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-   -   Got a 2009 Yamaha Zuma, 125cc (

Kincurd 03-21-2012 07:44 PM

Got a 2009 Yamaha Zuma, 125cc
Feels good to finally be back on two wheels, after nearly 6 years.

I originally thought I might get a CF Moto, but procrastinated, and it looks like the that company makes a fine engine, but cuts corners elsewhere, like tires. Plus I couldn't find a local dealer or a place to work on my own bike (outside of routine oil changes).

So I went with the air-cooled, EFI'd Yamaha Zuma 125. I found one with 850 miles on it, and paid about 2k. I calculated, if I were to get 70mpg on it (it's rated at 89mpg), and the miles I drive to and from work, and even factoring in the average 45mpg I get with my 02 Corolla (slight mods and hypermiling), the Scooter would pay for itself in about 2 years.

I plan to modify it heavily down the line, but for the first couple years or so, it'll be pretty much stock.

Just changed the motor/tranny oil yesterday (not knowing when the original owner last changed it, if at all; engine oil was dark brown, tranny oil was murky gray/black), and drove to work today. Got a little stuck in traffic this morning unfortunately; fatal accident on the highway, affecting the street I drive to work. :( But other than that, so far, so good.

The ignition won't start unless I'm applying one of the breaks. I am not sure that this feature is disabled while I'm moving though. I plan to test it in the parking lot. Update: The 'Engine Stop' button is kind of a neutral button. Your engine remains on, but the transmission is disengaged from the throttle. I'll be using that a lot, going forward. You simply press the switch like you would your high/low beams (only it's on the right handle-bar) for neutral/in-gear. It works smoothly when you flip-it down to engine-on (in-gear) while coasting. Update II: Okay, well it's not true-neutral, it merely disables the 'in-gear' mode (whatever it's called) and still hurts your rolling resistance; but it's good to hit it if you're rolling up to a stop light, as it'll kill your engine when you're fully-stopped, then you can switch it back to engine on, and of course start when it's about to turn green.

I haven't been killing the engine at red lights or anything yet. I'm still getting more comfortable on the bike and just being on two wheels in general again. I had to overcome the urge to apply the rear break, thinking it was the non-existent clutch lever when I first test-rode it.

I've been doing a lot of zuma-themed sketching and planning for Eco mods down the line. Lower seat (placing gas tank where storage compartment is), Aero-shell, and oil cooler are all on the way... eventually. :thumbup:

gil 03-21-2012 10:12 PM

Interesting note on the neutral switch, i have never heard of that before. Are you sure it's not the kill switch that is on every scooter.


mechman600 03-21-2012 10:41 PM


Originally Posted by gil (Post 294908)
Interesting note on the neutral switch, i have never heard of that before. Are you sure it's not the kill switch that is on every scooter.

Most (if not all) scooters have this safety feature. One brake needs to be applied before the starter will crank.

I had an older BW50 (almost the same as a Zuma 50). It was a 2-stroke and would do 42 mph stock. With higher primary gearing and 70cc big bore kit, it would do over 55 flat out. And over 60 when kneeling on the floor boards. It was surprisingly stable at that speed. And my fuel mileage increased substantially after the mods.

Kincurd 03-22-2012 12:10 AM

That's good that it's a standard feature.

In any case, when I found out how that switch works tonight, I was very happy.

I read that this model might have a rev limiter and that I can go down a hill and try and exceed 61mph to see if I can. If there's no rev limiter, it'll exceed 61mph fine.

Also, this one I bought already had the faulty '09 fuel pump fixed. Apparently, some of them had problems (like mine, before it was fixed by Yamaha).

Updated again. So it's not a true neutral, unfortunately. At lower speeds, coming to a stop, I can definitely feel the rolling resistance of the tranny. However, it's still useful for rolling up to a redlight and having it kill the engine as you come to a stop. I used that a couple times this morning.

So ultimately, I would like to switch it to a standard tranny, if possible. I'm sure there is a plethora of support for doing that, like with anything concerning the Zuma.

Also, although I've been killing the engine at long red-lights, I leave the key alone and so the headlight/taillights remain on. This might come back to bite me with the battery. Hopefully not.

bschloop 03-23-2012 06:37 AM

Is your Zuma considered a Motorcycle for registration, and insurance purposes? and does it keep up on the highway, and at what speeds?

Kincurd 03-23-2012 11:43 AM


Originally Posted by bschloop (Post 295246)
Is your Zuma considered a Motorcycle for registration, and insurance purposes? and does it keep up on the highway, and at what speeds?

Yes it is. I had to register it Monday. Insurance for me cost about $100 per year, and Colorado kind of gouges me on registration. On the plus side, I got to lower the rate on my car's insurance, because I now get to honestly report significantly less miles-per-year on the car. So if you actually use the scooter a ton, it pays for itself easily (I didn't factor in the insurance savings when calculating the 2-yr deal).

Technically, I'm allowed to ride it on highways. There are road hog laws here that would prevent me from slowing down left lanes, where applicable. I bet I could go above 60 on a level road with maybe a slight lean forward (rider weight matters a lot, the smaller bike you get. I'm sitting at 150lbs, but I weighed 180+ a couple years ago; oh and any headwind will hurt it too).

But I'm simply not factoring in Highway speeds for my daily commute. It's hard on the bike to be at full throttle, and it's hard on gas. Plus, what little highway I have access to, has a steep incline for part of it, and I'd slow down significantly. To top it all off, there's a dam road that parallels the highway, has a 40mph speed limit, and is less congested, so I just use that.

All in all, the slower speed limit route to work costs me up to 15 minutes extra time, but can be as little as 5-10 minutes more, since the main route tends to clog up.

I am yet to find its top speed. I want to have plenty of room when I do. Maybe this weekend at night, or something. Some Zuma 125s are also equipped with a rev-limiter, that won't allow you to go above 60, even on an incline, so I plan to find out that, as well. There are ways around it if that's the case.

If you ever get a Zuma, you'll find there's a metric ton of support out there, both through other Zuma owners, and lots of aftermarket things. I probably won't delve -too- heavily into purpose built aftermarket stuff, but small things have already been suggested to me, including tweaking the gear ratio for hyper-miling (with consideration for pure hyper-miling, and a balanced MPG/Torque-focused compromise).

Ps. I don't know what MPG I'm getting yet. I've been riding it since Tuesday when I first topped it off. If I'm not mistaken, I'm doing pretty well, MPG-wise. I plan on having an open-side Dustbin style set-up for this bike and sitting lower, so MPG is only going to get better, I hope.

Update on MPG: Filled the tank and it looks like it's getting about 80.45 mpg. Not too shabby for my first tank, and still getting used to the route.

Update on Top Speed:
So my Zuma probably has a rev limiter of sorts, as most 09's apparently do. I went down a decent incline on the highway when hardly any cars were around, and the speedo capped at 59 or so. I was leaned in and everything. This isn't a set-back or anything though, as the rev-limiter is there to prevent the engine from exploding, and not necessarily about limiting speed. It just gives me more reason to install different gears down the road, for a more fuel efficient gear ratio and easy rpms in the 40s, etc. With proper aerodynamics, it shouldn't hurt me too much in headwinds or hills. Fortunately, there is a ton of support for aftermarket gear ratios and how to install them. I'm gonna need a little guidance from the Zuma experts, and 12 ton hydraulic press (it sounded expensive, but one can be had for about $100-$200.)

All in all, it's very good news, that I can tweak the CVT to my heart's content. I will probably do that rather than go the manual-swap route.

People routinely up their 125 Zumas to 155cc. I was just reading about Matsu's old Spud from the 1980s vetter challenges, and how he increased it to 185cc. I'm not sure I'll ever increase the displacement of the engine, but again, it's possible this would also help fuel efficiency and general practicality of the bike down the road.

bschloop 03-26-2012 06:24 AM

Great call on not taking the highway, I usually try to avoid them anyway. Just wondering, thanks.

Kincurd 03-26-2012 02:58 PM

Yeah, no problem.

I'd be comfortable on the highway if it could climb a slight hill at 70mph. Maybe someday, with the streamlining and changed gear ratios. We'll see. :D

Xringer 03-30-2012 08:44 PM

I kinda like the 2012 Yamaha Zuma 50F
A four-stroke seems like it's going to get some good MPG..
They claim it can get 132 MPG!

Since the reviews show this scooter is amazing on hills, I'm pretty sure it could
be a good way to run out to pick up a Pizza or small stuff at the local market.
(~4 miles round trip).

2012 Yamaha Zuma 50F Home, information

If gas prices keep going up, I foresee a time when we have a situation where you can't even get gas without long lines etc..

Anybody test ride one of these yet??

Xringer 03-30-2012 08:51 PM


Originally Posted by Kincurd (Post 295858)
Yeah, no problem.

I'd be comfortable on the highway if it could climb a slight hill at 70mph. Maybe someday, with the streamlining and changed gear ratios. We'll see. :D

We have small hills all around us here, and low speed limits. I would love to get
a 125cc, but staying under 50cc saves a lot of headaches and expense.
Since a 50cc scooter is considered a Moped here, using it on the road
only requires buying a little license plate, and that's it.
The rules of the road for mopeds are a little strange, but seem like they might be pretty safe.

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