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Old 11-17-2009, 10:59 AM   #1
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New Motorcycle / Scooter Advice

I'm in the market to buy either a motorcycle or scooter. Currently, our SMB is my every day driver. However, our office is moving downtown in a couple months which would allow me to ride a motorcycle/scooter to work (all surface streets). Besides, parking the SMB downtown would be next to impossible.

I've owned a street bike in the past. However, I figured since I'm buying something, it would be fun & convenient to also bring it on the SMB when traveling. I will get a rear hitch mount for this. I want to get a smaller bike/scooter (250cc or less). Also, I doubt I will ever be into the major trail riding or the desert scene, but it will need to be able to handle at least the same roads the SMB travels down. Finally, it needs to be capable of handling two smaller riders (wife & I).

The scooter I've been looking at is the Yamaha Zuma 125 The only reasons I'm consider a scooter is for the storage and the possibility of my wife riding it. However, I’m guessing there are plenty of aftermarket storage options for a motorcycle. Who knows, this may also be the perfect one for me as well. My biggest concern is that loading it onto a hitch mount on the SMB could be problematic due to the wider profile of a scooter.

As far as motorcycles go, I've been researching various small dual sports including the following:
I picked these three due to their lower weights. I'm guessing that 90% of the use will be on road. I'm hopefully going to do some test drives in the next couple of weeks. I'd love to buy used if the right one is available.

Any advice/comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks as always.

-Geoff
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:51 AM   #2
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Re: New Motorcycle / Scooter Advice

A little more engine, but still a smaller bike... Honda CRF450x. (The X has electric start, R does not).

I carry a Honda600 on a double motorcycle rack that will work on front or back (front if towing a trailer). I don't see any problem putting a scooter on the same rack. It's wide enough, and rated 800 pounds total.

Mine loos like this:
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:20 AM   #3
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Re: New Motorcycle / Scooter Advice

If you are doing more Dualsport/street type riding I would recommend going for a little more power, especially if you are planning on having two on the bike. As far as being able to get down the same roads as the SMB most of the scooters are out of the question if you want comfort over even remotely rough terrain. The Zooma isn't terrible but I think you could do better in the suspension department.

Yamaha has a new 250 four stroke dualsport and Husky has a new 350 four stroke dualsport that just came out within the last few years. The Husky 350 sounds like a great fit for what you are looking for with the only downside I can see might be the seat height. The other bikes you mentioned are ok choices but when talking riding on the street I think a little more power is safer. I have a few bikes, two and four stroke but my dualsport bike is a KTM 525. Great do-it-all bike but a little on the tall side and probably more power that you need for your intended use. In California the Honda 450X (or R) is not a dualsport from the factory, off-road only.

While you can find some great used converted dualsport bikes out there be weary if it wasn't a factory dualsport or if it was converted after Jan 2004. If I recall that was the cutoff in CA for legally dualsporting an off-road bike. I slipped my 525 in just before the deadline, thankfully! Let me know if you have any question, I am very familiar with most dirtbikes.

Also since I have a shell on my truck for camping I run a MotoJackRack on the back. They are now called Ultimate MX Hauler I believe, not the same company but same idea. Joe Hauler (http://www.joehauler.com/) also makes some GREAT sturdy carriers that are proven.
Eric
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:28 AM   #4
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Re: New Motorcycle / Scooter Advice

Thanks for all of the information. I've pretty much been swayed away from a scooter as there are far more advantages with a dual sport. Hopefully I can test drive a bunch of different ones over the next several weeks. I wasn't planning on getting a converted dirt to dual sport, but now I definitely won't consider it. I'm sure I'll make a new post once my final decision is made.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:36 PM   #5
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Re: New Motorcycle / Scooter Advice

Thanks again to everyone for all the information & advice. After a lot of thinking and pros/cons lists, I've decided to get a Yamaha Zuma 125 for my commuting and around town use. I got a great price on a 2009 and it will cost me about $1500 less than any of the dual sports I was considering. I determined that I can get a used trail bike down the road if I find this to be more of a requirement. Trying to find something that would be perfect for all my requirements was not going to happen so the fact that I'll be using it for 95% commuting and errands led me to this decision.

With all of that being said, I loved the Yamaha XT250 (and older XT255).
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