What is wrong with Chinese scooters
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Member
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 6

Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:14 am quote
I am brand new to the scooter thing and I am looking for my first scooter. I really dont want to pay thousands for a scooter only to realize that a scooter does not work with my lifestyle. So what is wrong with buying a $1500-2000 chinese made scooter for my first experience and then moving up to Vespa in a year or two????
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Couple of damn mopeds / 2 GT60's / 05 ET2 / 01 ET4 Rubio Red/ 09 GTS / 78 P200 / 2003 Honda Ruckus 946 #00017 946 #00003
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Location: Sherman Oaks
Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:15 am quote
Re: What is wrong with Chinese scooters
kimcox99 wrote:
I am brand new to the scooter thing and I am looking for my first scooter. I really dont want to pay thousands for a scooter only to realize that a scooter does not work with my lifestyle. So what is wrong with buying a $1500-2000 chinese made scooter for my first experience and then moving up to Vespa in a year or two????
Oh boy........................

Hold on, many responses coming. My .02 cents would be parts availability, dealer support, lack of brakes and suspension.

Cheers,
SDG
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Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:18 am quote
Not a thing.

I would have considered a Chinese scooter if there were any dealers that carried them here in Baton Rouge, but of the 3 scooter sellers that I know of here, only Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, Vespa & Piaggio brands are readily available.

I considered only scooters that could be serviced locally.
Member
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 6

Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:20 am quote
I never thought of the service issue, so you can't go to your local Jiffy Lupe to get an oil change for a scooter? I am seeing scooters online for anywhere from $1000 to $1800 chinese made...
Hooked
2007 Aprilia Scarabeo 500ie, 2006 Vespa GT200
Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 103
Location: Seattle, WA
Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:20 am quote
Nothing. The Chinese scooters aren't as well made as the Vespa but for the most part are perfectly functional especially if you are only going to be using it for a year or so. I think you would be better served to get something you are comfortable with, no matter what the make, when you are starting out. Would I like to see you get a Vespa? Yeah. Do I think Vespas are the greatest scooters (things) in the world? Yeah, but I, and most people on here, have a special relationship with their Vespas that make it almost unthinkable to purchase another brand. I think when you are just getting used to a scooter, the most important thing is to get something that doesn't overwhelm you. Also, if you get a more economical Chinese scoot, you won't feel as bad if you lay it down or ding it up while you are learning. What kind of bike were you thinking about?
Member
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 6

Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:25 am quote
I was thinking about a Lance Venice. $1599 for a 150cc Please view the link and tell me what you think...

http://www.euromopeds.com/euromopeds_150_cc_Venice.html
Hooked
Vespa LX150
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Location: Saigon VN, Westminter SoCalf
Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:36 am quote
Re: What is wrong with Chinese scooters
kimcox99 wrote:
I am brand new to the scooter thing and I am looking for my first scooter. I really dont want to pay thousands for a scooter only to realize that a scooter does not work with my lifestyle. So what is wrong with buying a $1500-2000 chinese made scooter for my first experience and then moving up to Vespa in a year or two????
There's nothing wrong.....just like my Apple iBook, iPhone, Dell latop, Samsung LCD, Panasonic microwave oven, Diesel t-shirt and jacket, etc... They are all still working.
Hooked
2007 Aprilia Scarabeo 500ie, 2006 Vespa GT200
Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 103
Location: Seattle, WA
Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:37 am quote
It looks like it would be fine, especially with the 12 month warranty on it. If you're expecting to ride it much longer than that, though, I would pay attention to SDG's comments about availability of parts and the notoriously poor suspension/brakes on these kind of bikes. If you're getting a Vespa in a year or two, though, it might do you well to get a bike like this and beat the hell out of it while you are learning to ride.
Addicted
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Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:44 am quote
The person riding a vespa gets there a little more comfortably, an with more style, than the person on an imitation. Just my opinion. If I was just delivering pizza on the thing, maybe I would get something else. The Kymco scooters are pretty great. I have seen those in person. I rode around a lot with a guy that had a kymco 150 and he kept up to my kitted GTS250 all around town without too much trouble. He felt the potholes more than me on 4 hour rides raging around NYC though, for sure.
Ossessionato
01 ET2 - 01 ET4 -- 05 GT200L / 05 PX150 / 1986? Honda CH150 Deluxe.
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Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:44 am quote
Buyer beware on these scooters. Dealer support can be nothing short of a nightmare. Parts are not always available, dealers come and go, some of these scooters are not legal for "on road" use and they tend to fall apart very quickly. I know several people who have these cheaper alternatives and they have regretted their purchase's.

