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!!
This made me stop and think, "now what was it that made me go look at scooters, especially after owning motorcycles?"
I think I had essentially the same experience as Tom, except English. I didn't buy my first scooter until after finishing a school program in the UK. Now I'm wondering if the visits didn't trip some scooter gene in my DNA because I bought one a couple of months after one of those visits.
So when did the rest of you decide to get a scooter?
Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Location: Best Saint Paul
I got my tattoo from a guy named Sergio. He had a lot of tattoos and a shaved head, so when I heard the music that was playing, I made some crack along the lines of, "Huh. A skinhead listening to ska, go figure." (I had just started to listen to a few crazy ska bands, and had just realized that the Operation Ivy and Citizen fish albums I'd been listening to for years were ska.)
Serge laughed and said, "Spirit of '69!" We started to talk about the music ("This is this new ska band, but they keep a real trad sound. Hepcat, they're pretty cool.) and he talked about how he was going to move out to California and work on scooters. That was a conversation that stuck with me for awhile.
My descent into ska over the next few years had me really jonesing for a scoot, but I'd never actually met somebody with one. I'd have more frequent converssations about them with people that had ridden around on them once upon a time. Then in '95 I moved back home and found out that my friend Luther had found a scooter and restored it. I guess he did a pretty decent job on it. But he talked to me about finding a scooter and what kind of stuff to expect when working on it. From that moment on, getting a scooter became a burning need.
Those were kind of the two events that I really remember that sparked or fuelled my interest.
_________________ I like scooters!
Yours is the neatest!
Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: santo paulo
I was a motorcycle guy first, but after laying down my '75 Honda (which still calls to me once in a while from the garage), I decided to hang it up.
So my second time in Rome, a buddy and I rented scoots at the rail terminal cause getting around Rome kinda sucks if you are trying to get to certain places in a convenient manner cheaply. So we picked up the scoots and went on our way around some quiet residential areas, and then accidently got sucked into one of the expressways circling the city. What a rush - no marked lanes, threading through stopped traffic, sidewalks, wrong ways, you name it! We spent three days seeing the sights and continually getting lost. Best memories - my buddy almost running down a heavily armed guard in a crosswalk outside the Israeli embassy, and getting so lost we weren't on our tourist map anymore. Good times.
When I got back to the States, I found the closest Vespa dealer - which was Chicago at the time - and got myself an ET, hooked up with the Regulars soon after that, and met some very cool people!
Growing up I had a small dirt bike (Kawasaki 75) that I rode around in our backyard and occasionally out on a friends farm. I outgrew it sometime around 8th grade and sold it to my girlfriends little brother for $50. I never replaced it but had always wanted to. Fast forward to my first job in Madison, WI, a coworker bought what I now know to be a smallframe Vespa after one of our clients showed up on, again, what I now know to be a Series 1 Lambretta LD150. I thought they were the coolest thing I'd done ever seen. When I moved to Minneapolis in 2000 I would occasionally see a pack of "Vespas" riding around Isles/Calhoun/Harriet.
Being an apartment manager for the last few years allowed me to pay off debts and accumulate enough cash to get one. I chose a vintage scoot because of the aesthetic rather than any knowledge of history or culture, which I've only really been exposed to or intrested in since owning the scoot (does that make me a poser?). That and I think some of it also comes from having friends and family members that fixed up old cars and motorcycles. The tinkering is fun and I don't think most of the new scoots/cars/motorcycles stylistically hold a candle to the old machines. I liken it to holding a freshly printed poster or cd case or whatever, but seeing greater value in that which is letterpressed or screenprinted rather than run by the thousands on an offset press.
I still have a desire for an old motorcycle but our recent home purchase has put that on the back burner for the time being.
Red Helix. Target parking lot in Minnetonka. My life sucks.
