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 First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing

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rjdoles
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PostSubject: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:55 pm

I was always curious how people came to ride a superscooter. I will share how I got there and maybe others will share their story too.

In 1962, I was 14 years old and lived in a rural area. I mowed lawns for spending money. My bicycle ride to get to some of my mowing jobs was fairly long. Out of the blue, my dad took me to the local Harley Davidson shop where he had seen an ad for a Cushman scooter. I test drove it and $125 later we had it in the back of the car and brought it home.

It was a 1958 Cushman Highlander. It had a sticker on the fairing stating that it was under 5 brake horsepower. That was important because in Ohio at that time, I could get a restricted motorcycle license at age 14, if the bike was under 5 horsepower.

This scooter was simplicity in itself as you can see from my avatar. It had a tubing frame with exposed engine, one speed with centrifugal clutch, kick start only, magneto lighting and only a rear drum brake. It got about 45 mpg and top speed was about 45 mph. At idle, the lights were barely visible. Passengers sat on the gas tank and their right shoe was at risk of being chewed up by the unguarded centrifugal clutch.

During a panic stop the rear brake produced more squealing than braking but it would leave a nice skid mark right up to the point of impact. Another nice gotcha was letting the rear drum brake get very far out of adjustment. If the brake was out of adjustment, pressing very hard on the pedal caused the square cam that pushed the brake shoes apart to slip over to the next flat and the brake pedal would go to the floor. I rode that scooter for about 3 years while saving for my next two wheeler.

When I was 17, I asked my dad if he would co-sign for a Honda motorcycle for me. He agreed and we went to Honda Wheel World. I looked at a 65 Honda 305 SuperHawk for $655. My dad asked the salesman what the 305 meant. Dad was an old Harley guy and they knew engine sizes in cubic inches not cubic centimeters. The salesman said about 18 cubic inches. Dad recalled that the smallest Harley engine was 45 cubic inches and that they were pretty docile. Dad didn't factor in that the 45 cubic inch Harley’s didn’t have an overhead cam and redline at 9500 rpm. He rode it once after we got it home and he was shocked at how fast it was. He said "That bike is too fast for you".

With motorcycle’s and teenagers, the balance between horsepower and common sense weighs heavily in horsepower’s favor. I had several close calls that should have been wakeup calls but I ignored them. My luck finally ran out and I had an accident that put me in the hospital for 13 days.

In that accident, I was wearing all the safety gear of the day. That would be a tee shirt, shorts and sandals. I did a dismount at 75 mph and the best thing about that accident was that I just tumbled and skidded along the asphalt for what seemed like a quarter mile. I didn’t hit a non-movable object and nothing hit me. More cautious since that accident and now that I am a little older and wiser, I always wear leather shoes, long pants and a helmet.

I have since had a series of motorcycles, Suzuki TS185, Kawasaki 175 enduro, Suzuki TM400 and another favorite the 70 Honda CB750 which I bought for $1125 when I got out of the military. I sold my TM400 and the CB750 about the the second year of our marriage and bought a Yamaha RD400. When our daughter was born, I sold the RD400 and my two wheeling went into hibernation for 27 years.

In 2005, I told my wife that I missed going out for a ride in the evening after getting off work. She suggested that I look on Craigslist and see if I could find a reasonable used bike to get back into riding. I found a Honda Shadow VLX. I loved being back in the saddle and the next year, I traded it for a newer Shadow 750 DC.

My wife sat on it and stated that she thought that she could ride it. She registered at our local Harley shop for the MC safety training course. I found her an 84 Honda Elite 125 to learn on. She got her temps and rode the Elite for a couple of months while waiting to get into the safety course. She took the course and after the second day asked why anyone would want to have to deal with a clutch and gearshift when they could just twist the throttle and go. She passed the course and got her MC endorsement. Once she got her endorsement, we sold the Elite 125 and got her a Honda Reflex 250 scooter.

I began riding her Reflex more and the Shadow less. I bought a Yamaha Majesty scooter and sold the Shadow. My wife was on the Majesty when she was involved in a accident that totaled the Maj. When she recovered from the accident, we replaced the Maj with the Silverwing.

We are now have the Reflex and the Silverwing. We use the Cardo radio’s to communicate and we go on day trips up to about 100 miles from home.

Thinking back on that old Cushman and the massive improvements in brakes, lights, transmission, turn signals, horsepower and mileage, we have come so far from those days.

