Maxi Scooter then back to regular MC?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by bogey78, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. bogey78

    bogey78 Been here awhile

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    I thought Battle Scooters would be the best place to post this question. My only scooter experiences were an old early 80's Honda Express and a few years ago a 50cc Yamaha Zuma. I sold the Zuma b/c I found there were many places I didn't feel safe due to the relatively slow speed. However, I still remember how much fun it was to zip around on the little zoomer.

    I have toyed with the idea of buying a Majesty, Burgman, Kymco, T-Max:tb or another Maxiscooter. However, I wonder if I won't find myself longing for a regular bike after a few months. I have narrowed down my next bike purchase to either and FZ6, Ninja 650, Versys or a Maxi-Scoot. I love the storage, auto tranny, and weather protection of the scoots. I don't like removing body work for routine maintenance but I could deal with it.

    My question is how many of you have moved from motorcycles to maxi scoots and then went back to motorcycles? And why?

    Thanks
    #1
  2. Daboo

    Daboo Adventurer

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    I went from a motorcycle to a scooter...but had 20 years in between.

    You might have a problem with the transition. The first two bikes you listed are capable of hitting triple digits with relative ease. The second bike is well suited for off-road riding. Even among those bikes, you're talking apples and oranges. And a maxi-scooter like a Burgman 400 would be like a pear...different again.

    There are two big decisions that come to mind. Maybe three.

    1. What do you plan to use the bike for?
    2. Can your ego take it?
    3. Do you fit it?
    For what I do, the Burgman 400 is the best bike made. Everything else is a compromise. It is fun and flickable in the corners. It'll take you down the freeway with great protection from wind, rain and cold...and has enough storage room to make a stop at Costco on the way home and surprise everyone on what you can carry home. It gets great gas mileage...like mid-60s, yet still has a decent amount of power. And it is comfortable. I rode mine on a SS1000 last June and felt very comfortable.


    Can your ego take it? Even though it can do what no other bike can do...can your ego take it? Will your buddies give you a hard time? And is your manhood sufficient to shrug it off? In Europe, maxi-scooters are not looked down at. In the USA, unless you have a car engine strapped onto two wheels, you don't have enough power to make it to the local watering hole and back.


    Each bike fits us differently. I love the 2007+ Burgman 400 and think it is the best there is. But if it doesn't fit you, that's immaterial.


    The Burgman has another thing going for it that no other maxi-scooter has. The BurgmanUSA forum. The number of tutorials and videos of everything you'd do for maintenance is far better than for any other scooter. And maintenance is relatively easy...even I can do it...without removing much (if any) body panels.



    Good luck on your search.


    Chris
    #2
  3. jeffgrig

    jeffgrig jeffgrig

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    I had quite of few MC's growing up, including Honda CB750, Nighthawk, a Yamaha 650 and a Goldwing. After bikeless for a few years due to finances, I entered the 2-wheel market with scooters.

    Honda Reflex, Yamaha Morpheus and Majesty and Burgman 650. I just sold my Burgie last year but I took it all over the country. You can read about that here:


    http://thetouringexperience.blogspot.com/p/road-report-2010-go-west-scooter-man.html

    Last year I bought a 05 GW and this what I currently own. I was very happy with the Majesty and Burgman 650. the only reason I reverted back to a GW was that my wife expressed an interest again in long distance touring....which is my preference. Two up touring for two is doable on the maxi-scooter, but you pay a comfort price. Solo it is fine....read my road report above for details.

    You wont regret a big scooter though. They are fun, easy to drive and great for quick jaunts. I would like another one some day. The GW is great, but if you're wondering if you're going to miss shifting........I didn't. Good luck.
    #3
  4. HandKPhil

    HandKPhil Been here awhile

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    I've had 10+ motorcycles over the last 10 years or so, but I got pretty big into scooters a few years back. I have owned 4 of them in the last 4-5 years. The last one I owned was an almost new '09 Majesty. Though it was a solid, well-made bike with a lot of good features, in the end it just wasn't for me. Basically it beat me up to ride it, and the acceleration from a stop was uninspiring.

    For now, I'm going back to motorcycles. About the only bikes that I can seem to get comfortable on these days are plush-riding dual sports. I had a Versys for a few years, but the direct-acting rear shock on that bike was very harsh, and hard on my back.

