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Discussion Starter #1
My main ride is a Triumph Thunderbird, and I hope it stays as my main ride for years to come (this is a great all around bike and perfect for two-up day trips), but with it in the shop right now it got me to thinking about having a second bike for just this kind of situation. But rather than another actual motorcycle, I am thinking about getting a scooter of some type. I haven't decided on what kind or size scooter, but I know it won't be a "maxi" scooter as I am not looking for something to compete with my bike.

So for now I am thinking about bikes like the Honda Ruckus, or their 150cc scooter that can handle a passenger. A quick look around the internet didn't show anything for Suzuki or Kawasaki that fits what I am thinking about, so that would get it down to Yamaha and Honda (I took a quick look at Vespa, but I guess this is the Rolls-Royce of scooters as it would be about 3 to 4 times the amount (MSRP) of the Honda's or Yamaha's). The Honda's that I looked at ranged from about $2,700 to $3,500 new, whereas the Vespa started at $10,500.

Thirty years ago I had a 150 cc Honda Elite, and it was amazingly fun to ride. It had enough zip to get me up to over 60 mph, could handle two-up on city streets at 45 mph, weighed about 200 lbs. and could park anywhere. Its that kind of fun I am looking to capture and keep my Thunderbird for more serious or out of the city riding.

Any thoughts or recommendations would be most welcome.
 

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Kymco Like 200.....actually 163 or 169cc

My wife's has a trunk and underseat storage, you could easily go for some milk and bread.

Its pretty quick, and it is fun to go zipping around town.

They also have a 125cc, I don't know why.
 

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Scooter

I will be picking up a used 200cc Vespa next year. $3,500.00.
They are more money. But then some of the others are a bit junky.
Some of the Chinese stuff is real junk.
Piaggio has been building Vespa for a very long time.
I used to sell them so there is some nostalgia involved.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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My local multi-brand bike dealer has a scooter brand I have never heard of before. I can't for the life of me remember who it is but not one of the name brand motorcycle manufacturers. The tiny things look like they might be a lot of fun and again are in the 2 to 3 thousand range.
 

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Honda PCX150, unless you're over 5'9. If you are, hunt down an old Honda 250Elite. It was my daily driver for 15+ years. Vespa you'll be waiting on, and paying dearly for parts for ever. Next step up is a Burgman400 or Honda Silverwing.

Mind you I love Vespas, especially the 250ie, but..it's like owning a Jaguar. Do you want to ride a scooter or perpetually fix it?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I used to own a Silverwing, and in my mind, this is a true motorcycle substitute, not a little ride for zipping around town. In fact, the Silverwing, and its similar brethren, the Burgman, the Majesty, and the Kymco, probably are more practical than most motorcycles. I would have stayed with the Silverwing but even though it might not sound fully rational, I just wanted a real motorcycle instead of a scooter.

My interest now in a scooter is for something fun and light and reliable. I so fondly remember that little 150 in the '80's that I had that I think I want something equivalent. The Honda PCX150 is probably at the top of my list. Being retired I should be careful about my spending, but at my age I can't afford to wait if I really want more toys to play with. To me, the worst of all worlds would be to reach an age where I can't ride, or ride what I want to ride, and say to myself "I should have bought one years ago".
 

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I have a 2005 Suzuki Burgman 650 and a 2013 Kymco Xciting500 RI ABS and both are super fun and practical. I love scooters as much as my Goldwing, especially for the many curvy country roads I enjoy in my area.

Unless you live in town, stay away from the 50cc scooters and go with at least 150cc so you don't get ran over!

Vespa's range in price from about $3,500 to just under $10,000.

It's only money:)

Sam:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As I said before, I loved my old Honda scooter. What is there about Vespa's that justifies their much higher cost? I'd have to really believe that a Vespa offered something truly special to justify to myself spending that much, and traveling to a distant dealer. So right now I am probably limiting myself to Honda and Yamaha. I still haven't decided if a 50cc like the Ruckus is what I really want, or a 150 like the PCX is just more practical.
 

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Speaking of Piaggio, have you seen the MP3's? They're kinda the SUV equivalent of a scooter :D



Piaggio also makes smaller/normal scooters, you should consider that brand in your search
 

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A What is there about Vespa's that justifies their much higher cost?
aside from their Italian cachet, their front suspension is wonderful compared to that on an Elite. Little things, like the hook you can put grocery bags on. Classic styling.

It's why the Vino 125 did so damn well Looked like a Vespa but Yamaha reliability. Too bad they never did a 175, fuel injected Vino, it would KILL.
 
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I think with the scooters you mentioned, the PCX150 would probaly be best for you in the long term. I think in time you would find the Ruckus under powered.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You might be right about the Ruckus. Even for just running around town, a 49cc engine might be too small for streets where traffic does 50 mph routinely. I looked at the Piaggio's conventional scooters (the double front wheel model has a 500 cc engine so it is a lot more than I am looking for) and they make a 125 and a 150. I guess that unless I could be convinced otherwise, I worry that an Italian manufactured scooter will lack the reliability that the Japanese have achieved. So I think I will still limit my demo rides this Spring to the Honda and Yamaha offerings.
 

