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My Honda Metropolitan Scooter, Two Years and Six Thousand Miles Later

September 4, 2007 Scooters 67 Comments

Two years ago today I purchased my red & white Honda Metropolitan scooter. Like everyone else, I had just witnessed the horrific images from New Orleans and gas prices were climbing quickly. Here is some of what I wrote two years ago:

Today I took a step toward having more efficient means of motorized transportation — I bought a small motor scooter. I’m not giving up bicycling. But there are times when I need to get somewhere faster than my bicycle will take me. I look at it as having multiple modes of transportation: walking, bicycling, MetroBus/MetroLink, scooter and finally my car. I plan to use all of these methods of transportation.

I estimate that given current fuel prices every 5,000 miles I can put on the scooter rather than my car I’ll save at least $600. As fuel prices rise the savings will be even greater. In less than 3 years the scooter will pay for itself in fuel savings.

As regular readers know, I got rid of the costly car a few months ago. But admittedly I have not continued to bicycle as I had thought I might. I used to ride to the #40 Broadway bus to get me downtown and then I’d bike all the way home. Not a long ride but not bad considering my favorite of my bicycles (yes, plural) is a single speed bike. One of my grad school classes is meeting next week off-campus and we plan to do a post-class bike ride.

Metropolitan in B&W I’ve also not ridden the scooter as many miles as I had first expected. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, I continued to drive my car often and on the longer distances in the region. Second is that I learned to combine trips, avoid unnecessary trips, to ask friends about sharing a ride, and simply to live a more local life. So in this past two years I’ve put just over 6,000 miles on the scooter.

On July 1st of this year I had 4,863 miles and by September 1st I was at 6,456 — almost 1,600 miles in two months time. I’ve given up trying to track gas mileage because it can vary greatly depending upon how much a fill up the tank — when you are getting a tad over a gallon an extra tenth of a gallon makes a big difference. Overall I’ve been averaging around 85-90mpg. To track miles I simply take a picture of the odometer each time I get gas. I also take pictures of the pump to see how much I bought and what the price is. For example, on July 1st I paid $2.81 per gallon for regular. By July 12th I paid $3.10 per gallon.

Even though gas prices have dropped considerably that doesn’t stop the people from asking how much a scooter costs and how many miles it will go on a gallon. Yesterday I saw an older guy with a bicycle that jokingly said, “I’ll trade you” and this morning a lady working in her front yard said, “Take me for a ride.” Kids continue to be immediately attracted to the scooter. Last week a guy walking down the street asked me about the scooter — he had 3 DUI’s and needed to get around. I answered his questions and added that a driver’s license was required. I saw him later that day riding a bicycle rather than walking.

IMG_0667.JPG The view from the scooter is great, especially for taking pictures. However, it was the distraction of buildings that caused my one accident. I was captivated by the great buildings on Chippewa near Jefferson when I approached a 4-way stop intersection. I had not noticed the increasing oil/grease in the roadway and before I could get in a better area I had lost control and down I went. There was no traffic to speak of in this area and the couple of drivers approaching me from both directions stopped to offer assistance. The grease that caused my fall also prevented me from getting torn up by the asphalt. The scooter was undamaged and still running — I simply hit the kill switch on the handlebar, picked the bike up and pushed it to the curb to regain my composure. The only thing bruised was my left knee and my ego. I’ve had a few near misses with pavement that is rolled in weird directions near bus stops, massive potholes, and wet man hole covers.

To anyone considering a scooter I say give it a shot — unless you are that guy with the DUIs — he needs to stick to walking, biking or public transportation. Recently I played a small role in helping form an online scooter discussion forum for the St. Louis region — check it out at stlscooterforum.com

OK, I get lots of questions so let me see if I can answer most of them:

What does a scooter cost?

My particular scooter costs roughly $2,000 new. Don’t forget to add sales tax, helmet and depending upon engine size, registration and insurance. I purchased mine used on Craigslist. Some scooters, mostly Chinese made knock offs, can be had for considerably less. I’ve heard mixed reviews so buyer beware is all I can say about those. Some brands, such as the well-known Vespa, can be well into the $3,000-$5,000 range. A large “maxi-scooter” can approach ten grand.

How fast will it go?

My scooter tops out around 30mph but large engine models can operate at highway speeds. Some are quite fast and can outrun many sports cars.

You don’t need a license plate?

Missouri considers scooters like mine a moped — a motorized bicycle. Due to engine size and limited speed, no licensing is required. However, I cannot legally ride my scooter across the Eads bridge into Illinois as their rules are different. Illinois considers a 49cc scooter a motorcycle and as such requires registration, a motorcycle license and insurance.

Do you need a special driver’s license?