You would be better off buying a used scooter from a reputable dealership or from a local scooter club member.

Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kymco, Bajaj, Genuine and Vespa are all good brands to look for in a used scooter.

Good Luck.

Last edited by Ifixjets on Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:48 am; edited 1 time in total
Addicted
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Location: dallas, tx
Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:45 am quote
kimcox99 wrote:
I never thought of the service issue, so you can't go to your local Jiffy Lupe to get an oil change for a scooter? I am seeing scooters online for anywhere from $1000 to $1800 chinese made...
Service is at least as important as the scooter itself, unless you are a scooter mechanic. Jiffy-Lube? No comment. There's a lot more to it than oil changes, fyi.

If you buy one, DON'T buy it online. Why? You may need to partially assemble and/or prep the scooter. Do you feel comfortable doing that? I don't. Also, the warranty typically only covers parts, and then only for a short time, with conditions like taking it to an "authorized service center" which may not exist near you.

Then there is the DANGER factor. While some Chinese-made scooters work fine, others may be assembled poorly and could come apart on the road.

You get what you pay for -- this is a motor vehicle, not a microwave.

We have a guy in our Club who sells and services Chinese-made scooters. He's ok to buy from because he preps them and vouches for them and as a dealer provides a REAL warranty - 2 year parts and labor, 3 year major parts. http://www.scootercityinc.com/

That is simply not the case with mail order scooters.

My personal opinion is get a Genuine Buddy as your first scooter. You know it will be reliable, fun, and have full parts and service support.

Here's an FAQ I wrote on the subject:

2008 BUYER'S GUIDE: Which scooter should I get?
http://www.nyscooterclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4690
Petty Tyrant
GT200 GTS250 GTS300 MP3 500
Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 29150
Location: Bay Area, California
Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:59 am quote
Chinese knock-off scooters have a well-deserved reputation for being shoddily made, imported by the containerload by hucksters, and sold on the internet with no support. Often, the people selling these will claim support, or have a supposed "dealer network", but all too often we've seen that the after-sale support is nonexistent. We've heard countless stories of people who got rooked by buying a Chinese knock-off scooter. Failures in the first 100 miles, no parts, and nobody willing to work on it are all common problems. The general consensus is that unless you're willing to do the inevitable mechanical repairs on it yourself, it's not worth it.

So why do we care? Because everyone who has a bad experience with a Chinese scooter gets the impression that scooters suck. Maybe that's a good thing, I don't know. Your chances of having a good experience are very, very low.

What a lot of the people on this thread have failed to realize is that while many good products are currently made in China by reputable companies, scooters are, for the most part, not one of those products. The Chinese scooter industry, left to their own devices and producing knock-off products under their own direction have proven themselves to be dishonest at best and incompetent at worst.

So how does a consumer tell a good product from a bad product? Well, there's at least one really good rule of thumb: if you're buying it off the internet, you're doing it wrong. Period. Buying it from a local dealer doesn't guarantee that you're getting a good scooter, but you are guaranteed to be buying a bad scooter if you buy it via the internet. This is a non-negotiable point.

You mentioned Euromopeds specifically. We've actually had a run-in with them here on this site. Read this thread and make up your own mind whether you'd want to do business with these people.

euromopeds What are your thoughts on these bikes?
Ossessionato
LX 150
Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 2538
Location: Danville, Va
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:02 am quote
Well I see I’m not the only dissenting voice here, but frankly they crap, cheap crap at that.