HA! hilarious. But nothing to be ashamed of. The Minnetonka part maybe.
first scoot was a honda spree. 1990. My brakes went out on my sweet 79 Monte Carlo and I sold it for 350.00 and bought a spree (as my mullet was dieing to flow in the wind) and had enough money left over to keep me flush in sweet threads for the whole summer. Then I got a car again and sold the spree. I took a 10 year break and I think I was looking for another spree when I came across vespas. Coolest things ever. I looked for cheapo deals about a year and then bit the bullet and in January 2000 I plunged my entire savings into a 200.00 box o' vespa and I've been buying ...boxes o' vespas ever since. Wayne's creation started off as my first purchase. 200.00 purchase + 900.00 in parts = 600.00 scooter 4 years later, ah the joy of vintage vespas. I try to consider the 500.00 deficit my tuition for all the bodge techniques I learned.
Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Minnetonka, Minnesota
As a kid back in the '60s (yeah, I'm old) my father told me about the scooter he and his brothers rode when he was in High School (I think it was a Cushman 50 series). That's when I decided I wanted a scooter.
Fast forward a few decades, when my wife and I visited Bermuda on a cruise. One of the days we rented a large wheel, 100cc scooter and rode two-up all around the island. I decided then I was going to own a scooter some day.
A couple more years pass, my wife and I move to Minneapolis. One day we're walking around Uptown and come across a 1985 Honda Elite 250 scooter for sale. It had some cracked plastic held together with duct tape, a broken speedometer cable, and dry-rotted tires, but to me it was a thing of beauty. Within a couple of days and with a little negotiation, I owned my first scooter.
Now I own both a big ol' Burgman 650 and a charismatic little Chetak, but you know what? I miss that battle weary Elite, I really do.
I ended here through a series of acts of poor judgment. If there was a checklist for stupid things Derrick hears from people who want vintage bikes, I'd be able to mark almost all the boxes.
Spring after W was first elected, I was irritated with him and decided I didnít want to give any more money to his cronies by buying gas so I started looking for ways to conserve. My cousins had a Vespa when I was a kid and I thought it was the coolest thing ever and decided I had to have one.
I saw this picture online and fell in love.
There were actually a pair of them, both 1964 Allstates. Neither of them ran. I decided I had to have them and used the ďconservationĒ excuse to buy them. I thought commuting on a vintage scooter was a really good idea. I had NO experience rebuilding engines, but I did a lot of my own work on my cars over the years. I was also was dating a very handy guy at the time. He rebuilt cars and so thought the scooters would be easy because theyíre smaller. He decided to buy one, I kept the other. We decided to fix mine first. He took the engine apart, didnít document anything, and then let it sit in my basement for almost a year. I gave up, called the Vespa boutique to get a name of a mechanic who tried to charge me many times what he estimated to fix it and totally botched the job. He also took all the new parts I bought and put used ones on my scooter, including an engine that he said was rebuilt and wasnít. It was getting REALLY expensive by this time, but my completely irrational love for my scooter would not die (fortunately for me the irrational love for the boyfriend did).
The fellow I bought the scoots from didnít know about Scooterville and so only gave me Scooterworks as a source. I never even thought to look for a place here, figuring a scooter owner from here would have thought of that first. FINALLY things started looking up. Derrick is my HERO. He made my scooter go. I was SO happy. I was also totally amazed that I was not the only one with a totally irrational love for my machine. I also learned these people hung out in packs and went riding together and stuff. I didnít go at first because I didnít realize what a welcoming group it was. Brooke was the first person I met at a Regulars ride. Mojo Willy, Adrienne, Nick and his wife were there too.
Now Iím totally addicted, thanks to all the folk here who helped me learn how to fix things, ride properly in a group, etc. Thanks all!
The other scooter, by the way, is still in this condition. The guy who owns it won't ever do anything with it, but won't sell it either. GRRR. I could use a few parts...
