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How do you like the little wheel in front of your scooter?

3721 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  hotshoetom
Hi, I have got people telling me how dangerous my small wheel in front of the scooter is because of the dangers of flipping over. Do any of you think this wheel is to small or can my scooter flip if the wheel falls in a large pothole?

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I don't intend to take my Majesty "off road". If you're driving on a road with potholes large enough to 'flip' a Majesty, te big bikes will be complaining too. I just avoid the dirt roads to begin with for safety reasons.
some of the roads that i ride on, are little more than goat tracks. they are paved, but loaded with joins, and repairs (and some substartial holes), and apart from a little tram-lining, i have had no problem's at all.

Scooterman, your friends show an admirable care for your well-being and a less-than-admirable understanding of real-world physics.
I had a friend who gave up riding after he flipped when he rode his regular motorcycle into a pothole. Everyone has to look out for that stuff.

I haven't studied this, but because the engine is mounted further back, behind the step-thru, I imagine scooters to be lighter in the front than motorcycles so although the wheels are smaller, it may be more willing to jump back out of a hole.

By the way, when faced with a pothole, it's better to brake hard BEFORE you reach it, and then release the brakes, or even accelerate as you cross the hole (or other hazard). This makes the front of the bike lighter and less likely to flip.

This friend that was telling me this rode a Harley for 10 years before gaving it up. He said large wheel in front is better then small wheel because it would bounce out of hole better then small one.

while it's true that a small wheel will be more likely to have this result, a pot hole large enough to actually flip any bike, should be clearly visable miles away, and therefore, easily avoided.

(unless your not paying attention when riding?)

Here's the thing: If you hit an 8" curb straight on at speed with a sport bike, scooter or Harley, that front wheel is going to stop turning and you are going to wind up with a bent bike and probably a bent self.

Now, there are curb heights that will stop a Majesty wheel, but not a Harley or sport bike wheel. But if you hit one of these on another bike at a speed that would flip a Majesty, you are going to crash badly on one of those bikes too - whether or not you flip.

In general, the higher the centre of gravity and shorter the wheelbase, the easier it is to flip a bike. A bike can also flip with the front wheel still rolling.

I could go on about translational and rotational kinetic energy, inelastic collisions and conservation of angular momentum, but instead I'll state that it is a bad idea to hit obstacles on street motorcycles. And that is what I mean by practical physics.
[What Ron said: Ditto.]
I'll toss in my 2 cents worth.
Several years ago, I was sitting at a red light around 1 in the morning, having just gotten off from work. A rider came through the intersection at about 30 mph (personal estimate) on a full dressed Gold Wing, without bothering to turn. He hit a standard 6" curb straight on. The Gold Wing didn't stop, it went airborn. The bike hit a steel piling (being installed for a new structure) 30' from the road at about 20' up. That is when the bike stopped, not the rider. Fortunately, he landed in some freshly graded fill dirt about 40' further out. If he had not been so intoxicated, he probably would not have survived.
My point is, when you hit something, being a hole or object, it doesn't matter what size your ride is, something bad is going to happen.
Ride safe (and sober).....

A whole that big is usually called a ditch... :D

Congratulate your friend on giving up the Harley, but let him know that the Majesty can handle adverse road surfaces quite well, even with a smaller wheel than a cruiser. It is not easy to comprehend all of the physics involved when hitting a rather large pothole, but I have hit many and the front end never waivered more than any other motorcycle that I can remember in a similar situation. The good thing about the scoot is that with its nimble handling and positive feedback, you might actually avoid some of those nasty critters where a heavier bike would not. The rear center of weight also helps in panic breaking situations allowing one to over brake on the front without tucking the front and ending up on the asphalt. It has saved me many times already where I am sure I would not have made the stop on a front engine bike. I personally think the Majesty is one of the safest two-wheeled machines out there today.
What Texas said...well said!!! The Majesty is truly one of the most predictable to ride and well thought out bikes on the planet. Are their compromises? Sure. Just like anything. But Yamaha balanced out many of those factors in a way that makes the bike easy to live with, safe to use, and normal small potholes may give you a jolt but you are in no danger of flipping the bike. If the hole is big enough you would try to avoid it in a car, then you definitely should avoid it on a bike. Ride slow enough that you can see the obstacles and have time to avoid them. Make sure you dont follow so close that you dont have time to avoid them as they appear. Do those things and you will be fine.

Hotshoe Tom
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