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Scooters Are Better Than Bikes

Post Received 12 March 2020

By Bogger

Scooters Are Better Than Bikes.

Can I hear someone raging and shouting at the screen? Sorry but the statement is true. Scooters are better, for commuting that is. No really, they most definitely are.

Boogers sh300 honda scooter outside his shed with a material leg cover fitted

 I’ve got bikes, big ones and small ones. But my choice of transport every day to work is a Honda SH300. Riding the scooter is much more relaxing and a lot safer and quicker than a bike. 

Will you lot stop shouting!

The biggest plus and there’s a lot of them, is always having the power on tap all the time. There’s none of that "oh b*****s I’m in the wrong gear" nonsense. Twist the throttle and off you go at a rate of knots. I always win the traffic light GP. That doesn’t mean I ride like a lunatic and on the stop all the time. Just when it’s needed and when you commute in heavy traffic, that’s a lot. Up to 60mph modern scooters are fast. This instant power, in my opinion, makes them safer.

Also on most scooters the under seat storage is quite large, enormous on some. So usually there’s  no issues with carrying lots of, errrr, stuff.  I’ll admit that the SH300’s under seat storage is a bit limited but it was supplied, as standard, with a colour coded top box.

Fuel economy is also a big plus as is the better weather protection and the lack of overall weight. Let's also factor in lower costs for service items. After all, smaller engines take less oil to fill them. Tyres are cheaper too. There’s no chain to keep adjusted and lubricated. I could go on, but you get the drift.

I can see that you are all coming round the idea now?

Don’t get me wrong I do use my other bikes to and from work on the odd occasion but I’m happy to get back on the scooter after a couple of days.

I resisted buying a scooter for years. I thought they were slow, Ha. Uncool, even I can’t believe I’ve said that. Just a bit crap really. Wrong. Scooters are brilliant! I know some/a lot of motorcyclists wouldn’t be seen dead on a scooter. If you are one of the die hards you really, really are missing out, trust me.

Another shot of Boggers beloved SH300

I saw the light about seven years ago and I’m mighty pleased that I did. If you buy one you will most definitely NOT regret it. They are also ace for touring on, but Shhhhhhhh. 

Buy one and have a big smug grin on your face.

Bogger


If you'd like to contact Bikes And Travels use ren@bikesandtravels.com

Reader's Comments

John Scotcher said :-
I agree completely. I saw the light about 12 years ago and have had a Honda Forza 300 for the last 6 years. Scooters are the perfect answer for using around towns and cities. It also allows me to keep my Honda CB500X and Triumph Street Twin for longer journeys and days out only.
30/03/2020 05:08:25 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Scooters, scooters!
Blummin, Flippin Scooters!
Never owned a proper scooter, unless a Vespa that I could never start and gave to the ragbone man or a Honda Bog Seat counts. The Honda Bog Seat did run and run well.
Big scoots are intriguing, like the Silver Wing or Burgman but they seem a bit tight for a big lad.
Upt'North.
30/03/2020 05:19:17 UTC
Bill said :-
They are great fun, I bought an SH300 due to bad hips making knees either side of tank painful on bad days. Unfortunately somebody liked it as much as me and removed it from a parking place. Like you say deceivingly fast from standstill to 50mph. I replaced it with a Yamaha BWS125 not as quick but very light and still beats the cars in the traffic light sprint, and has some off road ability.Dont think I would ever only have a scooter unless the arthritis dictates otherwise.
Posted Image
30/03/2020 06:10:57 UTC
said :-
See, see. I knew I was right. You need to try one out U'pt. I'm not small but the SH300 fits good.

Previous to the SH I had a Piaggio Beverley (stupid name) 350ST. A better scooter than the SH in almost every respect. Faster, larger tank, much larger under seat storage and better fuel economy to name but a few.

However the Honda is Much, much better build quality and IMO uses better materials for is construction.I was fed up of constantly fettling the Bev it to keep it in good order. For a weekend bike the Piaggio would be brilliant, but not for the daily commute.

