Scooters in General

I am really enjoying the Address, so I was thinking of getting another more powerful scooter.

But I think my strive for simplicity debars most, or maybe all, of the offers open. I really don’t want water cooling, with the inevitable addition of a water pump, a thermostat, a radiator, water pipes, coolant, and the associated extra weight, maintenance and potential reliability problems.

It is more difficult for an air cooled engine to meet modern emission standards.  This is primarily due to maintaining the engine temperature while the cooling air temperature can vary over 50 degrees, just due to the weather. Also, the warm up time is longer.

So currently nearly all scooters greater than 125cc (and some smaller) are liquid cooled.

The Address seems as good as any other air cooled scooter, and better than most.
For example the Honda 125cc super cub has around the same power as the address, but no storage and no pillion seat. It does have manual gears and, on paper, better fuel consumption and bigger wheels.
The Vespa 125 Primavera is slightly more powerful, small wheels and much more expensive. It would give me only an extra 2mph on top speed. It is 15KG heavier, 1.4 inches higher seat height (that is a no-no) and considerably higher fuel consumption. And the pillion passenger needs very long legs.
The Honda PCX is very popular and a nice scooter with 12bhp or 3bhp more than the Address.  Top speed on the flat would be around 66 compared to the Suzuki’s 60.  It would be good for 48mph up a 10% slope two up. The Address is  6mph slower. If I did not already have the Address I may have considered the PCX, 

The Chinese scooters, like the AJS Modena, are lower powered, and have much more frequent maintenance schedules.

I went for a look at a Vespa GTS 300.  It was a wonderful looking machine, but the seat was too high for me and therefore it felt heavier than it was.  It would have been just as hard as my BMW to manoeuvre. I’m not short. I’m 5ft 10in but I have short legs for my height with a 29in inside leg measurement.
The Vespa seat height is 790mm or 31.1″. The Address is 755mm or 29.7″ That extra 1.4″ is pretty critical. It determines how far you can move your legs backwards and forwards while still having enough leverage to move the bike.
The prop stand was just stupid! It doesn’t stay down! And the passenger footrests are in a ridiculous position.
It’s a shame but Vespas are now off my list.

Nowadays I only ride around Cornwall.  Cornwall has no motorways. Most of the A and B roads are twisty turny and 50mph is about the maximum safe speed possible. I usually, but not always, ride solo.
We have a motorhome, the Address would fit on it if I had a carrier fitted.  But we also have a puppy.  It will be about a year before we could leave her in the van while we went out for a few hours. Maybe I’ll fit a carrier for next summer (Covid permitting) Update – it won’t happen
The days of long distance touring on two wheels are past, but there are still days for pootling.
So I guess I’ll keep the Address until someone comes up with a nice low, light 200 or 300cc air cooled scooter. I don’t think that’s ever gonna happen.  
Mind you, Nathan Millward rode a postie bike (a Honda CT110) from Australia to London and it had less power than the Address (7.5bhp compared to 9bhp)
Maybe new technologies in batteries, like the graphene aluminium-ion battery may make an electric scooter a viable proposition.  Even if I just do local rides I’d want a 150 mile range at least.

Update I bought a Honda SH300i.  It didn’t work out – too high, too heavy, awful for a small pillion passenger, no faster on Cornish roads than the Address. I should have listened to me! 

I keep thinking of a more powerful scooter, but the Address tootles along at 50-55mph (GPS that is,  which 55- 60 on the clock. The clock reads a consistent 6% high). I really only used full throttle going up hills and the speed rarely drops below 45mph – even two up.  It’s not really for motorways, but the closest we have in Cornwall is the A30.  I was easily keeping pace with the traffic, on everything except the steeper slopes.

I looked at Burgmans – 200 and 400. Older ones look good for pillion passengers.  I’d almost talked myself into a 400 when I read this post on Gumtree.

For sale Suzuki AN400. I bought this bike for myself but I find it a bit too heavy to manoeuvre into my garage. I am in my seventies and not a spring chicken anymore??

Hmm – sounds like me. I find the BMW hard enough to push around and the Burgman 400 is considerably heavier. Basically I’d like a bit more power, but I don’t want and extra 30-100Kg weight. The Kawasaki J300 and The Piaggio X10 look comfortable for a passenger too, but they are around the same weights as the BMW (200Kg).

The Suzuki Burgman 200 is about the same weight as the 125, around 160Kg. but it  could be comfortable.

I think I’ll stick with the Address for a few years and the next scooter may be electric! Perhaps I may replace the BMW with a maxi scooter or a cruiser type bike with forward footrests (like the Royal Enfield Meteor) – perhaps not. 

The Address has 9hp. Ben-Hur’s chariot has less than half that. So I have 2.25bhp or 2.25 x Ben Hur’s Power.

Ben-Hur’s 4 horsepower chariot

And his would have been a lot heavier, much wider (it would not go down my local single track roads) and it didn’t even have a seat. 

Update Dec 2022

I tried sitting on a Meteor.  My hip did not feel better.  It’s not the forward/back position, but the way my legs are pushed apart.  This is inherent on any motorcycle, so I guess it’s scooters or motorcycles plus paracetamol henceforth.

Suzuki have brought out the new Address 125. Am I tempted?

  • Well the engine is bigger 125:110, so 13% bigger right?  Wrong its 124:113 so 10% bigger.
  • But it must have more power? No, it’s less at 6.4KW compared to the 110’s 6.7. That’s a 5% reduction in power. (But the 125 gets max power at lower revs.)
  • And it’s slightly heavier at 105Kg compared to 100Kg
  • The wheel sizes are reduced from 14″ both, to 12″ on the front and 10″ on the back.
  • The fuel capacity is slightly less at 5l compeared to 5.2l
  • The stated fuel consumption is better at 150mpg compared to 135.
  • It has slightly more underseat storage, probably because the seat is wider. I find the 110 seat is fine.
  • It does not come with a rear rack (can be bought as an extra)
  • It’s got LED lights, which may be better, but the 55/60W headlight bulb I fitted seems to do a great job.

No, I don’t think I’m tempted.

Feb 24: and another thing.

Thanks to the flat floor I can take either my Guitalele or travel guitar on the address between my knees.  That would not be possible with a floor with tunnel like the PCX or Burgman.
There are not many flat floor scooters around where a small stature passenger can reach the footrests. The old Lambretta’s with long floorboards were ideal.  Modern ones have a wider body and the passenger has to reach their feet forwards and inwards to reach the footrests. Modern large frame Vespa’s are ridiculous. The smaller frame Primavera might be better, but it is expensive.

I keep looking (through force of habit) but I’ve yet to find anything as good as the Address 110, never mind better.

March 10th:

I went for a look at a Burgman 200.  The pillion seat is the widest seat I have ever seen on any two wheeled vehicle.  Totally unsuitable for a short pillion passenger. But I am leaning towards the Honda PCX.