Here in Seattle, the International Buddy dealer is also a Ducati dealer. I visited them and talked to them, they were a very nice group of guys and I was impressed with the Buddy. That horn is suprisingly loud! After I had done some research I decided to go with 250cc or perhaps higher, if I decide to get the scooter. If I go with a motorcycle, I think I am just going to go with a 250cc bike, nothing larger.
I agree with you about the experience of the manual shift of a car–I was guessing that just having the concept down would be helpful. I actually came to prefer it but shifted to an automatic when I needed a better car for transporting people. Now that this is not a concern for me any longer, if I buy a new car again, I think I will again go with a manual transmission–if I can find one that is!
You brought up one issue I was worried about though–since you have both a scooter and a motorcycle, does your motor reaction get confused when switching between the two? I envision scenes where I apply the brakes too hard on a scooter because I thought it was a clutch, etc. Or the opposite–not remembering the back brake on the motorcycle is operated with the foot pedal instead of the left hand. I am not talking here about “normal riding” but about the quick reaction time you will need if stopping at a red light, etc. That is why this question has become important to me to sort out in advance. I am thinking I should do either one or the other and stick with that choice at least for a year or so, when I am more comfortable in traffic, etc., generally. So this is my dilemma–I share the reaction that a scooter can be more convenient for short trips in the city, but wonder if I should just go ahead and get a motorcycle so that I will develop the coordination needed for this. For me, part of my motivation is safety. No one wants to crash and I want to cut the risk by giving myself less stuff which might “confuse” my automatic reaction times. Thanks.