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 Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?

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eggster34
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PostSubject: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Wed 08 Sep 2010, 20:13

Hi there,
I'm compar
atively new in the biking scene, since I've been riding for the last 4 years, and all I've owned are scooters: a Piaggio X9 500, an X9 250 (first bike), a silverwing 600 abs, and a Piaggio Beverly 125. I've ridden some low-cc regular Honda motorbikes, and an occasional Kawasaki ER6-F which I managed to fall from once doing 5 mph in traffic due to it sliding in rain as a result of me panic-braking to avoid hitting the Merc in front.. I have also fallen from my Silverwing about 8 months ago on the highway doing 50, due to the front wheel getting caught in some imperfections / lines on the road and the back wheels losing alignment. Luckily I wasn't hurt.

I have participated in some advanced riding classes along the way, done around 10.000 miles total both in the city and on the highway, and I believe I have somehow improved my riding although not a great deal. I still believe I can do better in corners and turn them faster by leaning a bit more, but I'm reluctant to lean a lot on my S'wing as I can't really trust the tires.

Anyway, I'm sure many members here have ridden regular motorbikes as well for years and can answer my strange question:

Which one do you think is less likely to lose traction in the road or skid during braking or hard acceleration and be safer to fall from / have an accident with?
a 13 to 15 inch wheel / narrow tires maxi-scoot with or without ABS i.e. the silverwing, or a larger / wider wheel regular motorbike such as a Honda VFR800 / BMW K1200S / Suzuki V-Strom (all of which I'm contemplating buying as an alternative to my Silverwing to ride on longer journeys.)

As you might have experienced -I hope you never will if you already haven't- when you fall from a scooter, you usually don't get caught between the road and the bike.. you just fall free onto the road and the scooter goes its own way and crashes on its own, whereas on regular bikes it's much more difficult to get rid of the bike and disentangle yourself from it while skidding on the tarmac; the bike skids with you and its added weight makes things much worse, at least this has been my experience in my relatively short career as a rider, what are your opinions? Am I being stupid by trying to get a 100+ bhp bike with this level of experience? Please advise. Many thanks.
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Jeff Rosenkranz
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Wed 08 Sep 2010, 22:03

Hi Eggster. Im with you on the less than confidence inspiring front end feel of the Silverwing. JeffR's wish list included a 17 or 18inch'er on his "special order". After years of dirt bikes, street bikes, and even a little mini GP racing.......I have to follow Clint Eastwoods words of wisdom. " A mans got to know his limitations". Whenever I teach anyone to ride, one of the first repetitions that we work on is.......stopping as hard as possible, in control.......first upright.....and later simulating cornering. This usually makes you honest about your bike and yourself. There are many who would say that the Silverwing is the last two wheeler that you need to own.........but I'm looking at your wish list......VFR, V-Strom, Beemer.....you know that BMW has just shown the previews of it's new transverse 6, K1600 GT and GTL..Remember the Honda CBX??....I want all three of your choices. !!!! BUT.............Safest.........I would say that they are all as good as you are at taking them to their limit......in control. Wishing you well.....Jeff. ......I still want a VFR......but not for touring. motorcycle
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KurtPerthWA
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Wed 08 Sep 2010, 22:34

Depends how long your bit of string is.
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tankyuong
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Thu 09 Sep 2010, 01:23

Scooter is way safer due to when you panic you dont have to worry about other stuff like clutch and rpm's
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GaryL
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Thu 09 Sep 2010, 01:48

In my experience, it's not the bike that makes the ride safe or not, it is the rider. Scooters and bikes are both subject to the same laws of physics, and operate in much the same way. I seem to remember a magazine article a year or two ago where two very experienced sport bike riders took a couple of scooters (Burger 650s?) to a track day. Most of the rest of the riders that day were club riders out haveing fun on various flavors of sport bikes. They were able to run faster laps with the scooters (on street tires) than most of the other riders that day because of their skill and experience, not because of the machine that they were on. As a previous post said... know your limitations.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Thu 09 Sep 2010, 08:51

I would say since you seem to fall off regardless of what you ride....more practice on what you ride, if in US take MSF courses over---even though they are somewhat limited parking lot stuff.

Get some dirt bike experience. In general riding skills are low in US---MSF courses funded by industry to sell bikes. I lived almost 40 years outside of US---Italy skills are high(their nature?) Germany---strict training, same goes for Japan and Korea.
US often the fat guy in white tennis shoes (can be HD or Goldwing) in grassy/wet field falling all over themselves.


Answering question----what is safer bike of scooter? Bike with regular seating position feet under you (no cruisers) ability to stand on pegs, knees on tank is easier to control. Scooters are fine---but one needs to know their limitations. SilverWing handles fine, but has lots of power and can cause you to overcook in close mountain stuff-----drive train cutting in and out in downhill snow is distraction.
I have had Suzuki 400 Burgman/Yamaha TMAX and now SilverWing in the past 2 years or so. TMAX is probably best handling--expensive to own----SilverWing better than Suzuki------but SilverWing is heavy, can feel top heavy and goes.

