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Here are a few recent bits of advice that I've seen that just aren't true... Anyone else have any to add...

1. Never jump start a vespa, it'll ruin the electrical system.
2. Never mix different brands of oil
3. Your vespa won't start because of "bad gas"
4. Making eye contact with the driver ensures that he'll see you.
5. Cheap helmets are not as safe as expensive ones.
⚠️ Last edited by Lars_Danner on UTC; edited 1 time
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Lars_Danner wrote:
5. Cheap helmets are not as safe as expensive ones.
oh boy...
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Lars_Danner wrote:
3. Your vespa won't start because of "bad gass"
Misspelling aside, I've actually seen this happen on more than one occasion. Gasoline does go bad with age, and can also be contaminated (e.g. with water).
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jess wrote:
I've actually seen this happen on more than one occasion. Gasoline does go bad with age, and can also be contaminated (e.g. with water).
Yeah I agree, it can happen, but I think it is not that common.
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adri wrote:
oh boy...
Expensive helmets are often designed to provide maximum protection in the event of high-speed crashes. That means they're going to be slightly harder than is necessary for low speed crashes. Harder helmets transmit more energy to the brain than softer helmets.
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Lars_Danner wrote:
Expensive helmets are often designed to provide maximum protection in the event of high-speed crashes. That means they're going to be slightly harder than is necessary for low speed crashes. Harder helmets transmit more energy to the brain than softer helmets.
There are a thousand different individual elements or situations that picking one and just one doesn't really do the overall situation justice...

A better hydrated, cooler rider has faster reaction times than a dehydrated overheated one, and more expensive helmets typically have much better ventilation into and out of the helmet.

A more rested rider also typically has faster reaction times than a fatigues one, and the excessive weight and wind noise of cheaper helmets would increase rider fatigue sooner.

Etc.

I'm sure you could come up with a dozen reasons why cheaper helmets are the cream of the crop (more money for other gear, etc.), and then I could do the opposite, but I'll just stop here. I just want to put out enough information to help riders think and ask questions. We're motorcyclists, masters of calculated risks, we can all make our own decisions.
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Some cheap (actually surprisingly very cheap) helmets get as good or better rating as some helmets costing ten times as much. But some are rubbish. Very few expensive helmets get poor ratings.

https://sharp.dft.gov.uk/helmets/
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The absolute worse myth that some believe in - laying down the bike. As in "I had to lay down my bike to avoid the crash (or brake better or stop faster)" This usually comes out of a rider's mouth operating a bike that is too much for them to begin with. Crazy.
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Lars_Danner wrote:
Expensive helmets are often designed to provide maximum protection in the event of high-speed crashes.
I don't believe this generalization has any basis in reality. Expensive helmets aren't necessarily designed for higher-speed crashes, they are often developed with features that make them a premium product. Sometimes just the brand name makes them more expensive.

There are factors that will result in a stiffer helmet, however. Snell compliance is one obvious example.
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Lars_Danner wrote:
Yeah I agree, it can happen, but I think it is not that common.
Gasoline has a shelf life of three to six months (citation).

Considering that scooters often sit unused for 6 months or even years at a time, it's much more common than you think.
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adri wrote:
A better hydrated, cooler rider has faster reaction times than a dehydrated overheated one,
This is the safest helmet then!

https://www.amazon.com/Novelty-Place-Guzzler-Drinking-Helmet/dp/B01KHOQ26Y
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UTC quote
Lars_Danner wrote:
Here are a few recent bits of advice that I've seen that just aren't true... Anyone else have any to add...

