Ruckus Scooter Love

Ruckus Scooter Love
Scootin' For A Slower Pace of Life...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Big Wheels

Kymco People S200

I got nothing to do but sit around and dream about scooters and scootin' and my blog subject matter reflects this fact here lately. It's just too darn cold outside!

Oh, I get in a very tiny ride now and then when I go over to the storage unit and crank up Squirt and MAYBE ride her 150 yards up and back the line in the frigid cold.

Just enough to whet my whistle, just enough to makes me nuts to ride again!

But alas, winter holds her grip and so I retreat into my head again and dream of scooters and scootin' the back roads in the spring.

Mostly my mind wanders to ponderings of a bigger scooter choice for my ride.

Nothing new there.

Since my move to the burbs I have become painfully aware that 50cc (actually 49) put me in a dangerous situation on most of the roads around here.

This is an unhappy acknowledgement, but true none the less.

Most roads are a minimum of 45mph and I can only barely get up to 43mph and then that is optimistic.

I've got no room to maneuver in tricky situations. None.

I am the proverbial "sitting duck".

Not only that, I need more power to get me back out into my beloved rural back roads without it taking all day long.

This is a must for mental survival.

Then there's crosstown expeditions like maybe a scooter club get together. I've got to have more power to get me over the posted speed limit roads and keep up with the crowd once I get there.

Now there's two ultimate solutions to all this: 1) I get a bigger scooter or 2) I add a scooter rack carrier to my SUV and haul my 50cc to the country and ride out from there.

Forget scooter rallys, forget riding around on any local roads where I could get killed anyway. Just sit home most of the time. Right.

I don't like #2, so #1 must be the solution.

Let's talk "bigger scooter". I don't like maxi scoots for their weight, looks, or handling. I need a 150-200cc range ride. Or something faster than 49cc. 50+ mph would be the most versatile option.

More power=more maneuverability and ease of handling. It must be easy to store in the winter. It must have a bigger profile for visibility, but not the weight of a bigger machine.

I've got to feel safe on it, it's got to "fit" me for handling at stops and in motion, and I've got to find it fun to ride.

I think smaller scoots are more fun to ride and I feel safer on one anyway.

Downside? I don't like small wheels if I can get bigger ones. Bigger ones are more stable, less prone to a rough ride on rural back roads, and less squirrely to handle.

Big wheels help to avoid feeling like the ride is that of a roller skate at 55+ mph.

However, big wheels are usuall fitted for taller riders. Hmmm.

Well, let's explore some Big Wheels anyway! Let's look at some of the Big Wheels of the scooter world. The 16 inch Bad Boys.

I've read over and over again that these wheels provide the stable ride of a motorcycle and that is a good thing since I've decided once and for all that I do not want a motorcycle again.

Oh, I know, first thing in your mind is "but a scoot with 16 inch wheels is going to be TOO TALL for a 5'4" woman with a 29 inch inseam".

It IS a possibility, like I already pointed out. But not all of them are as tall as some. Besides, once I am sitting on it rolling down the road will I notice that at all?

No, I don't think so, but I could be wrong! At a stop if I can slide and tippy toe to balance the scoot, then I ought to be ok. At least in theory.

So I've been reading and researching about 3 scoots in particular: Kymco People 150, Kymco People S200, and SYM HD200.

All are fine looking and highly esteemed models with most of the features I would be looking for on an "all around" scooter. By that I mean a nimble about towner or a day ride tourer.

Not the heft of a maxi-scoot, comfortable but easy to handle.

Great for town explorations yet superb for hitting the back roads along the river.

All three have local dealer support in this area. All three have been sold in this area and so the likelihood of finding a used one is pretty high.

Of the 3, the only one I did test ride in 2009 was the People 150 and I do remember it fitting me in terms of sitting at a stop. That is about all that I can recall about how it handled. I need a "do over".

So my short term goal is to find one of each and try it out for a test ride, or at least sit on it to see how, or if, it fits my stature and ergonomics.

All 3 get great reviews for power, smoothness of ride, versatility, reliability, and gas mileage.

All 3 would make great grocery-getters or countryside back road ramblers.

Any one out there riding these Big Wheels, please feel free to expound on your experience here in the comment section.

