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@bpreynolds avatar
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@bpreynolds avatar
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UTC quote
As I stated in another thread I've got about 15 years of motorcycle experience and rode 15k just last year on my Ducati, this including a great number of highway miles. I just got my first scooter last week, a fantastic '07 200GT. I commute to work about 15 miles each way usually B roads but I can take a highway and cut the time down significantly. Today I decided to try the scoot out on the big road. Granted, it's needing some tires but even still, I wasn't used to the experience I had. First, and this is a sidebar, but I think my speedo might be a tad optimistic, but anyhow, I couldn't care less about that really. What bothered me is the scoot did not feel greatly stable, swerving a good bit and getting tossed around a lot by the wind and turbulance, and it wasn't even a greatly windy day. I'm really enjoying the scoot but I got the 200 thinking it would be fine for some shorter hauls on the freeway but today I felt like I was fighting it for most of the 14 or so miles. This was running about 70mph. Any feedback on this?
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Yes, the speedometers are optimistic. Very common. So is the speedometer on my Honda motorcycle, and also yes, you'll feel the wind a bit more and, until you get used to it, the scooter will feel twitchier.

But, you'll get used to it.

Even now, when I switch between my motorcycle and my scooter, I have a short period of adjusting between the too.

But I've become used to it.
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UTC quote
My GT200 copes fine on motorways - even the Italian autostrada. It is a lot twitchier than the GP800, and not my weapon of choice for a long motorway journey, but at WOT, doing 70+ (80+ on the speedo) it keeps up just fine. Overtaking long trucks takes a bit of pre-planning (especially on the autostrada!) but quite doable.
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UTC quote
Re: Riding on the Highway?
bpreynolds wrote:
As I stated in another thread I've got about 15 years of motorcycle experience and rode 15k just last year on my Ducati, this including a great number of highway miles. I just got my first scooter last week, a fantastic '07 200GT. I commute to work about 15 miles each way usually B roads but I can take a highway and cut the time down significantly. Today I decided to try the scoot out on the big road. Granted, it's needing some tires but even still, I wasn't used to the experience I had. First, and this is a sidebar, but I think my speedo might be a tad optimistic, but anyhow, I couldn't care less about that really. What bothered me is the scoot did not feel greatly stable, swerving a good bit and getting tossed around a lot by the wind and turbulance, and it wasn't even a greatly windy day. I'm really enjoying the scoot but I got the 200 thinking it would be fine for some shorter hauls on the freeway but today I felt like I was fighting it for most of the 14 or so miles. This was running about 70mph. Any feedback on this?
there's a mp3 500 for sale just south of you in the 4 sale section . not a bad price either $5k. no freeway issues with that.
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UTC quote
Re: Riding on the Highway?
bpreynolds wrote:
What bothered me is the scoot did not feel greatly stable, swerving a good bit and getting tossed around a lot by the wind and turbulance, and it wasn't even a greatly windy day. I'm really enjoying the scoot but I got the 200 thinking it would be fine for some shorter hauls on the freeway but today I felt like I was fighting it for most of the 14 or so miles. This was running about 70mph. Any feedback on this?
Congrats on the GT--they're the best!

I like riding mine up to about 55 mph and on surface roads.
The husband's GTS seems to have better suspension for 60-75 mph. You could probably improve the ride with after market shocks.

I suspect that the GT will never be a great freeway rider because of the small wheels.
For a regular highway commute, maybe a motorcycle?
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GT 200 on Highway
You do not have to be riding for 15 years to be smart enough to keep the little scooters below 50mph. I have more years on two wheels than I'd like to admit. I laid an old pan head down at 55 mph. Back then, I rode a cushman and a Harley. I have been down on scooters any number of times and each of the incidents caused more angst than laying the Harley down. You guys blow by me on my '05 gt200 with the tall windshield just holding on for dear life and dancing all over the lane. Two little 12 inch wheels just do not like interstate/highway speed. If you have big riding ideas, get a big ride. Keep the scooters for pure pleasure on dry roads and sunny days.
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Bollocks.
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UTC quote
Re: GT 200 on Highway
Kingman wrote:
You do not have to be riding for 15 years to be smart enough to keep the little scooters below 50mph. I have more years on two wheels than I'd like to admit. I laid an old pan head down at 55 mph. Back then, I rode a cushman and a Harley. I have been down on scooters any number of times and each of the incidents caused more angst than laying the Harley down. You guys blow by me on my '05 gt200 with the tall windshield just holding on for dear life and dancing all over the lane. Two little 12 inch wheels just do not like interstate/highway speed. If you have big riding ideas, get a big ride. Keep the scooters for pure pleasure on dry roads and sunny days.
Patent nonsense.

