My eyes are too big for my stomach, can someone help me decide on a scooter?
by Bill McCarthy
(Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA)
Hey Folks... I've recently discovered this site and have enjoyed reading all the information here. I'm considering buying a scooter, but I need help deciding. Some of the FAQs already asked are somewhat similar, but...
I'm 51. I've never had a motorized 2 wheel vehicle in my life. I'm living in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Years ago, I once rented a moped that wouldn't go faster than 35mph. I had a blast on it, but have often said if I had something that went faster, I'd probably end up killing myself. All that being said, here's where I'm at.
I have a Motor Home (RV), so I'd anticipate hanging the scooter from the trailer hitch, so I don't have to walk when I get to where I'm going. I'd like the scooter to be capable of carrying two people, however the majority of the time, I'd be the only one riding it.
When its not on the RV, it would become somewhat of a toy to ride around town. There are some roads I travel that the speed limit is 50 to 65 mph. I'm not a mechanic, so the less maintenance the better, (I can change oil, but I wouldn't attempt vale adjustments). I'd prefer 4 stroke over 2.
I've been told that fuel injection is better than a carburetor; fuel injection appears to cost more. How important is this?
Liquid cooling vs air cooled. Again how important is this? It's my understanding that a liquid cooled motor will last longer and perform better, is that true?
Brakes. Again, I've always believed that disc brakes are better than drum
brakes. To me it seems that the less expensive bikes have drum brakes in the rear, while the costlier have disks in the back. Is this significant?
Speed. I stopped at a dealer that carries Vespa, Piaggio, Aprilia, and Kymco. They told me that if I needed to drive on the interstates, then I'd probably need a 250cc, and from what I can see, that seems to line up with what I read on this site.
On the other side of the coin, I stopped at a Honda dealer, and the salesperson told me that she had personally drove the Honda SH150i at 75 mph (she was not the thinnest lady I ever met). How do I account for the difference in displacement and speed?
I'd like to keep the price to $3000.00 or less, but it doesn't look like that will be possible based on the models I'm considering. I'd like to hear any and all comments and suggestions you guys have for me.
Here is a list of models I'm considering at the moment and really need to narrow this down:
- Honda SH150i
- Honda Elite 110
- Honda PCX 125 (This is a 2011 model that is not out yet)
All the Hondas are fuel injected and water cooled. Front disc, rear drum.
- Aprilia Scarabeo 200 Front and rear disc
- Aprilia Scarabeo 100 Front disc, rear drum
These have carburetors and are air cooled.
- Aprilia Sportcity 250
- Kymco Yager GT 200i
These are liquid cooled and fuel injected, front and rear discs
If anyone has any other models to suggest (except Chinese), I'm willing to consider those as well.
A battery tender like the Battery Tender Jr. can make all the difference in whether your scooter will start right up each spring, after being stored for months.
Just about every scooter owner needs to have a battery tender, sometimes called a trickle charger. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a climate where you can ride all year long, chances are your scooter will be put on ice, figuratively-speaking, for at least a couple months every winter.
One of the key steps in winterizing a scooter is to protect your battery from draining during its "rest" period. This can – and will – happen if you leave your battery sitting untended in your cold scooter over the winter, even if it's in a garage or shed.