10,000 miles is not enough to move onto more powerful machine. Ride everyday for everything----no car use and skill level goes up-----ride just once in awhile and you are accident looking for place to happen, my opinion. I have been riding almost everyday since 1955---over 1.5 million miles----I still enjoy 250's both bikes and scooter---being old & stroke means the smaller ones are easier to garage wrestle for me among other things.

John Grinsel Little wheels do not bother me----I think my long ago Vespa had 8" wheels. I rode my 150 Vespa to Stella Alpina rally in Italy----actually better than my BMW where I broke fins and front exhaust crossover one year or my MZ ETZ. Ride to buy pin or shirt is 26 km up mountain track---snow/mud/dirt. Fun. Secret with Vespa= don't overcook.


In all cases---new purchase ABS----can save your butt in many conditions.
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KurtPerthWA
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Thu 09 Sep 2010, 09:04

Well put John. I agree with most of that, but I am sure there are US riders out there that can ride rings around me, as well as my being able to ride rings around them, as well as some Germans, Italians(definitely) and Japanese. Dunno about the rest.
BTW the Swing does nice slides in gravel, and as you say,make sure the power is always on.
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The Scootist
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Thu 09 Sep 2010, 10:31

egg:
My instinct tells me that the lower center of gravity of a scooter (like the Swing) coupled with the CVT would make it less likely to lose grip due to over powering through the corners. If you don't like the way it feels in the corners and during breaking, and you haven't upgraded the front springs to HyperPro Progressive springs, try that. You will be amazed at how much better the Swing will carve through corners. Get rid of the Bridgestone Hoops and put some decent rubber on it too. I have the Metzler "Feel Free" on right now and I love them. Very sticky. I have heard good things about the Pirelli Diablos too.
DCC
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Chinasaur
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Thu 09 Sep 2010, 12:42

Second GaryL's comments.

Also, trust your tires. If you don't trust your tires, you will probably not use them as much as you could when you need to. And that might result in you going down.
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Thu 09 Sep 2010, 14:53

10,000 Miles is not enough for Grins...that's his daily commute!
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eggster34
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Thu 09 Sep 2010, 15:55

I have michelin tires, I'm not sure of the model but it was the one recommended on the michelin site.. how do the hyperpro springs feel like compared to stock? will I need to replace the shocks as well?
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The Scootist
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Thu 09 Sep 2010, 16:04

Egg:
No. You won't need to replace the rear shocks - just the front springs. The HyperPro Progressive springs are designed to stiffen at an increasing rate, so the more they compress, the stiffer they get. I am a large guy (6'5" 245) and to me the OEM front end felt pretty mushy. I would get quite a bit of dive upon hard breaking and once in a while I even felt some "chatter' or "wobble" when I was carving through a high speed sweeping curve and hit a bump. This was very unnerving! They HyperPro springs eliminated the nose dive and and sense of wobble or chatter. My Swing handles much like a sport bike now. Very flickable and quick. It was an incredible improvement for only about $130 or so. I am sure that you won't be disappointed.
DCC
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wingnprayer
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Fri 10 Sep 2010, 17:26

Leaving aside issues of weight, smaller tyres/traction, centre of gravity, IMHO having a manual clutch can give you more control when breaking, particularly whilst cornering.

From my perspective my SW is not nearly as controllable as lighter motorbikes I've owned 'if you start to take it to the extreme'. However I am happy to accept these shortcomings when balanced against the other pluses the SW offers.

There is however one accident scenario I hope none of us will ever face on a SW and thats a head on collision with a stationary or opposing object. On an average motorbike such an incident would make you fly over the top of the handle bars, possibly damaging your groin (and below) and whatever damage you incure when landing. Given the shape and position of the bars on a SW your body is likely to go above and below them, centred at your waist, thus transfering most of the energy into the trunk of your body... and that doesn't bare thinking about.

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buddy19520
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Sun 12 Sep 2010, 23:16

GaryL wrote:
In my experience, it's not the bike that makes the ride safe or not, it is the rider. Scooters and bikes are both subject to the same laws of physics, and operate in much the same way. I seem to remember a magazine article a year or two ago where two very experienced sport bike riders took a couple of scooters (Burger 650s?) to a track day. Most of the rest of the riders that day were club riders out haveing fun on various flavors of sport bikes. They were able to run faster laps with the scooters (on street tires) than most of the other riders that day because of their skill and experience, not because of the machine that they were on. As a previous post said... know your limitations.

That story is here:

http://silverwing.org/mwf/attach/59/4159/PerformanceBikesMaxiScooterTest.pdf

Are we allowed to post links to the other site here?? Am I gonna get banned?? Smile
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Waspie
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Mon 13 Sep 2010, 01:30

john grinsel wrote:
Ride everyday for everything----no car use and skill level goes up-----ride just once in awhile and you are accident looking for place to happen, my opinion. I have been riding almost everyday since 1955---over 1.5 million miles

John, for once I agree with you. You cannot beat experience. Ride in ALL weather conditions all the time.
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Biologist
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Fri 01 Oct 2010, 04:04

(cit) "From my perspective my SW is not nearly as controllable as lighter motorbikes I've owned"
I agree so, especially riding during the strong wind SW is more difficult to be kept in a balance
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eddy
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Fri 01 Oct 2010, 06:25

My thought ...
What are the figures?
Motorcycle accidents / scooter accidents.
And specialy the deadly accidents....

