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Searching results are all over the place and mostly not recent so here...

Need a scooter for my wife so she can ride with me. She thinks riding on the backseat is stupid lol and she wants her own.

So what would you recommend for something along these lines:
- she's about 5'5
- can drive stickshift/manual but is not seasoned
- ideally I want to her to be able to keep up with me (Bajaj/Vespa Sprint) but I know it would take some time
- MY budget is about $3k
- I posted here as I don't mind getting her older/old school Vespa that I can service and repair if needed

She won't even test ride my 1980 Bajaj Barnfind as she doesn't trust it due to it's age lol

Any female riders, I'd welcome your input!
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See if you can get her a Smallie.

They're super light, actually ride better than a largeframe, and will produce all the power you want with even a minimum of tuning.

Alternatively, if you don't mind getting her something newer, look at a Genuine Buddy. They are great scoots if you want a twistie.
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how about an lx or an et4? she's probably not as hung up on it being vintage as you are, judging by the bajaj comment. they're great learner bikes.
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smallie or VBB or Super on 8's for old

new that you can still work on: ET4 or ET2 with cut down seat, buddy 50/125/150, Honda NHX110, Honda met (be a little pokey), Yamaha vino 125 all of these have short seat heights are light and handle well enough and would keep up.
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a buddy is probably a good bet.

et4 or lx totally doable. i have short legs, probably shorter than your wife's even though I'm about 2" taller. both are comfy for me even without modding the seat. The GTS is a bit more, but she doesn't need that for what you are doing.
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oh! forgot one- kymco Like. great bike! easy to work on, run forever.
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I personally wouldn't mess with a new kick. they're good bikes and all. but the older 2008+ buddy 125/150 are absolute stone axe reliable and will take criminal amounts of punishment. the parts are cheap and available and you can pick up used ones for next to nothing.
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Thanks guys. One thing I forgot to add - it has to be under 150cc or otherwise wifey would need a motorcycle class license, M designation in IL. I got that back in 2001 when I got my 1st crutch rocket, she doesn't

Ps do you know how much my insurance is for my 1980 Bajaj? $8 a year! Kid you not
⚠️ Last edited by npn on UTC; edited 1 time
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greasy125 wrote:
but the older 2008+ buddy 125/150 are absolute stone axe reliable and will take criminal amounts of punishment. the parts are cheap and available and you can pick up used ones for next to nothing.
Oh yeah totally in for that!
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Personally, there's 2 parts to this dilemma…

Which I've thought about as well.

1. Do I buy her a et4 which is simple and more than enough, as she's just complaining that she just wants to be on her own scoot. She couldn't give a monkeys if the bike has gears or not. None of that metal shell, great afterparts market, vintage Italian engineering, romance nonsense for her…

2. But end up hating the et4 because you'll be doing all the maintenance on it and essentially seeing it more than she does. You'll try put an aftermarket malossi big bore cylinder on it, but it's just not the same… so would buying a vintage Vespa be the best? You could share the parts and tools between scoots so less 4stroke rubbish lying around? However, there's the safety factor of when she breaks down and you'll be towing your super reliable scoot together with hers home…
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Female rider here, weighing in….

Congrats, npn. You're going to have so much fun riding together. Good on you for nudging your wife into the scooter world. And good on her for wanting her own!

I'm 5'2 and love my 1966 Vespa Super on 8's. It fits my petite stature quite well (can flatfoot with a heeled boot or shoe), whereas the P's were way too tall for me to reach the ground with my feet.

I was hell-bent on the vintage looks and classic styling of a 60's Vespa and was willing to put up with minor inconveniences to achieve my goal. However, some gals might find a few challenges with this type of scoot.

First off, it's heavy and hard to control for me. I can never shift 1st-2nd on an incline or, God forbid, stop. I might just tip over. This requires premeditated traffic planning and running a few stop signs.

Secondly, the repairs and maintenance are pretty tough for me with no background in mechanics and no well-stocked tool shop. Sounds like you will take care of this whole aspect, though, so not a problem for your wife.

Thirdly, the manual clutch took a bit of practice. I knew how to drive my old manual Jeep like a pro, but learning the Vespa hand clutch and riding enough to feel confident in traffic took a while.

A lot of the scoots the other members have mentioned are probably lighter, cheaper, more reliable, and easier to ride than an old Vespa. But, I wouldn't trade mine for anything. She's a finicky but gorgeous vintage babe that I mechanically humor for the joyful pleasure of her company❤️.