1. Never jump start a vespa, it'll ruin the electrical system.
2. Never mix different brands of oil
3. Your vespa won't start because of "bad gas"
4. Making eye contact with the driver ensures that he'll see you.
5. Cheap helmets are not as safe as expensive ones.
1. Didn't think it was possible to jump start a Vespa. Must be a very old one.
2. Don't mix different brands of oil has some (slight) justification, but more important than brands and clearer. Don't mix oil of different standards.
3. Can be. Depends on how it is stored. My CRF250RL ran okay-ish through the full tank of 2 year old gas that was in it when I bought it. It ran much better on next tank. Fuel in tiny fuel tanks, that are stored in damp areas, with high temperature changes, will go bad within months. Gas(oline) is for using, not storing.
4. Eye contact might mean he sees you. It is not a guarantee that he notices you.
5. While you can find safe cheap helmet, and unsafe expensive one, the more expensive one is the way to bet.
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T.S.Zarathusra wrote:
1. Didn't think it was possible to jump start a Vespa. Must be a very old one.
I personally have jump-started 2009, 2014, 2022, and 2023 Vespas without problems. As far as I know, any internal combustion engine that comes stock with a 12v battery and an electric starter can be jumped.
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jess wrote:
I don't believe this generalization has any basis in reality. Expensive helmets aren't necessarily designed for higher-speed crashes, they are often developed with features that make them a premium product. Sometimes just the brand name makes them more expensive.

There are factors that will result in a stiffer helmet, however. Snell compliance is one obvious example.
I'll take an affordable MIPS or ece--22-06 helmet over an expensive Snell Helmet every day of the week.
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jess wrote:
Gasoline has a shelf life of three to six months (citation).

Considering that scooters often sit unused for 6 months or even years at a time, it's much more common than you think.


The myth I was writing about wasn't stored gas, rather bad gas from the pump. I hear people suggest all the time that someone's problem is "cheap" gas. Improper storage is a whole different issue.
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Lars_Danner wrote:
I'll take an affordable MIPS or ece--22-06 helmet over an expensive Snell Helmet every day of the week.
Agreed. But price isn't actually the factor that I'm looking at, personally — I'm just looking for helmets that don't have Snell certification.
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Lars_Danner wrote:
I personally have jump-started 2009, 2014, 2022, and 2023 Vespas without problems. As far as I know, any internal combustion engine that comes stock with a 12v battery and an electric starter can be jumped.
You can jumpstart them just fine. Just don't use a running vehicle to do it, the car/truck alternator output can put a hurt on your scooter's regulator/rectifier assembly.

For a simple suggestion, use a portable USB boost box.
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Regarding cheap helmets v. expensive helmets...

I recall a helmet study (Snell or Sharp I can't recall) that cited some of the cheaper helmets performed very well in the same scenarios as the expensive helmets.

More expensive helmets will tend to use lighter composites or carbon fiber for the outer shell. They also tend to have multiple shell sizes to accommodate XXS to XXXL head sizes, which will increase manufacturing costs. Pricier helmets also tend to use nicer materials for the headliner and may also include a Pinlock ready visor with the Pinlock insert and improved ventilation.

A pricier helmet does not necessarily mean better protection; but it may be lighter in weight, have better fitment, and be more comfortable for the rider in the long run.
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loud pipes...
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RRider wrote:
loud pipes...
Loud pipes subvert Darwinian selection.
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UTC quote
T.S.Zarathusra wrote:
1. Didn't think it was possible to jump start a Vespa. Must be a very old one.
(...)
I think I understand the misunderstanding.

I think you refer to the method where a few people are pushing a vehicle, a car or a motorcycle, until enough speed is reached, then you set it in first gear and abruptly loose the clutch to get the engine running. That indeed will never work on a modern scooter.

But here a jumpstart is to connect the battery of the scooter by means of starting cables to the battery of another vehicle, such as a car.
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UTC quote
az_slynch wrote:
You can jumpstart them just fine. Just don't use a running vehicle to do it, the car/truck alternator output can put a hurt on your scooter's regulator/rectifier assembly.
(...)
Running the engine of the car/truck is not needed, considering the size of its battery compared to the one of the scooter.

But on the other hand, when the car/truck has a good working voltage regulator I think running the engine should not be a problem.
The alternator runs at 14-15V and that is the same voltage you have on the scooter's alternator when the engine is running.
In my idea the battery of the scooter only feels the voltage.
I may be wrong but then please explain.
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Jumpstart vs bumpstart.
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PeterCC wrote:
I think I understand the misunderstanding.
No, they're talking about jumpstarting. What you describe is bumpstarting.

I am personally somewhat skeptical of the proclamation that jump-starting a scooter from a running automobile will fry the scooter due to an overcurrent situation. Electricity just doesn't work like that — the scooter will draw as much current as it needs, and the excess capacity available from the running automobile will be irrelevant.

