Saturday, October 25, 2014

125/150cc Class

125/150cc class.

This is the monumental scooter class, It has more options to go across town, more scenic views and more speed and power to handle the road. You can double up and still go where you want to go without issue complaints and problems. Most likely these scooters come with bigger 12" tires for better road handling, double rear shocks, larger foot path and seating... and did I mention speed?

I've ridden my Roketa 150cc the max I've gone is just barely reaching the 70mph mark. but I'm sure its probably less than that due to how unreliable the Chinese gauges are. One time it said I was out of gas and I quickly ran over to the gas station to open it up and find that it was half full... the float was stuck.

So here are my likely choices for the scooters as my first bike in 2015

Yamaha zuma 125 $3390

Again this is my likely choice for a first scooter. I love the styling of this. the rear taillights look like the ports of a jet engine.  The comfort is really good. the seat is stiff yet forgiving. the only scooter that has better seating in my opinion is the Genuine buddy Roughhouse 50r. I also like that the power of this scooter can easily achieve 60mph. and thats before its well broken in. Its tough looking too and the gauges are un-apoligeticly analog.  For the price I've seen these as much as the 50cc version. This would be an awesome first scooter for 2015 and will last a long time with care.

For this scooter it does have a tiny gas tank of only 1.6gallons, 2 gallons would be preferred for its size. Electronic controlled and front disk with a rear drum makes this bike a good performer. rear disk brakes would make this better. A ton of storage space underneath. I'm look at you Yamaha for my first choice in this Scooter class.

Honda PCX 150 $3449

Now this is a sweet ride. I really love the design and style this bike has. Its cool sophisticated looks like a nice motorcycle, yet you have the dependability of a scooter and the handling and comfort too. 
This model has a unique feature if you don't already know which allows the bike to turn off at red lights to save gas. Then with a twist at the throttle it instantaneously takes off without a hitch.  With 2.1 gallons and over 100+ MPG this bike is really in the back of my mind for a great mid touring bike. Its got all the features that I want, the dependability and a built in alarm system too! Plus the delay idling that is unique. This also includes an 12v accessories in the glove box, and duel LED headlamps for increased visibility and linked breaking. This is my #2 choice for my first 2015 scooter

Yamaha SMax 155$3690

The yamaha Smax is the answer the the PCX. its 155cc EFI scooter is a keen model for on road style and comfort. Its long adjustable windshield keeps the wind at high speeds at bay, even the bugs! (yuk!) The interesting thing with this scooter is that it it features front a rear disk breaks unlike most scooters that have a quick fading drum! 81MPG with 2gallon gas tank is a well sought out feature. The extra power will cary this scooter past the 60mph mark. I've not seen this scooter yet but I can tell this is a close second to the Honda PCX. The interesting thing is that I still need a touring scooter and Honda has a brand new bike out that matches the PCX so for a good Mid range scooter I might bump the Smax up a notch and to rival the Yamaha Zuma 125cc for first place. but only time will tell. for the price I'm sure I can wait a bit long for this bike.

Piagio fly 150cc 150$
The Piagio Fly 150 1.8gallon 104mpg is an awesome It Italian scooter from Piagio. The build quality is unmatched and the long life these scooters have is unquestionable. All scooters from Piagio or vespa IMOP will almost guarantee a 10 year life or longer with regular maintenance and care. Something to think about when purchasing a scooter. I expected my Roketa Chinese crap to last a year and it died in 4 months! 

I've sat on this scooter a few times at Empire cycle in Spokane. They have a huge selection of Piagio/vespa scooters, Aprillia, and a bunch of other scooters. They also have a basement full of nice used scooters too and I've seen this scooter yet an older model for $1999 out the door price! so... I may look at a used scooter yet knowing that its a good a dependable ride with power to spare. 68MPH is nothing to sneeze at too and the gas tank almost a 2 gallons that is something I look for. There are a bunch of mods like after market exhaust and build kits to take this to 177cc's, roller kits and I believe I saw a stretched kit too but that was a while ago.

If I got this scooter I would get a new exhaust as I hate the factory exhaust they use in all the scooters. I would also install a 12v adaptor to the bike for the glove box and upgrade the headlight too. but not much more than that. I would also save a few dollars getting used!

