|06-15-2011, 03:02 PM||#1|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Aquidneck Island
First scoot, shakedown ride!
Hello everyone. I'm Greg. I've been a lurker here for the past few years. I have always had an interest in bikes but it was not until I graduated college and had a place of my own that I could finally act on it. Two years ago me and a couple friends did the MSF course together and got our licenses. Since that time I have been doing the all familiar internet/fact finding research and every single kind of bike trying to decide (justify?) what would make the best "first" one. A month into that I bought the first, cheapest bike I could find that was running and had it dropped off at the house. It needed some additional work and its still sitting there.
Fast forward to a few months ago. I have looked at all the different possibilities of something that I could hop on and ride (not making the mistake of buying something unridable again) including the sensible ones like a Ninja 250 to the extremes like a cheap Goldwing. I considered going more dual sport and multi purpose, but finally decided that living in an urban environment a scooter would be the best choice. A dear friend who owns two 60's Vespa's tried to talk me into one of those (no thanks, needs to be ridable). I looked at cheap mail order Chinese scoots, but thankfully determined that was not the best idea. I looked at modern Vespa's and Honda's (almost bought a Helix) but finally landed on a Genuine Buddy.
See the Buddy just kind of fell into my lap. While browsing one of the enthusiast boards for the brand I decided I may as well post a wanted ad. Well it turns out there was a guy around the corner from me with a 2009 Genuine Buddy International Italia with only 423 miles on it. Now what does that mean to all of us normal folk? Well its a 4 stroke twist and go with a 150cc engine and two tone paint that kinda looks like a vintage Vespa if you look at it from the right angle. I was not sold on it being the right scoot for me as my commute had just changed to an almost all 60mph highway ride and the the lil bud could maybe only do that flat out. Well the owner made me an offer I almost couldn't refuse. So then I made him an offer he did refuse . It turns out he needed cash asap and needed the scoot gone. We agreed on a figure he threw it in his van and dropped it at my place. And then I managed to get it down the basement walk up (7 nearly vertical concrete stairs) by myself and into storage it went. That was the beginning of March.
Fast forward to today. My insurance is effective and I have everything in hand to go and get transferred into my name and registered. First surprise there's not enough data for nada to come up with a book price which means I pay tax on the actual sales price woohoo. Two weeks ago I got completely screwed on a car I purchased (had to pay almost $700 in tax because of the book value when it should have been $350 based on the price I paid, damn taxachusetts).
Here's the little bud after pulling off the covers this morning, ready to have the mirrors and plates slapped on. Checked the tire pressures and the oil.
Well here she is complete with mirrors and a license plate, now what? Oh yea I need to get geared up. I was aatgatt, or almost all the gear all the time. Armored gloves, jacket, and helmet...jeans and topsiders.
Looking dapper. I would have thought I'd be more excited.
So now the scoot is ready to go and I'm ready to go, where should I go? Alright probably should do a little parking lot practice before trying to go anywhere. It has been a while since the MSF course and the last time I was even on a bike was last summer. So I go down the block and around the corner to a big church parking lot. Excellent, they even laid out some MSF type drills for me to practice on.
While taking the next picture, an older gentleman possibly homeless walked up behind me and mumbled something. I said hello and quickly took this rather crappy picture as I was unsure what he was going to do next. I turn around not even 10 seconds later and he is gone, no trace in sight.
Okay so the scoot feels pretty good in the parking lot. A ton of fun actually in the .5 miles I have driven it so far. Signals and horn are becoming familiar and second nature. So what's the next order of business? Gasoline. The gasoline in here is from last fall. I do not know what kind however I did add seafoam to it a few weeks ago. So down the block I go. The gauge is showing between 1/4 and 1/2. Only vpower for this baby.
AAHHHA not even .7 gallons to top it off. This is going to be fun. I knew this thing would save me money. I just won't think about the cost of the scoot, jacket, helmet, sales tax, insurance...Okay locked and loaded now what. Oh yeah I have a check to deposit at the bank. Down the block and across town I go. I must say at this point the scoot is feeling quite zippy and fun. I show up at the bank and low and behold there is a bike sized spot right in front.
Go in with some sweet helmet hair, make a deposit and come back out. At this point I start thinking that I really should have left the face shield on my helmet and not done the sunglasses and visor look cool thing. So I'm not too far from home and decide to swing back and swap my visor for my shield before scooting the rest of the day. The neighborhood I live in is safe but looks a bit shady. I'm concerned about someone stealing this scoot. So in my excitement I decide the best thing to do would be to drive it between my car and the neighbors so it cannot be seen from the street while I run inside. I was not in the mood to break out the chain and maneuver it up to the fire escape for a 5 minute stop.
Yep that was a little bit tight, but some good bike handling skills practice. So now I am practiced, full of fuel, and comfortable. Now what? I know I should go out and drive the nice roads I used to take my MGB on. So I head out towards Weston, Lincoln, then Lexington and Concord (start of the revolution what). What an absolutely gorgeous day. I get into Concord and realize my cell has been ringing so I better stop to check. I also need to pull up some maps on my phone and decide where to go to next. I remember to find some shade, man these seats heat up quick when you aren't sitting on them.
Phone calls done, start mapping. Hmm you know what would be delicious? Ice cream. But not any old ice cream, I'm talking ice cream from a farm. A real farm with real cows. Excellent my destination is set. There is a farm about 30 miles away with absolutely delicious ice cream. Its called Rota Spring Farm and its in Sterling. Crap. I knew when I stopped at the bank earlier I should have taken out some cash. I only have $4 in my wallet. I remember seeing a bank about 3 miles back...about face. Wow this is a pretty bank, look at this bush and ivy...
The ride out is uneventful. Its straight across RT117 which is a two lane road with a 35-50mph limit. It almost noon time at this point and the roads are mostly empty. Ahhh farm.
I really like this pull right up and stick it in any old parking spot that a scooter allows. So far the day has been good. I have gotten nothing but good reactions from other people and other riders. Some of the older cruiser types on HDs and the like even give me a way. Don't get a single wave from any sportbike riders. Haven't seen any other scooters the whole day. When I hope off the scoot there is a little kid getting out of the minivan next to me. He really liked it and starts pointing it out to his mom.
I cannot believe I lined this shot up. I wasn't even trying. I just wanted a shot of me in front of the ice cream place. Mostly to send to my girlfriend who had to work today and make her jealous. Come to think of it, she has not responded to a single text message or phone call from me all day. She was very concerned about me riding and wanted updates. Oh well...sweet picture.
So now I go up to the counter and its just about 1PM. I actually cannot believe it is so late already. I thought I left my house at 10AM. Yeah it was probably more like 11AM, then parking lot/gas/bank/Concord/bank. So they have a hot dog special posted up on the board. Two dogs, chips and a soda for $3.50. I'm in and they are delicious. So delicious in fact that I forgot to take a picture until I was almost finished.
And the view from my picnic table.
To be continued...
2009 Buddy 150 Italia 1962 Vespa VNB
|06-15-2011, 04:46 PM||#2|
Joined: May 2008
Location: Huntsville, AL
Looks like a fun little scooter. They are great for running around town but they can also be used to do a lot more. A couple of guys recently rode from Arizona to Canada and back on a couple of Buddy scooters. Their ride report is in the ride reports section. I've done a couple of 150-200 mile rides on my 150cc scooter. No reason you can't find some adventure on yours.
|07-19-2011, 07:22 PM||#4|
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Joined: Sep 2010
Cool little scoot and a nice ride, thanks
My Father was my maker. Poverty was my maker. Distrust was my maker. I have met them all my life.
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