150cc or 250cc moped gas scooter? And, how to take a training course with no license?

Hello everyone,

I posted this query yesterday: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=201106... and received some very good answers. Thanks! But such good answers gave way for more questions... hah... so... this is a post in sequel to that one.

First, recap of me and my environment:

117lb, 5'4"

Average round trip: 15 miles

Average city speed: 45mph

Speed looking for: 45-60mph (do not mind if highway inaccessible)

Budget: $2,000 or less

I live in a middle-sized city. Mostly flat with slight inclines. Few half-considerable hills that take a few seconds to master at around ~35-45 degree inclines.

This vehicle for me would be primarily for work: making meetings, social calls in and around the city... I just need to keep up with in-town traffic.

Here's what I gleaned from the previous answers:

-- Avoid 50cc ANYTHING (weak, slow)

-- Have a proper helmet (check, from Pro Caliber, white)

-- Buy a noticeable color (oh indeed, I'm thinking white/silver of whatever I buy)

-- Have proper clothing (In-progress. Waterproof, durable jacket + gloves check. Boots and leg gear, hm)

-- 150cc is decent, maybe slows a little uphill though not too slow (non highway legal from what I gather).

-- 250cc is optimal+highway legal if I can get it (on my budget)

-- Avoid Asian brands because of cheap parts (are there any reliable Asian brands, or am I looking at USA-only manufactured?)

-- Check the papers and Craig's List for used deals (Thanks. I have been on a regular basis =])

I know I'm interested in gas-powered moped scooters 150cc to 250cc like these:

http://www.extreme-scooters.com/metroDuo.htm

http://www.extreme-scooters.com/roketa-Bali-150sco...

http://www.extreme-scooters.com/roketaMC54-250cc.h...

(How do I know if it's half-reliable just because it's in the USA? Are the parts from untrustworthy sources?)

For my city conditions, I'm thinking 150cc is good to start with. I really do wish to keep driving it simple (clutch please, no foot brakes) and mopeds seem to offer that.

Is a 150cc moped a decent idea for me right now?

What under 2k 150cc brands are economical for repair and buying parts in the USA?

I'm checking into motorcycle courses though they seem to require a driver's license and that the owner have a vehicle already.

I do not have a driver's license. Just a state ID card.

And I do not own a good moped yet... how do I go about doing this? Buy the moped first, then go to a training course without a license?

There are not many motor vehicle shops where I live. Pro Caliber is one... is it a good idea to check their inventory to gauge sizes of mopeds? I'm leery of that store since, at least for me, when I go in, the sales reps are *incredibly* interested to make a sale than to simply aid a customer.

Oh and one last Q for curiosity's sake -- what do people use pocket bikes / super pocket bikes for, if they're not street legal? Back-road fun?

2 Answers

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  • Dimo J
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    -- Have a proper helmet, required by law in Washington or Oregon. I'm assuming Bend since you do not seem to care if you are not freeway legal.

    -- Buy a noticeable color, if it matters. People do not see motorcycle, no matter how bright colors or lights. All black is just as safe as red with flashing lights.

    -- Have proper clothing... feet touch the ground regularly, I will not ride with good leather boots. I wear Tony Lama cowboy boots. If you fall, and it is just an IF, you will hit the ground hand/arm first and leather is better than skin.

    -- 150cc is decent, maybe slows a little uphill though not too slow, is not too slow, period. Wind is the bigger problem with bikes than hills.

    -- (non highway legal from what I gather) WA allows anything over 5 bhp, OR just care that you can do the 45 mph minimum speed limit only if it has a sign.

    -- 250cc is optimal+highway legal if I can get it (on my budget)

    -- Avoid Asian brands because of cheap parts .... NO, not avoid Asian. Japanese and Italian are best. Korea and Taiwan are acceptable. The Cheap Chinese Crap is to be avoided.

    Which is WHY are you looking at Cheap Chinese Crap on the Internet at www.extreme-scooters.com??

    Surely you can do better than Cheap Chinese Crap! Any used Japanese scooter/motorcycle is better than Cheap Chinese Crap. A new pair of Boots are better than used Cheap Chinese Crap.

    Pocket bikes are for children that do not know better. Toys to be used for a couple of times and then tossed away. Because they are also Cheap Chinese Crap.

    http://bend.craigslist.org/mcy/2470582641.html is Indian, not Chinese, as decent dealers.

    http://bend.craigslist.org/mcy/2470401874.html

    http://bend.craigslist.org/mcy/2466999895.html -- great deal!

  • 9 years ago

    Check this out:

    http://online2.msf-usa.org/msf/Default.aspx

    To take the MSF Beginner course requires only that you get a learners' permit from your local MVD. You just study the manual (free), take your state's test, and pay for the permit. The MSF usually can provide a helmet, but if you have your own that's great. You must bring your own gloves, boots, long pants & jacket. They will also provide you with the training bike (or scooter if that's the course you're taking), so that's a big headache solved, not like in my day!

    I don't feel comfortable with the Roketa and Chinese stuff in general. I still hear common stories of people who've bought one and found it to be not only unreliable, but impossible to get parts for. The distributors often go out of business, leaving you stuck. The saying is that you should buy 3 or 4 Chinese bikes at a time just so you have your own parts supply.

    There are no good "US" brands anymore. Piaggia/Vespa scoots are great, but they're like the BMW of scooters and priced accordingly. It's doubtful you'll find a nice condition Vespa in your price range. Kymco is I believe Taiwanese, but they seem to have improved their products quite a bit in the last few years. As for the recommended brands, you can't go wrong with the Asian stuff from Japan: Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha. I don't think Kawasaki sells scooters for the US. A few scooterists I've met also like the Indian stuff like Bajaj and Genuine, which seem to be basically copies of older Vespas.

    Try eBay's Motors section, Cycle Trader's online site, etc. for used listings. Use nada.com and kbb.com to get values. Use the wholesale or trade-in values. If you buy from a dealer, they will charge more, but that way you at least have actual legal recourse through your state's lemon laws. If you buy from a private party please realize that the transaction is all on you and strictly caveat emptor and if the vehicle turns out to be even a blatant misrepresentation you are totally SOL:-(

    You can also get some good info from these guys. They review scooters regularly:

    http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/index.html

    Pocket bike = toy :-)

    BTW regardless of what's legally allowed on freeways please buy something that can keep up with the real world traffic and have some speed in reserve. When I sold bikes & scooter in Arizona the posted speed limit on the dealership's street was 45 mph, but it was common to see cagers cruising at 60. That means that even a 150 was often marginal.

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