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Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

Last post 05-20-2009 09:24 PM by coastrider. 33 replies.
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  • 01-02-2009 10:38 AM

    Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    Would like your input on what scooter makes for the most reliable long distance commuter.

    Needs to be able to handle the central coast to Sydney run 5 days a week.

    Daily round trip of 160km give or take a couple of k's.

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks Guys

  • 01-02-2009 12:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    For those kinds of distances you'd want a maxi (for seating comfort), probably something with a bit of grunt in reserve, and a decent bit of weight in it too.   As a first punt without knowing the roads, I'd suggest anything bigger than 400cc, and something with a decent interval between servicing.  You are going to be clocking up the kms, so you don't want to buy a scooter that needs to be serviced every 3000km, or you'll be at the dealers every month.  Piaggio, Gilera, Aprilia, Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda would be the brands I'd currently recommend.  They've all got excellent track record.  Peugeot are good too, but with the current importers dealership problems, who knows.  Bug (sorry, Kymco) have a 500cc available, but from the few owners on these forums the jury still seems to be out on this one. 

    My best advice is to properly testride a few (and by that I mean get out for at least half an hour or so - you'll really need to do the bum test).  You'll want to find something that is comfortable, and they do differ in riding position. But also consider the physical size of the machine for when you have to park it etc.  The Suzuki Burgmann 650, for example, is a colossus.  Bloody marvellous on the freeway, but a bit clunky round town, and a big bugger to park. 

    Finally consider storage.  There is a large difference between the amount (and shape) of storage between these vehicles.  Think about what you need to take with you, and how it will fit.  Large wheels tend to result in smaller storage spaces.

    Let us know how you get on Smile



    Ace Scooters - practitioners to the scooter addicted.

    www.acescooters.com.au
  • 01-02-2009 01:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    You need to be looking at a 250 or larger. A 250 will handle that freeway ok and certainly handle the Old Pacific Hwy once you realise how much fun the corners are. Any scooter with a Piaggio quaser 250ie engine will serve you well. They will travel at 110/120 easy enough.

    After that you get to the 300's which are really 278cc. Not much extra speed but more torque.

    Then there are the 400's and the 500cc"s which should get you up to 140+. These are generally maxi's. It all depends on what style of scooter you're after.

    At least 1/3 of your commute will be in metro peak hour so you want something that can carve up traffic too. Its hard to do this on a cruiser.

    At first you might find the prices of scooters in this class surprising but it is money well spent when you buy quality. This is basically the Europeans and the Japanese.The Twianese Kymco and Sym also make quite a good engine. Good project to do some research on. Get youself a copy of Scooter Issue 21 which has just hit the newsstands. Most of the scooters that you should be looking at are featured. Also check out the Derbi GP1 250. Keep us posted on your journey.

    Daelim NS 125: Mighty 1st scoot from Korea that punched way above its weight. Sold
    Vespa GTS 250: Modern Retro brilliance. I'll ride it til it dies.Traded in on a maxi.
    Suzuki DR650: "That Thing" Excellent Single 650 thumper chook chaser that was too tall. Sold
    Yamaha T Max: Best Maxi out there and serious canyon racer. Sold
    Triumph Bonneville: Modern Retro brilliance with the sweetest parallel twin.
    BMW F800R: The Naked Hun. Great intro into sports bikes.
    Gilera Runner FXR 180: 2 stroke scooter missile from Piaggio.
    Gilera Nexus 500. Sexy like red Italian stilettos.
    Yamaha RZ250RR: Retro Japanese 2 stroke racer.
  • 01-02-2009 02:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    Thanks for the input Guys.

    Will let you know how i get on when the time is right to buy.

    Still a lot of self educating needed before i make my choice.

    In the mean time appreciate any info you can pass on.

    I know there are some expirenced riders out there and i have not owned a bike for quite a few years.

    But the maxi's i have seen look great.

    Thanks again

  • 01-02-2009 03:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    Having done the commute from Gosford to Sydney for several years,   you want something that can cope with the steep hills and the strong winds on the freeway.

    While the likes of a Vespa GTS250 will easily do that run,  I'd recommend something a little bigger for a daily commute

    My personal picks would be an Aprilia Scarabeo 500,  Suzuki Burgman 400,  Burgman 650 or ideally a Piaggio MP3 that would cope better with wet weather conditions.

    Deklan 

    “It’s not the destination but the journey”
    Vespa GT200 in Grigio (Smokey Grey)

  • 01-02-2009 06:44 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    Thanks for that kiwiscoota.

    Scooters that cope best with the weather, good to know.

    Any other tips you guys can give?

     

  • 01-02-2009 10:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    Don't under estimate the importance of coping with wet weather,  that freeway, can in heavy rain have significant amounts of water on the road which can make it quite dangerous on two wheels,  that's why I would go for an MP3,   they handle wet roads brilliantly.

    Deklan 

    “It’s not the destination but the journey”
    Vespa GT200 in Grigio (Smokey Grey)

  • 01-02-2009 10:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    kiwiscoota:
    that's why I would go for an MP3,   they handle wet roads brilliantly.
     

    Plus about anything else you might like to throw at them. Big Smile

    Wanda
    Today 50 (2,500km), Montego. Fly (2,500km), Le Grande (7,000km), Vespa PX (200km), Vespa GTS250ie (46,000km), now looking at the world through Ruby coloured glasses on a Vespa GTV300ie Vie Della Moda.
  • 01-02-2009 11:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    I have been having a look at the yamaha t max 500 as a long distance commuter.

    any one know how it would hold up to 160km a day round trip

    Any more comments on the mp3, why do you consider it such a good scooter and how reliable is it?

