Reader Ride–Southern California: Scootouring
Scootouring (v.) the act of traveling long distances on a scooter.
Sometimes the right word just doesn’t exist. Such is the case with touring on a scooter. With the advent of maxi-scooters (scooters with motorcycle displacement engines and similar performance), major manufacturers have embraced this growing market segment. But deciding to eschew motorcycle touring in favor of scootouring is only the first step. Soon one is confronted with another dilemma: convert the scooter you have into a tourer or buy a scooter designed for touring?
Different Folks, Different Approach
While my riding partner, Patrick, and I have toured on scooters before, we never compared the two alternatives, weighing the merits and limitations of each. Patrick is clearly in favor of the “buy it and ride it” approach. To that end, KYMCO USA provides a 2014 MYROAD700i. The largest displacement scooter on the market, its 700cc parallel twin exudes highway power and performance. However, with its long wheelbase (63.6 inches) being only three inches shy of a Honda Gold Wing, and its weight (608 lbs) being 37 lbs more than a BMW R 1200 RT, would it be hampered when super-slab turns to twisties? My take is more of a “ride what you got” philosophy. I decide to ride my 2010 Vespa GTS 300 Super. The largest displacement Vespa ever built, its 278cc DOHC, fuel-injected single has freeway cruising capabilities. While its lithe weight (326 lbs) and scant wheelbase (53.9 inches) mean that carving through canyons takes no more than a flick of the wrist, would it come at the cost of comfort and stability on a longer journey?