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View Full Version : First post. Considering Mana. First Bike....



dougl
03-09-2009, 04:42 PM
Intro first would be helpful I suppose! My name is Doug and I have been drooling over the Mana since I first heard about it. They seem quite good value now as ex-demonstrators....

I have two scooters at the moment; some of you may know me from Modern Vespa: I have a 300 GTS and a Honda SH300 (nicknamed the SHitty).

Today I finally got a chance to sit on one at Metropolis in London. Don't worry, I won't be buying from them as their reputation precedes them! It felt ever so slightly strange, but that wasn't a huge surprise. I am sure that I would get use to the different riding position given time. Liked it a lot. Was worried that my short inside leg measurement might hinder me, but it actually felt perfect - I am 5'10" with a 30" inside leg.

My licence becomes a deresricted one in a couple of months time, and I am really looking forward to the test ride. Have many of you made the change from small, nippy scooter to a Mana? Also interested as to how it performs in London traffic. I did plonk myself on a friends Gilera GP800, but in comparison to the Mana, it felt huge and unwieldy!

Any opinions welcome... I may just add to my collection of scooters!

shadyman
03-10-2009, 08:07 AM
I have a 29" inseam & have no problems. The Mana loves traffic, although you have to get used to it. Just keep practicing.

dougl
03-10-2009, 08:42 AM
I have a 29" inseam & have no problems. The Mana loves traffic, although you have to get used to it. Just keep practicing.

I am quite used to traffic! And big wheeled scooters, and weight. One of my previous scoots was a heavy MP3 400.

tha-mask
03-10-2009, 12:32 PM
Dougl.

I have been commuting on the Mana now for about 9 months from basildon into the west end, I think in that time I have seen 1 other mana :confused:

Before the Mana I had the Gilera Nexus 500 and before that I have owned the T-Max, C1 200, Burgman 400, Piaggio X9 250 and a runner VX125.

My mileage is about 65 miles per day and have now got 12,000 miles on the mana. Have to say I absolutely LOVE it. Yes the riding position is a little strange for a while, but you get used to it.

I havent had any serious issues with it. Some minor ones, but its such a new bike that it will be a few years before all the bugs have been discovered and ironed out. I had the top box fitted and the screen, both essential really.

As you say on Ex-demo there seem to be quite a few good buys at the moment.

As for dealers there was one in the city, but that has now closed. I recently had my bike serviced at Souther Cross in Kilburn and they seemed very good, I was pleased with the service I got. Keep in mind that quite a few dealers are now not doing any warranty work unless the bike was purchased from them.

Anything else you need to know just ask.

dougl
03-10-2009, 07:47 PM
Mask, my licence doesn't allow me to ride a Mana for a short while! Do you pass Wanstead on the A12 on your way to work? Or maybe I could pop out to Basildon for a wee natter some weekend? On my Sh 300!!

Doug

williamr
03-11-2009, 05:24 AM
I was going to post saying that the Mana is too big for a first bike, but with two years on a full restricted UK licence that doesn't apply to you.

If you're looking for a bigger, faster scoot with better handling it's ideal. Size isn't an issue. I'm 5'7" with a 29" inside leg and I haven't found a bike yet that I can't manage. You'll piss it.

Rob.

tha-mask
03-11-2009, 09:08 AM
Mask, my licence doesn't allow me to ride a Mana for a short while! Do you pass Wanstead on the A12 on your way to work? Or maybe I could pop out to Basildon for a wee natter some weekend? On my Sh 300!!

Doug

Doug.

I go down the A13 into Limehouse and then into the west end. Happy to meet afterwork somewhere, where do you work ??

Mark

dougl
03-11-2009, 01:35 PM
Hi Mark! I work in West Smithfield. Southern Cross are now no longer Aprilia dealers. Apparently Piaggio group are removing franchises from smaller outlets. They are obviously looking at the Honda model. The only dealer in London is now Metropolis and they can, well you get my drift...

What about Newcombe in Chelmsford? Finding a dealer is going to be difficult!

Meeting for a natter after work sometime would be good. I know some of the members on maxi-muppets as I met them at a Thompsons bash in St Albans last year. I am really getting a big itch for one of these. For some reason the GP does nothing for me.

dougl
03-11-2009, 01:48 PM
I was going to post saying that the Mana is too big for a first bike, but with two years on a full restricted UK licence that doesn't apply to you.

If you're looking for a bigger, faster scoot with better handling it's ideal. Size isn't an issue. I'm 5'7" with a 29" inside leg and I haven't found a bike yet that I can't manage. You'll piss it.