And no I’m not a Vespa snob, my first scooter wish a TnG Venice.

Loved the little thing, but I quickly learned that I was going to need something better.

And it wasn’t until after it was stolen that I found out just how much of a blessing it was.


You’re going to have three problems.

Services - Warranty – Brakes
Pride Of Cleveland Scooters $999 Chinese scooter warning page wrote:
…when you apply the brakes HARD, they open a valve that dumps about 50% of the braking energy away from the brake calipers. These systems are DANGEROUS and result in losing half of your braking energy when you need it the most. In the worst case scenarios we’ve seen these systems get jammed up, completely locking the front or rear wheel causing the scooter to lose control and pitching the rider to the road.
Pride Of Cleveland Scooters $999 Chinese scooter warning page


ABS scooter brakes?



I would agree with the other choices for you first scooter that have been listed.


Seriously



Good luck and welcome to MV


messy
Member
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 6

Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:07 am quote
Thanks everyone for the help. So what scooter would you suggest to stay in the $1500-$2000 range? Maybe $2500 at the most? and for a 1st time rider. I have looked at Buddy and they are out of this price range. Also I live in Dallas, TX so I would need a local dealer. Thanks again....
Petty Tyrant
GT200 GTS250 GTS300 MP3 500
Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 29150
Location: Bay Area, California
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:13 am quote
Re: What is wrong with Chinese scooters
vinavespa wrote:
kimcox99 wrote:
I am brand new to the scooter thing and I am looking for my first scooter. I really dont want to pay thousands for a scooter only to realize that a scooter does not work with my lifestyle. So what is wrong with buying a $1500-2000 chinese made scooter for my first experience and then moving up to Vespa in a year or two????
There's nothing wrong.....just like my Apple iBook, iPhone, Dell latop, Samsung LCD, Panasonic microwave oven, Diesel t-shirt and jacket, etc... They are all still working.
With all due respect, this statement is completely without merit. Besides the fact that a T-shirt is generally incapable of killing you, all of the products you list are made under the supervision of and to the quality standards of a reputable company that has a vested interest in making sure that the product is made correctly.

Scooters made by Chinese companies under their own directive and to their own standards are not held to the standards of a reputable company, and it is extremely common for Chinese manufacturers to cut corners, substitute bad parts, and generally cheat as much as possible in the pursuit of making a cheaper product.
Petty Tyrant
GT200 GTS250 GTS300 MP3 500
Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 29150
Location: Bay Area, California
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:21 am quote
kimcox99 wrote:
Thanks everyone for the help. So what scooter would you suggest to stay in the $1500-$2000 range? Maybe $2500 at the most? and for a 1st time rider. I have looked at Buddy and they are out of this price range. Also I live in Dallas, TX so I would need a local dealer. Thanks again....
There really aren't any viable new scooters in that price range. The Buddy is probably the most economical good scooter on the market.

You could consider used, though. You might be able to find a used Buddy, or a used Vespa ET4, or even a Piaggio Fly, depending on the local market. Of course, rising gas prices have made all of the used scooter prices rise as well, as demand is quickly outstripping supply.
Resident Grump
8Fun BBS01
Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 15414
Location: MN
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:24 am quote
Kymco Agility 125
kimcox99 wrote:
Thanks everyone for the help. So what scooter would you suggest to stay in the $1500-$2000 range? Maybe $2500 at the most? and for a 1st time rider. I have looked at Buddy and they are out of this price range. Also I live in Dallas, TX so I would need a local dealer. Thanks again....
http://www.strmotorsports.com/showroom/scooters/agility125/index.html
Ossessionato
LX 150
Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 2538
Location: Danville, Va
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:27 am quote
Re: What is wrong with Chinese scooters
[quote="jess"]
vinavespa wrote:
kimcox99 wrote:
I am brand new to the scooter thing and I am looking for my first scooter. I really dont want to pay thousands for a scooter only to realize that a scooter does not work with my lifestyle. So what is wrong with buying a $1500-2000 chinese made scooter for my first experience and then moving up to Vespa in a year or two????
There's nothing wrong.....just like my Apple iBook, iPhone, Dell latop, Samsung LCD, Panasonic microwave oven, Diesel t-shirt and jacket, etc... They are all still working.
jess wrote:
With all due respect, this statement is completely without merit. Besides the fact that a T-shirt is generally incapable of killing you, all of the products you list are made under the supervision of and to the quality standards of a reputable company that has a vested interest in making sure that the product is made correctly.
And even then there have been problems,

