YAMAHA RIVA 180 / 200 - OWNER REVIEWS



SUBMIT REVIEW

Yamaha-Riva200
1983 YAMAHA RIVA 180
Milage: 5000 - 10,000 Miles
Likes: Cruises easily around town. Great fuel economy at speeds below 55mph.
Dislikes:
Heavy steering at low speeds. Carburetor is a pain. Limited parts availability.

Review: I bought my Riva 180 with 3250 on the clock and a boogered-up carburetor. I had it running within a week thanks to Boats.net for parts and the GGR Scooter Club for garage space.

In the three years I've owned it, I've run the odometer up over 8600 miles. The bike is great for cruising, though fuel range plummets at speeds above 55mph and the 1.1 usable gallons of tank make for frequent stops at high speed. I recently did 510 miles over two days with no issues.

Parts are the biggest concern with these bikes, as available spares dry up. I'm looking for spares for the top end and CVT now, before they wear out and I wind up shelving it for lack of parts.”



1983 YAMAHA RIVA XC180K
Milage: 5000 - 10,000 Miles
Likes: Size is small, power is great
Dislikes:
Color

Review: ”My family has owned this scooter since 1991. It is now 2013 and it is ridden almost daily during the summer. It is great to hop onto and run down the street. The bike, although small, is perfect for in town use, but with enough power to get on and off the highway and keep up with traffic.

We have had the carb replaced one time and have not had any of the issues reported. Maybe we are lucky. This is one of 3 bikes in the garage, but the Riva scooter is the most versatile and gets used the most.”


1983 YAMAHA RIVA XC180K
Milage: 1000 - 5000 Miles
Likes: Most everything
Dislikes:
Maybe storage but with a luggage box on the back it’s all good

Review: I have had 7 Riva 180’s and have had most of them apart, so I’m becoming a expert LOL. I must say their cool looking, fast, maybe a little noisy valve train, but I’m hooked. They’re the perfect size. They have bright turn signals and brake lights and on all 7 the wiring has been no problems at all. Of course the dreaded carb issue which after a good carb clean and a extra inline fuel filter I never had another problem.

I’ll probably buy a few more as I’m kind of a collector now. I did put new 4 x 10 tire on one and there much better on the road and they fit too just trim the mud flap on rear. One thing I’ve noticed is the speedos are all about 3 to 5 mph faster then true mph and a 4x10 front tire brings it to very close to true mph.



1983 YAMAHA RIVA 180
Milage: 5000 - 10,000 Miles
Likes: Cool retro style, comfy seat, strong engine
Dislikes:
No storage under the seat

Review: After owning a couple 49cc scooters and mopeds since 2000 and accumulating over 30,000 kms of riding, I picked up this one on a trade for a nice vintage Honda PC50 moped I had in storage.

It’s worth mentioning that I am a big 6’ 2” 300 lb. guy and the Riva 180 will do a great job getting me around town in style. I still have to get my motorcycle license for this one but I’m looking forward to the course as it will allow me to ride motorcycles afterwards as well. Truth be told my long term plan is to own a Ural motorcycle, with a sidecar !!

Right now the scooter needs some TLC (new tires & brakes) as well as sorting out a leaky petcock. The front fork is a little bent so I’m replacing that as well. Found all the parts I need on good ‘ol eBay !!

Everything should be “good to go” by the end of July and I’ll be able to ride it right after I take my motorcycle course in early August 2016.

I plan on giving the scooter a complete makeover as the paint is faded and scraped on the ride side. I’m thinking Ruby Red??”



YAMAHA RIVA 180 (SIX FROM ’83 - ’87)
Milage: 1000 - 5000 Miles
Likes: Fun to ride, looks nice, fast
Dislikes:
Of course carb problems

Review: I’m on my 13th Yamaha Riva’s. I’ve had 11 XC180’s and two XC200’s. I rebuild most of them but a few are just for parts. I really like them as they’re easy to work on once you get the hang of all the little problems and know how to fix them. If one cleans the Riva 180 carb, drill out the varnish in the pilot jet put a good fuel filter on and the biggest battery in them. No more problems.”


1984 YAMAHA RIVA 180
Milage: 5000 - 10,000 Miles
Likes: Styling and performance
Dislikes:
Carb issues and difficulty accessing

Review: ”I currently own two of these scooters. A black, silver and a gold one. I use them for local errands in Florida and on the backroads in the summer months in Vermont. They are fairly comfortable and fast enough to get you almost anywhere as long it is not a superhighway. If you can find one in good condition you will have a lot of fun for not a lot of money.”


