Sunday, October 14, 2007

How About A Little Scooter For A Change?

I'm always thinking of stuff. I always seem to have a long mental list of things that I want, or want to do. I've been this way for as long as I can remember, and its cool for me because I always have something to reach for. Something to drive my wife crazy is more like it, but I hope by now she is used to it. Once again it has to do with scooters.

You see, most of the hipsters that I know in this area that ride scooters have 50cc models, and they ride them pretty hardcore. JayBee, Mod Kevin, Nick, Talitha, my neighbors Robert and Janet and their group all ride either Honda or Yamaha scooters. And there seems to be even more scoots popping up all the time that I hadn't seen before. This is the beginning of a little scooter culture in our little city, and as usual it has me excited.

I don't mean to leave anyone out of this list of names, but these are just a few of the folks that I see all the time that are out experiencing the joys of scootering, and saving on fuel costs on little rigs. Hmm...I might need to look into this a bit.

So here I sit on a Sunday morning, the owner of a sweet vintage Vespa 125, and my workhorse Big Ruckus, not even including my rat Harley Davidson among a few other rides, trying to form some line of thought that will justify my newest need for of all things...a little scooter.

Yeah, I can sink my teeth into this one for sure. I know for a fact that these little scoots have built in fun factor. Not to say that what I have isn't fun, but I've never had one of the little one's, and there lies the challenge and adventure. What can I do with one of these things? Where, and how far can I go? How much will I learn about them, and how much will I be able to pass on to others? And the big one for far into winter, and in what weather conditions will I ride it in? My immediate thought is that I would put the little scooter through much more than anyone listed above, with maybe the exception of JayBee. This personal challenge would be great.

I've batted the thought around a million times about using the Vespa for the same reasons, but in the end I would hate to beat the whiz out of such a cherry little classic. I care too much for my rolling showpiece to put it through these conditions. In the end, it will always be a sunny day rider. I won't beat up on 'Ol Blue.

So what will I want, and how will I afford it? Ahh...the root of my subject. This is where the excitement and thinking starts. This becomes the challenge and the beginning of a whole new process of learning. Who knows, maybe this will wither on the vine as do many of my great plans, but on this Sunday morning, I have a new plan...and I'm really thinking about it.

Have fun,


Blogger Orin said...

Bill, if were looking for a 50cc scooter, I'd be looking at one of these:

Vespa ET2: Lots of 'em on Craigslist, with low miles and prices in the $2-2.5K range. Quite reliable, very solid, and I think a top speed around 40 mph.

Vespa LX50: Our friend Dave Dixon likes it, and could tell you more than you thought it was possible to know. Often on Craigslist, but there's lowball financing on new ones, too. A bit pricey for this class, but an heirloom if you take care of it.

Genuine Buddy 50: While it comes from the factory restricted to 30 mph, Ducati Seattle de-restricts every one it sells... they tell me the top speed goes up to 47 mph. About 2K new. Made by PGO, a company that started as a Vespa licensee. Nicely put together, though it comes in rather garish colors, except for black.

Have fun shopping,

1:15 AM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Its funny that I just pulled up your comment since I had just looked at both the LX50, and the Buddy 50 in Scoot! Magazine's '07 buyers guide. I'll have to give Ducati Seattle a call to get their low-down on the Buddy. To have it de-restriced at time of purchase would be sweet.

I'm surprised at how much speed my friend JayBee gets out of his Vino 50. We did a little side by side thing thing a few weeks back, and he was hanging in around 43-44 mph on level ground. That surprised me.
I'd like to ride his Vino to see how it feels.

I'll let you know what the Ducati folks have to say too. And by the way, a few of my cronies really like the idea of a someday rally in P.A. I'll need to look into this more as well.

Have fun,

8:48 AM  
Blogger CodyandMichelle said...

A 50cc ????!!! Are you crazy? I'm sorry Bill, your to big for a little scoot, I tell that to our fellow blogger Dave Dixon, but I'm sure like him, you'll ignore my caterwauling lol!
Truthfully, I'm serious,IMHO I feel it's a safety issue, it's overload and lack of speed issues to be more specific. You won't be able to get out of your own way, and then there are all the hills you have in your beautiful state. Stick with the great collection of bikes you already possess!

9:37 AM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

I understand where you're coming from, and will consider it when I'm learning about these little rigs. If nothing else, researching the 50cc scooters will be fun.

And "crazy?" I've been called that so many times, its now become a compliment!

I did take the Vespa out today for a nice jaunt, and didn't push any more than 40 mph. Therein lies the appeal of the 50cc scoots for buzzing around town. I'm feelin' pretty easy at 40 mph, and the Vino, Buddy or Vespa LX will get me there for sure.

Have fun,

3:46 PM  
Blogger irondad said...

