The Story of John Y.
OK, you asked for it. Nobody, and I repeat NOBODY, likes to babble more
than I (editor's note: Oh, poor John, he doesn't really know the Evil
Scooter Kitty's propensity for vociferous rambling). Here's my story -
about how I obtained a motorcycle license and now, I want a scooter, Maxi,
with luggage space, and highway capable. Shifting be damned!
After bumbling around, going from Cycle World, Motorcyclist, BIKE,
Rider and other published literary drivel about two-wheeled conveyances,
I visited my family in New Jersey only to discover this:
Dad: "Johnny, guess what Mr. Lindsey bought."
Me: "Another computer with deca-core processors, crossfire graphics and
Dad: "No, he got a Suzuki."
Me: "You mean a motorcycle?"
Dad: "No, a scooter. It's huge."
Me: "That could only be the Burgman."
Dad: "Yeah, he got the 650."
...pause while I vainly try not to look flummoxed. The Burgam 650 is
known as ScooterBusa for a reason, and now my Dad's best friend just
bought a nice, shinny white one. Yikes.
Me: "Wow, that thing is expensive... and awfully fast..."
Dad: "I'm picking up a red Burgman 400. Whenever you come down to visit,
since you got a license, you can ride it."
...again, pause as I vainly try not to look flummoxed. Now I gotta
figure out my work schedule so I can bum rides on the Burgie.
Fast forward to my first ride on the 400. I had, weeks earlier, scared
the wits out of myself when I boarded my brother's 2004 Honda CBR600RR for
a short test ride. Let's see... about 420 pounds, and almost as much
horsepower as my Corolla. Zero to 70 mph in... yesterday... in one gear...
Seeing the red Burgie for the first time I was not expecting much. After
all, I rode a vehicle with three more cylinders, and about 70 more
horsepower. The exhaust note of the Burgie burbled like a true thumper.
Grab a handful of throttle and, hey, is this SCOOTER doing 70 mph??? How
is that possible??? It's a SCOOTER for crying out loud!!! First ride
becomes second, and third, and... I think I'm on my 50th ride by now. Need
to get a second (or even third) job to get one. MUST get one. Life
unfulfilled without one...
I still cannot believe how many people are caught unawares by the speed
of this thing. CVT, Twist & Go, whatever you call it, it works wonders in
stoplight shenanigans. I had one annoying instance when a fellow on an 883
Sportster (Harley) would not return my greeting. I sat next to him
at a stoplight wondering why he was blipping his throttle... oh well.
Green light, grab W.O.T. and leave him gasping. Next. On the road the
Burgie has touched 90 mph. It is eerily stable on flat ground, some
hopping on expansion joints and pavement heaves, but otherwise a great
ride. Two full-faced helmets fit under the seat. Is a top box even
necessary? Of course, you can carry more helmets that way.
Mid 50s fuel economy. Cannot take a "splash and dash" at the gas
stations. People are drawn to it, the look, the color, the fuel economy.
But, flip the key to open the under seat storage, and jaws drop. I can see
wheel turning... people are thinking, "You know, that scoot is a better
idea than a Ford Expedition..." Yeah, no kidding. For solo transport, you
can't beat the freedom and fun of a scoot.
Braking is awesome. Very little front end dive, even on panic stops
(yes, they are trying to kill us, me more so because I ride a bright red
scoot). Very little finger pressure needed, and I'm comfortable modulating
the brakes. ABS... a necessary evil? Nah, just another way to tack another
grand on the price of the scoot. Practice your panic stops. Life is good.
I admit that I have, at some time, wanted a Ferrarai or Porsche, or
other four-wheeled sporty conveyance that costs more than a house. The
scooter is more fun, hands down. Let me say that, ten years ago, I got to
test drive a Dadge Viper. It was the only vehicle to scare me more than
the CBR600RR. The scoot is more fun than the Viper. The tires will last
longer, and it's just more fun with less. Yup, two wheels, one cylinder,
one billion times more fun. Not to mention that the Viper struggles to get
double-digit fuel economy...
Have you had your fill of my rambling? OK, I'll stop. But the source of
this rambling is a new-found joy in the art of scootering. I cannot wait
until I get my own.
John (johnnyscoots from the Scootdawg forum)
John Gets a Scooter
After "playing" on a Burgie 400, John got himself a Kymco People 250.
He blames the poor Evil Scooter Kitty for influencing this decision, but
we all know that the People 250 can "sell itself" just fine! in
Well, here we go: The fruits
of Evil Scooter Kitty. That would be a 2007, yes, a 2007 Kymco
People 250 in Grey. Yes, that is my actual smile that you see
plastered across my bald head. New owner smile?
