I've been dabbling in scooters and I've made a discovery.

Discussion in 'The Tavern' started by bluegoatwoods, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Active Member

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    There's a niche in the scooter world that people like us can fit into pretty well.

    Somewhere in the neighborhood of five years ago I started noticing that one can buy scooters directly from online retailers. They were intriguing because they tended to be nice looking machines at a very low price. About $600, at that time, for a 50cc and nearing $1000 for a 150. They'd ship it directly to your door. I might have placed an order then and there except that I, naturally, wondered about quality.

    So I started looking into reviews by people who had bought these things and was scared away immediately. There were very, very few people who said, "My scooter showed up right away and it's been great!"

    There were far, far more who had pretty big complaints. Quite a few said that the scooter they got was not the one they ordered. I suppose that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world as long as the scooter actually worked. But so many of these complaints were of a scooter that wouldn't run or had some major component not working on delivery. Plus they all agreed that the seller was of no help at all in getting these matters fixed.

    My interpretation of all of this was that these retailers were buying shipping containers of low quality scooters from you-know-where. When stock ran low they'd order more. Not necessarily from the same supplier. The new batch would be completely different. Different components, etc. Quality control would be terrible in all cases. And you'd have zero chance of getting parts. I wanted nothing to do with pieces of cheese like this.

    So I decided that when I did buy a scooter I'd better pay the price for a name-brand with a dealer network. And last winter I bought my wife a Honda. I hadn't actually planned on buying myself a scooter until this winter. But then a deal came by that was too good to pass up. So now I've got one too. A brand with respect in the scooter community and a local dealer. That's fine.

    But in researching these things I have found that my interpretation of the really cheap scooters was wrong in a couple of important respects. The componentry appears to be quite standard from cheap-o factory to cheap-o factory. Something like our happy time engines. Plus parts and components actually are available. Not from the retailers, but from vendors who are not so different from the vendors who we turn to for motorized bicycle parts and components.

    This makes better sense, actually, than the notion that major components are constantly being re-engineered in these cheap bikes. Or that individual no-name facilities have proprietary parts and components. I should have thought of that.

    This changes things a bit. The cheap scooters are workable for guys like us. They're something like happy time engines and components; not great by any means. But someone who knows what he's doing can make them work pretty well.

    I'll still fault these retailers on one matter. They are leading potential customers down the garden path by talking about their great warranties and fully stocked parts warehouses. Horsefeathers!

    But I can understand their point of view as well. At such a price point the sale must be final. They'll lose their shirts if they have to deal with returns and such.

    I'd respect them more if they said openly, "If you buy one of these, you're going to need to be resourceful. This low price point won't support us holding your hand." But maybe that would make sales tank. Such an argument doesn't excuse their dishonesty. But as long as I understand the situation, then I can choose whether or not to deal with them. I can't afford to take up too much time pondering their morality.

    I came across a really good youtube tutorial. This guy received one of these cheap scooters and filmed his post delivery inspection/improvements. These bikes come to the buyer in a semi-open shipping crate, partially dis-assembled.

    The assembly that the buyer must do is not all that much. But this guy recommends stripping it down much further and fixing the mistakes caused by poor quality control at the factory. And on this particular bike there was plenty that needed to be done. But at the end he had on hand what appeared to be a pretty nice little scoot for the money.

    Here's a link.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VkNHOAOyK8

    It's very interesting. I'm reminded an awful lot of motorized bicycles.

    Personally, I plan on having both as long as I'm able to ride. My MB will be my 12 mph ride with a limit of, say, 10 miles. My scooter will be my 25-30 mph machine with a somwhat higher distance limit.

    And in the not too distant future I just might start getting into monkey-wrenching on these cheap scooters. It actually does look like fun.
     
  2. Tony01

    Tony01 Well-Known Member

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    The 2-strokes have already filled that niche...

    What the heck is the point of motorizing a bike if it only goes 12mph? The price of getting easy propulsion is way too high for that speed. Mess with the gas, oil mixing, the grime, the vibration, and probably an uncomfortable seating position.

    I could build you one of 3 types of recumbent bikes that will be easy to pedal AND very comfortable in under a day if I had a welder and a couple of donor bicycles. LWB (long wheelbase) FWD cruiser- i.e. Flowroller, SWB FWD 700c roadbike, or a SWB RWD out of a bmx bike. All of these will be easy to pedal for long distances and be far more comfortable than a tradition diamond or cantilever frame cruiser. In fact I have a mixte frame and fork I'm going to experiment with pretty soon. It already has the cutout I will put the seat onto.

