Leo the Old Chopper Guy writes:
"I agree with your advice. And now that this old Harley guy is a die-hard Kymco rider, AND former Chinese 150 rider, I can tell you all it is good advice to only go with Chinese rides IF you are willing to be ready for some extra work in return for the low initial cost. Obviously, some Chinese scoots are trouble-free, but VERY often, they are not. I wrenched on my Xingyue 150 for THREE FULL SEASONS getting it right, BUT... Then it was absolutely trouble-free for four seasons. It was still running perfectly when I traded it in on my Kymco.
My Grandvista 250 has 12-inchers. It depends on how FAST you are going when meeting the pothole... LOL! Fast enough carries you OVER the hole. Too slow will plant the wheel IN the hole. Not good... Seriously though, any wheels smaller than the "big-wheel" rides with 17" or larger are a little hard on rough surfaces. With good, speed-rated tires, well-balanced however, they cruise the highway at 70+ smooth as a Harley. And I must admit, I'm hopelessly addicted to the look of small wheel scooters.
"If you REALLY have a "Jones" for something irresistible, quick, but pricey on 10" wheels, ya jus' gotta check out a Genuine Buddy 170... But ya gotta remember, this old geezer used to run 80-mph, (often sneaking up to 100-mph) on Chicago freeways on a McCulloch-powered 40-pound mini-bike as a kid... Even though I had an "animal" Harley chopper in the garage... But NOT recommended now that I'm 70 and still alive and riding.....
You can see the wheels ARE a tad small on a 250. The Grandvista was a flat-floor version of the original "Bet n' Win" 250. Kymco has come a LONG way from these early scoots, but they are still great rides, and nearly bullet-proof... I've yet to meet a Taiwan-made Kymco or SYM rider who didn't love his/her scooter.
It looks decidedly "Italian" with its 17" wheels. It truly amazed me, partly because of the large wheels smoothness. Big difference from 12" to 17" wheels. This little blue scoot felt as light as a Schwinn bicycle, and was EASY to ride, and to put onto the center-stand. Being an air-cooled GY6 type engine (163cc, NOT a true 200) surprisingly, it had plenty of acceleration and would haul my 230-pound butt to 65-mph with ease.
"It ran like we WISH our Chinese 150's would... Yup, I like Kymcos!
"Whatever size, brand, style, etc. you like, DO test ride everything possible before deciding. You'll be happier in the long run by not getting something you don't enjoy...
"Leo in Texas"