Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The art of alternative transportation: toggling between bike and scooters in Hot Springs
He responded, "I went with Yamahas. I did quite a bit of research online and seemed the Yamahas got more praise for quality. My father's also been riding a Yamaha for years, so that influenced me a little. I do have quite a few friends up here that really, REALLY love their Honda Metros and the Ruckus.
I got the Vino (smaller "vespa" styled one) first because I really like the looks of it. It has now been passed on to my girlfriend. I wouldn't say I feel safer on the Zuma, but I guess it has it's benefits (better visibility to other drivers). The Zuma also has a little more power (I get a top speed of ~38 on the vino, while the Zuma does ~42).
Both are 49cc and they do just fine around Hot Springs, so I know they'll be more than adequate around Shreveport. Of course I wouldn't ride one on I-20, and I'd probably opt for "back roads" rather than the parkways as well, but at 80-90 mpg you can afford to go a little out of the way.
The 2007 Vino cost me just under $2,000 after tax and the Zuma was $2,300 after taxes - which are quite a bit higher up here.
I financed mine. And at $50 a month (for one scooter) and about $9 towards gas, I'm still spending less than I would driving my Jeep around the same amount.
One thing to watch when purchasing new scooters is the inclusion of a throttle cam restrictor (you don't have to worry about pre '08 yamahas. I'm not sure about other brands). When I drove the Zuma off the lot it seemed a little sluggish and had some trouble up a couple hills. After some googling I found out about the restrictor which is essential an extra chunk of metal on the carb that keeps you from opening the throttle all the way. It's a pretty easy fix for those with a little experience under a hood, but the shop I bought it from did it for no charge - and I suspect most shops would do the same.
They're a blast to ride. And I use a lot of my cycling "skills" while riding. Yet it almost seems that I get more respect from drivers on my bike than I do on the scoot."
Looking forward to more such responses from you early adopters