US contender?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Woodsparrow, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Adventurer

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    So I'm thinking about down sizing my Vstrom 650. The height is really starting to irritate me, and the previous owner seems to have bought literally every farkle ever made and had it installed then removed, poorly. I gave up on fixing the lights and took it to a dealership who said the rear tail light assembly had been replaced with an LED and not grounded. And that there were at least 3 front-light wiring harnesses run through it.

    Anyway. Rant done.

    Is there any type of adventure scooter available in the US that's also good for highway riding? I need to run 30+ miles to work each way on the highway, or 5 miles on city streets (still 30-45 MPH) to the train station.

    I know the Honda NC and Africa lines nominally might be called scooters, but they're just as tall as the Vstrom really, I've only got about a 30" inseam and I vastly prefer to flat foot my bikes. I've tried with the Vstrom, I just don't like one-footing it.
    #1
  2. Chillis

    Chillis Long timer Supporter

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    An NC and Africa Twin are scooters?

    Have people lost their minds?

    As far as off road capable scooters in the US the only one that truly is marketed as such is the Zuma series from Yamaha.

    Other markets are getting cool stuff like the big Honda 750cc ADV bike. That is a blurred line between scooter and ADV bike.

    Honda's new ADV scooters we do not get yet either.
    #2
  3. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Adventurer

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    I said 'nominally' because people always throw them out in topics like this due to the dual clutch.

    And it was the ADV-X scooter I saw on Eastern Beaver's website while looking for relays for the Vstrom that got me thinking about adventure-touring scooters. I figured there was jack, but wanted to at least check.

    One of the few things that stinks about riding in the US, is the lack of interesting maxi-scooter options.
    #3
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  4. forkintheroad

    forkintheroad Been here awhile

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    overlooked, outdated, and vastly overpriced, but a Cushman II Eagle with different tires might fit that kind of bill. Jackshaft and chain drive to the rear, and a subaru 404 that looks more like it belongs on a nice riding lawnmower but does give 20lb of torque.
    #4
  5. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    Scooters with belt drive cv systems don't work well with dust and mud. No one has really done a lot of work to adapt the variator and clutch to the hostile world of off road riding. If you want to ride on rough but reasonably graded roads the big wheeled modern scooters do pretty well.
    #5
  6. MJSfoto1956

    MJSfoto1956 Been here awhile

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    In theory an electric scooter won't have the downsides that a CVT gives you. Instead, you get instant torque which would be key for any off-road situation. Range is currently an issue but won't be in a few more years. And top speed might be an issue too -- most eScooters seem to be designed to max out at 100k/h -- but that might work out for you (or not). And lastly, the cool eScooter bikes don't seem to be headed for the USA as Americans are not as scooter-crazy as the rest of the world is. I guess you could always build your own to address your particular use-case. If I were doing that, I might consider starting with something like a Honda CN250 and convert it to be all-electric.
    #6
  7. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Adventurer

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    Unfortunately nothing about electric bikes or scooters fits my lifestyle here in the US.

    I'm waiting for them to catch up, but the most 'reasonable' is the Zero lines, which are like 20,000$ for one that'll do 30 miles highway.
    #7
  8. MiniBike

    MiniBike Casual Observer

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    [​IMG]

    The Honda BIG Ruckus (PS250). You can build it up to look the part, but underneath, I think it's as good a contender as any 12" wheel scooter.
    #8
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  9. MJSfoto1956

    MJSfoto1956 Been here awhile

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    +1 for the Big Ruckus.

    (would make for a cool electric conversion)
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  10. Khantahr

    Khantahr Been here awhile

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    $15,500 for 78 miles on the highway. That still may not work for you, but stop spreading FUD about it.

    https://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-ds/
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  11. MJSfoto1956

    MJSfoto1956 Been here awhile

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    Oh he's just a good ol' boy from Texas -- it comes natural to 'em. You're just gonna have to forgive him, that's just the way they make 'em down there. :p

    M
    #11
  12. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I own a 650 Strom and Bv350.
    Equal street performance.
    Dirt horrible on BV.