    Any other recomendations on scooters that are built well enough to handle these distances with out constant care?

    As allways thanks for your input it helping me to get a picture of what to look for in a scootSmile

  • 01-03-2009 10:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    Are twin cylinder bikes more durable than single cylinder bikes as you clock up the k's

    And what about shaft drive compared to belt or chain?

    Checked out the mp3, very stable but concerned that a 250cc would not be good for the constant long runs.

    And to be honest it looked kind of odd, but thanks for bringing it up.

    I will be getting my scooter in the near future so any more info you guys can add, i am all ears.

    Thanks

    Coastrider

  • 01-03-2009 01:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

     

    I ride a yamaha majesty 400. I regularly ride over the blue mountains between Sydney and Orange - 260km approx with lots of hills.

    1,the majesty has a very large storage space - fits 2 full face helmets - and top cases for the back are easy to get if you need more storage.

    2,I weigh 110kg and it has easily enough power to stay above the speed limit throughout that trip. The max speed is around 169km/h. However is is no rocket from the traffic lights - from 0 to about 20 it is certainly ok but not like a geared motorbike.

    3,I have averaged between 3.9 and 4.0 litres per 100km or regular unleaded.

    4,Although many or most people on this forum seem to have Italian machines - or chinese / korean / indonesian ones, not many seem to have ones from the japanese motorcycle brands - I think they are a little more expensive however they have been making bikes by the million for a long time. The dealers and therfore service places are everywhere for yamaha & other japanese brands - I don't think there are many service places for the italian / chinese ... brands outside the major cities. I am in Orange and there are none here.

    5, My scoot has an oil filter, sounds odd to say but some others only have a metal mesh strainer. I think that must effect the engine lifespan. Look at majestyusa.com    - many of their scoots have over 80,000miles on them!

    6, the big windscreen on the majesty means that if you are going over about 40km/h you do not get wet in the rain - except for the bit of you that is above the screen - I am 6'6 and for me, that is just my neck and helmet. The screen also makes the wind at highway speeds far less. One big bonus here which I didn't realise untill I tried a smaller screen is that the wind noise at 110 is much less with the big screen - that is fairly important to me.

    7, look at    www.burgmanusa.com    too, the USA versions of the Yamaha Majesty and Suzuki Burgman are 99% the same as ours, except we get (at least for the majesty) the Japanese spec which means twin disc brakes where the yanks get a single disc and we get LED brake lights - there may be some other tiny differences too.

    I love riding my majesty and it is big / long enough for my long legs which many others were not.  Please ask any other questions you might have about the Majesty and I will try to answerYes

    Removed due to stalker
  • 01-03-2009 01:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    Thanks Matthew.

    Just the kind of reply i was hoping to get.

    Everyone else have helped lots but your reply was right on the money.

    Sydney to Orange on a yamaha 400, that is further than i will be travelling and you do it with no problem on that scooter

    How many k's inbetween servicing do you get,

    I think the yamaha tmax for the gosford sydney trip is looking like the one i should get.

    Thanks for that Matthew

  • 01-03-2009 02:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    kiwiscoota:
    My personal picks would be an Aprilia Scarabeo 500,  Suzuki Burgman 400,  Burgman 650 or ideally a Piaggio MP3 that would cope better with wet weather conditions.
     

    Reading another post about the Yamaha TMax,  I should have included that on my short list.  

    Unfortunately I often forget about the Japanese manufacturers as I rarely see their larger scooters on the road (either here in NZ or when I lived in Oz).

    I noted your concern about a 250cc,  my son David (motorad) frequently rode non-stop (except for re-fueling) his Vespa GTS250ie from Goodooga to Sydney (out past Lightning Ridge), a distance of 930km each way.  In less than 12 months he clocked up over 50,000km mainly doing high speed country riding,  even a shopping trip into Lightning Ridge was 250km round trip.  No repairs other than normal service items, so I would have no hesitation about the longevity of Piaggio engines.

    Deklan 

    “It’s not the destination but the journey”
    Vespa GT200 in Grigio (Smokey Grey)

  • 01-03-2009 03:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

     

    kiwiscoota:

    Unfortunately I often forget about the Japanese manufacturers as I rarely see their larger scooters on the road (either here in NZ or when I lived in Oz).

    There is no doubting that the Japanese make great maxi-scooters, however I think that they are often let down by their retail network who tend to focus on bikes to the detriment of potential scooter customers.  I've had many people come to the shop after telling us that they were round at the local Honda or Yamaha dealers, and left after standing next to the scooters for half an hour.  They'll often rarely have demo's, and whilst happy to get to order, they often don't have much stock.  And that lack of interest rubs off.   They still do very good sales overall, and that's a testament to the quality of the machines - but their doesn't seem to be the same customer enthusiasm in Aus as there is for the more specialist European manufacturers who specialise in scooters, and often deal with more specialist scooter outlets.



    Ace Scooters - practitioners to the scooter addicted.

    www.acescooters.com.au
  • 01-03-2009 08:44 PM In reply to

    Re: Long Distance commuting, which scooter?

    Thanks to all.

    You have given me plenty to think about, and i will check out those sites that were recommended.

    I am sure others will be interested in your comments on long distance riding.

    I could not find much info out there myself untill you all chipped in with your own stories.

    Lots of people are  getting  interested in scooters and i am sure what you guys know will help out a lot.

    Keep it comming

    Coastrider

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