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Old 01-23-2011, 07:21 AM   #1
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Mopeds, Scooters and Gas

I had posted this on another forum and just copied and pasted my thread since I was too lazy to retype it all. I would like to get some input on this.
I have been watching the price of gas go steadily up and have been thinking of buying a scooter/moped probably a 49cc to start out with and see if I actually will use it that much. I am going to use it to go to work, about 2 miles and run around town, just short trips that are hard on vehicles when you don't get them up to operating temps. I didn't want to get a larger model than 49cc due to not having a motorcycle license or having to license the scooter, however if I use it more than I think I will, I might sell the smaller one and get something bigger later on.
Anybody have any suggestions on brand or what to look out for? All the prices seem to be between 400 and 900 dollars for most listed on the internet and of course all are foreign made. I don't know if any brands are better than others, parts, dependability etc also come into play. As far as style I was looking at something like the old Vespas or along that line.
Thanks for any comments.

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Old 01-23-2011, 07:34 AM   #2
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depending on where you live some scooters are not allowed on main roads. i would suggest just get a motorcycle permit to start and buy a 250.

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Old 01-23-2011, 01:20 PM   #3
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49cc don't require a license in Mo. anything larger and you have to have a motorcycle license, tags and insurance to drive on the streets to be legal, and helmet which is a given. I would have one anyway.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:42 PM   #4
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I love scooters! I really want them to catch on here like they have in Europe. I have a beat up old Honda elite right now (its 85 cc, but I pretend its smaller- shh!), and I've had a couple of other little guys. I just got back from a great weekend in Key West where I never moved the car once, we just rented scooters for the whole time.

I usually don't wear a helmet when I scooter around, but that's me being dumb. I do have a full face helmet for my motorcycle, but it feels silly on the scooter. I should budget for a good scooter helmet.

Around here, I go down to the farmers market, the bookstore, that sort of thing. Great for running errands. I work to far from home to ride to work.

The downside?

Well, 49cc is not enough to get fat me over 45 mph. And that's the main road just past my house.

Most young guys want a bit more oomph. And motorcycles are better for that. I don't know where Brookfield is, and I don't want to disparage Missouri, but in some parts of the country, scooters are not as accepted as they should be. If it's a college town, you should be fine. Otherwise, be confident!

But here's the biggest downside: Scooters aren't really very cheap. And a thousand bucks towards the scooter will buy a LOT of gas, even if it goes up some more.

Do the math: scooter cost compared to gas saved.
My scooter cost me about 500 bucks. I could probably ride it twenty years before I save that much gas money.

And look into that motorcycle endorsement. The insurance is usually pretty cheap, and the license not hard to get. Old motorcycles are frequently cheaper than old scooters (more of them).
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:42 AM   #5
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im also kinda interested with this. with as much as i drive right now, a sub $1000 scooter would pay for itself in bout 2-3 years. i can do about 90% of my driving on roads where the speed limit is scooter friendly(only reason the 2-3 years works out) so its definitely something im toying around with. i would just have to make sure i leave a lot earlier since i would be taking the back way instead of the fast way.
it will be interesting to hear what other people say.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:02 AM   #6
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I started out with a 49cc Honda Metropolitan, but as it only topped out at 40 mph (45 if you were going downhill on a windy day), I quickly learned side roads to get me to my destination. I also put a topbox on it for grocery shopping and my work gear. Then I joined a scooter club, got my license, and then a 250 Honda, followed by a 200cc Kymco People. After a couple of long scooter club rides and not being able to stretch my legs out, I now have a 400 cc Yamaha Majesty and love it !!! The 49cc scoots get 100 mpg, and the Yamaha gets 58 mpg.....I would REALLY stick with name brands and not get what they call "Chinese Junk" when it comes to scooters.....they fall apart right away and the parts and service are hard to come by. Other scooters members in my club started out with them and quickly learned the hard way. So overall, my advice is...if you can find back roads to get you around and get a topbox, the 49cc is the way to go...unless you go on long rides !!
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:46 AM   #7
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Why not consider pedal power?
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:01 AM   #8
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most of the chinese pieces of crap are made by the same manufacturer in china. companies over here buy these un-branded machines and paint and sticker them here with their own logos. i used to sell a brand called "wildfire." they were prone to fuel tank leaks and electrical problems. be careful because most of these companies offer a 90 day parts only warranty; which means you are responsible for labor costs and shipping charges. if you want warranty work you usually have to pay to ship the new parts in and ship the defective parts out. also, if you want to claim warranty, the work needs to be done by the shop where you purchased the machine; so don't think you can save by installing it yourself. i stopped selling this garbage because EVERY machine we sold from their quads to their generators had something wrong with them and needed "warranty." this is the WORST warranty policy i have ever heard of and the worst part about it is customer got mad at me for wildfire's crappy warranty policies (even though i warned them about it before purchasing). i refuse to sell a product if i cannot provide my customer with adequate support for warranties, repairs, parts, etc.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:06 AM   #9
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^^ good info..


...and its a stupid i think, but helmets aren't required in FL...But i don't ride so its not my life..lol
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:07 AM   #10
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For a 2 mile commute, I'd have to go with pedal power. A bicycle is a lot cheaper than a moped, and it doesnt require gas to run.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:55 PM   #11
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I must say I'm partial to the bike idea. Two Miles is not far on a bike. I usually take my specialized endure pro and do a ten mile intense xc trail for fun. I also ride to work on occasion which is 7.5 miles on bike and I love it. It also helps you get a mild work out which is never a bad thing.

So yeah, I'd agree to the bike idea.
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray - San Jose View Post
For a 2 mile commute, I'd have to go with pedal power. A bicycle is a lot cheaper than a moped, and it doesnt require gas to run.
i see your point, but i can also see why he might not want to ride a bike. i am about 5 miles from work, but only drive for several reasons (which may be some of the same reasons he might want to drive).

1. i have to open my store by 7:30, which means i would have to wake up much earlier
2. the terrain is very hilly
3. my typical work day is 10+ hours, so the last thing i want to do is have a long bike ride home (especially in the dark, i hate the dark)

as much as i would love to get my fat ass in gear and ride my bike to work, it is just not that feasible. again, i am not sure what his reasons are for not wanting to ride a bike, but i would imagine it would be something similar to mine.
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgano23 View Post
i see your point, but i can also see why he might not want to ride a bike. i am about 5 miles from work, but only drive for several reasons (which may be some of the same reasons he might want to drive).

1. i have to open my store by 7:30, which means i would have to wake up much earlier
2. the terrain is very hilly
3. my typical work day is 10+ hours, so the last thing i want to do is have a long bike ride home (especially in the dark, i hate the dark)

as much as i would love to get my fat ass in gear and ride my bike to work, it is just not that feasible. again, i am not sure what his reasons are for not wanting to ride a bike, but i would imagine it would be something similar to mine.
In a similar situation here. Only the roads required for me to get to campus have 50 mph speed limits, major intersections, and limited shoulder area (and one heck of a nasty hill to climb...BOTH WAYS...gotta go down it, then back up it).

As for the motorcycle idea, gotta take EVERYTHING into consideration. Many times they are not cheaper than a small car because of maintenance (particularly tires) and riding gear...not to mention the initial cost (as someone else said, you can buy a lot of gas for the cost of one). So take the time to really plan out how much stuff will cost you.

Can't comment on the scooter thing. Personally I'd never buy one, but Valentino Rossi rides them - so its kinda hard to take a shot at someone for riding them.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:21 PM   #14
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I bike in a big city that never sleeps. I can promise you that after doing it for so long, you get beefed up and its not even a question of endurance at the end of the day. Here, in the summer, I rise late at night after work since that's the only time its cool enough for me to do it and I love it.

Maybe it just depends on a persons personality and how active the want to be or plan to be... or are physically able to be. I don't have room to talk being in the 20's I have more energy than I know what to do with. Biking helps me keep my cardiovascular up and from letting any muscle turn to fat.

If I ride my bike to work a whole month I save $100-150. So that helps motivate me to jump on my bike and be to work by 7am.

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