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Improving Aerodynamics

 
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soup
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 5:15 pm    Post subject: Improving Aerodynamics Reply with quote

Hi, I'm a new member and have been searching through posts to get answers on several things but haven't seen a lot about aerodynamics here. I just purchased my first scooter, a 2007 Buddy 125 that has been professionally upgraded to a 162cc. I find aerodynamics to be a challenge for sure. This thing can go 60-65 mph, but even at 40 mph I can feel the airflow/wind messing with me and it can be a bit terrifying at times. So I thought maybe there might be some ways to improve this and am looking for ideas.

The helmet I have that was sold with it is a halfway helmet with a visor. It's pretty terrible for aerodynamics even when just looking straight ahead, but when turning my head to check the lane next to me, it's there is a noticeable resistance change that is extreme enough to be dangerous, I think. Can you suggest a helmet that would help with this?

I don't have a windscreen/windshield. Do these only help with wind in your face, or do they also improve overall aerodynamics?

Lastly, I do have a luggage box on the back. I suppose that could be messing with airflow as well. Any suggestions you have, including posture, etc. would be great. Thanks!
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personality
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any fullface helmet without a visor would make a big difference when looking around.

A wind screen will also make a big difference, but I'd start with a new helmet first!
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soup
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

personality wrote:
Any fullface helmet without a visor would make a big difference when looking around.

A wind screen will also make a big difference, but I'd start with a new helmet first!


Do you mean a fullface helmet that is open, with no face visor at all? Or are you just saying one that has the visor built in so that it's aerodynamic?
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Syd
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pull the topcase, put on a small windscreen, get a full face helmet with faceshield and crouch. The lower you get the better. Or, if you want to go faster buy a faster scoot.
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Stanza
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soup, is it is higher speed that you're after, or more aerodynamic stability so you don't get sudden drag when you turn your head?
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soup
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stanza wrote:
Soup, is it is higher speed that you're after, or more aerodynamic stability so you don't get sudden drag when you turn your head?


I can already go 65 mph on this thing so I don't need any higher speed! Smile

I'm just feeling a bit freaked out at the lack of control that the wind and airflow creates - even just wind that is due to the airflow of the bike itself. It seems to be an issue even on non-windy days and when I'm not driving next to other vehicles, too. Also, it's an issue even at 40 mph, so it's not due to high speed.

I guess I'm not describing it very well. It's a feeling like the wind has control of me. Like that if I don't slow down, that I will be blown over. Perhaps it's all in my head, lol. But when I slow down to 35 mph, the bike immediately becomes more stable feeling.
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Stanza
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mean, if we're being honest here, the bike was really designed for around town. You may be dealing with tire stability at that speed too. I don't have the courage to hold that kind of speed on 10" tires, so call me chicken. I expect other mad tuners will have better ideas though.
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soup
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stanza wrote:
I mean, if we're being honest here, the bike was really designed for around town. You may be dealing with tire stability at that speed too. I don't have the courage to hold that kind of speed on 10" tires, so call me chicken. I expect other mad tuners will have better ideas though.


So you're saying that you wouldn't go 40 mph? That's the speed I start having issues at. Not talking about hot rodding here.
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scootERIK
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First thing I would look at is the tires. What brand and model are they? How old and how many miles? What PSI are you running?

After that I would look at your clothes. Baggy or loose fitting clothes will flap in the wind and can pull you around. Especially the arms and torso.

One last thing I would consider is how you hold on. You have to hold on but not too tight and you can't fight the scooter. For me riding fast on bumpy roads or in the wind is all about letting the scooter move around a little.

Also, if this is your first scooter you need to work your way up to going fast. If you are only comfortable riding at 40 mph then ride around at 40 mph until you are comfortable then try going 45 mph until you are comfortable. Slowly increase your cruising speed as you get comfortable, and ride as much as you can. The more miles you ride the easier it will get.
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soup
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scootERIK wrote:
First thing I would look at is the tires. What brand and model are they? How old and how many miles? What PSI are you running?


