Using a motorized scooter/moped on STX
Recently moved to STX with three other people. We bough a car but are splitting it four ways. That is going to get tricky though with different schedules. Does anyone recommend using a scooter on the island or no? I haven't seen many people using them.
Almost nobody rides two-wheelers here, because of the road conditions: potholes, curves, overgrown brush, bad drivers, rain, etc.
Plenty of people ride bikes on STX. Most of the time very safely. Personally I find it easier to avoid the potholes being on 2 wheels than 4. I don't advise riding at night as it's more difficult to see the road (and be seen), also be careful with afternoon shadows across the road which make the divots harder to spot. You need to keep your focus so I'd advise a zero tolerance policy (no adult beverages) when riding, plus you spill too much anyway. Get something with big wheels/tires to handle the occasional bump, and don't ride like some of the clowns on sport bikes. Every time I see these young guys winding it out I only visualize future organ donors.
The hardest thing will be finding a bike - good luck! 😎
Take the potholes SERIOUSLY. In a car, you miss one, it goes bump. On a bike, you miss one, you probably go bump on the street.
I've been riding for 30 years. It take concentration and some luck to ride safely. Remember there are two types of riders those who have been down and those who are going down. Think that all cagers are trying to run you down and allow for there stupidity.
The wheels are too small on scooters, compared to the potholes. You WILL crash and burn.
As a motorcyclist for over 44 years, I've thought about having a bike on STX when I move down. My feeling is that a duel sport type bike, street legal dirt bike, would be ideal. You don't need a lot of power and the larger rims would allow it to negotiate roads like Mahogany Road with ease.
This is not the place to learn how to ride a scooter/motorcycle. There is so much loose gravel everywhere. In a car you hardly notice it but on a scooter it's pretty dangerous, then add rain. Roads are dangerous, cars will often straddle the middle of the road going around a blind curve to avoid going through a rain puddle. Leaning to ride a bike is not as easy as it seems, especially doing it well, as the high mortality rate that goes with a bike. At least take a class stateside before you try it here.
Also if you are not handy, it is hard to get your bike fixed and you will have to order most parts. Bikes break down more often then cars, well maybe not american cars. 😉
I strongly recommend against it.
Anyone considering a bike might want to talk with those who ride here, instead of the cagers who keep telling you it's too dangerous.
Yes there are bad roads and potholes, but unless your an idiot you aren't travelling at high speeds and can safely navigate the conditions. You can't control other drivers so have to be more vigilant and aware - no alcohol!
And it's probably not the best location for inexperienced riders (although I'm one). An example is the cop that dropped a bike across from the Pickled Greek last week. He wasn't even supposed to be riding it, so it was hushed up and never made the papers. Inexperienced, he hit a pot hole and lost control. They carted him off in the blood wagon (translated: ambulance).
Next day, instead of effecting repairs, they simply painted some orange marks right near the holes, but missed the ones less than 20 feet away that were twice as deep. Guess that's DPW's new approach to road safety. 😎
I suspect those orange marks were made by the PD as part of the investigation, but I, too, did chuckle when I saw them.
Also if you are not handy, it is hard to get your bike fixed and you will have to order most parts. Bikes break down more often then cars
Well... I disagree; properly maintained bikes don't break down more often than cars. But bikes do require more attention than cars do. You have to know how to change oil and spark plugs, clean a chain, and take proper care of a battery in tropical conditions. And then you have to do those things, regularly. And then, you need to find someone who is genuinely good at motorcycle repair who finds it worth his while to help you (harder than it would seem, since most good mechanics can make more $ with less work in fixing cars). If you're the kind of biker who relies on the service shop to do all that, you will either learn fast or sell your bike pretty quickly.
It is definitely a pain to get parts, although I have had a lot of luck using eBay. Some of the guys I know use distributors through South America to get OEM parts; they say that is cheaper and faster than going through Puerto Rico or other U.S.-based avenues. Haven't tried it myself.
Bottom line: If you love to ride, know how to drive a motorcycle, and are willing to take good care of a bike, it is a rewarding way to get around. But if you're just looking for cheap wheels, don't go this route -- save up for a $2K island beater, you will ultimately save a lot of hassle, money, and possibly your life.
Are the comments speaking both about bicycles and motorized 2 wheelers? I'm getting confused!
I don't think anyone's talking about pedal-powered bikes -- I sure wasn't!