Saturday, September 20, 2008

1,000 Miles and Counting

I was at Royal Oak Drive and Alton Parkway in Irvine, California when I hit the 1,000 mile mark earlier this week. Since taking delivery August 13, I've driven the truck exactly twice. The first time was to get to long term parking at John Wayne Airport (SNA), enroute to a business trip. The second was to drive home from long term parking from SNA. Other than that, it's been all scooter for the last month or so. I realized that meant I was already scooting (skooting?) at a 12,000 mile/year clip. That's quite a change from the 'strictly to work and back' driving I was doing in my truck. I wonder if I will be able to keep up the 'commitment' of making the scooter a daily driver. The fun factor is certainly there, as well as the gas savings. I haven't had to drive in anything more 'inclement' than morning mist just yet, so that should be the big tell for me. I am definitely fond of going where I want when I want without the cost/benefit decision of 'is it worth it?' that I contend with when driving a 15 mpg vehicle.
One thing that has me concerned is maintenance co$t$. Flipping through the warranty manual, noting how often the scooter needs to be serviced, well, you know. I've put this out there once before, without much response, but I am curious as to when people start wrenching their own rides. Do you generally wait until the warranty expires to do your own oil & filter related work? Or do you just document everything you do in the manual? I think eventually I will get a shop manual and learn to do the basics myself, if only to avoid the 80-90 dollar/hour labor costs at the local Vespa dealer. Another option would be to see if their are any independent, certified mechanics in the area that charge less.


Lance said...

Chris, congratulations on hitting the 1,000 mile milestone! Like you, I have tended to ride in pretty fair weather. On maintanence, I have actually done more on my Elite than on my cars, which isn't saying much. I will do oil changes, and tightening a few bolts, but anything more I rely on my local mechanic. He works primarily on cars, but knows enough about small engines to work on my scoot.

Earl Thomas said...

Doing the basics yourself (Oil, and filter changes) is a relatively safe way to save money. I can’t speak for everybody, but with the overall simplicity of my motorcycles, I prefer to take them to an Independent certified mechanic for the other stuff (tires, valve adjustments etc.).

Butch, my mechanic, has taken care of a number of my bikes over the years; he knows how particular I can be, and how I ride, and how much I rely on my bikes for day to day transport year round. My own experience with dealerships has never been as personal. Then again, if I do end up buying a more advanced machine in the future, say a C-14 or something similar, I might consider taking it to the dealership, at least until the warranty has expired.

I’ve got to believe that down there in SoCal, there has to be at least a couple of well qualified Vespa wrenches around. I know a number of BMW riders locally who ride right past the local dealership here to take their bikes to Ed, another Independent, who “Specializes” in only German boxers. There has to be a Vespa version of Ed down there somewhere.