Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Should I upgrade from a scooter to motorcycle? Commuting comfort

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by dammit, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. I started off on a 50cc scooter, just to zip around the city.

    Since then I upgraded to a faster scooter, an Aprilia Scarabeo 200, it goes alright, it's actually 189cc, very light ~150kg, good for filtering/splitting but bad because I get blown around a bit on the freeway and wind blast from the small substandard windshield. Gets me to 110km/hr no worries, I find I'm always riding it WOT 100% throttle (hovering around 110-120km/hr).

    I am thinking it might be time to upgrade, I am 80kg and 6'1" tall, only use the 2 wheels to get to and from work M-F which is a 35km commute on a freeway (100km/hr-110km/hr) so basically do 85% highway riding and 15% city riding.

    Should I stick with what I've got and get a bigger windshield, or upgrade to something more powerful/aerodynamic/etc...either scooter or motorcycle?

    I'd be looking for something used, around 4k, maybe 4.5k max.

    Some I like the look of:
    Suzuki Burgman scooter (400 or 650)? - looks comfortable/well thought out but this thing is HUGE in size..probably hard filtering
    Yamaha TMAX 500 - again looks comfortable/handle well
    Kawasaki Ninja - always wanted one, love the look and sound and 'coolness' compared to a scooter/but I don't know having no storage space would be really hard after having underseat and 35L top box on the scarabeo
    Honda CBR - similar comments to the Ninja

    I guess more than anything I need comfort, practicality, good blocking the wind, reliability and storage etc over something flashy and fast. I can get anything up to 660cc without issue. I dunno if a 250cc is for me, given I already have 189cc and run it on full ball most of the time?

    I would get about 3k if I sold the scarabeo, which is a 2009 model with 15,000km. I don't know if it would be a step backwards/liability though buying like a 2004-2006 year scooter with double the km (30,000km) in these larger class scooters (or a motorcycle!) and if I would have trouble lane filtering (each morning to work I do about 5km of filtering in pretty tight narrow gap of 2 lane traffic).

    Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on whether I should upgrade and what to??
  2. Scooters are great till shoite hits the fan and things go horribly wrong.
    But they are less likely to get you into the danger zone in the first place.
    For mine an 07 onwards Kawasaki VN800 would be a great first bike for you.
    Very comfy, belt drive and bullet proof. Get one with a windscreen and saddle bags already on it. For an 08 I would be offering around 6G depending on what they are buying.
    Retail they are asking seven to eight five....pffffggghhht good luck with that. No one is even paying wholesale prices atm.
    Trying to remember I think you could get 18 or 24lt saddle bags. There is a sissy bar/ back pack holder fro them as well. So I am thinking you could easily and cheaply get 50lt of storage on one.
    My gripes with them would be a touchy on/off throttle when new, some got fixed other owners just didn't worry and rode around it. It wasn't a recall but we knew how to fix it if asked :)
    And they can be a little vibey @120kmp/h. Fine @100 tho ?? Weird but true. Could have been the tyres ???
    Othwer wise yeah a good bike that commutes really well, and will have you out most Sundays having fun. Great mileage, and cheap to keep.
  3. I have a rule of thumb that the wet weight of your bike should be at least twice your own weight if wind gusts are affecting your riding regularly. This is quite unscientific, its just based on observations of friends who've been riding little, light bikes (125s for instance) compared with when they moved onto heavier bikes, and my own experience too.

    I started out on a GS500 which in many respects I think would be ideal. It's LAMS but the bike has a hefty mass on its own and I never had issues with it being blown around the road. It's also quite happy at freeway speeds and still has some in reserve for when you need to accelerate out of trouble. I fitted a top box to mine when I bought it which added to the practicality of it. A little bikini screen on the front kept the wind up off my chest (till the bike fell over, screen exit stage left). It's also a good size for taller riders.

    One thing I noticed when I moved from nakeds onto a faired bike is that the fairings catches wind gusts more than the nakeds did. Be interesting to hear other folks thoughts on that question.
  4. after a scooter, the best commuters seem to be the super motards drz400sm etc. may not solve your wind blast problem though.
  5. Get a Corolla.
    You know this is a motorcycling forum, right?
  6. Don't deny it, you love scooters. I removed the proof from my sig but another tank hugger outburst like that will see it return :p.

