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Goodbye Vespa, Hello Kawa VN250 Eliminator

Discussion in 'Scooters' started by GunSlingerAU, May 3, 2008.

  1. I'm not posting this to start a flame war, or get anybody's panties in a bunch, but thought the scooter crew might like to hear what it's like to go from riding a Vespa to a Bike. The two camps hardly cross paths, and as somebody who has bridged the gap between the two, thought I should let you know what I've learnt.

    Note that I got my license on a Vespa LX125, and rode it for 2 years before moving to my new baby, the Kawa VN250 Eliminator.

    Gears are tricky!
    Besides my stay upright course, I hadn't ridden a manual bike. 2 years on an automatic Vespa made the transition to manual gears very tricky! Riding the VN250 home, I managed to stall it about 20 times. Pulling over on a quiet side street soon sorted that out though, and two weeks in I only stall it about once per day Wink. And there's nothing like that feeling when all four limbs come together to change gears and use both brakes at the same time. I'm a co-ordination machine!

    Hillstarting is even harder!
    I didn't think I'd ever be able to master hill starts with the manual gears. Thankfully about 2 hours dedicated to practicing it (in my underground carpark, away from the embarassing laughter of other human beings) saw me master this artform.

    With great power comes great responsibility
    Ok, so the VN250 doesn't really have that much power, but compared to a Vespa it's light years ahead. It's very tempting to wring the most out of it, but I don't ride for speed, I ride for enjoyment. The added power is great in freeway situations though, allowing me to confidently keep up with and overtake other vehicles. (note - I'm sure more powerful scooters don't have the lack of oomph that my LX125 had, so this may not apply to all scooter riders).

    Smoooooth riding
    It has to be said that with the added weight and bigger suspension comes a much nice ride - the VN250 handles potholes, rough roads and higher wind much better than the Vespa.

    You get used to the weight between your legs
    Again, I know the VN250 isn't the biggest bike on the block, but at 180kg wet, it's 70kg heavier than the Vespa. At first I was scared my tiny little legs couldn't keep such a beast upright, but within a few days of riding I didn't even notice the weight.

    Let's face it... bikes are just cooler
    While the Vespa was fun in a latte sipping, cafe hopping kind of way, the bike is just... awesome. I love the sound of the engine, I love the way it looks, I love the added grunt, and getting my first nod from another biker was plain and simply cool. Where the Vespa was great for short bursts, the bike now has me planning entire days of riding.

    So there ya go - while I don't regret spending my first two years on 2 wheels on a Scooter (in fact, I think it'll help my riding skills, allowing me to get used to the road skills without having to worry about gear changes, etc) I know that I probably won't go back to one now that I've fallen for motorbikes.[/url]

  2. Btw

    Reading back over my post, I'm sure the bit about bikes being cooler is going to raise some temperatures, so I should have clarified it a bit.

    That point is simply my personal opinion. My girlfriend totally disagrees, thinking Scooters are way more hip and trendy, but as a guy, I always admired the bigger bikes when I was on my scooter.

    Your opinions can, and probably will, vary!
  3. Congrats on the new bike mate.

    Scooters have their place, and they do what they are designed to do, and they do it well. If they get more people onto 2 wheels, thats gotta be a good thing.
  4. Hadn't driven a manual car before? I've had my motorbike license since 17 and havn't stalled 20 times in my life :shock:

    But yeh motorbikes are alot more practical on australian roads, you'll have heaps of fun :cool:
  5. As someone who constantly darkens the doorways of motorbike shops I was keen to read your experiences.

    I am very often tempted to give a bike a go but honestly don't think I could give up the scoot to do it.

    I'll just have to wait for the day I can afford both.
  6. I think of it as horses for courses and that owning both is the right (but more expensive) way to go :) More bikes is better right?
  7. Indeed, It's not a matter of religion - different tools for different purposes, that's all it is. I think for many people it would make perfect sense to have a small scoot for commuting and a larger/faster/more expensive bike for longer trips and/or fun rides. In fact it is probably a cheaper option compared to using your larger bike for everyday commuting duty.

    Personally, since I live right in the city I go one better and try to do as many of my short range trips as I can on a pushbike.
  8. Cool AS GunslingerAU! great to read such enthusiasm. know what you mean about skoot and bike not crossing over much.. but you'd be surprised. My T-Max 500cc cant decide whether it is a skoot or bike, its a super chameleon and goes with my mood. And on the race track it takes on everything in its path. But will carry home all the shopping!! Ha ha. In our household we are always talking about ways to fund our plan to own more than one bike each, we'd sell the car but we already got rid of one car... and we need to tow the boat somehow! If we won lotto i would def get myself a bike to play with... but i wouldnt swap the Max for anything!!
  9. Must be a BIG shock to jump from a 50cc scooter to a 1000cc motorbike :p
  10. thoought about a scoot once..

    Hi, I thought about gettin a sccoteronce, then decided on the bike, have had 4 since Oct 07. you think the 250 goes?? You are right there's bigger and faster, my 4th bike is the most 'practial' for my use and need. It is like riding the bike, theres always someone 'faster, more experienced' but as long as you do the right thing, and you are enjoying yourself, then enjoy!! Wait till you try a bigger bike :) you'll grin from ear to ear!! and the andrenelin as the speedo says bye bye to 160kmh!! lol I am kidding, enjoy your new love!!
  11. Doesn't hurt that you chose a VN250 to take the plunge with. I started with one of those, and loved it. Great bike.