Good luck to you in your search. Please post up a scooter lovebirds pic when you finalize your choice
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greasy125 wrote:
I personally wouldn't mess with a new kick. they're good bikes and all. but the older 2008+ buddy 125/150 are absolute stone axe reliable and will take criminal amounts of punishment. the parts are cheap and available and you can pick up used ones for next to nothing.
When you say 2008+ do you mean 2008 and newer? Or 2008 and older.

I checked cycle trader and I can't find any older than 2013 model.
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Kimono32 wrote:
First off, it's heavy and hard to control for me. I can never shift 1st-2nd on an incline or, God forbid, stop. I might just tip over. This requires premeditated traffic planning and running a few stop signs.

Secondly, the repairs and maintenance are pretty tough for me with no background in mechanics and no well-stocked tool shop. Sounds like you will take care of this whole aspect, though, so not a problem for your wife.

Thirdly, the manual clutch took a bit of practice. I knew how to drive my old manual Jeep like a pro, but learning the Vespa hand clutch and riding enough to feel confident in traffic took a while.
I think you're right with the above... and the bolded line is really funny!
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npn wrote:
Kimono32 wrote:
This requires premeditated traffic planning and running a few stop signs.
I think you're right with the above... and the bolded line is really funny!
This also confirms what I always say: stopping is overrated. Razz emoticon
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Molto Verboso
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npn wrote:
When you say 2008+ do you mean 2008 and newer? Or 2008 and older.

I checked cycle trader and I can't find any older than 2013 model.
They're out there. This was a dealer abandon that I got in early November. 2009 Buddy 150 "International", in the St. Tropez color scheme. 3125 miles. Needs new tires, a new battery and a carb clean. Cost $668 with clean paperwork. Shame I couldn't get two bucks off.

Not really my cuppa tea, but I'm servicing it and moving it on to someone who wants to upgrade from a 50cc Ruckus.
Rear quarter view.
Rear quarter view.
Front quarter view.
Front quarter view.
Barely broken in.
Barely broken in.
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az_slynch wrote:
They're out there. This was a dealer abandon that I got in early November. 2009 Buddy 150 "International", in the St. Tropez color scheme. 3125 miles. Needs new tires, a new battery and a carb clean. Cost $668 with clean paperwork. Shame I couldn't get two bucks off.

Not really my cuppa tea, but I'm servicing it and moving it on to someone who wants to upgrade from a 50cc Ruckus.
Nice!
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Found one, though I usually take longer before I choose.

How can I tell if it's manual or automatic transmission?
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
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perfect

i think they are all autos, someone will be along to confirm
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They're all automatic (CVT).
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It's a Buddy "International", which is just a appearance package. That style is "Series Italia" and not exactly "rare". I'd ask where the front rack went. If it's on the factory Maxxis whitewalls, swap them STAT.

The 125 is really peppy and can hit a legit 60, though the speedometer may add at least 10% on top. A 161 kit can really make them move out.
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the international series were also all 150's (I think). and the 150's got a bigger head/valves and an aux. oil cooler along with better placement of the oil filter.

other than that, all the shizz is the same.

the tire size is super common, you can run 100/90 or 3.50-10's so tons of options on rubber.
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Has she thought about a motorcycle safety class? Reading online it looks like Minnesota, take a safety course and you can get class M when finished, no DMV ridden test. Looks like you need safety course either way?


I found this

Class L Motorcycle License

A class L license allows a rider to operate a motorbike that has less than 150cc displacement. Most times, people obtain this type of license to operate actual motorcycles rather than things like mopeds. In order to acquire a class L motorcycle license, an individual must pass a written driving test. In addition, they must also show proof that they completed an approved motorcycle training course. Lastly, a 10-dollar fee is required to get the physical license.
⚠️ Last edited by Christopher_55934 on UTC; edited 2 times
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If I recall correctly, and it's been a while, npn, so doublecheck all of this.

That being said, in Illinois...

You can ride a < 50cc bike with just a driver's license.

You don't have to take a safety class to get an L, but are limited to bikes < 150cc's. The L requires the same testing (written+riding) as an M, with the determination being done by whether you took the test on a bike that was < or >= 150cc's.

I took the test on my Stella, aced it (shocker!) and when the guy administering the test asked me if it was a 150, I said, "Yes," and he gave me an M rather than an L. Watching the guy in front of me (who was a dick to me while we waited in line) dump his ginormous over-chromed harley during the test was the high point of my day.

From a registration perspective, <150cc bikes are cheaper to register, not allowed on controlled access roads (highways, technically including Lakeshore Drive) and have blue letters/numbers on the license plate.

150+ bikes have no restrictesions and red numbers on the plate.

In my experience, the cops could care less about any of that, but maybe that's because I was never a dick to them.