350-10 tires. The front one is brand new and the old one still has good tread. I should check the PSI, so thanks for that reminder!

scootERIK wrote:
After that I would look at your clothes. Baggy or loose fitting clothes will flap in the wind and can pull you around. Especially the arms and torso.

One last thing I would consider is how you hold on. You have to hold on but not too tight and you can't fight the scooter. For me riding fast on bumpy roads or in the wind is all about letting the scooter move around a little.

Also, if this is your first scooter you need to work your way up to going fast. If you are only comfortable riding at 40 mph then ride around at 40 mph until you are comfortable then try going 45 mph until you are comfortable. Slowly increase your cruising speed as you get comfortable, and ride as much as you can. The more miles you ride the easier it will get.


Good stuff, thanks!
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soup
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syd wrote:
Pull the topcase, put on a small windscreen, get a full face helmet with faceshield and crouch. The lower you get the better. Or, if you want to go faster buy a faster scoot.


Yeah, if you think the topcase could be contributing significantly, I may try taking it off and see if things are better. Definitely going to start shopping for a FF helmet.

I bet I'll look pretty silly crouching in a little bitty scooter, but I'm going to give it a try for sure! Razz
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soup
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just found this thread on riding in the wind, and it has been really helpful to read!: http://www.modernbuddy.com/forum/topic10951.html
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Point37
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as was said...

-pull the top case...take a ride and see...

-buy a full face helmet...riding at those speeds you will want it...bugs/rain/sand/rocks don't feel good...if you want something that is more aerodynamic and doesn't give you a sore neck at higher speeds look at higher grade helmets...better brands make more shell sizes...cheaper brands make less shell sizes and just adjust padding...i have an arai large for me and a hjc medium for my wife and the hjc is visually larger than the arai...it will toss your head around in the wind more

-add a windshield

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Last edited by Point37 on Thu May 09, 2019 1:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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easy
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medium sized windshield is good for 5 mph that's what I had on my blackjack
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Dooglas
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I certainly prefer helmets with a full faceshield. The one I wear regularly is a Nolan N43 with faceshield and chinbar. Some use a small to medium windshield, but I do not on the Buddy.

What you seem to be describing is simply the wind itself made by a motorscooter/motorcycle. When a scooter goes 40 mph, a 40mph wind blows against you. When you go 60 mph.....

I think you simply need more experience riding a scooter. Have you taken, or considered taking, an MSF basic course? Good confidence and skills builder.
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Point37
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good helmet fit should have no slip and when you open and close your mouth you should almost be biting the inside of your cheeks
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soup
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dooglas wrote:
I certainly prefer helmets with a full faceshield. The one I wear regularly is a Nolan N43 with faceshield and chinbar. Some use a small to medium windshield, but I do not on the Buddy.

What you seem to be describing is simply the wind itself made by a motorscooter/motorcycle. When a scooter goes 40 mph, a 40mph wind blows against you. When you go 60 mph.....

I think you simply need more experience riding a scooter. Have you taken, or considered taking, an MSF basic course? Good confidence and skills builder.


I agree that it's an experience thing. The more I ride, the easier the airflow/wind thing becomes. I'm just trying to maintain a healthy level of fear after reading pages and pages of that crash thread.

I took the MSF many years ago and haven't ridden in a while. I'm going to take it again next week, so that will be a good refresher, for sure.


Last edited by soup on Thu May 09, 2019 8:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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k1dude
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All motorcycles and scooters make wind noise and pressure on your chest and head when at speed. Especially when turning your head. It's just the nature of the beast. You're exposed to all that wind resistance.

You get used to it. Don't freak out.

A windscreen will help.
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skipper20
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Improving Aerodynamics Reply with quote

soup wrote:
Hi, I'm a new member and have been searching through posts to get answers on several things but haven't seen a lot about aerodynamics here. I just purchased my first scooter, a 2007 Buddy 125 that has been professionally upgraded to a 162cc. I find aerodynamics to be a challenge for sure. This thing can go 60-65 mph, but even at 40 mph I can feel the airflow/wind messing with me and it can be a bit terrifying at times. So I thought maybe there might be some ways to improve this and am looking for ideas.

