Scooter Dudes Please Help Me !

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by sherco, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. sherco

    sherco Been here awhile

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    My kid is moving off campus and needs a scooter for short trip transportation. For insurance and licensing it needs to be a 50cc. I was in Daytona for Bike Week and saw lots of rental that were "brand X" --not honda, piaggio, yamaha, etc. I'm guessing they were Korean or Chinese which I equate with low price and low quality---however those scoots got severely abused constantly and appeared to hold up. I don't remember what brand any of them were. My kids scooter will also lead a rough life being always left outside and little maintenance. Whats your recommendation for a RELIABLE & REASONABLE PRICED (i.e. cheap) scooter. thanks for any help.
    #1
  2. KTMRyder

    KTMRyder throttle jockey

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    Not sure what you consider reasonable price?
    I bought a Yamaha Zuma, Photog says they are pretty bulletproof. Kymco and TnG look like very well made scoots. Honda Ruckus has a big following also.

    I would stick with a brand that you can get parts for from a local dealer. a cheap scoot that you can't get parts is an instant boat anchor when it breaks.
    #2
  3. KaminoChiizu

    KaminoChiizu Been here awhile

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    Can't go wrong with a ruckus... unless 2 grand is too much.
    #3
  4. timdrinkswine

    timdrinkswine Two Wheeled Backpacker

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    I went through the same search last year before we bought my girlfriend's Vespa LX150. I was sold on the Yamaha Vino Classic (50cc) for her first scooter. As with most 50cc scooters its a two stroke, but has oil injection. No pre-mixing.

    I was wondering how the dealers would treat me when I came in to look at a $1800 scooter instead of $9000 sport bike. They were very cool. Even told me how to remove the restrictor from the exhaust (after it leaves the showroom ofcourse) for a little more speed. Should do around 45mph which should be good for a campus. You can usally get a new last years model for around $1500. And Yamaha dealers are everywhere.

    Also there is a lot of hop up parts for these scoots. TNG and Kymoco are ok, but anything else out side the normal mfg's (Honda, Vespa, Italajet and Aprilla) is waste of money. They will not last long. Mostly made in China and questionable regarding Fed DOT compliance. We have register small bore scooters in California now.

    In the end we ended up spending four times as much for the Vespa. But the retail is great on them and it's what she really wanted. It's great for around town. I took it to the Post Office the other day and a guy on a Ducati stopped me and wanted to know all about it. He was all jazzed. Didn't even want to talk about the Monster he was on.

    Good luck!
    #4
  5. sherco

    sherco Been here awhile

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    a guy I know has a honda 50cc two stroke--I think it's called an elite-- it's about 15 years old but brand new-- no miles. As we know this can be good and bad. he wants $500 for it but if it runs and starts ok may be a deal. (except it's PINK and I don't think my kid is gay) If I could get a Yamaha for $1500 it would be worth the extra
    money. What do Honda metropolitans sell for?
    #5
  6. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    If you need a cheapie, the Vento scooters are pretty good.

    www.qualityscooters4less.com is pretty reputable.

    http://www.myvento.net/forum for more info. I'd buy another Vento in a heartbeat. If you've got a shop nearby that supports scoots, it's a good buy, or if you plan on fiddling with it yourself. They might have some teething issues but will settle down.

    Kymco is an excellent brand. Long history as an OEM parts/engine mfg. for the big japanese brands, and they put a 2 year warranty on their scoots. The ZX-50 and People 50 are nice. The Super 9 is their liquid-cooled race scoot, a poor-man's Aprilia or Derbi.

    But for a good no-worries scoot you can't go wrong with a Zuma. Plenty of support through Yamaha dealers, plenty of online support through owner groups. Comes stock with a fairly sturdy book rack, a little "glove box" cubbyhole, and plenty of underseat storage, so it's ready for campus use.

    My fave 4 stroke 50cc is the Ruckus. It's a marvel of clean, high-mpg fun. I must own one. I must. I must. :baldy

    I have a Super 9 but it's pricey--$2600-$2800.

    In addition to safety gear and training, budget for a bigass chain/lock system.

    I commuted all winter on the Super 9 through was was basically urban/campus/suburban areas, speed limits of 45 and under. At no point did I feel underpowered or incapable of dealing with traffic and most days I was passing traffic while getting 80mpg. A 50 makes a GREAT college bike.

    Rebuilds on the air-cooled 50's generally run $250 or so, more for go-fast goodies, and around here commuters are getting 12K-18K km's out of them before rebuild according to my local scoot shop.

    Costs me about $10-15 a month for oil/gas and that includes joyriding in addition to daily commutes/errands. Very economical way to go.

    The EPA crackdown on 2T's is moving mfg's to 4 stroke bikes.
    #6
  7. KaminoChiizu

    KaminoChiizu Been here awhile

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    A Metro should run around 2 grand.

    If that Elite50's in good condition, that sounds good. Besides, pink is the new black... chicks'll dig it.
    #7
  8. ciao

    ciao Adventurer

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    I don't think you could go wrong with the Yamaha Vino or Zuma or the Honda Metropolitan.
    #8
  9. slack

    slack Fair weather ADV dolt

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    as a scooter tech i work on most of em
    the best other asian scooter would be kymco .. rock solid and a 2 year warrenty which they are great about honuring.
    easy to derestrict an good aftermarket for upgrades

    tng's are a pain for service because they tend to be disposable knockoff's of other styles.

    otherwise get him a stella :) those are always fun
    #9
  10. KaminoChiizu

    KaminoChiizu Been here awhile

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    How big are these folks. A Vino Classic or a Metro could be a bit of a cramp for someone with legs...
    #10
  11. sherco

    sherco Been here awhile

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    I'll look around at the cheapie sellers for a Taiwan mfg scoot. If nothing looks good I may just go ahead and pop for a Zuma. You have to understand that I figure what ever I buy will be trash in 3 years so I hate to get a nice zuma just to see it beat to hell by graduation time.
    #11
  12. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    The Vento 50cc 2T's are using minarelli horizontal motors...tough as hell and parts are cheap/easy to get. Some people have had issues with them that turned out to be problems programming the alarm (which is a nice feature, BTW)...it would refuse to start because the owner had locked out the bike using the alarm/disable feature. :razor Easy fix, but probably accounts for 50% of the "my bike won't start" crying on the forums.

    You can just about count on needing to tighten up a few bolts here and there and make sure the oil line isn't kinked. Also, there was a huuuuuuuuuuge batch of bad oil reservoirs out of china--they all had a leaky seal around where the sensor unit is (some silicone sealant and it's good to go).

    No matter what you get, you'll need to keep an eye on the autolube system for the first tank of gas or so to make sure it's mixing for you.

    Best thing to do IMHO is buy whatever you're getting a month prior to it being put into service and then ride the snot out of it to work the kinks out.

    My Zip R3i ran like a bat outta hell. Great fun. :thumb If you're over 5'5" you'd probably need a Triton--larger frame, same motor.

    A Zuma or Kymco ZX-50 would be a no-brainer for long-term use, however, for a college kid who isn't going to do anything other than turn the key and top off the oil occasionally.
    #12
  13. twinrider

    twinrider pass the catnip

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    A $500 new scooter sounds good. Spend $20 on some spray paint and go to town. Late '80s-early '90s Hondas were built very well. During the subsequent decade-long recession Japanese makers implemented lots of cost-cutting measures.
    #13
  14. Samarkand

    Samarkand Adventurer

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    There are a couple more brands I can name. There's TGB-- http://cobrasales.com --a second-tier Taiwanese manufacturer that sells some neat 50cc scooters. Check out their Delivery scooter, with a huge "pizza compartment" tailor made for hauling around books and such. You can also try to find a Hyosung (sometimes branded as Kasea--I dunno who imports them these days) scooter. The Hyosung Sense is a fairly well-built machine I see a lot about up here in Montreal.

    It all depends on dealers in your area, though.

    Andrew
    #14
  15. BonneRocker

    BonneRocker Been here awhile

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    I just bought a Kymco Super 9 that has 22,696 km on it. It runs like it is brand new! It is an '05 and has been derestricted. So much fun and an excellent commuter for me. Get one, you won't be dissappointed. I used to ride a Vespa PX 125 in college and it's good to be back on a scooter.:clap
    #15
  16. brockster

    brockster Despair & Repair Garage

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    Look at the Honda Elite 80's. Air-cooled and 4-stroke engines. Cheap and tough.
    #16
  17. sherco

    sherco Been here awhile

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    Brockstr--buy any scooter parts at Penewit Hardwear?
    #17
  18. kfsinc

    kfsinc Chaingolian Observer

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    Went through this last year with my daughter at Clemson. Gave her a choice of the Ruckus and the Metro. She choose the Ruckus :clap

    18 months and 3,500 miles later -- no problems other than a oil flooded air cleaner after she left it on it's side for too long :cry

    Most kids have a Metro or similar. She was the first Ruckus -- there are a few now. She like being different...

    The Zuma is quicker, but smells a little 'cause it's a 2 smoke.

    In SC, 49cc is treated like a bicycle -- no license (driver or scooter), no insurance. Anything more is a motorcycle.

    Don't ride it yourself unless you can afford two of em :lol3
    #18