While I don't particularly like riding the superslabs because they are boring, I ride secondary roads at 60 - 70 true mph all the time on my kitted LX with its 10' and 11" wheels.

My big riding ideas include touring all over the country, and I don't intend or need to get anything bigger.
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UTC quote
Re: GT 200 on Highway
Kingman wrote:
You do not have to be riding for 15 years to be smart enough to keep the little scooters below 50mph. I have more years on two wheels than I'd like to admit. I laid an old pan head down at 55 mph. Back then, I rode a cushman and a Harley. I have been down on scooters any number of times and each of the incidents caused more angst than laying the Harley down. You guys blow by me on my '05 gt200 with the tall windshield just holding on for dear life and dancing all over the lane. Two little 12 inch wheels just do not like interstate/highway speed. If you have big riding ideas, get a big ride. Keep the scooters for pure pleasure on dry roads and sunny days.
not a good way to intro yourself....I would venture to bet that any GT owner on here would feel quite confidant on it running 55+ all day long
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UTC quote
Re: GT 200 on Highway
Brodyfrompa wrote:
not a good way to intro yourself....I would venture to bet that any GT owner on here would feel quite confidant on it running 55+ all day long
He's simply expressing his opinion. I don't agree with it but he's entitled to state it here just like any other member. He wasn't disrespectful or rude so I don't know why you think it wasn't a good way to introduce himself. There is no requirement to go along with the crowd just because you are new.

-Craig
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UTC quote
My first long two lane highway ride scared me (on a GTS). Oncoming eighteen wheeler traffic would suck the scooter over half the lane.
The next time I tried that road I had firmed up the rear suspension preload from one to three, and purchased Jettin's urethane rear suspension bushings ($28). With the changes the GTS felt much more solid in it's lane.
If you haven't adjusted the preload it's highly recommended first step.
You haven't mentioned how many miles are on the scoot- if it's higher mileage the front shock may be bad. A GTS shock is reputed to be better than the original.
Good luck with it!
⚠️ Last edited by Harvey on UTC; edited 1 time
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I have no problem riding my little ET4 at 60+.

Even when I commute, I often have to go over 50.

But, as I said before, I'm used to it. The scooter, on the other hand, can handle it just fine.
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Menhir wrote:
I have no problem riding my little ET4 at 60+.

Even when I commute, I often have to go over 50.

But, as I said before, I'm used to it. The scooter, on the other hand, can handle it just fine.
Ditto, I ride in between 60-65 mph on I-35 just fine on my 105cc ET4. If you're used to a bigger bike, you might feel a scooter is not stable at higher speeds, but if you're accustomed to a smaller scooter...it seems more than stable to me.

Granted a small/medium windscreen helps immensely. On a Ducati or other sportsibike, you're not riding sitting straight up...and that make a huge difference. Hence, the increased stability with a windscreen.

Eric
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UTC quote
As the others said it won't be the same as your big bike but it is doable and it won't hurt your scoot. You do need good tires which you indicated you don't have, proper suspension adjustments and practice. All Vespa (and most other scooter/motorcyle) speedometers are optimistic but varies by the individual scoot. My GTS is a bit heavier and 3-5 miles optimistic according to my GPS.

FWIW, feeling like a small scoot is "twitchy" is something I've heard frequently from folks used to big bikes.
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Introduce Myself?
Protocol notwithstanding, forgive me for introducing my opinion to the genre. Call your insurer and have a one on one about scooters and sustained high speed traveling. The freedom of the open road on two wheels comes with a tremendous tradeoff. There are a myriad of adjustments that can be made to increase both stability and comfort, but precious few safety tweaks. A little scooter tached out with a couple inches of brake pad stretch your braking distance into the dead zone. Safety is not first when riding on the edge of sanity.
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UTC quote
A bit o' the old borrocks to you Jim, et al - 12" wheels are quite skittish at highway speed, compared to 17" motorcycle wheels. They do mayke new scooter riders feel nervous. While I wouldn't advocate riding at 80kmh on a 110kmh freeway, my GTS, even with Bitubo upgrade, does dance about a it above 100kmh on free/motorways. It's a fair call to say" skittish".