Perhaps...actually, that would be the smile of one who is far more
pleased with his purchase than you could ever imagine. Lots of
exhaustive research, both magazine and Internet, led me to
purchase this wonderful machine (top box, windscreen, and
aftermarket pipe to follow shortly). What really sold me was the
glowing, witty recommendation of Evil Scooter Kitty and Bob "The
Mad Scoot Meister" Hedstrom and his faith in the P250's chances in
surviving a 24 Hour ride, or "Le 24 Heures du Minnesota". Then, I
made a fateful trip to the dealer, MiniTrailBikes on Route 30 West
in Lindenwold, New Jersey. Ken, the salesman, has had nothing to
say but positives about Kymco...not just the machines, but the
company as a whole. Customer support: Top Notch. Parts Supply:
Top Notch. Build Quality: Top Notch. In fact, Ken will proudly
tell anyone within earshot (and I mean anyone) that his dealership
has been, "With Kymco from the Git Go!" Ken, if car dealerships
were as enthusiastic as you guys, as knowledgeable, and as die
hard about the product...every salesman would be salesman of the
As you can see, the P was purchased without the windscreen. Bad
move, but exhilarating nonetheless. Although annoying at times,
there is something to be said about wind blast in the chest at
There is a noticeable difference in weight between the P and the
Burgie. Although it has the highway wheels (16") it turns with
very little thought or effort...that, and the fact that you are
sitting bolt upright allows you to get some good ole' leverage
when you need to. The lack of a sport bike style fairing (a la
Burgie) brings the environment right up to you...you can't see the
front wheel, so it looks like the roadway is REALLY right under
your nose, assuming you can ignore the speedometer/fuel gauge
binnacle. I mentioned the ease of handling, but, seeing as how
you already have one (I assume all Evil Scooter Kitties are as
smart as you) you probably know that. It is night and day what
60+ lbs. will make when handling is concerned, and I mean handling
as in turning left and right, parking lot maneuvers, braking (both
normal and panic stop), accelerating, and enjoyment. I feel
unimaginably comfortable on this machine...I wish I had tried one
earlier, but hindsight always being 20/20, I'm glad I waited until
the warm weather set in first.
There has been some niggling sputtering after a few miles, but it
is clearing up as the engine breaks in. The mirrors may have to
go, for they vibrate at ALL speeds...need to find some good
aftermarket ones. I won't be getting quite as large a top box as
you, but the Kymco box I saw has the integrated brake lights and
turn signals. Not to mention that the under-seat won't fit my
full face...thank God for Top boxes!
Speed wise, although the engine is quite green, it is a hoot. It
is almost a match for the Burgie RIGHT NOW, although it is down
135cc to the Burgie (2005 Burg 400 is actually a 385cc machine).
We'll see for sure when I take it in for the first service at 250
miles...and get the Kymco pipe put on!!! My brother Joe (he what
owns a CBR600RR) is amazed. His first impression was, "Gosh, up
to 50 miles an hour it's REALLY fast!" This coming from a guy who
can wheelie, and has a bike that can cover the quarter mile faster
than all but a few super sport scars. Another P250 owner in the
I've had two people (no pun intended) ask about it already. What
is it, how fast is it, how much is it??? MiniTrailBikes' price
was $3995, not another red cent for freight or prep charges...just
pay sales tax. That said, my out the door price was a shade over
$4300. Awesome value. Awesome machine. Insurance is just $173
per year. I have to stop gushing...There is still a little light
outside and it's still warm...
...The Ride Beckons, whispering sweet nothings to that part of my
brain that craves enjoyment; I heed the call, the whisper
gradually increases to an insistent hammering in my brain...turn
the key, thumb the starter and the voices suddenly become
silent...not even a pin dropping . Release the People 250 from
its center stand, gradually twist the throttle...yes, the voice
returns...not the insistent hammering, but a joyful yelp...the
Ride Begins Anew. Enjoy the Ride.
An Engine Problem With a
Well, I picked up Kym on May 9,
2007. Bought the Kymco windscreen (wonderful as a bird
repellent...my current count stands at 12!) and...4600km in,
Kym begins making some VERY odd noises...pack her into my
brother's truck, take it to the dealer...Start her up, and the
dealer makes the "Kill It" sign. Then he says, "We need to
keep her for a week. We are very booked up with repairs and
service, so we'll call you". Now, one week later, they call
me with some very disturbing news:
"Looks like ya made history. The crank journal is worn very
badly...Kymco will warranty it, but it may take some time
because this has NEVER happened before...so the parts may be a
while". It turns out that I lost Kym for the entire month of
July, and several days of August, but got her back just in
time for my first scooter rally on August 10-12. The ride to
the rally was 140 miles one way (southern NJ to Harrisburg,
PA), and I was awestruck by how much quieter Kym had
become...I could no longer hear her over the droning wind! I
had to baby her for the Rally trip...no more than 55 mph
indicated. The guys at MiniTrailbikes did a great job...but
they couldn't get me a top case in time for the Rally...so I
got acquainted with Mr. Cargo Nets and Mrs. Bungee Cords...24
bungees, and 2 cargo nets at good ole WalMart: Also, a three
person tent...75" X 40" inflatable mattress, change of clothes
for 5 days, travel sizes, PowerBars, extra engine oil and gear
oil, and me. Following the good Evil Scooter Kitty's advice,
I ordered a 45 liter Binetto top case on August 20, but am
still waiting for it to arrive...back-orders are the bane of
In addition to the top case, I have ordered a new belt (Athena
Kevlar from Scootertrap.com) and 19 gram Dr. Pulley sliding
weights (also from Scootertrap...OEM are 18gm I believe). The
original belt had worn to under 22mm, so it needed replacing.
The OEM weights were fine, but I felt the need to tinker. The
aftermarket weights are noisy! I also took the plunge and
purchased a Garmin E-Trex GPS, and discovered that Kym will
top out at 120km/hr...her speedometer is off by 7.8%...but she
will hit 144km/hr with the right downhill! The top case
conundrum...hmm...a Givi was readily available, and I probably
would have had it by now, but the Binetto only set me back
$99. The belt was $80, and the weights were $40 for the set
of 6. In addition, I needed to invest in an impact wrench to
get the variator nut off...another $70...darn, tinkering is
getting to be expensive...but worth it!
I have since made a few more trips to the Harrisburg area
(wonderful riding area for a scooterist) and am going there
again this weekend. Last weekend (September 16) I managed a
cruising speed of 110km/hr indicated and 72mpg for the whole
trip. Wow. I now stand at 9025km as of this writing, and am
loving Kym more every ride...why didn't I do this sooner?