scooterlife - photog's blog

Motorcycles. Scooters. Wheelchairs. Tape. Whatever rolls.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

First mechanical issue - but still smiling

The first mechanical glitch reared its ugly head today. The oil reservoir sprang a leak. It's going to be a fairly straightforward fix, and I still have the Plan B of simply premixing my oil and bypassing the oil injection system. But I'm bummed--weekends are for joyriding the scoot and I already miss it.

Someone on another forum mentioned that I was hooked. I figured my reply was worth blogging:

The big bikes are easy--write a check, go really fast.

The little bikes take you right back to childhood. Any time you're out and about, you're looking behind every barn, next to every garage, looking for that little forgotten, unwanted machine that someone might part with for the wadded up bills you've got in your pocket. You're gonna spend an afternoon scrubbing the carb and then cheering when it fires for the first time and then practically peeing in your pants when it actually idles. Then there's the first ride--30mph never felt so good.

You've gone right back to that Z-50 you had as a kid, your first motorcycle.

How many big bikes do that? How many allow you to reconnect with one of the most pure moments of childhood? I think we tend to spend a lot of time and money trying to get back there with much more expensive playthings, when all it takes is simply...well, simplifying. Was the thrill being launched from 0-60 in 3 seconds? Nope. Was it having more titanium bits on it than the average F-15E? Nope. It was something sorta small, unintimidating, yet absolutely capable of propelling you anywhere at a speed that was just enough to let you know that you were experiencing the magic genie of the internal combustion engine, yet slow enough that the scenery going past wasn't a meaningless blur.

Bringing that into the present tense is pretty easy with a scooter.

The sportier 49cc 2-strokes are an absolute HOOT to ride. Once you get used to the miniscule power band, it's an obsession to rail that thing into a corner, timed just right so that the CVT hooks up mid-apex. Every corner becomes Laguna Seca. You don't need to break 40mph to have the time of your life. And they're totally unintimidating to people. Even if you've been acting the fool, folks will come up to you and ask where you got it, what kind of gas mileage it gets (always say "100 mpg"...when in truth it's closer to 70), if you like it, and so on. And then there's the fun of parking it in any spot you can find, most of the time w/o worrying about a ticket. They just look like they belong there.

And then there's the cheap factor: a 49cc rebuild/hop-up kit to 70cc (which can actually be quite a little slingshot of a bike) is about $150 and 2 hours worth of work.

I've gone from "aw, man, I'm on a small, slow bike" to "BWA HA HA HA HA! I am Rossi! I OWN these streets!" Once that transition hits, you're hooked.

I've been hit with bike lust so many times and so often that I had no idea that you could scratch that itch with an inexpensive scoot.