Saturday, July 17, 2010

Borrowed Rides, Test Rides and Reviews

As I've mentioned in at least one previous post, scooter people are great folks. In the context of this post, I'm referring to the generous, sharing (and foolhardy) spirit that results in those scooter people who allow others to ride their scoots. I've run into a lot of those in the short time I've been riding. I've also done a couple of formal test rides/reviews lately that I wanted to mention.

Perhaps 6 months after I started scooting, I was at my local scooter shop and my second home, Scoot Over, when a guy riding a Big Ruckus pulled in. I had never seen one up close and was asking a few questions about the bike. The guy tossed my the keys and says "take it for a ride." I hesitated, because no one had ever done anything like that before, but he says "Really, it's okay. Have fun with it." Then he turned around and walked into the shop.

So, I went out and rode it. I was fun, but not as much fun as my Buddy. The Big Ruckus is 250cc and, as you can see above, has a lot to carry around. Subsequently, it is fairly slow accelerating from a stop, but it does have a decent top end. I love the rugged, industrial kind of look to them.

I mention the above incident only because it was the first. In the past month, similar incidents have happened and that's what resulted in this particular post. On Independence Day, Scoot Over hosted an awesome picnic. Some 25 scooters and their riders showed up. Naturally, we were all admiring one another's scoots.

One scooter I am hoping to own one day, is a vintage Lambretta. A young man at the picnic happened to have one and don't you know that he offered to let me take it out for a spin. So I did.

The one I rode in the blue and white Lammy in the middle of this pic. I love the long, low, sleek look of the Lambretta. I'm sorry, but I don't remember the year of this scoot, but it was a fun ride. One thing you have to get used to on vintage scooters, are vintage braking systems. Those drum brakes are a far cry from today's front disks.

A short while later, at the same picnic. I was offered my first ride on a moped. We have a local moped club (Las Tortugas aka The Turtles) and I had commented a few times that it must be fun to ride with them. The moped in question was a J.C. Penney "Pinto."

The moped is much different from a 150cc scooter, but still a lot of fun in their own right. I wast sure what to do with my feet. It felt weird to be moving along under power and yet, have pedals. I guess you get used to it. I am considering the possibility of adding a moped to my stable of 2-wheelers. I think riding with Las Tortugas sounds like a blast.

Last week, I was at Scoot Over when the new 220cc Blur arrived. The scooter community has been eagerly anticipating the arrival of this sporty scooter for a while. It just so happened that Ron finished prepping the bike just after I arrived. James offered me a test ride. There was no way I was turning that down. Here's the new Blur:

I am pretty old school when it comes to scooters, but I still appreciate the look of the Blur. I really like the grey and black. It reminds me of the Volkswagen Scirocco I owned years ago. As you would expect from 220cc, the Blur accelerates well. "Roll-on" acceleration is particularly good. The seat is as hard as a rock and I would be modifying or replacing it or ASAP if I had one. Riding position is forward and aggressive, like a sport bike. This takes some getting used to, but it does make for some nice cornering traits. Thanks to Scoot Over for letting me test ride it.

I stop by a nearby motorcycle shop from time to time because they carry a limited number of scooters from the Japanese companies. I was in there this week looking to see if they had a Yamaha Majesty in stock. (I've decided that I want a maxi-scoot in the stable as well.) While there, I was offered a test ride on the 2010 Can Am Spyder. The Spyder is a 3-wheeled, tadpole-style trike with a 1000cc sport bike motor. They look like this:

It was a blast to drive, uh, ride. I did a formal review of my experience on our club webite, here. I don't see myself ever having one, but if you get the chance to take one for a spin, do it.

I love being in a community where our rides are so diverse. I have nothing against homogenous groups like Goldwing, or trike, or moped clubs, but riding one another's rides is kind of moot, since everyone is on the same thing.

Ride on,



  1. FWIW, the Lambretta you rode is a 1961 Li150 Series 2. My favorite vintage scooter for long rides and commuting.

  2. Thanks, Mike. I loved it. Someday......