Tuesday, February 24, 2009

To Scoot or not to Scoot? Part 1 the big boys.

One of the reasons I started this Blog/site was to chronicle my experience buying a scooter. As I stated in the one and only previous post I have been riding motorcycles for quite a few years, but in that time I have never really been a motorcycle commuter, that is until last year. I'll admit it, I'm lazy, and commuting by motorcycle takes a lot more work(ATGATT or all the gear all the time) than does dumping your stuff in the car and leaving. So with the skyrocketing price of gas last year I came up with a system to ride to work with out getting up much earlier than if I drove the car, and it worked pretty good. The only thing that was disappointing was that I never got better than 52mpg on the bike, and that was with the bike freshly tuned (air, fuel, oil filters, plugs, oil change, adn TB sync) with the average about 47-49mpg. This was still way better than the 30 mpg I could get in the car, but I had hoped to see mpg closer to 60.

The Spark. At some point last summer I saw a Piaggio MP3 500 traveling down the road and I immediately thought that's the ticket, a Scooter! And so it started, probably my favorite hobby, Research. My situation is this; I have a 50 mile roundtrip commute, each leg starts and ends with stop and go traffic up to about 50mph. In the middle of each leg is the Interstate, in the morning 5 miles adn in the evening 10-12 miles. The speed limit on the Interstate is 60 mph but the traffic tends to run 70+ mph. So I figure I need a will cruise atleast 65 mph to survive the daily Interstate run.

The MP3 500 being what got me thinking I started with it, and it didn't take long to realize it was not a good canidate for me. Money Money Money. At almost 10k to ride off into the sunset, it would be difficult to justify. Even used ones are going for way more than I would be willing to spend.

So who else made a 500cc scooter, well Piaggio did, besides the MP3 they had the X9 500 (discontinued) and the BV 500. While both would do what I wanted, they left me uninspired. Again who makes a 500cc scooter? Yamaha has started to import the Tmax, but it is quite pricy, and it being new to the states it will be a while before any good used deals show up. Next is the Kymco Xciting 500Ri, and it looks like a winner, triple disk brakes (ABS opt), fuel injection, DOHC, 15" front / 14" rear tires and even a 12v outlet under the seat. The price is looking better also, around $7K out the door with ABS. I almost forgot it comes with a 2 year warranty. Could it be I found what I was looking for? Well it turns out no. All of the big boys those mentioned above and the Honda Silverwing and the Suzuki Burgman 650 get about the same milage as my motorcycle. Even the 400cc scooters such as the Piaggio MP3 400, Yamaha Majesty, and the Suzuki Burgman 400 only get milage in the mid 50's.

1/4 liter, is it enough? Stay tuned for the next post.


No comments: