Our "little" two wheel friends

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by 390beretta, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

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    Seems to be an explosion of "scooters" in the Phoenix area. Almost without exception:
    1. The riders look "dorky", kind of like they should be wearing a pocket protector.
    2. Many are of the female persuasion.
    3. 9 out of 10 seem to have absolutely no idea how to ride. (Tail gating the car in front of them, less than a car length during a rain storm at 40-45 mph is the most recent example)
    4. NO protective gear of any kind in most cases. "Hey, it's a scooter, doesn't go very fast, doesn't maneuver very well, why should I need protective gear? Besides, I only bought it to save gas and 'gear' doesn't look very cool/european".....or some such BS.

    Rant over.
    #1
  2. 1911fan

    1911fan Master of the Obvious

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    Got more here than we used to, too. For the most part they seem to have no idea they're not in a car, protected by two tons of steel. I think they are a reaction to gas prices. I see a lot of female riders, dressed for the office with little pudding-bowl helmets perched on the back of their heads. NOTGATT.
    Makes me cringe, but at least they are riding, and may try upgrading to something funner.... like a dual sport?


    1911fan
    #2
  3. davidbeinct

    davidbeinct Been here awhile

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    I think the scooter riders have as many subcultures as the bigger wheeled bikes.

    Around here we have:

    Guys who look like they either can't afford a car or lost their license (probably to DUI). No gear and ride as bad as the urban bicyclists spoofed in "Portlandia."

    Saving money young commuters. Usually have some gear.

    Stretched Ruckuses. No gear, straight pipes, wannabe stunters.

    Saving money older commuters. Usually a maxi-scooter, usually at least some gear.

    I see a lot more cute chicks on bicycles than scooters in my neck of the woods.
    #3
  4. TorontoBrit

    TorontoBrit TorontoBrit

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    Toronto has free parking in the city for motorcycles and scooters. So in the last few years more and more are showing up, as public transit is $100-$400/month and monthly parking is about $400/month. So paying off a Vespa takes about 18 months. Here I can ride about 9-11 months of the year if you are willing to ride in the heat, rain, and cold. In the cold I will see more scooters than motorcycles. The rules here are the same for scooters and motorcycles as far as licensing, minimum gear and insurance goes. E-bikes are the current rage for cheap transportation. No license, no insurance and only a bike helmet is required. The e-bikes recently got cracked down on as they were riding on the sidewalk etc....
    My commute is about 10km a Ruckus would do the trick, but insuring a second bike and not riding my GS just isn't worth it.
    #4
  5. WormShanks

    WormShanks b00b

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    So?
    #5
  6. Digasi

    Digasi Been here awhile

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    I have seen an increase. Just like others have said, no real one type seems to be the cause. I have seen from full gear to just a helmet. But then again, I see the same on motorcyclist.

    As for here, getting anything greater then 50cc requires the same licensing requirements, so they get the same info.

    To each their own.
    #6
  7. svs

    svs All Hands on Deck!

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    Small diameter wheels are Dangerous.. Not meant for most U.S. roads...

    And the odd looking folk riding them are a new sub culture of independent people who all adhere to the same independent credo...

    Hipsters..

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. MotorCade

    MotorCade Rugby whore

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    We're starting to have more of them here in SoCal, too. Usually right in line with the 'hipster' model. I do see some of the mentioned 'older' riders on the maxi-scoots.

    Personally, I don't care what they wear, or what they ride, as long as we're getting more riders. Sure, it'd be nice if they were smarter about what they geared up in, but it's their skin. But the more riders we have, the more cars will be aware of us, and the more representation we'll get in city hall. It also means much less congestion, and less resource (fuel) use, so that's cool by me too.

    TL, DR; looking down your nose at one subculture is no better than them looking down at yours. Ride your ride. Cheers
    #8
  9. svs

    svs All Hands on Deck!

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    The thought is that propelling yourself through the atmosphere minus a protective structure surrounding you is dangerous. Most of us "get this."

    And no one wants to see a Hipster in Skinny Jeans get hurt...

    Ideally they "evolve" beyond a "look" and develop skills and the mental attitude necessary for long term survival while scooting around...

    I wish them well.
    #9
  10. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    2000-2002 my son was a road racer in Aprilia Cup. His pitbike was an Aprilia scooter in Rossi colors of yellow over gray. He lived in town and was one of the first Bostonians to ride a scooter. So new were scooters that he was often stopped by city police for no license plate. Of course Massachusetts doesn't require a plate on scooters under 100cc. It took a few years for the LEO's to catch on.

    Today Boston is loaded with scooters. Mostly the cheap Chinese models, but lots of very expensive Vespas and other Italian brands too. People park them on the sidewalks and chain them to bicycle racks or light standards.

    Yes the riders fit into a lot of sub-cultures, from hipsters to MIT students, and yes a lot are young women with long hair flowing from the back of their half shell helmets.

    Boston is actually a good scooter town. Good for bicycles too, which are also prevalent among the younger crowd. The streets are narrow and very slow going. The town is compact.