Can we say "lead paint in toys"
Petty Tyrant
GT200 GTS250 GTS300 MP3 500
Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 29150
Location: Bay Area, California
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:29 am quote
Re: Kymco Agility 125
louisq wrote:
kimcox99 wrote:
Thanks everyone for the help. So what scooter would you suggest to stay in the $1500-$2000 range? Maybe $2500 at the most? and for a 1st time rider. I have looked at Buddy and they are out of this price range. Also I live in Dallas, TX so I would need a local dealer. Thanks again....
http://www.strmotorsports.com/showroom/scooters/agility125/index.html
Thanks for pointing that out. Kymco is a reputable company, and makes generally solid scooters. They're not luxury items by any means, but they are at least reliable.
Molto Verboso
LX150, MP3, Buddy
Joined: 11 Nov 2005
Posts: 1512
Location: California
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:34 am quote
One important issue not mentioned so far. Registration. Many "Chinese" scooters are not legally titled or registerable in many states. These are motor vehicles that need to be licensed, insured and registered. It will be very disappointing to buy something that you suspect has a finite shelf life, may be dangerous or un-maintainable, then you can't even take it out on the road legally.

Have you ever bought a car at a 7-11 or an airplane at the mall?
Hooked
Piaggio LT-150
Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 196
Location: Washington, DC
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:37 am quote
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read this post. I was in your exact shoes only two months ago. I did not have more than $2,000 to spend (and that was pushing it). I

started out with the intention of a shiny new Lance (generic Chinese scoot) scooter for $1500. I did some research and realized (1) Parts would be hard to find (2) No one in my area worked on this kind of bike (3) I wanted something I could take pride in owning.

I kept an eye out on my local Craig's List and eBay. I ended up with a 2003 Piaggio LT-150 that fit my budget. I'm proud to own it. I get all kinds of looks and compliments. Parts and free advice (thank you MV) are readily available. I can out run, out last and out maneuver any new Chinese bike on the road.

Long story short it's nothing against Chinese made scooters. Its just that we don't want to see someone get stuck with a problematic scooter which has no parts or mechanical support.

I would advise my own Mother to buy a used Piaggio, Vespa, Buddy or Vino over any other no-name scoot.

Just Sayin. . .
Molto Verboso
79 P200e, 81 100 Sport
Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1443
Location: Iowa
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:40 am quote
The one item the original poster has not communicated is what their driving needs are. Perhaps a 50 cc starter scooter would be enough?

You can buy a Honda Metro for less than $2000. They are great reliable little machines and a good introduction into scootering. From there, you can decide if scootering fits your life and upgrade.

Yamaha Vino or a Buddy 50 are also options.

Most do end up wanting more power (me included)
Molto Verboso
'07 LX150
Joined: 13 Sep 2006
Posts: 1293
Location: Sartell Minnesota
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:41 am quote
If you're insistant on spending that amount of money I would say look to USED JAPANESE scooters such as Honda and Yamaha. Also consider the new models like the Yamaha Vino.

I would also like you to consider that all a scooter is is a lower powered motorcycle. Everything regarding safety applies equally to scooters as it does to motorcycles. Maybe even moreso because its generally harder to keep up with traffic with some of the smaller displacement models.

If a given scooter can cruise at, say, 55 mph, its really only safe to ride at posted speeds of 40-45 mph because eventually more power will be needed and it might not have the necessary power in case of an emergency if the bike is ridden at its limit.

