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.


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Oct 08, 2010
honda pcx
by: Anonymous

I have a Honda Elite 80, 2007 model and it is gutless. I mean if the road is a little uphill, my speed goes down to 35mph on 45 or 50 mph road! I hate to see the traffic pile up behind of me because it is embarrassing and therefore I almost hate this 80 cc scooter because it can not keep up with the traffic.

I took a test ride this new Honda PCX me and my wife on it. It is sweet, quiet, fast. Top speed is I think 62 mph or something. But most of all, it looks awesome, doesn't look like girl's scooter and it looks very handsome.

Brakes are excellent, handling great, engine is so smooth and vibration free, takes off from zero so fast, we were surprised! I think Honda reflex is out of the century with that still century technology!

Fuel injection was discovered back in 80s and we are in 2011 almost. Why buy old tech carb! Plus carb sucks almost twice more gas. Honda PCX gets about 110 mpg and that is awesome! Just go take a test ride, you will love it.

By the way, that lady who claims she drove the Honda sh150 75mph is a liar. Its max speed is about 65mph! Good luck and let me know whatever you decide.

Jul 06, 2010
Know what you mean...
by: George Jennings

I personally ride a Teike 150cc and love it. I do also own a Roketa 150cc Trike that is a lot of fun. I understand your concern about the dollar for dollar situation. If I were you, I would go with the Honda models. They have great service and quality parts.

Jul 06, 2010
Check CF Moto
by: Jim Zeiser

Right now every CF Moto dealer in the nation is running a blow out sale on their scooters. Many are fuel injected, water cooled and run over 60 mph. Bargain, bargain, bargain. Good quality, dealer network to back them and an excellent warranty at a fraction of the price of Honda, Kymco or SYM.

They have a web site with a dealer locator. I'm sure there's one near or in Ft. Lauderdale

Jul 06, 2010
Buying a scooter
by: Ron Goldwyn, Milford CT

May I add my 2¢ worth.

In my state any 2 or 3 wheeled vehicle with an engine of 50cc or greater is considered a motorcycle regardless of how you may sit on the vehicle. To obtain a motorcycle license one must pass a course costing $500 then pass a MVB written and road test.

Your scooter must then be registered and carry insurance in this state if you reside here for more than 30 days. The same holds true for your RV.

What I'm saying is that you must consider not only the size and WEIGHT of your vehicle but the laws of the states where you intend to visit and the fact that it will remain outdoors and subject to the weather and criminal activity.

I own an under 50cc scooter that does not require more than a drivers license, no insurance and gets 70mpg, but is designed for only one person and can reach 50mph down hill or level travel.

Jul 05, 2010
I faced a similar situation
by: Floyd in Clarksville, TN

I'd suggest a used Honda Reflex, 250 cc. I'm 70 and just upgraded from a Yamaha Vino 125 to the Reflex thru For $3000, I got an 06 Reflex Sport with a little over 1200 miles that is water cooled, carries 2 and will do 55 to 65 with ease, plus averaging 65 mpg. Dual disc brakes are standard.

A Honda is reliable, comfortable and service is available through Honda motorcycle dealers. Hope this helps.

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