Rob.


It did feel a bit strange. Just not used to the knees splayed around a tank. Of course I will get used to it. I could almost flat foot it!

I enjoy riding both the Vespa and the SH(itty). The SH handles a lot better and is remarkably sprightly in town.... Thought I would never be interested in a bike. Things change though. I am doing my first trip to Europe in couple of weeks time (Vespa), some of the rest of the group will be riding GP800s etc.

tha-mask
03-13-2009, 05:30 AM
Doug.

Interesting about southercross, I was told by them they were still Aprilia dealers, unless this has changed in the last month. They have an ex-demo with screen and first service included for 4899 which is a great price. I paid 5500 back in May 08 for my ex-demo. I'm going there this afternoon so will ask them about their status as Aprilia dealer.

I got mine from Onyerbike in Aylesbury. Good dealer and a huge place, but quite a long way to go for services, which is why I tried Southern cross.

I havent heard good things about Newcombe. They had my mana when I had a problem and they diagnosed all sorts of strange issues with the ECU. In the end I had ONyerbike pick it up from Newcombe and all it was was a dodgy connection to the starter motor. Also on the muppet site a few people have had bad experiences. I can recommend Onyerbike if you want to travel to Aylesbury.

Lets wait till it gets a little lighter after work then we can meet up, just PM me on the muppets site to arrange a place.

dougl
03-13-2009, 01:02 PM
I'm not even a member of Maxi-Muppets! Maybe I will try OnYerBike when I come to buy. I have just met them at a Thompsons annual gettogether as I bought a Vespa from there. Maybe a few of them will be at the Ace on Sunday! Southern Cross are still going to be an Aprilia Service Agent but not a sales dealer.

tha-mask
03-14-2009, 02:38 AM
yes thats what they told me last night. I remember now that was a reason for not doing any warranty work on my Mana. Though I think they said if it was something minor that would be fine, but anything major and it would have to go back to Onyerbike.

They do still have the Mana ex-demo left though, they said that and a small habana was all they had left of their Aprilia stock.

I think therefore you could do a very good deal on their ex demo, and they would still be able to service it. I have bought most of my scoots without a test drive first !!!!!! An impulse buyer me :)

alfamoi
03-14-2009, 08:58 AM
Helloooo Dougl. Welcome on board :D
already read you somewhere;)

I don't know how much km you have to do for work, but in many case the Vespa is unbeatable.
A bigger trunk, a good weather protection, turns on the spot, winds in the smallest space,better comfort:saddle, and hearing(if you do a lot of km, you'll need the big screen,and with the big screen comes a biiig sound :crybaby: (lot more than with the screen of the Vespa250, even at slow speed. It start around 80km/h)).
Consumption and I surely forgot some...
And there's no problem to ride through Europe with it (You've surely seen that I've made a lot of long trip through Europe without problems, even with bikers who had problem's to follow me:lame:

If I bough the Mana, this is to stop to use the engine of the Vespa that it was all time at the red zone on long run; to have more engine break and to hear changes of regime at each change of reports. :D)
This bike is just the clever roadster you can find for the moment. This gearbox is great & funny (even if, as in my case that i don't use my bike in town, I only use it in manual.) The trunk is what I was searching on a bike. The look, each his taste, but I like it a lot.
You will not be disappointed by the chassis, because it it sticks to the road and is very nervous, as your Vespa.(well, I mean, it's an Italian roadster,not a BMW LT.)
The engine is fine. Good vibrations and torque in the first rotations, and hit quickly the red light in the high (pfff sorry for my English.... :crowbar:) but should have 20-30Hp more.
But the position, the weight, get you tired earlier on small mountain roads.
And You have to know that the Mana turns wider than your double-decker.... :D

So, if You just need it for the fun, sell your Shitty, keep your Vespa and take a mana (or a shiver ;) )
If you're not far away of the town, stay with your vespa;
If you're too far away from the city, the mana is good for everything, so you can't go wrong with it!

:cathat:

ps: If you're a all year rider, especially if you mainly drive in the city,the abs is not superfluous

dougl
03-14-2009, 04:22 PM
Not sure where you have read me before alfamoi!!

Unfortunately, I think if one has to be sold to buy the Mana then it will have to be the Vespa. As you say, the Honda has ABS which is a godsend. The Honda is a better scooter than the Vespa at the end of the day.

I have sat on a Mana today and started the engine and toggled through the gear modes. This was at Southern Cross. The salesman owns one and the service guy is also running the demo at the moment. Both seem to love them to bits, which is great praise indeed, considering their other options.