So far my wish list for my first Scooter is as followed.

#1 Yamaha Zuma 125CC
#2 Yamaha Smax 155
#3 Yamaha Zuma 50f
#4 Honda PCX 150cc
#5 Honda Ruckus 50cc
#6 Genuine Buddy Roughhouse 2 stroke 50cc
#7 Piagio Fly 150cc
#8 Aprilia 50r 2 Stroke racing scooter

The list keeps growing and my brain hurting as I attempt to ramble possibilities for what I should get. as you can see I'm leaning toward Yamaha. If I won the lottery and had a huge garage and all the time in the world I would get them all but I can't and I won't :( 

Realistically each company from Honda to Yamaha has an equivalent make and model, I think that for the rough and tumble scooter I believe the Yamaha zuma 50f would be a great choice for that 50cc class. and the Yamaha Smax 155 for the mid range 125/150cc scooter. After that I think getting the Aprilia 50r scooter or... the Honda Ruckus just to mess around in... Especially the Honda ruckus. I see myself riding that in the winter months when there is little to no snow just to get the 12 months of riding badge!

So the list is done for my first Scooter. and now I'm off to the touring class. 200cc and up of Raw power and highway touring capability, dependability and fun awaits me in 2016! I plan on 2 trips that year. One with my Lovely wife! and one with my best friend Andrew. Its just an idea that we are building on but its something that I want to make a reality!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

50cc Class Scooter

So my first scooter was a brand new 2012 Roketa 150cc 4 stroke chinese piece of shit! It was fun while it lasted I just wished it would have lasted... the Bike started out really really cool. and ended on a bad note two years ago. Just the other day I had drove past the spot that it had finally died... a nice sweet flat spot next to a gate and a huge bolder outside someones property near Indian Trail. The Scooter lost all power and was slowly getting slower and slower and I couldn't make heads or tails of the reason why. First I though it was too much weight going up a hill with my wife on the back. I did stop and had someone take her up the hill. It drove just fine with me... I should have kept it that way I guess... But once we got to the top my wife hopped back on. We took off topping out at 60-65 mph (I don't much remember) then after a few winding roads and heading into a strait away thats when the bike lost power. full throttle I watched the bike slow to 40 than 30 than 15mph. The leader of the group had to turn around and was waiting for me waving his hands. I stopped at the boulder and the bike died and gave its final breath. two hours of trying to start the bike with monkeying with the fuel, the spark the air. even some starter fluid... NOTHING! finally I called my dad and got a truck to haul it away. Later we found that the rings had melted and that the engine may be shot. Roketa would honor the warranty as it has 3000mile 1 year warranty. but I would have to ship it to calafornia and pay the shipping and do all the labor myself.  The cost was too great. I sold the bike for $350 to a guy who has a bunch of chinese scooters. He loves to work on them and since it had less than 900 miles it was a steal.

So I got a new job working for APPLE. and now that I am on the verge of having my expenses under control come January I'll be saving for a new scooter... but which one. So the following I have three categories of scooters that I'm looking into... NOT CHINESE!!!

(50cc class)
Commuter scooter going from point A to B Cheap and to the point. Max speed 40MPH with a 1.2 or higher gas tank.

(125/150cc class)
Commuter scooter able to effectively take 2 people up to 55-60MPH Has fuel injection and if possible able to hold a full size helmet under the seat. Nothing but short distances on the freeway if needed but never on highways that are 70mph and with 2 people.

(Touring Scooter Class)
Long distance scooter with a minimum Gas tank of 3 gallons. Can travel on the highway. liquid cooled engine. long life expectancy and has a average MPG of 60! This will be my second bike but I'm still going to get one of each category.