In Missouri you only need a regular driver’s license but as indicated above, in Illinois you need a motorcycle license. In Missouri you also need a motorcycle license if you operate a motorcycle/scooter with an engine larger than 49cc.

Do you need a helmet?

Missouri requires helmets for motorcycles (presumably omitting mopeds) while Illinois does not require a helmet for any classification of motorcycle. Head injuries are hard to survive so I recommend a helmet for all riders and passengers.

How do you shop?

The underseat area is surprisingly large. I carry a couple of canvass bags in there so I can put larger purchases on the floorboard between my feet. Shopping locally means I also shop nearly every day. I think ahead about what I need such as toiletries like toothpaste and shaving cream. I’ve never been a bulk shopper anyway so I simply buy what I need. Having a 3-year supply of bar soap is just not worth the hassle no matter what the price.

What about the weather?

Mother Nature does not always cooperate! I’ve been caught in downpours, endured hot and humid temperatures and some freezing cold extremes. Proper clothing is the normal answer to such a question posed to a motorcyclist or bicyclist — rain gear, gloves, a handkerchief to wipe the seat and so on. Last winter I did pretty well with long johns and neck protector used in skiing until it got bitter cold and I switched to my car. I don’t have that open now so we’ll see how it goes.

Won’t it get stolen?

Theft is a potential problem but at night it is locked up safe and sound inside my house. When I am out somewhere I usually park in a highly visible location so it would be obvious if someone was trying to steal it. My scooter, like most, has a couple of anti-theft deterrents. One is a kickstand lock that prevents the kickstand from releasing. The other is a steering wheel lock just like your car. Both make it impossible to just wheel the scooter off — thieves would have to physically lift it. Although I don’t mind arguing with folks on the street, I’m not going to take on anyone big enough to lift my scooter and carry it away. For times when I need added security, I carry a cable and lock.

Update 8/1/2008:

Since the above was published I put another 3,000 miles on the scooter through January 2008.  On February 1, 2008 I suffered a massive stroke and spent three months in the hospital.  My recovery is going well but I could not ride the scooter anymore.  On June 19th 2008 I wrote ‘My Beloved Honda Metropolitan Scooter Has Been Sold.‘ It’s hard to go wrong with the Honda Metropolitan, it performed flawlessly for me for several years and 9,000 miles.  In a few years I plan to buy & ride another.

Update 7/19/2009:

My stroke recovery is going well and I’m nearly ready to try to ride a scooter again.  I hope to try someone else’s in  2009 and buy my own in 2010.  The neighbor that bought my Honda Metroploitan rode it for a year and just sold it so he could buy a larger engined scooter.  I miss seeing it in the parking garage.

  • http://47thoughts.blogspot.com LisaS

    Steve is not whistling Dixie about the scooter being a kid magnet–my two were really mad I made them get off his after we visited an Open House! (He’s very good natured about it, thankfully.) My son is trying to talk me into buying one, but really … to me, it’s just another thing to take care of. I’d rather ride my bike. Sometimes running neighborhood errands is all the exercise I get in a day ….

  • john

    Where in Clayton can you legally park it (have you heard anymore from the City of Clayton)? Noticed that the City has placed banners along Brentwood & Wydown Blvds promoting cycling… will they ever put policy in place to support greener lifestyles?

  • Dan Icolari

    Just curious, Steve:

    You say that, as you approach winter with a scooter but without a car, you’ll have to see how it goes. Do you have a strategy at the ready, in case is doesn’t go all that well–I mean, one that doesn’t involve owning or driving a car?

    It’s probably just Walker Bombast I’m guilty of–it’s easy as long as the weather’s still warm–but I’ve started thinking of mass transit (excluding ferries, of course) as being for softies who refuse to cultivate their biped-ness. Of course, the minute the temperature plunges, I have no doubt you’ll find me at the bus stop more often.

    So . . . have you lined up your defenses against Winter Auto Temptation?

  • john

    The “two-wheeled” solution is the wave of the future and it’s time for the road planners and city fathers to recognize the obvious. Total freedom is still the bike which doesn’t require any pump fuel or cause pollution. The new commissioner of the Dept of Transportation in NY is an avid bicyclist and the story in the NYTimes is titled “To Ease a City’s Traffic, Shifting from 4 Wheels to 2″:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/04/nyregion/04bicycle.html?ex=1346558400&en=d83fd27c334882d8&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

  • dude

    I think with some of these inquiries into Steve’s winter weather riding strategy are hinting at folks looking for him to, bwahahahahaha, fail. Steve you can do it! For those cold winter days a shot of brandy might help though. 2 months, 1600 miles, 90 mpg, 18 gallons, that’s about $53. Makes my ears want to go deaf on price of gas complaints.

