A smooth ride

I would like to buy a scooter that is comfortable for the pillion passenger. Any suggestions? When I say passenger I’m not referring to those Omniesque beauties (i.e. silky-skinned, small but pert-breasted 42-kg xiaojies). I’m talking waiguoren - big-boned lasses and beefy lads. Some scooters such as the Majesty have built-in seats for the pillion passenger. How are these in reality? I’ve never tried one. Cheers.

My 90kg rides pretty well on back of the YMT Force SDX 125cc. 64k in 2001.
Only complaint is the foot area for the rider isn’t even large enough for my heel. Same for most of the scooters I’ve noticed.
Adjustable rear shocks.
I got it with the box on back that’s keyed. Excellent for shopping.

I swear by them - I’ve bought a new Majesty every two years for the past 6 years. I’ve taken some pretty hefty foreign friends on the back with no suspension or power problems. I don’t like the Kymco Grand Dinks, though. The rear seats are too just too high. Can’t recommend the Majesty series enough, though.

Thanks Maoman,
I’ll have to go and check out a majesty. It’s not so much the extra passenger weight that concerns me, but the position of the foot-rests. Can someone who is 6 ft comfortably sit on the back with his/her feet on the foot-rests?

That’s the reason why I bought my Majesty. It’s great for long road trips and has really served me well in terms of helping to see Taiwan!

How dare you call her your Majesty?
Have you taken the GF for a ride on it?

pillion passenger? I must be a dumbass because i’ve no clue what the fuck that is. pillion passenger? i’m interested though.

The Grand Dink is stable and smooth. Yes the rear passanger rides a bit high but thats no terrible thing. Plenty of booty space, spacious foot rest, and grip handles for the passenger. It also has those cool auto-retracable mirrors.


I’ve got a Grand Dink 150, which I think is just great. Very comfortable for the driver and as mentioned before lots of space to store things. I’ve never ridden on it as a passenger, however, my girlfriend informs me that it’s comfortable enough but could use a higher backrest (I think the Dink 250 comes with the backrest).

The person who sits behind the driver is sitting on the ‘pillion’ seat, and is called a pillion passenger. I thought everyone knew that, especially someone as obviously intelligent as you, Alien. Oh well.

Almas, forget scooting and buy yourself a proper motorbike with gears and things. Loadsa passenger space on mine.

I second that. Real men ride motorcycles. I’ve got a retro-looking, two-stroke, Susuki 125 XiongShi (male lion), the kind that propane canisters are delivered on. Besides being somewhat of a polluter (what do you expect from a 2-stroke bike), it’s cheap, low-maintenance and has faithfully served me over the last couple of years.

Real men don’t assert their manliness with 125cc toys… :laughing: :laughing: :mrgreen:

Scooters and motorcycles each have their place.

TMWC, am I correct in thinking that you have not been here a year yet? A lot of foreigners, myself included, start out thinking that a real motorcycle is the only way to go, yet after a while realise how convenient a scooter is for parking and stop-go riding in the city. (Underseat storage space, and steering locks are also great).
Yet for out of town, especially on longer trips, a motorcycle is more versatile, safe and comfortable. The bigger wheels soak up the bumps better and give the bike a lot more stability and grip. The manual gears deliver power more efficiently and are more controllable. On the wet, muddy roads I was on today, the motorcycle’s back end slipped and skipped out a couple of times (must replace those tyres!) but a scooter would have been over on its side in a gnat’s wink.

The Majesty and its SYM and KYMCO equivalents are curious beasts. It seems that they sacrifice a lot of the convenience (maneuverability, parkability) of a scooter and yet don’t have the stability of a big-wheeled motorcycle. Nevertheless, their riders assure me that they are very comfortable to ride, and they look like they could be good fun on a quieter road. I’ve seen one or two up high near Hehuanshan, so it can be done.

Real men don’t assert their manliness with 125cc toys… :laughing: :laughing: :mrgreen:[/quote]
OK, I grant you that. But on my motorcycle registration, it clearly says ZhongXing (heavy motorcycle). I guess Taiwan has a different set of manliness standards.

Joesax is almost right - only six onths or so on two wheels, and a scoot would be more practical around town. But I’ve managed to organise my life so that I don’t actually need the bike anyway. Public transport gets me to work just as quickly, without the parking hassles or the rain, and I do my lesson prep or read the news on the way.

I get out of town regularly, and am preparing to spend some money on paniers. Lack of storage space is definitely the biggest pain with a ‘real’ bike. Cure that and the stretch from XiZhi to BaDu on a sunny Sunday morning is one of the pleasures of life in Taiwan.

Trade for a scoot? Abso-fucking-lutely no way.

I’m about 6’3" and I don’t seem to fit too well on those 125cc motorbikes. Cramps my legs just trying to change gears. Plus, they’re not made for people my weight + gf + gear for a weekend trip… unless you figure “castration and slow death caused by friction against the petrol tank” is a pleasant state of wellbeing. The Majesty works well enough for me, though the 250cc series of bike appear to be even more comfortable.

Forget those silly puffed up 15 horsepower deathboxes!

Want to have the best of both worlds? Get yourself a putt-putt scooter for your around town Jollies and then get out there and look for an 89-93 Yamaha RZX 2-stroke. 22 horsepower, realistic riding position, roomy and enough Umph to get the job done on any Island tour. I’ve had mine since 1992 and after 170,000K it will go to Kenting tomorrow. Talk to any Taiwanese mechanic and to a man they wll say they were the most reliable bikes ever built on this Island. It even has 6 gears with a top speed of over 140K. I take mine to the mountains on a regular basis, and to be honest, for what one of those scooter pigs cost, you can buy a pretty decent used car…Lastly, if you have to get off of one, ie a crash, you are much, much better off on a proper bike then having your limbs tangled up in a collapsing scooter tub…

Good luck

[quote=“Michael J Botti”]then get out there and look for an 89-93 Yamaha RZX 2-stroke. 22 horsepower, realistic riding position, roomy and enough Umph to get the job done on any Island tour. I’ve had mine since 1992 and after 170,000K it will go to Kenting (Kending) tomorrow. Talk to any Taiwanese mechanic and to a man they wll say they were the most reliable bikes ever built on this Island.

Good to hear from you Michael. I go to the hills or mountains every weekend - yesterday was Shitoushan and Nanzhuang area. Very pretty and a good bit of exercise walking up Shitoushan as well.

I’m glad you enjoy your RZX. They’re a blast, although I wouldn’t quite agree on the reliability front. Most of the RZXs I see around are on their last legs, and my mechanic (certified Yamaha specialist) doesn’t particularly like them. Producing 22hp from a 135 engine means a lot of heat, so it’s vital to use good oil (which I’m sure you do).

I still stand by my slightly modified FZ. It doesn’t have as much hp, but of course that means that it’s likely to last longer. The frame and suspension (now I’ve got my new back shock in; thanks for the tip Hexuan!) are superb and to be honest on the little roads on the hills around Taichung, I wouldn’t want to be going too fast anyway. The bigger back cog and four-stroke v-twin engine mean it’s excellent for taking two people up mountains. The narrower power band of the RZX will mean you have to change gear more often when going two-up.

My pal, a big-bike rider for 18 years in the States, is happy with his bought-new SYM 125 (the one with the silver gas tank and tan leather saddle that all the ‘handsome guys’ ride around town). He’s put a fat back tire on and topped up the oil in the forks but otherwise it’s stock. At the moment, he’s faster than me round the corners because he has more experience and I’m the timid sort.

Yesterday I saw a bunch of guys on big bikes (don’t know whether legal or not; I didn’t get a look at the plates). Leading them was their mate on a Hartford 150 dual-purpose bike, well cranked over in a corner. Just goes to show it’s not the size, it’s what you do with it :wink:

I have to go back to the original poster’s request, though, which was for advice on a comfortable scooter. Neither your bike nor mine are the most comfortable around for a pillion passenger. Of manual geared motorcycles, the cruiser style are probably the most comfortable. And among scooters, it has to be those Majesties and the SYM and KYMCO similar offerings.

Regarding safety, I would have thought it was the small wheels of a scooter that would make it more likely to slip and give it less gyroscopic stability than anything to do with the plastic bodywork. A friend made a point that scooters have a lower centre of gravity than motorcycles, which is another factor worth considering.

If you fancy a trip down Miaoli way, I’d be happy to meet up with you and go for a ride sometime. I’ve recently been exploring the Provincial Highway no. 3 and Sanyi. I fancy another trip up to Nanzhuang soon, maybe also hop across and go up to Kuanwu (Guanwu) in the Shei-Pa (Xueba) National Park.

Also, my pal and I want to finish what we started some time; that is the trip round the whole of Taiwan. We’ve been from Taichung down to Kenting and up to Suao (see this bit of my website for photos, stories and maps; mcttw.tripod.com/round_tw.htm ) but we still haven’t done the north coast, and there’s a very nice looking road, the no. 7, going straight for 100km from Ilan to Lishan that I’d like to come back on.

