16 February 2016

Tao Tao

It's almost three months now since I bought little "Harley".
I've learned a great deal in the short time I've owned him. The gas gauge read "full" when I bought the machine. Now, three months later, it's finally reached the "1/4" mark. I think the tank holds a little more than a gallon of fuel, so the 100 mpg claims for these machines is probably close to true.

Anyone riding on two wheels has probably heard the statement, "It's more fun to ride a slow machine fast than to ride a fast machine slow". There's no question that's true for me. With the wind at my back I have seen 41 mph on this little scoot, and felt like I was doing something slightly insane.

With storage beneath the seat, storage in the little topcase, and the ability to secure plastic bags on a hook behind the front fairing/beneath the handlebars, I can make a trip anytime to the grocery and buy the necessities... milk/eggs/bread/wine.
Starting a cold engine is the worst thing you can do to it wear-wise. Little Harley has saved me a dozen four-wheeled trips in the short time we've owned him, saving us wear and tear and gasoline on the "cage".

There ARE some limitations that we've learned from little Harley:
Obviously, if the speed limit exceeds 40, you need to avoid that street.

I look like a monkey grappling with a football on the little scoot. Try to imagine what Sara Jean and I look like when we're two-up on the thing!

When the thermometer dips below 45 or, as frequently happens here in the Florida panhandle, it rains, I'm not macho enough to saddle Harley up for errands.

Not a limitation but an observation:
A CVT transmission may be efficient and easy, but the buzziness of this scoot is an irritation. (Part of that is due to the fact that I'm riding wide-open much of the time!) The lever on the left handlebar is the FRONT brake. I'm now wondering if I'll have "negative transfer" learning when I get back on motorcycles. (Doubt it, but we'll see.)

Fifty Cubic Centimeters is fine for an area where everything you need is within five miles or so. But we frequently make jaunts 11 miles or so to Ft. Walton/Ft. Walton Beach which requires us to use U.S. 98, where the speed limit is 65 mph. Having a scoot capable of cruising at least 60 mph would make that journey possible, and a larger scooter would be more comfortable with Sara Jean aboard.
So I see a larger scooter in our future. What's "big enough"?

A 150cc machine would get the job done, (barely), but would a 200/250cc be better? (And keep me from having to trade up right away?)

Anyway, Harley has been an education.
He's also been a lot of fun.
If the insects were flying here in Dec/Jan/Feb, they'd be stuck in my teeth!


Old NFO said...

Honda makes a 150cc, and I see a few Honda Forzas zipping around at 60 out here in Texas.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so what model and size of scooter did you get?

I had a Honda Elite 250 in the late 80s that I used to get to work. Actually, I liked that scooter quite a lot. I wish I had it back today.


Greybeard said...

Scroll down a couple posts, BZ, and read about "Little Harley".
Buying a machine is always an education. Buying this little 50cc machine has been a "proof of concept" for me here...
Great storage space.
Great gas mileage.
Great ability to avoid starting/putting mileage on "the cage".
Now I know I want to go faster than 41 miles per hour!