Metro, Elite, Buddy, Vespa, Vino 125, C3? Help can't decide!

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Metro, Elite, Buddy, Vespa, Vino 125, C3? Help can't decide!

Postby sombreuil on Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:11 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to buy a scooter ASAP and have done a lot of research in the past couple days. Here's what I have come up with so far. I'm having some difficulty narrowing things down because I don't know enough about some of these models, and I've only actually tested a Buddy on for size. I'm going to try others too though, but the dealers are far away for a person with no vehicle at all:(

Some relevant stuff about me:
1) I'm a super-short woman. 5'0 in my stockings, and while I'm working on my strength, I don't think I can handle a scooter on the heavy side. So I'm looking for a SHORT seat height, and a scooter that doesn't get more than 240lbs ready-to-ride. That hopefully includes accessories and several pounds of groceries.

2) I live in Austin, TX, and this place can be pretty hilly. I don't think I can go below a 125cc without running into some problems. I'm including some 50cc in my list though so I can get some feedback as to how they might run.

Anyway right now I'm looking at new scooters and used. Here's my list!!

New 50cc:
Honda Metro - $2050
Yamaha C3 - $2250

New 125cc:
Honda Elite - $3000
Genuine Buddy 125 - $2700

Yamaha 2006 Vino 125- $1485
Vespa 1978 Primavera ET3 - $2500
Vespa 1979 PX125 - $3500 (second to last)

I would appreciate ANY information from owners of any of these scooters especially the vintage Vespas. What are their seat heights like, and how heavy are they? I've read that the Vino 125 is slightly heavier and a smidge taller than the Genuine Buddy. I tried out a Genuine Buddy at a dealer here, and it was a little big-feeling for me, like uhoh woah... I'm wondering if I can find anything smaller with nearly as much power.

***And speaking of power, are 50cc scooters ok on service roads, or is that a bad idea? I expect to be travelling on some, and also on hills. Also models with only drum brakes (no front disc) like the Honda Metro and Yamaha C3 concern me.

Wow sorry for post overload. I just wanted to be as clear as possible! Thank you for reading through this, I'll appreciate any help at all!

Cheers! ~sombreuil
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Re: Metro, Elite, Buddy, Vespa, Vino 125, C3? Help can't decide!

Postby spoolboyy on Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:20 pm

Hey there.

Here are a few scattered answers to a few of your questions. I'm confident I won't be able to address them all, but I can help with some things. A couple of questions that might help us help you.

What sort of speed limits exist where you intend to use your scooter?
Will you need to go faster than 35-40mph regularly?
Are you willing to obtain a motorcycle endorsement if you don't already have one?
Have you ridden a scooter before? If so, what scoot and what were your impressions?

Vino 125 Thoughts
I am 5'9" and own a Vino 125. The bike weighs 240 lbs, and feels very light when straddling it. The center of gravity is low and this makes it easy to handle. Manages hills well when the posted speed limit is 40 mph or less, but I wouldn't say the bike is up to the challenge of hitting 50-55 on any sort of a grade. The seat height on the Vino 125 is fairly low, but its wide. I sit a bit farther back on the seat than some riders, and I cannot stand flat footed on the bike. My guess is, you'd have height trouble with this one. That said, you should check one out to see how it fits you. If I scoot forward on the seat, I can sit flat footed easily.

Also, the craigslist vino you linked to has 5500 miles on it. I was able to buy one for just $300 more with only 900 miles on it. Keep watching, and you might be able to snag a more affordable scooter. On the other hand, I know vinos 125s seem to hold their value and rarely get much cheaper than $1400.

Yamaha C3 Thoughts
Nice low seat height. I haven't ridden this one myself, but the seat is low and I would wager easy to handle for a shorter person.

I've never ridden a Buddy or the new Elite. The Buddy is also available in a (slightly more pricey) 150cc, which would be a nice power upgrade. that extra 25ccs makes a big difference in overall performance.

Anyone else care to chime in?

07 Yamaha Vino 125
84 Honda Aero 80 (sold)
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Re: Metro, Elite, Buddy, Vespa, Vino 125, C3? Help can't decide!

Postby honkerman on Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:31 pm

I know it's not a scooter, but you might consider the Honda Rebel. It's got a short seat, and not too much power so as to accommodate a beginning rider, but enough to handle hills. If you're looking at a machine with at least a 100cc engine, you'll find you probably need a motorcycle license anyway, so the Rebel might work just fine.

As for the scoots you mention, both of the 50s will bog down on hills. The C3 has the advantage of a ton of storage space. Both would accommodate your height just fine.

The Elite 110 is a solid scoot. I've ridden and reviewed it for my blog (there's a thread linking to it on this forum), and I found it to be a nice solid rider. It's on the short side and would probably fit you well. The Buddy is a nice scoot as well, though I have never ridden one myself. If you go with the Buddy though, I'd recommend you go with the 150 since it's not that much difference in price and has a tad more punch.

The Vino 125 is a nice solid scoot with a good reputation for reliability. It has a shorter seat height and decent storage under the seat. The Vespas I would avoid, unless you like wrenching. Judging by the model years, they are pre-CVT, and will have manual transmissions (pretty certain on that). They also may require some mechanical know-how because of their age and the nature of their 2 cycle engines.

hope that helps a little.
2013 Honda PCX-150 (yay!)
2009 Kymco People 150 (sold)
1983 Honda Sabre v45 750 (sold)
2006 Yamaha Vino Classic 50 (no longer owned)
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