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View Poll Results: Generally, which are more comfortable?
Motorcycles 116 70.30%
Scooters 49 29.70%
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Old 10th May 2022, 20:42   #1
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Default Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

Hello All!

As you may or may not know, I currently have an Ather 450 Plus that I use for my daily commute and I have been suffering from back pain, not because of fatigue, that you normally get due to seating position, but due to the suspension being so stiff (and for my height I sit a little further behind for better control of the scooter) that I feel every single undulation on the road. I had the seat changed but that hasn't completely solved the issue. I still am a student and am staying with my parents and am requesting them to maybe sell the Ather and maybe look at a few used motorcycle options. When I say this, I mean nothing very sporty like a Duke, but moreso on ADV/Cruiser/ Touring oriented motorcycles. I primarily think these motorcycles because of their large tyres, long suspension travel and straight seating positions will be much more comfortable. However my father (the last motorcycle that he rode was a Suzuki Samurai, 16 years ago and hasn't ridden any motorcycle since) thinks that it will not make a difference. Although I will get my back checked out by a doctor, I know for a fact that my back ache is caused by the bumps and undulations that cause my scooter to send small shocks up my back that finally result in pain.

I would love to get your opinion on the same. Thanks!
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Old 10th May 2022, 21:32   #2
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Default re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

Let me give you my perspective having had a few backpain issues myself in the last 2 decades.

Bikes are definitely more comfortable than scooters. Of course, I don't know about Ather in particular, but my Tb350 is so much more comfortable than our Activa.

Now, having said that, I get an impression that you are pretty young, may be around 20's. At that age, any sign of back pain indicates a possible deeper problem. Do get to a doc and if you are anything like I was long back, may be it's a few simple lifestyle changes to strengthen your back and you should be good to go.

Good luck! Hope you solve the real issue and in the process, a bike may be helpful too. But please do attend to the real issue also. I have been there, and have reasonably in good shape after taking a bunch of steps.
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Old 10th May 2022, 22:50   #3
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Default re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

Oh, Motorcycles are more comfortable than scooters, trust me. I am in the same boat as you, with a Honda Dio instead of an Ather though. I wince every time any undulation on the road because it is sure to rattle every single plastic part on the Dio, sending a nice jolt up the spine.

Only time I never was worried about the quality of the roads was on the RE Classic. That thing was a tank. Along with the regular suspension, it has seat with springs too, that gave it some surreal ride quality.

That said, It is heavy, and might not be comfortable for someone with potential back problems. Do test ride the Xpulse and see how that feels. Plenty of second hand options on the market too.
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Old 10th May 2022, 22:59   #4
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Default re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

I just moved from TVS Jupiter to Honda CB300R. I used to get pain in my ribs after riding more than just 20-30min in the Jupiter. With the bike, I no longer get the pain in my back or ribs. During the weekend, I did a 3hr ride and it was just fine. I cannot think that much riding in a Scooter.

Contrary to popular belief, upright riding position is not that comfortable when compared to slight sport riding position.

Last edited by amvj : 10th May 2022 at 23:02.
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Old 10th May 2022, 23:08   #5
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Default re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

Most commute bikes are very comfortable and neutral riding stance, similar to a scooter.

The main advantage of a scooter is the ease of riding. In comparison to similarly sized engines bikes, scooters are less efficient and not as quick. Breaking is not comparable either. ABS is AFAIK not even available in a scooter.

Just to clarify, I ride an Access 125 and loving it. Just that the ride quality is harsh.
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Old 10th May 2022, 23:11   #6
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Default re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyTangoFox View Post
Hello All!

As you may or may not know, I currently have an Ather 450 Plus that I use for my daily commute and I have been suffering from back pain, not because of fatigue, that you normally get due to seating position, but due to the suspension being so stiff (and for my height I sit a little further behind for better control of the scooter) that I feel every single undulation on the road. I had the seat changed but that hasn't completely solved the issue. I still am a student and am staying with my parents and am requesting them to maybe sell the Ather and maybe look at a few used motorcycle options. When I say this, I mean nothing very sporty like a Duke, but moreso on ADV/Cruiser/ Touring oriented motorcycles. I primarily think these motorcycles because of their large tyres, long suspension travel and straight seating positions will be much more comfortable. However my father (the last motorcycle that he rode was a Suzuki Samurai, 16 years ago and hasn't ridden any motorcycle since) thinks that it will not make a difference. Although I will get my back checked out by a doctor, I know for a fact that my back ache is caused by the bumps and undulations that cause my scooter to send small shocks up my back that finally result in pain.

I would love to get your opinion on the same. Thanks!
Eyes closed get a cruiser or anything else that you find comfortable. I have a Vespa and had an Avenger. It was 13 years old and I recently sold it. I bike to office (daily around 45 kms) and I miss it everyday since I sold it. Vespa mind you is pretty good compared to other scooters. But there is so much that puny tires and shocks of these moto scoots can take.

I too started getting back pain where in I never had such pain on my Avenger. Mind you I had a back injury almost 15 years back and doctors had advised giving up motorcycling completely. Took it up as a challenge back then and continued riding post couple of years of intense exercises to strengthen my back. So taking the same route again by getting fitter again to be able to ride the bloody Vespa

I will get a new bike but not until I fix my back again. Still hopeful even though am 40+ now and was almost close to hitting a ton on the weighing scale. Have lost 6 kgs now in last 5-6 weeks. That's the fun with biking. It pushes you to have minimum fitness levels to be able to have fun while riding.
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Old 10th May 2022, 23:47   #7
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Default re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

The rear suspension on my Activa 125 is really crappy, so whenever I go over any speed breaker, bumps, ditches and rough terrain I tend to stand up, treating the Scooter as an ADV.

This really helps me out, prevents any kind of jolts up my spine and back. And at times allows me to take on speed breaker without slowing down much.

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The ride quality of motorcycles have improved tremendously since the times of Suzuki Samurai. Most modern bikes have got adjustable suspension that you can adapt depending on your riding style, comfort and weight. Riding position have become more scientific and you can further change them with mods.

Last edited by Black_Star : 10th May 2022 at 23:55.
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Old 11th May 2022, 00:32   #8
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Default re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyTangoFox View Post
Hello All!
Although you are young, basic fitness in the form of stretches/core exercises can help in a small way to mitigate pains and pulls. A scooter cannot match the ride quality of a bike which has better suspension travel and larger wheels. Even basic commuter bikes have better suspension than scooters.

Personally I have moved from a Dio to a Xpulse after I had neck and upper back pain riding the dio and the difference in ride comfort is very stark. I take the xpulse for my grocery runs too . I don't ride the scoot more than 2~3 kms.
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Old 11th May 2022, 10:20   #9
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Default Re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

Motorcycles are always more comfortable than scooters due to larger wheels, thigh support from the fuel tank and wider handlebars. Larger diameter wheels iron out bad roads better due to higher surface contact area hence lesser shocks transferred to the rider. Also larger wheels require lesser input at the handlebar hence lesser toll on the rider. The fuel tank on the motorcycle allows the rider to hang on while making turns, U turns, braking etc which makes a huge difference in comfort compared to a scooter. Also the wider handlebars on motorcycles offers relaxed seating position and takes lesser toll on the body combined with larger wheels and the fuel tank.

Few suggestions are, try reducing the tyre pressure by a couple of psi and see if the ride comfort gets better on your road conditions. Install handle bar grips like Grip Puppies to reduce shocks on palms. Switch to lighter fork oil at the front. Change your feet resting position on the floor board, refrain from placing the foot far ahead or way behind the floor board.
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Old 11th May 2022, 12:01   #10
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Default Re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

Most motorcycles will certainly be better, especially on bad roads. Since you mentioned you are a student, I assume you're still pretty young. So like a couple of posts have already said, back issues at that age indicate some deeper issue. Check with a doctor/physiotherapist as well. Could be as simple as some basic stretching exercises, lifestyle/diet changes, or if it's something more, that certainly needs to be diagnosed.
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Old 11th May 2022, 12:04   #11
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Default Re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

