Author Topic: Mustachian Scootering?  (Read 12091 times)

DDrake

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Why buy new when extremely used will do.
Mustachian Scootering?
« on: August 12, 2012, 08:16:23 PM »
I searched around a bit and saw some brief posts mentioning buying a scooter as an alternative to an efficient car or bicycle.  I wanted to throw out the idea and hopefully get it ripped apart, or at least have the things I am missing pointed out.

In my market (Minneapolis) I could buy a name brand scooter well ideally a Yamaha Zuma or a Honda Ruckus for some where from $500 to $850. The Hondas seem to be more desirable and get a command a higher price so more for those. 

The costs involved:

Surveying the market, the cheapest price you can find any name brand scooter is around $300-400 including units that were built in the 80s.  I think it is safe to say that depreciation is almost negligible, but maintenance is a factor.

For a scooter:
Depreciation - $50 a year
Maintenance - $75 a year- a generous guess, even tires are only around $25 a piece, also I am pretty good at fixing most motorized vehicles, but I suspect any mustachian either can fix a scooter, or strives to learn how.
Insurance -    $75 a year quoted from progressive for liability.  Is this even necessary? Please chime in if you are knowledgeable in insurance
Helmet - $50 - what good is FI if your head gets monster trucked
Fuel cost per mile based on 100 mpg (zumas reportedly do even better than that) = $3.60 a gallon/100 = 3.6 cents a mile
In MN annual registration is $6

My current vehicle costs me approximately .25 cents a mile in fuel before including depreciation, maintenance and insurance, but I would not be selling it and replacing it with a scooter, essentially making the only the change in variable costs relevant.

I currently drive on average 750 miles a month. This was shocking actually, I never realized I drive so much until I started seeing that gas was one of my larger expenses at $160 a month. Thank you mint.com

I would conservatively say that half of those miles could be driven on the scooter at a cost of $13.50 vs the $93.75 it costs in my truck, for a savings of 80.25 a month.  Also conservatively I would say I could ride it for 8 months of the year for a savings of $642 in fuel.   This number could be higher, since I really do not like driving my truck unless I need to.

With that monthly estimate of fuel cost for the Zuma the total monthly expenses including depreciation, maintenance, and insurance is around $30.

Yes, I realize I could bike more but my time has value between January and April if I am at work over 40 hours I am getting paid OT so it is more expensive to take the extra 30-40 mins a day to bike vs drive.   Although, in MN those are not exactly ideal scootering conditions either so that is probably irrelevant in this analysis.   I would be missing out on the health benefits from biking to work, which is definitely a great way to start the day. 

Any way, that was long.  Please throw out your input, good or bad.




« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 08:40:34 PM by drake103 »

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2012, 10:22:21 PM »
...if I am at work over 40 hours I am getting paid OT so it is more expensive to take the extra 30-40 mins a day to bike vs drive.

Don't think of it as taking extra time to bike vs drive.  Consider the time to bike, vs the time to drive plus time spent doing aerobic exercise, which you won't have to do (at least as much) because you're getting it biking to work.

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1450
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 07:35:59 AM »
Drake, I know this isn't exactly what you're after, but is the question really "should I buy a scooter?" Or is it "should I sell my truck?" Is that an option?

Will

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 798
  • Location: Vancouver, WA
  • What the deuce?!?!?
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 08:42:56 AM »
I keep looking for a decent used "name-brand" scooter around Portland (I don't want a cheapo Chinese one that will look great as it falls apart in less than 200 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first), but I never find anything for anywhere close to $500-850.  :(

Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 09:55:16 AM »
Annual registratin is $6 - that's kind of awesome.

One thing I will add to this: spend mroe money on protective clothing.
Skip the $50 helmet and go for at least a $100 lid. Bell sells a very nice 3/4 lid (traditional looking helmet) with a face shield for $75ish bucks. It's good, keeps the bugs and rocks out of your face (remember the rock that got kicked up by a passing truck once - it hit your windshield so loud everyone in the car jumped - that is why you need a face shield).
Dorky as it may seem, I'd say skip even the 3/4 helmet and go with a full faced helmet. Get one that is comfortable for YOUR head. Each brand fits differently, so you have to try them all on. The good news is that affordable helmets have really increased in quality in the last few years. I wear a ZOX brand helmet that for $100 is the equal of what a $200-$300 helmet was five years ago. It has in fact replaced my $700 Arai helmet (it isn't as good, but it is good enough - and Snell2005 approved so plenty safe enough). First brand I'd recommend looking at it HJC. They have a very wide range of helmets and fits, and are generally well built and affordable.

