life expectancy

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Rayc11949
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life expectancy

Post by Rayc11949 »

Hey All,
I'm a fairly new scooter owner and have been perusing the internet for as many articles as I can about scooters, commuting, care of my scooter, best scooter to own... (you get the picture).
I ran across and article that says, that there is a life expectancy of most transportation vehicles, including scooters. I was shocked to see that a scooter with less then 250cc's would have an expectancy of about 30,000 miles.
For those of you who have been scooter owners for a while would you agree with that?
If so, then on average how many years would that equate to? 3 years for 10,000 miles per year? then what? throw it away and get a new one?
The writer of the article went on to say, that because of the low life expectancy of the scooter compared to a car, that any savings you would have with cost of the scooter and high mpg would virtually be mute.
He also points out that a scooter is what he calls a fair weather vehicle most people don't ride in the rain, cold, snow or even windy days. This means you have to have a back up which adds more cost to the scooter.
So is he correct? will I not save lots on money as I thought? Do any of you live in climates where it is cold and still ride? Should I have bought a car not a scooter? By the way, I really do enjoy my new scooter. Lots of fun for an old guy over 65 years old...LOL and I still do go to work (on my scooter)every day.
Thoughts?
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skully93
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Post by skully93 »

This is varied.

My buddy lives outside year round under a cover. I've had it for nearly 6 years and 20k miles. The engine is fine.

If you maintain them, there is no reason they won't last quite a while. I've seen a ton of old honda Elite scooters with 80k miles on them. They may look like they are veterans of every war since 1812, but they run.

Now, as far as saving money:

Tires are expensive. Not so much the tires themselves, but the fact that you go through a rear tire and belt every 5-10k, etc. The labor tends to be pricey too. If you can do a lot of it yourself, you can come out quite a bit ahead.

The insurance is cheap, and so is gas. But they take a lot more wear and tear. Plus, if you ride full time, you want a Summer Jacket, cold weather jacket. toolkits, tire pump, boots, boots that match your summer jacket, a helmet that looks awesome even though you already have 2 helmets, 3 more scooters, a motorcycle......

You get the idea. if you get a standard Honda Civic used, I'd say you'll about break even.

My wife and I had just 2 scooters and a motorcycle for 4.5 years in Colorado. We took the bus and rideshares.

This did exclude us from a lot of 'long distance' trips unless we could carpool with friends. Winter trips to the store had to be expertly timed. Tires perform a lot different at 5 degrees than 60, but gravity doesn't.

Overall I'd say a scooter most of the time with a cheap car backup will get you there. we bought our Corolla and made sure it was sound for $4500, and it will probably outlive us. That leaves more for retirement savings and bikes :P.
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Point37
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Post by Point37 »

this thread comes to mind...you can buy virtually any part you need so it will stay running as long as you really want it to...unless it gets to a point that repairs cost more than a new one

http://www.modernbuddy.com/forum/topic29089.html
Rayc11949
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Post by Rayc11949 »

I read the thread that you posted and it was quit interesting. The thing that jumps out is the overall maintenance for a scooter. A rear tire replacement every 6k - 8k miles? that seems unbelievable, when you consider that tires on my car last between 40k - 50k miles. The shop where I bought my buddy says they charge around $95 to do the 4000 mile oil change and check up. I'm sure that doesn't include air filters or any other parts they find in need of replacing.
I am some what mechanically inclined so I am not afraid to change oil and filters but, not to sure about other things like drive belts etc. I'm also concerned about how well they will honor my warranty if I do the work myself.
Would I need a lot of special tools just to do regular maintenance? Anybody had experience with Genuine honoring warranty when your doing the maintenance work?
:(
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Point37
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Post by Point37 »

Rayc11949 wrote:I read the thread that you posted and it was quit interesting. The thing that jumps out is the overall maintenance for a scooter. A rear tire replacement every 6k - 8k miles? that seems unbelievable, when you consider that tires on my car last between 40k - 50k miles. The shop where I bought my buddy says they charge around $95 to do the 4000 mile oil change and check up. I'm sure that doesn't include air filters or any other parts they find in need of replacing.
I am some what mechanically inclined so I am not afraid to change oil and filters but, not to sure about other things like drive belts etc. I'm also concerned about how well they will honor my warranty if I do the work myself.
Would I need a lot of special tools just to do regular maintenance? Anybody had experience with Genuine honoring warranty when your doing the maintenance work?
:(
when comparing tire wear of a scooter vs a car you have to factor in rubber compound, contact patch, drive wheels, number of wheels, vehicle weight...you want stickier/softer tires for leaning a scooter...contact patch is less on scooter tires so wear will be faster in the middle unless you're constantly swerving...there are only 2 tires to wear vs 4 of a car...only 1 drive wheel vs 2 or possibly 4 of a car...car weight is divided between 4 tires...scooter weight is divided between 2 tires

the oil changes are easy...get the oil filters with the nut on them for easy removal...there are guides on here and very helpful people here that can help you do virtually any maintenance you fell comfortable or have the tools to be able to do...plus there is a lot on youtube...service manuals at the link below...when i bought mine used this spring i did an oil/filter change, gear oil change, air filter replacement, valve check/adjustment...after reading here and in the service manual it was all very easy to do...i would think the dealer would have to prove that you did something incorrectly to void the warranty

service manuals
http://www.modernbuddy.com/forum/topic17349.html
lovemysan
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Post by lovemysan »

Rayc11949 wrote:I read the thread that you posted and it was quit interesting. The thing that jumps out is the overall maintenance for a scooter. A rear tire replacement every 6k - 8k miles? that seems unbelievable, when you consider that tires on my car last between 40k - 50k miles. The shop where I bought my buddy says they charge around $95 to do the 4000 mile oil change and check up. I'm sure that doesn't include air filters or any other parts they find in need of replacing.
I am some what mechanically inclined so I am not afraid to change oil and filters but, not to sure about other things like drive belts etc. I'm also concerned about how well they will honor my warranty if I do the work myself.
Would I need a lot of special tools just to do regular maintenance? Anybody had experience with Genuine honoring warranty when your doing the maintenance work?
:(
Tire wear: Depends on how much you weigh and how you ride. I'm getting 1-2k miles out of a rear. My bike is fun to ride and I'm a big guy. If you can do your own maintenance you'll come out ahead. If you pay for maintenance it runs the cost per mile up.
161cc big bore kit, NCY big valve head Hand ported, NCY transmission kit, jetted and tuned. I can port your cylinder head.
cummingsjc
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Post by cummingsjc »

This topic would probably be better served in the General Discussions forum part of Modern Buddy versus the For Sale/Wanted section.
Rayc11949
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Post by Rayc11949 »

Sorry, is it possible to move it?
GregsBuddy
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Post by GregsBuddy »

In the first world, scooters are a luxury for most people. Well maintained, they last for many thousands of miles and many years. However, if you're simply looking for economy, you'll give up creature comforts that have a value that may eliminate any small cost reduction quickly. Ride because you like/love it.
'09 Yamaha TMAX Large sport scoot.
Rayc11949
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Post by Rayc11949 »

Well, I have to say I've already noticed some things that I'm losing out on. Like not being able to listen to music while on my way to work (I tried ear buds to my iPhone, couldn't hear it). I have to drive into the sun in the a.m. and the sun is blinding and no visor to pull down to shade my eyes.
But, on the other hand I'm very aware of the so many idiot drivers around me way more then when in my car. yikes!
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skully93
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Post by skully93 »

Good to rely on your earballs for a while.

On long treks I might venture to do some music, but I've enjoyed just being. Letting my thoughts roll on through as I ride.

Kind of my wake up Zen to start/finish the day.
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Rayc11949
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Post by Rayc11949 »

The wind noise is quit deafening. What are your thoughts on ear plugs?
GregsBuddy
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Post by GregsBuddy »

Always wear earplugs at speeds above about 30 MPH.
'09 Yamaha TMAX Large sport scoot.
milly
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Post by milly »

I have had through my hands a2008 kymco super 8 125 with 45,000k on it and now have another a 2011 the same with 25,000k on it. Both from the same family both used in the mountains of wales which is renowned for its dampness and rain. Both near the sea all there lives in the salt air. 2011 is immaculate and plastics are good and lots of extra bits on the engine you don't see on most Chinese bikes. This being Taiwanese.
GregsBuddy
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Post by GregsBuddy »

13,000 miles on Buddy 170i. Zero issues.
'09 Yamaha TMAX Large sport scoot.
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350kmi
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Post by 350kmi »

I have a bit over 31,000 miles on my 2012 Buddy 170i. It has been very reliable so far - largely just maintenance item.

My daily work commute is about 42 miles. If it is above 30 degrees when its time to leave in the morning and there isn't any snow or ice predicted I ride the scoot. Good rain and cold weather riding gear has made a huge difference in what conditions I will ride in.

I haven't sat down to calculate weather I save money in the big picture by riding the Buddy vs. taking the car, but I would guess yes. I bought the tools needed and do my own maintenance - including tires, 85 MPGs is hard to beat, and I'm putting 5000 few miles on my car per year. The main reason I ride though is I just prefer it to driving, particularly when it's the slog back and forth to work.
Argee
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Scooters can live forever

Post by Argee »

This just came up last night at a XMAS party, thought I'd log in and see what the common answer is. Our consensus was: 20K for Chinese, 50K for European brands, and 100K for Japanese. Notionally, this reflects a rider who does not want to work on it, and repair things that break or overhaul the engine/clutch/hubs, etc. There will come a point, where it's not worth it, to most non-mechanical people.

I think if you bought a scooter for the fun of it, you also should like to work on it. That kind of attitude will keep your scooter running for as long as you want.

My first scooter was a barely running Vespa 125. 3 weeks of working on it, and that 20-year old bike became my daily commuter for a great Summer, 1980. Sold it when I went back to college. Wish I had kept it.

Regarding value: 80 mpg makes scooters barely worth it. The fun factor, splitting lanes, and minimal parking issues put the scooter in the WIN column. Bonus: it's hard to fall asleep while riding on two wheels.
skipper20
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Re: life expectancy

Post by skipper20 »

Rayc11949 wrote:Hey All,
I'm a fairly new scooter owner and have been perusing the internet for as many articles as I can about scooters, commuting, care of my scooter, best scooter to own... (you get the picture).
I ran across and article that says, that there is a life expectancy of most transportation vehicles, including scooters. I was shocked to see that a scooter with less then 250cc's would have an expectancy of about 30,000 miles.
For those of you who have been scooter owners for a while would you agree with that?
Thoughts?
Methinks you worry too much. Just go out and enjoy your Buddy 125 and treat every day like it could be your last one. The ride is what matters. Everything else is secondary. Merry Christmas everyone!

Bill in Seattle who turned 85 last September
sc00ter
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Post by sc00ter »

My boss at work has been interested in scooters since coming to the states 3 years ago. He's from Germany were scooters are the norm, and used to ride a small motorcycle back in the day. He purchased a 03 Yamaha Zuma off my friend for $400, to "test the waters". Its derestricted and totally reliable. If he decides to upgrade come spring, he will pass the Zuma onto his daughter. So take the plunge and get out there and ride! Boss says he wasted 3 years just looking and not riding!
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k1dude
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Post by k1dude »

I calculated it all out and I broke even at around 10,000 miles. So it's been all gravy since then. But I do all my own work other than paying a shop $20 per tire to mount tires that I supply.

I have a cage too for inclement weather and carrying large objects or large quantities of stuff.

Basically my scooter is for fun, short errands, when parking is scarce, or heavy traffic where I can lane split. It puts a smile on my face whenever I'm riding it. No such joy when I'm in a cage.
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