Babou, I put a water-filled cushion with a space in the middle, which is supposed to be for the use of haemorrhoids sufferers, on my saddle to solve this problem (castration seems to be one of the FZ’s petrol tank’s intended purposes). I get some interesting looks and expressions of sympathy, I can tell you!

Yeah, I guess that could be a bit embarrassing, especially if you lean a little too far forward, pinch the cushion, and then it starts a slow leak down the side of the bike… That ought to bring some more looks!


I want to say thanks for the reply, not sure if it’s appropriate to respond here as we’re getting a little off-topic.

First, it’s awesome to see that you are getting out there and hitting it instead of getting messed up and complaining there’s nothing to do in Taiwan. Checked out your site…looks like another fantastic ride, did you take the 199 up from Chaioloshui or did you head back on the 200 to Hengchun? If you didn’t take the 199, you missed a truly amazing road. Just opened a couple of years ago, (former army base) and it’s not too well known yet. If you ever get back down there…In the old days, we had to beg for permission, and it was up to the whims of the gate guard whether or not to let us through! I especially liked your jellyfish story on Green Island, next time just piss on yourself and then get the vinegar! Jesus! menthol balm? You must have been screaming!

I’ve taken my wife up and over Huehanshan more than once and never had a problem. In fact, my little 2-stroke has never broken down on the road since the day it came out of the factory (Bought my bike new directly from the Yamaha factory in Chungli, was teaching there at the time :wink: )

2-stroke philosophy is simple; Use good oils, stick to your powerband (You know a little about bikes I see) and rebuild often. But there’s no way an FZ is going to outpower an RZX under any circumstance. It’s a simple matter of torque vs displacement and the FZ doesn’t have enough of either, allthough granted it’s probably a less frantic ride (a bigger back sprocket can only do so much). The RZX’s seat is a fair bit larger as well, and doesn’t have that pelvis busting tank.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that most of the RZR’s and X’s are breathing their last gasps, but that is not so much a reliability issue as it is a lack of knowledge on how to properly maintain a motorcycle. You have no idea how many foreigners I’ve seen over the years broken down in the middle of nowhere, simply because they’ve not taken care of their bikes. (Not the case for you I think) Chains off sprockets, seized pistons, fouled plugs, fuel filters that had never been cleaned or changed, flat, bald tires, road rashed and even a couple killed mostly from lack of experience…be careful out there!

Alas all of my recent road trips around the Island have been by SUV. Daughter, scuba and camping gear you know. But I’m looking for a bike trailer so I can have the best of both worlds.

I’ve been chasing around the Island by rice-rocket for 17 years now. If there is a mountain road that goes over 1000 meters I’ve probably done it more than once. Your highway 7 shot from Chiaoshi to Lishan is indeed a nice ride, up a beautiful valley and then steep switchbacks all the way past Wuling farm into Lishan, but until they fix Jung-hen it’s really out of the way from Yangmei (my abode) or Miaoli for that matter.

I got my first bike when I was 9 (California boy), and have had at least one ever since. I’ve got a fair amount of riding experience, and for my money on a small displacement engine, 2-strokes offer more bang for the c.c.

Have you done the northern cross-island highway yet? It’s not the highest but probably has the best camping possibilities of the three. The best part is that it hits your Chaoshi-Lishan road then you miss all that nastiness in the Illan area. Conversely, you could ride up into Taipei, cross over to Fulong (surprisingly nice ride) down the coast to Chaoshi, up to Lishan, turn around and come over the Northern-cross island highway, and hit highway 3 home again.

Lastly, I would never ride a scooter, mainly for safety reasons. No gears (imagine trying to go down the back side of Hehuanshan with only brakes, shudder), smallesh tires and brakes, and a strong tendency to collapse into the riders legs in an accident. (take the plastic off of one and you’ll see what I mean) Besides, they’re just so…boring.

Sorry if I got off-track from the original topic, an old timer in Taiwan but a forum newbie…Somebody straighten me out if I’ve gone too far on a tangent.

Chance to ride in the mountains again? Hmm, if the wife says ok and it’s not a diving weekend…hell yes! Keep in touch OK?

PS: The last round the Island trip I did by bike was so long ago the only thing you had to wear on your head was a bandana! How do you smoke with a helmet on? Maybe I have been here too long…