Regaining confidence by means of scooter?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by King_Panther13, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. King_Panther13

    King_Panther13 Been here awhile

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    Hello all,

    For those of you that haven't been to the South Eastern regionals section, I recently (about a month ago) wrecked my motorcycle by going into a curve too hot, then the front brake failing. The great people at ADV helped me rebuild the bike, and off I went back home. But for some reason, I just can't bring myself to lean the bike over anymore. I mean, I can, but not as much as I used to strive for...as much as I used to push myself for. Sometimes I get a bit of lean in a tight curve, but then I go back to that curve and just can't regain the confidence.

    So, I'm about to purchase a 1985 Honda Elite 150 to have something to ride while I work on my CX500 (my CB in my sig is currently unrideable) and I'm wondering...will riding this scooter help me regain my confidence? Or will a whole different kind of ride just throw me off even more? Has anyone hopped on a scooter to help regain confidence?

    Is the Honda Elite 150 even that good to build confidence on? I'm sure that I'll be afraid to scratch the floorboards in curves or get it caught, or something. I've never even seen one in person before, though, so I don't know what to think.

    What do you guys think? Is it plausible, or should I just suck it up on the scooter, and when I fix my bike try and get my confidence back on it? I'm probably gonna stick to the scoot for a while, but I'm just wondering what the great minds at ADV think.
    #1
  2. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    I think it would probably help you a lot. I have one and I love it! I can throw it all over the curves with no trouble! I have taken tight S curves in the mountains at 50+ mph. These things can actually lean quite well. Put some good tires on it, which are cheap and only like $30-$50 a piece, and you should be good to go! I like the Elite's automatic, because it allows you to focus on the ride more than shifting and all that. I love shifting gears and I have a few motorcycles my self, but I love taking the Elite up on long rides and all over the twisties.. There is no way it would take your confidence away! It is easy to ride, light weight and quite reliable. I would definitely recommend you try it out! Good luck.
    #2
  3. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    If you want an excuse to get a scooter, go for it, but scooter or motorcycle it doesn't make any difference. The one exception might be the Piaggio MP3.
    #3
  4. King_Panther13

    King_Panther13 Been here awhile

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    Well, the guy selling the CH150 called me and told me to come out to look at the bike...I get out, test drive it, come back and he says "by the ways, it's already sold to some guys for 500 bucks (what he told me to bring) and if you offer more, I'll give it to you. Oh, here they come down the driveway now" Such a huge waste of time. Worst part was my uncle and I missed the local bike night because this place was literally in the middle of nowhere.

    Oh well, back to Craigslist to try and find another.

    So, my test drive made me feel a lot more vulnerable than I feel on my motorcycle, but the scooter did feel very light. It's like I lightly feathered the handlebars, and they move for me....brakes were better than my bikes brakes currently, but both drum so still a bit weak.

    Is that pretty much how scooters are? Or did I get the exception?
    #4
  5. approachbears

    approachbears 250cc is 50cc too many

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    You can certainly find scooters with disk brakes. That might be a good goal.
    #5
  6. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    Maybe talking a riding course could help you out. years ago In my first wreak I had trouble riding for 1 week or so but I keep it up. A scooter is a good start but it's not going to cure the fear . Nor is it going to cure you focusing on the Conner instead of exiting the corner. If you focus on anything you re going to head towards it. It's the reason far to many people wipe out on there own. An elite is going to have drum brakes which are find as long as you ride proactively. I love honda scooters but with 150 cc scooter that are a year old going for a grand you re better off on one of them. Most have disk brakes. Ether that or find a reflex, helix , any other brand of scooters.
    #6
  7. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    I agree with Metal, do a riding course mate. Doesn't hafta be a race skills course at a track, a "stay upright" or defensive riding school will do the job. Riding is all about confidence, and the best way to regain it is to realize, through doing a course in controlled conditions, that even though you've come off doesn't mean your skills are shot, you just found the limit of you-on-your-machine.

    I got highsided once big time, to land on the bike and get flicked back in the air again, over the pit wall, and slide ungracefully through the pits to end up up under some bloke's trailer. It took me AGES to realize my skills hadn't diminished, I just pushed too hard on that occasion, but I could still ride. I had to take quite a while off, so my confidence was screwed when I finally did return to the track.