    [SLP --- Well, had I still owned a car I'd would of course be paying for it as well as the insurance and maintenance regardless if I used the car or not.  The fact is gas prices could double and I'd still be fine --- it would take me $6 to fill the tank rather than $3.  I will be looking into better cold weather clothing options for this winter as well as possibly getting a temporary car.  Bicycling is actually an option because our bodies generate heat while exercising.  But I'm liking that brandy option too...]

  • http://www.stlscooterforum.com StL_Stadtroller

    Steve, swing by the house sometime, I’ve got an Aerostitch catalog here with your name on it! Founder Andy Goldfine is an enthusiastic advocate of daily riding and has lots of products to help you out in incliment weather.
    Personally I recommend silk long underwears from REI, a balaclava for your head, and silk sock & glove liners.
    You have a little more of a challenge because the Honda Metro can’t power a heated jacket or grips, but you can still do fine, esp on short city hops.
    Keeping the wind off of you is probably the most important thing. Exposed skin at those wind-chill levels will frostbite in a few minutes.

    anyway, well done sir, and keep up the good work out there!

    [SLP ---  Heated jackets?  Wow!]

  • amy

    Vespa StL sells heated grips, and I think the metro’s will support them. I also think they are under $100. I rode to/from work (6 miles each way) most of last winter on my red metro. I made a “scooter skirt” from a windproof vinyl fabric lined with 2 layers of fleece. It is basically a lap blanket that attached to the scooter and around me. My legs were never cold. My hands and body were another story. This summer I found a motorcycle windshield for $2 at a garage sale (don’t you love our neighborhood?). I will make some adjustements to fit it to the scooter, and I plan to ride all winter unless there is ice or snow on the streets. Good luck Steve….but if you ever need a ride, just call.

  • Jim Hacking

    Will the owner of Copia let you park this in front of his joint?

  • tom

    steve,

    thank you for the post. my car recently was totaled, and with the wopping $1600 i’ll get for it i’m pretty much out of luck to buy another car. thus, my lifelong dream of owning a scooter may be the answer. i’d love to own a vintage vespa, but alas, they are too expensive.
    questions as i’m in the market:
    1. do you recommend any other brands other than your honda? why?
    2. anything you do not like about your honda?
    3. is there anything you wish you knew about the scooter market and the various scooters available before you did your shopping? if so, what?

    thank you for this site. it is helpful.

    -tom gapin

    [SLP --- First, sorry to hear about your car getting totaled, hopefully you were not injured.  Brands?  Yes, get something well-known.  A model similar to the Honda Met is the Yamaha Vino.  I've also heard good things about the Genuine Buddy.  Vespa & Aprilia are two of the biggies.  I've heard mixed reviews about some of the more generic Chinese-made brands.   What I don't like?  The storage accessories for the Honda are few and what they have are quite expensive.  I did some pretty extensive research into the scooter market when I bought mine so I don't know that I was missing any information.  I guess I didn't may much attention to details like the fact that on the Honda I've got a hook to hang the helmet that once the seat is closed the helmet is secured.  I've seen other folks have to leave their helmet unsecured but I'd be afraid of it getting stolen --- a good helmet is not cheap. For more feedback check out stlscooterforum.com.]

  • Joycie

    Ohhh Steve, I can’t thank you enough for all your help. I’m about to buy a scooter for all the above reasons you talked about, and it appeared from all my web surfing that the most dependable and best quality scooter for the gas mileage was the Honda Metropolitan. I want the red one so that I will be the most visible in traffic (for defensive purposes, ha)

    I’m going to have to get it on credit, but I figure that since I’ll use it for all my local driving, the gas savings alone will make part of my payments.

    I have an old 1987 Buick that needs to be either traded, or around $1200 spent on it to get it up to snuff to run long range. In looking over my options financially, I think that just keeping it as is, for bad weather short trips, might be a good decision because of its age. It runs great but looks terrible. Ha.

    I do wonder about how well my Honda will do, carrying a fat lady around, 220 pounds, and would love to hear any info you might contribute on that subject?

    Thanks again for helping me decide!
    Joycie

    [slp --- I've had over 9,000 miles of flawless performance.  It pulled me around just fine.  Be sure to wear visible clothing as well.] 

  • sioscoot

    I’m sorry to comment so long after your original post, but I wanted to share a few thoughts.

    For Joycie and anyone else considering a scoot, try finding a used one (on craigslist or eBay).