An overvoltage situation might be a different matter. I suppose it's theoretically possible for a running vehicle to generate an abnormally high voltage. Even here, though, I'm skeptical — the automobile is also running on a 12v system, and is likely to keep the voltage within a safe charging range for its own 12v battery.

IANAEE (I am not an electrical engineer) so I will defer to those with actual education on this subject. If I've gotten some part of this wrong, please feel free to disabuse me of the notion.
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I'm not an electrical engineer either.

Truth be told, I've only observed two motorcycles that were damaged by jumpstarting them with a running car. In both cases, the regulator/rectifier died, both showing signs of overheating. The data missing from my observations was whether or not the car engine was revved up above idle speed when the jumping procedure occurred, and whether or not the jumping occurred directly from battery-to-battery or if frame grounding was involved.

My hypothesis is that the motorcycle alternator only puts out about a tenth of the capability of a car alternator and that it just burns out the regulator. The motorcycle's adjacent wiring got a bit melty/crispy too.
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az_slynch wrote:
I'm not an electrical engineer either.

Truth be told, I've only observed two motorcycles that were damaged by jumpstarting them with a running car. In both cases, the regulator/rectifier died, both showing signs of overheating. The data missing from my observations was whether or not the car engine was revved up above idle speed when the jumping procedure occurred, and whether or not the jumping occurred directly from battery-to-battery or if frame grounding was involved.

My hypothesis is that the motorcycle alternator only puts out about a tenth of the capability of a car alternator and that it just burns out the regulator. The motorcycle's adjacent wiring got a bit melty/crispy too.
If you're connecting to the scooter battery then the scooter regulator is bypassed. Now I bet those bikes that get damaged by jumpstarting had faulty regulators in the first place, hence the discharged batteries.

If the problem is simply a tired battery (as opposed to any other faults in the system) then jumpstarting from a running car engine is just fine. But there's zero need to have the car engine running, the car battery has so much more capacity than the scooter battery that it doesn't need the help of the car's alternator. That *might* be needed to jumpstart another car, but even then...
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UTC quote
Going to buy my first decent helmet. What should I
Get? I want it to hold by the DOT and the European standards. I was looking at a snell one but people seem to say they aren't good. So what is? I don't ride fast.

Thanks!
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UTC quote
elirosenblatt wrote:
Going to buy my first decent helmet. What should I
Get? I want it to hold by the DOT and the European standards. I was looking at a snell one but people seem to say they aren't good. So what is? I don't ride fast.

Thanks!
Snell rating are fine, but personally I'd use the UK Sharp ratings, as their testing and rating criteria are much, much more modern.

There is no real DOT standard, just the sticky label. Those pea-nut shell helmets some HD riders wear (which are DOT compliant) would no more count as a helmet in the UK as a colander.
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jimc wrote:
But there's zero need to have the car engine running, the car battery has so much more capacity than the scooter battery that it doesn't need the help of the car's alternator.
Agreed.
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elirosenblatt wrote:
Going to buy my first decent helmet. What should I
Get? I want it to hold by the DOT and the European standards. I was looking at a snell one but people seem to say they aren't good. So what is? I don't ride fast.
It's not that they're not good, it's just that there is quite a bit of debate about whether Snell makes helmets better or worse. The answer is complex, and really depends on assumptions about the specific nature of a crash — something that none of us can really predict.

All that said, a Snell helmet isn't going to be bad, regardless of which side of the Snell debate you fall. In fact, it's likely to be quite good. The only question is whether it could've been better without the Snell rating. And that's probably outside of the scope of this topic.
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UTC quote
PeterCC wrote:
I think I understand the misunderstanding.

I think you refer to the method where a few people are pushing a vehicle, a car or a motorcycle, until enough speed is reached, then you set it in first gear and abruptly loose the clutch to get the engine running. That indeed will never work on a modern scooter.

But here a jumpstart is to connect the battery of the scooter by means of starting cables to the battery of another vehicle, such as a car.
Bingo. Don't know if I should blame dyslexia or English not being my first language.

Starting a bike by connecting cables between batteries could damage electronics if you confused polarity or connected them so the inrush of current passed through components. Simple plus to plus and ground to ground with engines off should perfectly safe.
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