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!


irondad said...

I'm not one to give you recommendations on the scooter. I do, however, share the idea that they could be fun. I'd go for one that I could get parts and support for. I've heard that Korean scooters fill this requirement. One consideration is to get a scooter with a wider floorboard. How can I say this? I rode one where I had to put my feet right close together. That position smashed personal property too much, if you know what I mean. Not a problem for the wife, but if you're going to borrow the thing, be warned.

Anonymous said...

Mw wife has hinted at some interest in this, or a trike as well. We'll see...

Ride on,

Steve Williams said...

My wife took my Vespa LX150 and her father's Vespa ET4 (150cc) for spins and she really liked them. She has never ridden before and I was nervous at the thought of her tooling around a school parking lot.

She is only 5'5" tall and both the Vespa scooters have tall seats -- over 30 inches. I think she would be much more confident with the lower Ruckus. If she decides that she wants to learn to ride I would go right out and buy a 50cc Honda Ruckus for her to learn on. When she is comfortable (and I am comfortable with her expertise) then she could think about something bigger.

I would have no problem riding all day on trips through Central Pennsylvania on a 50cc scooter. I've never been concerned with chewing up miles at high speeds. I'm all about the landscape....*grin*

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks