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Author Topic: A Scooter Tale  (Read 170 times)

barenekd

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A Scooter Tale
« on: July 29, 2014, 10:45:41 PM »
Now you guys who've been around the forum awhile might have some idea about the way I feel about scooters! Well, I got a new lesson today. I had to leave the goose at the shop today to check out a minor problem that turned out to be a bad O2 sensor. Naturally, they have to order one, and the mechanic,Justin, said I could ride the bike home, but it's not fixed. Earlier, they said I could have a loaner if it wasn't fixed and I had to leave it there. I decided to just leave it there and take the loaner.
They had an Aprillia Manna, some contraption with an automatic trannie. The salesman pushed it out for me and it looked pretty big so I got on it and it as too tall for me. My toes were all I could get to the ground. I could have ridden it as long as I stayed on flat ground, but that never happens, especially when it has to!
He said the only other thing he had was a scooter, but it was 300cc, OHC 3 valve engine and freeway legal. So I agreed to give it a try. The last scooter I rode was a Suzuki Burgmann 400 which had fairly big wheels and was pretty stable. I put a couple of miles on it around an airport apron. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't anything I wanted. They certainly weren't sport bikes.
My previous scooter attempts were back in the '50s and '60s on stuff like a Cushman, and something else, but I don't remember what it was, but in the category of a Lambretta. For me, headshake from the gitgo! They were terrible a machines, AFAIC!
I haven't been on one of those little wheeled machines and  didn't really care!
They pushed the scooter out and it was a Vespa GTS300, with about 8,000 miles on it. I kinda hemmed and hawed for awhile as to whether or not I wanted to ride this 12" wheeled machine. I finally decided to give it a shot and got on it. It was on the center stand and I could barely  reach the ground on it. The salesman showed me how to work it and I started it up and bounced it off the center stand and wobbled out into the street. I was desperately trying to find a place to put my feet as I wobbled down the road. I was coming up to a stop sign and needed to, so I pulled in the clutch and about went over the handlebars!  Oops, that's a brake lever! I somewhat sorted it out, but still couldn't find a place for my feet as they were flailing about looking for those rearsets! I  had to split lanes up to a light so I let them just hang down on each side as I paddled up to the light. Then it was another attempt to go ever the bars!. This ain't good, methinks. Maybe I'd better keep that left hand wrapped around the grip and not reaching for anything!
After the next launch, I kinda figured where my feet want and turned up onto the  55 freeway and started figuring out which slow lane I should be in. The traffic was light and moving pretty fast, but I was passing people in the slow lanes so I just hung in  there in the fast lane and HOV lane. I was keeping up with all the traffic, then I looked at the speedo and I'm doing 80mph! This little beast was flying and doing it with no complaints or apparent discomfort. It as very smoth. I was cruising along in the HOV lane and I see a Yellow Suzuki coming up behind me. It turned out to be the V-twin Superbike thsy built in the late 90s, He slowed down and followed me for a couple miles, then I moved ever since the traffic was light and no one was there, to let him by. He continued to stay behind me. Then a guy on Goldwing went by me and as looking back over his shoulder in apparent disbelief! The guy on the Suzuki finally went by and waved as he passed. I think both of them were in shock and awe to see that scooter going that fast and keep it up! People in cars were look at me strangely, too. A few of them just ran beside me to see if I was really going that fast and wondered who that fool was! I left some people with stories to tell when hey got home! I took the freeway ramps slightly slower than I normally would and it handled them quite nicely. It was a very interesting trip!
Now the down side, this beast might have 2" suspension travel so when you hit little bumps, the shock runs right up your spine! The ergonomics were pretty close. I would've preferred more room between me and the handlebars. The seat was a bit too soft so I was sitting with very little real padding between me and the seat pan. My but was beginning to hurt after 25 miles in the seat!
But  all in all, it was rather an amazing machine with a tremendous amount of storage space. But it'll never replace a sport bike. People who want transportation and a fun ride will really do well with it.
Would I buy one instead on an Enfield? Never happen. Will it outrun an Enfield? I think the Enfield has easily superior acceleration. I was very close to the top speed of the scooter, so it would be a close battle for top speed. The scooter does win out in the vibration category, though. Which one would be more reliable? I would suspect the Enfield's running gear would probably last longer. The tires on the Enfield would probably out last the Vespas. I would it it would be a real tossup, but the Enfield would definitely got more smiles/mile.
The Enfield is cheaper!
Bare
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
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mattsz

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Re: A Scooter Tale
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 11:30:19 PM »
 :o

and I don't know what else to say!  ;D

azcatfan

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Re: A Scooter Tale
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2014, 12:49:14 AM »
Did NOT expect that review from Bare  ;D
-2002 Bullet ES Up-Jetted with Ace Air Canister and punched HD Exhaust.

GSS

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Re: A Scooter Tale
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2014, 04:53:07 AM »
Bare,
You need a GT....like right now!!! :) ;) ;D  This is hilarious.  A Vespa drag racer does not fit with your canyon carving image 8)

GSS
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REpozer

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Re: A Scooter Tale
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2014, 05:47:54 AM »
Hmm,  ..I've always been kinda anti scooter myself. Me thinks if you want to ride small ,maybe try a Sym Wolf (Honda CB125 clone).
Now I have to rethink scooters.
2008 AVL Classic Bullet in British Racing Green
REA # 84 ( the first time)

barenekd

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Re: A Scooter Tale
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2014, 08:37:08 PM »
Not that I was really interested in riding one, but that's what I got stuck with. Bur I gotta tell ya, it surprised the hell outta me! Doesn't mean I gotta have one, though.
The things are over 6 grand! I've got better places to spend my money. I could get a Kawasaki 300 of less money! Or even much better, a Continental GT!
Bare
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 10:01:40 PM by barenekd »
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

Bumboo

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Re: A Scooter Tale
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2014, 11:36:48 PM »
At the top of my inventory is a BMW K1200LT and the least of my 14 children is a 1972 Vespa 125.  There's a 500 iron barrel somewhere in the middle of the hierarchy.  I ride them both about the same when time and distance are not a factor. I'd guess the RE and Vespa are tied for smiles per mile for the rider and observers but the Vespa takes the reliability prize.  I've had many times the  RE didn't get me home without an argument and some wrenching intervention.   The old Vespa is never in question: kick it and go, rain, shine or snow!   There's a lot to be said for a scooter and I'm fortunate enough to be able to own both.   Like children, I love them both for different reasons!   But in my opinion, all scooters should carry a warning that riding them might be addictive.

olhogrider

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Re: A Scooter Tale
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2014, 10:40:52 PM »
I have owned a variety of scooters including the Vespa GTS. Right now I have a Yamaha 250. It is limited electronically to 78 mph. With a glove box, underseat storage and a rear trunk as well as an automatic transmission, it is the ideal urban runabout. That said, it is no RE. If I had to give one up it would be the Yamaha. REposer, I had a SYM Wolf for a while. It is a fun little bike. In fact, I think it is the PERFECT beginner bike. Tons of fun, inexpensive and build quality at least on par with Honda.