    I bought my 2002 Met used on eBay in 2005 from a semi-retired engineer who drove it 6 miles a day to work and back. I have just upgraded to a bigger scoot (a Buddy Saint Tropez 150cc) because I am ready for some more power. But I’m selling my beloved Met for the same price I paid for it in 2005 (less the cost of the back rack which I’m leaving on because I’m selling to a neighbor).

    If anyone is looking for a small engine scoot, you simply cannot go wrong with the Met. It’s a Honda. I drain the gas and put it in the basement in the winter (I’m in New England); when I take it out in in the early spring, I put in gas, push the electric start, and vroooom I’m off. If Honda made a bigger engine Met, I’d be all over it.

    The big draw of the Vino is that you can get a 125cc, but I’m in love with the look and reliability of the Buddy. Sure, it’s expensive (I consider $3k a helluva lot of money), but I’m going to try to ride as deep into winter as my little paws can handle to make it worth the cost. And I can’t put a price on the fun I have commuting!

    Best of luck to you and keep scootin’!

  • Bear

    Got my Metro about 3 weeks before Katrina hit us here in Gulfport, August of 2005….really came in handy during those first few days, getting around the damage and stuff, and not having to worry about the gas…ran really for nearly two years, but then developed a transmission problem…gonna cost at least $500 to fix, repairs aren’t cheap…but with gas nearing $4 a gallon, it’ll pay for itself…have over 5,000 miles on it and loved it…my only rule was that if it was pouring down rain, or below 32 degrees I wouldn’t take it…other than that I drove it regularly to work, a 16 mile round trip…

    Would definitely recommend the Metro…but like any means of transportation, keep up with the maintenance…hopefully, I’ll be back on the road in a few days….

  • Walking Crow

    I have a 1999 Honda Helix with a sidecar. The sidecar allows me to haul lots of groceries, a passenger and even an occassional 2×4. And it allows for an extended riding season here in Minnesota. Sidecars are expensive, but they do add a dimension to the usefullness of the scoot. I get 50+++ mpg.

    Nice blog, thanks.

  • http://www.myspace.com/ragemanchoo Ryan Thompson

    Look at the series of new comments over the last three months. $4 gasoline nation-wide will do that to a blog like this. Heh ^_^

    I’ve read on various sites the Metropolitan is supposed to top out at 37 or 38 mph, but I’ve also heard of people getting them to go faster by doing certain things to them. BTW, does the kickstand lock come with the bike? Is it part of the design? Another thing I’ve seen is about half the websites talking about the Metropolitan list it as a 49cc bike, the other half list it as a 50cc. Sooo… what the hell is it? I’m in Oregon and there’s some kind of special legal cut-off at the 50cc mark — anything 50cc and larger, you need a motorcycle endorsement on your license.

    [slp --- True on the top speed.  Honda's website says 49cc.  And those modifications to go faster involve boring out the engine to a larger size to the point where you are legally required to have a motorcycle license.]

  • Gary

    Nice blog Steve, thanks! Only 1 question, if you don’t mind. I haven’t been able to find out any information on over-heating or maximum miles per trip.

    I’m hoping the cooling system works well enough to run as far as necessary here in Dallas duirng our hot summers.

    I just got a quote on a new red 2008 at $2,100 (walking-out price) and having trouble keeping my wallet in my pocket.

    Thanks for any info! -Gary

    [slp --- I had some days where I might do a total of 40 or so miles, maybe 8-10 miles before shutting it off.  Never once overheated.  Go for it Gary and take a nice ride on Mockingbird Ln for me.] 

  • TerryinAK

    Love the writeup, I have been considering one for a while. Summers here are short but I figured id share an anecdote with you. I worked with an avid outdoorsman when I was 18(14 years ago now). He rode his motorcycle to work all winter in Alaska. From Anchorage to Peters Creek he rode. Id guess its over 35 miles. He wore thermals of course but the real trick was a very thick pair of neoprene chest waders.

  • John in FL

    Hi Steve:

    I just bought a Metro.

    I see mention made of transmission problems. Can you elaborate?

    Nice job with the site.

    [slp --- The transmission issue was from another reader, I never had any such issues.] 

  • http://photocadabra.com Mike in CT

    I guess this is a silly question…but can two people ride at the same time? Besides to commute to work, it might be fun to double with the wife and just enjoy the ride!

