tall for her.
    #14
  15. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    My wife isn't quite as petite as yours but she's within a few inches, height-wise, and is "inseam challenged". I bought a Honda Reflex for her. It's 250cc, will go 80+ mph, gets 65-70 mpg, has lots of under-seat storage and the seat height is low enough so she can flat-foot it when stopped. The only down-side is the curb weight; ~360 lbs. IIRC. There are even versions with ABS, if that's to her liking.

    Highways can be scary places if she's not ready for the pace. There's nothing like an F-150 on your "six" @ 70 mph.... Just make sure she's prepared for that.
    #15
  16. approachbears

    approachbears 250cc is 50cc too many

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    The legal 250cc limit seems to be a myth floating around several different states. In reality, many states have no explicit regulations in regard to engine size and the ones that do are mostly in the 125-150cc range. Some are specific about engine size in relation to freeways and some use engine size to classify as motorcycle and label the motorcycle as the minimum to be on the big roads. Minimum speed laws are abundant, but even a good 50cc can do the common 45mph minimum.

    As for the actual scooter...My wife is barely 5'1" and many scooters don't fit her not because of seat height, but because of seat width. Things like a Silverwing and Reflex have low seat heights, but wide seat and body widths. There's no replacement for your wife sitting on a bunch of scooters.

    The best advice so far is to get her a short, thin and light 150cc or less to ride for awhile and then see if she wants to move up. My wife rides a Scarabeo 500ie. But that's only because she had years of experience on ultra low seated Honda Rebel and because we have the Scarabeo's seat shaved down to the minimum. She will tell you outright that the Scarabeo wasn't the vehicle she would have started with even if she can ride it now.
    #16
  17. vortexau

    vortexau Outside the Pod-bay

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    Grabbed the following Chart for Seat Heights off the web:

    [​IMG]

    The sub-28" high seats are for those short of stature. 29.5" is noticeably higher, believe me. I've ridden Majesty 400 & Burg 650 but the difference between these two is that the Yamaha's lack an indentation behind the rider's footboards.
    #17
  18. MaineScoot

    MaineScoot Been here awhile

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    I know it's a little far for you but Wasko's in Pa has some great deals right now on last years SYM scooters. I just bought their last Symba but they have a SYMply 50 for $1,195, a Fiddle II 125 for $1,695, a bunch of HD 200's for $2,895.

    http://www.waskosauto.com/waskos-scooters/scooters.html

    I brought mine all the way home to Maine in the back of our Honda Odyssey. It would have been a long trip to pick up a scoot but we were on our way back from DC so it was just a small detour.
    #18
  19. LarryRickenbacker

    LarryRickenbacker Been here awhile

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    Howdy,

    Respectfully I say that a beginner (and a petite woman beginner at that) should begin on a 125/150 scooter and worry about the Interstate later. Ride a 125 for 6 months or a year, then move up.

    Consider that any freeway capable scoot will weigh in at 350 lbs. Learn how to ride on a 125/150cc scooter like Hodna's PCX or Sh150i. Yamaha makes the rugged little Zuma 125, which enjoys a good reputation, if not flashy styling. Gain confidence and experience on an easy handling 125, then move up to a 250 or larger for the super-slab. Good luck!

    PS: 125/150 scoots weigh around 300 lbs; easier to control for beginners and ideal for 'round town.
    #19
  20. doogiepooch

    doogiepooch Been here awhile

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    First off let me say you scooter folks are all right. The number of responses is astounding. I appreciate and read each one.

    She's ridden seated behind me for years and she does pretty well by herself on the misc small dirtbikes I cycle through my ownership. I wasn't really to keen on her doing alot of interstate miles anyway. She wonders where we'll go if she can't ride on the interstate to which I try to tell her....all these hours I ride on the weekends....I'm never out on the interstate, I'm on a backroad somewhere. Honestly I don't even like interstate on my bike, the draft off a semi makes me look like I have some serious twitching issue. As far as getting her or women in general to ride, I can sort of see that but my wife is different. She doesn't really have any hobbies of her own. She doesn't shop excessivley or talk on the phone for hours. She just seems to enjoy whatever we may be doing at the time. So I've naturally tried to pull her into whatever it is that I do, golf I've pulled her into. Riding bikes, she loves to ride with me and I'm 99.9% certain she'll love riding her own ride even more.



    This might indeed be the best route. I may go back to my original thoughts on the Zuma 125 that this is indeed the best way to go. The video that guy posted a couple weeks ago, I think his name was ADVScoot, where he beat the crap out of that thing out in the desert. Heck that made me even want a Zuma 125.
    #20