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Scooters for non urban area riding?

4PawsHacienda

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I've been toying with the idea of purchasing a scooter to use for joy rides through the rural area I live in and using it as a grocery getter. Most of the roads around here are rolling hills thru pastures and small farms with the usual gas stations at cross roads and are posted for 45 or 55 mph speed limits adhered to as you'd expect. Any urban riding would be passing thru small towns. For quite a few years I rode a Ural throughout the area with out incident, merely mentioned for traffic speed reference. The significant sizable mass difference between a scooter and the Ural is a safety and disability concern to me.

Is a scooter a moderately safe option? Can I routinely travel at non traffic impeding speeds? I'm an ATGATT rider.
 

Captain Jim

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Sure, depending on what displacement you're considering. Scoots in the 150 range should handle what you are talking about. Scoots in the 250-300cc range would do it even better, with speed to spare if drivers are running the typical 10mph over the speed limit.
 

klaviator

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I think a 150 class scooter would be about perfect for what you describe. I have owned 4 150cc class scooters as well as a 250 and a 400. I see no reason to get something bigger than a 150. The only issue you may find is that scooters tend to have small wheels and limited suspension so they do ride rough on rough roads.

If you want to get on faster roads then a bigger scooter might be a good idea. Most 150cc scooters top out around 60, some a bit higher. That speed will drop when going up hills.

I own multiple bikes, 5 at the moment. Since I bought my first scooter, a Kymco 150 over 12 years ago, my small scooters have been the bikes I rode the most. They are just so much fun, as well as practical, and economical. While I mostly use my scooters to run errands around town I have frequently ridden them in the mountains.

If you want a chance to check out a bunch of scooters and see how well they perform then consider joining us in Maggie Valley the first week of August: https://advbikes.com/threads/4rth-annual-beat-the-heat-scooter-rally-maggie-valley-7-31-8-5.1229/
 

AwDang

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060989A7-57B7-4A69-A9CA-91FE221FC034.jpeg
 

klaviator

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Be aware that bigger engines eat into the underseat storage.
That's not what I have seen. Bigger engines tend to be in bigger scooters and can have more underseat storage. My 400cc Majesty has more underseat storage than any of my smaller scooters. Bigger wheels on the other hand do tend to eat into the underseat storage space but I have seen exceptions to that.
 

klaviator

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One of the largest underseat storage spaces in a scooter is in the PCX, that is a small scooter.
Not even close. Have you seen the underseat storage area of a Burgman 200 or the older Burgman 400? I have an ADV150 which is basically a PCX with different bodywork and suspension. It has a decent underseat storage but it's not exactly huge. It also has a fairly small 13" rear tire. I had an Aprilia Sport CIty 250. The wheels were 15" and also fairly wide. It had a small underseat storage. Most of the scooters i have seen with 16" wheels had fairly small underseat storage. The new People S 150 is an exception to that but it is also a large scooter for a 150.

Anyway, this has nothing to do with what the OP was asking about. He wanted to know if a scooter was a good option for mostly rural riding and as a grocery getter. As a grocery getter underseat storage does matter but a top box can easily be added. Besides, the underseat storage tends be very warm and is not a good place for frozen or refrigerated groceries.

My advice to the op is to note the speeds that he normally rides those roads at and then get a scooter fast enough to handle those speeds. He said 45-55 MPH speed limits but what are the actual speeds on those roads? In some place people go way over the speed limits while in others they go under. Also, how heavy is the traffic? I would hate to be a rolling roadblock in heavy traffic.

My experience with riding a 150 in rural roads is that I still end up going faster than most of the other traffic. One issue with a 150 is that it is hard to pass that slow traffic.
 

klaviator

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Just to give the Op an idea of what a small scooter can do. A few years an inmate over on ADVr rode his Burgman 200 from the Florida Keys to Niagara Falls, 1500 miles in around 33 hours. It was almost all interstate riding. Another inmate bought a 155cc Vespa in Texas and did a fly and ride back home to Virginia riding mostly on interstates.

Then there is the guy who rode a Super Cub, only 125cc, from California to Maine and then turned around and rode the Scooter Cannonball back to California. He came in second place. Don't underestimate what a small scooter can do.
 

EGR

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Complicated OP question. This is my opinion, with regard to scooter capability answer. My last scooter ride was 1950, grandfather’s Cushman. He used it daily and my bicycle had unlimited destination permission so I stayed with my bicycle and as much Chihuahua Desert as I had energy and daylight for.

Maybe 20 years ago after most of a day in the Piaggio Museum we were headed South from Pontedera on a tiny, twisty rolling hill paved donkey cart Tuscan road. Late in the August day. Sun in my eyes every hill top and the road was never just straight over. Bottoming a left and looking up for a coming ridge top right turn-in mark came a picture I will never forget. Back lit by the low sun. White helmet looking well left. Very long hair flying straight back. Long sleeve, ruffle front white blouse. Dark gray straight skirt pulled well up. Left knee out, down, pointed well into her left turn. Left shoulder rotated, elbow down. Black left shoe rotated, toe out and near scuffing the asphalt. Vespa. Headed home after hard day in the office.

After decades road, trail, track one can size up a rider and her machine in a second or two. We were on a Duc ST4s. If going the same direction I could have run her pace only because she would have been showing me her brake and turn marks.
 

High Country Herb

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I've been toying with the idea of purchasing a scooter to use for joy rides through the rural area I live in and using it as a grocery getter. Most of the roads around here are rolling hills thru pastures and small farms with the usual gas stations at cross roads and are posted for 45 or 55 mph speed limits adhered to as you'd expect. Any urban riding would be passing thru small towns. For quite a few years I rode a Ural throughout the area with out incident, merely mentioned for traffic speed reference. The significant sizable mass difference between a scooter and the Ural is a safety and disability concern to me.

Is a scooter a moderately safe option? Can I routinely travel at non traffic impeding speeds? I'm an ATGATT rider.
Absolutely! When my wife and I went to the Amalfi Coast in Italy, I had my heart set on renting a Ducati. I could not find one online that I could reserve (turns out many MC rental companies don't even bother with the internet over there). I ended up reserving a Malaguti 250cc scooter. It was the best thing that could have happened! Traffic was so dense a Ducati would have been a very poor choice. The 250 scooter could squeeze through the smallest gaps with ease. It had enough space under the seat for a small bag and 2 helmets. It also had a clip just below the handlebars to attach a backpack. We put a carry-on suitcase there.

My wife and I together weigh over 400 lbs, and that scooter would do about 60-65 mph. The centrifugal clutch was set just right, so it accelerated pretty fast.
 

Steve - YYZ

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I ride a Burgman 650 (2014) which sadly are no longer sold, but the Burgman 400 is a bloody capable machine with good sized under seat storage, good power for highway cruising, or you can just loaf along on country (rural) roads at whatever pace you like. I have a top case and two side cases on my Burgman and with a waterproof seat bag I'm also good to go for multi-week trips as shown below. NEVER sell a scooter short. I sure don't.
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