That’s how I got to the Silverwing.
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tinman
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:21 pm

applause The Reflex and Swing go well together at HY speeds. My son just pic up a 07 Reflex with 6 k kl for $950.00  That a good price. As for me My first scooter was a 07 MP3 Piaggio  and later traded it and my 07 440 Panther for my 09 Swing with 3200 kl, now over 82 k kl and no regrets.
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:59 pm

I started out in 1956 much like rjdoles on a Cushman. Mine was a 49 slant back 4hp model. No front brake, no brake light and a headlight that was only better than a candle because the wind didn't blow it out. Mine had the centrifugal clutch with a two speed (non syncro) gearbox. After blowing it's one con rod my dad kicked in by ordering a new engine for it. He didn't realize that the new engine was an 8hp Eagle engine. With that my old scooter would do almost 60mph. With no front brake. Like rjdoles mentioned if you let the rear brake wear a bit it would cam over and lock up the rear wheel. That machine had the brake material riveted to the drum with steel shoes the reverse of more modern drum brakes. A hard stop with only a rear brake makes for a loooong black streak on the road. Very interesting to keep the back end behind you when the rear wheel locks up at 50 mph. I never went down or dropped the thing and actually rode it on pole line dirt roads on the Mojave desert around Edwards AFB. For a 14 year old it was great and made my paper route a lot less demanding in the summer heat.
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model28a
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:00 pm

Thank you for your interesting motorcycle history.
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:03 am

I retired early from teaching on health grounds in 1999.
I'd just bought a beautiful Mitsubishi L200 double-cab pickup truck and realised it was going to stretch my limited budget for using it to run around town in.
Therefore, I bought a Gilera 50cc moped which I could ride on my normal Driving Licence.
It seemed sensible to have a little training as I hadn't ridden even a bicycle for many years so did what here is called Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) - a day's instruction.

I was enjoying riding and asked the instructor how many days he thought I'd need to take the Riding Test - 'Four days? Five?'
'No, two at most'.

I took and passed the Test - a very interesting experience - and bought a Piaggio X9250.
I joined the X9 Owners Club at the same time - a good move.

After two years I upgraded to an X9500.

It became apparent, when I moved to Belgium, that the local dealers were not familiar with the 500, it was beginning to have 'issues' and I decided to PX it for a different scooter.

The choice for me was between Burgman 650 and Silverwing.
I did my research and decided the Silverwing was far superior for my needs and bought one.

When I moved back to the UK I sold it and bought another, my present ride, from a friend who found it too heavy for her.

It was a year younger than my other but had only 4000 miles on the clock.

I love it!
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:32 pm

How did I get to Maxicooter? 1943 my neighbor on his way to war gave me a ride on hi HD JD model (he also had an Indian Scout and a Henderson 4 stored behind the garage) 1954-55 got my first motorbike, Travis bike motor on a Columbia bicycle, the HD 125 followed,HD45,Indian Warrior,BMW R51/3 with Steib S-350 Sidecar, Maico Blizzard 250, NSU ZBT 125, 2 Messerschmitt Cabin Scooter, 2 new Triumphs, Indian Woodman (really Royal Enfield Bullet), between 1968-88 4 Vespa, Tohatsu Runpet----then 20 years in Japan, I forgot how many bikes but Honda/Yamaha/Kawasaki/Yamaha---bikes new were cheap----some how between 1958-2010 I spent 20 years in Germany off and on----BMW R-27, Kawasaki Concours, BMW K-75 and R80RT, flock of MZ's----4 HD Electra Glide,3 Sportsters,---first Maxi scooter=Helix 1990, followed by 3 more Helix---recent years 2 Burgman 400's, 2 SilverWings(I like the dry feet thing with scooters) Presently 2013 SilverWing leftover.....will ride it to 40 or 50,000 miles. Replacement?? Sold my last new bike Suzuki TU250, rode it to new owner in Buffalo NY over Easter Week. So only scooter right now.

Couple of things I must have spent a lot of money over the years----but all fun, I ride a lot---over 1.5 million miles since 1955---last year at least 35,000 miles---rode to 46 states on SilverWing, 3 more on TU 250. At 76 I have no intention of stopping, use bike/scooter for everything. I have been blessed with jobs that kept me in interesting places and time to ride. Last time I counted over 75 new bikes. Next?? Scooter or Yamaha SR400?
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:41 am

Y'all think it might be bike riding that's made most of us here so old? It's been a great ride over the past 59 years for me. My bucket list has been completed for quite a few years now. With luck I might have another ten years or so on two wheels. No more sailing or flying but still riding.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:22 am

My first scooter was a new Honda CN 250 Helix in 1996, the first and original feet forward maxi scooter, the only type I'm interested in, and as far as I'm concerned the only type that matters.  Back then it was the only maxi scooter on UK roads and a pretty rare sight too. I had the Helix and toured and went to a couple of Helix rallies in Germany, and the FIM Rally in Sweden.

I did eventually get a Mk2 Majesty in 2004 but it was boring compared to the Helix and I had no interest in touring on it. After a year I got rid and bought a new Burgman 400 K6 and I liked it a lot better. It was a fine solo tourer but add a passenger it couldn't pull the cock off a chocolate mouse. So that went in 2008 and I got a 650 Burgman Executive K8, a great two up autobahn express but not much fun in cities and a big heavy lardass of a maxi scooter. I enjoyed my time on Burgmans without resorting to the silly 'get the Burgman Grin' nonsense.

I had considered a Silver Wing over the previous years, but it was saddled with it's gas guzzling reputation from it's UK launch. I bought a Silver Wing simply because I'd had enough of the big heavy hard to clean Burgman. I'd toured on it in Luxembourg with Mrs M in the Spring and was hard to hustle along some of the rural roads there.

I've had the Silver Wing since late 2010, I occasionally become bored with it and think about changing it for something else, but it's a good tourer. I'm taking it on another jaunt to Northern Germany next month.
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cotetoi
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:36 am

I arrived very late to 2-wheeling. Started 2010. First was a VLX 600 followed by a 750 ACE, followed by the SWing and a VT1100 Tourer which are my current rides. I just added a 1987 Helix on an impulse because the price was too good to pass up. I think it will turn into a project bike for me.
Got the SWing because I ride with a group who ride Burgs and I tried a 400 and liked it. When I saw the SW on sale I got it at a good price. I like it, but it is thirsty and easy to provoke with the throttle. Being a frugal person ( you wouldn't know it with 3 bikes), I always keep expenditure vs fun in mind.
The Helix has the winning formula. I just hope it is in decent shape. I am in the process of exploring all the nooks and crannies. Luckily, eBay has lots of parts.
Jay.
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Mike from NS
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:15 am

My 2 wheel history is limited and short. I had suggested to my wife that I should look for a scooter. She suggested taking the training course to see if I had a real interest or might even like it. So, at 60 years old, I took the course two years ago, next month; found a Silverwing on Kijiji; had it checked out by one of the course instructors (at his offering) who has a 2006 Silverwing and bought it about a week after completing the course. My first and only bike (other than a bicycle). The instructor gave me more instruction on the Silverwing for a few more weeks. My bike of choice going into the course was Kymco Downtown 300. About 1/2 the power at twice the cost of the used 2005 Silverwing. No regrets !! It was a bit heavy as a first bike; and considering the only bikes I had ever ridden were the 50 cc and 150cc bikes during the course. But still, no regrets and I'm quickly getting more confident with the S'Wing. I replaced the tires in late May this year and have almost 2000kms on the new ones now.

Mike
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Dale N.
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:36 am

Let's see if this old brain can remember back that far...

My first bike was a 1965 Ward's Riverside 125cc one lunger two stroke. My parents had 160 acres in northern MN and I used to throw it in the trunk of my 1962 Pontiac Catalina and we'd head up to do some riding.
My next bike was a 65 Ducati 350 and rode that for a few years. The kick starter was on the left side of the bike and I learned to keep my leg bent just a bit so I wouldn't get thrown over the handle bars if it backfired. Don't ask... I sold that one and bought a brand new 1977 Yamaha RD400. It was a two cylinder two stroke and it was fast. The company I was working for folded with $160 million in the bank and no debts to speak of. So... It got repoed along with my new Jeep Cherokee. No money coming in means no payments going out. I'm just glad that I did have a "junker" to drive also.
While driving truck for Wonder Bread, one of the drivers mentioned that he had a 1974 Honda CB750 he wanted to get rid of for $200. It had been sitting in his shed for a couple of years and he wanted it out. I drove my pickup down there and bought it. The slides in all four carbs were stuck and the tires were almost flat. They looked inflated while it was sitting on the ground but when we rolled it up on the ramp they would squish, for lack of a better word, when they hit the edge of the truck box. The gas tank was rusted inside so I used the Kreem system to clean and seal. It didn't leak after that. I rode it that summer, after lots of TLC to get the bugs out, then my Wife and I rode it to Pensacola, FL from here in MN the next summer. It was a GREAT ride and we were both still young and healthy enough to enjoy the heck out of it. I retired in 2008 at 62. My wife's health was going downhill pretty fast so early retirement meant that we could at least spend her last few years together and I could help her when she needed it. She passed away the 5th of this month two years ago and I miss her a lot. After I retired my riding days were pretty much done seeing as I didn't feel right going on a ride while she could hardly walk and needed my help more and more. I gave the Honda to my son so at least it could be ridden and not just sit and rot.
After my Wife passed away my sister in Milton, FL said she wanted to get rid or her 08 SWing and wondered if I wanted it. I did a bit of research and my son and I went down there in March of 2014 and trailered it home. It hadn't been ridden for about two years. She's about 3 years older than I am and it tipped over in her driveway a couple of times. She was afraid that might happen while she was riding it so she parked it and put a tarp over it. I got it home after a couple weeks of vacation down there and went to work on it. I ordered a new battery for it from eBay for $25. I figured that if it lasted one season that would be fine. At least I could start and ride it. I also ordered two new tires for it and a drive belt along with 26 gram Dr. Sliders. While waiting for the battery to arrive I hooked up jumper cables from my pickup just to check all the lights etc. They all worked and I figured "what the heck" and hit the starter. It turned over about three times and popped right off. No smoke. No hiccups. It purred like a kitten. More TLC while waiting for everything to arrive and the rest is history.
I also have my 74 Honda back due to my son's health going along the same road as my wife's.
On a different note. My $25 battery died this year so I ordered a Battery Tender Lithium Ion battery for the SWing. It weighs 1.75 Lbs and comes with all sorts of dense foam self stick spacers used to fill in all the empty space in the battery box. It's a whole bunch smaller than the normal battery so the spacers keep it from bouncing around in the battery box. They cost around $99 on eBay. I can go out at any time and check the voltage with my meter and it reads 13.46 volts, give or take a hundredth of a volt. I like it so much I also got one for the 750 Honda.
Anyway, that's my story...
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oldgwingguy
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:42 am

1957, 1st two wheel ride, Zundap dirt bike. Lordy a lot between but my 1st scooter ride Vespa 1961, two up on a 125 overnight to Kinzua dam / lake BEFORE it was a lake, empty buildings and crap everywhere all underwater now. The next tour, 1979 Suzuki 425, 2 up from Front Royal to Cherokee down the Skyline and BRP and back home. Last long tour 7,039 miles on our 91 G'wing, got all the lower 48,+ on that bike. Now my 05 S'wing just takes me through the HH and that is just fine with me.
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bandito2
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:10 pm

Got started by getting rides on my dad's 305 Super Hawk. Loved riding around in the open fields around the neighborhood and then helping pick the grass & weeds from around the shocks, axle fenders, shifter etc. That bike seemed so much bigger then.
Had a friend in the neighborhood with an old beat up Cushman that we rode around a lot.
Then had a Rupp 5hp minibike that was a lot of fun until my sister ran it into a fence.
Nothing to ride after that until after getting married. First scooter I owned was a Yamaha Riva 200 that I used on a motor carrier paper route and to my other job. Also had a Yamaha Razz 50cc that I let my son ride.
Quit the being married thing. Then it was a used Honda CB450 that I used for commuting to work until a girlfriend pulled loose every wire she could get her hands on. (hell hath no fury like a woman scorned)
Then I got a new 1987 Honda Helix that I eventually sold to get an ultralight engine.
Got out of ultralights after 911 and started accumulating Honda Reflex scooters.
Saw how many that had a Silverwing also had a Reflex, so I decided to join the crowd and got a used 2006 Silverwing too.
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phils a winger
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:34 pm

honda 50, C100 at 13 years old, followed by another c100 then a c102, lambretta series 2 LI125 at 15, honda 125 c92 at 16 then triumph tiger cub t20sh, Honda cd175 just before i turned 17 and 2 months into my 17th year a Suzuki GT380 following a bad hit from a red light jumper (with a honda 50 c100 while waiting for repairs/new bike), that started an on off love affair with GT380's had about 6. Then in between the 380's Honda 250, cz175, jawa 350, yamaha dt175, MZ250, Yamaha XS250 , XS750, XS650 and finally Kawasaki Z550 lTD, then came marriage and the last 380 and the 550 were sold (for a pittance to my mind, but when your getting married there are different priorities. 18 year vacation as the Eagles said, 2001 and a Hyosung GP125 scooter, quickly followed by 3 different yamaha majesty's ( all bar one failed at rear axle/wheel support, the other just died after a diet of road grit when the air filter hose came off), 10 years ago bought a GL1100, 3 years later a GS500F suzuki replaced the last majesty, 2 years later and was given a virago 750, after 5 years that has now been sold as was never using it, 3 years ago bought a yamaha xmax 250 biggest mistake, unreliable and not a patch on an old majesty, last year bought the silver wing and have put 6000 miles on it, centre of the tyre tread is but a memory, but boy what memories. The 'wing is the main reason the virago went, it does everything i need without attracting too much attention, teh gold wing i'm keeping for sentimental reaasons until its too big to handle, according to my wife it already is.
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Tone
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:42 pm

My first bike was an LD150 Lambretta which I bought off a mate at school. The shaft drive went shortly afterwards but one of my teachers was a keen biker and helped me fit a new one in the school metal workshop in my free periods.
When I went to college I was after a Velo LE150 but just missed one and bought a Honda C50 Cub instead. Later during the petrol crisis of 1974 I bought a Lambretta LI150 on which I passed my test! So then I have had a Kawasaki 400J four cylinder, followed by a Honda CX500 Eurosport, two K100LT BMWs ,on oneof which I spent a year as a London motorcycle courier and a BMW R100T, which originally had a sidecar attached and a GS1100 Adventure, both of which I still have. That's not to mention a Kawa KLR250 trail bike, now sold and a Yamaha TTR250R trail bike, which I still have.
I shall be part-exchanging the GS1150 for a Silverwing in the near future, as soon as the fuel pump problem is sorted, which hopefully will be in the next two weeks - will keep you posted!
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Pastor Ron
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:04 pm

I started riding in 1968....my signature tells the rest.
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Greysilver
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PostSubject: My first scooter   Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:39 am

My first ride was a 1955 Cushman Highlander in 1962. This was no front brake, 5hp, coil springs on the front only and a head light that was actually a brake light with a reflector. It was pure junk! But it would go about 40 mph and beat peddling. There were about 15 of us riding scooters and we did have a great time. I progressed much through the list on my page until the VTX 1800. I crashed on this very nicely and swore Id never ride again. About a long year later I got the itch and saw the Silver wing / Bergman.
I chose the Honda and was off and enjoying riding again, very much. How things have changed since the Cushman Highlander. Those early Cushmans should have been condemned as unsafe / unfit to ride. I know they are collectable today but they are still junk. Shocked

Great topic!
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:46 pm

I agree about the Cushman scooters. At best pretty darn lousy. At the time I had mine I lusted for either a Mustang or a Powell which were much better machines but alas beyond my means.

The 49 Powell was a heart throb to me:
http://www.mikeybike.com/powell81.html

The Mustang of the same era was a great machine I lusted for as well:
http://mustangmotorcyclesokc.com/Vintage_Mustang.php
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Greysilver
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:34 pm

OMG, yes you said it and I forgot. There was a kid in our neighborhood who had a Mustang. Holy smokes, some kids get all the breaks. I forgot that, what a sound.
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gremlin
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:53 am

my first scooter and motorized two wheeler was an old Lambretta; it was a old one that an uncle gave to me, because nobody else wanted it. But at the age of 16 years, it was a gift from heaven for me. In those days, in Germany one could ride anything up to 50cc from 16 to 18 years. Well, the Lambretta was a 150cc (from memory), but nobody cared. I drove this scooter all around the southern part of Germany, unlicensed, un-insured and un-registered and never got pulled up. Another donation of a Vespa scooter meant a great upgrade in style and together with a friend we drove this little scooter through most of Germany and across the borders through Austria, Switzerland and France. And I still did not have a license or registration. We even had an accident in Switzerland and got recovered  by the Police. But nobody ever asked for any papers apart from the " Personalausweis" ( identity card).
Migrated to Australia and apart from riding a Suzuki 400 trail bike in the deserts of Central Australia there was nothing happening on two wheels for the best part of three decades.  Then I got the itch again, bought an Aprilia Sportcity 200, an Aprilia SMax 300; a Honda Forza 300 and a Suzuki Burgman 400 over the last few years. Aprilia make very good and fast bikes, but to me they are not what I look for in a scooter.Even the monstrous Aprilia SRV 850 is not what I would I like in a scooter; it is more of a motorbike dressed up to look like a scooter. The Forza and Burgman came pretty close, but lacking a bit of grunt. Then I found the Silverwing and it just ticks all the boxes for me. It is not only good looking, but it has got ample power and it's comfortable and reliable. I can still manage the bulk and weight of it and hope to ride it for many more years. I take my hat off to the older guys on the forum who still do so at an age of 70 plus.  And if I can't anymore I might go back to a well kept Vespa. Wouldn't be the right thing now, but they still look damned good 70 years later!
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Skipwil
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PostSubject: First scooter   Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:36 pm

My first scooter was a 2009 Aprilla 200. realy nice cheap ride
Second was a 09 Majesty 400 - even better.
Then I saw an 04 Silverwing 600. Man what a differencw in a
scooter. As they say the rest is history in the making
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Tone
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PostSubject: Got there in the end!   Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:18 pm

Today, p/exed the 1150GSA for a 2011, Black Silverwing with ABS, Givi Airflow screen and topbox and mirror and leg-shield extenders. I'm having Oxford heated grips fitted. The bike has done 7,800 miles. Picking it up next week, all being well!
Smile
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Tommo
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:40 pm

