Overcoming fear with my new Buddy

I took delivery of my new Buddy International 150cc scooter a couple of days ago. The scooter dealer delivered it all the way from San Francisco for an extra fee. He is a great person and I recommend him heartily (see here for the dealer). So, how am I doing so far?

First, let me backtrack and say something about my prior experiences. NONE. I had no experience riding a scooter or motorcycle. My only experience on a two-wheeler is on a bicycle. Second, my house has a steep driveway that curves up the hill. Third, I was not an enthusiast about two-wheeled vehicles – thinking that they are dangerous because they share the road with vehicles that are thousands of times heavier than them.

So, after 26 miles of being on the road with the scooter, I can say that I am smiling. It was such a breeze riding it. It is as nimble as riding a bicycle. The engine pulls strong up my driveway and I never feel that I am losing control of it. Yesterday was the first day that I took it out for an extensive ride around the county roads. It easily kept pace with the automobiles. Of course, I was very cautious, obeyed all the traffic signs, and kept my space from surrounding cars. Most automobile drivers also gave me space. Maybe the oil prices have made everyone drive slower and smoother.

So, how is the scooter so far?

• Subjectively, it does have more plastic than its near competitor – the Yamaha Vino 125cc.
• Powerful engine.
• One of the stems for the rear visor got loose a couple of times, no matter how much I tighten it up. Also, one of the bolts holding the license plate disappeared. I attribute this to new scooter shakedown. Let’s see how it fares during the upcoming weeks.
• The brakes are smooth.
• If you have a steep driveway, don’t fill up the tank because gasoline will escape through the safety valve.
• Finally, I wish that the importer, Genuine Scooter Company (see here), proofread the manual. It reads like someone translated it from Chinese (the scooter is made by a company called PGO in Taiwan) to English using translation software. The manual makes it look like Genuine is the manufacturer. If so, I expect better English than the way it is written.

So, so far, so good.

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3 thoughts on “Overcoming fear with my new Buddy

  1. Thanks for the feedback on how you like the Buddy so far. I am hoping to take posession of mine before the fourth of July. Right now, the only dealer here in Denver is sold out. The Pompalona is on a two-three week waiting list.
    I test road the heck out of it before deciding. I did a lot of background checks on all kinds of scooters (I have been doing research for over two months now) and I really liked the Buddy. I had seen the Lance Vintage on the net for $1500 w/ free shipping, but after seeing one in person at a dealer and test driving it, I knew that it would not hold up for a year. After speaking with scooter mechanics, they verified my suspicions. By the way, the dealer of the Lance really did not want me to take it on the road, just drive around in the parking lot. I really got the impression he was trying to hide something.
    I do have extensive motorcycle experience (16 years) and to me, the Buddy really seemed to be the best bang for your buck.

    Please keep us posted on your escapades. I will do the same once I receive mine.

    -Jim-

  2. Well, one of the issues with new scooters is whether there are parts available. From what I read, a lot of the scooters made in mainland-China don’t have factory support once they are sold. That is why I chose the Buddy. Although more expensive, it seems to be made by a reputable Taiwanese company and the U.S. distributor has a well-documented history.
    Hey Jim, can’t wait to read your reports. Do you have a blog?

  3. We have had our Buddy’s since September 2007. I have around 3,000 miles on mine, my wife has about 3,500 on hers. Very reliable, just make sure to keep up with your maintenance. But that can be said for any and every vehicle 2 or 4 wheel variety.

    We have gotten to the point where we change our own motor oil and gear oil. We replace the oil filter every other oil change. We can do this in about 25 minutes time. The first time took us 45 minutes, mainly because we didn’t want to screw up. So we took our sweet time and double checked EVERYTHING we did.

    Good riding!

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