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Old 25th January 2020, 22:09   #1
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Default Gearless scooters and rash driving scenario faced by me!

P.S: Before I pen down my opinion, I just want to make one thing clear. This is not a post blaming scooters or the comfort it offers. Not a piece on generalising a person who ride scooters. This is just purely my point of view opinion about what happened to me and how things changed. It may be related to some other stuff, but I just want to know if I am alone or do I have some company who feels the same way.

So, it all started last April 2019. I quit my job, sold my rusty old Splendor around the start of 2019. Since I always use car for commute it never felt like a thing, until the day I quit my job. Now my commute is about the same distance but inside city. Which clearly says riding bike is the only good option and since I had no bike of my own, I started using my dad's scooter. I never rode scooter before and never liked it. Especially in terms of the way they ride. Ride is stiff, you lose control easily compared to bikes. But, since I quit I don't have any intention to splurge on buying new bike and just focusing on my new business.

As a two wheeler rider, I never indulge in any rash driving before and in cities, I rarely go above 40 km/h. I rode a variety of bikes from Victor to Pulsar 180(Owned one for about 2 years) and I always rode in sane way. In general, I'm a decent rider who minds his own business and leave way for others and overall, a law abiding citizen(which still I am).

But things started changing slowly once I accustomed to the gear-less scooter. At first it was difficult to adapt, and some learning curve. So for first 2 months, it was same. I rode the same way as before. The moment I get comfortable with the scooter and the comfort it provides, before I even realise I became such an rash driver who weaves in and out of traffic with no care about the other riders. I was nudged by bikers on the back panel yet I shrugged off and rode like nothing happened. I made some stupid cuts which made me embarrass later when I think about it.

So yesterday, I was riding as usual and once the signal turned green, there I was, in front of everyone, doing 50 km/h(still not crossing the speed limit) looking at the mirror and laugh at myself how quick I was. And then I realise how I have changed these past few months. Even now when I drive my car, I am the same old, zen mode driver but that little aggressiveness peaking on about once in a while. I was just thinking since yesterday why it happened and how I transitioned into someone who I always hated when I see one.

Now my question is, does it have something to do with situation, mindset or other pressure? Does anyone else faced the same issue and felt the same way?

As I said in the beginning, I'm not the one to blame something that has nothing to do with the problem. I absolutely admire gear-less scooters for what it offers. So it is about the rider and not about the ride itself.

The moment I realised I go back to my old ways and today I rode in sane way and kept myself from going over 40 km/h. And it was stress-free, relaxing and felt good.

It would be really helpful if fellow riders share your thoughts on this matter. Have you felt the same way? Or do you have some insight into it, please do share. All I needed to know is to see if I am alone in this or not!

Mod Note: Mods, please move this thread to appropriate post if it doesn't belong here.
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Old 27th January 2020, 14:14   #2
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Default Re: Gearless scooters and rash driving scenario faced by me!

Good thoughts on riding a gearless scooter. I learnt to ride a bike on Hero Honda Splendor way back in 2009 and then in 2011 bought Yamaha SZ. Hence my majority of 2 wheeler driving experience were because of such bikes. In city limits, my usual speeds are 45 - 50 kmph and nothing more than that. I drove Activa back in 2011 once and was nervous since the brakes did not have the bite like my bike did when I was doing 40 - 50 Kmph. Decided never to use it again.

I had to ride activa in 2018 on a couple of occasions and was surprised on how much power is available quickly. During my first ride, I was able to get to 50 - 60 kmph speed in no time and on applying front + rear brakes, speed was coming down quickly. Gleefully was overtaking others in sparse traffic in small streets. After reaching my destination after a drive of 30 minutes, realized this is not the correct way. The instant pickup of activa, with the freedom of not worrying about the gears made me to drive faster and overtake others. The second drive was a normal and my usual style, slowly increasing the speed.

I realized why the riders on activa/dio etc zoom past me in a jiffy.

Last edited by bvasista : 27th January 2020 at 14:15.
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Old 27th January 2020, 15:17   #3
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Default Re: Gearless scooters and rash driving scenario faced by me!

I always had this in my mind and you brought it up, because of the cvt the activa or other gearless scooters having engine capacity above 100cc have tremendous initial acceleration for a few metres. They might loose the race after few metres but its really difficult to beat a gearless scooter guy unless and until the opponent who is driving a geared motorcycle (<150 cc) is ready in a drag mode.
A geared Motorcycle guy will have to slip the clutch a lot initially to get a good initial acceleration.
The motorcycle guy has to modulate the clutch well to ensure that he doesn't do a wheelie, also he has to be ready to change the gear to the next position after just driving a few meters. Whereas all this thing is done by the cvt in a very seamless and fast way. Hence the operator has nothing to do but just wide open the throttle. Such simplicity of controls often leads to driver driving with a heavy hand.

Another fact to add is that these gearless scooters are around 110 kg compared to motorcycles weighing 150 kg (150 cc ones). Light weight makes them nimble and easy to handle.

Braking has been improved quite a bit in these gearless scooters when compared to the geared scooters of the past. This also adds to the confidence of the driver.
I often find myself loosing to girls driving gearless scooters at Street light
(Although I never try to accelerate hard at street light starts because of some idiot who has jumped the red light to save some seconds and is eager to kiss me and my vehicle in the middle of the road )

Last edited by amit_purohit20 : 27th January 2020 at 15:18.
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Old 28th January 2020, 14:27   #4
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Default Re: Gearless scooters and rash driving scenario faced by me!

Good observation. I was also a motorcycle rider until 2016. I was used to riding the Pulsar everywhere. In 2016 we got the Activa 125 for my wife and I found myself riding it more than her.

The reason is that riding these scooters is very effortless. One can ride bordering on carelessness and still get away with it. I mostly see three types or scooter riders - one who drive very slow mostly in the middle of the lane. These tend to be either elderly gents or new learner elderly ladies.

The second group consists of people driving sanely using good judgement. These are very less in number.

The third and more interesting group is those people using the accelerator to occupy any and all space available in between other vehicles. These can be of any age and gender, right from school going children to 70+ gentlemen. Just today I saw a person 70+ (guessing but he was a senior citizen) zooming his way out of thick traffic on a scooter and as luck would have it, he lost control and almost banged into a car. Even after the incident, he was back to his old self and zoomed off.

Like I said, riding a scooter takes away the worries of juggling between the brake, clutch and accelerator and with it, the worries of stalling. It also provides excellent acceleration and most important - the capability to carry goods / children.

Last edited by luvDriving : 28th January 2020 at 14:32. Reason: added content
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Old 28th January 2020, 19:54   #5
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Default Re: Gearless scooters and rash driving scenario faced by me!

A very apt topic.

These gearless scooters give a false confidence to the rider. I realized the same whenever i ride my father in law's Activa. Riding these scooters are fun. The tight overtakes or the small gaps which i do not attempt with my FZ25, I take them with the Activa.

The factors which aid's to this are -

No gear, so just twist and go.
Small turning radius.
Handle is very close to the seat with legs in front, as if one is seating on a chair.
Wider seat means you feel more comfortable.
No foot brake, both our legs are free and both the brake levers on handle bar boosts more confidence.
Lesser weight.
Lower seating position.

Now the risk -

Small wheels tend to get unsettled much faster under hard braking or turns or on rough patches.
No gears. So it's all dependent on brakes. Engine braking is not an option. For fast riding engine braking matters a lot.


Last year, one of my relative switched to an Activa by selling his Bajaj Discover. He is a very sane rider with a clean riding record.
Within 6 months of buying the Activa, he crashed and broke his elbow. When I asked him how, he replied, an overtaking maneuver gone wrong!

