Post by willruck808 on Nov 6, 2013 18:38:13 GMT -5
My daily driver is a F350 ford truck that I bought in 1999 to pull my boat. Too big to run errands around town. I needed a 2nd set of wheels. So I bought a 2003 QUINGJANG 125cc 4t delivered to my door in a crate. I was told that they were disposeable, to just ride it till it breaks and buy a new one. So it was gas and go for the first couple of years and I did change the oil once or twice. It was always hard to start, but if I started it every day it would go,if I missed a week, it would take for ever to fire or drain the battery trying. I enjoyed riding it around town so much that the rides were getting longer. Could not find a scooter shop to work on my " piece of chinese junk" and I did not know much myself. Couple of years ago my 2 year old grandson came to visit,he could not talk at the time but would grab my hand and drag me out to the garage and make me take him riding on the scooter,no fear! what a bonding experience for us both. I decided to work on the scooter and make it into a 'skelly' the lights were not working also the speedo stopped at 12000kms and the plastics were zipped tied on. Found the old SCOOTDAWG forum,wow!!! Learned a lot. Thankyou thankyou. Changed the spark plug, fuel lines and even an after market air filter., learned how to adjust valves,wow, I was having fun. This is after almost 10 years of gas and go. This year I swapped the motor into a used RUCKUS frame that did not have a motor. The 125cc is still original and running strong and healthy. I did replace a carb ,another spark plug and a new coil and new tires.Learned that cleaning and rejetting the carb makes a big difference on performance. Still have the original rollers and BELT.That will be my next lesson. I t's not just a scooter any more. "ITS THE RIDE"
They are definitely not disposable here in Vegas! Look on craigslist for Vegas, all you see is adds offering to buy your used scooter, hardly any ads offering one for sell, and the guys placing the buy ads probably swoop those up quick as well.
What amazes me is there aren't more garages that are willing to work on them. They are actually very easy to work on, can be modified in many ways, and have decently priced and easy to locate parts for repair and or replacement. I'm seeing more and more on the road over the past few years (recession I'm sure), if they maintain their popularity, I could see a nationwide chain of repair shops being a possibility! Takes less space than car centered shops, there is greater uniformity in the engines and drive trains used than with cars, less complexity or need for high tech repair equipment than with cars, overall much less overhead to run a scooter tune-up and repair shop. Get a recognized (inter)national mechanics association to offer a certification course, and cha-ching!
Post by oldchopperguy on Nov 7, 2013 2:35:22 GMT -5
Welcome aboard! I can't imagine considering ANYTHING that runs as "disposable"... Of course, I'm a bit of a hoarder in my old age... LOL! And it sounds like you've got a slick scoot!
I just traded in my original Chinese 150 on a used Kymco 250. The old 150 was a great ride for 6 years. It did all the irritating "things Chinese" but as you say, the fixes are usually easy and inexpensive and I learned a lot. I finally had ALL the Chinese bugs worked out and the only reason I "upsized" was because local roads were radically changed this year, requiring a ride that will keep up with faster traffic than the 150 could muster. Whomever buys my old one will be getting a very good scooter at a good price.
I spoke at length with the dealer where I traded my Xingyue, and got my Kymco concerning just what you mentioned. "Why don't shops want to work on Chinese scoots since the fixes are usually simple and the parts cheap?" He told me that the problem is that even the simplest fix requires more labor charge than the typical Chinese scooter rider is willing to pay for.
A brick n' mortar store costs a fortune to keep the doors open. They must charge a hefty hourly fee, and nobody wants to pay $100 to install a $20 part. He used to sell new Chinese scoots, but warranty work killed the small profit from the sale and later post-warranty work often cost as much for labor, as a new scooter, for one repair (and you KNOW it will be back again for more work in a few months).. People can justify a $700 repair on a $5,000 scooter but absolutely balk at that same $700 repair on a $600 scooter. It's a shame, but I can understand.
I think Chinese scooters will most likely remain in the domain of the "rider-maintained" breed unless they make quantum-leaps in reliability, and purchase price, justifying expensive shop repairs. And THAT would sort of undermine the entire "cheap as dirt" Chinese scooter experience. I believe they were (like the Model-T Ford, Volkswagen Beetle and the AK-47 assault-rifle) intended to be affordable, and simple enough for the untrained owners to keep running.
They do "unusual" things, like mine when the rear disk-caliper just "stopped working". I spent over 40 hours diagnosing the problem, only to finally find out the disk is too thin for the caliper (which is also used on thicker disks on ATV's). Once the pads wear a little, the pistons move TOO far out, and will not return, rendering the caliper "dead".
I had to get a new caliper (cheap enough) and fab up a "spacer" from an old pad to close the gap. Then the brake worked perfectly. Even a good mechanic used to Japanese or European cycles might have encountered the same tedious diagnosis I ran into, and, the customer would NOT have wanted to pay the $3,000 labor charge.
Such weird problems plague Chinese scooters. Owners understand, and can deal with them pretty well, justifying the time spent because of the low initial, and parts cost. A dealer cannot afford to fool with these things, so they stick with selling more reliable models and survive on the profits from sales of new and used higher-end rides. These also do not bring the nightmare of warranty and repair headaches that will put a shop out of business in short order.
In 6 years, I only spent around $300 in repair parts, and the scooter only cost $700 brand-new. BUT... I probably spent more than $20,000 in shop-labor as a shop would have had to charge to stay afloat. In my worst nightmares, I can't imagine attempting to make a living repairing and/or modding Chinese scooters that only cost a grand, brand-new. As useful as they are, even a paid oil change, or tune up has to cost a significant percentage of the whole scooter's purchase price. Changing both tires can EQUAL the price of a cheap new scoot. They are victims of their own low cost... LOL... I think...
Jerry - We have the largest Aprilia dealer in the nation here in Tampa FL and they will work on any bike including a Chinese bike if a local parts distributor such as Parts for Scooters or one of the national suppliers they have an account with can get them the parts for it. They leave it up to the customer to determine if the bike is worth it or not and just give them their best shot at an estimate. They do charge a shop rate of $ an hour but have a 1/3 hour minimum to allow for a quick $32 repair.
The will also give a fair trade-in on a Chinese scooter toward any of the bikes they sell which is just about every major brand out there as a licensed dealer to Eton.
There is a niche to fill here and someone who has the ability to work on these can make some decent side money from the locals. Everybody sees me on mine and asks questions. Next thing you know they have one and more questions. I dont have overhead but I know where to order parts and how to do most repairs so Ive had good luck doing some odd jobs and having spare parts on hand helps too. Keeps the inventory from overflowing. Most people will watch and some will know how to do that repair themselves in the future, but in most cases the next time it will be something new they havent seen or done before.
Post by larry001964 on Nov 7, 2013 11:29:05 GMT -5
Hummm disposable ? well maybe for some, but not me.. I have put my little scoot thru some of the worst stuff. It has gotten me thru the worst periods in my life, When it would break i would fix it, and it's cheap parts kept me going when i had nothing left.. It has helped me rebuild my life, and even today when things get tough and money is very tight still pulls me thru... Disposable ? no way not mine.. Call me sentimental..
My Car is nice, but my scooter it has earned it's place in my home.. Actually it's the reason i have a home and car..
Post by onewheeldrive on Nov 7, 2013 15:48:00 GMT -5
I can't say I'll always have a "Chinese" scooter, but it's been reliable for the most part. It has it's ups and downs for sure. Once you find forums, manuals, and parts vendors--- it's a much better experience. Only real major headaches, for me, have been crank bearing failures.