Meanwhile, enjoyable winter scootin' dreams (or safe riding) to you all!

Kymco People 150

SYM HD 200

Reviews for all three scooters can be found on

(BTW, some other manufacturers who offer 16 inch wheeled scoots are Aprilia, Piaggio, Roketa, CF Moto, and Honda. Also, Honda offers the 14 inch wheel PCX models. Then you've got the SYM Symba with 17 inch wheels. A special ride for special riders!)


  1. Yes. A 49cc in town is deadly. And you won't be seeing any posts about me riding for a long, long time. My move will take all my time and energy and then on to a new job and if this job is not an easy ride to get there, then scootering is not on my horizon for some time to come.

    I understand your "dreaming".

    1. Martha-

      Sorry to hear you may give up scooting!

      I gave up motorcycle riding many years ago and regret all the good times I missed. I became afraid for no particular reason and just sold my bike. Other stresses impacted on that hasty decision at the time and my focus fell away from riding.

      In the future, wherever I move, I will figure out how to accomodate my situation for scooter riding.

      It means everything to me now, so I will figure out a way to work in it.

      I am finding myself here in a period of adjustment, which will mean more power and different riding habits to accomodate my surroundings.

      I am about 10 minutes from getting back into the area which takes me back out onto the rural back roads and those are my primary focus for riding, as they were in the country life I had before.

      Plus we may very well move into a more rural setting next fall if we can financially recover. Even then I'd like more power to ride out there anyway.

      Good luck on your move! Where are you moving to and what will you be doing? (I had been off reading the blogs for a bit)

  2. I love my Symba and we've now done over 20k miles together, but I wished she had 150ccs rather then 101ccs. I'm still getting to know my Kymco People 250S, but so far I'm blown away with the balance and ease of handling when we're moving. That said, it is much more to move around the garage. The thing I like most is the way it takes off from a stop. Zoom! Zoom!!

    When you check them out don't forget to push it around some to see how its going to be when your putting it away or getting it out. I'm sure you've already thought of that, but I mention it because I find it is quite often the most obvious things I forget about.

    1. Keith-
      Thanks for that insight! Something I do need to take into account, like you said.

      Do you find yourself riding the bigger scoot more and more?

      Did you feel similarly about riding your smaller scooter, though you do have more ccs on yours?

  3. Deb I think ou are on the right track. Remember you can always get a good boot with a thicker soe to add height. I tested out a bigger wheel scoot & I am a little shorter tan you, but once you get used to it & planting your feet you will be good. I couldn't flat foot on my vino and am now used to tippy toeing. I tested a Sym and kymco & would like either. Ave you ever thought of a Piaggio MP3? It would give you a bit more stability maybe on stops. A fellow down the street has a kymco 250 & loves it. No problems on the highway & higher profile in traffic. I love my vino and have bennthinkingbof re-insuring my scoot because it's less expensive, but have mixed feelings because I have more visibility and manoeuvrability with my motorbike. I too think if my vino had more power I would feel more comfortable on it in traffic. I do like the Honda PCX.

    1. Dar-
      You mentioned a big thing, especially with the Met, and that is visibility issues due to a small profile. The Met is really, really small! I have an obnoxious neon yellow flag flying from it and a neon yellow orange triangle on the back.

      This came from living among the horse and buggy community of the Amish out in the country where the buggies and bike scoots all sported them. It really makes the scoot stand out, though you feel like a dork flying it. Like I care because staying alive is number one!

      But also out here in these burbs most of the roads are 2 lane with little to no shoulder. That's because this was once a rural area that rapidly became "citified".

      If I were in town central I would be more ok with riding a 49cc in 25-45 mph traffic, though on the shoulder on the faster roads.

      I like 2 wheels, so the MP3 does not appeal to me, nor do trikes. But these big wheel scoots could work for me with your suggestion of thicker soles/heels.

      I just want to scoot out into the rural areas safely and if I want to run to the nearby burbs and villages I won't be taking my life in my hands.

  4. Deb check out the 2013 Sym RV 200 EVO the seat looks lower and I bet you could ride that baby easily.

    1. I will definitely check that out! Our local scooter shop sells KYMCO but not sure they are carrying the new SYM models. I'm hoping to one day run up there and look around. They allow test rides on just about anything. Or at least I could sit on it!

    2. If Honda could take the Met and blow it up to a full 1-2 feet taller, longer, and add a 150cc it would be perfect. No doubt

      I love this little scoot and it is very hard to hit a wall where you realize you HAVE to make a change in order to keep riding.

      Whatever scoot comes next will also be dictated by availability and cost, so used trumps new unless I can get a sweet deal.

      My Met is posted for sale. I dread the calls, the offers, the frustration of all of that. It might take months to sell.

      I've got to sell in order to come up with the funding for the next scoot and that's been a hard decision.

      But I do it for my family. I know that everytime I ride out on the scooter my partner worries that I might not come back. That happened in the country too, but not like it happens here with all this traffic.

      Now, it's me wondering if this could be my "last ride". Not to be dramatic, but to be realistic.

      I want to insure that I can continue riding a scooter as it is my passion. But I need foremost to insure that I am around for my family and that I am around fully walking, talking, eating, etc.!

      I know it only takes a little skew of judgement, a slight inattention, a cell phone driving SUV to "put out my lights", so to speak. I've had some close calls even while scooting in the country.

      I either get a bigger scooter or I haul my Met on a rack out into the rural areas and do day rides.

      Or the final option, one I don't care to face, I stop riding all together.

      Just thoughts...I like living quite a bit and don't want to give that up any time soon, so I ponder my next ride on bigger wheels with "more power" to quote Tim the Toolman Taylor!

  5. Deb - I think all your concerns are completely valid about having a higher profile and more power. I have found the same with the vino. Vespa's sit higher in traffic, but they don't have the larger wheels. I have tested both Kymco and Sym and thought they were both great. As for your flag - who cares if someone thinks its dorky, I wear a bright yellow hi viz traffic vest and full gear all the time on my scooter or bike. I think I am going to add a neon mohawk or shark fin to the top of the helmet - then I might look bad ass or possibly more dorky. My insurance just came due on my bike and its $900, so the scooter is looking more like its going to be insured for awhile, but I am actually dreading it because I am used to bigger with the bike and feel more comfortable on it. I need to ponder this through and make some decisions again. You will know when you find the right scoot

  6. I think your research will serve you well and it gives you something to do while the weather is poor.

    And winters are good for visiting the shops to see how many you can sit on and push around as Keith suggested.

    Once the weather gets nice then hit up those test rides.

  7. Deb,
    My Symba loves to run at 35mph and will do 40mph pretty well...unless there is a hill, but it still does pretty well. The Kymco does better on the hills than my Yaris.

    The Symba goes to work and back everyday. It is perfect for that and the 112mpg can't be beat. Truthfully, I find myself enjoying the Symba more now than I did before I got the Kymco. I'm not pushing the Symba to do things at the very edge or maybe a little beyond the edge of what it is capable of.

    The vehicle that gets left at home more is the Yaris. The Kymco will go anywhere in the Metro-Area I'd take the Yaris. I've gotten so I'm pretty much a backway to get there sort of guy now. If I'm going alone and don't have to take the Interstates, the Kymco goes. It seems to love to run 60mph. It actually, seems to like going that fast better than I do :)

  8. I think it would be nice to have a little scoot and a bigger scoot too. There is something about riding a smaller scoot that is just in my blood, in spite of their limitations!

    You seem to be riding on into the winter time too. How are you enjoying that?

  9. One scoot you might want to look into as well in the Yamaha Zuma 125. It's got the smaller wheels (12 inch) but is built in such a way that you would never know it. I rode one for some time and even took it off road (yes, it's possible without damaging the scoot). The ride is solid, stable, smooth, with lots of storage under the seat. The bike gets 80+ miles to the gallon and will beat most cars off the line. Top speed 55. Hell, I miss that little yellow bee!

    1. The Zuma 125 is high on my list as well. It was named, "Dream Scooter #2" in a December post! Glad you mentioned it as a great choice.

      Right now I am thinking it will come down to a Zuma 125 or a Kymco People 150. Those are my two top contenders.

      I've got to make a change so that I can get out and really ride this year. Now that I am no longer living way out in the country, "more power" is essential!