I think at some point in their development, every little boy just knowsthat someday he’ll grow up and ride a motorcycle. Maybe it’s the steady influx of heroes like Evel Knievel, Ponch and Jon of CHiPs or the Hell’s Angels, but it seems like there were a lot of tykes who were just ready as hell to get out on the open road on two wheels of motorized steel and just ride.
Motorcycles had that extra mystique about them because they absolutely terrified my Mother. I knew that I would get into some serious trouble if I ever came home with one, let alone adopt some of that “free-wheelin'” lifestyle that the people who rode motorcycles partook in (hey, I was like eight years old, yuppies with Harleys weren’t very prevalent).
Who would have ever though that I’d turn into a scooter person? I thought, by this point in my life, that I’d be way more “Hell on Wheels” and a lot less “Roman Holiday,” but I can’t deny what I am. I am the proud rider of a Portofino Green Vespa GTV 250 (that’s the model pictured above). Sure, I’ll get that Triumph Bonneville someday, but, damn, I love toolin’ around town on my scoot.
The first thing about scooters is that nobody looks “sexy” or “cool” riding a scooter: a scooter forces you to sit stock upright with better posture than my poor crooked back is used to, and hold your arms at a “normal” angle. You can’t help but express a shit-eating grin when you are on a scooter: it’s just an involuntary reaction.
When I first started looking at purchasing a scooter, I wanted to go vintage all the way. Old Vespas and Lambrettas are as cool as old muscle cars and hot rods in my book. What I quickly learned was that if you go vintage, you almost certainly want to purchase two scoots so you’ll always be able to have one that is in working order to ride. If one doesn’t start (which will invariably happen), just hop on the other one and hop it starts up.
As I have mentioned before, I’m all about the instant gratification, so I ditched my thoughts of vintage scoots for a while and started looking at new ones. My only criteria when looking for a new one were that I wanted some power and, if possible, a classic-y look.
The Vespa GTV 250 has both in spades. With this little puppy, I can even get up on the freeway and not be more of a danger to myself and/or others than normal. I feel a little bad in that it cheats all the general expectations of a standard scooter: it’s fuel injected and has no kick-start. To that regard, It weighs in at a hefty 322 pounds, so I really don’t want to drop it when putting down the center-stand, but I’ve got over 600 miles on it, so far, and have had nary an issue (knock on my wooden head).
Like I said before, I’ll end up with that Bonneville eventually, but I’m having a hell of a time with my current ride.
Besides, I’m a member of S.P.A.Z. now.