Motorcycle to use as a "toad" with van

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gone2day

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Got a speeding ticket on the Oakland Bay Bridge for 80 mph on that scooter. Took the owners manual to court and showed the judge where it said top speed was 68 mph, case dismissed. It had a few mods. Did a lot of freeway riding at 70 but 75 was pushing it for riding any distance. Used to commute daily between LaHonda and downtown SF, 41 miles each way. Much of that was on Hwy 280. Always used Michelin tires and never had a tire issue.
Thread revival: Last month I talked to a guy in Tucumcari who was on his way back to San Diego from the Vespa national rally in Minneapolis. He said he took the interstates most of the way at 65-70 mph. That's a 4200-mile roundtrip. He had a newer 200cc model with fuel injection. Neat little machine.
 

Malamute

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Thread revival: Last month I talked to a guy in Tucumcari who was on his way back to San Diego from the Vespa national rally in Minneapolis. He said he took the interstates most of the way at 65-70 mph. That's a 4200-mile roundtrip. He had a newer 200cc model with fuel injection. Neat little machine.

I may have mentioned this previously, but theres an entire section on scooters on the advrider forum.
 

BlueMarkOhio

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I'm considering a folding ebike (like this) to keep in the back of the Odyssey. When folded they fit in a large "tough box" plastic container, that keeps dirt/grease etc separate from the van interior. It would be for sightseeing and tooling around town, not for highway trips (the van is for that).
 

bullfrog

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There are some previous discussions here but I have put almost 2,000 miles on an early Rad Mini and really the only things I would change are to a suspension seat post and after market seat to make up for the lack of a rear suspension as the mini already has a suspension front fork and wish the Rad products were a little less proprietary but the after market is catching up. A step through frame would be my choice. I also now have put several hundred miles on a Lectric folding step through and don’t like it near as well as the Rad Mini plenty of racks and storage, front and rear fenders, suspension seat that came apart the first big bump as well as smaller 3” tires and battery that rattles around inside the metal tube on rough roads as well as less range but it works for short runs on streets and well groomed gravel roads. It has more features and is lighter slightly and cost three hundred dollars less than the Rad Mini but I should have bought a step through Rad Mini probably. If you are going to go mainly electric there are some new larger battery/motor motor scooter style frame and seat with 4” tires, hydro disc brakes, front suspension but single speed that go 45 MPH for about 30 miles for about the same price range but they don’t fold.
 

eDJ_

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Recently I was at a discount bakery in Ashland, Ky, where they sell day old bread, cakes, pies etc. In front of the store was a Yamaha Zuma 50cc scooter. This older fellow who looked like he lived on the road came out and ask, "how do ya like her" ?

I told him, "just fine". He explained that he lived down the road in this high rise for the elderly and he had that to get around on. He explained it was a 50 cc that maxed out at 60+ mph and got 102 mpg. Weighs nearly 200 lbs. I was impressed and wanting to hear more. So he went on explained he had a system of several of these plastic milk crates like the one he had bunged onto the carrier rack at the back. This particular one was for "grocery gittin".
But he went on to tell me he had one for fishing, one for traveling around the area and sight seeing with binoculars and a thinsulate lunch bag etc, and one for camping. (pup tent, folding chair, mess kit etc. I was rather impressed with his cheap motor scooter living lifestyle.

So he lived out of the high rise, but in nice weather spent as much time outdoors as he could. Said in cold weather he didn't travel that much except weather permitting. He told me that he and several others would get a grocery order together and get a delivery
when they needed food. But in bad weather the high rise had plenty of people to visit with. So I told him about Vanlife here and he said he would give it a look and tell his friends.

He felt the Yamaha Zuma 50f was a real value and rock solid. Just depended on whether you wanted to travel far on the highway. He didn't advise that.

