Foreigner tribal cliques as seen in traffic

Bu-Lai-En said

quote[quote]What about those new scooters (mostly blue yamahas) that are made out to look like off-road bikes. I’m interested in trying one. The tires are definitely fatter (which means safer) [/quote]
I hate them, but then again, I’m against all two-strokes now, just because most owners don’t maintain them and they end up becoming pollution spewing machines. Did you know that most 2 strokes in Taiwan emit more pollution than cars? (4 strokes emit considerably less)
FOr those who can’t tell the difference: 2 strokes go “rinnnnng, rinnnnng” and 4 strokes go “vroom, vrooom” Or something like that…

As far as the tire things go, safety depends on the road surface being used and the correct corresponding inflation of the tire. The whole firestone/Ford brouhaha stemmed from the fact that Ford had recommended a lower inflation pressure for the tires than the manufacturer so that the car would have a cushier ride. It also made things even more dangerous, apparently. For off-road travel, a softer tire is a great idea, but for travel at higher speeds, on pavement and especially on rainy days, you want to have a firmer tire. (On rainy days a good tire that is properly inflated can disperse the water from under the tire quite efficiently, preventing hydroplaning.)

The first generation of MaJESties had crappy local tires that were made out of the cheapest kind of rubber. I replaced them with Dunlops within a week. I’m happy to report that the current generation of MaJESties comes with Dunlops.

Now, on to Dummy My Poo Poo. Now, I know you’ve been here for five years. (Oooh, I’m all impressed), but you really should stick to topics you know something about. (Unfortunately you’d then have nothing to say.)

quote[quote]What makes you think that it’s gonna be “safer” if you ride a bigger bike? [/quote]
Granted, anyone on a motorcycle or scooter is more vulnerable in a crash than in a car, but the safety factors in a bigger bike should be obvious.

Motorcyles and Scooters can not swerve out of danger the way cars can. You can’t just crank the wheel and off to the side like you can in a car. There are basically three ways to get out of trouble:

  1. Accelerate your way out of the situation - bigger bikes tend to be more powerful, and can usually power their way out of trouble quickly. (Very small two strokes are also capable of this, but only at lower speeds.)
  2. Brake your way out of the situation - bigger bikes usually come equipped with disk as opposed to drum brakes, and the bigger the bikes, the bigger the disks. “Real” motorcycles (over 400 ccs) usually have double disks. This lets them stop on a dime.
  3. Swerves. While all bikes risk losing control in sudden swerves, a bike with good suspension, brakes, power and most importantly, an experienced rider can usually swerve out of the way of danger. Because of the terrible repercussions one would face if one misjudged, I wouldn’t recommend this option to less experienced riders.

Bigger bikes have a longer wheel base - this means more stability on the road. They also have bigger wheels, which tend to iron out the bumps. Basically compare the rides of an Austin Mini and a Jag, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The safety differences between a 50cc or 90cc scooter and a bigger bike are obvious. You just have to know something about motorcycles.

Anyone else here drive a car? I have a scooter for short trips, but a car is the way to go. Although I guess it depends on where you live.

Taiwan is safe from a crime point of view, unlike the US where one might get mugged. The dangerous thing in Taiwan is driving. You need lots of steel a safety belt and some air bags surrounding you. Ok still no match for a cement truck, but its great when it is raining.

Yes I have a car - and I am considering a bike for short trips. Takes a bit of getting used to, and Jilong is probably “worse” than Taipei. A lot of traffic lights here are decoration. After a probationary period I joined the locals, but cannot yet bring myself to hoot at a car stopped in front of me at a red light (used to happen to me all the time).

The local rules, or lack of them, work well. I speculate that the main reason is, if you have a smash, it takes at least 2 hours to negotiate the damages, a major incentive for accident free driving.

I’m on my second Vespa in 16 years. The first one still ran but after 14 years, it was time to retire it.
I like the hand-shift and the cowling that “protects” you from the road rain. I also like the look of a Vespa, but then I am what Devo called a “new traditionalist.”
Btw, my understanding is that one of the changes that have to be made after WTO entry is the lifting of the restrictions on sales of bikes over 175cc.
Let the good times roll…


Go the Vespa! They are very cool, and it seems that everone is trying to make ‘retro’ style new scooters to try to capture some of their charm.

I had to leave my Vespa in storage (it is a beautiful 1962 model totally rebuilt) as it was too old to import. I’d be interested in buying an old vespa (or Lambretta)here in Taipei though - know where I can get one, and is it OK to register, etc.?