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How and when did you stoop so low as to start riding scooters?

klaviator

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Scooters? Aren't those for people who lost their license due to DUI or college punks who want to ride around campus? I mean real riders don't ride scooters do they?

So how did you get started?
 
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klaviator

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My start came when my wife and I took a vacation to Hawaii way back in the 80s. I wanted to rent a motorcycle there but when we got there, there wasn't much available. There were plenty of 50cc scooters for rent but I wanted something bigger than that. The only other option was a place that had a Honda NX125 and a Yamaha Riva 125. I went with the scooter because it looked like it would work much better two up. I ended up renting that scooter for a couple of days and had an absolute blast on it. I accidently got on the Interstate while riding two up and it got us to the next exit just fine indicating 65 MPH with the throttle pinned.

I found a really twisty and scenic road that was just a fantastic ride on the scooter.

Overlooking Honolulu.

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Diamond head:

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It would be years before I bought a scooter but that planted the seed.
 

Jim Moore

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I decided a scooter looked like some cheap fun so I started a thread on Advrider. I got some good advice but I also ran into some absolute toolbags.

 

klaviator

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I decided a scooter looked like some cheap fun so I started a thread on Advrider. I got some good advice but I also ran into some absolute toolbags.

I followed your link. Yeah there were a few asshats. I respnonded to that thread as I had just bought my first scooter a couple of months earlier.
 

Amos Malone

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My first big scooter ride was on a work trip to Madeira 2012. We'd finished early and there was a rental place right next to where I was working that had PCX 160 available. PCX 160 can really get going on steep mountain roads.

Next one was also a working trip. I was in Naples in 2014 and had again finished early. The concierge magiced up for me a worn Vespa 200. I had to cut that a bit short since I had been offered a guided tour of the "city under Naples", getting Pizza from the world's oldest pizza place (not the world's best pizza place), visiting the statue of "Veiled Christ" and meet the rest of my coworkers for a dinner in a harbour restaurant. I didn't get to see Pompeii or "Cimitero Delle Fontanelle", but didn't really mind. Naples is a special place, I'll go there again.
 
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MVI

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Stranded on the Island of Bonaire deep diving for a week in 2001, had to do a 24+ hour surface interval before we could fly again.

We rented scooters and had a blast riding circles round the island.

Best part was the Flamingo salt flats.

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cabanza

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I rode (borrowed) an SR125 - 2 stroke! from a now defunct shop called Mototek in Austin. This was right around 2000. I knew the owner and he let me borrow that SR125 and a Scarabeo 50 (2 stroke as well and carburated - not the Ditech version that came later). That SR was a beast. I later bought a 2002 Scarabeo 150 from him. I bought a Gilera Runner 180 4 stroke around 2004. It belonged to the owner of the Vespa shop in Santa Barbara. The owner had imported and titled it. That was a no brainer for me. From there, I bought a Yamaha Majesty 400 and then a Yamaha Tmax 500. It was followed by Honda PCX 150, a Vespa Sprint 150, another PCX, a Honda Zoomer X (from Mexico), a Honda X-ADV 750 (imported from France and titled in Florida), an ADV 150 (in Hawaii), and another PCX.

I also rode numerous scooters that didn't belong to me: Aprilia Atlantic 500 and 200, Aprilia SportCity 250, Aprilia SR50 Ditech, Italjet Dragster 180, several Vespas, Piaggio X9, Yamaha Zuma 125, Honda Ruckus, Honda Big Ruckus, etc.

I am sure there are more scooters in my future.
 

MrWellAdjusted

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I don't have one yet, but want one. I've rented underbone scooters in SE Asia and had as much fun on one of those that I have on a motorcycle. I love how light and nimble they are, and I don't have to throw my leg over the bike. I'm pretty sure many men won't pick one up as a practical second bike due to their feeling of inadequacy and fear their friends and acquaintances will judge them. I've witnessed men come to terms with the fact that the Sportster isn't really a "girl's bike", so imagine some men confronted with riding a scooter? It's a shame, because it's so much fun to zip around on.
 

ZoomerP

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I put a kid on a Yamaha Zuma 50 until their auto insurance rates dropped. Five years of scooting resulted in no accidents, very little transportation expenses, and a keen awareness of traffic. I think riding a small displacement scooter is a fine way to introduce youngsters to motorized transport.