Secondly, scooters are only easier to learn than motorcycles in that they don't need to be shifted. That's the ONLY difference. Everything you need to know applies equally from motorcycles to scooters.

Just as motorcycles imply a "lifestyle" its important to recognize scooters do too. You're going to spend time riding to get familiar with your future scooter (I hope) and then you'll probably see that an evening scooter ride is just a whole lot of fun compared to some other things we could be doing.

You asked some good questions. I guess the biggest point here is to consider that the idea of using some version of a motorcycle just for work is really not as cost effective unless one sells a car to make up the difference. If the intent is to save gas and the outlay of cash is really just discretionary income which might've gone to something else without any monetary return, I think the potential new rider is seeing things a little more clearly.

If you get the right scooter at the outset, you have a much better opportunity to enjoy those rides to and from work. Enjoyment in the form of reliability, ride comfort and pride in owning what ya really wanted in the first place. If you buy something based on what you can afford today you may later wish you'd saved longer to get the model you really wanted.

I hate to break it to you but a scooter, ie small displacement motorcycle, is really a very emotional monetary decision. If you buy based upon logic you miss the whole point of riding. Even if you feel that at this point its just a tool for going to work inexpensively.

There's an old saying; No one rides a motorcycle because they have to.

Best of luck to you,
Harv
Veni, Vidi, Posti
P200/sidecar, 74 Primavera
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5172
Location: North County San Diego
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:50 am quote
Here's one other thing to consider. When you buy a $1,500 chinese scooter and ride it for a year (assuming it makes it through the year) and you want to sell it, it will be worth close to nothing. Many chinese scooters end up on Craigslist as non-runners because they've broken down, and the owners can't find somewhere to get them serviced.

On the other hand, when you buy a used ET4 or a used Honda Helix or any other solid scooter, and ride it for a year, you'll be able to sell it for much closer to what you paid for it. In fact, if you're really patient and buy a good deal, you may even sell it for more than you paid for it. I found a great deal on an ET4 once, did a little cosmetic work on it, rode it for a while, and then sold it for more than I paid for it, so I essentially got to ride it for free.

As others have mentioned, the Genuine Buddy is a great scooter, and you should be able to find a lightly used one for under $2,500. Sym also has a good reputation.

Last edited by Quasi-moto on Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:52 am; edited 1 time in total
Hooked
Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 369
Location: DFW
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:50 am quote
kimcox99 wrote:
Thanks everyone for the help. So what scooter would you suggest to stay in the $1500-$2000 range? Maybe $2500 at the most? and for a 1st time rider. I have looked at Buddy and they are out of this price range. Also I live in Dallas, TX so I would need a local dealer. Thanks again....
Vespa Dallas also sells Genuine scooters including the Buddy and sometimes have used scooters as well. So far their service department has been nice to work with as well
Molto Verboso
GTS 250
Joined: 28 Apr 2006
Posts: 1093
Location: San Diego
Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:53 am quote
Locally I know of a Chinese scooter shop that does have a mechanic (and a damn good one) his estimation of Chinese scoots is that they are a sub par scooter but he does his best to ensure that the set-up of the scoot is aas good as it can be. I would be leery of ordering off the internet and setting it up your self. That being said if a Vespa is too pricey look into Kymco or Buddy as an alternative.

I did hear an amusing story of a couple of European guys that wanted to rent scooters for the summer. They instead bought a couple of Chinese scooters ran them into the ground then left them at the airport with the keys in them when they left.
Hooked
All of the good ones at least once, some twice.
Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 134
Location: SLO Town
Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:00 am quote
If you select your make/model carefully, have good dealer support, and the bike gets a good PDI, they are a great introduction to scootering. Without those things they can be a real headache.

I wrench on Chinese bikes everyday, 90% of problems are related to the bike not being setup correctly in the first place or stuff unqualified "mechanics" messed up.
Member
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 6

Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:03 am quote
Thanks for the help. I am looking for at least a 125cc but really i want a 150cc as will be using it to commute to work which is about 50 miles round trip and i will need to be able to keep up with traffic on the freeway and side streets. I plan to take a motorcycle safety course next month to get my license as that is a requirement in TX.
Hooked
mp3 500 919, CR500(s), American Foxhound
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Posts: 156
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Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:18 am quote
HI! (I've got my flame retardant undies on for this one)

The ScootDawg Forum is the best resource I've found for chinascoots. I bought a Xingyue ITA150 for the GF to learn on. I have the capability of doing whatever is required, including machinework so dealer support is of no concern to me. So far the machine has 800 some miles and no problems at all.
One of my main reasons for the ITA was that even though she wanted a Vespa, I knew she'd probably drop it right away and then wander around the house crying for the next month. BUT as Murphy would have it, the ITA is scratch free and you can pretty much bet that when she does upgrade to a Vespa it'll be roached within the first week.
So as of today, she's still learning, the ITA is still running fine, and the whole exercise has cost me a total of $1200, and that was the purchase price of the scoot! So if you're mechanical and you choose wisely I think you can do OK with a cheapo. Do your homework over at ScootDawg and read my ITA150 post there (if you're considering one) and you'll be fine. And No, it will never be as nice a Vespa or any other premium scooter, but that's not why you bought it, is it?.......oh BTW, the same scoot is now $1600...

Veni, Vidi, Posti
BV 350, Aprilia SC 300, LX150ie, Buddy 125
Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 6187
Location: Oregon City, OR
Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:28 am quote
I think you have gotten good advice from others about avoiding the Brand X chinascoots. In your preferred price range you will do best with a used scoot such as an ET4 Vespa, Buddy 125, Vino 125, Kymco 150, etc. Be sure there is a reliable local dealer for servicing whatever brand you consider. One scoot you might look at new is the Kymco Agility. It is also Chinese built but designed, imported and supported by Kymco. Last I knew it was still selling for just over $2000. The other hitch is that this is a tough time of year to get a good deal on a new or used scoot. New 125 Buddy's and Vinos are out of stock about everywhere. Good used scoots on Craigslist are snapped up quickly.

You mentioned a 50 mile round trip daily commute including freeway driving. I don't mean to rain on your parade but I don't think 125/150 small frame scoots are very suitable for freeway use. If there is an alternate route then great, but if you need to ride in 60-70 mph freeway traffic you may need to consider a 200-300+ scooter or motorcycle.

Last edited by Dooglas on Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:29 am; edited 1 time in total
Addicted
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Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:29 am quote
i had a chinese scoot and i had problems with it. scooter shop wouldn't work on it. motorcycle shopped worked on it and made problem worse. i fixed it myself using information and parts found on oregonvintage.com. scootdawg is also a good resource.

if you don't mind doing a little mechanic work yourself, you can replace some of the crappy original parts with better ones without spending a lot of money.
Hooked
A variety of non-operational ETs right now
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 212
Location: Whidbey Island, WA
Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:52 am quote
All of those complaints listed above are valid - I wouldn't recommend an off-brand China scoot to my worst enemy. There's two things I'd like to touch on (and I'm not picking on the OP in any way, but just a general observation):

1. Maybe its the instant gratification society that we have now, but it seems to me that if your budget doesn't allow for a decent quality whatever (not just scooter), perhaps you should do with what you have for a while and buy something better next year. Save another $500 to add to that budget and you are in a whole new class of vehicle.

2. I don't think I've ever seen this mentioned before, but one of my main peeves with these knockoff scoots - no matter their origin - is the theft of intellectual property. Someone worked their ass off to design whatever bike that Chinese factory just reverse-engineered (poorly) - the original designer gets no royalties and the original design is downgraded by generally poor quality reproductions. Just me I suppose.
Hooked
2012 GTS 300ie Daring Plum
Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 438
Location: Northern Virginia
Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:16 am quote
Pay attention to Dooglas. If your commute involves any freeway travel at all, a 150cc scoot won't get it done. You are going to a 200 - 250cc displacement, minimum, which, unfortunately prices you right out of the game if $2500 is too much for you to pay.

