Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How fast does that thing go?

Right up there with the, "is that a Vespa" question is the one I got this morning: "how fast does that thing go." This one came from the driver in the next lane over as we waited for the light to turn green.

My reply, "60 mph," impressed him momentarily. I'm gonna guess he's a motorcycle rider, because he then asked how stable it was at that speed. I gave a hand motion to say "so, so" and commented that my bike has 10 inch wheels.

Since we were idling at a light and I was communicating through a full face helmet, I pretty much kept it at that. In case you're interested in a little more detail about how fast these things we call scooters go, read on.

My daily rider, a Stella by Genuine Scooter Company, can indeed reach an indicated (by my speedometer) speed of 60 mph or a tad higher. This bike has a 150 cc engine and a Sito Plus exhaust, which gives me a little more umph up hills. Very generally speaking, the size of the engine in cubic centimeters (cc) has the most to do with how fast a scooter goes.

For comparison, my fist scooter, a Yamaha Vino, has a 50 cc engine (no performance upgrades) and can go 40 mph or so if you're headed downhill and have a head start--which means you can expect to top out on a flat road closer to 35 mph. Expect to decelerate on steep hills.

Engine sizes for modern scooters commonly range from
50 to 250 cc--so expect top speeds of 30 to 70 mph respectively on a stock (unmodified) bike. I won't get into the host of performance options that give you more power in this post.

Maxi-scooters, the big boys, range in engine size from 250 to 650 cc--just in case you wanted to go 100 mph on a scooter!

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