Riding the Yamaha Zuma 50cc Scooter – Yahoo Voices – voices.yahoo.com | Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions

Riding the Yamaha Zuma 50cc Scooter – Yahoo Voices – voices.yahoo.com

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Riding the Yamaha Zuma 50cc Scooter – Yahoo Voices – voices.yahoo.com
Yamaha Zuma

Gateway to Bigger Bikes?

My first scooter was a new 2004 Yamaha Zuma scooter. The cost of ownership and reliability make the Zuma a very popular machine. It is a small bike. Able to carry two adults albeit at a significantly slower speed than one. With the rising cost of gasoline (over $4.00/US gal for regular here in Massachusetts) motorcycle and scooter shops are finding it difficult to maintain their stock.

While Yamaha has occasionally stopped production of the Zuma, the 2009 model is available in Blue or Raven [black]. Is the Zuma a long lasting alternative to a car or bicycle, or is this small fry only a gateway to something more powerful?

The Zuma has an aggressive look. The signature twin bug eye head lights are set up at the factory to work light many twin head light bikes. One side is the standard head light that is always on, the other side is the high beam. The secret that the salesman may not know is that given 15 minutes and two ten inch pieces of wire, the owner can easily rewire the lights to work exactly like automobile headlamps.

Both of the lights will be on whenever the bike is running, and when the high beams are activated, the second filaments will lighten the road farther away. Simple instructions are available on the http://www.ZumaForums.net news group or this www.youtube.com video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=AbC9UqTN4rM. This modification is an advantage for this small scooter over many other motorbikes.

There is no reason to purchase a kit to do this modification.

The scooter saddle is well padded. Unfortunately, this small scooter has limited suspension travel compared to larger bikes. That means that riding this scooter for over 200 miles in a day can be punishing for the over 40 year old frame of this rider.

However, the Raison D’etre of the Zuma is quick local jaunts or short commutes. The young rider or those who wish to putter around the campground will be happy with this choice.

There is a good amount of under seat storage and a tail rack standard on the Zuma. Access the under seat compartment by turning inserting the key in the ignition and turning it counter clockwise. The seat pops right up unveiling a space large enough to hold one helmet and a few small items. Strap larger items to the tail rack which, while only rated for 7 pounds is much more sturdy than that.

There are small compartments on either side of the front apron big enough to hold sunglasses or a cell phone.

Start the engine by turning the key clockwise, be sure that the cut off switch is in the run position, hold the left brake handle, and press the red ignition button on the right. A nice feature of the Zuma and many other small scooters is that they have a kick start lever on the left side, Should there be a problem with the battery, the bike will kick start on the first or second try.

Scooters usually have a step through design that allows for easy mounting and dismounting. Riders who are not able to swing their leg over a standard bike appreciate this feature. Many states and communities allow operators to park 50cc bikes wherever they allow bicycles (check your local code).

These two features mean that scooters like the Zuma are friendly to many disabled riders who are able to park closer than the nearest handicapped parking space. Additionally, the Zuma has a fairly low 30 seat height which is great for shorter riders. Taller riders, over six feet, might find the Zuma to be a bit tight.

Another advantage of scooters is that the front apron and floor boards protect the rider from road grime and weather. This feature dates back to the design of the original Vespa scooter as conceived by Corradino D’Ascanio, an Italian aeronautical engineer.

Mount the Zuma twist the throttle and go. The transmission is automatic – without clutch or gear changing. Many 50cc bikes are built with restrictions on the engine or exhaust that weaken acceleration and slow the top speed.

The Zuma has no such restrictions. Without modification, this little scooter will haul a small to moderate size adult to over 40 mph on flat pavement in a reasonable time and distance. Modifications exists to increase engine performance and top speed well beyond reasonable limits.

The standard Zuma running at top speed will burn a gallon of regular gas in about 75 miles. Yamaha’s claim of over 120 MPG is hard to substantiate. Still, 75 MPG beats the 28 MPG I get with my Toyota MR2 which seats the same number of adults and has only a bit more storage space.

At 75 MPG, the Zuma has a range of over 100 miles. That is adequate for this little bike.

Please remember to check the oil reservoir with every other fill up. 2 cycle engines burn oil with the gasoline. A dry oil tank is a quick ticket to a seized engine.

That the Zuma has an oil tank and oil injection is an advantage over bikes that require the rider to measure 2 stroke oil into each tank of gas.

How fun is this bike to ride? It is very sporty and responsive. While it looks like an off road or hybrid bike, it is much better on city streets. Those commuting to work on this bike will arrive charged and smiling. Heavy riders will find that this scooter, which is built to carry two adults weighing up to 350 pounds, to have enough power.

Then again, while the suspension probably will not bottom out in normal riding, they might discover that the ride is too harsh.

How reliable is the Zuma – very. In two months, this rider put 2000 miles on the scooter. That is a lot for any 50cc bike. In that time, the Zuma did not require mechanical attention of any kind.

Nothing loosened, nothing broke.

Many states do not require the operator of a 50cc bike to have a motorcycle license. Although the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles classifies bikes capable of over 30 MPH as a motorcycle regardless of engine displacement, most Bay State Zumas carry a moped registration.

The only downside of the Zuma is the cost, $2199.00 plus delivery and prep for a new 2009. Many 50cc scooters and mopeds cost less. Of course, the reliability and quality Yamaha products are well known. Used Zumas with 1000 miles or less are readily available on Ebay and Craigs List.

Expect to pay between $1500.00 and $1900.00 for a used 50cc Zuma.

Yamaha builds two scooters with 125cc engines, the Vino and Zuma, that cost $700 and $800 more than the 50cc Zuma respectively. It would be easy to spend almost that much on engine modifications to the 50cc Zuma to make it go 50 MPH. The 125 models will top 55 MPH out of the box. In addition to the stronger engine, the 125 models have large frames, stronger suspension, more effective brakes. The 125 cc scooters may be much less expensive over all.

Many owners of 50cc bikes trade up soon after their purchase looking for faster speed and more comfort.

Dave Leader is an Associate Clinical Professor at Tufts Dental School in Boston, and a family dentist in Malden, Ma. Dr Leader is the Chairman of the Council on Dental Benefit Programs of the Massachusetts. View profile


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