Previous to the Bev I had a Yamaha Majesty 250 again another great scooter, but the seating position made my back ache after 35mls. Both the SH and Bev are a more upright seating position. Keep on scootering guys.

Bogger
30/03/2020 06:23:59 UTC
nab301 said :-
I'm not against scoots and have taken a test ride in recent years on a Tmax 500 , and very recently the Electric Piaggio. The Tmax has plenty of go but ergonomically it didn't suit me and now that I think about it, one of my first PTW projects as a pre 16 yr old was a 3 speed lambretta 150 that I did speedway on around my parents front garden.
It ( the garden ) was just big enough to allow me to grab second gear with the back end dancing around all over the place. Obviously it wasn't a twist and go , and required a certain dexterity with the left hand (Twist grip operated ) gear change.
Overall in the twist and go context I'm at present happier with a clutch and gear lever but would never rule them out if needs must.
Nigel
31/03/2020 02:15:21 UTC
Steve said :-
This is a timely thread for me because at 70 years of age i am beginning to feel the cold on my winter bike ( Royal Enfield Himalayan) It is not my upper body or hands that get cold as my electric vest/heated grips take care of that. Its my legs and feet that feel it,esp if it rains and they get wet, so I have been looking a scooter and the leg and feet protection look great, although your legs and feet are not completely covered I am thinking that most of the wind and rain will be deflected. Thanks for any comments & advice
31/03/2020 09:59:53 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
SCOOTERS!!! Do I have to change the name to SAT not BAT? Scooters and Travels? Pfffffft.

Unfortunately, and I'm chocking here, I can see the advantages.

Firstly with step through there will oft times be a lot of options to move your feet. With many scoots not having foot controls it is nice to shuffle around and change positions easily. Step through also makes getting off and on a lot easier. With your legs "within" the vehicle if you fall off you won't trap you knee between the tank and road as I did about 20 years back. With a side-swipe from a car you've a tiny bit more protection too.

The auto constantly variable transmission makes life a lot easier in town and for learners too. Just twist-n-go no faffing around with clutches and gears. Do bear in mind though these things are NOT maintenance free with belts and weights and pulleys wearing out.

Most have some sort of usable underseat storage with a degree of security.

It is only my oldschool wannabe badass biker that spoils my appreciation of them. There's nowt wrong with scoots so if it's what suits you then get one!


01/04/2020 10:06:38 UTC
Bogger said :-
Looks like I've already won the non argument. The Tucano leg cover, hmm. I used to think they were dreadful and resisted buying one for ages. But another mate has an SH and just kept going on how good they were.

I eventually bit the bullet. He was totally correct. They are brilliant. Warmer, dryer what's not to like. I'll admit they don't look the best, but my word they work.

Bogger...the converted
01/04/2020 12:41:14 UTC
Womble said :-
Funnerly enough been thinking about trying a scooter. I currently have four bikes and am trying to get down to two. But want to sell all 4 and start again. Scooters are quite popular here in France and basically used as an alternative to a car. I'm looking at one which I could use for shopping/everyday use and for two up touring. Things that appeal are the underseat storage pillon comfort and the fact that you can move leg position easily. So will give one ago when the current situation eases.
01/04/2020 02:53:26 UTC
Upt'North said :-
French Womble.
I do think scooters make a lot more sense in warmer climes. They would make a great little nip out to the shops motor but not in wet old Blighty where you need 15 layers in June, never mind January.
Good luck with your rationalisation when times allow. Do you live in the warmer dryer France?
Upt'North.
01/04/2020 09:24:45 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
The point with the scooter in wet old blighty Upt' *IS* the weather protection. When you see those leg covers as fitted to Bogger's 300 I imagine with a helmet and good jacket you'd be toasty warm. No more wet crotch and soggy boots - he just needs a set of ®Ren's-Amazing-Hand-Guards and ®Ren's-Amazing-Screen-Extender and it'll be WARMER than the car.
Posted Image
02/04/2020 08:45:16 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Ed, you kind of missed my point but I think I didn't make it well either.
Scenario......I wake up at 0730 in proper Northern England,think, fancy some fresh bread from the bakers toasted for breakfast, oh and I'll get a paper and a bottle of milk whilst out and about. Look out of the window to see sideways rain, ice, snow, puddles, you get the picture. Right I'll now take ten minutes getting kitted up and another ten getting kitted down or do I just jump in the motor. That's a simple decision for me in an area where traffic is not an issue.
2nd Scenario......I wake up at 0730 in an Italian city and it's already 70 degrees with zero wind and not a cloud in the sky, I really fancy some fresh coffee and cannolis, pull on the Levis and White T, pudding bowl helmet and shades applied managing to look like Steve McQueen without even trying (how do they do that?). Whilst out I stop and chat to some buddies before returning home. The bike is still clean, I'm not wet and I am met by Sophia Loren doing the dishes. Now that's what I meant.
When scootering is like this no wonder it's popular, you are also allowed to get away with motoring murder on Scooters, especially in Italy. There must be a clause in Italian Traffic Regulations that clearly states none of it applies to scooters.
Climate, you have to love it. On that note its a dry morning in Wooler but with 46 mph winds from the W and the feels like temperature is 28. That's Fahrenheit. Which in centigrade is blummin freezin.
Upt'North.
02/04/2020 09:14:55 UTC
C87reed said :-
Another scooter fan here.