A better approach is take the MSF course first. Then, if you still want a scoot, determine how you will use it. If you must go on the freeway, save up or go in debt, because $2500 won't cut it for the displacement, size and engineering you will need to ride safely at freeway speeds.
Enthusiast
Vespa lx 150
Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 89
Location: Columbus Ohio
Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:18 am quote
Buy a Buddy, it won't break the bank and it's solid.
Addicted
Piaggio BV500, Genuine Stella, P200e
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Posts: 821
Location: Atlanta, GA (Milton)
Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:38 am quote
Alright, so I'll add to the list.

As a rule, chinese scooters are built to subpar quality standards. There are exceptions.

The Piaggio Fly 150 at $2699 is the cheapest Piaggio 150. It is manufactured in China, but is manufactured to a higher quality standard than most Chinese bikes.

The Kymco Agility 125 at $1999 is also manufactured in China. It also has a different quality control process from most chinese bikes.

Both of these are bikes that I would deem viable as they offer a service network of mechanics and parts to get them fixed if there is a problem. Beyond those, it is a complete crapshoot. There are chinese bikes that have been bulletproof, but they are not the norm (I had one that I used to test the waters, expecting it to be thrown away). Because of that, we push back against chinese scooters because of the issues.

The issue isn't price or snobbery, it's safety and satisfaction. The absolute worst things that can happen to a new scooter owner would be a scooter that never works properly, or worse, one that has a mechanical failure that causes injury to the rider. A rider, and that rider's family would have a soured and ill image of all scooters based upon that bad experience, and we as devout worshippers in the house of scooter, will do everything we can to safely convert the unwashed masses
Member
2007 Vespa GTS 250 Yellow
Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Posts: 49
Location: Redmond, WA
Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:44 am quote
No offence but this is another "everybody else said so". How many of you actually bought a Chinese scooter? The number of Chinese scooters sold in China is a lot more than sold in US. If everybody around you tell you something, an opinion becomes a fact.

Regarding build quality, yes you get what you paid for, it is cheaper so you will make some tradeoffs, don't expect a $2000 Chinese scooter have the same build quality with a $5k vespa, and it is not fair to say the Chinese scooter quality is bad by comparing apples to oranges. If you buy an unknown scooter brand you don't know online you will have trouble too no matter what country makes it, so the argument that Chinese scooter sold online will have problem in support is not valid.
Ossessionato
01 ET2 - 01 ET4 -- 05 GT200L / 05 PX150 / 1986? Honda CH150 Deluxe.
Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 2994
Location: SoCal OC
Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:53 am quote
Here is another reason NOT to buy a Cheapo Chinese Scooter....

I wonder if the journalist from the LA times read this story and assumed ALL Motorcycles and Scooters were like this when she wrote her story.




This is from the Pride of Cleveland website........



SACRAMENTO (CBS13) ― A Sacramento man parked his gas-guzzling truck for a fuel sipping scooter to make his local runs to the store and the doctor. And he was stunned when the state demanded he return the license plate and registration!

Randy Bearup thought he'd found the perfect wheels for his neighborhood trips to the grocery and the pharmacy. But then the state informed him his little bike is not only illegal; it could be much worse for the air than his truck, and part of a much bigger problem!

Randy found this Chinese-made Ricardo 150 at a dealer less than two-miles from his home.
He says for a retired guy on a fixed income, it's a dream!
"It's rated 75-miles to the gallon, so you can't go wrong with it."
Randy bought his bike from the Ricardo motors warehouse in south Sacramento, and he says he asked about air quality.
"I asked him, is it meant for California standards? He said everything is fine, everything. It's perfect for California."

The Ricardo Motors catalog & website say Randy's bike is EPA approved, and this tag on the bike says so, too. It also says it's California approved... But that's not true.

Randy Bearup called Ricardo Motors about the problem. He's left many messages. But he never heard back from them.