    Sell Strom and buy a BV & Himalayan
    #12
  13. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Adventurer

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    You'll have to forgive me if I don't consider 15000 different from 20000 when I can buy a motorcycle to do it for, what, 3000?
    #13
  14. Khantahr

    Khantahr Been here awhile

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    You must be pretty rich for $5,000 to mean nothing to you.
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  15. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Been here awhile

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    I'm a short legged guy, 28" inseam on a good day.
    When I had my Wee Strom my dealer lowered it in the rear 1.5 or 2 inches ( don't remember which it was) and I dropped the front down about an inch . Worked great for me . Sold it on to a lady rider who kept it and rode all kinds of gravel and two track trails on it.
    So it can be done and for not much money.
    No comment about the bodged up wiring issues on your's .
    #15
  16. rdhood

    rdhood Adventurer

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    Kymco Downtown 300i (or its cousin the People 300i) : 29.5 HP / 300cc of fuel injected goodness, with reviews just about raving how it is built for small people.

    And to all the Big Ruckus/PS 250 fans: I've been riding the BR twin, a Reflex , and (yes) it will cruise at 65-70mph, but I'd still go with a DT300i or something like a BV 350 for the highway. I guess it depends on your highway. On the highways near me, people regularly go 70mph , and the Reflex is just feels underpowered. It's definitely doable, but nothing in reserve. I like to be able to do at least 10mph more than the posted limit or prevailing speed For me, the 300cc fuel injected bikes are just about the perfect hp/size/weight.
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  17. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Adventurer

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    Or, not to put too fine a point on it, so poor that the price difference is indistinguishable. 5000$ or 10000$ is irrelevant because it's still 3, or 4, times the price of a bike that can do the same thing.
    #17
  18. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Adventurer

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    Eh, I'm average height but short stubby fat-ass legs. I've looked at the kymco stuff before, but had forgotten it.
    #18
  19. Tromper

    Tromper Sagaciously Annoying Supporter

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    +1

    My inseam's 'bout the same as yours, & I've looked over the Weestrom a bit.
    At one point I missed out on one that had been lowered a bit. Tried it for size, was coming back for a test ride, & it'd sold.
    That said, it's not impossible to do; albeit it probably changes the ride a tetch since you either just to the rear or you also drop the fork a little which changes trail.
    http://www.lustracing.co.uk/suspension/suzuki-dl650-v-strom-lowering-kits.html
    Or for an NC
    http://www.lustracing.co.uk/suspension/honda-nc750x-lowering-kits.html

    Of course if you're looking for a real ADV scooter in the U.S. Last I checked ..Good luck.. You can ride anything anywhere, but scoots in the U.S. even on fire roads are not ideal.
    This is especially true if you want a truly freeway capable bike. I've debated this one myself, & determined the best shot would be a cub or cub clone of some sort. Barring that a big wheel scoot that has the battery mounted high in case ya ford something. A People 150, 250 or a Scarabeo of some sort. Even those are not real speed demons for freeway running, & the suspension doesn't have a lot of stretch to it. Of course if they did have that kinda suspension you'd be right back to height challenges.

    Personally, I've taken my burgman up fire roads, 600+ lbs of "I'm not enjoying this". On similar roads my HD200 was much more doable but take it easy for the most part.
    #19
  20. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    I have the almost same problem. I want to ride on dirt roads. I had a Yamaha XT225, which I could flat foot easily once on it, but could not get my leg over the seat to get on or off. I searched the entire scooter world, and there is nothing available in the U.S. capable of being ridden on dusty dirt roads, not for long anyway. The CVT is the problem. It was not designed for off road use. They have a small filter up front where the fan draws air in, but it would not stop the fine powdery dust we have here. And if you replaced it wit something that would, it would also stop most of the airflow, which would cause the CVT to quickly overheat. In addition, a CVT setup is designed to suck air in the front, where that little filter is, and blow it out the back of the case, where there is an opening with no filter at all. This works on the street, because as long as the engine is running, there is positive pressure at the rear of the case, which will keep the small amount of dust on the street out. But take it off road, and the dust will get into the CVT case and destroy all the components very quickly. They were not designed to be dirt resistant.

    I wanted a VStrom 650 for a long time, but again can't get on one. I used to could ride the XT225 all day out in the desert with a few breaks. But the seat made it a torture device on the road. About the same as a KLR650. Like sitting on the edge of a 2x4. A comfortable bike that could be ridden off road (mostly dirt roads and very light trails, not an MX bike) would be a dream. I recently found that I could easily get on and off a small dual sport (32" seat height) by using a small step stool. Now I'm trying to figure out how to carry something like that on a bike, and both pick it up off the ground and put it back down while still on the bike. Maybe a rope?

    Really the best scooter for off road use is probably an old vintage Vespa 2 stroke manual transmission scooter. I see them in off road races on youtube all the time.
    #20