    The only scooters that appeal to me much anymore are those with a little more upright seating position, and decent rear suspensions. The Piaggio BV350 looks pretty nice, and I think that's one that could make me try scootering again. I'm also intrigued by the Kymco People GT 300i. Maybe even a SportCity 250?

    I think I'll scratch my dual sport itch for a couple of years, and then at some point in the future I'll look back into the 300-350cc upright scooter world.
    #4
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    There is a simple solution.............own one (or more) of each:D
    #5
  6. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Since you are considering sport bikes, I don't think you would be happy with a scooter. It is a lot easier to go from a touring bike or a cruiser to a scooter. My Goldwing handles better than a maxi scooter. I was planning on replacing it with one. But despite it's much higher weight, it's low center of gravity, large wheels, and great suspension give it a much better ride. It also handles much better in a parking lot for me.

    I have a Vino 125, a Zuma 125, and a Genuine Stella 2 stroke. To me these are what scooters are all about. They are light, nimble, handle great, and have plenty of power for riding in town. I have over 24,000 miles on the '08 Vino I bought new, most of it highway miles on non freeway roads. It has been ridden at full throttle since new, and still runs as good as ever. Only problem is it eats rear tires, but I'm on the heavy side.

    I would get the motorcycle you want, and a 125-150cc scooter.

    To me, when people talk about scooters, they can be talking about 2 totally different things. Small scooters are a whole different animal than maxi scooters, and the two are not really interchangeable. Ideally I would like to have a 250-300cc scooter much like the old Honda Elite 250. Small, short, higher seat, looks like a scooter, but with enough displacement and power for the freeway.
    #6
  7. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    This says it for me too.

    I love my little 125 scoot, ride it everywhere, shops, highway, gravel, the lot. I'm happy pottering down the highway at only 90kph though, in part, due to a dragbike in the shed.

    I don't think I could live without a BIG hit every now and then, and scoots, ANY scoot, doesn't cut it there.
    #7
  8. Phipsd

    Phipsd Been here awhile

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    I have both; a V-Strom 1000, a Suzuki C90 cruiser and a SYM Citycom scooter. The scooter sees the most everyday use. It's handy, goes plenty fast with an honest 70 mph cruising speed and with sixteen inch wheels and a stout frame and good steering geometry, is a blast in the corners. The V-Strom has it's uses still; say if I'm going on a cross country trip camping, but I find the scooter more fun for the urban cut and thrust and for day runs in the mountains.

    The Versys is a bike I especially like for it's strong punchy midrange and agile handling. For pure fun it beats even my scooter hands down but it isn't as practical. Still if I wanted a bike for mainly backroad fun, it would be hard to beat.

    For me the ultimate would be a Versys for backroad fun and a midsize scoot like my Citycom when I was more in the cruiser mood, but a cruiser that really handles. Handlingwise, those two bikes are remarkably similar.
    #8
  9. Phipsd

    Phipsd Been here awhile

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    I would take a good modern midsize scooter for most of my riding over any maxi. They are quick responsive, really handle and are just a joy to ride without the plastic issues. I enjoy the performance of my 263 SYM on the highway and my only reason for considering a 400cc Maxi in the future would be for camping touring If I ever get rid of my 1000 V-strom.

    I still enjoy the effortless performance of the big bike but for most of the riding I do it's overkill. It was a shock to my system to find that I was enjoying riding the smaller machine more, especially in tight twisties and on rural backroads.

    The scooter gets used for the kind of riding I used to use my cruiser for.
    #9
  10. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    I've got both and the reason is, the scooter is a practical vehicle for me. It's how I get back and forth to work, grocery shop, and get my daughter to soccer practice. I never wash it, it's got a basket mounted to the back but somehow manages to receive 90% on my seat time.
    My motorcycle on the other hand stirs my emotions. I wash it pretty much every time I ride it, keep it garaged and covered and sometimes I find myself during those cold winter months uncovering it and just gazing upon it. It's the one nice thing I have.
    Obviously, if I could have only one it would be the scooter as practicality rules in the end. I tried scooter only for 2 years and always felt a little empty.
    #10
  11. DOUBLE-O G

