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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering purchasing two similar scooters - his and hers - for my wife and myself. They would be used for local " touring" only, probably not on the freeways. I've ruled out the Burgman 400 or similar sized scooters since they would be too big for her first scooter, what recomendations would you have? I live in an area where the maximum speed would be 50mph or less.
 

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Dad said:
I am considering purchasing two similar scooters - his and hers - for my wife and myself. They would be used for local " touring" only, probably not on the freeways. I've ruled out the Burgman 400 or similar sized scooters since they would be too big for her first scooter, what recomendations would you have? I live in an area where the maximum speed would be 50mph or less.
I am not sure why you are "ruling out" the AN400. We do have several women in the forum who are riding them as their first scooter. But if you must buy something smaller, your best bet is to go to your Honda dealer and look at the 250cc Reflex or 250cc Helix. The Helix is an old design - still has a foot pedal for the rear brake. But they have been chugging away reliably for about 15 years. I've talked to a couple of people who have owned both - and who told me they preferred the seating position of the Helix. On the other hand, the Reflex is a more modern design, better looking to my eye anyway - and you can get them with ABS. I think the Reflex is more expensive than the Helix. It is also likely that you could find some good used Helixs - many of their owners have been moving up to the newer 400cc and larger scooters.

There isn't anything available that I know of between 250cc and 400cc. There are a couple of other scoots starting to be sold in the USA like the Kymco People 250cc, but dealers are few and far between at this time. I think it would be a mistake to go below 250cc.
 

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Dad, I don't think the 400 is too big for a first bike. My last bike was a 50cc scooter 20 years ago. And my partner's never had a bike. But within a day of getting the 400, we were on back roads, adjusting very well to riding it. (I'm 5'1", Lynn is 5'11".)

Regardless of what she'll be riding, I'd recommend your wife take the MSF course. We will probably never ride a traditional motorcycle but the experience and pearls from the course will serve us well for years. (Always good to have additional skills.) And handling the little 125/250s does help with handling any other bike, including a scooter. I found I had more confidence making tight turns and maneuvering the 400 after the class.

Best of luck with your decision,

Bryna
 

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Discussion Starter #4
They would be used for local " touring" only, probably not on the freeways. I've ruled out the Burgman 400 or similar sized scooters since they would be too big for her first scooter
We would be using them for around town and country roads - not stuff that would call for a great bike like the Burgman 400 or more power than a 125 scooter - so, with that in mind, what would you experienced people recomend?
 

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Dad said:
We would be using them for around town and country roads - not stuff that would call for a great bike like the Burgman 400 or more power than a 125 scooter - so, with that in mind, what would you experienced people recomend?
You think that now...but what if you create a 'riding monster'? :)

I think the first thing I'd look at is what dealers are in your area and what scoots they stock. Being able to get the bike serviced would be very important to me. I've do not have any experience with any other scoots, but have read some good things about the Kymco line. They have both a modern looking scooter "Bet and Win" and a more classic looking bike "People". Both models are available in 150 and 250cc.
 

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Dad,
We own both the 400 and the 650. My wife refuses to drive on the freeway, so she rides and loves the 400. This is her first bike/scooter/motorcycle/two wheeled mode of transportation. My wife is 5'3 and has no problems with the 400. I drive the 650 and burn up the freeways. Whichever bikes you choose, good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok - I get it, this is a Burgman web site and I'm asking about other scooters so why shouldn't I expect to be recomended the Burgman 400 :eek:

Perhaps I should rephrase this question - what small displacement ( 125 or under ) lightweight scooter is the best out there in your opinion? :lol:
 

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It is going to depend a lot on where you live and the dealerships available within a reasonable distance from you.

Kymco makes nice quality scooters, including the Bet & Win 150cc. But they are a relative newcomer to the USA and do not have an extensive dealer network. If there IS a dealer near you, I'd give them a look.

Vespa makes the Granturisimo 200cc and the ST4 150cc. They've been around forever, but their dealer network is also limited. I've heard varying reports on their quality - some not favorable.

Yamaha offers the Vino 125cc. Honda offers the Elite 80cc.

Below that, you are pretty much looking at 49cc models (which both Yamaha and Honda offer). I do not consider them viable for even urban use in the USA.

I believe there are a couple of other players with extremely small dealer networks. TN'G has a 125cc model, come to think of it - but I can't recall seeing any feedback on it.
 

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I've had a Vespa ET4 for about a year now. It's a great scooter with enough power for short distance touring. I rode BUZZ, my Vespa, over 600 miles round trip to/from St. Augustine, FL from South Florida. My husband was driving his Yamaha V-Star 1100. We went up A1A and US1, both main roads with speed limits ranging from 30-65 MPH. I actually went 70 MPH for a little while. The Vespa did just fine.

The seat is actually higher on the Vespa than on either Burgman, but the scooter is much lighter. Storage is also good on the Vespa and with the added top box it's even better.

I just bought a Burgman 650 for longer tours. His name is Clyde. He handles great, even though he is much bigger than Buzz.

By the way, I am 5'3" and I can handle both without a problem.

Check out the Vespa USA web site. You can also get to the Piaggio site through Vespa USA. They make some nice scooters too. Both brands are made by Piaggio.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
BUZZ...! I love it! :D

This might be exactly what we need... what color is BUZZ?



I see they now make a 200cc model - Granturismo

 

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Dad said:
Is there such a thing as a scooter review website somewhere??
I've hunted before, and never found anything like that. Individual scooter reviews are also few and far between. There are more reviews on European websites, but not always in English, and not always on machines that are readily available in the USA.