I am a young man who has p-u-n-x tatooed on my left arm. I shoved a needle covered in blood and ink into my arm over and over until the raised letters were intelliglble. At that time i crashed on skateboards and smashed guitars...while doing these things i saw some picures in magazines and music videos, of people riding Vespas. My friends and i had lowrider bikes that we totally mod-ed out, so i guess that was a little groundwork. I was probably 15 years old when i knew that one day i'd have 300 lbs. of italian craftsmanship up against my crotch.
I was probably around 20 when i started looking at pictures of "new" ET's and realizing the difference between a scooter, and a scooter!!! I pondered the glorious possibilites of owning one of these machines further, and more frequently.
When i finished college and started making a little dough, i started poking around my friends for a lead on a scooter (preferebly a lammy) i could fix up... I did not know shit.
After a long search for the TV200 that was never there, a friend bought a stella shortly after they came out. He had it for about a year before he moved to Manhattan and decided it would be too much of a hassle to have. He had been storing it at my house, and naturally i had been stealing the keys when my roomate was at work and practicing on it in the icy alley. After a couple of months I finally got the guy to just sell it to me. That's when i started taking it apart.
I had been reading TONS of shit on the internet, even reading the P shop manual. I've always had an affinity for taking things apart without braking them. Well, i guess not always...I was bicycle mechanic for a few years and learned how to use some tools and a little basic metallurgy. So i just kept messing around with my Stella to make it fast and reliable (i chose those two). It has done me very well in the last two years. I have been a total asshole to it. I ride it pretty much every day the temprature is above 35 degrees and the streets are dry (or not so dry, more like icy...).
This summer i crashed too much, but i put on about 3000 mi. so i guess i won't crash for awhile, huh?
Joined: 28 Jun 2005
Location: St. Paul MN USA
Gesh were go I start. I guess I can't be as cool as all of the others that have posted here.... Here I go....
Way back in the olden day when I lived in rural Iowa we rode 3 wheelers, motocycles ect and some of the "cool" kids had mopeds. Of course I wanted to be just like them......
I went to scooterville way back in the day pretty much right after Bob and Derrick opened the place. I really wanted a scooter, the stella, but I was in a tight relationship at the time and the other half didn't want to spend the money, or maybe it was the danger factor, or maybe a little bit of both.
After a couple of years sitting in a cage of a good portion of my life that I wish I could reclaim, I made the leap.
I got a wild hair up my ass and while I was down at the DMV with the wifey getting her learners permitt to drive a call, I read the motorcycle manual and when we came back to pick up her license I took the motorcycle learners test... I wanted to ride the stella.
So with the permit in my hand, I went to scooterville and rode the stella. They had the last Fireball Bob was going to get and it was in the box. A couple of girls were looking at the Fireball but they hadn't decided yet, so I told Ed, "I want that scooter." I kinda feel bad buying out from under them, but WTF, I wanted it, I had the $. I haven't looked back since. I have crashed once, totally my fault, but no injuries, just some shit in the old drawers... :-)
When I was 15 I somehow convinced my mom that I need a scooter to get to school and find skate spots so I got a Honda Spree Iowa Edition 29mph!! Then when I got a car a couple years later I sold the Spree. Years ahead Thrasher had a spread with Matt Hensley that had a few shot of his scoot in it, then a light bulb went off, shortly after a guy work said he had one for sale and that was that...
-++-you can't spell jackass with out JKSC-++-
In high school a couple of friends got Girelli (sp?) mopeds. They let me use them once in a while, and they were fun but sooo slow. After High school a guy I knew who had some Lambrettas and Vespas needed cash so for a princely sum of $200 I got a 63 allstate AKA The Piglet. It was a great scooter and I rode it year round when road conditions permited. It was at many a warehouse party and out door festival. I never locked it and it was never harassed it seem to have a protective karma. I used to love it if/when police would pull me over very confused as they never knew what cc it was and when you needed a license. That scoot lasted 3-4 years but the interest and intrigue continues. I am now attending scooter-buyers therapy, although we don't solve our addiction we trade parts and drink beer, kinda like a swap meet. I need help 1 became2 became3 became4 became5.........................................................................................................you wanna selll that?
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