Next thing you are going to want is proper riding gloves, pants, and jacket. You're on a scooter, you won't be going super fast, but if you ever get hit by someone else, you're still going to lose a lot of skin without proper gear. The bonus is you can get proper riding gear that is built to handle all weather conditions. Get a set with removable rain liners and you can ride to work (and be warm and comfortable) no matter the rain, cold, or heat. I paid $500 for my gear (Joe Rocket Alter Ego pants & jacket). I've worn it in sub freezing weather and I've worn it in sweltering heat.

Today is in fact the first day I've driven my car to work in three months, and only because I smacked my head over the weekend and can't wear a helmet.

Getting past gear and to the bike in question: The Zuma (BWs 50 here in Canada) and the Ruckus are good scooters. As are the Yamaha Vino and Honda Jazz. You may want to look at tawainese made scooters as well. Some brands (such as Kymco) actually build or built the japanese brand scooters, and so are similar quality (though you'll want to have a local dealer for getting parts).

torrancew

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 10:44:56 AM »
I personally made the swap 2 years ago - actually to a Honda Ruckus - and I haven't looked back. In fact, in May I finally felt comfortable enough to grab a larger bike that my better half can accompany me on, and we're both quite happy with life without 4 wheels.

That said, we live in a large urban area, where public transit is easily accessible and quite useful. We also have several "car share"/short-term car rental options for situations where we may actually need a larger towing capacity for a few hours, and the weather is ridiculously wonderful for the majority of the year. These are all factors if you ever think about going scooter-only - rain can be unpleasant, but that has never stopped me - it's the decrease in safety, mostly in the form of other drivers.

Honda makes very reliable bikes - I've put just over 2,000 miles on my '09 Ruckus to date, and the larger bike (a '96 Honda Helix) has 19,000 (purchased at 18,000) - both run quite well, but you must change the oil every 1,000 miles

Insurance is indeed cheap, and requirements vary by state (as do license requirements - some states treat scooters like motorcycles, others require a driver's license or nothing at all, while some base it all on engine size). Registration is quite a bit more costly for me, but California is known for such things.

Matt K is right though - don't skimp on gear - think of it as a one-time investment that comes out of the long-term savings you'll get in the way of registration, gas and insurance savings. Good gear will only need to be replaced if it's "seen action", and by that point, it will have proven its worth to you, most likely. Also, another vote for full-face helmets. I own an HJC, and Bilt makes several well-priced "Modular" helmets (meaning that they are full-face, but the entire front piece can be lifted up, as opposed to just the visor.

As a last note, I find that 100 mpg is a bit much to ask of my Hondas - my Ruckus gets ~ 70-85, depending on weather and other driving factors, and while I've not yet had the Helix for a winter yet (and most of the time that one is ridden with a passenger, significantly affecting the bike from both a rider experience and efficiency standpoint), it averages about 60 mpg.

tannybrown

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Age: 40
  • Location: South Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 10:51:24 AM »
My wife uses our Yamaha Vino 125cc scooter as her everyday transportation and has so for years.  From a financial standpoint, it's a no brainer since scooters are so cheap that the gas savings typically get you a 'break even' on the initial costs (scooter+gear) fairly early.  We average somewhere around 80 mpg but the readings are really inaccurate as it only holds about a gallon of gas.

I recommend the 3/4 helmets as well though we did use full helments when we first started riding.  A good jacket and gloves are a good idea, too, though I'll admit that we often go out with only the helmet.  The wise will take all the gear all the time.

I would not recommend anything lower than 125ccs for a scooter.  Even at that displacement, you're going to have trouble getting up big hills.  For what it's worth, I would not recommend Chinese scooters as a rule.  Yamaha is our brand of choice, but I also like the Genuine Buddy, Kymco, and Sym.

justgottascoot.com is a fantastic resource (and written right there in your neck of the woods too).

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 11:22:11 AM »
As a last note, I find that 100 mpg is a bit much to ask of my Hondas - my Ruckus gets ~ 70-85, depending on weather and other driving factors, and while I've not yet had the Helix for a winter yet (and most of the time that one is ridden with a passenger, significantly affecting the bike from both a rider experience and efficiency standpoint), it averages about 60 mpg.

That's kind of puzzling, since 70-80 mpg is what I get out of my Honda Insight in the summer.  Drops a bit in the winter due to cold and snow, but still, I've got a lifetime average of 71.4 mpg.  You'd think a little scooter ought to do a lot better.

DDrake

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Why buy new when extremely used will do.
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2012, 04:03:53 PM »
...if I am at work over 40 hours I am getting paid OT so it is more expensive to take the extra 30-40 mins a day to bike vs drive.

Don't think of it as taking extra time to bike vs drive.  Consider the time to bike, vs the time to drive plus time spent doing aerobic exercise, which you won't have to do (at least as much) because you're getting it biking to work.

Good point, I will have to think about that one. I am already in the best shape of my life (stopped drinking so much). I also enjoy the feeling of being awake when I get to work.

Drake, I know this isn't exactly what you're after, but is the question really "should I buy a scooter?" Or is it "should I sell my truck?" Is that an option?

Another great point. You tell me, the truck is an 04 ranger with 80k. It is essentially fully depreciated, or at least it will depreciate very slowly from here on out (these trucks hold there value surprisingly well in our market). It is paid for.  With the condition the body is in I would guess I could probably get 6k for it.  If I sell it I would need to be creative in still being able to pursue my primary hobbies of hunting, kayaking and fishing. If I keep it and drive it less I am sure I can keep patching it together for 10 years. I do not know if I would be too excited to be scootering every where in January, but maybe I am a wuss I dunno.  Has any one rode their scooter in below 0 temps?  Do you need to change the jets for the winter to get them to run okay?



And buy quality safety gear.  I will look at those brands you mentioned, I agree on buying quality stuff though. FI will not be nearly as fun with 1 leg and half a brain.   Edit: There is a very nice selection on craigslist of joe rocket gear, for pretty cheap really.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 04:51:54 PM by drake103 »

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2012, 07:17:43 PM »
Drake, I know this isn't exactly what you're after, but is the question really "should I buy a scooter?" Or is it "should I sell my truck?" Is that an option?

Another great point. You tell me, the truck is an 04 ranger with 80k. It is essentially fully depreciated, or at least it will depreciate very slowly from here on out (these trucks hold there value surprisingly well in our market). It is paid for.  With the condition the body is in I would guess I could probably get 6k for it.  If I sell it I would need to be creative in still being able to pursue my primary hobbies of hunting, kayaking and fishing. If I keep it and drive it less I am sure I can keep patching it together for 10 years.

Sounds like you've answered the question: there's more to your life than going to work and coming home to watch TV.  Don't know how the Fords hold together, but I'm still driving an '88 Toyota for when I need to do truck sorts of stuff.  I maybe put on 5K miles per year at most, and everything but the speedometer still works fine.

Quote
I do not know if I would be too excited to be scootering every where in January, but maybe I am a wuss I dunno.  Has any one rode their scooter in below 0 temps?
 

Not scooter, but motorcycle.  My advice is not to even think of it when there's any chance of snow or ice on the roads.

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1450
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2012, 08:11:45 PM »
"should I sell my truck?" Is that an option?
I do not know if I would be too excited to be scootering every where in January
I don't think I would be either! I was thinking more of replacing the truck with something that gets better mileage and is easier to maintain, but it sounds like it's doing good work for you with the kayaking etc.

reverend

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 183
    • RobDiesel
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2012, 09:32:55 PM »
scootering every where in January, but maybe I am a wuss I dunno.  Has any one rode their scooter in below 0 temps?  Do you need to change the jets for the winter to get them to run okay?

And buy quality safety gear.  I will look at those brands you mentioned, I agree on buying quality stuff though. FI will not be nearly as fun with 1 leg and half a brain.   Edit: There is a very nice selection on craigslist of joe rocket gear, for pretty cheap really.

Temperature is affected by the gear. The more expensive the gear, the more comfortable it is and the more options you have. Zip in liners for cold temps, mesh for warmer temps etc.  Otherwise gear is gear.  "Quality gear"?  Does it protect you or not? 
A helmet for $50, if it's DOT/SNELL approved, will protect just as well as a $500 helmet.  I would never go with anything less than a full-face helmet, but I've also had some accidents and rocks kicked up that proved to me why that's the minimum I'd go with.
Jackets and pants are all pretty good these days, but you pay for options and comfort.

I usually figure that I am too much of a wuss to ride below 45F. Then the gloves get too thick (I don't have grip heaters or heated jackets/pants/boots) to properly control the bike.

DDrake

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Why buy new when extremely used will do.
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2012, 10:57:29 PM »
Well, after weeks of surveying the market prices on nice mopeds. I saw a 09 Ruckus pop up on craigslist tonight needing only a few minor parts for $700.  That is a deal I could not refuse. Even if I do not like it I can sell it at a healthy profit after I spend $50 in parts and clean it up a little. 

Its in the garage. I still debate whether this is foolish, but then again the lady that bought it new for 3800 and sold it to me for 700 is the real fool.

Assuming I can get it registered looks like I will be needing some safety gear!


DDrake

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Why buy new when extremely used will do.
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2012, 10:59:21 PM »
What about just wearing snowmobiling gear and going for it in the winter?  I suppose it depends on the winter, but last winter here it only snowed a couple of times.

Monkey stache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 122
  • Age: 2016
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2012, 11:05:21 PM »
I live in Minneapolis too and I've been recently considering replacing my car with a scooter. (I'm also 24, are we long lost twins?) My biggest hesitation is our awful winters. A scooter sounds great now but what about when the wind chill is -20?

It can be done though, this Minnesotan did it for his 40 mile commute: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105495

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2012, 11:48:37 AM »
The problem with scootering (or motorcycling) in the winter is not the cold.  You can dress for that, with e.g. snowmobile gear.  It's that two-wheeled vehicles do not stay upright on ice or snow. 

Will

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 798
  • Location: Vancouver, WA
  • What the deuce?!?!?
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2012, 09:22:27 PM »
I'm still waiting to hear back on some of the details on this, but it looks interesting:  http://www.ecomopeds.com/

DDrake

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Why buy new when extremely used will do.
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2012, 08:38:47 AM »
That is a good point james, and they salt the roads here. These scooters will rot away, the one I bought is a victim of winter riding and the ensuing corrosion. 

The range of 13-15 miles between charges is pretty short. I would say you could just bike, but then I would be a hypocrite, because I could bike most places I ride my moped anyway.  Well I suppose time would be saved... hmm the many facets of mustachianism.

Left

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1157
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2013, 04:40:09 AM »
I've been fumbling around with the idea of getting a piaggio mp3, anyone have experience with these? I've decided to forgo the "new" used car and keep the current one and drive it into the ground.

Upon researching and short of test driving one, it seems like the piaggio mp3 would suit me well. Since it's a "scooter" I can use my car license and not get a motorcycle one, and it has 3 wheels which would keep me from falling.

I'm just wondering if any on here have come across one of these for some impressions of them

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2048
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2013, 08:54:04 AM »
That's kind of puzzling, since 70-80 mpg is what I get out of my Honda Insight in the summer.  Drops a bit in the winter due to cold and snow, but still, I've got a lifetime average of 71.4 mpg.  You'd think a little scooter ought to do a lot better.

You're doing much better than most.  The Insight owners I know seem to do about the same as the Prius owners.  38mpg Winter and 50ish in the Summer (Prius guys closer to 55, Insight closer to 50).

I've also been looking at scooters and motorcycles, but haven't found any reasonably priced ones yet.  The Zuma 150 and Ninja 250R are both on my list.  Both seem to get 60-80mpg (claimed by owners).  Zuma would be easier to ride and cheaper to maintain, but the Ninja has an ABS brake option now, which would be of HUGE benefit for a beginning rider like me (I dumped a Buell Blast at the motorcycle school due to locking up the brakes.  My road cycling habits seriously work against me on the motorcycle as I'm used to grabbing the brakes real hard, whereas on the motorcycle you just barely brush your hand against them to stop.  :-)  ).

Mark B

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2013, 07:06:54 PM »
Hope this thread is not totally dead, no posts since April.  I've just recently joined the forum and I'm devouring every topic I can (and applying them to my life, if possible). 

I'm already riding my bicycle a lot these days, thanks to MMM and all of you MMM minions.  The idea of a scooter, however is very exciting to me.  The crucial thing for me, though, is to find that sweet spot between mileage, power and cost.  Here are my initial parameters, which might change significantly after I have the scooter:

1.  This is for medium range travel.  I'll use my bike if my trip is, I dunno, let's say less than 2-4 miles one way, depending on how I feel and how much time I have.  The thing here is that, with a bike, time does become a factor the longer the distance, you just can't deny that.  For the majority of trips that are more than (again, just a preliminary guess here) 20-25 miles one way, that's car territory to me.

2.  I'm anticipating the scooter will have a fun factor, but it's not for fun.  I'm trying to save time, money, and energy (mine and the planet's), and maximize convenience. 

3.  I don't really anticipate using a scooter on the freeway.  To me, that's what my car is for.  That being said, I fully acknowledge that this might change when I get comfortable with the scooter.  Even so, I think I'd have to promise myself to only use it to for quick hops to the next exit.

4.  Just like with the bike I chose, comfort is huge for me.  No hunching over in "boiled shrimp" position. 

5.  The gas mileage (I think I'm choosing gas over electric at this point) must be much better than the most fuel efficient car, and it must have some pep--maybe 60 mph  or so top speed.

6.  I want something I can keep for a very long time.

So, here's what it has come down to so far, in just a couple of hours of research (dum roll, please):

The 2010 Honda SH150i (trumpets blare)

  -I looked at various gas and electric scooters, and so far I think you're paying a premium for an electric scooter in terms of initial cost. 
  -There are other good scooter brands, maybe even more than I know at this point, but Honda scooters are sophisticated,very well built and reliable.
  -Honda has put some technology into their scooters--the SH150i has an EPA estimate of over 100 MPG, while the Kymco Agiligy 125's is only about 75 MPG.
  -The top speed is at least 65 MPH.
  -This is freeway legal in California, but the gas mileage is comparable to smaller, non freeway legal scooters.  Just keeping my options open.
  -You pay a premium for the Honda name, but you might get that back with years of dependable service and better gas mileage.
  -It's amazing how few miles people put on these things before they sell them.  There were a few 2010's on CycleTrader with some mileage, but a lot with less than 6000
   miles.

So, all factors included--power, efficiency, flexibility, cost--this seems to be the the best choice I've seen so far. 

I can't wait to hear what you all have to say on the matter--I'm totally up for new ways of looking at it.


MrsKensington

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2013, 10:09:24 PM »
+1 for the Yamaha 125. I get about 75 mpg or so, with two people. Less than 200 lbs combined.

I've had a few 49-50cc Hondas. Loved them.  Needed more power and room for a passenger so went with a used Vino 125. So far, it's been good-to-excellent. Sold Honda 50cc for $1100. Paid $1300 for Yamaha Vino 125, including brake lock and full-face helmet. It's similar to the Honda SH150i. Caveat: in my area, anything OVER 50ccs is considered a motorcycle and requires a separate driver's license endorsement, insurance, license plate, registration, inspection, etc.  I have these, but the process is onerous and costs more. Do not buy one without a title if you want to ride it legally or resell it. I looked at a number of older Honda scooters, but few had an official title, just old receipts. No go in our neck of the woods. YMMV, obviously.

Bottom line: it has saved me both money and time. Bonus: It's fun. Also: if you like your face intact, WEAR a FULL-FACE HELMET. 


Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2013, 10:18:18 AM »
Hope this thread is not totally dead, no posts since April.  I've just recently joined the forum and I'm devouring every topic I can (and applying them to my life, if possible). 

I'm already riding my bicycle a lot these days, thanks to MMM and all of you MMM minions.  The idea of a scooter, however is very exciting to me.  The crucial thing for me, though, is to find that sweet spot between mileage, power and cost.  Here are my initial parameters, which might change significantly after I have the scooter:

1.  This is for medium range travel.  I'll use my bike if my trip is, I dunno, let's say less than 2-4 miles one way, depending on how I feel and how much time I have.  The thing here is that, with a bike, time does become a factor the longer the distance, you just can't deny that.  For the majority of trips that are more than (again, just a preliminary guess here) 20-25 miles one way, that's car territory to me.

2.  I'm anticipating the scooter will have a fun factor, but it's not for fun.  I'm trying to save time, money, and energy (mine and the planet's), and maximize convenience. 

3.  I don't really anticipate using a scooter on the freeway.  To me, that's what my car is for.  That being said, I fully acknowledge that this might change when I get comfortable with the scooter.  Even so, I think I'd have to promise myself to only use it to for quick hops to the next exit.

4.  Just like with the bike I chose, comfort is huge for me.  No hunching over in "boiled shrimp" position. 

5.  The gas mileage (I think I'm choosing gas over electric at this point) must be much better than the most fuel efficient car, and it must have some pep--maybe 60 mph  or so top speed.

6.  I want something I can keep for a very long time.

So, here's what it has come down to so far, in just a couple of hours of research (dum roll, please):

The 2010 Honda SH150i (trumpets blare)

  -I looked at various gas and electric scooters, and so far I think you're paying a premium for an electric scooter in terms of initial cost. 
  -There are other good scooter brands, maybe even more than I know at this point, but Honda scooters are sophisticated,very well built and reliable.
  -Honda has put some technology into their scooters--the SH150i has an EPA estimate of over 100 MPG, while the Kymco Agiligy 125's is only about 75 MPG.
  -The top speed is at least 65 MPH.
  -This is freeway legal in California, but the gas mileage is comparable to smaller, non freeway legal scooters.  Just keeping my options open.
  -You pay a premium for the Honda name, but you might get that back with years of dependable service and better gas mileage.
  -It's amazing how few miles people put on these things before they sell them.  There were a few 2010's on CycleTrader with some mileage, but a lot with less than 6000
   miles.

So, all factors included--power, efficiency, flexibility, cost--this seems to be the the best choice I've seen so far. 

I can't wait to hear what you all have to say on the matter--I'm totally up for new ways of looking at it.

Any of the 125cc to 250cc scooters should do what you are looking for. The Vino 125 already stated is supposed to be good. Big Rukus 250 too. Kymco (who build Honda scooters) have a couple of 125 and 250s. SYM does a good Honda Cub reproduction  (Symba 100).

I'd also recommend considering 125-250cc motorcycles (Honda Rebel, CBR 125 (not in the usa sorry), CBR250, Ninja 250, CRF250L, KLX250, Cleveland motorcycles, SYM Wolf (I've just heard about this, know nothing about it but it looks cool to me) as I find having a gas tank between the knees much more comfortable than step through scooters (CBR125 gets more than 100mpg with a light throttle, I got 80mpg out of my ninja250).

Mark B

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2013, 02:17:42 PM »

Any of the 125cc to 250cc scooters should do what you are looking for. The Vino 125 already stated is supposed to be good. Big Rukus 250 too. Kymco (who build Honda scooters) have a couple of 125 and 250s. SYM does a good Honda Cub reproduction  (Symba 100).

I'd also recommend considering 125-250cc motorcycles (Honda Rebel, CBR 125 (not in the usa sorry), CBR250, Ninja 250, CRF250L, KLX250, Cleveland motorcycles, SYM Wolf (I've just heard about this, know nothing about it but it looks cool to me) as I find having a gas tank between the knees much more comfortable than step through scooters (CBR125 gets more than 100mpg with a light throttle, I got 80mpg out of my ninja250).

Thanks Matt, good info.  I checked them all out, and of all of those, all factors considered, I'm adding the Rebel to my short list. 

Regarding the mileage thing, it's probably true with any bike that if you throw in some hypermiling kung fu you'll get better mileage, so just for comparison purposes I'm going strictly by the EPA estimates.

Will

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 798
  • Location: Vancouver, WA
  • What the deuce?!?!?
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2013, 01:36:42 PM »
I found a 2009 Ruckus kind of close to me for $999.  It had 13k miles on it.  It seemed like a pretty good deal but I still passed on it.  With what I spend on gas, and having no helmet, plus we're going to be back into the cold/rainy season again...

mikefixac

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 313
  • Location: Brea
    • Uncommonly Brilliant
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2013, 01:57:53 AM »
I live in the Greater Los Angeles area and I have a scooter. 85MPG, less than $100/year for insurance and less than $100 for registration.

I park my scooter on the store sidewalks, always first in line at stop lights and around town, nobody gets to destination quicker than I do. Also safer than riding in cars IMO.

I just don't understand why people don't drive scooters. Rarely do I see an Asian or Mexican driving one. And they're popular in major Asian cities. With the Mexicans living in East LA, Pico Rivera, Montebello, they could park the scooter in their apartments if they are afraid of theft.

I was in Palm Springs with my scooter and I parked my scooter in my hotel room.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 01:59:37 AM by mikefixac »

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2048
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2013, 05:36:07 AM »
I was at the local powersports shop the other day looking at scooters.  They had several copies of the Ruckus there, I was unimpressed, really the only advantage I see to it is if I was doing light off roading/lived on a gravel road, otherwise the Zuma looks superior.  Downside to the Zuma is they're very hard to find and command price premium.

After all my looking at scooters though, I may be going full motorcycle.  Nearly all of the "scooter friendly" trips I'd be doing can also be done by bicycle.  It's the longer, need to be there faster ones that I'd like to cover with better gas mileage than my car.  Looked at Ninja 250Rs, but the asking prices are insane for them (all used now, the model is discontinued in the USA).  You can get into the new Ninja 300 (which is supposedly MUCH better for highway travel than the 250 (which has marginal performance at those speeds), AND gets better gas mileage despite the bigger engine) for just a couple hundred bucks more!  I think I may have found the case where buying new is a better value than buying used...

Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2013, 09:47:12 AM »
Looked at Ninja 250Rs, but the asking prices are insane for them (all used now, the model is discontinued in the USA).  You can get into the new Ninja 300 (which is supposedly MUCH better for highway travel than the 250 (which has marginal performance at those speeds), AND gets better gas mileage despite the bigger engine) for just a couple hundred bucks more!  I think I may have found the case where buying new is a better value than buying used...

I'm sorry, but anyone who calls the Ninja 250's highway performance marginal simply hasn't ridden one. I owned one. I hit 100mph on more than one occasion. Up to 70mph it is as fast as a quick family sedan (think Accord V6). Beyond that it doesn't pull as strong, but it still pulls faster than an economy car until it hits top speed of just over 100mph. The Ninja 250 is only considered slow because you have to plan your passes as if you were driving a car, unlike most bikes which simply don't require any planning at all.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2048
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2013, 05:27:15 PM »
The Ninja 250 is only considered slow because you have to plan your passes as if you were driving a car, unlike most bikes which simply don't require any planning at all.

That might be part of my problem...  I'm used to a car that doesn't require any pass planning.

There's an early Ninja 250 that just popped up not too far from here for under $1000, I might go check that one out.  I figure if I ride it the anticipated amount, I would save $500 a year vs. the car once all expected expenses (insurance, repairs, and body armor) are accounted for.  2 year payoff would be acceptable to me.

NumberJohnny5

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 659
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2013, 05:33:34 PM »
They sell scooters with bigger engines you know. I had a Scarabeo 500 (actual cc in the 400s) that was a pretty good all-around scooter. Had no problems on really steep hills (took it to Coldfoot Alaska, there's a few steep hills between Fairbanks and Coldfoot). Two hard saddle bags plus a trunk, plus extra space behind me (for a passenger, but good enough to strap a tent and sleeping bag; makes it a bit harder to refuel though). It wasn't the fastest thing I've ever drove/ridden, but I can't remember a time thinking "gosh, if I just had a wee bit more power..."

A Honda Helix with a trunk would probably be great for a long trip. However, "fast" in regards to the Helix means "gosh, I can even take it on the interstate if I really want to".

Will

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 798
  • Location: Vancouver, WA
  • What the deuce?!?!?
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2013, 05:41:02 PM »
The main reason I personally don't go the motorcycle route:  I tried, and surprisingly didn't end up dead.

I took a certified motorcycle course and passed.  I convinced myself I was responsible for my own safety and could handle it.  I bought a used Ninja (can't remember what size) but it was too much for me.  Laid it down before I even got it home.  Obviously I'm not the most coordinated person out there.  It took me a little while to get my confidence back up to ride it again.  Instead of too much power, I was too timid and didn't give it enough and laid it down AGAIN!  Because of that, I'm not 100% convinced I could handle a scooter (although I don't have trouble riding a bicycle, and a scooter can't be that much different, right?).  Plus with a little low-powered scooter, I wouldn't be on the interstate putting myself in harm's way (at least without as many fatal possibilities).  That's the thing I hate most about motorcycles (and I suppose to a certain extent with bicycles): if I'm in an accident in a car, with all the safety features and everything, I have a chance of escaping without a scratch or maybe some non-fatal injuries, but if I was in an accident on a motorcycle, well, things usually don't turn out so well for the motorcycle rider.

Mark B

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2013, 10:48:10 PM »
The main reason I personally don't go the motorcycle route:  I tried, and surprisingly didn't end up dead.

I took a certified motorcycle course and passed.  I convinced myself I was responsible for my own safety and could handle it.  I bought a used Ninja (can't remember what size) but it was too much for me.  Laid it down before I even got it home.  Obviously I'm not the most coordinated person out there.  It took me a little while to get my confidence back up to ride it again.  Instead of too much power, I was too timid and didn't give it enough and laid it down AGAIN!  Because of that, I'm not 100% convinced I could handle a scooter (although I don't have trouble riding a bicycle, and a scooter can't be that much different, right?).  Plus with a little low-powered scooter, I wouldn't be on the interstate putting myself in harm's way (at least without as many fatal possibilities).  That's the thing I hate most about motorcycles (and I suppose to a certain extent with bicycles): if I'm in an accident in a car, with all the safety features and everything, I have a chance of escaping without a scratch or maybe some non-fatal injuries, but if I was in an accident on a motorcycle, well, things usually don't turn out so well for the motorcycle rider.

Yikes Will!  Glad you didn't get hurt.

I wouldn't try to convince anyone to get on a scooter or motorcycle, it's a personal choice and I'd feel terrible if something bad happened.  But I don't mind adding to the general pro-scooter although I've never ridden a scooter or motorcycle--yet.  I've spent a lot of time researching, and I'm looking around for the right scooter deal.

Like you said, scooters are lower powered and for the most part are not meant for the interstate.  You'll likely be traveling at lower speeds.  You could spend as much time as you want just cruising through your neighborhood until you feel you're as close to 100% ready as possible to move to larger boulevards.  You can stay on the low end and get a 50cc scooter, which will have enough get up and go to have an advantage over a bicycle, but will have a top speed of only 25-35 mph-ish. 

One thing I really like about scooters is that by and large they have automatic/CVT transmissions. No shifting or worrying about what gear you're in, no coordination needed, just twist the throttle and you're off. 

The one change between riding a bike and a scooter is that on a bike you're kind of a traffic afterthought--you're off on the side of the road, not really participating in the main traffic flow.  Pretty sure you can't play that game on a scooter.  You have to step up and ride in the middle of a lane like a motorcycle, and I'm sure that feels much different.  That, to me, is an argument to get a bigger scooter, like a 125 or 150cc.  I won't always feel like people behind me in cars are getting frustrated because I'm not moving my ass.

Mark B

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2013, 11:34:43 PM »
Man, just when I was sure I knew which scooter I was gonna pick, now I'm not so sure.  I love the Honda SH150i, but that price premium.  I saw a Yamaha Vino 125 today, and they are pretty worthy.  Plus, Vino models go back to 2004.  A 2009 Vino is much cheaper than a 2010 SH150.  I'm comparing 2009 Vinos vs. 2010 SH150is because that's what I'm seeing a lot of on Craigslist.  The Honda has more technology (mainly fuel injection), might get better mileage and has a higher top end, but:

-Top end might be irrelevant for my purposes.  I just want to use it to get around the city in situations where biking would take too long.  The Vino's advertised top speed is around 55 and the Sh150i's is around 65-70-ish

-I'm not even sure the Honda gets better mileage. I think I saw (not sure) that it gets about 91 MPG vs. 84 for the Vino--but if so, if it costs $1000 more how far would I need to drive it to take advantage of this?  Answer:  approximately to the moon, literally.

Do any of you motorcycle guys know if, in general, a motorcycle carburetor is a pretty dependable part?  The Vino has a carb, and noted above, the Honda has fuel injection.  A scooter carb must be pretty simple.

Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2013, 06:54:01 AM »
Do any of you motorcycle guys know if, in general, a motorcycle carburetor is a pretty dependable part?  The Vino has a carb, and noted above, the Honda has fuel injection.  A scooter carb must be pretty simple.

Carbs are carbs, whether it be car, motorcycle, or lawn mower. The basic technology is the same. They are very reliable and some people prefer them to fuel injection because they believe they can fix a carb at home. Carbs are very precise bits of machinery and most carb problems fall under one of two catergories:
1 - needing to be cleaned from sitting around (run 10% Ethanol gasoline anytime the bike has sat for a month and it'll do wonders to keep them clean).
2 - Some idiot monkeying around with them (in the words of Carol Shelby "Carburetor is French for Don't Fuck With It.")

I like fuel injection because there is no choke and the engine requires no warm up time. However, having owned one carbed bike and ridden many I wouldn't let it hold you back too much, especially if you live in a warm environment (I often ride my motorcycle in slightly above freezing weather, and carb'd bikes take a while to warm up in that).

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2048
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2013, 10:52:53 AM »
Do any of you motorcycle guys know if, in general, a motorcycle carburetor is a pretty dependable part?  The Vino has a carb, and noted above, the Honda has fuel injection.  A scooter carb must be pretty simple.

As an airplane guy, I actually *prefer* carbs...  The gas consumption might be higher and there's always a slight risk of carb icing, but overall in my experience they're more reliable than fuel injectors.  I've had multiple fuel injector system failures, never had a carb fail on me (and most of my time is in carb'd airplanes)!

livetogive

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 235
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2013, 11:43:45 AM »
Allocate between $500-$1,000 for safety gear.  Scooter accidents are gnarly because so many riders are squids in tennis shoes & work clothes.

See my other post but you're much better off with an old motorcycle.  I've been riding for 8+ years and am anti scooter for safety and handling issues.  Plus the culture sucks - its cool to not wear gear.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 11:46:41 AM by TurboLT »

Mark B

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Mustachian Scootering?
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2013, 04:47:59 PM »
Ok, pretty much what I figured.  I was a VW beetle owner (old school air cooled) for many years, so I've had many a carb (or piston, for that matter) in my hands. 

I live in a warm climate so no problem with that.