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Scooter newbie questions

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Joined: 31 Aug 2017
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject: Scooter newbie questions Reply with quote

Hey folks, I'm new to scooters, and to be honest driving in general. I've just picked up my learners, as I understand that the class 7 learners will allow me to drive a scooter/moped of 50CC and 70 km/h speed or less without the need to upgrade my license. I still intend on upgrading my license, either to a class 6 (motorcycle) or class 5 (standard 2 axle vehicle, probably a truck).

What looking into the topic of scooters I have done, it seems like 2 strokes are preferred for their "peppiness", and Honda, Yamaha, and Vespa are looked to as the brand standards for excellence.

I was curious if people of the club might make any suggestions about where is a good place to buy (I think I'd prefer buying from a shop, as almost any kijiji sale is a mixed bag of not so guaranteed quality, lacking warranty, and so forth). I'm guessing that I'll probably look deeper into specifics, maintenance of a certain brand and model, once I have a scooter, but I'd like to try and get as much feedback and opinions as I can, that's relatively unbiased in the model/brand selection.

If it all pans out, hopefully I'll be able to make it out to meets and meet many of the scooter enthusiasts of Edmonton. Thanks for the help!
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Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 3580

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, tough questions.

First, take a motorcycle safety course and get your class 6 license. Not only does it allow you to look at larger, more flexible scoots, it will also teach you valuable safety skills.

Second, a question for you. What do you want out of your new scoot?
- just bomb around town?
- ride to Sherwood Park? Calgary? Jasper?

If it is just around town then any of the major manufacturer's 50cc offerings will do the trick. I'd stick with Honda, Yamaha, Piaggio, Aprillia or Vespa.

As far as I know, you need to be accompanied by another rider with a full license if you just have a learners. Double check on that before heading out!
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Joined: 31 Aug 2017
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm 98% sure you can drive a moped within the criteria I gave with a class 7 alone. source:

edited to add bit about specifications of mopeds/class 7 source:

There's a similar source with a PDF which lists in greater detail (the 50cc limit, and ~70 km/h speed) restrictions. So, if it's above 50cc/ 70 km/h, then it's classified as a motorcycle and I would need an appropriate/graduated class 6 driver with me.

I totally agree on the flexibility, and I'd like to move to something larger after 1 yr passes and I can move into my Class 5/6 GDL licence(s). I think I'd probably sell my 50cc after that time, and try and move up. It might suffer some devaluation, but if current ads on kijiji and the like are any indication, it seems like scooters don't devalue too much? Or people are just trying to milk their ads of ~2009 scooters for 75%-80% of a showroom 2017 scooter in the same cc range/brand.

I'd most likely be looking to putter from home (terwillegar area) to WEM, southgate, or other downtown areas like Whyte or Jasper.

Also, re: licenses, do you know if you can hold a license to be able to drive BOTH a car, and a motorcycle? It seems likely that people must do this, especially during the winter months, but from reading over the classifications of licenses, they seem to read like possessing a class 6 doesn't allow for driving a car (class 5) and class 5 doesn't allow for driving a motorcycle, and class 1-4 are professional class licenses which also exclude motorcycle (except as learners, which sort of puts a person where I'm at now, with the limitations).

I've done a bit more reading overnight, and the 2 and 4 stroke arguments are seeming a bit more nuanced than I initially thought. Though 2 strokes will hit higher top speeds. And all the vespas I seem look like they've got Carbs rather than fuel-injection (fuel injection seems to be the way of the future).

Im also looking into opinions on helmets, what's safe to use, are bluetooth or HUD helmets/accessories considered distracted driving, or do they impede driving significantly?

Thanks for the reply, it's nice to get some feed back and tackle some of these questions and broaden my understanding and enjoyment of scooters Smile
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Joined: 21 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Class 5 covers cars and trucks and class 6, motorcycles and scooters. There is no cross-over other than a class 5 is also a motorcycle learners. So, if you want to drive cars/trucks and motorcycles/scooters, you need both class 5 and class 6. That's what I have.

The smaller scoots tend to be very reliable and not accumulate many miles so depreciation is small. Unless it has been dropped, then there should be a significant discount as body panels are not cheap.

There are no new two strokes (2T) on the market from the major manufacturers. Don't buy Chinese junk. The four stroke (4T) current Vespa LX50 is too heavy and therefore very slow without fitting a kit. The old 2T Vespa ET2 is a great, peppy scooter.

Helmets? Buy what is comfortable. Heads come in different shapes so try a few. Full face provides the best protection. Bluetooth is fine as long as the wind noise is properly controlled. HUD? What for?
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Joined: 19 Jan 2016
Posts: 38
Location: Edmonton

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John is spot-on with helmets. What works for me may not work for you. Try a pile on, and once you've found a few that feel good, wear them around the store for as long as they'll let you. You need to be super-comfortable in the helmet because it's really distracting to wear an uncomfortable helmet, particularly when you ride for long periods of time (without the ability to adjust it on-the-fly).