I currently have a '17 Honda SH300 and it is one of the best (if not the best) two-wheeled machines that I've ever owned. They are so much fun, nippy and pretty eager, cruises well on faster routes too.

It will do up to around 110mpg which is brilliant as I could be out riding all day for quite a low cost. Surprisingly handles pretty well due to the larger wheels. Plenty of storage under the seat and with the top box. I find this so useful for food shopping or for errands to collect things. When I head out on my other motorcycle I soon miss the space as I've not even got space for a can of pop. There is even a standard fit 12v socket tucked away under the seat, yet this is an £80 option on my Honda CB with a larger list price.

Belts and rollers do need frequent check-ups but I still think that this is much easier and less time consuming than the cleaning and adjustment of a chain.

Chris
Posted Image
02/04/2020 11:29:06 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Upt'! You've slipped into the world of your imagination due to the lockdown ain't ya. In your warm Mediterranean country such as Italy... You wake up in a noisy city filled with heavy air and sirens. You dress lightly and hop outside to the scoot only to realise it's about to tip it down. You sit under a canopy dodging the rain while spending a small fortune for a tiny teeny dinky little cup of tar like caffeine. Meanwhile frumpy old ladies with scarves wrapped around their heads shout curses from balconies. Sophia Loren types don't hang around with lowlife such as you and I.

The first time I went to Spain I thought all the girls would look like Catherine Zeta Jones wearing off the shoulder cotton dresses and pumping water from a dusty well while giving me sultry steamy looks. Needless to say this didn't happen otherwise I'd still be there.

C87reed - good to hear! That MPG is impressive, Sharon's 250 usually returns around 100 MPG so that's good going. The one thing with belts and rollers is they are, for the most part, a lot cleaner than chains. I don't know how many miles you've done but can you give us any details as to what is involved and how often?
03/04/2020 07:45:00 UTC
c87reed said :-
Ren,

My SH has done around 5k miles at nearly 3 years old, and as yet the transmission cover hasn't been off at all. In the maintenance schedule the belt and clutch are down for inspection at 8k miles and the belt is down for replacement at 16k miles. When I last checked a genuine Honda belt was circa £90 and variator rollers £20.

Generally speaking on any CVT scoot I would aim to pop the cover off every 5k miles and inspect the rollers for any flat spots. Having said that though, if there are no apparent flat spots in the acceleration and no untoward noises then there isn't too much to get concerned about. Not a long job by any means, you could do it at a leisurely pace inside an hour, probably a fair bit quicker. I tend to use a variator locking tool for the loosening and proper torquing up of the crankshaft nut.

With all this time on my hands, I can get a couple of other general maintenance jobs done: final drive oil, brake fluid change and coolant. I'll probably pop that transmission cover off too.