    DOUBLE-O G Smooth Operator

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    I have gone back and forth several times.
    I had a 2006 Yamaha Majesty followed by several motorcycles (including a Gold Wing for 10 months) then a 2009 Yamaha T-Max and then again several motorcycles since then. I like it all. I liked the Majesty's riding position better than the T-Max's but the T-Max really felt like a motorcycle.
    Like others have said before it depends on the kind of riding you're going to do. If it's a lot of urban/ traffic commuting, a maxi scooter might be better. If you're going to do weekend rides and ride on back roads, a motorcycle is hard to beat for that. There's just a certain pleasure to switching gears on tight curves.
    Check what fits your body best. I just got rid of a Versys after only 2 weeks of ownership. Nice little bike overall but terrible riding position for me (I'm 6ft tall with a 32 inseam).
    #11
  12. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I have a Goldwing 1500, a Vulcan 750, an XT225, a Genuine Stella 2 stroke, a Vino 125, and recently bought a Zuma 125. The Vino and Zuma definitely get the most use of all of them. They are the everyday bikes. The Stella is fun to tinker with and ride short distances, but I don't think I would trust it on a trip. The XT is mostly for dirt road and off road riding, and the Goldwing and Vulcan for longer trips. I did not have the Goldwing when I got the Vino, and really got into long distance touring with the Vino. It was completely different than anything else I had ever done. I put 24,000 miles on it in 5 years. I am currently setting up the Zuma as a touring rig. If you have the time, and stay off the freeways, you can go anywhere on a 125cc scooter. I've taken 1000 mile trips on the Vino with no problems. A lot of fun for a little money, and didn't have to get to far fro home to spend a lot of time on the road. As I get older, and my arthritis gets worse, I may eventually give up motorcycles altogether for scooters. I have been all over the U.S. on motorcycles, now I would like to slow down and check out some of the backroads. To me, riding is riding. It's fun any way you do it.
    #12
  13. O-livier

    O-livier S'en fout la mort!

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    I have both as well. Scoot for pratical purposes (with fun = Tmax!) and a big, clean, ultra farkled GS for long week ends/ dream of "The" trip. Scoot vs. bike = different "vibe" and each have pros/ cons which is subjective.

    I started with scooters in Europe and progressively moved to an 1150 GS. 15 years after my last scooter, I added a 2009 Tmax to the stable as wanted something more functional! I had tested the Tmax in Paris in 2001 and was blown away by the performances... yet, pressure pushed me towards getting motorcycles all this time...

    I love the GS in the twisties shifting gears up/down and feeling the engine/ vibrations. Feels like a Cadillac and sense of safety is much higher as standing tall on a heavy bike. The Tmax on twistie roads handles just as well as a GS assuming the road surface is good (small wheels). Trajectories are as sharp as on the GS so similar in that sense. The Tmax is however much more delicate to manage in such mountain roads as ALL in the the hands of the rider (braking/ accelerating).

    You can find pleasure in riding a maxi-scooter since the boundaries between the two (scoot and bike) are getting closer and closer (bigger wheels, better handling, excellent braking). The maxi scoots are great machines and suit a particular "need"/ riding environment. For me, the GS is for open roads/ mountains/ twisties and the Tmax is for commuting/ short rides/ stop & go environment/ more functional.

    As others have mentioned, if I had to keep one in the garage, the Tmax would be it (but would greatly miss the GS - aka. garage queen!)
    #13
  14. Phipsd

    Phipsd Been here awhile

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    It's too bad you gave up on the Versys so quickly. It's true the seating is horrible but what my engineer brother did with his was to buy one of the heavy duty rubber Air Hawks and pump it up. The firm Air Hawk fits on the seat great; I'm over six four and 60 years old so I don't bend like I used to, and I found it a comfortable ride. Brother rode my 1000 V-Strom and said he thought his Versys is more fun and I have to agree.

    I especially liked the scooter like agility. Brother wasn't impressed when I said that riding the Versys reminded me of my SYM Citycom. LOL
    #14
  15. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I have not ridden a Versys, but sat on one, the riding position felt perfect to me. The bars and pegs were in the right place (I was comparing it to a gen 2 EX500, one of the most uncomfortable bikes I've ever ridden) The Versys had an upright riding position, with pegs straight down, not rearsets that require an extreme knee bend. The bars were high enough that I had a good bend in my elbow. The only thing I don't know about was the seat. I would have to spend some time in the saddle to find out about that. I am 6' 220 with a 34" inseam. I have not bought one, or a similar bike, because I expect to buy only one more new bike in my life, and expect that it will probably be a midsize cruiser. My bought new '02 Vulcan 750 has 74,000 miles on it, and has been the most comfortable bike I have ever had. I have never regretted buying it.
    #15
  16. ArtCuisin

