Originally Posted by JerryH
I thought the same thing. But look at the price of a Silverwing or Burgman 650. It's pretty much on par with those, and they almost certainly use parts from Taiwan. ALL of BMW's bikes and cars use parts from Taiwan, as do many other high dollar brands. Several even use parts from Mainland China. I wish the U.S. would put a heavy tariff on anything imported from China, even on stuff imported from other countries that use Chinese parts in their products. The invasion of cheap Chinese junk is causing our whole country to fall apart.
The scooter craze was basically started by Vespa, and ended when Vespa pulled out of the U.S. market due to problems with the EPA. Recently it has come back, with scooters of all different brands. I don't know why. It would be easy to attribute it to the price of gas, but I seriously doubt that would get people out of their cars unless they were riders already. Most car drivers that don't ride are vehemently opposed to bikes, and wouldn't go near one. Most of the scooters I see around town are 50cc-150cc, and sadly many of them are Chinese. Maybe there are more people riding now, attracted by how easy scooters are to operate, with no clutch and no shifting. But, in my state, you still have to have a motorcycle license to ride them, so you must first learn how to ride a motorcycle. It could just be that motorcycles have become too expensive.
I have thought a lot about scooters, since I have been riding a scooter since 1971. I think scooters are being preferred by many riders for practical reasons. A small scooter can have weather protection and be quite narrow, since the motor is under the seat or beside the rear wheel. The final drive is enclosed, unlike most motorcycles with an exposed chain that requires frequent attention. The center of mass is low, making them easy to manage at low speed. Scooters can carry a lot of weight. One thing scooters are not is inexpensive. They cost a lot for the size motor inside. Despite the cutesy image,scooters (the good ones) are extremely rugged and durable.