Last edited by Samba : 28th January 2020 at 20:04.
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Old 29th January 2020, 12:10   #6
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Default Re: Gearless scooters and rash driving scenario faced by me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
I always had this in my mind and you brought it up.....
Thanks for the insight!

It's been bugging for me past few days and I couldn't digest the fact that the machine turned me from sane to insane without me knowing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvDriving View Post
Good observation. I was also a motorcycle rider until 2016. I was used to riding the Pulsar everywhere. In 2016 we got the Activa 125 for my wife and I found myself riding it more than her.
.....
Agreed with your observation. Even when I had Pulsar 180 I have never drove in rush and kept my speed under check. The comfort is what changing people's mind and one should be alert and aware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
A very apt topic.

These gearless scooters give a false confidence to the rider. I realized the same whenever i ride my father in law's Activa. Riding these scooters are fun. The tight overtakes or the small gaps which i do not attempt with my FZ25, I take them with the Activa.

The factors which aid's to this are -

No gear, so just twist and go.
Small turning radius.
Handle is very close to the seat with legs in front, as if one is seating on a chair.
Wider seat means you feel more comfortable.
No foot brake, both our legs are free and both the brake levers on handle bar boosts more confidence.
Lesser weight.
Lower seating position.

Now the risk -

Small wheels tend to get unsettled much faster under hard braking or turns or on rough patches.
No gears. So it's all dependent on brakes. Engine braking is not an option. For fast riding engine braking matters a lot.

Last year, one of my relative switched to an Activa by selling his Bajaj Discover. He is a very sane rider with a clean riding record.
Within 6 months of buying the Activa, he crashed and broke his elbow. When I asked him how, he replied, an overtaking maneuver gone wrong!
Very well summed up.

The brakes in this scooters just doesn't do justice to the engine. And the smaller wheels adds up to the worry. I nearly escaped from kissing an Amaze in front of me just when I try to reduce the speed from 60-0 in signal and that's the moment everything dawned upon me.

I guess this takes us back to the phrase, "understand the machine and use it wisely". I guess I realized before any damages or worse and now I feel afraid because of worrying about other riders zig zagging and zipping past me which can lead to an accidents which is not even our fault.

I felt safer with my car, and I always had this thought running in the back of my mind. If a scooter guy hit, at the worst the car will be damaged and I will be safe. But driving scooter agitates my fear and make me extra cautious especially after realizing what had happened to me. I believe all this chaos ends only when the individual realizes the importance of life and nothing else will do. Correct me if I am wrong. Until then we need to ride safe to save our lives and leave the rest to the hands of the one!
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Old 30th January 2020, 15:25   #7
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Default Re: Gearless scooters and rash driving scenario faced by me!

Small wheels leads to extremely (dangerously so) easy maneuvering
CVT allows for carefree flicking of the wrist on the throttle
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Old 30th January 2020, 15:49   #8
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Default Re: Gearless scooters and rash driving scenario faced by me!

If driving such dios and activas give such acceleration imagine how will it be to drive Aprilia SR150 . Good that many of those young guys and girls aren't aware of such a scoot or whatever reason didn't opt for the scoot else my road ride would have been even more dangerous.

Last edited by KPR : 30th January 2020 at 15:50.
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Old 30th January 2020, 17:09   #9
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Default Re: Gearless scooters and rash driving scenario faced by me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarvodaya View Post
There is a post in another thread which is relevant to this tread in terms of a gearless scooters initial burst of acceleration at the end of the video.
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Old 30th January 2020, 17:09   #10
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Default Re: Gearless scooters and rash driving scenario faced by me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
Small wheels leads to extremely (dangerously so) easy maneuvering
CVT allows for carefree flicking of the wrist on the throttle
In case of Activas, it's Carelessly Variable Transmission. Same CVT in cars is sedate. May be it's all because of small displacement petrol engines we see CVTs on. I found Mitsubishi Outlander CVT very nice. I am sure Kizashi CVT would be good, too. As for gearless scooters, yes these are generally very rashly driven.
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