Rotating Rear Wheel - Or... How to Buy a Used Scooter

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by vospertw, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. vospertw

    vospertw Adventures on the Cheap

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    Hey Folks,

    I looked at an 84 Aero 50 yesterday. I'll give you a few more details in a sec but my primary question involves the clutch on these little beasts - I noticed that while on the centerstand with the engine running, the rear wheel was slowly rotating. Not having paid enough attention to other scooters in the past - should that be happening? I was wondering if it's a sign of impending clutch trouble? I did try to search several variations of this, but I seemed to either put the search engine to sleep out of boredom, or confused it to the point of lock-up.

    In a related note, how good/bad should a 25+ year old scooter look? In this case, all the body parts are present and intact (for the most part). Looked like there are locking tabs or something that hold the pieces together in spots - some of those appear to be loose/missing. Metal showed some surface corrosion and there are a couple of spots where some non-matched touch up paint was applied. Both mirrors are cracked/missing some glass. I noted that the left lever had been roughed up on the end (but not broken) so it's been tipped over at a minium.

    On a somewhat good note, the bike fired up immediately on kick-start (battery dead) though it idled fine for about a minute then quit... owner didn't seem to think anything of it? I suppose the best part is that it has two "Honda" baskets.

    Frankly, I don't really care about the looks so much, but curious as to the condition "normally" expected for these bikes. I could not find any evidence of oil leaks or anything mechanical (besides that wheel rotating) wrong with it.

    $450 is the asking price - worth a second look or stick with Craigslist? Thanks!
    #1
  2. Black Sheep Radical

    Black Sheep Radical Fusionista

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    Perfectly normal on any CVT-equipped scooter, fear not :D
    #2
  3. approachbears

    approachbears 250cc is 50cc too many

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    All CVT scooters I've ridden will slowly spin the back wheel when on the center stand. By slowly I mean you can stop the rotation with your finger. Not a clutch problem.

    The thing's 26 years old. How do you expect it to look unless it wasn't ridden? It's apparently all there body wise, which is a decent start.

    $450 is OK if it actually runs enough to ride. But your description doesn't sound like it actually runs.

    But I guess it comes down to why you want his particular quarter century old scooter versus anything else. If you just want any random small scooter and are sold on it being an old 2 smoke, then look for a newer, but still often $500 Zuma 50.
    #3
  4. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Yep, completely normal. In fact, if it spins fast than its more of an idle speed issue than clutch, but if its real slow its 100% normal.
    #4
  5. vospertw

    vospertw Adventures on the Cheap

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    Thanks folks! I'm not sold on this particular scoot by any means. However, being in SoCal, it's a little tougher to find $500 scooters. I live in a small town where anything over a 50 is going to be over-kill, and I have a larger motorcycle for commuting. Since I'm really looking for something convenient and cheap for in town errands, I can't justify spending more - I do have a perfectly good mountain bike that I could be using... or more accurately - SHOULD be using.
    #5
  6. alicethomas

    alicethomas Been here awhile

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    Europe wouldn't pay $450 for such an old scooter without maintenance record, mirrors damaged (not allowed over here!), battery dead (not healthy for the generator) and unstable idling. Am I correct that you didn't rode the scoot for some miles!?
    Perhaps you live in a sellers paradise, but I would guess €/$ 50-200 - after a successful drive test and with all mandatory (depending on your country) paperwork!
    #6
  7. vospertw

    vospertw Adventures on the Cheap

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    No, I didn't ride it. I was a little surprised at the condition and my enthusiasm at the moment was pretty low.
    #7
  8. Chupa

    Chupa Guest

    Until you've seen a few examples to know what a good deal looks like, don't buy. Don't let you enthusiasm get the best of you and buy the first one you see.

    A side note: if the battery is dead, chances are good that it hasn't been run/ridden much lately so the gas may be old causing it to not idle. Fresh premix often does wonders.
    #8
  9. vospertw

    vospertw Adventures on the Cheap

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    Chupa - got it, looking at another one today and there's a few others around I need to find time to check out.

    Related question - what's a "normal" mileage rate for a 50/80 cc scooter? For example, looking at a 97 Elite 80 today with 14K miles... no big deal if it was a motorcycle but not sure how that translates to scooters.
    #9
  10. approachbears

    approachbears 250cc is 50cc too many

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    That's a lot of miles for an 80cc compared to the average used scoot. Its not necessarily worn out, but you can expect maintenance work. Like motorbikes it comes down to how well it was cared for.
    #10
  11. vospertw

    vospertw Adventures on the Cheap

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    Realize they aren't two-stroke dirt bikes, but is there a time frame when the top end may need work?
    #11
  12. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Well, it all depends on maintenance and just how hard you ride them along with other factors like this. But an 80 cc would probably go about 40-60 K miles?

    But what are you looking for in a scoot? If your looking at an 80, why not just bump up to 150 cc? The Elite 150 is about the same price or cheaper on CL. The Elite 80 is a 50 cc scooter with 1/2 HP more for hills. It is slower than an unrestricted 50 cc in acceleration. But the Elite 150 is liquid cooled, not much bigger, cheaper and has a top speed of 65+ MPH.

    These go about 50-100K before any major work.
    #12
  13. vospertw

    vospertw Adventures on the Cheap

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    btcn - I want to use it solely for in town (less than 2 miles) errands. And since I don't really need it... can't justify spending more than a few hundred bucks.
    #13
  14. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Oh, okay. Then you really don't need a 150 for that. A 50 cc or 80 cc scooter should work fine for you. But really, an 80 cc isn't much more powerful than a 50 cc scooter, but the Elite 80 is a nice scooter, but it lacks some power. Most think it would be a bit of an improvement over your average 50 cc scoot, but its really a disappointing improvement.

    A good condition Elite 80 costs over $500 around here, with most averaging around $800-$1200, with model years not mattering much.

    But one tip I can give you about Elite 80s is, stick with the older models. The real new and recent models supposedly lack the quality control of the older ones. I believe they were made in mexico or somewhere and quality control was an issue. I hear they were pretty poor quality. So an 80s-90s model is ideal. I'm sure someone on here can give some facts, this is just what I briefly remember.

    The only reason I would suggest an Elite 150 is because they are really the same price or cheaper than the Elite 80s.
    #14