    Motorizing this f'lowroller would be super easy with a horizontal automatic Honda motor right under the seat. AWD baby!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

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    The mainland Chinese scoots are good for guys that don't mind troubleshooting and wrenching. If you don't want to tinker, get something made in Taiwan or Japan.
     
  4. gaffo

    gaffo Member

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    hello BGW - good post/hope all is well.

    my understanding is that today Chinese motorscooter/motorcycles are on par with late 60's era *** stuff - so 2/3'rd of *** 70's. i.e. now "good enough" and "decent" mechanically. It told that their stuff was not decent 10+ yr ago, but has improved since the last decade.

    note: biggest drawback (IMO) is that the bikes are "drop-shipped" (that is good - no sales tax - yay! - but also bad, implied (and real too) - no dealer network. so no servicing.

    Parts? - no prob (google and net will find me what I need). I don't need a dealer for parts - but one for playing doctor (diagnosing) and servicing (wrenching) might be useful.

    here in the US there is ZERO dealerships for the Chinese bikes.

    BUT in Europe and UK (and probably South America - where Chinese motorcycles sell - I would suspect there are brick and mortar shops.

    -----------americans are too rich (not all americans - just the motorcycle demographic (which is old/fat/rich/and unpragmatic) - I can only assume the dirt poor pragmatic americans buy used automobiles and not over prices luxery modiles like Harley's/BMWs - too many old-fat-babyboomers- fixated on Harleys and other whales to have interest in small motorcycles/scooters.


    so we are left with no demand for fugalism in the land of luxury and unpracticality. hense the 3 ton chromed 2 wheeler whales on American streets (or is that two legged?- or both?).

    there are a couple of forums of use WRt to Chinese bikes:

    "Scootdawg" (just note the two URL's - one is old - the other is new - they moved 3 yrs ago, but old site is still up) - refer to google to find.

    "mychinamoto" - Barnone who is a member here (and owns the same Chinese make and model monkeybike (mini-motorcycle Z50A) minitrail clone I own), is one over there too (as I'm I)

    "chinariders"

    -there are members such as "Barnone" (mentioned above), "Birdmove", and "Culcune" with ownership experience in Honda motorcycle clones (Skyteam - CT70/ and Z50A and R veriants ............all 125 cc's). I like the T-rex's (Suzuki RV90 clone) look myself (Skyteam Trex/Rocketa-MC-34? (or is it "38"?)..............same bike - different "Sticker".

    those gentlemen's experiences are valuable for others looking into buyin Chinese bikes.

    note that Skyteam/Roketa Honda clones are made by Jainsu-Sachin(sp).............there were earlier Honda clones 20-10 yrs ago (labeled as "Wildfire" made by Jailing(sp) - these are no longer offer here in the states (not sure if they are even still manufactured in general), the other Honda 1970's trailbike motorcycle clone maker is Zenhua (which seems to be a smaller maker than Skyteam - and which I and Barnone have (Barnone also has two skyteams - one Z50R (I think he may have sold that one) and one CT-70.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6cMMjOjgjw

    nice video and legit commentary on the subject - above.

    ............

    I mean really............I see too much boutique mentality (toys for folks with money to burn - be it crappy BMW's that were riding on their name-plate to sell bikes that cost twice the price of my Yaris with 1/4th the realiabilty 39 tmes the lethality, and 2/3's the gas mileage.........................to electric cars for everyone (WTF is that name of that damn company that can walk on water and we have to hear about all the fking time (about as bad as "Ted Talks"!!!!!!!!! (ya sure "we are billionares"..........dream on).


    Elephant in the room is that - the rest of us are the 99-pecenters.

    which means.

    SMALL- CHEAP motorcycles/scooters...............that leaves you ALL of the "big guys" here in the States - all of which sell toys/leasure items.......with obscene markups.

    TU250 is the only reasonable and reasonable priced item from this camp.

    SMALL-CHEAP cars (Yaris - which I have now at 150k/9 yrs, Fait500, GM spark (WTF do they not offer a 2-door version!?) for the pleab 99 pecenters.

    OK NPR, we know all of you are 1-pecenters, but most of your listeners are not! so stop blabbing about 100k electric cars and other items I'll never have...............and talk about things - like small gasoline cars (HEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! these cars are not novel! Honda 600 S/N/Z anyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????). something affordable!

    thanks!

    2-cents.

    America land of the impractical and "me too" dreamers that will never be of the 1-percent - regardless of how much they dream.

    but dreamers are like talkers..........unlike doers where reality shows up.
     
