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since 04.04.2000

Scooter Phil (a.k.a. Beany)

One (possibly the only!) nice thing about BCMAG is the diverse range of people and bikes we seem to attract - and this as diverse as it gets. Phil's preferred steed is this 250cc Honda scooter-thing (Hope I'm not losing anyone with all this technical info). I think he chose this to impress everyone by scrapping his plastic bits roundabouts, while making us sick with tales of huge MPG and shopping capacity!

Bad hair day!

Phil's so tall, he scrapes his head on lamposts.

Here's what Phil had to say about his scoot (as featured in a "My Bike" article in StreetBiker)

Honda foresight (FES250W) 1998 model.

Lets get one thing sorted I am not mad! I picked the foresight as a practical transport; it has comfort, luggage and low running costs (most of the time).

The scooter has covered 42,000 miles with two major problems. One was the headstock was working loose on a regular intervals, which was put right under warranty, with a new headstock assembly. The other problem was carb trouble, which it keeps cutting out on tick over - a real pain on an automatic scooter. My dealer found a second-hand carb and replaced it, which has sorted the problem so far.

The good bits: a rear radial tyre cost about 35 and a front tyre is about 30. The engine runs on about litre and a bit engine oil, which has to be change every 2,000 miles intervals, which is no big deal has it takes about ten minutes to do, with the easy access drain plug and filter. The brakes are about the same as on any motorcycle. The transmission is run on a rubber belt system, which should be changed every 6,000 miles, but aftermarket accessories have come up with a Kevlar belt, which lasted twice as long. (My last belt managed 21,000 miles before it shredded.)

So what it's like to ride a maxi-scooter? GOOD FUN! There are no gears to worry about, so you can get on carving your way through traffic. The brakes are on the handlebars so you got both feet free to paddle through traffic. As a general rule if handlebars go through the rest fits easy. Top speed is about eighty-five on a good day. It will cruise about sixty-five to seventy-five, which is not to bad on a single.

Fuel economy is good. To fill the tank from empty costs around eight to ten pounds, and lasts about one hundred and eighty miles. The best I have seen is nearly two hundred miles on a steady run up the motorway, not bad on a twelve-litre tank (approx. 75pmg)

Luggage is good has I have space under the seat to store helmet, gloves, waterproof, locks etc. You cant fit two helmets unless they are small open face - I got round this problem by fitting Hondas topcase, which was expensive but a nice fit. The top case can take full-face helmet and other bits. I like being able to lock my lid away, so it does not get knocked about. There are two glove boxes up front, one lockable and one not. They are not very big (you could get fags or a mobile phone in) but they are not waterproof, so I don't use them that much.

The one thing I do like on this scooter is the lights. The front has the Honda blackbird headlight unit, which gives a good spread of light. In some cases I have had other bikers move over to let me pass, thinking I am a blackbird closing down on then at warp speed, just to have a scooter zip past! (The language is really bad!). The rear light is a twin bulb light which crosses the back of the scooter in a big smile. The other neat thing is the indicators are self-cancelling, not just by handlebar movement, but also lean angle. At first I thought there was a little Japanese man sitting in the front fairing, turning then off for me, just as I was about to cancel then myself.

Now a lot of my bike friends think I have lost the plot of biking, but I hope the above reasons have given them some idea what is going on in my head. I know there are some who are coming round to ways of scootering - practical and fun in today's traffic.

BEANIE (Phil) - 81246

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