I think the mc in the majority.
Why?
The scooter riders are older and wiser.

So ...it's the man.

All just assumptions of me. motorcycle
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Jim Cater
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Fri 01 Oct 2010, 08:35

I have to agree most wholeheartedly with Jeff & Buddy!!

Been down twice in my riding lifetime, each instance from someone's stupidity and my lack of skill... yes, STUPID HURTS!!!

that "ounce of prevention" your mama always told you about is correct, take a safety/skill refresher every couple of years. NHTSA recently released a study of 2 wheel incidents...I wasn't convinced.
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Silver Surfer
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Sun 07 Nov 2010, 18:43

I have purchased my 2010 Silverwing in order to be able to take my wife as pilion. However I have kept my VFR800 (Year 2000 ) as I really enjoy the precise handling. I run with Michelin Road Pilot 2s, a duel compound tyre.
To me, a newbie on a scoot, the Wing fees vague, almost " point and shoot" I don't like the way the drive disengages when the speed gets to 20mph, and , after being able to downshift into a corner on the bike, the scoot seems " primative" And those weelbarrow tyres !!
However, as I said, I brought it to take the wife out, she had to give up riding on the bike, and the Wing gives a smoother ride, and a seat which holds her in a very stable way.
Which is safer ? The ride is so different that it has to be aproached in the right mindset. I am happier on the bike, but no doubt I will progress with the Wing, and make changes with the tyres and suspension in due course.
I have come off the bike once, a low speed slide, in contact with a van, I was pinned under the bike,as I remained with it, but there was room for my leg, the rear and front of the bike being wider, and I only suffered a bruised shoulder. Incidently, the bike is a lot lighter than the scoot.
All in all, I'm happy being in both "camps", but its the bike I choose for trips to France & Germany, and of course weekend "hacks"at home.
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Sun 07 Nov 2010, 19:19

As already said it's mostly experience and learned technique that counts not particularly the type of bike. I've been riding on two engine powered wheels for about 53 years. I started on a ratty old Cushman scooter and have owned over 30 motorcycles and a couple of scooters over that period. Currently the stable is a Goldwing and a Silverwing. Which is inherently safer not considering riding ability? If I were to be involved in a collision with an animal such as a deer by far I'd prefer being on my Goldwing. With it's mass and momentum I'd have a better chance of keeping myself undamaged. I've seen several big bikes that have collided with deer, dogs and other such that were damaged but their riders got off with minor or no injuries. Not always minor injuries but quite often. On the scooter I'm pretty sure the rider is more likely to be hurt in a similar accident. Hitting some oil on a curve, or sand and putting down the bike in a typical 'low side' type of accident probably better to be on a scooter. Less chance of catching a leg under the bike or some other pat of the anatomy.
I really don't think you can say which type of bike is safest, it depends on so many factors, type of accident, rider experience, rider attention, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Sun 07 Nov 2010, 19:52

I have to say that there is no one correct answer to this question. Motorcycles, and I include scooters in that classification are dangerous. Cars are dangerous also. It's operator skills, maintenance, and knowing your machine that defines how safe any particular conveyance is. None of these factors is enough by itself. It requires all 3. If your tire(s) are worn you need to replace it/them. You need to know how to ride, whether it's a 50cc Metropolitan, or an 1800cc Goldwing and what to do in an emergency. You also need to adhere to the maintenance schedule and know what your machine can do or can't do. A cruiser with an inexperienced operator is way more dangerous than a Silver wing with an experience operator. And vice versa. Ride, ride, ride. Sunshine, Snow, and rain. (I'd stay off it if there is ice on the roads, though). The more you do something the better you are at it and the safer you will be at doing it.
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moonshiner
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Sat 17 Sep 2011, 04:26

which is safer ? i don't know , i have only owned my silverwing a short time , but i have rode motorcycles a lifetime , all bikes are not created equal , some bikes i have owned even brand new were death contraptions , touchy , squirrely and DANGEROUS are just a few words to describe some bikes , not mechanical problems just design flaws , wrong geometry , physics ... but i can tell you that the little wing is well thought out and safe , it inspires a relaxed , confident and leisure ride .. i really enjoy ole barney ..lol.. i would have to cast my vote

MAXI SCOOTER ..
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Which is safer? Motorbike or maxi-scoot?   Sat 17 Sep 2011, 08:27

Given skilled and well trained rider----motorcycle is safer, Non- Cruiser more aggressive riding position gives you more avoidance options and better control knees on tank, feet carring weight on pegs. SilverWing, ridden carefully=ok ABS probably better for most riders.
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