A problem with having an oversized two-car garage is that it’s oversized enough to comfortably store other things besides the two cars that we have. Most of our neighbors don’t even park inside their garages – their cars can’t fit because of all the junk in there! We’re talking 3,000 sq. ft homes with 4-5 people living in them yet somehow the stuff ends up taking over the garage. I guess we’re doing a decent job keeping the stuff contained since our garage is reserved exclusively for our cars, bikes and tools.
There is a perfect spot for a motorcycle in the garage. It’s off to the side where it doesn’t interfere with car doors. There is an outlet to plug in a trickle charger. There is a spot to hang all the gear. A Honda Nighthawk was parked there followed by a Honda Ruckus. Both were sold but the spot wasn’t empty for long.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m addicted to anything with two wheels and a motor. When I’m not riding I’m reading about it. When I don’t have one I’m browsing Craigslist. “Just for fun”.
Word of advice – if you don’t want to end up with a bike stop browsing Craigslist. Trust me, sooner or later you will see a deal too good to pass up.
That’s how I ended up with a new toy. I had no intention of buying another scooter to replace the Honda Ruckus but then I saw an ad that caught my eye. A 2009 Genuine Blur 220i with only 950 miles listed for $1,900. I didn’t know anything about this particular model besides knowing that with 4 times the displacement of my Ruckus it should be a lot faster. After reading several reviews raving about its performance and handling I was intrigued enough to contact the seller.
The seller was 5 minutes away from work so I left during lunch, but not before stopping by the bank to take out $1,200 cash. I figured the bike was definitely worth at least $1,500. These sold for $4,000 new and this one only had 950 miles on the odometer. If I bought it for $1,200, rode for a couple of months and then decided that I didn’t like it, I could still break even if I sold it myself. The Craigslist ad didn’t do the scooter justice and I knew I could shine it up and resell easily.
A middle-aged lady met me and showed the scooter. It was parked on the street, dirty, with a For Sale sign taped to the windscreen. But it started right up, had 950 miles on the odometer and handled wonderfully. Plus, it had some other extras not even mentioned in the ad worth close to $500: a sheepskin pad, a trickle charger, a luggage rack and a top case and a helmet. There was some road rash on the fairing from when the lady dropped it on a gravel road. Purely cosmetic damage. Still, it was a one-owner bike with all the paperwork from a local dealer.
As we were talking, the scooter lady mentioned that she was moving to Texas and this was the last of the 3 bikes that she needed to sell. I decided to low-ball and offered $900 cash. At that price and with $500 in brand new accessories I knew I could clean it up and make some serious money if I decided not to keep it.
When making a low-ball offer it’s helpful to flash the cash and that’s exactly what I did. The lady needed to sell and a deal was made. Not wanting to risk seller’s remorse, I asked for the title and a Bill of Sale, got two sets of keys and rode away leaving my car parked by the scooter lady’s house. All the accessories were locked safely in the car.
When I got home I washed and polished the Blur. It looked brand new minus the road rash.
At $900 it was one of the best deals I’ve ever made on a bike, even without the $500 in accessories. Based on other Blur listings I saw I’d have no problems doubling my money.
The problem is I had that empty spot in the garage. I decided to keep the scooter and see if I like it.
Compared to the Genuine Blur 220i scooter, the Honda Ruckus moped that I sold had some advantages.
- First of all, it was cheaper to keep on the road. A Honda Ruckus has a 50cc engine which qualifies it as a moped and as such, you don’t need to pay for insurance or inspections. That alone would save me $120 per year.
- Honda Ruckus is better on gas averaging 100 mpg vs. Blur’s 65 mpg.
- Honda Ruckus is slightly easier to work on and is slightly cheaper to maintain. But we are talking dollars here, not hundreds of dollars.
Other than that, I’ll take the Genuine Blur over Honda Ruckus any day. The Blur is:
- Faster. As in OMG-I-Can’t-Believe-How-Much-Faster-It-Is! With 220 cc’s the Genuine Blur scooter is highway legal and will do 70 mph. No, it’s not a highway cruiser by any stretch of imagination but it feels just fine for a couple of exits and will keep up with traffic. Around town the Blur will beat pretty much any car from a stop light. It feels very fast and it’s very easy to ride with confidence. A Honda Ruckus is often a road block while a Genuine Blur is always in the lead. Just twist the throttle to get that tailgater off your tail.
- More fun. Partly due to speed, partly due to longer wheelbase, larger wheels and a more substantial chassis, the Blur is a lot more fun to ride than a Honda Ruckus. Around town it feels like a mini sport bike begging to be ridden hard. Blur’s handling is unlike any other scooter I’ve ridden. It’s light, nimble, agile and precise. I was skeptical reading some reviews referring to the Genuine Blur 220 as the “sport bike of scooters”. After riding it I see what they were talking about.
- More comfortable. Genuine Blur is taller than a Honda Ruckus. The seat is bigger and unlike the Ruckus there is room for a passenger. From this tall seat you have a much better view of the road ahead. On a Blur your eyes are roughly level with a Suburban driver while on a Ruckus you feel like you are driving a Miata.
- More functional. Genuine Blur delivers on what matters to most scooter riders. It has a lockable under seat storage big enough for a full-size helmet. With a rack and a top box it can haul a ton of stuff protected from the elements. It has nice instrumentation, cigarette lighter port, genius one key locking system with a built-in gas cap release, the best gas tank filler I’ve ever seen on a bike, excellent lighting and a bunch of other little things that make a scooter feel special. Genuine built a lot of value into this scooter and it really shows.
- More reliable. Genuine Blur is fuel injected. This is my first bike with FI and I’m a believer. Since bikes often sit for months without starting, FI just makes sense. I’ve messed with dirty carbs enough to appreciate the no-hassle that only fuel injection can offer. Genuine Blur started each and every time at a first push of a button, even after sitting for several months. Keep your carbs – FI-only on a daily rider from now on.
- Safer. Genuine Blur has exceptional disc brakes front and rear. Seriously, this thing stops better than a lot of motorcycles. Better acceleration, better braking, better handling, better visibility = safer riding. I can definitely see myself enjoying a Honda Ruckus in a place like Key West but I feel a lot better on a Genuine Blur riding the roads around here.
It should be clear by now that I’m really enjoying the Blur so far. I love the flexibility of being able to jump on the highway when needed. There is a nasty section on my commute where I can save at least 10 minutes by getting on a highway instead of using the local road that gets clogged around an office park. On a Honda Ruckus I had no other option but to crawl through the lights. On a Blur I get on a highway for 7 miles to go around the mess. I also love that I can keep up with traffic now never feeling like a rolling road block as I did on the Ruckus. Combined with the other positives I’ve mentioned I feel like this scooter is a keeper.
As far as the negatives, I can come up with just one – range. The gas gauge starts blinking at 90 miles and I have to fill up before 110 miles or risk running out of fuel. If only Genuine could squeeze another gallon in there! If it could go 180 miles between fill-ups a Blur would be a perfect scooter for me!
If you need a capable commuter I’d recommend checking out a Genuine Blur 220i scooter. They don’t make them anymore so you’d have to buy used but there are enough of them out there to find a good one. Most people don’t know what they are so used prices are very reasonable, especially if you can find a deal like this.
As for me, the empty spot in the garage has been claimed once again. I’m enjoying the Blur and staying off Craigslist. Though I do have an auto notification search set up for a Honda Forza…