ManaSport
03-15-2009, 10:54 AM
The Honda SH300s are nice, too bad they dont sell in the US. I like big wheel scooters. The Mana is great, I have been borrowing my friends Mana a few times, but I want to wait for the GT, and also we are trying to find what the issue is with insurance, he can insure a Vstrom 1000, Suzuki Gladiator, Honda Shadow, even a Yamaha Vmax for under 1K per year with the same coverages, but the Mana is costing 1400 as the lowest rate he can get from any provider (no esurance scam)

alfamoi
03-15-2009, 03:05 PM
Dougl, I've read you on ModernVespa... :rolleyes:
heeee.... What is the advantage of a large wheel scoot?
A smaller trunk and less comfortable in the city?? For that, you will have the Mana :happy:
(ok, you've understod, I don't like plastic...)

tha-mask
03-16-2009, 12:26 PM
Doug.

What did you think then after your visit to southern cross ???

Any deals to be done ??

dougl
03-16-2009, 03:05 PM
Alfamoi, despite my loving the Vespa's looks, the Honda IS the better scooter, both in the city and out of the city. It is actually MORE manoeuverable than the Vespa due to its slimmer arse.

Mark, I am not quite ready to buy. I think Southern Cross would be ready to deal - I am going to wait 'til Summertime. I so want one though, that I am becoming quite obsessive! The sensible thing is to wait until the insurance runs out on the Vespa and buy the Mana, insuring the Vespa with it on a Multi Bike policy. I will then take my time and decide which one I would rather keep, as the Honda is on its own policy at the moment. If the Mana proves better than the Honda, then the Honda will go and the Vespa will stay.

Of course, if I test ride the Mana and no likey, then will not buy.

Another thing to consider; is there room for two Italians in my stable? Indeed, is there room for three in my stable??? It would be good to keep all three, just not very practical.

ManaSport
03-21-2009, 09:23 PM
What is the Average 600 mile service price for the Mana 850 and the regular 3000 mile services in the US?

In the UK they mentioned about 800 for annual servicing with the Mana 850

dougl
03-22-2009, 06:17 AM
There isn't a 3000 mile service. It is a once a year 10000km service which is about 6000 miles AFTER the initial 600 mile (1000km) service has been done. This is the same interval as all Piaggio products, 250 and above.

pete roper
03-22-2009, 06:58 AM
It really depends what items you consider to be 'Dealer Serviceable' and what your mileage is. Do you consider lubing tightening the chain something that only the dealer can do? If so then you're going to be paying more than someone who does the simple stuff themselves.

The *stuff* that involves taking covers off and weilding spanners in the greasy bits are few and far between. Probably the biggest expense is going to be belt changes in that regard as while this isn't particularly hard it IS time consuming and most owners won't have the special tools or their equivalent available. I dunno exactly how long it would take but my guess is probably about 2 and 1/2 hours the first time. Once your shop has done it once it'd probably get quicker but they won't tell you that:D.

All the 'Regular' stuff is incredibly quick and easy. Oil change with filter requires oil, (duh!) filter and an o-ring fo the drain plug and a 17mm spanner.

Air filter tequires a 5mm allen key and maybe a phillips head screwdriver but I think it just sits under the cover which is retained by 6mm allen bolts, (6mm x1mm thread, 5mm hex head.)

Brake fluid once a year about 1/2 an hour if you have a decent master-vac, if that.

Fork oil? I do mine when I feel it needs it but I'd be surprised if it needed doing before 10,000 miles. I think it needs something a bit thicker than the lizard piss they have in though, at least they do for the way I ride.

Once the TPS has been checked once it is unlikely it will need re-setting for a long while. Yes I check mine every service but it never changes by more than 0.1 of a degree which is probably accountable for by spindle clearance on the butterfly. I mean how often do people get the EFI serviced on their cars? Never is the answer unless something goes wrong. Why should the 'Prila be any different?

Chain and sprockets? Mine has needed tightening ONCE in 7,000 km. I keep it clean and give it a spray with some lithium grease once a week. The chain and sprockets will be lasting a lot longer than the belt at this rate. Brilliant! And I live in a very dusty part of the world and ride a fair bit of gravel road.

Coolant once a year? big deal.

Brake pads? Well, obviously these will wear out depending on usage. if you steam around everywhere in 'Sport Gear' and try and pull the lever back to the grip every time you want to shed speed they'll wear out quicker than they will if you ride like a great softcoque like me ;).