1984 YAMAHA RIVA 180Z
Milage: 10,000 - 20,000 Miles
Likes: Quick, stable at speed, 75mph and 80 mpg. Economical, reliable fun!
Dislikes:
Storage space, added trunk, hard starts, adequate but less that stellar brakes, fuel capacity

Review: I have owned several scooters in the 125 to 200cc range and this 1 overall has grown to be my favorite. It has proven to be the most useful and practical all around fun I've ever owned. It is very capable of keeping up with, if not out running normal traffic around town. She also stays up nicely on the occasional hwy run. Have only attempted the short interstate jaunt 1x, once. There, the posted 70mph means 80-90 to far too many people. 1x is enough, lol!

Great do it all scooter. Not as sporty in the corners as say my
Vespa, but much more comfy and stable at higher speed. It actually seems to be more so at speed, like my sport bike (ZX7R ninja).”
ENJOY!!!
Randy. Pensacola, FL



1984 YAMAHA 180 RIVA
Milage: 5000 - 10,000 Miles
Likes: Powerful, reliable, comfortable
Dislikes:
Speedo cable lube process

Review: Bought mine 4 years ago and thought I made a mistake. Now I can’t believe how much I love to drive the thing. I put a basket on the back with zip ties and a few small bungee cords to hold stuff in. Need to go to the store, need to get the mail, need to run to the storage shed, need to pick up daughter from softball - POW scooter! I once hauled 4 T posts and a post pounder with it.

They really thought of what to put in the tool kit. I swear with just a couple other metric wrenches and the original tool kit you could break the whole bike down. But no need to as it requires very little repairs as long as you pull the battery, use good clean fuel, drop the carb bowl, and put a new fuel filter on every two years. I may not look like a tough guy riding it, but it will never leave me on the side of the road!”


1985 YAMAHA RIVA 180
Milage: 5000 - 10,000 Miles
Likes: Big and powerful
Dislikes:
No storage

Review: ”I bought this as a second scooter. I already had a Honda Ruckus 50, but this was bigger and also cheap. It was running really good and will easily hit 65 mph. I have had to take the carb apart and clean it twice now (over 3 years). It is hard to start and takes a lot of good battery to get started.

It easily hauls 2 people around, but it has no storage space. I rode it for 3 years at least once or twice a week, and now it is being repaired again. I am doing the repairs myself - which basically is a good carb cleaning to free stuck floats and clean all the jets. When the float sticks the gas will overflow out one of the air/breather hoses from the back of the carb. I have that fixed but I am not getting enough good spark to get it started (I hope). I hope to have it back up and running this week and I can't wait. It looks kind of dorky, but it is a fun and fast scooter. (From South Dakota).”

UPDATE: “I finished the carb cleaning and replaced the spark plug and.q battery. The scooter is now back to everyday transportation. Like another review, it is now 2013 and this scooter is still running. I get around 50 or 55 mpg riding it around town. It runs strong and is reliable. I only get into starting issues when I don't ride at least every week or couple of days.”


1987 YAMAHA RIVA 200Z
Milage: 10,000 - 20,000 Miles
Likes: WEIGHT, Comfort and Reliability, +75mph
Dislikes:
Small gas tank

Review: It’s a very comparable to the Elite 250cc, but its light weight means nothing to worry about in the parking lot. The top speed is 75 mph and very stable. Economical on gas. Fun to ride this scooter, like a bicycle!”


1987 YAMAHA RIVA XC200
Milage: +30,000 Miles
Likes: Reliable and dependable
Dislikes:
Lack of storage

Review: I’ve owned Chinese and Vespa in the past and we all know Vespas have that all metal body. Can’t beat that for a nice feel. Chinese scooter was super rattle trap on 2 wheels. This yamaha has way better quality plastics. They are thick and solid. It outperforms all the other scooters I’ve owned and since I had it I’ve put 20k on it with no problems. It’s just over 30k now and still performs great. I average 100 mpg because I do mostly highway with speeds average 68 mph. It doesn’t leak oil and doesn't smoke from tailpipe. It’s been a great daily rider. I drive over 200 miles 6 days a week. It left me stuck one time due to a flat tire. Other that that it just keeps on going and I have no regrets on buying this scooter. I’m betting its will go another 30k without any major issues.”
- Nate from Sacramento.



1987 YAMAHA RIVA XC200

Milage: 5000 - 10,000 Miles
Likes: 30 years old but runs like a champ
Dislikes:
Can not get some parts anymore

Review: Got this scooter for $100 plus a parts bike. Runs great and is fun to ride. Very short wheel base so it can a little iffy at speed on bumpy roads. Mechanic had to disconnect the tip over gas vent as it quit working and the part is no longer available. Would like to replace it though.”