    ArtCuisin Adventurer

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    I've owned about 30--mostly motorcycles with four scooters in there.
    Currently own a Burgman 400 and a great all-rounder mid-displacement
    standard motorcycle. That is my resume for my great perspective. :)

    I say that if you have a current lust for a maxi-scooter, don't worry about
    whether you will want it forever. Enjoy it until you lust after something else.
    I have been very disappointed with some of my purchases over the years,
    but I am glad I had the experiences. They all had some fun and they helped
    guide me in later purchases.

    Life is short. You don't need to settle on one thing forever.

    But I will say one BIG thing in favor of scooters. If you think you want to socialize
    in the flesh with like-minded riders, I have found scooter riders more casual and
    much less annoying than one-brand or one-type motorcyclists. Generally,
    I have found that scooter riders seem to have less to prove.
    #16
  17. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Been here awhile

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    Interesting question,
    I just got my first Maxi scooter ( about 2200 miles now) and am pretty well satisfied with it.
    Were it not for a problem with my left arm that causes severe pain in the elbow using a clutch i probably would not have made the switch from a motorcycle.

    Will i go back to a motorcycle ?
    Maybe, if my arm problem ever improves ( doubtful)

    Then again why go back ?
    If a semi-automatic transmission is good for F-1 drivers, Porsche uses a tiptronic semi automatic gear box, Honda is introducing a dual clutch transmission in motorcycles, I begin to think they are all on to something. Most of the youth today could not manipulate a standard shift transmission if you held a gun to their heads.
    Who then is going to ride motorcycles ????

    This coming from a stick shift person from the 40's/50's living in a turbocharged world :evil
    #17
  18. ajay

    ajay Adventurer

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    Find an '09 Yamaha FJR1300 AE. I have one, love the electronic clutch. Shifting is done with either left index finger, or left foot - not both! Effortless. You do have to shift, but not necessary to get to neutral when stopping, will not stall starting from 2nd (many prefer not to use 1st).
    #18
  19. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Been here awhile

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    I thought about the FJR A , but after talking with a dealer friend about the model ( he owns two Yamaha stores) I decided to pass.
    Plus i really don't need that much HP any more.
    #19
  20. doogiepooch

    doogiepooch Been here awhile

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    I'm the guy with the "Thinking of trading my KLR for a Burgman" thread.....FWIW I've got a bike and have had and riden a wide range of stuff and I still want a maxi. But it depends on what you are after. My cousin has a Versys, he traveled to Yellowstone and back with me this year and while I like the bike, I don't love it. Riding position is good/neutral almost dual sportish with a hint of forward lean. Passenger accomodations are small and lean toward the sport bike end of the spectrum. The engine is good that's about the only strong point I saw. Even with a large screen, wind protection wasn't great especially when compared to most maxi's. But when compared to the Strom or something similar the Versys does feel small and nimble. I haven't ridden the Fazer or the Ninja 650 but have had much sportier bikes, my ZX6 and my VFR and while the power is fun for a little bit after you get over the initial rush you start looking for the more everyday features that make riding enjoyable and comfortable. My buddy just got the new Honda NC700X and I'm not impressed with it either. I hear the engine is great with the automatic but I don't like it with the manual. And if I ignore the short comings on the motor, again I'm left with a bike with very little wind protection, honestly that thing is almost a naked bike with a fly screen. It does have storage but not quite enough to fit a helmet in, not a full face anyway. Personally I think if you want to corner carve and set the world on fire on the weekends then it's going to take a sportier bike to satify that. But if distance/comfort, storage, wind protection, ease of operation are what matter more to you, I think you'll be sorry if you don't look hard at a maxi. The only downfall you mentioned in your own words were, having to remove panels for maint. But honestly, ease of maint needs to be lower on the list, scotters aren't any harder than any bike and if it take you 20 minutes to get panels off to do an oil change or some adjustment, think of the thousands of miles you covered in comfort and the 20 minutes just won't matter. With all that said I'm at the point in my life where comfort for the long haul is overtaking the gratification of speed and hooliganism. How about you get the best of both worlds and get a T-Max, you have your sport and your scooter.
    #20