Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chuck E. Cheese

Being the father of a 5 year old has forced me to face everybody's 2nd favorite rat a number of times, but not until today did I realize that Chuck E. and his grew rode scooters. Chuck E. seems to be riding a late model Vespa (LX50?) and his crew rides every thing from a SYM Mio to a classic Vespa. May be he isn't such a bad rat after all...

Sorry I didn't have the camera with me today, but I'm sure I will be visiting him all to soon, and I will remember the camera.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

To Scoot or not to Scoot? Part 1 the big boys.

One of the reasons I started this Blog/site was to chronicle my experience buying a scooter. As I stated in the one and only previous post I have been riding motorcycles for quite a few years, but in that time I have never really been a motorcycle commuter, that is until last year. I'll admit it, I'm lazy, and commuting by motorcycle takes a lot more work(ATGATT or all the gear all the time) than does dumping your stuff in the car and leaving. So with the skyrocketing price of gas last year I came up with a system to ride to work with out getting up much earlier than if I drove the car, and it worked pretty good. The only thing that was disappointing was that I never got better than 52mpg on the bike, and that was with the bike freshly tuned (air, fuel, oil filters, plugs, oil change, adn TB sync) with the average about 47-49mpg. This was still way better than the 30 mpg I could get in the car, but I had hoped to see mpg closer to 60.

The Spark. At some point last summer I saw a Piaggio MP3 500 traveling down the road and I immediately thought that's the ticket, a Scooter! And so it started, probably my favorite hobby, Research. My situation is this; I have a 50 mile roundtrip commute, each leg starts and ends with stop and go traffic up to about 50mph. In the middle of each leg is the Interstate, in the morning 5 miles adn in the evening 10-12 miles. The speed limit on the Interstate is 60 mph but the traffic tends to run 70+ mph. So I figure I need a will cruise atleast 65 mph to survive the daily Interstate run.

The MP3 500 being what got me thinking I started with it, and it didn't take long to realize it was not a good canidate for me. Money Money Money. At almost 10k to ride off into the sunset, it would be difficult to justify. Even used ones are going for way more than I would be willing to spend.

So who else made a 500cc scooter, well Piaggio did, besides the MP3 they had the X9 500 (discontinued) and the BV 500. While both would do what I wanted, they left me uninspired. Again who makes a 500cc scooter? Yamaha has started to import the Tmax, but it is quite pricy, and it being new to the states it will be a while before any good used deals show up. Next is the Kymco Xciting 500Ri, and it looks like a winner, triple disk brakes (ABS opt), fuel injection, DOHC, 15" front / 14" rear tires and even a 12v outlet under the seat. The price is looking better also, around $7K out the door with ABS. I almost forgot it comes with a 2 year warranty. Could it be I found what I was looking for? Well it turns out no. All of the big boys those mentioned above and the Honda Silverwing and the Suzuki Burgman 650 get about the same milage as my motorcycle. Even the 400cc scooters such as the Piaggio MP3 400, Yamaha Majesty, and the Suzuki Burgman 400 only get milage in the mid 50's.

1/4 liter, is it enough? Stay tuned for the next post.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

A little bit of history.

To start with I would like to give you a little bit of history. The about me section to the right has been parred down in order to fit the space available, even though there is more details the information below is just the tip of the Iceberg.

Gordon has been riding motorcycles since the age of 12. He has owned 2 Yamaha (1978 DT100, 1980 IT125), 1 Honda (1982 GL500 Silverwing), 1 Kawasaki (1988 EX500) and his current bike a 1996 BMW R850r. He purchased the BMW new in August 1996, it currently has 50,000+ miles on the clock. Gordon has ridden the BMW to the Atlantic ocean and Pacific ocean and most points between including parts of Canada. He became a member of the Iron Butt Association in 2001 by completing a SaddleSore 1000 from Bend Oregon to Sidney Nebraska. He completed the 1127 mile ride in less than 22 hours. Gordon is a member of the Gateway Riders BMW motorcycle club, although not as active now, he has held the office of Treasurer for 2 terms, served as Membership Director for 2 terms and served as Editor of the Gateway Gazette from 2003 through 2005. He still does some traveling on the BMW, but most of his riding is the commute to and from work.

Some day I will find a photo of my first motorcycle and post it. I wish I had a better photo of #3 the Honda, that appears to be the only photo I have of the bike. Some times I wish I had kept the Honda as it was a great bike and I paid very little for it, but that is the way of life. Plus If I had kept the Honda, then I wouldn't have sold the Kawaski and bought an Eagle Talon (Turbo AWD), I wouldn't have sold the Eagle and bought a Corvette, and I most certainly would not have sold the Corvette to buy the BMW which is by far the best motorcycle I have had. My first 4 motorcycles never strayed far from home and never collected many miles. I had only had the BMW for a month when I was called to the road. That first trip was maybe 1800 miles, more miles than I had put on either of my 2 prevouis street bikes.

I have some two wheel plans this year so stay tuned.

More to come.