    Just take it bit-by-bit, and do the course in a controlled environment.
    #7
  8. King_Panther13

    King_Panther13 Been here awhile

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    I'll do that, once I get my current rider fixed. One reason why I want a scooter, and this is what I tell my friends rather than "to rebuild confidence" is that i need something to putt around on while I fix my current rider. Needs front brake fixed, front suspension tweaked, new foot peg perch, and lots of other things. Maybe those are what's killing the confidence? I dunno. But I know that my confidence was sky high before the crash, or else I wouldn't have crashed in the first place.

    I think that why I'm craving a scooter so much is...well, they seem fun, and I'd like something a bit different. Sometimes I feel like I'm just lugging my big bike around (and it's only a 500) when I really don't need it. I was also considering an enduro or a trail bike, but those so far have been more expensive than what I've been looking at.
    #8
  9. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    Scooter's are excellent for getting the basics right, very fast response to rider inputs, but light enough to manhandle easily if you get too hot somewhere. It's like doing a refresher course in bike dynamics, and that translates over to big bikes very easily once you factor in the weight difference for the dynamics. Big bikes do the same things as scoots, but like in slow motion, so being aware of how they react through scoot experience is a good learning curve.

    Apart from that, scoots are very non-threatening! Perfect for someone who's nerves are shot man! :eek1

    Love the little things! It's like "What can I get the thing to do today?", every time I sit on it, like a 10yr-old on a BMX!
    #9
  10. redhandmoto

    redhandmoto Been here awhile

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    FWIW, i did this. started over with scooters after a bad accident and very long lapse, that is.

    i found that scooters a) re-kindle the exhileration and joy, and b) are so responsive to the slightest inputs, that they can't help but re-connect you to the groove. so to speak. if that makes sense.

    plus, what everybody else said. :lol3
    #10
  11. King_Panther13

    King_Panther13 Been here awhile

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    Well, my budget is in the 500 dollar area....the only newer scoots in that price range are Chinese, and everyone who owns one or who is selling one thinks that they're worth a lot of money -.-. So only a few "deals" here and there.

    Found a Riva 180 http://orlando.craigslist.org/mcy/1957857903.html for around my budget, but it also only has drums. Found an Eagle 150 (one of the millions of Chinese brands) http://orlando.craigslist.org/mcy/1959043559.html which looks like it at least has front disc, but I dunno if I really want to buy Chinese.

    I'm guessing that the general consensus on Chinese scooters is still "Don't do it."

    Edit: also found this sucker http://orlando.craigslist.org/mcy/1943341596.html which looks to be the best deal out of all, but it's a bit farther away than I'm willing to go....unless I have some people who know about scooters (all of my irl friends are bike people, including myself) tell me if that seems like a good enough deal or not.
    #11
  12. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    Scooters will also teach you that you do not have to be pushing it to have fun. Don't be surprised if you end up with the scoot being your #1 choice.
    #12
  13. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    Good comments. :thumb

    The scoots remind me of the time...egad, years ago...when my 600 was in the shop and I borrowed a VTR250 for the usual squidbike weekend ride with my buddies--all on various squidtastic monsters of horsepower, since that was what we preferred (how did I live through those years?). I really had to think my way through things for a change instead of relying on big brakes and big engine. :lol3 That experience got me back to basics and improved my riding.

    Same thing happened when I started riding scoots when I had the 1150GS. Smaller, smoother inputs, managing speed/momentum (and what tiny gumption the little hampsterwheel motor could develop)...I ended up being a smoother rider when I got back on the 1150 (and this was after decades of riding) AND I think I was a little more heads-up in terms of watching traffic, from having to think my way through things once again instead of taking some things for granted.

    And sometimes, a nice easy ride on the scoot is relaxing. :stoned

    I think it's a good way to get back in the game and, as several have said, you might enjoy it so much that you keep a scoot around for the good stuff it does.