    • Jazz

      Nope….the seat is too small and there is a weight limit of 250 if I recall

  • Sue in IN

    Just wanted to comment here. I just bought a brand new 2007 Met today, I’ve been researching for nearly month or so on scooters & feel I got a great scooter & warranty for the price. We have a F-250 diesel & diesel is $4.959 a gallon, my hubby has a Harley & I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for a motorcycle. So this is my new transportation for here in IN & FL for the winter months. I got the 2007 $200 cheaper than the 2008 & was told today the 2009′s are $455 more than the 08′s. So I’m happy I got in today on this one, all the dealerships are either sold out or only have 1 or 2 scooters available. I was able to ride it for maybe 10 miles before the rain came, I had it up to 40mph, but I think it might go bit faster on a longer stretch of road. I’m 5’10″ & 130lbs, so I’m sure weight contributes to speed.
    Anyways I’m so excited, with what little riding I got in today it sure was alot fun. I got alot smiles & waves from people in their yards & driveways.
    No more sitting home bc of the fuel prices, this scooter is gonna pay for itself a couple times over for me, I really do believe scooters are the future!
    Take that George!!!!

    • Bob Kornic

      Is your scooter 49 cc? has it been modified, and if yes, what was done?

  • booyakasha

    Nice read. can you fit two skinny people?

    Everyone keeps saying “scooters are the future”… the future? Scooters have been used in the so-called third world for quite some time now. Scooters were the future maybe 40 years ago. The US is at the same the biggest, bestest leader in the world, yet also ignorant and slow to adopt alternative ways of doing things (and tolerance for other people).

    Peace.

  • http://www.myspace.com/ragemanchoo Ryan Thompson

    Question: The top speed most sites list is about 38 mph. Ummm… can something be done to them to make them go faster? A lot of cars have regulator mechanisms that keep them from going certain speeds or excelerating too fast, too

  • Kriss

    Hi

    I just bought an 09 metro today..I haven’t gotten really to see it as it is still on order and is expected to be here aug 1. Your blog helped reassure me that I made the right choice. Thanks a ton…I can’t wait till it gets here!

  • Ron Wisdom

    Will a 49cc scooter handle a 250-pound driver?

    [slp --- Yes! It might struggle a bit more going uphill but it shouldn't be an issue. Check the manufacturer's specs on maximum weight.]

  • Maxine Ohle

    I just bought my ’09 Ghost on Wed. the 23rd I’ve been reseaching them for over a year and finally went for it! Had to wait for a month for the back order. Can’t wait to get going, just waiting for my helmet to come in now. Happy riding!!!!

  • sonja

    I am having the hardest time finding accessories
    the honda dealership where my metro was purchased had no need to help me because the deal is done
    any help would be great

    basket, muffler cover, trunk not a flimsy one

    thanks

  • Dave

    Hi Steve,
    Just bought a 2009 metro, I live in the country and ride 10 miles each way to and from work, My 09 goes a steady 38 mph and I weigh 275#. also I see where you stated in Illinois you need a motercycle endorsement to ride a scooter, Not if it is below 50cc but you do need to licenses it and have insurance. I like you do intend on riding as lat in the season as I can but being only 60 miles south of Chicago don;’t know hoe long it will be. Thanks for the great site.

  • windrunner

    A little insight into the scooter market…. Stay with the big names, and avoid the Chinese makes. You’ll pay a lot more, but the absence of aggravation and frustration will be well worth it. I gave my 2007 Yamiti Strada ex150 chrome edition racing Strada away after only 2 months of use, and purchased a 2001 Suzuki Katana GSX600 and never looked back. It did 70mph with great gas mileage but constantly had starting problems even with a kickstart along with the electric start. Parts are very hard to come by and nobody wants to service them. Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki all put out excellent scooters, but at a premium price. Don’t know about Kawis tho. They are fast, reliable, and after awhile pleasing to the eye once you start to appreciate them as capable machines. My next machine will be one of these makes, but only after my ghost white Katana has seen better days. Remember… NO Chinky Just Jappy…with no apologies offered.

  • http://www.stlscooterforum.com StL_Stadtroller

    Sonja – Try out http://www.scooterworks.com for general accessories. They may be able to hook you up, and standard UPS shipping from Chicago arrives next-day!

    Ryan – many newer 49cc bikes are 4-stroke (like the Honda Met), and unfortunately that means there isn’t a whole lot you can do without *major* engine upgrades. You could find some modest gains however in fine-tuning the variator weights, clutch and contra-springs to your weight and riding style. It’s trial-and-error, and can open up a can of worms, but there are gains to be had.
    If you get a 2-stroke 49cc however, there are TONS of mods available to get a LOT more out of it.

    For further Honda Met and Ruckus specific info, I reccomend the site http://www.totalruckus.com check it out!
    Locally of course, there are lots of good people over at http://www.stlscooterforum.com and at the St. Louis Scooter Club.
    good luck with your scoots!

  • http://www.urbanreviewstl.com/?p=3281 Bill Mac

    I am thinking about getting an extended warranty. I received an offer from Honda Protection Plans (American Honda Motor Co, Inc. 21800 Nordhoof St Chatsworth Ca 91311 in the mail and it really looks official.

