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Yamaha Scorpio: good first bike for inner city commute?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by zenali, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. I've had my Ls for a while but haven't got around to getting a bike. My wife just got her Ls, so the time is right for finding a set of wheels that we can both ride around town.

    Not too fussed about getting out onto the open road - more interested in getting to work through fairly congested inner Melbourne suburbs. Also, my wife is only little (think 5' 2"), so the bike needs to be light and not too tall. Drops are also a possibility, so naked is better for us than anything with fairing.

    I've been doing my research, and the Yamaha Scorpio seems to fit the bill. I know that some folks on this forum have one, or have had one in the past. I also know that it is going to be slow compared to pretty much any other bike out there - but it needs to be very learner-friendly if my other half is going to be able to get her confidence up.

    So, does anybody have any experience with the Scorpio that they are willing to share? Given that it is going to be mainly buzzing around in 40 - 60 kph zones, is it the best bike for the money?
  2. More to life than peak power output etc.

    For what you're doing, I think it'd be great.
  3. Yeah, that post was the first real negative that I'd seen. But the main complaint seems to be that it is slow, particularly above 60 kph. That was partly what prompted me to make this thread. Given that I'm not expecting it to be a speed demon, is it a good bike for a small learner (being my wife - I'm fairly hefty myself) if they are only going to be doing inner-city beetling around.

    I'm trying to be realistic in my expectations. There is probably not a single bike that will satisfy me and also be easy for my wife to ride and get her confidence up, but is this going to be a reasonable compromise?
  4. If you're looking new, it's close to what you're after.

    But to be honest I'll be the first to chime in and say look at a VTR250.
  5. I think we were riding VTR 250s at the H.A.R.T. training course, and my other half found it too big and too heavy. I would love one, but I'm worried that if I bought one she would never ride it and my dream of buying a second bike so that we can ride off into the distance together will wither and fade.

    I know that it is a tough ask - something that can get me to work reliably, but won't scare my wife off riding for the rest of her life.
  6. hey mate i test rode one of these bikes for a friend of mine..a girl about 5.3, now this is far from what im used to ridding for the past 13yrs,,but i took it with an open mind,,,and for what she wanted..ridding around sydney traffic , it was great,,it was comfortable..brakes were very responsive, it was quite fickable and changed direction quickly and controlled well.,turning circle was great and the power was more then adiquite for what she wanted it for..a commuting bike to learn and have fun on..over all build quality seemed good to..for the price..i must say i was pleasantly surprised..the bike is what it is..its not pretending to be anything else..needless to say she bought it ..and has had a great time owning it for the last yr or so..im pretty sure the fuel ecconomy would be great too..best thing to do is go ride one for your self..remember some pple hate corn some pple love it..!:)
  7. Thanks guys - I appreciate the input. Keep it coming. :)
  8. I rode one on my L's test, for what your describing it would be a pretty good thing.
    They might not make much hp but its all easy to access and down low in the rev range.

    Edit - a CBR125 might be useful for you. I mean there so cheap that who gives a stuff if you bust up a fairing. Might even be faster than a scorpio.
  9. Thanks karl2ltgc - how did you find the handling of the Scorpio? And would you say it would be comfortable for the vertically-challenged?

    I've been looking at the CBR 125 as an option as well. Similar price, and to be fair it is a nicer looking bike. I tihnk it is about 10 kW compared to the Scorpio's 14 kW, but I know that my wife likes the look of it. Only thing is that she sat on one in one of the bike shops in Elizabeth St and it was a bit tall for her. The suspension isn't adjustable in those things either - though that may be the same with the Scorpio for that matter. Also, I weigh nearly twice as much as her, so I worry that it would struggle with me on board.

    Have you ridden the CBR 125 as well? Could you give a comparison?
  10. A Scorpio should perform better than that. I had one as my comeback to motorcycling ride while I trained for my open licence and found it a great bike for urban commuting. Not as slow as claimed either. My mate has it now and we took it for a ride through the hills east of Perth today. Had no problems pulling up hills and easily ran to 120 kph on the flat. This is with my mate sitting upright and he's 190 cm 105 kg. He does say however, that performance suffers when 2 up with one of his teenage kids. The Scorpio regularly gets labelled 'POS' and 'crap' but I haven't been able to find any mention of unreliability. Mine hasn't missed a beat. It does look like an escapee from the '80s but it does offer cheap urban transport. Fuel consumption I found was about 3.1 L/100km. Motor is as simple as they come - single cylinder, single cam, 2 valve so has high potential for service it yourself.
  11. AlGroover: thanks for the reply - that really helps. Sounds like I'm a bit lighter than your mate, but not by that much. And if it really was a POS crappy bike I'm sure you wouldn't pass it on to somebody you liked. :)

    I do take the comments about how slow it is with a grain of salt. If somebody goes on to say "you should get a 1000 cc megasuper-glow-in-the-dark TRON bike instead" I can guess that we are actually looking for different things in a bike. I don't want something that is going to scare the bejeezus out of me - I want to enjoy my ride home from work, not dread it. And I'm used to a pushbike, which is seriously nimble in the traffic. For urban congestion (which pretty much sums up my route to work) I would rate handling better than speed or acceleration.

