Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day Two (Acclimation)

Alright. I wasn't ready for just how LOUD it is after you pass 40 mph or so. The earpieces for my helmet were described as functional for 'cold weather riding,' so I took them out. Right. First time I stopped the scooter, I put 'em right back in. It's still a bit louder than I anticipated, but I'll get used to it. Tonight was the first time I actually took it out on the road and got a feel for it. Last evening's laps around the parking lot don't really count. I suppose today was really day one. I can say, between today and yesterday, having the LX out in public, it does garner the attention people claim. When it was tied down in the bed of the truck yesterday, people wandered around the perimeter staring at it. At a red light, a guy in a four-wheeler with big tires leaned over the passenger seat to talk to me.
"Is that a Vespa? Yeah? I thought it looked like a real Vespa. What year is it? 2009? Cool. How many CCs? 150? Oh, that's perfect!"
And there are the pedestrians at crosswalks discussing the merits of getting their own scooter. "I should get one of those for work. I could take the side roads..."
Of course, not all attention, even if it is positive, is good attention. I was doing 45 mph in a 45 mph zone. Traffic was dense enough that riding at the speed limit wasn't really obnoxious, but a guy in a Lexus was tailgating me in the left lane regardless. So I waited for an opening, and got over to the right. Lexus got over and resumed tailgating. My first thought was that he was just not fond of sharing the road with a scooter. Then I realized, Lexus driver was just gawking. Proud of my purchase as I am, it was still a little uncomfortable to be tailgated like that, even if the cause was unabashed admiration for the ride.
The other question I've been getting constantly is 'How much?' When I first started looking, the MSRP was a little daunting, but after figuring out the economy/cost of ownership vs. my current vehicle and certainly after experiencing my first real ride - my initial reaction at being asked 'How much' is not longer sheepish or explanatory. Rather, it's a little proud.

Post-ride grind. Rubio's black bean and cheese burrito. It's A Grind's Iced Nutty Cow.

Other observations. Need goggles of some sort. A rear rack (or top case) would be nice. Despite the impression many people give - I don't agree that a stock LX has a lot of storage. Yes, there is room for a helmet under the seat, and that's awesome. The 'bag hook' does the job, but I think I'd rather have that space free. The 'glove box' is pretty useless. Anyway. Something to think about. And I wonder if a windshield is a good call. I've read that it can improve top speed/fuel efficiency - and also cut down a bit on the wind. Which, well, makes sense - being a windscreen and all. Oh, back to storage. Do people actually put groceries in that under-the-seat bin? I mean, it gets kinda warm in there. I was thinking, if I lived somewhere colder, I would love to keep a spare pair of gloves down there.

1 comment:

Steve Williams said...

Congratulations on your new black Vespa. Looks very nice.

I don't like the wind noise either and always wear foam earplugs. I buy 144 of them at a time at Lowe's or Home Depot. They are the 32DB variety that contractors use so the saws don't melt their brains. They're cheap, 12 bucks a box or so.

The Vespa sure does get attention. For me it has almost all been positive.

Be careful out on the road. And the MSF training is worth every moment...

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks