Scooter rentals outlawed in Panama City?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by klaviator, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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  2. south

    south Been here awhile

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    Not entirely suprising, IMO. I have no specific information as to the current situation in Panama City, but I lived in Key West for a time in the late 90s-early aughts, during which there was one particular incident involving a (honeymooning newlywed, IIRC) young woman who pulled out of the rental lot, through the stop sign at the end of the block, and under the wheels of a delivery truck--all in front of her husband's eyes as he followed behind on his own rental. Witnesses indicated that she appeared to have (panicked and) opened/pinned the throttle instead of, or in the process of, applying the brake.

    Needless to say, it was/is a significant tragedy. Rental businesses set up miniature "road test"/practice courses in their lots literally overnight, and there was some discussion of banning rentals in the immediate aftermath. The huge popularity of the rentals and the (perhaps somewhat token) immediate proactive response of the rental businesses (certainly not without their own interest/protection in mind) saw no further action taken.

    I don't know what sort of presence--if any--the road-going electric (glorified golf cart) "car" rentals have in Panama City, but they seemed to function well/profitably enough in KW as an alternative to the highly popular scooters.
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  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Am I correct in assuming that these rentals are all 50cc and don't require a motorcycle license?
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  4. Spicciani2

    Spicciani2 Adventurer

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    yes, that would be a valid assumption
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  5. JeepDawg

    JeepDawg Been here awhile

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    Ban has been evolving for a few months now.
    http://www.wjhg.com/content/news/419669833.html

    Interesting that they are not doing it "to protect the children", but rather because the police are spending too much time enforcing laws on scooter riders. Wonder if they totaled up the annual revenue those tickets generate for the police?
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  6. Dabears

    Dabears Long Timer

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    We camped at St Andrews State Park a couple of months ago and had our scooter with us to get around. This coincided with spring break apparently, and the road along the beach was a slow moving parking lot.

    Even more curious than the many rental scooters were the abundance of motorized golf cart/buggy things that were in full force on the roads. I could see that mixing booze, college students with limited scooter skills, no helmet laws, and crowded sandy roads could be a recipe for trouble with the locals (Leo's and citizens).

    Not sure that a ban is the answer, and not sure it will stand up in court. I certainly can understand that the behavior down there wouldn't be something I'd want in my town either....
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  7. MiniBike

    MiniBike Casual Observer

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    I can see the 7 pm to 7 am prohibition from a safety standpoint, but not the rest. I've rented scooters in a couple of tourist towns and they all required a valid drivers license and a requirement to be over 18 (maybe it was 21). They also prohibited the scooter's use outside of a specific area - usually the areas where a 50cc scooter would be a hindrance to traffic. If traffic violations are a problem, ticket the drivers. I haven't been to Panama City Bch. for a long time, so do they have the parking available for all the additional vehicles that scooters are now keeping in the hotel parking lots?

    Would these also be banned? I see an increasing number of them being rented. Might be fun if it had about 200cc's, but 50cc? No way I'd hop into one.
    [​IMG]
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  8. AMAC1680

    AMAC1680 Outdoorsman, advocate, paraplegic

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    We have those running around St. Augustine.
    Low and slow, clogs traffic. I'll take the scoots.

    AMAC
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  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    We did a Memorial day weekend house rental in the Blue Mtn beach area just west of Panama City. Not an area I frequent either so i was amazed at the number of rentals for beach style golf carts. Many of the houses/condos are a bit away from the beach thus the carts are a means to stylishly? get yer crew and various water toys to the beach. I also saw a number of jeeps with the doors off for the true professional beach goers. My family rented a fleet of bicycles for local travel.
    We cruised the Grayton Beach, St park near us (looking at notion of RV'ing there another trip) and found it a nice tame place compared to the drinking, eating and shopping areas nearby. My son (who was stationed nearby) says the beach at Pensacola is a place to "reach out and touch someone", probably someone you don't know:lol2
    Given the alcohol mixed in with scoot rentals I sort of get it that issues develop thrown in with riders who lack previous experience on scoots.
    Either way the traffic levels are very high and there are lots of unsafe drivers in door-less vehicles with kids aboard.
    I stood outside a popular food/bar until our light went off to eat and people watched. I'm not a tee-totaler but must say there's no shortage of drunks about on that coast. On the beach itself people are enjoying the moment and more into the moment less bar hopping, etc..
    I took my scoot to FL past winter and nothing like the beach crunch I witnessed late May. Sure not where I want to ride. In a similar choice I don't ride in urban Phoenix,AZ when we are out there in the winter. I dislike "bumper car riding".:-) I can definitely see the cop side of this as lets get rid of a problem that is hurting people?
    I like those mostly deserted Mexican beaches...:clapfound where there are zero condos or big box hotels:clap I'm not reclusive, just like space not covered with commerce.
    We have rented scooters on Isla Cozumel, Mexico to circle the island for a lazy day. Costs is low and fun levels high. Crappy Chinese scooters but they go zoom to the tune of 30mph.
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  10. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Got a recommendation for a Cozumel rental place? We'll be there in mid-Sept.
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  11. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    There are several, all a short walk from the cruise dock. You'll be missing the fall foliage in CO? :-) I remember looking for the one with the scooters that looked less shabby but not a shop name. All were Chinese scooters ranging from newish to forlorn. Not what you rented in the UK!
    Mexico rides on pizza bikes (one of my better sources of directions is a pizza biker in a bigger town that's swallowed me up:lol2) from China all over the country, sold in appliance stores next to the wringer washing machines.
    The frenzy around the cruise ship dock subsides as you leave the area the cruisers walk into and get out along the coast. It only takes a few hours to go around if you don't stop. We have been out there twice, always on the ferry from Playa del Carmen. There are some beachy food/bar places along the coast for a stopover. Interior has some historic ruins & snorkling the reef near the island is VG.
    Playa was a tiny place when we 1st went there, the only phone in town was a pay phone with an attendant and a line outside-HA! Now there's a McDonalds and all the fixings of ruination IMO. Another (former) favorite place of ours now has a cruise ship dock-Mahahual. We went there for an adult tent resort on the beach that blew away in hurricane whatever's name. That tiny town on the water transforms into a frenzy as well when a cruise ship comes in. The dock is an area that reminds you of America comes to Mexico with all the brand name stuff nearby. The town itself has several rentals for 4 wheeled buggies/atv's to take a so called "adventure" ride. Lots of bars and food too. What was a 5 hour drive away from Cancun/Cozumel tourism is now a periodic same thing.
    My bucket list is now less so Mexico (that I've ridden 3 times by MC & all over the place and many fly & drives) & more so aimed at South America-Colombia & Ecuador. I'm wondering if there's a scooter rental in La Paz, Baja? We really like that area and given the tourist still avoid much of Mexico away from Cancun or Cabo it's a bit too quiet there.
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  12. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Yeah, we will miss fall foliage. This trip is to help a friend celebrate his 50th birthday so it should be a lot of fun.
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  13. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Scooter rentals!
    Take a look @ www.freedomrental.com for Ecuador Freedoms rentals in Quito Ecuador. The websites very well done and offers a great insight into Ecuador travel regions. Use the "dirt routes" under self-tours for lots of links and hours of entertainment. Clicking on the lodging links will take you further into Ecuador travel and makes my lunch breaks too short.
    Court, an owner there is a gringo and known as a helpful sort to many MC riders who've used them. The scooters they offer are not only inexpensive they fit my short legs better than the MC's, one of which I own.
    SA is heavily on my bucket list- Ecuador and Colombia in particular.
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  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    This ride report gives Freedom Rentals a good review. No scooters but this is a great ride report: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/brian-and-mulley-do-8-days-of-dualsport-in-ecuador.1016098/
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  15. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Thanks for the link. They/Freedom show 4 scooters available for rent on their website. I also might go with the BMW G650GS, my other ride at home but the scoots are lots cheaper! Court Rand told me he rides a scooter much of the time, especially around town in Quito. There are a bunch of ADV'ers who have rented from them & several RR's have been posted.
    I'm hoping this winter is finally my time to do this-thinking around early December or Feb-March.
    I read a sad one recently where the rider- sandsman- broke his leg riding Ecuador and happy to hear he's recovered.
    A sobering reminder that riding is a perilous hobby that we all enjoy but needs to be taken seriously too, especially far from home.
    My interest lies in the Andes & Amazon areas as I've been on the Pacific coats quite a bit in Mexico and other than culture the geography is similar.
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  16. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    On Modern Vespa there's a recent scooter ride report showing Scooter rentals on the Greek Islands. Nice weather and scenery too! Soooo many places so little time...:lol2
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  17. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    In that thread they said next year will be in Spain. Might get me on that one though I'd like to see more of Portugal if the travel budget hasn't completely disappeared by then (strong possibility given how much we're doing this year and end of last.)
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  18. Dan V.

    Dan V. Been here awhile

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    Cozumel - last time there had some pretty crappy scoots for rent. Made it around the island just fine though. Beware of the greasy roads in town, getting away from town you have a nice ride though with plenty of places and beaches to explore. On a previous trip we were steered to a rental agency by one of the vendors selling "adventures" on the ferry from Playa Del Carmen. It was a bit deeper into town but they had new Suzuki 125's to rent. Of course, I can't recall the name of the rental place, nor could I find it on the later visit. At that time, someplace was also renting Bajaj tuk-tuks. didn't see them on the last trip, either.
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  19. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I'll ditto the above on scooter condition. Business's in Mexico : Many, country wide, not just the Cancun connection have gone kaput since the cartels heated up the action. We were watching a certain cable news channel last night and they made a big deal out of recent violence in Mexico, including Cancun & Cabo saying the violence had spilled into those areas. I'll take issue with that. Also the cartel areas in NW Mexico have simmered down too and the border has tamed immensely. Even National Geographic had an detailed article last year on how much better crime was in the border towns of Laredo, TX/ Nuevo Laredo, MX.
    Back to Cozumel: I'll add that after doing the ferry several times to Cozumel and scoots twice over there, were pretty used up on that fling. Too many less crowded places w/o ferry time/$ spent to get there. We rent junker cars & head away from Cancun to VRBO rental.
    I've traveled all of Mexico extensively and have not seen two wheeled rentals but then I've been on my two wheels and not where tourists hang out. The backpacker crowd rides a jet on daddy then takes the bus. The snowbirds take an RV and ride bicycles.
    Let's hear about some more around the world (somewhat but well above the Panama City, FL level:lol2) exotic places to rent a scoot?:ear:wings
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  20. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia - rented a pair of Sym Firenze 300s which I can highly recommend. Lovely coastal mountain riding and if you head up to the tablelands you can experience everything from tropics to high almost desert in the course of 1 day. If you are lucky wildlife from cassowary to termite mounds.
    #20