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What scooter for a total newbie?

Discussion in 'Scooters' started by bbboy, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. Hi all!

    I have been reading up on scooters all afternoon and can safely say I've never known less! I've scoured these forums, and found them very useful, so thanks for your silent work there!

    Basically, I'm after a little scooter. Initially, I was very romantic about it (aprilia, vespa etc etc), but I've come down to earth since ducking into a scooter shop and the SALESMAN telling me that I'd just be paying for the brand. In his experience, the asian made gizmos are just as reliable and powerful!

    So now I've come down to earth, but I'm still wondering, what should I get? I was looking at 50cc, but have had advice from several people that that would be a dangerous move, so I've decided 125cc minimum now! I would have done Q-Ride anyway...

    So now I'm thinking Bug/Kymco! There's a nice agility 125 which seems to review well. But then I noticed the TGB 101r 150 is the same price! But THEN I noticed a Vmoto 125cc (in the retro look I'm after) for only $2500, and I think that's drive away!

    So what would you kind folk advise me? I'm 185cm, about 80-90kg (I fluctuate!), would be taking a passenger OCCASIONALLY, but only in slow zones. I would mostly use it to and from work (60 zone the whole way, busy, busy road though), but ocassionally duck northside (80 zones on bypass).

    Advise me! PLEASE!

    P.S. The BIG perk of this scooter is basement parking where I work rather than a 1.5k walk from the 'free' parking in between a brothel and a condemned house full of squatters... Not nice when you're finishing at 3am or something. Go scooters!
  2. Yep the market is flooded with scooters from Vespa to korean, and the Jap ones too. Ever since traffic in major Cities has become gridlocked during peak times, and more so due to fule prices since Iraq invasion, the past 3 years has seen a surge of scooter sales.

    I recommend nothing less than a machine that will comfortably do 80km/h all day, including on small hills. That rules out all the 50cc machines, but seriously they are only good for neighbourhood and truly inner city riding. I see you noted Qride so assume you are in QLD, and suggest that although a 50cc would mean you don't need a bike license, getting a larger scooter and a license, may one day tempt you to a real bike.
  3. Thanks for the welcome! :beer:

    I'm way ahead of you bro! I'm definitely getting something bigger than a 50cc, as I mentioned. So that would mean I'll get a 250cc max license (that's what Q-Rides for, it's a defense course where learners instantly upgrade to p plates).

    Before anyone tries to 'turn me', I'm not interested in a motorbike. Maybe later, but at the moment, just scooter advice if that's ok!

    Any larger scooter advice? :grin:
  4. I also did QRIDE, went from L's straight to unrestricted license :)
  5. Sweet! How much does it cost to do that? I have to go get my Ls first...

    I'm looking forward to getting something, but I really don't want a POS.

    I'm looking long and hard at a VMoto Montego 125. It looks like it's <$3000 driveaway with a free top box, free 1 year rego and free first service! That seems very good value to me! But are they POS?

    P.S. Is aussiescooters down at the moment? I can't get on there, I was reading on there earlier today, and would like to post a similar thread.
  6. Hi Bbboy!

    I'm fairly new to 2 wheels as well - I got my license May last year.
    I did a lot of reading when looking for a scooter, & also got some good advice from an old friend who rides a motorcycles (but remains scooter friendly).

    The best piece of advice, in my opinion, is to make yourself a list of possibles - include everything that's a 'maybe'. Then go & test ride them. My original on paper favourite was the Aprilia Sportcity 200cc, but when I saw it I thought it was too big for me (it's intimidating when you first start out & have only ridden the 50cc thing at HART). However when I went to test ride stuff the guy at the shop told me I should ride it. I did, & I was sold!
    Ride everything, & something may really impress you!

    For the list of possibles, have a think about what is important to you - looks (retro or modern), big wheels (smoother ride), storage space etc.

    And one thing that my motorcylcling friend told me that is so true - don't buy anything too small, as you'll outgrow it really quickly!!

    If you're curious, my 2 favourites were the Bug Espresso 150cc & the Aprilia Sportcity. Big wheels were important to me, as I felt that I really could feel the difference in handling & smoothness of the ride. However it's an individual thing & you may not feel the same.

    With licensing, in Sydney you go straight to full unrestricted after you do the p's course & test if you're a 'mature age rider'. Not sure how old that is though (I'm now unrestricted, but I'm 42). I have a feeling it's 35, but not sure.
  7. 125 will have no probs pulling you along at 80k's. But some of them pretty much max out at that where as other will pull right through to 100k's. Thats where the test rides come in.

    Get your L's and the test absolutely everything you can get your hands on. Thats the only way to know. A 150cc in one brnad will more than likely be completely different from a 150 in another brand.

    good luck and let us all know how you go

    oh and PS, i dont agree with the salesman saying that you ONLY pay for the brand with the European models. They are definitely superior quality. You do get what you pay for. But you obviously have to weigh up how much value you place on "quality" and you also have to come to terms with what quality is suitable to you.
  8. Thanks duffman! You are really thrusting towards the core issue!