Anyways...more than most of you probably ever wanted to know about Illinois licensing requirements as of fifteen or twenty years ago, anyway. (They were pretty much all still that when I left three years ago, too, I'm pretty sure)
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My wife's Buddy is a brilliant bike. It's the 170, though. But as far as the rest of the bike goes it has been nearly perfect.
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chandlerman wrote:
In my experience, the cops could care less about any of that, but maybe that's because I was never a dick to them.
I have a friend who takes the permit (written test) and never does the rest and he's been doing this for about 4-5 years now. He's got a beast of a Suzuki, custom blah blah 150+HP and doesn't even plan to get the proper DL. So wifey is like "maybe I can do that too". The problem is that the driving part is actually not easy to pass unless you have a small 150/250cc bike. I did pass mine on a Honda CBR crotch rocket and it wasn't easy. Try making a u-turn in a 3-4 yard box with both feet on the pegs.
⚠️ Last edited by npn on UTC; edited 1 time
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Unfortunately the seller is not responding. Facebook says listed over a week ago, but that may mean posted a year ago and the seller never removed the ad.
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npn wrote:
I have a friend who takes the permit (written test) and never does the rest and he's been doing this for about 4-5 years now. He's got a beast of a Suzuki, custom blah blah 150+HP and doesn't even plan to get the proper DL. So wifey is like "maybe I can do that too". The problem is that the driving part is actually not easy to pass unless you have a small 150/250cc bike. I did pass mine on a Honda CBR crotch rocket and it wasn't easy. Try making a u-turn in a 3-4 yard box with both feet on the pegs.
Never gets old.
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npn wrote:
Unfortunately the seller is not responding. Facebook says listed over a week ago, but that may mean posted a year ago and the seller never removed the ad.
They're fairly common, though this is the slow season for scooter sales. You'll find another.

Have you checked Craigslist?
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JKJ-FZ6 wrote:
They're fairly common, though this is the slow season for scooter sales. You'll find another.

Have you checked Craigslist?
Yep offerup and cycle trader too
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greasy125 wrote:
the international series were also all 150's (I think). and the 150's got a bigger head/valves and an aux. oil cooler along with better placement of the oil filter.
Genuine offered all three flavors of the "International" trim in 50, 150, and 170 displacements. I think the original "Series Italia" was offered as a 125 in '07 and all three were offered starting in '08.

The 125 has a different crankshaft than the 150, with a longer stroke length and a smaller piston pin. I think the cam gear is specific to the 125 as well.

The 150s and 170i's had oil coolers. The 150 had it between the battery box and the cylinder and the 170i had it between the front tire and the battery box. Cooling is probably more effective on the 170i, but the filter is a lot more vulnerable.
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npn wrote:
I have a friend who takes the permit (written test) and never does the rest and he's been doing this for about 4-5 years now. He's got a beast of a Suzuki, custom blah blah 150+HP and doesn't even plan to get the proper DL. So wifey is like "maybe I can do that too". The problem is that the driving part is actually not easy to pass unless you have a small 150/250cc bike. I did pass mine on a Honda CBR crotch rocket and it wasn't easy. Try making a u-turn in a 3-4 yard box with both feet on the pegs.
This is why it's a good idea to take safety classes or riding classes. Also pratice in an empty parking lot with cones. You can make it every time, have to practice looking over shoulder and looking where you want to be.
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I'm all for your wife taking the motorcycle safety course. She'll learn some valuable skills before getting out on her own in a controlled environment and will get the full license. Might help in choosing what type of scoot she prefers after the course is completed. Auto vs clutch and gears.
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The trick with CVT scoots in the figure-eight part of the test is to give them a little bit of throttle and regulate speed with the rear brake.

They have a dry centrifugal clutch that can be slipped easily by using the rear brake to manage how much engine power hits the road. You also get a small gyroscopic benefit by putting rotational speed into the crank, flywheel, variator and driven clutch assembly
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So I know this is not a marriage counseling but it is not all to me. There's her, right?

3 years ago I got her a Harley because she wanted a harley lol. We're recently-ish married and she didn't really know me riding motorcycles... Let's say that I had hit a quiet period in my life. So fine I bought the harley (small engine 883) and I took her for a spin and she was in heaven discovering another side of me. Her interest in motorcycles shot through the roof until I started teaching her to ride - dropping the big boy on the ground is no fun lol. I upgraded the clutch to make it smoother, removed the slack on the throttle because she did not like how it would engage "at once" but it didn't help... On the positive side she enjoyed shopping for multiple outfits, helmet, glasses leather jackets, vests padded pants lol

She decided that I wasn't a good teacher... I mean that she wanted to take a proper class. So went to the local dealership which offered a really good class on lowered, "castrated" bikes with safety bars. She felt in love with the idea ,but still wanted me to teach her some more first before taking the class. That was spring 2022.

