Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Scooter in the Future?

So I've been trying to get my wife to move from the backseat to the frontseat, so to speak. She's always been a little curious about riding a motorcycle herself, but most bikes out there intimidate her as they're either a) too high, or b) too long. Seems there just aren't that many smaller bikes out there anymore, although the UJM does appear to be making a comeback.

So one thing we've talked about is getting a scooter. Regulations around here permit you to ride a scooter without a special endorsement to your regular (i.e. car) licence if its displacement is 50cc or less. Now I'll admit that I was hoping she'd go for something more like a Ducati Monster so I could have a little fun with the "wife's bike" every now and then. But I'm slowly warming to the idea of a scooter.

First of all, they're cheap. A decent Japanese scooter will run you about $2,500 new in my neck 'o the woods. If you're willing to take your chances with either a Korean or Chinese model, then you're looking at $1,500 or maybe even a bit less. They're also quite cheap to insure.

Secondly, I'm thinking a small twist-n-go scoot could be fun in urban traffic. Since we've moved from the country to the city, and I can walk to work in about the same time it takes me to gear-up, a scoot would be a great alternative for short trips around town.

Of course, maybe it was Doug and his fair Debbie over at 40on2 that convinced me it wasn't a bad idea. I mean, if the scooter can keep up at about 70 kph, maybe it could even work for leisurely rides out in the country?

So any suggestions as to which scooter would work best? I know she-who-must-be-obeyed seems to prefer the classic, Italian-looking ones (like the Yamaha Vino), but maybe I could convince her that a Ruckus would be better!