The helmet I have that was sold with it is a halfway helmet with a visor. It's pretty terrible for aerodynamics even when just looking straight ahead, but when turning my head to check the lane next to me, it's there is a noticeable resistance change that is extreme enough to be dangerous, I think. Can you suggest a helmet that would help with this?

I don't have a windscreen/windshield. Do these only help with wind in your face, or do they also improve overall aerodynamics?

Lastly, I do have a luggage box on the back. I suppose that could be messing with airflow as well. Any suggestions you have, including posture, etc. would be great. Thanks!


For starters, get rid of that helmet. Wearing a helmet worn by somebody else is liking wearing used underwear or socks. Yuk. And don't buy it online. Go to a MC/scooter store and buy one that fits and feels right on your head. My preference is a 3/4 size with flip-up visor. But, that's my preference. You need to do what feels right for you. And, yes, get a windscreen. Would you drive a car or a truck without a windscreen in front of your face?

Bill in Seattle
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JettaKnight
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

soup wrote:

I guess I'm not describing it very well. It's a feeling like the wind has control of me. Like that if I don't slow down, that I will be blown over. Perhaps it's all in my head, lol. But when I slow down to 35 mph, the bike immediately becomes more stable feeling.


It's in your head. You'll get used to it. It's a bike with 10", so it's going to be less stable (and more nimble) than a bigger bike.

I have the same bike, same upgrades, and have ridden on highways for miles and miles and miles at 60 mph.

A windscreen will help, but it also can act like a sail in a crosswind, and throw a lot of air right at your head. I'm six feet, and the medium windscreen really sends it into my face.
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

soup wrote:
Stanza wrote:
Soup, is it is higher speed that you're after, or more aerodynamic stability so you don't get sudden drag when you turn your head?


I can already go 65 mph on this thing so I don't need any higher speed! Smile

I'm just feeling a bit freaked out at the lack of control that the wind and airflow creates - even just wind that is due to the airflow of the bike itself. It seems to be an issue even on non-windy days and when I'm not driving next to other vehicles, too. Also, it's an issue even at 40 mph, so it's not due to high speed.

I guess I'm not describing it very well. It's a feeling like the wind has control of me. Like that if I don't slow down, that I will be blown over. Perhaps it's all in my head, lol. But when I slow down to 35 mph, the bike immediately becomes more stable feeling.

Just relax. Ease up on your grip on the handlebars and just flow through the air with the scooter. This is straight out of a Taoist parable about a man not drowning in a river written about 2300 years ago. Try it next time you ride. Ease your grip on the handlebars just a bit so that your arms and shoulders and neck muscles can relax and just enjoy flowing through the air with the scooter. You'll be fine, I promise. I've been doing this for over forty years. Not Kidding.
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soup
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone. As I start to relax more and go with the flow, things have indeed been better.

JettaKnight wrote:
soup wrote:

I guess I'm not describing it very well. It's a feeling like the wind has control of me. Like that if I don't slow down, that I will be blown over. Perhaps it's all in my head, lol. But when I slow down to 35 mph, the bike immediately becomes more stable feeling.


It's in your head. You'll get used to it. It's a bike with 10", so it's going to be less stable (and more nimble) than a bigger bike.

I have the same bike, same upgrades, and have ridden on highways for miles and miles and miles at 60 mph.

A windscreen will help, but it also can act like a sail in a crosswind, and throw a lot of air right at your head. I'm six feet, and the medium windscreen really sends it into my face.


Highways! Fun! I tried that once. Got up to just shy of 65 mph. The interstate highway was a crazy experience for sure. I feel like we need a highway driving thread because I'm really curious about people's experiences with that. I searched the forum and didn't see one, but might be missing it. I'm considering a possible road trip on the scoot but was considering avoiding interstate highways during the trip.

