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About 5 years ago I spent 6 months travelling to work in London from Southampton. I needed to be in London for 8am, but finding a bus that would get me to the station in time was a non-starter. Timing a train to meet a bus again in the evening was equally problematic. After my first week, I gave up. Instead, I looked for second-hand scooter and found a one year old Piaggio Liberty 50 that had only 59 miles on the clock. I'm not known for impulse buys, but I was so hacked off with my first week of commuting, this find was too good to miss, so I bought it there and then. Impulse buys can often result in buyers blues a week later - that guilty feeling when you know you've just wasted your money and you feel stupid for doing so. Well, happily I experienced no such feeling. The scooter was brilliant. Now of course if you are looking for a speed machine, 49.38ccs (the .38 is important!) of throbbing 2-stroke engine is not what you are interested in. However, for those of you that want something to get you from one place to another at low cost and without having to pass motorcycle tests, the Liberty 50 will do the job very well indeed. Advantages ========== - It takes about £3 to fill the fuel tank. - Last time I worked it out, it did about 70-80 miles to the gallon. - Parking - as you drive round the car park for the third time looking for a space, think of the scooter/motorcycle rider that pulled straight into a space and didn't even pay anything for the privilege. - Congestion Charge: If the scheme in London spreads to other cities, the savings could pay for the scooter within a year. - Road tax cost me £15 for the year. - As long as you take care, traffic jams give you a warm glowy feeling as you cruise past them. - It's really simple to ride. You apply the brake and press the ignition button to start it; you turn the &
#39;twist and go' throttle thingy to go; and you apply the brakes to stop. Gears? Nope, don't need 'em. - If you get an open-face helmet, it fits under the saddle, so you don't need to carry it with you. - Despite its small engine it will just about get to 45 mph on the flat. - If you have a full driving licence you don't need to pass a motorcycle test, though if you've not been on a bike before, I recommend doing a Compulsory Basic Training session (CBT). They'll teach you lots of very simple things that could save your life. Disadvantages ============= - It won't do 150 mph, but if you want to do that, you wouldn't be reading an opinion about a Liberty 50 ;-) A couple of tips ================ - As you'll learn on your CBT, always switch you headlight on. Other drivers and riders will then have half a chance of seeing you. - For the same reason, don't go for trendy all-black clothing. Wear something bright. - Always carry a small tube of oil with you. IF you forget to fill up, it will get you home. - Don't be tempted to ride with just a t-shirt on. I know it is only a 50cc scooter, but if you fall off at 45 mph, I reckon it might hurt. Invest in a decent jacket - you're worth it. Techie Stuff ============ I deliberately put this towards the end of my 'op' as, who cares? But just in case you do: Engine: Single cylinder 2-strke 49.38cc Fuel System: Leaded or unleaded petrol-oil mixture and carburettor. Lubrication: Separate lubrication of engine by oil supplied by mixer pump with variable flow rate according to throttle position and engine speed. Transmission: Expanding pulley type automatic speed variator with vee belt, centrifugal clutch, torque regulator and gear final drive
. Fuel tank: 5.5l Wheels: Front: 1.6 x 16" Rear: 2.5 x 16" Brakes: Front: Disk brake with hydraulic linkage Rear: Drum brake with mechanical linkage That's quite enough of that!!! Means nothing to me anyway. Summary ======= If you are looking for a cheap alternative to running a car that doesn't involve exercise, a scooter is the perfect answer and the Liberty 50 is an excellent choice. Enjoy!