1988 YAMAHA RIVA 200
Milage: 5000 - 10,000 Miles
Likes: I like everything about it.
Dislikes:
-

Review: ”It’s been great. We remove the battery when we winterize it. Recharge in the Spring. Comfortable and keeps up with the traffic need be. I'm currently selling it though. Don't use it as often...and hop on the back of hubbies motorcycle instead. Sad to see it go.”


1988 YAMAHA RIVA 200
Milage: 10,000 - 20,000 Miles
Likes: I like everything about the scooter besides one thing
Dislikes:
Not enough storage space

Review: ”I love everything about the Riva 200 besides the fact that it does not have much storage space. I have 14,000 miles on it and it’s still going strong. And also some of the parts can be hard to find.”


1988 YAMAHA RIVA 200
Milage: 5000 - 10,000 Miles
Likes: Very comfortable for a big & tall guy. Good legroom. Seat allows rider to move back for better comfort. Nimble to maneuver. Powerful and zippy. 80 mpg fuel economy. Decent for casual shorter highway trips. Excellent headlight and bright signal lights. Easy to read dash cluster. Glove box.
Dislikes:
No underseat storage. Factory mirrors too short. Brake pedal instead of brake lever for rear brake. Factory grips cause blisters. (All of these fixable) Drum brakes.

Review: After owning a series of 49cc scooters, I picked this one up in nice condition locally for $450. My previous scooters were a couple of Chinese “Wildfire” scooters that weren’t worth the gunpowder it would take to blow them up, and an Aprilia SR50, which is the undisputed king of the 49cc scoots.

It’s worth mentioning that I am a big 6’ 4” 300 lb. guy, and the Riva 200 is the most comfortable bike I’ve sat on by a wide margin. I’ve tried a variety of mid-sized motorcycles up to 800cc, Kymco, Honda PCX150, Yamaha Majesty and Suzuki Burgman maxi-scoots, and some other big 250+cc scoots, and the Riva is by far the most comfortable. I have some back and knee issues, but I can ride this bike all day with no worries. For starters, the seat is awesome. Most maxi-scoots have a stepped seat that prevents a long-legged rider from moving back enough to get decent legroom. The Riva 200’s seat is cushy and mostly flat. I can sit anywhere on it and ride in comfort. Another thing I like is the floorboard is mostly flat. Most maxi-scoots have a tall hump almost as high as the seat that you have to sling your leg over. The Riva is a piece of cake in this regard. Also, the slightly foot-forward position of the floor allows comfortable leg positioning.

This thing is also plenty powerful to ride at 55-60 mph, though it’s light enough that at higher speeds it blows around a bit, so personally I’d stick to speeds under 60. The upside is that it’s lightweight and short wheelbase makes it awesome for around town, which is mostly where I ride it. Night riding is also not a problem, as the headlight offers plenty of illumination. It’s also mounted high, which casts fewer shadows than a low-mounted headlight. Dash illumination is also even and plenty bright.

Now for the not-so-great but all fixable issues: 1) The original grips suck. They cause blisters after prolonged riding. I replaced them with Pro Grip 724 grips, which are excellent. 2) There’s also no storage under the seat. I fixed this with a roomy trunk mounted to the luggage rack and some Moose ATV tank bags modded to use as saddlebags. Now I have plenty of storage space. 3) Original mirrors not long enough to be useful. I replaced these with cheap Emgo long stem mirrors. 4) Brake lever is awkward and aggravates my knee issues from cranking my leg inward to press it. I bought a long brake lever with the correct dimensions, and will mount it to the left handlebar, routing a new cable bypassing the pedal. Problem solved. The only non-fixable issue is that it has drum brakes rather than disc brakes. This really isn’t that big of an issue, because the drum brakes do a very good job of stopping the bike, but require more pressure than hydraulic disc brakes for quick stops. The upside is that you don’t have to worry about brake fluid or hydraulic failure with drum brakes. Thankfully, mine doesn’t yet suffer from the carb bystarter issue which is the one Achilles heel of this model. I’m not too worried though. If it becomes a problem, I’ll bypass it with a manual choke. No biggie.

FINAL VERDICT: I wish more modern scooters were built with the flat floor, flat seat and better comfort the Riva 200 has. It would be great if quality manufacturers like Yamaha & Honda could offer at least a couple of modern maxi-scooters with ergonomics and comfort like the Riva 200. The Riva 200 is the overall best scooter I’ve had the pleasure of riding. It’s not perfect, but for a big guy like me it’s about as close as it gets, IMO. I love this thing. And being a Yamaha, I have faith in it’s reliability.”


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