Started on a Lambretta Li 150 in 1964. It was my Mum’s, went on to get a James Cadet with a 150cc Villiers engine, then a James Superswift 250 Villiers twin, Blue and Silver the envy of all my mates, then an Ariel Arrow 250cc.
Then I got married, long period without a bike, used to borrow my mates BSA 650 Road Rocket on odd occasions to keep my hand in, then along came this BSA 250 C15, what a heap of sh**t.
Long lay of then until my Son was 17 and he was riding the Yamaha FS1E (Fizzers as they were affectionately known) he had several of them in the shed just to keep one going, this rekindled my interest, But I had to pass a test, because we could ride 250’s I had never bothered, took the Star Rider course on a Honda Benely 135cc twin, passed and I bought a CB750 K1 I ran it for about two years, but it needed new exhausts and I hadn’t the money, so I sold it to a mate who said he wanted to do it up.
Then had a series of Two Strokes ( I love the Strokers) 250 GT250 Yamaha, 125 Yamaha AS2 twin (Tuned) My son bought a RG500 Suzuki we both rode that and it nearly killed both of us.
I had a sensible period for a while then until I was about 50 and I had watched the film with Henry Fonda in Called easy rider, and I saw a Virago 535S for sale in immaculate condition, which I thought would be the right size to start to ride again, not to powerful and light. That didn’t last long until I bought an 1100 Virago, but it used to make my Bum ache not having the foot pegs directly below me, so I bought a Honda Deauville 650, this was a nice comfy bike if a bit on the heavy side, still not happy bought a Suzuki 750GSXF that was a rocket ship, fell off that one thinking I was Valentino Rossi, time to slow down I thought, bought a Honda CB500 with all the luggage, that was a good bike light and economical, but a little underpowered, then a Yamaha MaximX water cooled 700cc American import, (Not on sale in UK) good bike but not a good handling machine, so another Honda Deauville, I just didn’t know what I wanted, that did not last long, I then bought a Yamaha Diversion 600cc good bike rode like it was on rails, economical and light.
But as the years have progressed aching bones and stiff joints, not being able to throw my leg over the saddle without getting cramp and having to get straight back off again, I started looking at Scooters, and after a lot of research the Silver Wing seemed to be the best of the bunch, so I chopped in my Diversion, (this is now July 2015) for a 2008 SW with all the extras and only 8000 miles and I love it, I have done about a 1000 miles on it to date and it is so comfy and easy to ride, still getting used to not having gears and no foot brake, but it is a great machine. The weather is sh**t her now, but I can’t wait for spring.
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bicyclenut
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:39 pm

Purchased a brand new Yamaha Riva 50cc to use at college around 1987. After about a year using at school at to ride to work back home decided I needed a scooter that I could ride the 25 miles from home to NIU to work back home on weekends. Found a like new 1987 Honda 150cc Elite in red. This was the year the Honda Elite took on a more rounded aerodynamic look that the more common often seen Elite similar to the Helix. Used this until the end of college and then decided a car was more practical for a first job and sold the Honda to use as a car down payment.  

Many times regretted selling that Honda as would have been fun to use around town. Before any scooter and even now, bicycles were my 2 wheel fix. Bicycle racing and long distance riding through the years and up to 9 different bicycles to select for a ride at the peak (only 7 now).  In the last 5 years or so casually looked at various scooters available, new and used, even trying to find a good used 1987 just like I had before. In last couple years with high gas prices even mentioned to the wife as a means to save on gas by driving to work, but always met with resistance and "too dangerous" "not practical" etc.

Started to seriously look at the start of this summer and had a real interest in the Honda Reflex. Recent conversations with the wife were met with "maybe" and "it might work to save on gas" In July I found a good low mileage 2003 Honda Reflex from a local motorcycle enthusiast who had recently purchased a Silverwing to add to his motorcycle collection and was selling the Reflex. Conveniently my wife was out of town that weekend and the seller had a very interested buyer the next day, so I HAD to buy it or miss out.  A bit of a surprise for my wife to return to see it in the garage.  My oldest daugher's exact words: "you are so busted"

Anyways, it worked out, although I still can't convince my wife to ride with me. After riding the Reflex for a couple months and finding the shortcomings, although not a deal breaker, was wanting something with a little more power, the ability to keep up better at highway speeds and struggle a little less in the winds, started looking at the Silverwing. Found a good low mileage Silverwing nearby.  Was purchased by the wife of a Harley rider to ride along with him, but instead she just rode with him and it rarely was ridden. Took it for a test drive and was impressed by the additional power and acceleration.  Purchased the Silverwing, sold the Reflex and now I've put about 1500 miles on the Silverwing in the past couple months, just wish Chicago didn't have winter weather so I could ride it year round...
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:40 am

First ride was on a Honda 65 when I was around 8 or 9 years old (1965'ish). Fast forward to mid 1970's and the ride was a mid range Suzuki GS (550 cc I believe) for a couple of seasons. Life got busy and there was nothing else until about 2005 when we bought a Class C RV and decided we needed something to run into town with to buy groceries.