    Best of luck to you, King_Panther! Keep us posted. I hope you get the Elite--great workhorse scoot.
    #13
  14. King_Panther13

    King_Panther13 Been here awhile

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    So, how are the 250 elites vs the 150 elites? I know that top speed, acceleration, etc is all better, but what about handling and weight? I'm aware that they are still running drum brakes for North American models, but judging from pictures, it looks like the 250s are the same size physically as the 150s...though I know that they weigh about 50 pounds more, is that really noticeable?

    I'm only asking because there is only one 150 cc elite within say 100 miles on craigslist that's in my price range, and the rest are 250s (or 80s/50s which I think are too small).
    #14
  15. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    I had a 250 and it was a great bike. Mine topped out around 75mph, got 70mpg and was drop dead reliable. It was great in town as it was extremely flickable for a 250 with it's 10 inch wheels. On the highway it was a little scary as it was almost too responsive for it's top speed. It's hard to describe the feeling you get when you pass an 18 wheeler riding something with 10 inch wheels. As far as inspiring confidence, you will want to take it easy as the shocks suck, the brakes are so-so and you will get tossed around in the wind.

    If you can find a 250 do not hesitate to snap it up. You will not regret it.
    #15
  16. King_Panther13

    King_Panther13 Been here awhile

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    Huh, I really enjoyed the suspension on the 150...may be because my suspension is so hard on my CX500. Is it any different on the 250? Note that it was extremely soft, but for some reason I didn't think it was too bad.

    And even though the elite is supposed to be able to cruise nicely at 70mph, I don't think I'd take it on the interstate too often, just because of the responsiveness. The first time someone cuts me off , I'd overcorrect heh.
    #16
  17. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    You might start out by accepting that your front brakes prpbably didn't fail,yoy failed to apply them correctly.Thats where your unceartainty lies and until you correct that problem you wont regain your former confidence.I'm not bustin on ya I've been thru it after needlessly crashing on a fast r-hand sweeper.Even after over 20 yrs fast sweepers occasionally give me the willys .
    #17
  18. YamaGeek

    YamaGeek Ancient trailbike padwan

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    The old Yamaha Riva 180 isn't a bad bike, in fact it's as good as the similar Hondas of that era. If that Riva is still available I'd check it out.
    #18
  19. King_Panther13

    King_Panther13 Been here awhile

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    No, it had been getting progressively worse up to that point. I crashed because I failed to maintain it properly, when it had been acting up for the past, say, 1000-1500 miles. I pulled it to the handlebar and I know for certain that the front wheel did not lock. Now after rebuilding the front end, the front brake doesn't work at all. I'm fairly certain that it was a problem with the master cylinder, at least I hope so anyhow so I don't have to dig into the caliper. Though even if it was working properly, I still would have crashed, just not as hard and possibly with not as much damage...the main reason to the crash was taking a curve a bit too hot, scraping a peg around the same time as noticing that the curve gets steeper, straightening up to attempt to stop the bike, then realizing that the brakes aren't working to owell...freaking out, fixating on the oncoming hill, and boom. If the brakes were working better, maybe I would have slowed down a lot to just run slightly off road and not crash as hard...or maybe I would have looked back into the curve. I dunno.

    Current uncertainty is partially because I'm riding with only my rear brake and with really stiff suspension (need to change the fork oil) but also because I just haven't been able to bring myself into a lean anymore. I had just worked myself up to leaning into curves and corners when that happened, now it feels like I'm starting all over again, albeit slower. I was hoping that a scooter would bring me back up to the level that I was riding at directly preceding the crash, and that I'd be able to transfer that back to my bike.

    Biggest problem now is becoming better at maintenance, which is what is causing most of my problems.

    Edit: My post may seem argumentative. I'm not trying to bust on you either. I'm just trying to lay it out on the table. I'm afraid that my mechanical ability and my riding skill combined were shot because of that crash...I know that they weren't, but that's what I'm feeling right now. I rode about 1000 miles home in stormy weather and whatnot, and still ride every day, but when it comes to twisties, I for some reason just can't do it anymore.
    #19
  20. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    I kind of understand where your coming from after being reminded by laying my helix scooter down in a parking lot when someone turn in front of me. Again all I m going to do is get back on and ride it.
    #20