    Average age in Boston is 26. That says it all. :deal

    :D
    #10
  11. GoUglyEarly

    GoUglyEarly Boots Still Clean

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    I've got a pair of Vans sneakers, a longboard, a moped, a straw hat, a Wolf/Moon black t-shirt, prescription Buddy Holly glasses, a brother who lives in Williamsburg (NYC), and I love Death Cab for Cutie.

    I also ride an XR400 in the dirt....and I don't bother washing it.

    Take that, internet! But then again, my main streetbike is a sportbike, so, well uh, yeah.....

    Anyway, I think scooters are cool. I wave at them and would totally buy one if I lived in the city.

    There is something to be said for the casual approach of a scooter in an urban setting. No power ranger suit, no worries, no ceremony, just get on and go. I think most scooter riders look upon the "serious" culture of motorcycles as a dinosaur.

    Too much of "riding" is social heirarchy BS anyway, so I say good for them for not caring (or knowing!). As long as the Mods and the Soshs stay out of our side of town, I see no need for a Rumble.

    Cherry loves Ponyboy anyway.
    #11
  12. svs

    svs All Hands on Deck!

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and a bit'o reality....

    [​IMG]

    :lol3
    #12
  13. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    The newest and most baffling sub-genre of scooteristas I've seen around here (Salem, OR) lately are middle-age white guys with protest beanies that look like they'd be more at home on a H-D. WTF?

    Compound WTF, take the group above, remove the not-really-legal-helmet, and riding the same scooter (legally a "motor vehicle") in a bicycle lane at 25mph or so.
    #13
  14. Furious E

    Furious E Adventurer

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    I've been noticing a pronounced increase in the number of scooters around these parts (Central PA) as well the last few years. My own observations:

    -If a small-displacement Chinese brand scooter, the rider will almost always be...
    1. Under 30.
    2. Wearing absolutely no gear
    3. Have ZERO concept of proper lane positioning (I can't tell you how many of them I see riding to the far right, on top of the fog line)

    -If a maxi-scooter...
    1. Almost always a gray bearded old man (rarely see women on the maxi's and the higher cost probably detracts from much of the appeal to the younger crowd)
    2. Usually wearing at least a helmet
    3. Frequently in business attire
    4. Has some idea of basic riding skills

    I think the big difference is that the big scooters require an m-class license and insurance, whereas the little 50cc China scoots require nothing. The riders never learn how to properly ride in traffic and end up acting like they're on a bicycle.

    Generally, I don't have an issue with scooters. If I lived in a congested urban area I would have one in a heart beat. However, it scares me a bit when I see people riding them on country roads with poor visibility at 15mph less than the speed of normal traffic and clearly not understanding what the hell they're doing. I'm all for more people getting cheap 2-wheeled transportation, but at least make these guys get licensed.
    #14
  15. Robert OK

    Robert OK Been here awhile

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    I've got a beautiful red Vespa GTS 300. I'm thinking of selling it, this thread gives me hope that I might get a decent price.

    It's weird but the only two Vespa dealers nearby went out of business in the last 2 years. Now there are none until you go into Manhattan or New Jersey.
    #15
  16. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    Damn fine observation. I'm seeing the same thing down here.

    As for the Chinese scooter part, I just posted this in the current ATGATT thread: http://advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=22316176&postcount=1460
    #16
  17. Vulfy

    Vulfy Been here awhile

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    Had a 150cc Benelli (used to be Italian now Chinese) scooter. That thing could get up to 55mph with some wind at the back.

    Honestly... I'm all for ATGATT on a bike, but scooter IS different. If you keeping it the city, without going on a highway and most of them are not designed or legal to be on highway anyway, no way would I gear up to ride a scooter.

    Doesn't have to do with the image, but rather the accessibility of it.

    Not only that, but lets say you keeping it at around 40mph on a street without traffic. I'm pretty sure a slide even at 40 is survivable without any gear other than a helmet. Yes you'll get some rash, yes you might break a bone, or twist something, but if you have a decent helmet, you'll be fine.

    Not only that, but stopping distances, and drop in speed from 40-45 mph is shorter and faster, than highway speeds where you are going from 55 up to triple digits.

    Yes it is still dangerous and you can still end up under a wheel of a bus, but at that point no gear will save you. As far as impact and abrasion goes, you should be able to survive anything bellow 50mph.

    Also since you are sitting inside the scooter rather than wrapping your legs around it, like you do on a motorcycle, you are a little bit more protected from the weight of it, landing on top of you.

    Dunno, as I said, I'm ATGATT on the bike, but scooter should be more accessible and shouldn't be taken as seriously (rules of the road still apply).
    Loved my little orange scooter, and used to go shopping and errands, on it all the time.

    The funnest part was going sideways on it, in the snow. :evil
    #17
  18. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Not correct. It's a motorcycle that requires registration UNLESS it meets the criteria for a moped. From the MA-RMV site:

    http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/license/7moped.htm

    In particular, 50 cc, and no matter what the cc, note the 30 MPH rule. My local dealer got dragged into a criminal prosecution on this very subject, involving a guy riding a Ruckus. The police borrowed one to run in front of a radar gun, and then wanted one of the dealership owners to testify in court.
    #18
  19. zaphoid

    zaphoid bored

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    #19
  20. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    A lot of 'em think they are on a bicycle. You know how good those are about following rules of the road.
    #20