The useful point usually made by the helpful folks here on MV is:

Yes, a 12" wheeled scoot will feel less stable at speed - but relax a bit and you'll find the scooter is merely skittish. It's not about to bumble over, even if it feels a bit that way. If you fight it with a deathgrip at the 'bars, it'll feel and get worse, just like holding on too tightly in sidewinds. Persevere and you'll find it becomes less worrisome.

All you seasoned scooter riders who can relax or even celebrate while the scoots does its highway thing - good for you (I'm gettin' there, I'm gettin' there) ... but for some riders, any sort of wiggle is terrifying. Me, I'm still terrified on dirt, even after a few decades, for no good reason other than that I'm incompetent!
Nerd emoticon
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UTC quote
Re: Introduce Myself?
Kingman wrote:
Protocol notwithstanding, forgive me for introducing my opinion to the genre. Call your insurer and have a one on one about scooters and sustained high speed traveling. The freedom of the open road on two wheels comes with a tremendous tradeoff. There are a myriad of adjustments that can be made to increase both stability and comfort, but precious few safety tweaks. A little scooter tached out with a couple inches of brake pad stretch your braking distance into the dead zone. Safety is not first when riding on the edge of sanity.
Perhaps if you did not express your opinions in bold type they might not be mistaken for statements of arrogant authority.

You might want to go farther in explaining to all the GT200 riders on this forum who feel that their scooters are eminently capable and safe on their 65 mph commutes how they should not be using them so.

As to the physics of braking... stopping distance at any speed is largely a function of the amount of mass that needs to be slowed. I'll put the brakes on my little lightweight LX up against your Harley panhead any day.
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UTC quote
Having checked the IP - this is a bloke from Norfolk *Virginia* - somehow I didn't think he was from the original Norfolk - a county in the UK, from which his place was named many, many centuries later by folks pining for home.

So a newcomer in every sense.
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jimc wrote:
Having checked the IP - this is a bloke from Norfolk *Virginia* - somehow I didn't think he was from the original Norfolk - a county in the UK, from which his place was named many, many centuries later by folks pining for home.

So a newcomer in every sense.
ROFL emoticon
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UTC quote
check your tyre pressures
they may be off. the gauge on my air deliverer is 5 #'s light, when checked with a hand held gauge.
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UTC quote
Twelve inch wheels are bigger than the wheels on ET4s, LXs, etc, and all vintage scooters, and those bikes are all capable of doing sustained high speeds on highways. Agreed that avoiding a death grip is crucial.
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UTC quote
To quote me favorite pirate:

"The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do." - Captain Jack Sparrow

The bike is fully capable of doing it, so the question is, can you ride it on the highway, or can you not?

No one can answer that but you, and no one can give you the right or wrong answer.
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UTC quote
My GT is an amazing machine. Tonight I was riding over the 3 mile long Buckman Bridge on I-295. Indicated 80 mph going up the span...86 going down. Wind blowing from the rear...solid and stable as a rock the whole way. This is with the original rear shocks set on 1. The front shocks are original too. 39,000 miles and counting.

I ride hours on end at 70 plus mph. Never once has it ever been unstable. You might be afraid of the speed, but please don't tell me that the GT is at fault.
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UTC quote
Re: Riding on the Highway?
1) get a windscreen

made a huge difference with my >50mph experience....from a hang-on-for-dear-life-death-grip experience to one that's little different from around town

2) suspension adjustments/improvements

as others have set, adjusting the rear shocks to a firmer setting, installing jettin bushings, and even an upgraded front shock all add to the performance/responsiveness which are nice to have at higher speeds.

now i jump on the freeways here in l.a. (405, 101, etc.) pretty confidently. would prefer not to, but am much less intimidated.
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UTC quote
I hop on I-35 almost daily with my GTS. Granted, it's for less than 10 miles, but I feel safe enough. It took me a few times to get used to it, but I look forward to it now. I'll admit I avoid it during high winds or rain, but I feel safer on a road with limited side entry access than on one with multiple side street entrances and intersections for my commute. For pleasure rides or longer distances I prefer the back roads due to less truck traffic.
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UTC quote
My Super does fine on the California Interstates. That being said though I am much more comfortable riding the freeways on my motorcycle. I would not however hesitate to get on the freeway on my scooter.

