Two of the most popular scooters in the Dominican Republic are the Yamaha Jog and the Yamaha Axis. The Jog comes as a 50cc and the Axis as either a 90cc or a 100cc. While there may be other engines available for the axis, I haven’t seen them.
If you read my previous article on Yamaha bikes you will find a recommendation to go with one of the larger wheeled commuter style bikes. I still recommend this to be a good idea if you are in one of the more crowded cities or plan on doing any traveling between towns. The reason I have been researching the scooters more is for my wife.
Advantages of a scooter
The scooter does have some advantages, the main ones are that they are lower to the ground and so a little easier to control and they are lighter. These two advantages make these ideal vehicles for women just wanting a quicker easier way to get around town. And thus starts my search into the world of scooters.
I strongly prefer to go with one of the larger bike manufacturers. I have found while trying out bikes that the far cheaper scooters that you will find new here are all from china. As I’ve tested bikes from China I found that all (at least the ones I tried), had a distinctly cheaper, less durable feel to them.
I went with the decision to go with either the Yamaha Jog or the Yamaha Axis due to the fact that they are extremely popular here and seem to last forever. I’ve seen (very frequently) Jogs that are completely trashed, stripped of all unnecessary parts( here anything that is not directly related to moving the bike forward seems to be considered unnecessary), and looking like it’s been dropped off a cliff a few times, still running well.
I plan on taking care of my wife’s scooter so I’m hoping that isn’t its downfall (as in it needs to be beat to keep it running). With a little maintenance I’m hoping it will remain reliable for quite a while.
50cc Yamaha Jog
The Jog only comes with a 50cc engine. That doesn’t keep people from using them on the highways here though. The Jogs have a 2 stroke engine. That means you need to keep the 2 stroke oil tank filled and the bike will automatically feed this into the engine with the gas, there is a light that lets you know when it is getting low on 2 stroke oil.
Most of the older Yamaha Jogs have a spring suspension and drum brakes. The newer ones like the 2011 have hydraulic forks for the front. And a front disk brake. Right now you don’t see these, but I’m sure you will in the next couple years.
The Jog sits one comfortably but you will see as many as 3 people on them here in the DR. They have an electric start engine although few of them in use seem to have a battery (one of those unnecessary items) so most people kick start them. Yamaha jogs are also fully automatic, hit the gas and go, with the gears (actually bands) being changed automatically.
The largest disadvantage here is the 3.3 inch ground clearance you get. The wildly popular speed bumps pot holes and other debris in the road does make this a little inconvenient.
90cc Yamaha axis and 100cc Yamaha Axis
The Yamaha Axis is the “big” brother of the two with a screaming 90cc or 100cc engine. The power is actually reasonably good if you are only planning to use it around town. Many of the other specifications are similar to the Jog. 2 stroke engine so you have both a gas and an oil tank. Automatic transmission with a belt drive. Air cooled. Both electric and kick starting.
Some of the differences include hydraulic shocks in front as well as front disc brakes. The Axis sits slightly higher off the ground due to its somewhat larger tires. It is a heavier scooter and rides a little smother, it also has a much larger seat that will fit 2 comfortably and Dominican style up to about 4 maybe 5 if you count the toddler standing on the floorboard in front of the driver. (Yes, actually I am serious about that).
Imported used from Japan
As best I can tell, you can only find used Jogs and Axis’ in the Dominican Republic. While I was able to buy my Yamaha yb125e here new at a La Vega Yamaha dealership, the same dealerships only sell used and claim that is the case throughout the country. From what I can tell, these are all imported from Japan. Japan has very heavy smog rules and so car engines have to be changed out after about 30,000 miles. The same appears to be true with the scooters. All scooters I have seen at these shops have had between 8,000 and 12,000 km.
Considering the miles these things seem to be able to go this appears to be barely broken in. I decided I’d rather take my chances with a used Yamaha than a new bike from China. Only time will tell if that was a good decision.