Settle for a motorcycle if you want comfort and avoid riding related issues. Do check which one suits you more though - look for rider triangle plus suspension stiffness (some are more handling oriented than outright comfort)
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Old 11th May 2022, 19:22   #12
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Default Re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by shady View Post
Personally I have moved from a Dio to a Xpulse after I had neck and upper back pain riding the dio and the difference in ride comfort is very stark. I take the xpulse for my grocery runs too . I don't ride the scoot more than 2~3 kms.
How do you manage groceries on your bike?

I tried using my tank bag, but its quite small - I'm not comfortable with tail bags, as I found myself kicking the bag when getting on and off if it was more than a few inches high.

I'm even considering getting rid of my xpulse and getting a scooter, simply for the easier commute and practicality of a closed storage area + footboard.
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Old 11th May 2022, 19:56   #13
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Default Re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

Yeah, bikes are generally better than scooters for comfort. But just switching to any bike wont help. You'll need to go through a bit of trial and error by test-riding\borrowing\renting bikes before you can settle on something that suits you.

But before you do that....

You didn't mention your daily riding distances. Since you're on an electric scooter, I'll assume it's for short distances. So, before you decide to change to a bike, I'd suggest trying this:

1> Since you mentioned you're sitting slightly towards the back of the seat, I'm assuming you're resting more on the curve of the seat than the flat of the seat. Am I correct? If yes, this could possibly be causing your pain. Even a slight angle can make a difference to how and where your body receives the shocks. So, try riding while sitting on the flat of the seat and see if it makes any difference to in the pain.

2> As one of the others mentioned, a slightly forward set riding position helps. Your scooter may not seat you like this naturally. But if you can lean your torso a bit forward as you ride, this makes it so that the jolts don't directly transfer to your spine, they get spread out over your torso.

3> Again, as one of the others mentioned, lift yourself up from the seat as you go over bad patches. You don't have to stand up. Getting your bum up off the seat even slightly means the impact of a hump or pothole doesn't transfer to your body.

4> This doesn't need saying, but, riding a bit calmer helps you see and anticipate the bumps and dips better and maneuver accordingly.

...

As for changing to bikes:

Stiff sprung bikes like the RTR, MT15, Hornet, Duke may not help the issue. It may just shift the recurring pain from one spot to another. ADVs may give the impression of comfort, but the grass is not always greener here. For example, the Himalayan's rear shocker is actually setup a bit stiff. And though the seat is nice and soft, it didn't help me with my back pains. But I'd suggest checking out the xpulse, the xtreme 200 and the new pulsar.

Last edited by drt_rdr : 11th May 2022 at 19:58.
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Old 11th May 2022, 20:35   #14
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Default Re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

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Originally Posted by playingpossum View Post
How do you manage groceries on your bike?
Don't know about others but I use my tb350 for grocery runs too and use the hook on the side to sling a bag. The saree guard plays perfect in guarding the bag from touching the wheel. I can actually use simple white cloth based bags too - nothing fancy. They usually rest a little on the saree guard foot rest thus enabling even heavier loads to not completely hang only by the handle of the bag - which may be flimsy.
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Old 11th May 2022, 20:37   #15
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Default Re: Motorcycles vs Scooters from a comfort-oriented perspective

After commuting for 6 years on Ignitor 125, I shifted to Jupiter 125 recently.
Bike is safe in terms of big wheels and handling. Can jump the small speed breakers.
In the TVS, I fell more comfortable in terms of seating, my bag and tiffin goes in boot so I feel light, shoes are taken care of, evening groceries can be carried easily, easy to make U turn.l, my wife can also use.
Coming to bad bits, riding more than 30 mins was pain in ass on bike, no storage, need to change gears constantly, keeping it clean was a challenge, formal boots used to get dirty easily.
Scooter handle wobbles on bad roads, back takes a beating on bad roads ....that's it.
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