2014 Genuine buddy roughhouse 2 stroke $1999

This is nothing to sneeze at. This bike has a lot of potential. When I happened on to the genuine scooter shop in Spokane Wa, I had the opportunity to ride the roughhouse on the busy streets of Division. This bike was a lot of fun. It sounds like my snowblower as do all two strokes without modification sound like. It was quick and nimble and the seat was squishy... I loved it. I would have purchased it at the time but again $$$ got in the way. My Lovely wife was all supported as she enjoyed the scooter too. I remember going from a dead stop to 30mph in less than 5 seconds. and then it claimed from there up to 40mph! really quick for a bike and a 230pound rider. I also learned that its also restricted too. and the company would derestrict it for me if I so chose free of charge. 

What I learned most about the bike is that it mixes the fuel and oil itself. just dump fuel in the rear and the oil under the seat and it will do the correct ratio when it is needed electronically. There is also an oil light so you won't forget to refill. Usually takes about 4-5 tanks before needed to be filled. With 100MPG+ and less then $2500 this scooter is on the top of my list for first pick. there is also a 3 year warranty and the store does all its work in house so thats perfect for me.

Only downside I know is that the gas cap needs to go strait on when screwing in. If not you will strip the tank and it will need to be replaced.

2015 Yamaha zuma 50f $2590

This is my #1 pick so far in a scooter. Its a 4 stroke fuel injected scooter that is rpm governed and can be heavily modified in the scooter community. I used to go to work and seeing this scooter downtown everyday. the owner had put 12,000 miles on his 2006 zuma and had only done lite maintenance, replace the tires, and oil and gas. That scooter is well put together and ever since Ive seen them I've really liked watching videos and reviews on youtube. They do make a 125cc version that is slightly longer and more power capable of reaching 50-60mph or more.

@ $2600  this scooter has been redesigned with fuel injections moving away from the loud 2 stroke engine. It has a reliable engine, plenty of mods and support for the community. There are competing Yamaha stores in the surrounding areas that offer the 125cc for the same price as the 50cc. If thats the case and I do chose to get the zuma I rather get the 125cc at that point.

2015 Honda ruckus $2649

This is the one scooter that by far has the highest amount of mods available. A 1.2 gallon tank and a strong liquid cooled engine makes this available to tune with out compromise. Its naked appearance is great for sticking bags or gear for groceries or a cool camping ride to the nearby parks here. My favorite video is a guy in the midst of a winter day, brushes off a foot or two of snow, starts up the bike without issue and takes off to the store to buy beer!

Honestly Japan has another version out called the Honda Zoomer X and its bigger than the ruckus and has a 50cc fuel injected engine. Its not available in the US as of yet. Realistically you can pick up a used bike for half the cost and never know that it wasn't the 2015 ruckus. Its style, engine and performance hasn't changed since 2008. 

What I don't like is the lack of instrument cluster. It has a speedometer with the mileage at the bottom. Thats it... then there are lights for the turn signal, fuel and temperature. So again this goes down the list of my first bike but if a good used one comes along I might have to get it.

2013 Aprilia 50r 2 stroke racing scooter $3299

Finally my favorite scooter in this class but not my number 1 pick. This bike is a 50cc Electronic Fuel injected 2 stroke! This is a bad ass scooter. and the fastest scooter you can buy thats 50cc! Click on this link and watch the video of the guy riding this scooter on a winding turn. He later shows the top speed, and average speed the bike had during that run.

Incidentally the bike had 158 miles and with no modification was able to get up to 53mph!  I also really like the instrument gages and the styling of this bike. There are a few mods like the exhaust and rollers that I could do to get better top speed and acceleration.

Now I'm a tall guy and this bike sits like a sports bike. the seat is stiff and there is little leg room. Although this for sure has enough storage in mutliple places for your gear and then some. Not a traditional scooter to say the least.

However... It is the most expensive in this class. I have seen older models for 2999 and below so thats something else to consider.

I'll put this as a maybe. 

So far I'll put the list as such.

#1 Yamaha Zuma 125cc
#2 Genuine Scooter Roughhouse 50cc
#3 Yamaha Zuma 50cc
#4 Honda Ruckus 50cc
#5 Aprilia 50R

For style I rather have the Aprilia 50R then any other scooters. For Dependability I rather have Honda. And for Ruggedness I rather have the yamaha. So for a good middle ground so far chose the yamaha but again its price, availability and if new models come out in 2015 that catches my eye.

