long trips on small scooters

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by JerryH, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Has anybody ever here ever taken a long trip (at least 1000 miles or more) on a scooter no bigger than 150cc? I have traveled all over the country (33 states and part of Mexico) on large street bikes, either Goldwings or Japanese cruisers, almost all of it on interstates. I now have 3 scooters, a 2 stroke Stella, a Vino 125, and a Zuma 125. The Stella is my favorite by far, it is an absolute blast to ride around locally, and to tinker with. But I doubt it's reliability on a long trip. I am plotting a 1300+ mile trip across 3 states, avoiding freeways, and taking a different route there and back. Some of the roads I can only guess at, as they are only lines on maps, so I don't have a clue about road conditions. This will be pretty much restricted to AZ, NM, and TX, so cold weather should not be a problem. The Vino has over 20,000 miles on it, and has just been completely serviced, including new tires, belt, rollers, and valves. The Zuma is new and is just broken in. Either should be reliable. I realize there would probably be a big difference in traveling at highway speeds on freeways, and taking backroads on a small scooter. Both scooters drop below 40 mph on long climbs.

    I read the story of Pete's trip to AK on a Genuine Rattler 110, but that is a LOT more than I had in mind. I just want to go out and spend a few days on the road in relatively safe conditions.
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  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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  3. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    amigo, if you have the time then it is possible, some people have gone from Alaska to Patagonia (south America) on 50 cc honda cubs, so YES IT IS POSSIBLE and maybe not the best or "ideal" ride, how ever as I said, it can be done it is all about the time you have for touring.

    1 thing I am consediring for my Baja tour on my scooter is gas, my Honda can only old 1.6 gallons and that translate to like 100-120 miles so aditional gas is mandatory, I am not an expert on the states you listed but I would advice on the extra gas, either the MSR 30 oz tanks or the plastics gas containers from walmart... and also study your route for gas stations, but here in Baja it would be a mandatory thing!

    Damasovi
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  4. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    people have gone from india to England on 50c scooters. Read of 2 people taking a c3 cube 50 cc scooter from Vancouver to out east 5000 k . On steep hills they did 7 K per hour but those hill are long and go on and off for 50 Miles.
    The first motorcycle trip accross the usa was 1903 on a 3.5 horse power motorcycle. It all depends on do you got the time to go slowly to where you want .
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  5. thunderkat59

    thunderkat59 Cooter on a scooter

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    I did several hundred miles on my Stella and was fine. Very comfortable, relatively speaking.
    Im in my mid 50's now, so I look at road trips differently before. Used to be on bigger bikes and fly down the back roads and highways. Now , I prefer to go slow and stretch the ride out for a while. Stop a few times, take in more of the world and relax. If your route is a good one, and you have time, I cant think of a reason why you wouldn't use a small bike. Sort of related, I tried to trade my Burgman even-up on both a Stella 150 4-t (not the PX150) and 125 in those flat black versions they have come out with, but no dealer will do it. Apparently lots of people think small bikes are the best.
    :beer
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  6. Starbuck21

    Starbuck21 Manly scooterist!

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    And don't forget Nathan Millward (the Postie). He took a Honda 110 from Sydney to London and wrote an interesting book about his adventure! In addition, Nathan just completed another trip this time across the US on his 110. Do a search I believe his exploits are here on ADV. :freaky
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  7. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    People have been doing long trips on small scooters and motorcycles for over 100 years. No big deal. I've done a lot of long trips on a Goldwing and other big bikes but small is more fun. I did a 17,000 mile trip on a Vespa Rally 200 in 78 and that was far more interesting than trips on the big bikes.

    Go for it, and do it on the Stella.
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  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Here's the link to that RR: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=460631

    Here's a guy who rode from Michigan to CA on a 50cc Yamaha scooter last year: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=694448

    How about two guys riding Buddies ( 125cc and 150cc) from Arizona to Canada and back: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=15984186#post15984186
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  9. thunderkat59

    thunderkat59 Cooter on a scooter

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    There is a massively epic thread called "Underboning the World" where a husband and Wife travelled the world on two of those Sym Symba honda ct type bikes. It made me want to quit my job and live the life of a scooter hobo :beer
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  10. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=716979
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  11. YOUNZ

    YOUNZ Been here awhile

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    If I were just looking for pain and discomfort, I would just drop the old gimletts down between the vice jaws and turn the handle clockwise.:huh
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  12. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I am expecting some degree of pain and discomfort, along with a few other problems. It is supposed to be an "adventure" If I wanted to make it easy, I would just take the Goldwing, or even better, a car. People who do things like this do not look for the easiest way, they look for the most fun way. I have no immediate plans for a trip around the world on a scooter, I'd just like to go out and cross a few state lines, for now anyway. To me, someone who does take a super long distance trip on a scooter is looking for a challenge. To take a risk and beat the odds. Kind of like climbing Mt. Everest. I mean, why on earth would any sane rational person ever even consider doing something like that? I just watched a 2 hour documentary on Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic. Why did he do it? Why did he risk his life, and endure such hardship? It was not for the money, nor for fame, as he did his best to avoid that. He did it for the challenge, and to prove it could be done. Admittedly you have to have a fair degree of passion to try something like that, and some just don't have it.
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  13. thunderkat59

    thunderkat59 Cooter on a scooter

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    The definition of "small bike" has changed too. Back in '67, Honda called their 450 "A big bike with a big ride".
    Now people call a 600, small :loco

    If a bike can get 55mph, its good enough for me :beer
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  14. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    The most I've done at once on my Stella was around 200 miles, all of it up in the mountains. The Stella has a huge advantage over a CVT scooter when climbing mountains. I live at 1200 feet, at the base of mountains that go up close to 10,000 feet. The Stella can be downshifted to keep the engine in the powerband and the rpms up. It's slow going, but won't do any damage. My Vino 125 simply will not climb those mountains. It lacks a low enough gear range, and bogs badly. When the speed dropped below 20 mph at full throttle, I turned around and went back. I later tried it again, with an inductive pickup tachometer hooked up to it, and the engine speed at full throttle on level ground was WAY higher than it was at full throttle climbing a long steep grade at 20 mph. It was so low when climbing that it was lugging the engine badly. Had I continued to ride it like that, the engine would have hammered itself to pieces.

    When I did the 200 mile trip on the Stella, I was expecting a breakdown, and already had a rescue plan set up. A phone call and my former father in law would have been on his way with a truck.

    I am 53, and also changing my views on riding. I now own and ride 3 small scooters. 20 years ago I wouldn't have been caught dead on a scooter. Of course, scooters were not nearly as popular then as they are now either.

    I still have a Goldwing 1500, but plan on selling it soon. Several local members of some Goldwing forums I belong to are interested, so I shouldn't have to deal with Craigslist.

    I sure wish someone would make a scooter similar to the Zuma 125, only make it 150cc, so it would be technically freeway legal, just in case, AND, give it a manual clutch and transmission. Then it could be ridden anywhere. I have climbed those same mountains many times on a 2 speed 50cc moped, in first gear, which is super low. Speeds got down to about 12 mph (still faster than a bicycle) but could be maintained indefinitely, because the engine was spinning at the same speed as it would have been at the mopeds top speed of 30 mph on a level road.


    Back in the late '70s/early to mid '80s, I racked up 20,000 miles on a Puch moped, traveling all over the southwest. I rode it like a bicycle, on the shoulder, and never had any real problems with cars. I still have that moped, and have seriously considered getting it out of the shed and taking a 1000 mile trip on it. MUCH slower than a scooter on level roads, but at least it will climb. With the scooter, I have to take elevation into account as well. Not the case with the moped.


    I have never ridden a Symba, but I used to own a Passport, and never did learn to deal with it's quirky transmission. It's neutral indicator was invisible in the AZ sun, and when coming to a stop, you had to be in neutral or first. If you stalled it, it was very difficult to find neutral, and if there was a very angry idiot in a lifted truck behind you, you couldn't just pull in the clutch and push it off the road. Plus the Symba has a 200 pound weight capacity, and I am 220 without any gear or cargo, so that would not work for me. A small motorcycle (I also used to have a Kawasaki Eliminator 125) might be just the ticket, but it had tube type tires and no centerstand, making it worthless on a long trip.

    I looked to see if the Symba was still available, and found the SymWolf 150, a small 150cc motorcycle, freeway legal, 350 pound load capacity, and manual transmission. It also has a centerstand. I think I'm going to take a look at that thing.
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  15. thunderkat59

    thunderkat59 Cooter on a scooter

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    I did a 300+ mile day on my 2002 Stella 2t that was rejetted and had a Simonini chamber. It was run WFO to keep up with the modded Vespa PX's in the hills of central PA, and it never missed a beat. Ran fantastically. I kick myself for ever getting rid of that scoot :cry

    I looked at these in person and was very pleasantly surprised. Might be something to consider:

    http://www.clevelandcyclewerks.com/bikes/tha-misfit-by-cleveland-cyclewerks/

    :beer
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  16. itsforrest

    itsforrest Ugly bag of mostly water

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    I work in a scooter shop that is a SYM dealer. The Symba is still available. We have sold a few of them this summer. We have also sold a few of the Wolf 150. The Wolf is a very nicely made bike. A fellow came in on a Yamaha R6 and test rode the Wolf. When he came back he said the transmission was as smooth as any bike he had ridden and way nicer than his R6. Comparing the two, I was a bit surprised at how zippy the Symba is when I first rode it. The Wolf seems to be geared taller and is slower off the line but definitely is a better cruiser at higher speeds. I still wouldn't feel terribly comfortable on the freeway with the Wolfe. It can go 65 given the space to get there but there's nothing left in reserve to get out of the way of traffic.
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  17. itsforrest

    itsforrest Ugly bag of mostly water

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  18. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    I was looking at the SymWolf, too, but I couldn't come up with a reason to have it when my DR200 can do most of what it does as a road bike. Still fascinated by these types of bikes.
    #18
  19. V Saarela

    V Saarela Been here awhile

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    I ride a Honda Varadero 1000 summertime and a Honda CBR 600 wintertime. From time to time I do some scootrides. My rides have been a Honda ANF 125 Innova and Honda Zoomer(Ruckus) 50cc and the new Honda Vision 50cc.

    This summer I made with the Innova a 25 hour ride and manage to get on this time 1720 kilometres(1068 miles)Honda.
    With the ruckus(swedish ruckus have topspeed 42 kph/26mpg) when heading North cape I did one day 550 kms(342 miles).
    This summer I have also been with the Vision 50cc at alps(Grossglockner, Dolomits, Stelvio etc)....have to push the moped few times :norton
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  20. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    FWIW, I know quite a few people who when asked about taking a small scooter for long tours respond with:

    "Can you ride a scooter 20 miles?"

    To which the response is almost always "yes".

    Then answer is then "think of the 1,000 mile trip as 50 trips of 20 miles ridden sequentially."
    #20