The deal was, if I was going to get back into riding, so was my Sweetie ... she was reluctant at first and had no real interest in "loud & smelly" motorcycles. I talked her into attending a MC course and getting her getting her MC license. We bought an 1985 Honda Elite 250 that was carried on the back off our RV.

We kept the Elite 250 and purchased a Honda Elite 150 for SWMBO. That only lasted a few weeks due to the need for more power. Sold the 150 to a friend and bought a second 1986 Elite 250 for her. Within a couple of seasons, they were replaced by a K4 Burgman 400 for me and K5 Honda Reflex for her.

That lasted until about 2012 when we sold the Reflex and bought our 2005 low mileage Silver Wing. Now, she rides the Burgman to work everyday during the riding season and I ride the SW. We love 'em both, love each other and love riding together on the weekends and during vacations.

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Bash On!
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:46 pm

Resurrected thread?  Okay, I'll chime in.

Been riding for many years when I bought a Yamaha Vino 50 to get back and forth to the train station.  Although it was less than a mile each way, the Vino was hopelessly underpowered for the 45-mph road connecting my house to the station.  Sold the scooter when we moved to the mountains of New Mexico.

Bought a Harley Road King but sold it when it didn't get much use.  Had a hankering for two wheels again so after a year without a bike, bought a Honda PCX150 to ride the eight-mile round-trip to work.

The PCX150 is really perfect for 90% of my needs but isn't quite big enough for escorting charity rides (and the highways used to get to them).  Had an old Kawasaki police bike (KZ1000P) but I worried about its long-term reliability.  (My daughter will get the PCX when she turns 15 next year and gets a scooter license.)

When a local dealer advertised a new, leftover 2013 Silver Wing for only $5995 a couple months ago, I jumped on it and traded the police bike.

Have to say, though, that the Silver Wing hasn't yet endeared itself to me like, for example, my old Beemer has.  The SW is more of a transportation appliance than something that evokes mechanical lust, but it is a very good appliance.
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Timewarp_1
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:37 am

OK Here goes.

In 1964 I purchased my first bike. A harley 175cc Scat. It wasn`t my first choice. I had my eye on a Zundap 250cc. When I went to purchase it my cousin was just signing the papers. (Of course it was the last bike that he had,) I couldn`t wait till the dealer got another one in so I went looking and finally decided on the Scat. Boy, was that a mistake. It would not run. I`d be going down the road, it would backfire and then quit. I`d call the dealer and he would come get the bike. After a day or two they said it was fixed. I`d ride it a day or two and then the same thing. Just quit. They would get the bike again. Have it several days and say it was fixed. This went on for three months. After three months they gave me exactly what I paid for the bike. I didn`t lose a thing. (I swore that I would never get another harley.) After about two years I purchased a 175cc Kawasaki. Kept that about a year then sold it. I did not get another bike until 1964. I wanted to get a scooter to go back and forth to work. (17 miles one way.) I finally decided on a new ,bright yellow helix. I put down a $200 deposit. I couldn`t ride it as I did not have a motorcycle endorsement on my license. When I went to pay the remainder a fellow rode in on a silverwing. I thought holy cow. I didn`t know they made them that big. The fellow was 6` 4" and weighed about 250 to 275 lbs. He said he had the bike for three weeks. Every couple days he would get it out of the garage, ride a short distance and then put it back in the garage. He said he was very uncomfortable as it was to small for him. He was trading it in a new goldwing. If you can believe it it only had 84 miles. It was a no brainer, Forget the Helix and purchase the silverwing. It`s now been eleven years and still lovin it. I`ve only been down one time. Hit some pea gravel going into a turn in our development, broke my thumb and messed up the front of the bike. (Boy was that expensive.) With Honda that can be expected. I`m retired now which gives me more time to ride. that is when the wife let`s me. You all ride safe.
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bikerbill
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:14 am

First scooter: 2009 SYM HD200 bought new in 2011.( I was 57 years old.) I was riding a bicycle long distances so I know the dangers of traffic and gravel in intersections. A local motorcycle/ATV dealer got some SYM's in and had a hard time unloading them. Put them on sale for $1999 OTD. Revenue office didn't charge sales tax. Probably thought it was used. I didn't correct them. Got over 14,000 miles on it. Did have to replace head gasket this summer, but have over 1,500 trouble free miles since. Absolutely love it for town driving.