I plan on getting a new scooter come the end of March 2015 with my tax return.

I'm Back!

Hey fellow two wheelers... I just wanted to let you all know that I'm officially back now. Not on two wheels but that will soon be to follow. stay tuned for more exiting news in 2015!

but for now is a lot of patience and hurry up and wait :( but its all good.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Still Waiting....

Still Waiting for my the man to pay up and give me my money... Finances have hit rock bottom as of lately and a scooter has shifted from a priority to a luxury... I'm more focused on other things in my life. If the money comes sooner rather than later then perhaps there might be enough months left to purchase a scooter and ride. I had high hopes to get a scooter and even convinced my lovely wife to get one herself. Something that would get us on the road and for cheap but after sending in my tax return 3 times already and being told "We never got it"... well I know they are lying but they just won't pay for some reason. I guess even certified mail with a return receipt makes no difference either. Anyway its just money and its not like I cant just go outside and pick it up from the money trees... oh wait they are all extinct... Well then I guess I'm at their mercy. If I don't get it this year come tax season next year I will have a solid down payment for a house... but for now I wait.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Fresh Start....

So... Its been almost a year since I got, ridden, broke and cried about my scooter... Its been a roller coaster of events both good and then bad. But I'm itching to get back on the saddle with a new outlook to the scooter environment. This time I'm think small and rolling out big! I'm thinking that I will  look for something that will stand out of the norm yet is taking the east and west coast by storm... I'll keep you all up to date as I adventure out to the unknown.... REALLY unknown at this point!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Finally I rode today

After what seems like weeks on end of no riding I took to streets of Spokane and rode 40 some miles around the back woods. In fact It was a very invigorating a beautiful scenic drive. I call it the Indian Trail ride, as it's midway point is the Indian trail that is a favorite stop for hikers and wildlife onlookers. I should include this trip in the must haves. It's super winding and scenic, I saw a doe today crossing the road and it was no more then 10-15 feet and without a care in the world... I even honked as I went by. The road is slow but twisting and narrow in all sorts of directions something that would challenge any rider! It ends across the bridge of the little Spokane river and then on to the North side of Spokane (which is under construction). It was actually fun to ride today especially since I've waited so long to get out of the house.

Soon I shall have maps and record my trips with the minions and solo expeditions across Spokane and neighboring cities so subscribe to keep updated!

Friday, June 8, 2012

New Gear

This Is my new gear, The pant's and jacket are both from Xelements. The pants are lightweight 38x32 They only make pants that are 32" long :( However they are bigger so I can use them as over-pants.

The Jacket is a racing armor jacket. I really like the added shoulder padding on the outside it looks really cool. It's also armored with a Rubber back, shoulder, and elbow protection. The Jacket is an XL which is a little tight but it is adjustable with the side straps. It also has a Waterproof liner that is removable in the hot summer heat... if we ever get any.

After riding in the rain and getting soaked from shoulder to toes I looked online to find something suitable. There was plenty and in different colors but every jacket I liked was sold out! So Craigslist to the rescue as I found a seller that had his business fail recently and was practically giving them away. I got both Jacket and Pants for $110 which is a steal in my opinion.

The Pant's work great  and with a little customization I can affix the knee pads so they won't move around as much but they do fit almost perfectly at the bend. The bottoms of the pants are adjustable with velcro but the cold air rushes up because it's short about 2 inches. So I will have to strap them close somehow in the rain and cold riding. There is also air vents that can be open and closed by zippers in the front and back.

The Jacket like I said is a little tight. I have a 46-48" chest and a "gut" just under that. I do plan on loosing some wight this summer so I can expect this jacket to fit better soon. There are 2 pockets for your hands and an inside pocket located on the left side right next to the zipper for a wallet and cellphone. The liner can be removed and it too has pockets for your hands. I'm guessing if you don't want to be wearing something bulky but need a jacket when you stop you can just wear the liner.

From the reviews I've read this jacket is good up to 60F then you need a sweater and a scarf to keep the chill at bay. But it's excelent for hot weather riding and again it's waterproof (if you wear the liner) and very breathable.

I think when I get my next bike I'll buy a new jacket that's a little warmer.