Honda makes a 49cc Ruckus, you know. I think staying small is smart if you're looking at the fun factor. Big scooters are practical but seem to lose that special something that a small rig has. Although there's merit to what Cody says, too. Guess it depends on what you're going to do with it.

Thinking about it is an adventure all by itself, isn't it? Sometimes it's more fun than the actual deed. Be careful how far you push the good wife, though!

4:50 PM  
Blogger CodyandMichelle said...

Bill, isn't your Vespa a 125cc? 40 mph is easy for a 125, but 40 mph is probably maxed out on a 50cc, and that's if your lucky! Plus, I've ridden those little 50cc, heck even my wifes 150, I'm not a big guy, but they just feel too small for comfort. I like to be on something substantial, that's where I think your BR and HD suit you. I doubt you'll feel comfortable on something that small.....again IMHO.
As Forrest Gump would say, "crazy is as crazy does"
I'm not really sure what that means??? lol
But hey, your my bro and whatever the Scooter Evangelist chooses, I'm down with that..........just...choose wisely my son! :)

12:48 PM  
Blogger twistngogrl & vespajitsu said...

FYI: My signature has changed to reflect the name of my blog, which also has changed. Surfan really doesn't suit me too much anymore. Haven't been in the water for a year, my activities have changed and so thus....the changes in my blog.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

I just looked at the Little Ruckus today. I'm looking for something with a leg shield and the retro style of the Vespa. That is where a Metro, or Vino come in. Although I did check out a cool little scoot today styled after the Yamaha Zuma. Its an Eton 50cc that has been derestricted, and it rips! The $1700.00 price tag is sweet too.

This is the part that I like. Just taking the time to look and learn may end up being all I do. My money tree didn't bear much in the way of falling green this year, so I'll just keep checking things out till I figure out what to do next.

Vespajitsu...I like it! What I said to Irondad above is where I'm at today. Looking, reading, learning and the occasional test ride may be the extent of this latest rush of desire, but I never know till I drive my ideas into the ground what I'll end up doing.

What I see in my mind is myself doing more, in more extremes, and logging more miles than anyone else in this area on a little scoot. This thought keeps me stoked.

Have fun,

7:54 PM  
Blogger American Scooterist Blog said...

Bill, consider this. That the cruising speed of your 125 will give you what you need just in case you do need it. While riding a 50cc sounds fun for the average top end of forty - forty five mph, those little guys lose power quick trying to get up some of the hills. My little Express tops out and a blinding 27mph but I ride in farmland. The only thing I worry about here is the stray and loose dogs overtaking me (which has happened lol). A 50cc in today's world would be a lot better if it were a two stroker. The fours are just wayyyy too slow imo. But then again its been done before and there's no reason that a person can't do it now if its thought through the way I think you plan to. Yes, there is something totally unique and fun about a little buzzer giving you its all to get ya there.


12:26 PM  
Blogger Steve Williams said...

Everyone has a 50cc scooter and you're not everyone Bill. You need something a little more "out there".

Try on the little scooter in this youTube video.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

3:54 AM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Yeah, a "unique little buzzer" to get me there. Thats what I'm talking about here. Something different to get a whole different kind of adventure from.

The cats that I roll with ride the stink out of these things, and in some cases treat them as everyday transportation. I haven't had a motorbike that was so limited in speed, so my question to myself is, "Can I find the same basic enjoyment, and adventure as these dudes?" Well...lets find out.

Now that is "out there!"

There is a goofy looking dude that comes by my house twice a day, every day of the week on one of those stand-up scooters. I don't know what it has for a motor, but it sounds like a cranked up chainsaw. And he FLIES by both ways. Now and then he has one of those things that has a post with a seat on it, but it's much slower and quieter. One of these times I'll get him to stop so I can get the scoop on what he's got. Maybe I can get a picture to pass on.

Have fun,

7:47 PM  
Blogger Kano said...

I can see having a 50cc scooter as being a lot of fun for short scoots, around the campground, and some logging roads. That would be fun. I would stick with a brand you can trust though. I worked with a guy that had a 49cc scooter, I think made in China. The thing disintegrated, part by part from almost day one. He sunk so much money into that thing to keep it going. He could have bought a good reliable scooter for what he's sunk into that thing.

Anyway, it's kind of a cool thought to take on a challenge that few people have done. Say coast to coast on a 50cc, what about that?

My brother rode a beat up 1966 Yamaha 60 to college from Salem, Oregon to Walla Walla, Washington back in 1968 or 1969. No license plate either. It's the stuff legends are made of!

10:46 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

You've got the idea. And yeah, I need to go for a quality brand for sure. I've already looked at Yamaha, Honda, Eton, and made a call on the Genuine Buddy. Lots to think about.

There's a Coast Guardsman stationed here in Port Angeles that needed to make some trips to Seattle. So being an adventurous type, he bought a Honda Metropolitan and proceeded to make his trips to and from by riding the fogline. This guy has my respect.

Have fun,

7:36 AM  

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