When it was time to get motorcycle endorsement, one of my long time motorcycle riding buddies told me there would be no problem getting it. He said 10 questions and so easy an idiot could pass. Well I'm below an idiot. I found out later he took his test over 20 years ago. I looked at the material online and it was pretty involved, but I took his advice. 4 years ago in our town (Conway) there was only one day a week you could take it. I took off work and had to stand in line in 33 degree (fahrenheit) weather for 1 1/2 hours. It was at the local library and they wouldn't let you wait inside. It's finally my turn and it's computerized and 20 questions. You miss 4 questions and the test stops, which I did. The lady trooper took my papers and said you flunked, rather loudly. She also added, you took so long I just knew you would pass. Did you even study? Go to the front desk of the library and get a written booklet, it's better than the online one.

I went home and told my wife and she cracked up about it. Thanks for your support dear! I got online and saw I could go to Little Rock (30 miles away) to the State Police Headquarters. It's open 5 days a week from 9 to 5. So we drove there the same day. I had her ask me questions on the way. I was missing them all. CRAP!!!! Right before we get there she says, Oh I was on the wrong page, forget what we just went over. CRAP AGAIN!!!! Gave the trooper my papers and told him I flunked the test earlier in Conway. He handed them back and told me I couldn't retake the test the same day. How many times can you say CRAP in the same day? Glad I took off work to receive this punishment!

I studied hard and drove to Little Rock (car) after work a few days later and passed!!! Next problem was I wasn't going to take off work for the driving test in my town. I didn't want to try to put the scooter in my pickup truck. Too high, would probably drop it. So I drove the scooter. Mapped out a route on secondary roads, but did have to go through downtown area. It was fun. Went inside and the trooper ask me if I was the one who was popping wheelies in the parking lot? Yessir that would be me, I replied. We laughed. He signed all my papers and handed them back. I ask when I would be taking the driving test?  He said you are good to go. I saw you pulling in the parking lot, that why I was kidding about you popping wheelies. CRAP, I was wanting to show him my skills! After a short break I headed back to Conway and got the scooter licensed.

After a couple of years of riding the SYM, I yearned for something bigger to hit the open roads. This year I got the OK from my wife to get something bigger. By the way, she doesn't want to ride or drive a scooter, but doesn't mind me riding. I started looking online on the Kymco, Burgman, and Silver Wing forums. The Kymco Xciting 500 has a lot of starting problems. I'm too tall for the MyRoad 700. The Burgmans are great, but are costly to work on. The Silver Wings look to be bullet proof. I found a 2012 Silver Wing on Craigslist for $4,500 with 4,100 miles. He had it for $5,000 earlier and just dropped the price. I bought it for $4,500. It came with modified backrest, (perfect) Givi topcase, and Givi 214DT windshield which I have already replaced with a Givi AF214. I did stuff some foam insulated pipe cover in the Honda air flow chute to keep cold air from shooting straight inside my helment. Soon I will install two 12v sockets. I've ridden over 1,500 miles and absolutely love the Silver Wing! I still have the SYM and will probably put it up for sell this spring.
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hardee41
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:29 pm

As a kid about 13, I lived out in the country in N. Mn. about a mile from a junk yard. My buddies mother got a new elec. washing machine and we pulled the motor out of the old Maytag gas washing machine; I would guess about two hp.. By summer the next year with parts from the junk yard, we managed to mount the motor above the rear tire of and old bicycle; with the pulley wrapped in lots of tape sitting on the tire. We did mount a lever to tip the motor forward off the tire when we wanted to stop. Luckily we lived on a dirt road with little traffic. I'm guessing we went about 10mph; but that depended on how much tape we had on the pulley. ;-) Of course all the weight was on one side and we did lay it down many times. Didn't have another powered 2 wheeler until I was in my 20's. Yup, good times. harley
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gremlin
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:45 pm

Hi, hardee41, you just brought back some memories. A motorized two wheeler, which I had all but forgotten. We did not have the junkyard connection, so I had a French Solex, just a more sophisticated model of what you built. They were very popular in Germany, since one did not need any license to ride one of them and they could be made to go faster than 50km/h. ( And you could pedal home, if you ran out of gas )
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PostSubject: Re: First scooter and how you got to a Silverwing   Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:35 pm

I wanted to buy a Whizzer motorbike when I was thirteen but my mother wouldn't allow it. That bike intrigued me so after all that time about four years ago I bought a Chinese motorbike kit and installed it on my mountain bike. Lots of fun. I put 500 miles on that thing before some talked me into selling it. I put together another one with a four cycle 50cc engine on a beach cruiser type bike. That one had a recoil starter and centrifugal clutch with made it easier to start without having to be in motion. I got talked out of that one too after a few hundred miles of running around my neighborhood and some nearby stores.
Once in a while I get the urge to do it once again. I have an old mountain bike that would work well. Maybe...
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