I've ridden the little Zuma occasionally over the years and may add a Honda mini-moto to my garage to fill that role.
 

klaviator

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I'm pretty sure many men won't pick one up as a practical second bike due to their feeling of inadequacy and fear their friends and acquaintances will judge them. I've witnessed men come to terms with the fact that the Sportster isn't really a "girl's bike", so imagine some men confronted with riding a scooter? It's a shame, because it's so much fun to zip around on.
I've seen a lot of posts from scooter riders about being looked down on for riding a scooter but that hasn't been my experience. I get a lot of positive comments and negative ones are extremely rare. I friend of mine who live in the N. GA Mountains resisted getting a scooter for a long time but finally bought a Vespa a couple of years ago. He can't believe how much attention he gets on that scooter compared to his motorcycles. He gets a lot of thumbs up from sportbike riders.

Last year a bunch of us rode scooters to Deal's Gap. Three Harley riders gave us a big thumbs up.
 

SandRdr

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My first scoot purchase was in 2018. Got tired of driving the v8 to town, didnt want to haul groceries in side cases. An older Aprilia Atlantic 500 came up for a great price, went for my first scooter ride on the test drive!

It can haul 2 weeks of groceries, gets great fuel mileage and is a blast to ride.

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kz1000st

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I've been riding for decades and only bought a scooter for my late wife to ride. After she ditched it for a Honda Rebel it became my toy. Now in addition to two motorcycles I have two Chinese scooters. They remind me of sixties Brit bikes like my Dad had. They keep my tools busy and have a certain spirit about them that's hard to describe. I used the 250 scooter a few years ago To do several three hundred mile round trips on interstates.
 

FLrider

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I put a kid on a Yamaha Zuma 50 until their auto insurance rates dropped. Five years of scooting resulted in no accidents, very little transportation expenses, and a keen awareness of traffic. I think riding a small displacement scooter is a fine way to introduce youngsters to motorized transport.

I've ridden the little Zuma occasionally over the years and may add a Honda mini-moto to my garage to fill that role.
That's how things are in Europe for the most part. Kids start out small and end up being better riders and drivers over time.
Haven't been on a scooter since my Vespa years in Holland 😁 , but some of these new ones are fast and even available in EV form. For city use that can be a good thing.
 

Captain Jim

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I've related this on "the other forum" enough that most people are probably tired of hearing it. But, since you asked... a deteriorating hip was making it painful to get a leg over a bike. I had downsized from a Harley Ultra to a BMW R1100RT to a V-Strom 650. With the seat height on the V-Strom, it went from painful to impossible to toss a leg over. I figured I was done riding. My wife suggested we get a couple small scooters. I was not onboard with that.

We compromised. And bought a pair of Honda PCX 150 scooters (married folks will understand that "compromise"). I didn't expect to like them. I was wrong. Really wrong. It gave me all the great riding sensations I was missing... in a lightweight, easy, and fun conveyance. I thought I would miss shifting... wrong, again. At the time (2013), our life still revolved around boat cruising (our own) and seasonal boat jobs (commercial boats). I got so hooked on those scooters, that I was ready for another life change: we sold our cruising boat the next year and spent more time RVing, taking the scoots to some fun places. I found I had the same passion for riding that I used to have when we were long-distance cruising on big road bikes... just doing it as day-trippers and looking for more fun back roads.

After 5 years with the PCXes, I wanted something that could handle the occasional freeway jaunt to get to the fun cruising. I got a Vespa GTS 250. The next year Joan got an Xmax 300. The next year, I upgraded to a 2020 Vespa GTS 300 HPE. I figured that would be "all the bike I would ever need." And then, Honda came out with the Rebel 1100 DCT. I knew DCT existed, but never paid much attention to it until reading about that 1100. I started learning all I could about Honda's DCT. A new titanium hip meant I could toss a leg over a motorcycle again. A test sit on the 1100 was OK, but not as comfortable as my Vespa. I didn't let it go. I tried an NC750X, and it wasn't comfortable. Looking back at previous DCT models, the CTX caught my eye... the full fairing model reminded me of something between the BMW RT and the Harley FXRT I had in 93-94. So, now, my wife's Xmax is the only scooter in the family, but my CTX700 DCT is a motorcycle with some of the good features of a big scooter. I can see another scooter in my future at some point.