Chris

08/04/2020 01:13:58 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
8k is a perfectly acceptable service interval then c87reed. I have a friend with a 50cc scoot and he's always got it in bits hence why I thought the belts needed a lot of looking after. I now suspect it will be due to my mate's murderous riding style rather than fast wearing parts then.

Excuse my ignorance - final drive oil? I would have to guess somewhere around the rear wheel bearings?
09/04/2020 08:00:01 UTC
Bogger said :-
Yes. Located at the rear of the belt housing. The SH only takes 500cc to fill it.The belts hardly wear at all.

The Beverley I had recommended the belt be replaced at 14,000 miles. Which I did. I should have saved my money. No belt wear no fraying and the rollers had just discernable flats appearing on them.14,000 miles to fill Piaggios coffers more often.I was going to leave the next replacement for another 25k, but I sold it instead.

Bogger
09/04/2020 01:02:33 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Well I never. Wonder why they don't put oil in the wheel bearings on a motorcycle? Historical and weight reasons I'm guessing. And before the shaft drive clan pipe in - yes yes yes I know.
09/04/2020 02:13:19 UTC
c87reed said :-
It's a while since I've had a 50cc scoot, but I did own a few. I would say that the rollers do have a tendency to wear more on the smaller engined scoots, either that or the materials/design have just improved in years gone by. On the SH I believe the final drive requires the same 10w-30 grade as the engine.

I've been there and done the murderous riding style unfortunately. I had a Malaguti Firefox 49cc at 16, tweaked with Technigas pipe, malossi variator with new roller weights. It would hit 64mph on the clocks, until the top end went after about 6k miles. Thankfully I've now mastered the art of mechanical sympathy.

Chris


13/04/2020 10:18:01 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Cheers C87reed. It is funny as today I grip about the yoofs and their noisy poorly maintained scoots and motorcycles, only to recall I was pretty much the same myself once. It seems I am destined to become a grumpy old man. Thanks for the info, the more I know the more I realise how little I know.
14/04/2020 07:44:40 UTC
Steve said :-
Well i finally got a scooter, I had been thinking about one since the winter when my legs & feet seemed to be cold all the time. I didn,t anything too heavy but at the same time still wanted a bit of power and speed. 300/400cc seemed to tick all the boxes. It is impossible to try stuff just now in the circumstances so thought after owning many Hondas I would just plump for another. Its a Forza NSS300 with about 25k on it, it was previously owned by an engineer who did his own maintenance and carried them out at half the recommended intervals so should be good for a few more miles.
I only got it yesterday and went for a 70 mile run. I found the riding position relaxing, the seay almost having a built in backrest and easy on the legs feet forward. A few emergency stops in the first few miles provided some excitement when i kept trying to pull the clutch in. I had a good look round it today, oil, filter plug etc should be easy enough. so hopefully be easy enough to maintain. Once we get out of lockdown here in Scotland i hope to pack the flask and sandwiches and have a few solitary day rides in the Central Highlands.


Posted Image
23/05/2020 10:09:39 UTC
c87reed said :-
Steve,

Same engine as my SH and it's a great unit. I believe that it originated from their CRF250 enduro bike. You'll have no shortage of space for the flask and sandwiches.

Chris
23/05/2020 11:00:16 UTC
Steve said :-
Thanks for reassurance Chris. The SH300 was the other scooter on my list. I like the fact it has bigger wheels and a higher seat height but felt that the Forza would offer that extra wind and rain protection in winter which was the reason for the purchase.
24/05/2020 09:28:37 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
That made me laugh - "A few emergency stops in the first few miles provided some excitement when i kept trying to pull the clutch in." When I was an instructor I had to transport a 50cc scoot across Manchester and just like you the revs would rise and I'd instinctively go for another gear by pulling the - ahem - "clutch" lever. I almost headbutted the clocks.

It's easy once you get used to it though.

Enjoy the Forza Steve and here's to many pleasurable trips when we're finally allowed.
24/05/2020 11:18:25 UTC

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