    #4 gaffo, Jun 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  5. gaffo

    gaffo Member

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    OMG............. so J.A.P. is "offensive" now?

    give me a fking break.

    god when with PC **** die?????????????

    its abreivation!!!!!!!


    like Jews vs Judiac/Judaism

    like Palis vs Palistinians

    ......

    Jesus H Christ!
     
  6. ragdolldude

    ragdolldude Member

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    Tony01, I'm not sure your recumbent would be considered a legal street motorbike. In CA, they require the seat position to be 26" above the ground.
     
  7. buba

    buba Member

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    Tony- I like your bike!!
     
  8. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    Those Chinese GY6 motors have a TON of hop-up parts available, and they ALL interchange among GY6 motors as far as I know.
    Scooter brand name means nothing, as long as it has a GY6
    Very good power and durability, just like a chinadoll, when treated right, plus parts are dirt cheap and available nearly everywhere china stuff is sold
     
  9. biknut

    biknut Well-Known Member

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    I know a lot of you guys don't like to hear this, but imo Chinese gas motors aren't likely to get much better because these are the last days of gas engines. Very soon electrics will take over, and no one will lament their passing once they realize how superior the electrics are, especially when talking about motor bicycles.

    Cars and motorcycles will take a little longer, but motor bicycles, we're there now, you just don't know it yet.
     
  10. KCvale

    KCvale Well-Known Member

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    I predicted the demise of 2-strokes in the US, and it's coming soon.
    ****, they are not legal to operate in China where they are made!

    I do little 2-stroke now expect repairs, I am into efficient 4-stroke and Electrics.

    I only need ~10 more years of breathable air, my son however will need a much longer supply so I am trying to do my part.
     
  11. Chaz

    Chaz Well-Known Member

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    Please forgive this threadjack response.

    In regards to emission pollution, the diesel is the real problem. Just think of all those big trucks running at least 10 - 12 hours a day or more belching out black smoke laden with tiny particles of cancer-causing substances such as benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde, as well as other seriously harmful pollutants.

    UC Berkeley researchers have stepped into this debate with a new study that says diesel exhaust contributes 15 times more than gas emissions per liter of fuel burned.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/a...erts-say-green-fuel-killing-thousands-us.html

    Our little 2 strokes are insignificant to the real polluters.

    And, no, electric bikes are not superior. When you can recharge in five minutes (the time it takes to refill my two stroke at the gas station) they will be getting closer to equal. And I doubt that we know yet what environmental impact these batteries will have when they are disposed of or recycled.

    When or if the two strokes go there will indeed be many who lament their passing.

    And please, Ed Begley Jnr. , stop talking down to us. It's getting rather annoying. Do your thing, live your life, but give us a break from the preaching.
     
    #11 Chaz, Jun 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  12. biknut

    biknut Well-Known Member

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    Recharge time is not really a factor for motor bicycles anymore, but I agree it used to be when battery's were small. I can ride all day on my 30ah, and charge at night when I'm sleeping.

    This is one of many examples I can give why electric motor bicycles are superior. This is cruiser night in Denver. Hundreds of bicycles show up. I love riding these kinds of rides here in Dallas, but I want to do it on a motor bicycle. A gas bike is about as welcome as a fart in a space suit.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Active Member

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    FWIW, biknut, I'm not offended by your enthusiasm for electric bikes. And I'm not offended by your saying so.

    I do think you're a bit over-optimistic.

    But if the day comes that individuals need not burn fossil fuels at all, then I'll be happy about that.
     
  14. biknut

    biknut Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for saying so. Back when I joined this forum I never though in a million years that I of all people, would not only be riding electric bikes in a few short years, but also totally give up gas bikes. The only thing that annoys me is when anyone mistakes me for some greenie weenie tree hugger because of it lol. That's not what it's about.
     
  15. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    Who did you buy your 30ah battery from?

    Steve.
     
  16. biknut

    biknut Well-Known Member

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  17. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Bikenut. Looks like an excellent battery as you have proven.

    Steve.
     
  18. KCvale

    KCvale Well-Known Member

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  19. biknut

    biknut Well-Known Member

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    Battery prices are dropping like rocks, and capacity is so high eBikes are now on parity with gas bikes. Most people are still unaware of what's happening.
     
  20. DBB

    DBB New Member

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    Thanks for posting that link. I just finished watching all of his scooter videos. I'd really like to see a similar video for bicycle motors showing what to check, what hardware to replace, what to lubricate, what to loctite, etc.
     

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