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You might be right about the Ruckus. Even for just running around town, a 49cc engine might be too small for streets where traffic does 50 mph routinely. I looked at the Piaggio's conventional scooters (the double front wheel model has a 500 cc engine so it is a lot more than I am looking for) and they make a 125 and a 150. I guess that unless I could be convinced otherwise, I worry that an Italian manufactured scooter will lack the reliability that the Japanese have achieved. So I think I will still limit my demo rides this Spring to the Honda and Yamaha offerings.
Vespa is Piaggio

The Piaggio's with 2 front wheels are made in 250, 400, and 500 models......however the 250 is $7k
 
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I guess that unless I could be convinced otherwise, I worry that an Italian manufactured scooter will lack the reliability that the Japanese have achieved. So I think I will still limit my demo rides this Spring to the Honda and Yamaha offerings.
I don't know much if anything about Italian made bikes so I can't offer any opinions or facts about them. I tend to always buy the same brand name for certain products. My 1st real bike was a Honda and more then likely when it comes time for new bike, I'll buy another one.

I remember the Honda Elite scooter you mentioned earlier, that was a zippy scooter for sure.
 

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Scooter

Was there a " Scooter " on the Dukes of Hazard. They wrecked over 250 General Lees BTW.
The larger wheeled scooters should handle better. The small wheeled scooters tend to wiggle and wander and flex. The Vespa probably handles the best for the small wheeled models. The cable controls on the Vespa were the major servicing issue. Older units required the clutch lever assembly to be twisted to change gears. Newer ones probably have centrifugal clutches. Gearboxes used to be guaranteed for life. They never broke. If it was a mix your own oil and gas model, anything could happen.

There are lots of scooters on my Island on account of the ferry. Motorcycles, scooters and bicycles go on and off first. Bicycles and pedal assist scooters do not pay extra. You are still a footsie with one of those.
This cuts well over an hour off waiting in line, to commute to the big island.
And same again going to the mainland.

Because it rains so much, the scooter is most practical for the shorter trips. The flat floor on the Vespa types makes carrying things like a battery practical.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've always heard good things about Vespa, but I have no plans on spending $6-8K; if I was going to spend them much there are a whole host of excellent, smaller motorcycles that would tempt me. Part of my thinking about a scooter (in addition to the memories of the fun I had on one back in the '80's, is that I can a new, warrantied scooter of the kind I am thinking about for right around $3,000. That price would eliminate the guilt factor of spending on a new toy when I just bought a new motorcycle this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I generally don't like to buy anything used. Not being a mechanic, I've indulged myself when buying cars and bikes to always buy new. I have no problem buying a bike a year or two old that has been sitting on the dealer's showroom floor, and marked down accordingly, but I like the feeling of a new vehicle, full warranty, and no butt dents in the seat! When I retired a bit over a year ago, I was not sure if I could afford to do so, but decided to get myself a new bike. I thought of the Goldwing, or a Victory Cross Country Tour, or something similar that would have cost me about $20K plus my trade in bike. I ended up getting a 2013 Thunderbird set up for touring for $8K plus my trade, so in my mind I "saved" $12K. I'll probably have to put a new roof on my house this coming spring, but I think I can still spend about $3K on a scooter and feel like I'm "breaking even"!
 

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I just returned from an 80 mile round trip 'breakfast ride' through the beautiful, curvy secondary roads of the Ozarks! The leaves were still partially on the trees and the beautiful red, orange, purple and yellow leaves were everywhere. I rode the Kymco 500 and I don' think I exceeded 50 mph all morning since it was a serene 'slow down and smell the roses' kind of ride. It was 70 degrees, which seems impossible for the time of year but I was sure thankful for another ride. This and commuting to me, is what scooters are for. I've had a lot of scooters, from 50cc to 650cc and they always put a smile on my face:)

There are no new scooters now that have a gearbox and clutch, they are all 'twist and go' CVT's.

Vespa's are more expensive because of their very long history and build quality. New ones are more but the resale value is higher. To me, they look like a Michelangelo painting or sculpture: A thing of real beauty. Vespa also has a very loyal owners group that hardly recognizes other scooters as anything other than gross copies.

The trouble I have with Vespa is that like all Italian scoots/ bikes /cars, their dealerships are almost non-existent, especially in the heartland. My nearest dealer is 125 miles away:(

Sam:)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What's your impression of the Kymco? Did you consider the Silverwing and the Burgman before getting this scooter? What factors did you consider? When I had my Silverwing, Kymco's were just coming on the market here in the USA and were an unknown quantity. I would have considered the Burgman had I even known such a bike existed at the time.
 
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