    Thanks again!
  12. Have you considered a Honda cb250? They're not exactly exciting (better then a scorpio, though) and have Honda's made in Japan quality. I reckon for what you want, one would be great, and should be cheap too....
  13. G'day Zenali. I have been riding a Scorpio for about a year. I bought it new as a learner and have never regretted it. Sure it isn't the best looking bike, and it's not going to win any races, but it's ease of riding and light weight make it great for learners and city commuting. I read the negative review (someone posted link earlier in thread). It doesn't sound like he's riding the same Scorpio as me! I easily leave traffic behind me at lights with plenty of power to spare. At 100km/h my bike revs at a bit over 6000 in 5th gear (redline is 9500). It never struggles to reach 100, and hills aren't a problem. This being said I wouldn't recommend it as a long distance touring bike! But the Scorpio was never meant for that. For your purposes it sounds like the perfect bike. For me it was a great choice. I will be upgrading at the beginning of '09, but I will most likely keep the Scorpio as a fun city bike. As far as economy goes, you almost forget that it even uses petrol! If you have any questions just ask. Which part of Melbourne are you in?
  14. Well, I'm one of the few people who own a Scorpio and still ride it. I've had it for about 3 or 4 months. I bought it new from the dealer, because I was a learner at the time, and I didn't want anything that would be too fast or powerful. I wanted to learn on it, and once I learned, I wanted to toot to the train station and back (maximum of 80km/hr and a reasonably challenging uphill/downhill trip).

    The guy said to me when buying, "this isn't that fast, it'll get you to 100km/hr but it'll take a while" and my response was "I'll never go over that anyway, I just want to urban commute". It's very easy (and quite common) to think this when you are still a learner and maybe even haven't ridden a bike before (I had never ridden a motorbike until I bought the Scorpio). 3 months later, and I can tell you, I *do* want to go fast(er). I'm not a speed demon, I won't be racing or going up the mountain trails at 100km/hr. I still commute to the train station and back, and occasionally go for short rides to friends and family (maximum still 80km/hr). I still want a faster bike. I used to think "I don't care how slow it is, it's cheap and fuel efficient, I'll be fine with it". I can't say for sure what your attitude will be like when you get more experience, but I'll be surprised if you still think that you'll never want to go faster than 40-60.

    As someone else said, you can push it up to 100... I've gotten it to 120 going down a steep hill (heh) and with the engine flat out. Handling is fine, I've gone over mountains with lots of twists, uphill, downhill, in traffic, and never had a problem, a scare, or any type of concerns over handling. It's actually quite a good bike for learners in one respect - the engine being small and the gear ratios being... for a commuter, you will be doing alot of gear changes and clutch control. You'll get up to 5th gear in about 10 seconds after taking off, this will put you at 50-60km/hr, and you'll downshift alot when slowing down.

    I think it's quite light (I can pick it up from the ground without too much difficulty, and I'm weak as piss, so your missus should be able to do it... yes I just admitted to being weaker than a woman, how shameful! :p) so if you're worried about your missus not being able to handle it, I think she'll be fine.

    It's a pity you're in Melbourne, otherwise I'd invite you over to take a quick trundle up and down the road on it. If you have any questions, feel free to post here or PM me.
  15. Thanks kinch, that is exactly the kind of thing I need to know. And if I was a Brisbanian instead of a Melburnian I'd take you up on your very generous offer. It was your post asking about your next bike that made me wonder whether I was making the right decision.

    My genius secret plan is to get my other half hooked on riding, and then hand the Scorpio over to her when I am ready for a bigger bike. I've only ridden dirt bikes before now, out in big paddocks with no traffic or sharp corners to worry about, but I walk past the BMW motorbike showroom three or four times a week and drool over the shiny, shiny beemers.

    I must say that the 250s they had at H.A.R.T. seemed to go awfully fast to me, so I really do think I need something slower to learn on. (But then again we were learning in a glorified car park so you reach the far end of the asphalt pretty quickly.)

    davesta, I haven't looked at the cb250, but I will now! :)

    MH, I'd say you're riding in the same kinds of traffic as me. I'm in Southbank (I'll update my profile) so it really is inner-city stuff. What year is your bike?
  16. What about a Sachs Express 150cc? I've read a few decent reviews of them.
  17. MY wife is 5'2" and we spent some time looking for bikes that were:

    light weight (Not easy to lift or manouvre a heavyier bike if you are short..)
    low seat (Same thing) - the narrow scorpio also helps
    easy gear change
    good brakes
    easy turning circle

    She initially tried my son's zzr250 and it was too high, too sporty etc.

    We looked at many bikes but came down to the Scorpio

    She loves it.
    We spent $70 getting the seat sculptered lower so she can now get her feet relatively flat so she can manouvre it properly

    For a learner it is quick enough, nimble enough and very easy to use.

    I don't know about resale value when (if) she wants to upgrade, but I think it is a perfect learner bike.
  18. Thanks frodg, that really helps. It sounds as if you were in exactly the same position as me, and our wives are the same height. I'll look into getting the seat sculpted too - good tip!
  19. *boggle*

    Too sporty? A zzr250?