Scooter in LA
June 2, 2008 8:43 PM   Subscribe

Scooter in Los Angeles. Good idea or bad idea?

I've recently fallen in love with the Yamaha Vino scooter. I live in LA...would this be a practical and/or safe method of trasportation?
posted by TigerCrane to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, LA (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
As long as you don't mind not being able to drive on freeways. A scooter obviously takes up much less room than a car, so you will be benefiting your fellow traffic-weary L.A. drivers while also contributing less smog. And of course, the weather is perfect for it!
posted by Lillitatiana at 9:05 PM on June 2, 2008

Definitely not a bad idea, great on gas, sporty and you can go a lot of places cars cant go; however be careful where you park it. If you live in LA you certainly know that parking tickets are handed out quite easily so while it might be convenient for the road you still will have to deal with all the parking nightmares unless you are feeling lucky and want to park it on sidewalks, alleys etc...
posted by Scientifik at 9:48 PM on June 2, 2008

Heck yeah. My coworker is a member of a vintage scooter club here in LA and they have a lot of riders, the vast majority of whom seem to be driving safely and enjoying the hell out of it.

Freeways are probably right out, though. There's more than one way to get across town on surface streets, fortunately.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:05 PM on June 2, 2008

I'm currently seriously eyeballing a Piaggio MP3 400. (Not in LA -- by a long shot -- but dang, a scooter seems like a mighty smart thing to consider just now, doesn't it?)
posted by deCadmus at 11:11 PM on June 2, 2008

If you want a small bike in LA, scooter: OK idea. Ninja 250 (500 if you want to stay budget but also get in trouble with the law): awesome idea. 3 grand brand new + insane gas mileage + highway speeds + HOV lane privs. I got a Ninja 500 for my first bike in LA, thinking I'd 'trade up' after a year, but I'm still riding it! They are great commute bikes. Scooters and mopeds are great fun, but you'll miss not being able to zip across town on the 10 (between lanes when necessary)

To actually answer your question, a Yamaha Vino is a safe and practical method of transportation in LA if you choose your routes carefully and live near enough to the grocery store to shop on foot, or don't mind getting groceries delivered. I know you can fit lots of groceries in bike luggage, but in my opinion it's a pain in the ass and leads to broken eggs.
posted by thedaniel at 12:16 AM on June 3, 2008

The woman who writes about motorcycles in the LA Times automobile section reviews scooters all the time, and in the review often discusses what it's like to ride that scooter in LA traffic. Example, another, another, yet another, one that mentions the MP3 which I lust for, another.

The basic thing is that you need to match the size of the scooter to the speeds on the roads you need to go on. A 49cc scooter is perfectly adequate, as long as you are on smaller local roads that have speeds in line with what the scooter can handle (usually a max of about 42mph, but that varies by model). If you need to go on the highway, you will probably want a 250cc bike at an absolute minimum, and realize that while it may go 70 mph, it will take a while to get going that fast, and may not keep up with the fastest of freeway drivers.
posted by Forktine at 6:55 AM on June 3, 2008

A day hasn't gone by when I didn't wish I owned a scooter in this crazy city. You should buy one today.
posted by HotPatatta at 9:01 AM on June 3, 2008

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