To me 800 quid a year sounds like daylight robbery, even if I was paying myself my own hourly rate I very much doubt I'd be looking at much more than $1000 AU a year and that would include tyres. That of course assumes that nothing breaks, this is service, not repairs.

When 30,000 kms rolls around you'll also have the cost of a tappet adjust which does involve taking a few bits apart but it still isn't a huge job. Plugs are all very long life items and while no doubt they'll be pricey I doubt they'll need replacing before 30,000km at the earliest.

Obviously I don't charge enough. I think I'll double my prices:D

Pete

jrflanne
03-22-2009, 04:17 PM
Another thing to consider; is there room for two Italians in my stable? Indeed, is there room for three in my stable??? It would be good to keep all three, just not very practical.

The danger is if you have two Italians in the same room, they will breed and turn into three.:happy:

alfamoi
03-22-2009, 06:19 PM
Alfamoi, despite my loving the Vespa's looks, the Honda IS the better scooter, both in the city and out of the city. It is actually MORE manoeuverable than the Vespa due to its slimmer arse.

my grandmother who was midwife always told me that where the head goes, the rest goes .... :cathat:

ManaSport
03-22-2009, 09:36 PM
Well the problem is have to do street parking where I live so servicing it in a city on the street is not so convenient

williamr
03-23-2009, 04:00 AM
What is the Average 600 mile service price for the Mana 850 and the regular 3000 mile services in the US?

In the UK they mentioned about 800 for annual servicing with the Mana 850

800 should cover service, belt replacement, new tyres and chain. A reasonable price for the service would be about 150, with anything over 250 being a criminal level of rip off unless any of the above mentioned needed replacement. Add about 80 for valve check, or a bit less as part of a service - I don't know the interval, but it should be better than 12K miles.

800 would be a reasonable total spend for everything on a 6 - 7 K miles per year bike.
On a 10 - 12K per year, used all year round bike, you'd probably add another 500. A lot depends on how hard you are on tyres and chain.

Rob

jrflanne
03-23-2009, 02:05 PM
Out of curiosity, what is the belt replacement interval on the Mana? Are the belts kevlar? I find it hard to believe the tranny belts won't last for a long time.

pete roper
03-23-2009, 03:59 PM
Out of curiosity, what is the belt replacement interval on the Mana? Are the belts kevlar? I find it hard to believe the tranny belts won't last for a long time.


Belt at 20,000 Km. Haven't a clue what it's made of. Apparently it uses the same belt as the Scarabeo, at least that's what I've been led to believe.

Pete

DCtbh75
03-30-2009, 04:52 PM
I was going to post saying that the Mana is too big for a first bike, but with two years on a full restricted UK licence that doesn't apply to you.

If you're looking for a bigger, faster scoot with better handling it's ideal. Size isn't an issue. I'm 5'7" with a 29" inside leg and I haven't found a bike yet that I can't manage. You'll piss it.

Rob.

Hey, I take offense to that!

Mana was my first bike and I'm glad it was. It turned out to be a great decision. I've got over 2k miles on it and I don't have to worry about a stupid clutch... absolutely a blast at every twist and turn.

I encounter heavy traffic around the Washington D.C. area and never have a problem. I'm 5' 11'' and a pretty big guy and I love the visability of seeing above the traffic, helps over here in the U.S. with all the large SUV on the road. Great FUN and SAFE, Bike...

Mana-in-NC
03-30-2009, 07:41 PM
DCtbh75 has it right. Although not my first bike, it might as well be, considering the down time. Family came first. But after over 12 years, I couldn't resist the features of the Mana. Certainly don't regret it, and having fun as a "newb" again.

williamr
03-31-2009, 02:50 AM
Hey, I take offense to that!

Mana was my first bike and I'm glad it was. It turned out to be a great decision. I've got over 2k miles on it and I don't have to worry about a stupid clutch... absolutely a blast at every twist and turn.

I encounter heavy traffic around the Washington D.C. area and never have a problem. I'm 5' 11'' and a pretty big guy and I love the visability of seeing above the traffic, helps over here in the U.S. with all the large SUV on the road. Great FUN and SAFE, Bike...

Be as offended as you like.

Bikes with the power of the Mana are highly unsuitable first bikes.

Apart from the safety aspect, my experience, and there's a lot of it, is that people who start on big bikes never really master them. There are exceptions, but very, very few of them, so the odds are heavily stacked against you being one.

Your 2,000 miles is barely enough tp qualify you as a beginner. Come back when it's 20,000 and you qualify as an improver.

Rob