On the windscreen: I was going to get a small to medium windscreen, but I'm also 6 foot so maybe it's not going to help if it just blows the wind in your face.
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JettaKnight
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

soup wrote:

Highways! Fun! I tried that once. Got up to just shy of 65 mph. The interstate highway was a crazy experience for sure. I feel like we need a highway driving thread because I'm really curious about people's experiences with that. I searched the forum and didn't see one, but might be missing it. I'm considering a possible road trip on the scoot but was considering avoiding interstate highways during the trip.

On the windscreen: I was going to get a small to medium windscreen, but I'm also 6 foot so maybe it's not going to help if it just blows the wind in your face.


Highway righting isn't terribly fun - to straight, too boring. And when a big semi passes, then you'll know what turbulence is. Our local interstate is 70 mph - that's a no-go for 10" wheels.

I like my windscreen, but I guess I forget what it's like to run without, it's been on for 12 years!

Next time you're riding on a straight and easy road, do a little shimmy. You know, shake your body like an awkward white boy dancing trying to impress his date at a wedding.

The bike will move a bit, but remain steady. Your Buddy wants to go straight. So relax, loosen up, and enjoy.


Oh, have you read Proficient Motorcycling? If not, run, don't walk, to your local library.
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Point37
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JettaKnight wrote:


Highway righting isn't terribly fun - to straight, too boring. And when a big semi passes, then you'll know what turbulence is. Our local interstate is 70 mph - that's a no-go for 10" wheels.

I like my windscreen, but I guess I forget what it's like to run without, it's been on for 12 years!

Next time you're riding on a straight and easy road, do a little shimmy. You know, shake your body like an awkward white boy dancing trying to impress his date at a wedding.

The bike will move a bit, but remain steady. Your Buddy wants to go straight. So relax, loosen up, and enjoy.


Oh, have you read Proficient Motorcycling? If not, run, don't walk, to your local library.


^^this...highway riding sucks...i hated it on a motorcycle and i won't even attempt it on anything south of 600cc so no go on a scooter...too many bad/distracted drivers...and if i can't keep up or ride faster than traffic i feel unsafe...i agree just loosen up a little...just compensate for the wind direction...if the wind is gusting from right to left, shade to the right of your driving lane to give you some space to flow to the left and correct yourself back...the beginner MSF class is good to learn some basics...good tires help a lot too...the tires on my buddy are the oem 2013 cheap tires from the previous owner and while i want new tires these only have 2500 miles on them and even though they are 6 years old they don't show any cracking so i'll run them till they are unsafe looking

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Dooglas
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point37 wrote:
...good tires help a lot too...the tires on my buddy are the oem 2013 cheap tires from the previous owner and while i want new tires these only have 2500 miles on them and even though they are 6 years old they don't show any cracking so i'll run them till they are unsafe looking


I think you are making a mistake there. Yes, obvious dry rot or cracking certainly tell you that a tire is at the end of its life. But cracked or not, a 6 year old tire has begin to harden and has lost much of its ability to grip the road when cornering or braking. The original tires on the Buddy aren't really very good even when new, let alone 6 or 7 years later. I'd be looking hard at replacing them with a better set of tires.
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soup
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I thought things were getting better but wind gusts *really* messed with me the past 2 days! The forecast is saying it was only 15-18 mph, but there were times when I had to slow down considerably to maintain control. These were natural gusts with no cars around. It was quite disconcerting at times and pushed me around in my lane, which was not fun at all.

My library doesn't have Proficient Motorcycling so I'm going to see if I can purchase online, thanks.