Yamaha-ZUMA-50F-Price-Mileage-Specs-Top-Specs-Seat-Height-Weight-Review.jpg
 

hugemoth

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A Zooma 50 will only go 60 mph while being towed on a trailer. Not saying they're bad machines but don't expect anything close to 60 mph.
 

bullfrog

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^^^Cold or rainy weather would limit your use a lot in Ashland Kentucky, but you can get most necessities even fish on the river within in a few city blocks of low rent apartments. Crime/drug problems might be a consideration after dark.There is also an issue many older people have with balance as well but I have seen some 3 wheel versions/conversions being developed. Many cities out west with better weather are actively creating bike paths which allow travel without the hazard of dealing with cars on the road, a big plus for bicycles. Has there been much done along those lines in Ashland? Last time I was there even the sidewalks were impassable in some places nevertheless roads and streets. Try getting to the VA hospital in West Virginia which is about 20 miles. Many states out west allow side by side utility vehicles on low speed roads or margins as well which is a good alternative if you can afford it. Speed isn’t really an issue unless you are in traffic. Electric bikes can go plenty fast for most of us old folks! Lol!!! A lot of times it just comes down to what you can afford, what is allowed in the area you are in and the roads you must travel.
 
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hugemoth

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I bought this Vitacci Clash 200 off Amazon a few months ago. Needed a flat floor because of physical issues and was looking for large diameter wheels, light weight, narrow body for easy loading onto the trailer. It's one of the higher quality Chinese scooters with a fuel injected Lifan engine. Unlike the Zooma 50 this will actually exceed 60 mph.
 

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tx2sturgis

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Generally speaking the 50cc motorscooters max out at around 30...maybe 35 mph. They do get really good gas mileage....probably 80 to maybe 100 mpg.

My 150cc Freedom Roguestar tops out around 55 mph....that's with me tucked in and not fighting a headwind.

As far as fuel consumption, I usually get about 73 mpg with it around town...I have seen 80 mpg one or two times with some light 'cruising' in the mix. It holds just a bit over one gallon so I'm usually filling up after 50-75 miles...again...around town or in the city is the main use for something like this. One gallon of gas will last me about 2 weeks of average grocery getting, around town errands.

I have taken it out on the highway a few times...NO not the interstate...I mean local 2 lane and 4 lane rural stretches of road....it does OK cruising at about 50 mph but that is not the primary reason to own one.

It has been 100% reliable and with cheap insurance and fuel costs make it a winner for short tripping around town...maybe the occasional 15 or 20 mile ride.
 

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gone2day

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I bought this Vitacci Clash 200 off Amazon a few months ago. ... was looking for large diameter wheels, light weight, narrow body for easy loading onto the trailer. It's one of the higher quality Chinese scooters with a fuel injected Lifan engine. Unlike the Zooma 50 this will actually exceed 60 mph.
At 1/3 the price of a new Vespa. Only about 235Lbs...nice. I like the larger wheels,too. I guess by now Lifan has made many millions of those motors and have worked out any bugs.
 
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Malamute

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The Yamaha TW 200 is a possible take along bike. They are fairly capable machines, just smallish motorcycles. They will do basic highway running, get around 75+ mpg, and weight 278 lbs. Theyve made the same basic bike for 30 or so years I believe with improvements to brakes etc over time.

Apologies if this has been mentioned 6 or 8 times, I cant remember it its been brought up and im about to fall asleep at the moment.

Strangely, its one of the few bikes thats not an old Harley big twin that I have any interest in. Id like to get one for knocking around the home place and camp area when traveling. Theres a great review of them by the Canadian guy in youtube.

 

tx2sturgis

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TW200's used to be in every Suzuki dealership I visited over the years, but the last few years they have been kinda scarce here in the belt-line of the USA...I'm sure you can find them in the larger cities or the urbanized metro areas....but out here in the REAL dirt....nary a one within 500 miles.
 

Malamute

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I became aware of them on the advrider forum, they were mentioned regularly in ride reports in Death Valley, around Moab Utah, and other places, and there was an epic thread about them, 675 pages when I looked a minute ago.


It was mentioned there was a tw200 forum which I go look at now and then.


As for not seeing them much any more, I dont know if theres other alternatives from different makers helping fill the niche now or what. I think the tw200s are still being made, or were until recently. I see them for sale on the above mentioned sites.
 

LauraNSasha

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With the political situation what it is right now, a Russian motorcycle probably isn't the best choice. I've often dreamed of a toy hauler or trailer with a Ural Motorcycle and sidecar. They come as a single unit. You can ride in rear wheel drive on the highway or engage the sidecar wheel when you go off-road. It even has reverse, to help get you out of tight places. Oh, well, I can still dream.


MG
Ural Motorcycles do not come as a single unit, you have to get them with the sidecar. And as in the last three or four months, Ural has moved to Kzaistan(sp). My husband and I owned one for 4 years, from 2014-2018. We also had a Toyhauler back then.
 
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