    I called the 866-670-2273 and got a voice message to leave your name and they will get back to you as soon as possible? American Honda and they don’t answer the phone? Seems strange to me?

    Has anyone gotten a warranty from these people?

    Thanks

    Bill Mac
    Greendale Wi

  • Gloria Burquez

    Where do I find accessories! Basket, coffee holder etc. I stumbeled upon it one time and can’t fine it again!!

  • Bob

    Bought a new 2008 metro in aug 08 and I ride it short distances every week to a restaurant or grocery store. I have 350 miles on it as of Feb. 2009. Now when it starts it just runs for 1-2 secs. and shuts off. I have kept fresh fuel in the tank and have always kept it topped off with fuel. Also it has always been babied and driven at around 30mph not wide open. The honda place had to pick it up and hall it in for repair–now they tell me it’s STALE GAS and I just laughed because I keep fresh fuel in the tank and don’t let it sit more than 4-5 days at a time. Now they are ripping me off for $150 bucks and said it’s not covered by warranty!!!! I am so angry because I could have bought a cheap chinese bike for 700 bucks and gotten more miles out of it. What scares me is I’m afraid this is going to continue to happen and cost be a lot of $$. If you are considering the metro you might want to think twice because I’m afraid this unit has a defective carb or choke system–I don’t trust the Honda service people because this is a money maker for them and I’d be willing to bet they will still submit a warranty claim to Honda so they can DOUBLE DIP $$ for this problem.. If anyone else has had a similar problem with a new metro please let me know your outcome. I will probably sell my metro soon if I hear of this problem happening to others.. Oh BTW speaking of STALE GAS why can I park my carburated lawn mower for 6 months at a time and it cranks right up but park the metro for a week and it turns into a 200 pound paperweight!!!!

    Bob

  • JohnMDanskin

    I was told about the stale gas issue at the dealership before purchase. They said to add stabil gas stabilizer pretty much every time you fill up. They said that the problem is the ethanol separating out. If you get a model with fuel injection rather than a carburetor, no problem.

    There is some more information on the general problem here: http://www.goldeagle.com/brands/stabil/default.aspx

    Looking around on the net this is a problem for every small carbureted engine.

  • Kat

    Hi. I got a Met brand new in 2007. I am a college kid so I just pulled off the feat of paying it off. And wouldn’t you know it, it started acting up. It will start, but then when I start going it will not accelerate and always cuts out at the first few stops. After awhile it runs ok, but if I park it at school for two hours of classes and then go back out the process needs to be done again. I took it in for general maintenance and mentioned it. Without asking, they charged me $150 to clean the carb. It ran great for a week and I am now back to the same stuff. I don’t have the money to keep taking it in and quite frankly I don’t trust them. They were supposed to change the oil air filters etc, but it doesn’t look to me like they changed the oil. I am not mechanically inclined, but I need to fix it. I am graduating in a few months and I wanted to sell it before I moved to I don’t know where yet. I just don’t feel right selling it with defects. I have never had a problem before and I can’t find this same phenomenon on any other blogs. If anybody can help me I would really appreciate it.
    Thanks,

    Kat

    WA State

    • micahbruce

      same problem here, Kat, nowhere on any other blogs have i found anything like this, but the damn scooter won't accelerate and dies after a very short while. I replaced the fuel pump to the tune of $200, and it worked for another week, but now i'm back where i started…. grrr! does anyone out there have any ideas? I can't afford to keep spending hundreds of dollars on something that doesn't fix the problem.

  • Nancy Robison

    I have looked the metropolitan up on the web and they dont seem to have rearview mirrors! also on their list of accessories they are not listed do you have to go find your own? sounds kinda crazy to me. help. thanks

  • Donna

    I have purchased a 49cc Honda Scooter with the intention of using it while traveling in a motor home. I didn't realize that I'd need a license plate on it in certain states. My state doesn't require one, but I can put one on it if I get a motorcycle license. I don't want a motorcycle license as I'm never going to be riding one. Does anyone know if you can get a lisense tag for your scooter in another state other than your home state….without getting a motorcycle license?

    • stlstadtroller

      Donna,
      if your home state does not require a tag, then you do NOT need to get one while visiting another state. You may get pulled over, but if your drivers license shows that you're from a state which does not require plates on a 49cc bike, they should not cite you. Think of it like states that don't require a front license plate on your car – you don't have to stop and put a front plate on when you travel to a “front-plate state” right?

      • guest

        I live in CT which requires nothing for a 49cc scooter…I got pulled over in RI for not having a plate…They didn’t care about CT’s laws..You must have anything with a motor registered somewhere..no if’s ands or buts..I don’t have the paperwork so I just sold my scooter…I sure wish I’d have seen Donna’s solution first!

  • Donna

    For those of you needing a license plate for your 49cc scooter….I think I have finally found the solution. The state of Fla is sending me everything I need to tag my scooter even though my home state is other than Fla. With a plate on my scooter, I can ride it in any state that requires me to have it tagged. They assured me by phone that it all could be done by mail. I'm hopeful that there will be no glitches.

  • masterkylelewis

    I like this I might research this more in depth!!!!!! thank you

  • Jill

    Hi….I just bought a 2009 Metro Yesterday for $900. Its immaculate and I am very lucky. However, It lacks storage. I've read all the comments and have decided upon getting the rear trunk to add to my bike. I am yet to ride it outside of my parking garage to get used to it. I live in LA and the driving is wild in this city. What I wanted to ask is about headgear. What is the best type to get and which brand?…
    Thanks
    Jill

    • ts

      Jill, I don't know what you want to carry, but I knitted myself a bag that fits on the little hook in the front….under the seat compartment also holds much more than one thinks. But today, I was in the dealership and after 2 years of me asking….they told me that they can mount the Elite model carrier on the back and put a basket on there for me. I have always refused to buy the ugly little trunks made for the metro. Honestly, with a backpack, etc. I can do almost everything I need to do except for weekly grocery shopping. But I do live in a fairly small town, my work commute is only 2 miles, but I do lots of shopping, etc. and traveling around town on it. I love mine, though sometimes I think about getting a slightly faster one.

  • Bob Kornic

    I have a Honda 2005 Metropolitan 2. My friend had removed the restrictor plate, and changed the varieter wheel. The scooter runs now 35 mph, instead of 25 mph. Is there anything else I can do to make it go 40 mph without damaging the engine/transmission? I live in South west Florida.

  • Will

    Someone once told me that the metropolitan is tiny….Im 6'2″ do you guys think that a metropolitan would be too small for me?

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      Nope, you are too tall for the Metropolitan.

    • Wkgannon

      I'm a 5'2″ 61 year old lady who has had a Metro since 06 and love it! I have never had one min of trouble with it. I, like the others get looks, and a lot of questions about speed, mpg, and cost. I recommend this scooter to anyone who is looking. I get lots of storage in the under seat compartment, the added on back trunk, and sometimes a backpack. One occasion I used the front purse hook to take home 3 very tall lily plants because I forgot what I drove to the plant store before I purchased them. I am able to bring home from the farmers mkt. 12 ears of corn, a small melon in the seat, a basket of peaches and misc other stuff to keep the melon from rolling around. I carry a bungy to attach some things to the back trunk if necessary.

  • Dawn

    Does the metropolitan seat 1 or 2? I have seen conflicting information.

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      Just one.

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  • Al Fickensher

    Steve, and the fascinating middle-aged lady, I don't know anything about Honda scooter size or seating, but I did have a small (125cc) VESPA way-y-y back in 1962-67. It was just fine for me (72″ then) and it did have a “seat” for a second person behind the driver. Even only at 35mph top-speed, I did ride it 400 miles from my home up to an Air Force base I was stationed at, and then back later to my folk's home. After Air Force I rode it 180 miles down to college at Champaign/Urbana.

    In my late 60s now, I wouldn't mind having one again just for the utility of it. That said, my 38-yr old Schwinn Suburban serves me just fine for urban erranding.

  • http://my.opera.com/700r4transmission 700R4 Transmission

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  • http://www.tyrebaydirect.com/ unite tyre changer

    Honda scooters are well known for its ability to travel long distances with giving any trouble. It is praised for the comfortable rides.

  • guest

    I live in CT which requires nothing for a 49cc scooter…I got pulled over in RI for not having a plate…They didn’t care about CT’s laws..You must have anything with a motor registered somewhere..no if’s ands or buts..I don’t have the paperwork so I just sold my scooter…I sure wish I’d have seen Donna’s solution first!

  • Docsavage52

    Touching story … and very helpful!  Thanks!

  • Docsavage52

    Touching story … and very helpful!  Thanks!

  • Don McNulty

    Last year, I bought a used 2006 Met with 9400 miles on it. It had been used to commute to and from work about 25 miles one-way, accounting for the high mileage. I have put another 1100+ miles on it and have had no problems, just routine maintenance (2 oil changes, new tires, and a new battery). I weigh about 275 and it hauls me around just fine, peaking out at 30 mph, but losing speed on steep hills. Here in NH, since it doesn’t go over 30 mph and is under 50cc, it is registered as a moped and I don’t need a motorcycle endorsement on my drivers license. Although not required, I do have insurance. I get around 80 mpg. All in all, I’m very happy with my scooter!