But, everyone has their own level of comfort on two wheels and they should all be respected.
OP
@bpreynolds avatar
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UTC quote
Thanks for all the replies, every one. I will definitely check the preload on the shocks and the air pressure on the tires - 2 things that, just like my motorcycles - can make a big difference. I have a mid level Faco screen on the scoot already. After making the suspension adjustments and some new tires, I try it again with the words of the wise here to advise me. Either way, greatly enjoying the scoot, so much so that I've already considered a 300 even, or one of those good looking little brown 150s if all I'm gonna ride is B roads.
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UTC quote
Any "new" riding environment or ride is going to take some adjustment. I've been riding since before many here were born. The last 6 years, living on an island where one cannot safely exceed 80 kmh for longer than 3 or 4 km, results in my having to regain comfort on higher speed roads. Further compounded by the fact that most such higher speed riding will be on a rental or borrowed machine, and not a PX.

Ease yourself into it.
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UTC quote
Re: Introduce Myself?
Kingman wrote:
Protocol notwithstanding, forgive me for introducing my opinion to the genre. Call your insurer and have a one on one about scooters and sustained high speed traveling. The freedom of the open road on two wheels comes with a tremendous tradeoff. There are a myriad of adjustments that can be made to increase both stability and comfort, but precious few safety tweaks. A little scooter tached out with a couple inches of brake pad stretch your braking distance into the dead zone. Safety is not first when riding on the edge of sanity.
please stop the bolding of your post. use the bold to accent words not the whole statement.

edit : sorry I made this post before I finished reading the rest of the post below it. Silver streak is spot on with his post.
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UTC quote
Quote:
I laid an old pan head down at 55 mph. Back then, I rode a cushman and a Harley. I have been down on scooters any number of times and each of the incidents caused more angst than laying the Harley down.
This is your captain speaking. Please relax, enjoy the flight and trust our judgment up here in the cockpit. I've crashed a 737 numerous times, and know exactly how to do it safely.
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UTC quote
I have no problem riding 65+ mph on freeways. Do it regularly. The only road that really feels squirly is hwy 85 with its grooved surface. Tires also make a big diff in handling. Otherwise no issues. I have a tall Vespa windscreen cutdown so I can just see over the top of it.

Best
Miguel
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post deleted by Salima
⚠️ Last edited by Salima Draghetta on UTC; edited 1 time
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UTC quote
Aviator47 wrote:
Quote:
I laid an old pan head down at 55 mph. Back then, I rode a cushman and a Harley. I have been down on scooters any number of times and each of the incidents caused more angst than laying the Harley down.
This is your captain speaking. Please relax, enjoy the flight and trust our judgment up here in the cockpit. I've crashed a 737 numerous times, and know exactly how to do it safely.
Now that's a comforting thought Aviator.
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UTC quote
I agree with letting Kingman have his say. Spot on CASCH. While the LX is freeway capable i wouldn't do it for more than an exit. I'd get a bigger wheeled and cc's bike. My Helix was great for the freeways here but even then it was a bitch with the crosswinds going thru a few of the ravines on the H2. It was heavier than the LX or even the 200 and had wheels that were slightly wider than the LX or GT. Did have a medium windshield which does help.
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UTC quote
I have 27K + miles on my GTS 300 Super. Pretty much all of them are freeway. This is my commute vehicle, which means I am riding in the car-pool lane on the 101 freeway WOT. I have a tall wind screen too (uncut).
Since I was not a motorcycle rider I can't comment on how 'twitchy' the Vespa feels vs one, but I noticed that once I replaced the Pirellis with the Heidenau K61 in the wider 130 cm width, the scoot did feel much more 'planted' leaned over in turns.
As for braking, the faster I am riding, the more space I give the car in front of me. My minimum space is the old 2 sec cushion. On those occasions when I've needed to panic stop, I've experienced no sensation of poor braking on the part of the scooter. Then again, I have years of bicycle commuting experience, which also factors into my braking skills.

