In October 2007 I found myself with a job that required regular commuting from Portsmouth to Southampton plus the occasional long distance run. My old XS250 just wasn’t up to this punishment and was soon sold off to provide funds for a real bargain. A 1996 Skorpion Traveller with pannier kit for just £850! By coincidence I knew all the previous owners, bar the first, so knew I was purchasing a genuine low mileage and properly serviced machine.
Having previously owned a Norton 650SS I was able to make a range of comparisons between the machines. Similar capacity engines with the same stroke at 89mm and both with engine power at around 45bhp. Similar dry weights around 175kg, and on the whole, similar handling on both wet and dry roads.
Both bikes could be cruised at 80mph but this is where the Skorpion had the edge. At the end of a long journey you could get off the machine and your hands and fingers still functioned. There was still a complete bike ready for the return ride that would start at the push of a button. Ie no missing panels, footrests or kickstart. There were no oil puddles under the engine, primary chaincase or oil tank and all the lights still worked.
My Skorpion has been a great purchase except in two respects. Firstly, the seat on my model is a killer on very long rides, mainly because you are wedged in one position. Secondly, the gearbox ratios are totally wrong for driving slowly. I find myself having to constantly clonk my way between first and second, especially when negotiating corners in town. The second and possibly third gears should have been lower to make driving at 20 to 25mph easier.
Apart from that, it is a good, reliable and economical bike that I see holds its value second-hand.