  • Don McNulty

    Last year, I bought a used 2006 Met with 9400 miles on it. It had been used to commute to and from work about 25 miles one-way, accounting for the high mileage. I have put another 1100+ miles on it and have had no problems, just routine maintenance (2 oil changes, new tires, and a new battery). I weigh about 275 and it hauls me around just fine, peaking out at 30 mph, but losing speed on steep hills. Here in NH, since it doesn’t go over 30 mph and is under 50cc, it is registered as a moped and I don’t need a motorcycle endorsement on my drivers license. Although not required, I do have insurance. I get around 80 mpg. All in all, I’m very happy with my scooter!

    • Dlostrander

      My name is Dennis! I live in Oregon and work for the dmv, all motor vehicles that are used on public hwy-ways, streets, ect. are required to be insured (in Oregon) common sense says don’t drive without insurance, because when someone hits you or visa-versa, ouch the cost.
      That being said in Oregon a moped only requires a class C license, However title, plates and stickers are a must, cost same as motorcycle!  Just thought I’d put my two-cents in….

  • Dlostrander

    My name is Dennis! I live in Oregon and work for the dmv, all motor vehicles that are used on public hwy-ways, streets, ect. are required to be insured (in Oregon) common sense says don’t drive without insurance, because when someone hits you or visa-versa, ouch the cost.
    That being said in Oregon a moped only requires a class C license, However title, plates and stickers are a must, cost same as motorcycle!  Just thought I’d put my two-cents in….

  • Winnie

    Hey everyone.  Just joined the discussion here  I am only 5′ tall.  Any chance if I could still stop the Honda Met with my feet flat on the ground?  Many thanks!

  • Winnie

    Hey everyone.  Just joined the discussion here  I am only 5′ tall.  Any chance if I could still stop the Honda Met with my feet flat on the ground?  Many thanks!

    • Spart16

      I am 5’2″ and don’t have very long legs (28″ inseam) and the metro is a great size. Although I can’t place my feet flat on the ground, the scooter is well balanced and I feel very comfortable with it’s size, weight, and design. That said, I too am having trouble with my metro. It has died a couple of times, power has declined, and I’m only getting 70mpg (only 70mpg haha, still, supposed to get about 100).

  • Marcus Stacy

    my first metro was an 07 with 1500ish miles and I roller weights, spark plug, oil, and it ran great until 4500 miles when It was stolen… I recently picked up and 08 that i purchased at about 11PM. Next day I lookked it over in the light and it was ruff. someone had used it as a PIT BIKE…there was hay looking stuff inside the plastic radiator cover covering it all…It had 5000 miles on it and so far it runs great. I changed the oil, belt, spark plug etc. this met was serioiusly abused but I am doing my best to bring it back..just bought some pirelli tires and am getting a new rear rim( prvious one was bent like crazy)….

    For those looking for a little added performance…MY previous MET i added a variator for the transmission and it would barely exceed the dot passed the 40 mph mark. indicating about 46/47 mph on the scooter but idk what that transfer to GPS speed. SO FAR both mets have ran great even the second one that was horribly ABUSED! i have also had 2 ruckuses and although the ruckus has the rugged look I couldn’t get it to run as fast in a straight line as my met

  • Marcus Stacy

    my first metro was an 07 with 1500ish miles and I roller weights, spark plug, oil, and it ran great until 4500 miles when It was stolen… I recently picked up and 08 that i purchased at about 11PM. Next day I lookked it over in the light and it was ruff. someone had used it as a PIT BIKE…there was hay looking stuff inside the plastic radiator cover covering it all…It had 5000 miles on it and so far it runs great. I changed the oil, belt, spark plug etc. this met was serioiusly abused but I am doing my best to bring it back..just bought some pirelli tires and am getting a new rear rim( prvious one was bent like crazy)….

    For those looking for a little added performance…MY previous MET i added a variator for the transmission and it would barely exceed the dot passed the 40 mph mark. indicating about 46/47 mph on the scooter but idk what that transfer to GPS speed. SO FAR both mets have ran great even the second one that was horribly ABUSED! i have also had 2 ruckuses and although the ruckus has the rugged look I couldn’t get it to run as fast in a straight line as my met

  • Dave

    Two-wheelers with small wheels are very dangerous. They are inherently unstable. I’m talking from experience with Lambrettas and Vespas. Scooters with large wheels like the Aprilia are much safer. Also don’t try to make a scooter go faster than it is designed to go. They are designed to go a certain speed and the brakes are designed to stop them at that speed. If you make it go faster, how will it stop? Are you going to upgrade the brakes too?

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