So when I came across this 1980 Bajaj Barnfind and started riding it and signing up with the Chicago Vespa club she then decided that she wants a scooter so we can ride together. I get it, the Harley is a bit big for her. But IMO, and please correct me if I'm wrong, if you don't have the passion and you're not a seasoned rider by late 30s, chances are that you won't get into riding motorcycles, not even a scooter.

I am not being a chauvinist here, but for me, I only need the bike under me and the road; don't care about my outfit, or even a helmet (I know, long discussion) and I ride. Don't need a riding buddy, no plans, no destination. I think that applies to most male riders and I'm yet to see a female rider riding solo for fun, tho I know, they are out there
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It's like the saying you can lead a horse to water. Have similar results with my angling passion purchase full range of gear, rod , reel, waders, boots and it's not cheap. Years of dragging them through the brambles to choice runs still can't tie a fly on or release a catch. What I thought would be fun became a job.

Small frames are great scooters for gals.
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If your wifey wants to play with you in your sport don't be negative.
@bajarob avatar
UTC

Addicted
1961 VS5T, 1981 P200E, Rigid Frame Chopper, 2001 Harley FXDXT
Joined: UTC
Posts: 763
Location: Ventura, CA
 
Addicted
@bajarob avatar
1961 VS5T, 1981 P200E, Rigid Frame Chopper, 2001 Harley FXDXT
Joined: UTC
Posts: 763
Location: Ventura, CA
UTC quote
Seems totally standard to me! My wife rides on the back with me. She has no interest in riding herself. When I split lanes she just closes her eyes. I have a set of rules for her riding with me and no exceptions. Only time she listens to me, ha! We have a great time together on the road. Good luck with yours.
OP
UTC

Hooked
1980 Bajaj
Joined: UTC
Posts: 407
Location: Chicago
 
Hooked
1980 Bajaj
Joined: UTC
Posts: 407
Location: Chicago
UTC quote
BajaRob wrote:
Seems totally standard to me! My wife rides on the back with me. She has no interest in riding herself. When I split lanes she just closes her eyes. I have a set of rules for her riding with me and no exceptions. Only time she listens to me, ha! We have a great time together on the road. Good luck with yours.
Mine will not ride on the back of my scoot, says it's stupid and wants her own
@25bikez avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2022 Liberty 150S-"Meg"
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1151
Location: Texas
 
Molto Verboso
@25bikez avatar
2022 Liberty 150S-"Meg"
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1151
Location: Texas
UTC quote
npn wrote:
So I know this is not a marriage counseling but it is not all to me. There's her, right?

3 years ago I got her a Harley because she wanted a harley lol. We're recently-ish married and she didn't really know me riding motorcycles... Let's say that I had hit a quiet period in my life. So fine I bought the harley (small engine 883) and I took her for a spin and she was in heaven discovering another side of me. Her interest in motorcycles shot through the roof until I started teaching her to ride - dropping the big boy on the ground is no fun lol. I upgraded the clutch to make it smoother, removed the slack on the throttle because she did not like how it would engage "at once" but it didn't help... On the positive side she enjoyed shopping for multiple outfits, helmet, glasses leather jackets, vests padded pants lol

She decided that I wasn't a good teacher... I mean that she wanted to take a proper class. So went to the local dealership which offered a really good class on lowered, "castrated" bikes with safety bars. She felt in love with the idea ,but still wanted me to teach her some more first before taking the class. That was spring 2022.

So when I came across this 1980 Bajaj Barnfind and started riding it and signing up with the Chicago Vespa club she then decided that she wants a scooter so we can ride together. I get it, the Harley is a bit big for her. But IMO, and please correct me if I'm wrong, if you don't have the passion and you're not a seasoned rider by late 30s, chances are that you won't get into riding motorcycles, not even a scooter.

I am not being a chauvinist here, but for me, I only need the bike under me and the road; don't care about my outfit, or even a helmet (I know, long discussion) and I ride. Don't need a riding buddy, no plans, no destination. I think that applies to most male riders and I'm yet to see a female rider riding solo for fun, tho I know, they are out there
You can develop a passion for anything later in life. 30 is not a magic age. Male/female doesn't matter. Men and women over 30 learn to ride (and love) motorcycles, climbing mountains, parasailing, skydiving, scuba diving, sailing, painting, sculpting, and on and on. Many of the people on this very forum discovered scooters later in life. How's she going to know unless she tries a bunch of different things?
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