We got a hold of one of the owners of Ricardo Motors. He wants to be called Tony. Tony says the state is picking on him, and his business is essentially shut down right now.

Tony would not talk with us on camera.

Turns out Randy's scooter -- with its engine made in China -- might be a big time polluter. California air quality officials say these little scooters -- that get up to 75 miles a gallon -- can spew out an enormous amount of pollution.

"Realistically, we can see an uncertified motorcycle or scooter, that can emit as much pollution as 100 SUV's or pickup trucks, and that's not an exaggeration."

And state regulators say thousands of of these dirty little engines -- which are made in China and found in everything from scooters to ATV's to chainsaws, to lawnmowers, and even drink blenders -- are pouring into America illegally.

"The numbers of product coming in from out of state are astronomical. And we just don't have the resources to check every product that comes over the border."

Dimitri Stanich says with thousands of Chinese engines pouring into America those mismatched numbers are exactly the problem. On one of our visits to Ricardo Motorsports in the past month we found Tony, and several other guys loading ATV's into a truck.

Tony told us he'd take care of Randy and other customers with the same problem, if they're patient. But when we went back with Randy Bearup this month, Ricardo Motorsports was gone.

Randy is not alone. The state says about 300-scooters came in the shipment with his. The air resources board is ramping up to try to deal with what they say is a flood of illegal motors, but they're not there yet.


The full story....

http://cbs13.com/local/illegal.engines.polluting.2.657325.html

Last edited by Ifixjets on Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:33 am; edited 3 times in total
Addicted
Piaggio BV500, Genuine Stella, P200e
Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 821
Location: Atlanta, GA (Milton)
Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:16 am quote
huskerchen wrote:
No offence but this is another "everybody else said so". How many of you actually bought a Chinese scooter? The number of Chinese scooters sold in China is a lot more than sold in US. If everybody around you tell you something, an opinion becomes a fact.

Regarding build quality, yes you get what you paid for, it is cheaper so you will make some tradeoffs, don't expect a $2000 Chinese scooter have the same build quality with a $5k vespa, and it is not fair to say the Chinese scooter quality is bad by comparing apples to oranges. If you buy an unknown scooter brand you don't know online you will have trouble too no matter what country makes it, so the argument that Chinese scooter sold online will have problem in support is not valid.
Owned one. It ran fine for me for 400 miles, had a fuel system issue, fixed that, had to fix it myself, the shop that sold it went away too. Sold it on the very cheap to a guy that wouldn't listen to this advice. He rode it for a couple of weeks, had a fuel issue, has no mechanical ability, wants me to take it back (which I may do simply because he's a young newly wed on a teacher salary and I'm not interested in being an ass about it, despite that fact that for what I charged him, he could ebay it non-functional for more than he paid ).

I've also had a chinese 50cc, let's not get into it's issues, they were many. Niether was mail order, but I've worked on a couple of mail order chinese scooters, one of them would NEVER work as it was shipped, but the vendor disagrees and refuses to provide the purchaser with the replacement part.

I also know a guy that has 18k miles on a chinese scooter and his only problems have been batteries (it eats them about 2 a year) and oil, which it burns in almost equal parts to gas. Since neither of these are that severe to him. He is fine with it.
Member
2007 Vespa GTS 250 Yellow
Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Posts: 49
Location: Redmond, WA
Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:19 am quote
deleted..

Last edited by huskerchen on Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
Addicted
Piaggio BV500, Genuine Stella, P200e
Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 821
Location: Atlanta, GA (Milton)
Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:20 am quote
dadyswat wrote:
Buy a Buddy, it won't break the bank and it's solid.
*IF* you can find one right now. All of the less expensive 150 and 125 are getting scarce, and the Buddy, despite Genuine busting it's butt to keep them in stock, is getting harder and harder to come by. Last Saturday, we had 2 of them go out to folks that came 2 hours, past other Buddy dealerships to get a Buddy in the color they wanted (Pink and Orange).
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