Trust me. If anyone here ever finds a website like that, the link would show up here same day. Our members are very good about that.
 

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Dad,

Buzz is Alabaster with a matching top case. You can see pictures of our travels at:

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Sou ... aScooters/

Go to the left side menu and click Photo, then Buzz...

The Vespa GT200 is very nice. It wasn't out yet when I bought mine. If you want to go the extra $$ you get the bigger engine and tires. Some people take the GT200 on the interstates. I don't know if I would do that. It's still a lttle small and the trucks can blow you around. The top case has a padded back rest, but if you are each getting one that probably isn't an issue. For secondary main roads the ET4 is just fine. Plenty of power one up or two. If you are in a hilly area two up might be a little slow, but for a single riders you will do fine.

Both the ET4 and the GT200 are very nice scooters with the retro appearance. The Piaggio models are more of a modern look, kind of like a small sports bike.

Good luck and I hope you start scooting soon.

Janine
 

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Trust me. If anyone here ever finds a website like that, the link would show up here same day. Our members are very good about that.
I found this site to be very helpful when comparing scoots: http://www.powersportsnetwork.com/enthu ... &year=2005

That said, I agree with pauljo's suggestion that you first investigate availability and, more importantly, serviceability. In Denver, we have a good selection of manufacturers available (Vespa, Piaggio, Kymco, Aprilia, Ducati, TN'G, Honda, Yamaha, Bajaj, Malaguti and Genuine Scooter Company). So, being an urban and small rider (5'1") my criteria were, in order: style (vintage or modern), displacement (150 to 200), saddle height, weight, and dimensions. My final contenders were: the Aprilia Mojito 150, the Aprilia Atlantic 200, the Burgman (400), and the Piaggio BV200. The Mojito has ZERO storage space; riding the Atlantic freaked me out because I couldn't get used to the handlebars moving independent of the fairing; the Burgman was entirely impractical, as most of my riding is urban. The BV won out for styling, storage space, price, and the location of the dealer relative to my home and office ... and it didn't hurt to know that my scoot buddy had just spent $800 more on a Granturismo with the same engine as mine. :p

Two more comments, on the subjects of weight distribution and the roads you mentioned. I found the Granturismo to be what I term bottom-heavy; the distribution didn't feel as even as the BV's, making for a huge difference in ease of setting it on its center stand. (My scoot buddy is 5'6"-ish and 160 or so, and she struggles with it every time.) As to road types, I wonder if a smaller-wheeled scoot would be better for the country roads. Seems logical that you'd want more tire -- and thus more control -- in contact with the road surface, which a little tire would provide.

Good luck with your search.
 

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Vicki

That is a real good site thanks for the link.

With reference to centre stand. Can I ask are you sure you and your friend are using the right technique ? - you should not need to huff and puff or pull muscles if you use your body weight and the designed leverage built into the centre stand.

We have covered this before on the forum - some long term bikers found it a bit of a revelation but sorry if I am going down the egg sucking route. :wink:
 

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taniwaki said:
As to road types, I wonder if a smaller-wheeled scoot would be better for the country roads. Seems logical that you'd want more tire -- and thus more control -- in contact with the road surface, which a little tire would provide.
Vicki,

Thanks for the link. There are a lot of brands there I've never heard of - yet they are missing some that you mentioned. It sounds like Denver is "scooter heaven" - that is a lot of choices available!

As for wheel size, actually a larger wheel puts more tire in contact with the road. A larger tire also rolls over bumps better. I'll take the largest wheel size I can get for country roads.
 

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His and Hers scooters...

As for wheel size, actually a larger wheel puts more tire in contact with the road. A larger tire also rolls over bumps better. I'll take the largest wheel size I can get for country roads.
Pauljo, thanks for the clarification. I was not aware that big wheels actually provided more surface contact. (Good, because that's what I've got!)

Norman, it's actually my buddy (Granturismo) who struggles with the center stand thing -- I have no trouble with the BV, and that's even with the sidebags in the way. I never tried with the Granturismo, but I have to like something before I give it a whirl.

FYI, I crashed my scoot Thursday night at the end of a slight "S"; was in my own little world when a car flew by and buzzed me (not intentionally), and I didn't have my head in the game enough to react appropriately. Ran into the curb and laid the bike down at about 15-20 MPH, bending the steering column and handlebars; the vehicle will be totaled, and I gotta look for something else. Wish I could justify the Burgman.... :(
 

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Vicki,

Sorry to hear about your scoot. I hope there was no damage to you. Maybe you could locate a deal on a 2003 Burgman ..... need to keep up the 03 purchase history. ;)
 

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Road Runner magazine wrote up 3 scooters in their "Road Scooter Runner" section debut this month. Two were 500cc Aprilia models, the other was a Vespa 200 GT. Since the Vespa has entered this discussion as a possible candidate, I'll just mention two things from the writeup that caught my eye.

1. The author described the under-seat storage as a "joke". He could not fit his 1/2 shell Nolan helmet into it. Although otherwise handy, he gave Vespa a failing grade for that storage compartment. The test scooter WAS equipped with the optional $350 color matched top box, which would stow a helmet.

2. Average fuel consumption was 49.6 mpg. We can get that kind of mileage with our Burgman 650s! That is very poor mileage for a 200cc single. The 500cc Aprilias were giving 52 mpg.

Overall, they enjoyed riding the Vespa, which topped out at about 75 mph.
 

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Vicki,

I'm so sorry to hear that you crashed your scoot. I assume you weren't badly injured, which is the most important thing.

You can replace the scooter, and you probably won't make the same mistake again. I hope you do get a new scoot - and that you will continue to enjoy riding.
 
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