Any time you're on two wheels on the freeway, you're always at a disadvantage vs cars or trucks.
UTC

Enthusiast
GTS 300, Harley Road Glide
Joined: UTC
Posts: 87
Location: Inverness, California
 
Enthusiast
GTS 300, Harley Road Glide
Joined: UTC
Posts: 87
Location: Inverness, California
UTC quote
I understand all of the "ride what you're comfortable riding" stuff but there are some good points to consider, and I could use some advice as well. I havent had an opportunity to ride any of the BV's, I've just had several motorcycles and two Vespas, including my current 300. And I'm not happy with it on a freeway, not that I havent taken it on rides of a few hundred miles on freeways, but I just feel so used to bigger bikes that it seems uncomfortable.
And now along comes the BV 350. Has anyone had any time on a BV 300 or 500 that has ridden both motorcycles and vespas, and can you offer whether you think the BV 350 is a good compromise? I want something easy like a scooter, the Harley is a pain in the butt to wrestle to the corner for groceries, but I want to be able to get to the city easily.
Will I notice a huge difference riding the larger wheels of the BV? The poiwer is about 50% more that the GTS, so it might feel more powerful, but will the handling change markedly?
Any experts out there that can give me an opinion while I await a test ride?
@silver_streak avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8756
Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@silver_streak avatar
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8756
Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
UTC quote
judy wrote:
I agree with letting Kingman have his say.
Nobody is denying him his say... we're just exercising our right to disagree vehemently.
@judy avatar
UTC

World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: UTC
Posts: 29304
 
World Traveler
@judy avatar
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: UTC
Posts: 29304
UTC quote
Maybe you were but the negative rating doesn't mean it. Getting rid of the bold type would be nice, because it does make it look like he'd shouting but he does have a point. Just sayin.
@caschnd1 avatar
UTC

Grumpy Biker
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5416
Location: Sparks, Nevada, USA
 
Grumpy Biker
@caschnd1 avatar
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5416
Location: Sparks, Nevada, USA
UTC quote
I think most are disagreeing in a constructive manner.

But there is a bit of "poking the new guy" going on here too. We crossed the line of just disagreeing with Kingman's opinion when his newbie status was brought into the discussion.

-Craig
@belkwinith avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
Honda CTX 700 DN Automatic Motorcycle
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5122
Location: Naperville, Illinois
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@belkwinith avatar
Honda CTX 700 DN Automatic Motorcycle
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5122
Location: Naperville, Illinois
UTC quote
misha1031 wrote:
I understand all of the "ride what you're comfortable riding" stuff but there are some good points to consider, and I could use some advice as well. I havent had an opportunity to ride any of the BV's, I've just had several motorcycles and two Vespas, including my current 300. And I'm not happy with it on a freeway, not that I havent taken it on rides of a few hundred miles on freeways, but I just feel so used to bigger bikes that it seems uncomfortable.
And now along comes the BV 350. Has anyone had any time on a BV 300 or 500 that has ridden both motorcycles and vespas, and can you offer whether you think the BV 350 is a good compromise? I want something easy like a scooter, the Harley is a pain in the butt to wrestle to the corner for groceries, but I want to be able to get to the city easily.
Will I notice a huge difference riding the larger wheels of the BV? The poiwer is about 50% more that the GTS, so it might feel more powerful, but will the handling change markedly?
Any experts out there that can give me an opinion while I await a test ride?
5' 9" 126lb lady rider here.

I think you will want a BV 500. I ride into work on the tollways, (from the suburbs to Midways Airport area) in Chicagoland and it is great commuter bike. Plenty of power to let you keep up with the trucks and cars. I can typically roll comfortably with trucks and heavy traffic at 65 mph up to 92 mph no problem. I can also stop on a dime and corner nicely.

Let me just say, I also have recently purchased a MP3 400 and that ride is also very stable. A bit to learn on the turns (3 wheels not 2 and lots of bike up front) but on a straightaway, it rides even smoother than my BV 500. I am looking forward to taking that one on the highway as a touring alternative.
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