    Quality for me? Quality = reliability and safety. I don't mind if the chrome is plastic, and the australian government (I hope!) looks after minimum safety standards.

    So Yumcha brands are FINE by me!

    I'm really really really admiring the TGB 101r 150cc (it's black baby!).

    Anyone had any experience with it? It's such a bargain at $2990 for a 150cc! I'm hoping this bad boy will get me to 100 at the least? Just in case I'm going to putt along in the left hand lane on an expressway somewhere.

    I'm interested in ANYTHING anyone has to say about TGB in general, 101r in general, and the 150cc in particular!

    Bug Espresso too! Very interested in that model, though it's a lot more for a retro look. It does have nice big wheels though!
  9. Buy Italian, buy Italian, buy Italian.

    The salesman only said what he said because he was trying to sell you something else. Just another kind of sales technique.

    Don't fall for it!
  10. I faced the same dilemma. Wanted a Vespa but couldn't justify extra cost. Ended up buying Vespa because as someone on the forum said 'What's to justify?" I have absolutely no regrets. Buy the best you can afford that suits your needs.

    I bet the salesman who advised you against Vespa's, etc, didn't sell them. He's paid to push the brands that he sells. I hope you never have to push one of those brands. :)
  11. You're not the bloke who started a similar thread on Whirlpool, are you?

    And yeah, the TGB 101R is a decent scoot. Being Taiwanese, it will be noticeably better than something made in China in terms of build quality. That said, it will be noticeably worse than something made in Europe.

    However, given the price difference between Chinese vs Taiwanese (i.e. not much) and the price difference between Taiwanese vs European (i.e. a lot), if you're on a budget then it's a no-brainer ... Taiwanese all the way.

    Someone else pointed out to me elsewhere that even though a Euro scoot is more expensive to buy upfront, the resale value is generally better.

    I've got a Hyosung Rally SF100 and, in hindsight, I wish I'd tried harder to track down a TGB 101R 150, as being a fat bastard and all, I need a bit more of a push to get going. ;)

    Good luck!
  12. and yeah, dont be put off by all of us saying that the Euro scoots are heaps better. As i alluded to in my previous post, it really depends on what you are expecting. If you want absolute perfection, in terms of quality of finish i'd say Vespa or Aprilia or Peugeot or basically any Euro one. The TGB et al generally look a little cheaper with things like the joins of panels and seams etc. Thats not to say they are bad, just a different level of refinement.

    One that i'm a big fan of is the Bolwell's. I cant even remember ever hearing a bad thing about them from an owner. I particularly like the EuroMX 150. Apparently its not the quickest off the line, but i didnt notice than. Might be a bit more than you want to spend if you want a brand new one.
  13. I'm with the Duffman on this (and most other) matters. My first scoot was a Bolwell (PGO) 125cc. Cheap to buy and run, no problems with it. Did 80kph in all conditions, could nudge 100kph with a favourable tailwind. Really cheap entry into scooting.

    I've since upgraded to the X8 250cc. Italian design quality, and not a lot of Japanese options in the 'midi' 250cc category.

  14. Some thoughts:
    - resale value only matters when you're selling.
    - if I was just going to commute locally, then I'd rather buy something that will be supported and serviced by a dealer closest to me (well, within reason - but other factors being close, that would be the clincher for me)
    - larger wheels are *really* useful.
    - my Bolwell never let me down in the time I had it.
  15. One other thought:

    Posing value is worth the extra bucks!

    Italia, Italia, Italia!
  16. Well, that's for the individual to decide how much that is worth. Just remember people have different values sometimes... For example, pose in front of me on a Vespa and I'll remain completely oblivious because I simply don't respond to that 'classic scooter' look at all (I prefer the more modern, 'almost a motorcycle' shape). So all those extra bucks you'd spend would be just wasted on me.
  17. But I'll still think I'm fabulous!
  18. Plastic fantastic, I say.

    I have just done 18 solid months on a Bolwell Arriba 125 and it has been totally great. I have recently decided to move on to a 250 bike but I am actually having trouble giving up the idea of the Bolwell, although it will be on the market very shortly (in Melbourne). They are a good price, look fine and are SOOO reliable - I haven't had a single problem. Great comfortable seat, (excellent for a passanger) and enough grunt for a new rider. (I have to admit though, I have had my head turned by many an Aprilla, can't deny it...)

    The only thing about Bolwells is I get the impression that they're not going to last forever, so get two or three good year out of it and move on, which you will want to do by then anyway.

    Also, like everyone else is saying, do NOT go for a 50cc. In fact, I wouldn't think of anything below a 125, there's no need and it gives you enough power to move.
  19. What scooter for a total newbie? 50cc scootie :grin: