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Tom Lindsay
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:09 am  Reply with quote
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So sometime this spring owning a scooter passed from a distant hope to an immediate necessity, and I test rode and bought my Stella at the end of April and beginning of May. It was unclear to me exactly what caused the sudden prioritization of this desire.

Until now. I can pinpoint the exact moment as March 21, the last time I came to Paris for research. Man, this city is an American scooterist's dream! It had been subconscious last time, but now I can't walk down a boulevard without stopping a dozen times to take pictures of all the cool scooters!!

I've been taking pictures on my phone but don't have a way to upload them till I get home - I'm using a terminal at the research library I'm working at, and it's supposed to be for research only...

But anyway, Piaggios are by far the most common, followed by Peugeots and Yamahas. Under French law you can ride anything up to 125cc on a regular driver's license, and anything above that requires a difficult motorcycle licensing process, so almost all the scooters are exactly 125cc.

There's a lot more classic scoots on the road than I expected - piles of P125s from the early 80s, piles of PK50s, a lot of Primaveras, I've seen a rally, and a small handful of 60s bikes. The modern PX150 is fairly popular, but it's the only new shifter you see.

For those who like modern scoots, there's everything - but most are 125cc maxiscoots - Piaggio X8, X8 Super, and X9 are far and away the most popular bikes - the X8 Super has a huge built-in trunk. You see a few X8 and X9 with the big engine, but almost all have 125. I've seen a lot of Granturismos like Grant's, but none with the 200cc engine - all are 125.

The Burgmans and Majesties are all over the roads and are the only things you commonly see with a big engine - plenty of 125s, but a few 250, a lot of 400 and a couple 650 too.

I'm out of time - more later! I'm tempted to rent something...

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dmarquis
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:36 am  Reply with quote
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Ok Tom, your goal is to strap a roll movie camera on the front of a scooter and try to make it across the main paris business strip before the film runs out......Fnirt was telling me about a guy how did it......in a ferrari so some such vehicle....

Dave
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Tom Lindsay
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:59 am  Reply with quote
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Yeah, that would be fun... but I don't know if my health insurance works here. Of course my life insurance does, and seeing these things in traffic, I wonder if that's the more important one anyway...

I didn't even mention the BMW C1 earlier - this is what every Minnesota scooterist should have for those too-frequent days when a scooter doesn't cut it. It's essentially a scooter - two small wheels, small engine (125-200) under the seat, step-through frame; except it has a windshield complete with wiper and a roof, and a largish trunk on the back. France requires helmets, but riders of these are allowed to either wear a helmet or use the cross-style seatbelt that these have - they essentially are roll cages! The back support has short handles on either side, and when strapped in, it keeps you neatly inside the cage in case of any type of spill. They're twist n go *and* they lose most of the benefit of a scooter - being out in the environment - but on a rainy Paris day Tuesday the guys in these were just wet on their arms, and their wipers were slapping back and forth. It would be a perfect backup for crappy days. But I suspect they're wickedly expensive...

Also, almost all the *big* motorcycles are dual-sports, though I can't imagine any of them have seen any dirt except dog crap. Most of those are little 125-250 jobs, except there's a lot of BMW R1200GS bikes around. And absolutely everything on two wheels (including the real mopeds, which are surprisingly common) has a Givi topcase on the back. Scooterville should really carry these - they're nicer than the ones at Scooterville and are available in a diverse range of shapes and sizes, for any use.

I think that's the whole scooter report from Paris... Is this what you wanted Brad?

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nate
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:08 am  Reply with quote
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You don't need health insurance- you're in Paris! Remember that europeans, by and large, all belong to this godforsaken socialist hippy communist crap where they give medical care to everybody.
As David Sedaris pointed out, not only is the care free, you can smoke in the waiting room.


There's a scooter shop in Paris that's absolutely amazing, if you have the money. Just walls full of vintage chrome accessories. About the only thing I could afford was a $30 badge from a 1958 scooter rally.

I can't find a decent interactive map of Paris, or I could probably find it and tell you where it was. I can't even remember the owner's name, who was incredibly gracious and took us out to his collection of rarities in the shed out back- they were incredible!

I can't remember his name, either- Philipe .... Arrgh, it's bugging me. We just found a "Things to do in Paris" book while browsing at a department store, looked for scooters, and found this shop. Just NE of Notre Dame, basically. Grr.

My favorite mod that I saw on a scooter- the shifting end of the headset had been destroyed, so the owner apparently had to hold the handgrip back onto the headset with a big bolt. However this kind of led to problems in that now he couldn't rotate the handgrip. So they had rigged up a stick shift that was drilled into the top of the headset. Little bent steel rod with a ball on the top of it. Might have even been ar ubber boot at the bottom. I'll have to dig up my pictures- it was SO COOL.

Paris has a lot of scootes, but I think I only saw one vintage bike that I can remember 'in the wild'.

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Brad
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:58 am  Reply with quote
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Thanks Tom, that was a great report from the perspective of a US/Minnesota scooterist.

You'll have to post the pictures when you come back. If you don't have a spot Dave or should be able to figure something out.

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dmarquis
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:16 am  Reply with quote
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I can host any pics if you need a place.

Dave
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