Watch for how much your field of view is limited with each helmet. My most expensive helmet has the most limited field of view... likely designed to protect my melon as much as possible, but it makes me look around more to ensure I'm seeing everything.

Don't forget, the hardest thing to repair on your scooter is your head. Spend whatever you are comfortable with on the helmet, weighing safety versus cost. When I first bought all my gear, I saved a few dollars on the jacket and boots, and spent those extra $ on the helmet.

Blue-tooth will be a premium over the regular cost of the helmet, and for a newbie, may be a distraction.

Then, consider that you may not like riding a scooter/bike once you have one. I don't want to scare you away... in fact I encourage anybody to try it... but it can be some of the most stressful travel you can do. And it likely won't be you or your actions causing the stress.

Class 5 & 6 licence for me. Class 5 allows you to learn to ride a motorcycle only when followed by a licenced class 6 rider (or in a class). No clue about GDL or scooters.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perfect, I'll have to see if I can find a reasonably priced 2T Vespa ET2, and give it a test drive at the very least.

On driver's licenses that's great news. The wording made it seem like it was illegal to hold 2 licenses. I'm glad to hear confirmation from Jbcollier that I can hold both licenses.

It's doubly a boon about the small depreciation, as it will allow me to step up from a 50cc to a 150cc or even 300cc as I get my class 6.

There doesn't appear to be a ton of dealers in Edmonton/AB as far as I can tell, though there are a few. I'll keep my eyes open. Regarding helmets, bluetooth and HUD especially, mostly for me, this is so I can receive clear, concise directions if I plan on travelling to or through an unfamiliar area. Google maps is pretty good at giving direction sets.a small HUD for that might be handy to see a small map as well, but I imagine vs a HUD, there's probably a much better argument to have a smartphone mount of some description on the scooter.

Is there a lot of contention in Carb vs fuel injectors? Fuel injectors seem like the way to go in terms of easier maintenance and you don't have to worry about enricheners, of which I know nothing at the moment, so that's sort of a plus.

Again, thank you all for the feedback, it's quite helpful in making decisions and revising them as I go through the process of figuring out scooters and myself.
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Joined: 21 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't worry about carb vs FI. Just buy the scoot you like from the one of the major manufacturers and work with what you get.
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Joined: 16 May 2017
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Class of permits. I had a yamaha 125cc bws for around 4 years. Put just over 13 000km onto it running around the city as a commuter. I so totally loved it. I couldn't justify at the time keeping a "small" 125cc scoot and the 500cc one. So the little one was sold on kijiji.

Now the class upgrade from class 5 ( learners for 6 ) was challenging. Not for me but the clerk and license examiner for the practical test. Neither wanted to allow the 125cc scoot to be used in practical. Yet it "required " a class 6 to operate it. I reminded both clerk and practical examiner of this and said, your refusing me to use the scoot that requires a class 6 to get the class 6. If you continue to refuse you draft and sign a letter stating that and you fight with the enforcement agency ( police, sheriff or bylaw ).

Never the less I have the class 6 and a 5 now. Its just a stamp on the card. Not actually two separate items.

Would I go fuel injection? Yup if there is the option. In my opinion less problems. I have both fuel injected cars and traditionalist carbs. Both are good but injection hands down a winner.

The problem with kijiji type adds are the little 49cc units are ridden by kids. They think its more valuable thus ask premium price. I bought the 125cc of the show room floor for $150 more than the 49cc unit. No brainer in my books. Happy shopping

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Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 251
Location: Edmonton

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*Ahem* Non kid with a 50cc vino here that LOVES the thing to bits! Another consideration is depending on WHICH 50cc you get, there may be some weight requirements to consider, my vino is rated for less than an average adult. Just be aware.

Definitely - 100% agree with John C. Take the safety course. Whether you ride a 50 or larger, it's worth it. YOU are worth it.

Helmet - I have an odd shaped head teeny head, and I pay for a more expensive helmet to protect said noggin. Yes, a Shoei full face costs $500-700, but you only get one. Go somewhere that the clerk might actually know shell shapes fit what head shapes… check out Cycleworks, I've heard good things about their staff. I got my original helmet from Blackfoot Cycle in Calgary, and Riverside in St. Albert has been good for me as well. Don't rush that purchase. Very Happy You might also want to check the manufacture date of the specific helmet, it might have been on the shelf for a few years, and you don't want to be stuck with a half-expired lid.

Fuel Injection, it's got its plusses. You just want a reliable decent ride to start out with, get fussy later on!

2001 Vino YJ50 2-stroke (Just rolled 26,000kms - yes that's right - 26!)
2007 Yamaha V-Star 1100 Custom "Blaze"
2006 new to me Vespa LX150 8,000kms with character
2006 hand-me-down Vespa LX150 32,000kms
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