As far as anyone looking down on riding a scooter: I had a few friends who made a disparaging remark or two early on, but not so much after I cordially invited them to kiss my ass. I am long past caring about what anyone thinks of my choices for anything. I ride to satisfy my passion for riding, not to impress anyone with my bike. Scooters, to me, are a great riding experience: twist and go, and you are one with the bike.

Other comments: other than a couple of my friends, only good comments and questions with the his & hers PCXes (that "cute factor" of having the same bikes). Each of the Vespas I had seemed to attract people with questions and compliments - not why I picked the Vespa, just an observation. With the Xmax and CTX currently, most people don't pay much attention. "Civilians" don't know what an Xmax or a CTX might be, but I found out lots of them are drawn to a Vespa.
 

Hermit

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St. Augustine was our weekend getaway and we regularly took our bicycles. One day we noticed a little scooter shop (Solano) had taken over a defunct gas station and they were renting little 49cc tourist scooters, We decided to try a couple. It turned into a regular thing, not only in St. Augustine, but whenever we visited a tourist area. In '06, I was shopping for a new bike and noticed a BIG Ruckus on the Honda sales floor. I thought it looked cool, but was way overpriced (I didn't even know it was a scooter then). I ended up with a Triumph Bonneville. A few months later, MiniWife decided she needed another bike too. She had pretty much stopped riding anything after foot surgery made shifting difficult. Scooters to the rescue: She bought a 150cc China scooter.

Remembering how practical they were, I started using it for short trips to the post office and the library. So much easier than grabbing a helmet, gloves and such to ride the motorcycle and the under seat storage! Before long, I found myself taking the long way home. I didn't expect that.

Fast forward to 2009 and I remembered that funky looking BIG Ruckus and started looking for one. Found one, bought it and parked it in the garage. Just going to save it for my old age. Kept riding the Bonneville, but now and then took out the BR just to keep the juices flowing. Around 2012, it wouldn't start - gummed up carburetor. After that $$ repair, I knew I needed to ride it more often. More often turned into regularly. Now it's my primary bike. The Bonneville goes out maybe 5-6 times a year. The China bike? Well, from lack of use, that one now has a gummed up carburetor.
 
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matty

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Never owned or riden a scooter in my life, but i geninely want one, and it will be a 50cc to 100cc Minarelli horizontal cylinder type two stroke.
Yamaha aerox or Taw Taw something like that.
Reason?
Well my youngest son developed a Minarelli 100cc clone ATV into a screaming powerhouse of a thing, that reved and pulled with the modified variators and clutch weight adjustments which kept the little powerband right on the money.
It was really very impressive, and i often used to say imagine how it would go in a light scooter.
He did tune a ADDLY 50cc horizontal minarelli clone, to destruction, and it was reving into the 15K RPms and though no BHP figures it was for 50cc LIVELEY .
For no other reason than fooling with the Minarelis horizontal motor and its CVT layout i want a cheap nasty scooter quite badly.
 

Fish

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Got hired by the owner of a small Vespa/Piaggio dealer in Phoenix, 1977. I was 16 years old.

Dude was an Italian immigrant, taught me a bunch about fixing motorbikes and even more about women. Only him and I in the shop.

My dad bought a brandy new P200E from us.
 

Super Dirt Dud

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Back in 1984 I went to a Honda shop and was looking at the new dirt bikes but the had a new 250 Reflex that they let me test ride so for under 2 k with a fresh helmet I took it home .
I put like 12k on it and only changed the tires oil and 1 plug sold it for $1200 and was hooked now for rode bikes all I have and love them .
 

Steve - YYZ

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I never stooped so low as to SAY I ride a scooter..... I ride a Step-thru-Chassis Motorcycle.
My forte is touring, and I've circumnavigated all 5 Great Lakes, been down to Alabama, Georgia, BRP, Great Smokies, Dragon, etc multiple times, been out to Cape Hatteras and the East Coast, all on a "scooter".
A 5,000 to 7,500 km trip is fun for a two week jaunt.
Oh, and I've also crossed the Egyptian Sahara Desert on a "scooter" while touring Egypt.

Just a scooter rider.... NO!!! I'm a Motorcycle rider who simply appreciates a different kind of ride at this point in my life.

Steve

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