    Tapa Tapa Tapa Tapa Tapa Tapa Tapa
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Here is a bike for you to consider

    The Yamaha WR250X

    its a fuel injected, low maintenance, 250 CC motard approx 30 hp with a 6 speed gearbox and you can get luggage/saddle bag racks etc for them easy

    Motards are awesome for city riding as you sit a little higher and can see over the tops of cars

    This bike has service schedules of every 10,000 kms and valves at 30,000 kms and is really good on fuel use

    The motor is described as being a detuned one quarter of a R1 engine

    Motards are shit easy to move around in traffic and you can go over gutters etc etc easy if you want too

    I am 6'2 and 110kgs my 250X would get up to 160 kmph on the freeway without a problem it just took a while to get there as the acceleration is not ballistic but more than enough to leave the cars behind at the lights

    another good reliable contender is the Yamaha XT660R which is a fuel injected bike as well
  8. The new Honda NC700SA would fit the bill, and apparently $8.5+ - even gas tank storage. I like it - but they are even more boring than my current ride.
  9. Riding/driving anything WOT is going to hurt the engine. 50cc scoots which are always ridden WOT usually destroy the piston/top end of the engine at 25-30,000kays. Your scoots engine is probably better quality and should last longer but basically operating the engine at full power WOT is going to drastically shorten it's life.

    I'd be looking for anything from 250cc or bigger for an upgrade. have a look at the 300cc Sym scooters. Aprilia probably have an equivilant. The bigger body and engine should suit your purpose more than the 189cc.

  10. +1 for the gs500 there a really good bike
  11. scooter or bike for an 80kg guy forget anything with an engine displacement of. less than 250cc

    options to consider in your price bracket:

    zzr/gpx 250
    older cb400
    virago 250
    vt250 rebel

    all fairly reliable in my research and can be got for fairly cheap too! just test ride, do some research and you'll know what you want soon enough
    good luck :)
  12. or the. Honda vt250c magna or kawasaki's eliminator 250!
  13. I was gonna suggest a gs500f too

    Screen and fairings, not too much weight and enough power. Solid enough to put some luggage on. Get a bloody motorbike so you can have some fun on the weekends. Scooter for inner city maybe but highway..?
  14. For what you describe, a scooter lke the Burgman sounds right on the money.

    For comfort and storage, they're ahead. Easy and zippy to use also.

    If you aren't riding for the thrill of it, that's the way i'd go.
  15. I am a new member so this is why the reply is so late,
    I currently own the Burgman 650 and it's a great ride, It is not impossible to do
    minor services by yourself, just have a lot of tupperware to take off.
    I am heading my way in the next couple of years to a Cruiser so it is good first step.
    Large comfy seat and 55 liters of under seat storage.
  16. Tmax 500 is a great scoot, had one for 4 months then bought a new Kawasaki Versys 650L.

    I too was only really interested in commuting through ~14Klm of traffic to the CBD as my primary requirement of the bike.

    The Tmax was pretty damn good, fairly narrow and easy to handle at low speed and of course reasonably low.

    My Versys experience in the same commuting environment was a little more challenging as it is wider and taller however I have never once looked back and thought changing from the Tmax to the Versys was a bad thing.

    One thing that is annoying about scoots is their small wheels, they just do not soak up the bumps like my current Versys does, chalk and cheese. Even the Tmax with it's 15" wheels used to be a bit uncomfortable on bumpy roads.

    I will be selling my Versys in the next month or so as I have ordered a new bike for delivery in May.
  17. I took a 300cc Sym Firenze on the BMW Club Icicle Ride a few years back. Easily fast enough to keep up, comfortable and a good fairing. The Sym machines are actually extremely reliable it handled the back roads very well.

    While there are undoubted advantages to a motorcycle in performance and handling, if you are going to commute, then there are also advantages to a scooter; especially in terms of filtering ability, weather protection and storage capacity.

    Don't neglect a try on the Piaggio dual front wheeled machines either. Braking and cornering on these is truly stunning.
  18. Scoots definetly have their place especially in the inner city.

    It is the old quandary, how do you find a bike that does everything from inner CBD commuting and filtering to 200+ klm day trips on the weekends?

    I thought I solved it with my Versys but whilst it does the inner city stuff ok, it gets a bit uncomfortable for long trips. Even a trip from Sydney to Wollongong is a bit of an effort,the seat gets uncomfortable and the high revs and buzzing engine gets to you after a while.

    I have gone to a new extreme by ordering a 2013 BMW 1200GS. I think I will likely be a bit more compromised in city traffic and even more limited in terms of filtering but I am sure it will tick all the boxes for those longer runs like Thursday nite Sydney's Riders runs and trips away on the weekend. Time will tell I guess.

    I also load my bike up a fair bit on daily CBD runs with a large top box, rear bag and tank bag and sometimes panniers if I am going shopping. The larger bike will likely be more suited to that mule role.

    Good luck on your search. Also have a look at the Kymco Downtown 300i with ABS, top scoot, seen them used (approx 2 yrs old) for about $4-$5K, excellent value IMHO and the one I would buy if I was buying a scoot for inner city.
  19. This thread is eight months old