I took the MSF last week. It was great. I took it over 20 years ago as well, but I let my license expire so I had to take it again. I needed the refresher anyway since I haven't ridden in years. It is definitely taught different now than it was then. I feel the eCourse they make you take ahead of time was too impersonal and I missed having a human teach many of those things. Once I got there, the instructor was great though. I noticed several differences in how they teach the class now, though. One was that they used to teach you to raise up off the seat when going over an obstacle. Now, they teach you to roll on the throttle to widen the fork while staying on the seat. Not to mention, the obstacle is now a 2x4 instead of a 4x4. Pansies! Wink Another difference was they used to teach you to squeeze the rear brake just before the front, and now they teach to squeeze both simultaneously. Interesting to see the changes.
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Point37
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dooglas wrote:
Point37 wrote:
...good tires help a lot too...the tires on my buddy are the oem 2013 cheap tires from the previous owner and while i want new tires these only have 2500 miles on them and even though they are 6 years old they don't show any cracking so i'll run them till they are unsafe looking


I think you are making a mistake there. Yes, obvious dry rot or cracking certainly tell you that a tire is at the end of its life. But cracked or not, a 6 year old tire has begin to harden and has lost much of its ability to grip the road when cornering or braking. The original tires on the Buddy aren't really very good even when new, let alone 6 or 7 years later. I'd be looking hard at replacing them with a better set of tires.


i realize that the oem tires are junk to begin with and i would like to get new tires but i'm cheap, i also don't much time to get into another project and i have a really hard time getting rid of tires that have low mileage and not much wear...up until last year when i sold my 2010 bonneville i was riding on 8 year old tires...not saying it's a good idea...i'm just saying i'm cheap

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Dooglas
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point37 wrote:
[I realize that the oem tires are junk to begin with and i would like to get new tires but i'm cheap,


If you are going to cheap out on something, I strongly suggest something other than scooter or motorcycle tires!
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Point37
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dooglas wrote:
Point37 wrote:
[I realize that the oem tires are junk to begin with and i would like to get new tires but i'm cheap,


If you are going to cheap out on something, I strongly suggest something other than scooter or motorcycle tires!


point taken...all i'm saying is i won't be getting around to it this season...maybe next season if i have the time...i just realized the scooter tires aren't very expensive but i def won't have time to take the wheels off and replace the tires this season and i'm someone who does as much maintenance as i am capable of doing myself so I won't be bringing it somewhere to get done either...i know tires are a pain in the ass typically but i'd rather struggle a little and learn than bring it to a shop and pay...plus i have the spoons and rim strips already from my old bikes so i may as well put them to use when i get to it

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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dooglas wrote:
Point37 wrote:
[I realize that the oem tires are junk to begin with and i would like to get new tires but i'm cheap,


If you are going to cheap out on something, I strongly suggest something other than scooter or motorcycle tires!


+1000. Tires are the only part of your scooter than makes contact with the ground. Very important. My heidenaus are also rated for 80+mph(pretty good rating for scooter tires) so I recommend that brand although Conti's(continental) are very popular.
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Point37
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OBX Dan wrote:
Dooglas wrote:
Point37 wrote:
[I realize that the oem tires are junk to begin with and i would like to get new tires but i'm cheap,


If you are going to cheap out on something, I strongly suggest something other than scooter or motorcycle tires!


+1000. Tires are the only part of your scooter than makes contact with the ground. Very important. My heidenaus are also rated for 80+mph(pretty good rating for scooter tires) so I recommend that brand although Conti's(continental) are very popular.


agreed but i have a hard time just tossing tires just due to age alone...they don't have much mileage and don't show any visible signs of age/wear (2500 miles in 6 years)...they still have the nubbies on them...sort of like changing synthetic oil at 3k miles that's made to go 10k miles...i had tires on my 2013 car with over 125k miles that i had to swap out maybe a year ago due to wear...the big issue is if 1 of the tires go i may go down...with my full face helmet from 2005...unless i'm wearing my 2011 3/4 helmet haha

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'10 Triumph Bonneville SE (sold), '00 Yamaha TW200 (sold), '08 Husqvarna SM510R (sold), '05 Honda CBR 600RR (sold), '03 Honda CBR 600RR (sold)
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