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Hi all,

I had a look around the forum but can't find anything regarding riding aorund London that is recent enough.

After leaving London around 8 years ago I am planning my return back. I will be bringing my Vespa with me and the idea is to use it for my commute. Job will be base in Teddington, not sure where will I be living, but let's say Clapham Junction or maybe Ealing would be the furthest.

So my question is. How is riding in London? Back when I lived there I didn't have a bike. I saw lot's of scooters around central London and the traffic didn't seems too crazy, so I wonder if someone can give me some inside info.

Thanks!
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I've not ventured into London yet, but it is on my "to do" list!

This video here shows a small capacity bike with only 9hp - but gives you an idea of what to expect.

A Vespa would be amazing for cutting through traffic in London!

Only negative would be security in a city, so you need to consider a heavy lock, tracker, or a very safe place to park.

?si=hoBdlehK0Okjketd
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Maybe not what you want to hear , but as Jake alluded to above security is an issue. The bike/ phone/ motorcycle thieves love powerful scooters like Gt300's / Honda ADV / Burgman , since they are easy to ride due to their " small peanut " brains. Also highly manoeuvrable eg quick u turns when being chased.

So a bike cover and a 14/16 mm chain is highly recommended.

Im happy to be told Im wrong but this is my take on reading articles on bike safety which feature weekly! In Motorcycle News.
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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I used to both live and work in Teddington for over 30 years. I hope your new place of work has secure parking, and when finding somewhere to live off-street parking for a scooter (preferably out of sight of the road) should be a major consideration.
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You also need to know if your scooter is ULEZ compliant.....

https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone
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Touring300 wrote:
You also need to know if your scooter is ULEZ compliant.....

https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone
A 300 will be fine.
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Wow

Thanks all for the replies ☺️

Good to hear riding in London is not a suicidal mission.

I'll invest in a good lock. I'm used to just get off the bike, lock the handlebar, take the key and go.
Back in Singapore safety was not an issue at all, and here in Belgium (in a small town) I have a little lock for the front wheel but barely ever use it.

Thanks 🙏
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Binettasteve wrote:
Maybe not what you want to hear , but as Jake alluded to above security is an issue. The bike/ phone/ motorcycle thieves love powerful scooters like Gt300's / Honda ADV / Burgman , since they are easy to ride due to their " small peanut " brains. Also highly manoeuvrable eg quick u turns when being chased.

So a bike cover and a 14/16 mm chain is highly recommended.

Im happy to be told Im wrong but this is my take on reading articles on bike safety which feature weekly! In Motorcycle News.
Thanks for the tips, any recommendations for a chain to get? I've got a cover and a little wheel lock (with alarm). But I'll invest in a chain as well.

Better safe than sorry!
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JakeM wrote:
I've not ventured into London yet, but it is on my "to do" list!

This video here shows a small capacity bike with only 9hp - but gives you an idea of what to expect.

A Vespa would be amazing for cutting through traffic in London!

Only negative would be security in a city, so you need to consider a heavy lock, tracker, or a very safe place to park.

?si=hoBdlehK0Okjketd
Cool video, thanks for sharing!
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jimc wrote:
I used to both live and work in Teddington for over 30 years. I hope your new place of work has secure parking, and when finding somewhere to live off-street parking for a scooter (preferably out of sight of the road) should be a major consideration.
Nice!
I lived in Kingston upon Thames some 10+ years ago. Almost neighbors!

The work place has a parking lot and security in site and gates and so on, so at least during working hours it'll well looked after.

Now I need to find a place to live with adequate parking as well.
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One of the hassles with commuting into London on a scooter or any other two wheeled vehicle is the parking.

Ever since the cycle hire scheme was launched in London, the amount of motorcycle parking bays has been reduced. If you don't find parking before a certain time you could spend a lot of time searching for somewhere and then you have to put up with the risk of your scooter getting scratched or dragged/moved by selfish bikers just to get their bike to fit in non existent spaces.

A bigger problem especially with scooters is the real risk of it being stolen (regardless of whether it has an immobiliser or not). It is absolutely essential to purchase a good quality lock / chain and bike cover as has already been stated on here. Bike thieves will take your pride and joy in broad daylight no matter what you do to prevent it so that has to be a consideration (1st hand experience).

Some of the NCP type car parks allow parking for two wheeled vehicles but best is parking at a workplace or secure enclosure.

Riding in London you have to deal with delivery vehicles on tight deadlines, U-turning taxis and kamikaze scooter delivery riders. You have to ride defensively at all times and assume other road users (including pedestrians and cyclists) are out to get you.

These issues apply to all areas of London - some areas don't even have places to park a scooter which is a real pain yet some boroughs allow you to park for free on residential parking bays it's a mess.

Lastly, some bus lanes allow motorcycles and some don't so you have to pay attention to the signage. When filtering don't go the wrong side of traffic islands as you can get fines from the many cameras that look out for such things OH and avoid riding on the central reservations near traffic islands or lights if you don't want to get punctures (that's where nails and glass can accumulate) which can totally ruin your day.
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UTC quote
FGWT wrote:
One of the hassles with commuting into London on a scooter or any other two wheeled vehicle is the parking.

Ever since the cycle hire scheme was launched in London, the amount of motorcycle parking bays has been reduced. If you don't find parking before a certain time you could spend a lot of time searching for somewhere and then you have to put up with the risk of your scooter getting scratched or dragged/moved by selfish bikers just to get their bike to fit in non existent spaces.

A bigger problem especially with scooters is the real risk of it being stolen (regardless of whether it has an immobiliser or not). It is absolutely essential to purchase a good quality lock / chain and bike cover as has already been stated on here. Bike thieves will take your pride and joy in broad daylight no matter what you do to prevent it so that has to be a consideration (1st hand experience).

Some of the NCP type car parks allow parking for two wheeled vehicles but best is parking at a workplace or secure enclosure.

Riding in London you have to deal with delivery vehicles on tight deadlines, U-turning taxis and kamikaze scooter delivery riders. You have to ride defensively at all times and assume other road users (including pedestrians and cyclists) are out to get you.

These issues apply to all areas of London - some areas don't even have places to park a scooter which is a real pain yet some boroughs allow you to park for free on residential parking bays it's a mess.

Lastly, some bus lanes allow motorcycles and some don't so you have to pay attention to the signage. When filtering don't go the wrong side of traffic islands as you can get fines from the many cameras that look out for such things OH and avoid riding on the central reservations near traffic islands or lights if you don't want to get punctures (that's where nails and glass can accumulate) which can totally ruin your day.
Very good info!
Thanks a lot
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