Category Archives: Modification and Repair

New Year, New Scooter Goals

Hello out there in cyberland!

While having a family and job can really take a toll on “free time”, the passion that is Scooter Culture is alive and well with our Gang.

My scooter-partner-in-crime has been exceedingly busy, as have I, with the usual time sucks. He’s got himself a snazzy Stella these days, and I’m still screwing with the Vespa that just will not live. I’ve got grand plans to take apart the motor to get that done right again. At the very least, she’s safe in my garage, awaiting some spare time to take out her heart for some surgery.  We’re getting there.

What’s cool is that a fellow from my day job is a scooter enthusiast as well. He’s the former owner of a little Honda Ruckus. Now that he’s got a scooter-enthusiast-buddy in me, he’s even more motivated to get riding again! SCORE!

So while we’re limping along through this lame excuse for a winter, we are making eversoslight progress around these parts.

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Keep your eyes on the road Slow Kids and see you on the flip side!

~wendE


A little humor and updates

Happy Weekend Slow Kids!

I thought to myself that I should share this little comic a friend of mine sent me. It’s so great, especially for those of us that live in the Southwest United States.

Stay tuned for my engine rebuild series. I’ve got all the parts I need and I will be attempting to rebuild my LML 5-port engine over the coming weeks. With a little one and a full time job, there’s little time to devote to a new project, but I’m really itching to get the V running again. It’s going to be premier weather in no time.

Anyway, here’s the humor!

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Summer is winding down

At least here in Arizona, kids are going back to school and people aren’t traveling as much because of that. The roads are more congested, which sucks for commuters. However, we have had record heat and widespread flooding throughout the Phoenix area. It’s been a crazy summer. 

But I know that elsewhere in the country, you’re going to be heading into fall in just the next few weeks. Here, that’s like October. But the fall tends to be prime riding weather. I’m hoping to get my scooter up and running by October. I want to have that experience too! Plus, it’ll be a nice little commuter to and from work. The guys in the packaging plant where I work will tease me relentlessly, but I don’t mind. 

Anyway folks, here’s to your summer rides! Cheers!


The Ode to Stella 

I love my vintage Vespa, although I’ve barely ridden it. With the oppressive heat, a shady mechanic who is now out of business (thankfully?), and issues with know how and funding, riding my V has not been much of s possibility. I cannot believe that I’ve had this scooter for four years already. Once things are back under control, I will definitely be taking the time to get it back running (properly this time) and my butt on the road. 

With that being said, there is and always will be a part of my heart that adores the Stella. Genuine Scooter really made me happy with this one, and now that they have a 4-stroke, so if I ever move out of the Wild West, I’d be able to ride still. For several years now I’ve been lusting secretly for a Stella. She was one of the first scooters I ever rode on and has proved to be rugged and durable, on top of being dead sexy. 

Now, again, don’t get me wrong, my heart will always belong to vintage scooters, since that’s where the Stella sexiness came from after all, but there’s just something about the Stella that speaks to me in a different way than the V. Maybe because I’m American and Stella is American. We speak the same language, while tipping our hat to the originals. The V is Italian, and while on the outside, that sex appeal is second to none, we just speak different languages. I don’t speak Italian, though I think it’s a beautiful language, and I just don’t understand why, for such a simple machine it has to be so damn difficult to work on. Plus, the V is high maintenance with a high price tag. Parts are easy, since the motor is an LML, it’s just the frame that’s vintage truly. But it’s just such a pain, partly due to the fact that the ‘gentleman’ who built it obviously didn’t do it right for as long as it took him to finish putting it back together. 

Stella, she’s easy. Not in a floozy kind of way, but in a two-year warranty kind of way. A new and shiny, light and bright kind of way. She’s not so stubborn as the V, not so particular. Rather, she’s just easy going and ready for adventures. The V, has turned into a chore. A burdensome paperweight that hasn’t moved in longer than I’d like to admit, but there’s been no reason to move. Nowhere to go, because it’s not operational. 

There’s no way that I’d sell the V, especially in this condition, but there’s a part of me that is saddened by the way this scooter has gone. This was supposed to be a fun, liberating experience; something that I’ve wanted for most of my life. Yet, considering the circumstances in which the scooter was purchased, it would figure as much that the whole thing would go south. 

I’m not condemning the person who pressured me into this purchase by any means, I just think that the conditions could have been better. I would feel better about the scooter if it were due to a different situation. Not only that, but I paid way too much for the disaster this became. 

But back to Stella. She would have cost less, brand new. And I’d surely have a reliable bike to ride. I guess that’s the point. 

Anyway, does anyone have a favorite scooter they’d like to muse about? Please add your comments below!

Thanks for reading! 

 


2013 in review

I got this ‘blog in review’ email from wordpress this morning and thought that sharing it would be kind of fun, since it’s new years and all. I just want to thank all the loyal readers that have stuck around with us as long as you have. It means a lot to us as scooter enthusiasts, but also on a personal level. We have posted some silly things, but also the struggles we have encountered with finances and our machines. Thank you for taking time out of your lives to read about ours. More great stuff to come, I promise. So, without further delay, WP. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


SYM vs. Super-Cub

Here’s a fun little video comparing these two scooters. Thanks to the kids at ScooterNews for putting this together.


Vera 1, Wende 0

Top of the, well, almost afternoon by my clock…

Anyway, so sorry for the delays in blog posts. If you’re interested in getting “slightly” more up to date information, please join our group on Facebook HERE.

We post pictures, general chit-chat and links to this here blog.

So, to get everyone up to speed… My Vintage 1970 Vespa VBB 150 was fixed by a helpful friend who is also a freaking scooter genius. Shout out to Bob!

My lovely scooter also has a name now, Vera. I figure something not too stuffy, but elegant and very Italian. But now that I have a name to my scooter, I can also call her a picky bitch.

Here’s the story: Got her all fixed up and since she’s not been on the road for close to 2 years, I was riding occasionally. Well, it’s now 100 + degrees in the Valley of the Sun and she, apparently, hates me for that. I JUST passed my motorcycle permit written exam by the skin of my teeth and still had yet to get her emissioned and registered to me. The reason for this, well, quite simply… I couldn’t get her to the DMV to do all this because I wasn’t legally able to drive her. So, without me so much as having driven 10 miles on this scooter and 0 of them have been outside my neighborhood I set out on an 8 mile journey to the emission place. I went Friday, as early as I could… about 9:45am is when I finally had myself and the bike ready to go.

I will say without a shadow of a doubt, driving on major streets in Phoenix on a scooter is scary as hell. Not to mention I hadn’t realized it until I was cruising along that my speedometer doesn’t work. Great. I really should have turned back then, but I’m stubborn. When I finally get to the place, it’s quite literally hotter than hell, but nevertheless, after several confused people looking at my title and the scooter, she passed.

However, once I got about a couple miles away on my trek home, she died. She wouldn’t stay running for anything and I hope that it was just her overheating and nothing more. I sat in the shade at a service station for about a half hour, texting, chatting on the phone, getting a drink of water… hoping to get her back on the road. I waited and waited. No dice. Vera let me down. After a few phone calls and the stark realization that EVERYONE I knew was at work, out of town or didn’t have the ability to help me… I started walking. Vera and I walked about 4 miles. It could have been longer, but either way it was hot (over 100 degrees), the middle of the day by now and the bitch is heavy, but there was no chance that I was leaving her to get stolen or destroyed.

About half way on my walkabout I was offered a ride from a pair of guys in a crappy, beat up pickup truck. I smiled and politely declined. I am not about to take rides from strangers, if I can avoid it. I might be stupid sometimes, but I’m not going to risk it. In hindsight… well, I think I should have thought about it further. I had a very long walk ahead of me.

Anyway, the walk took about 2 hours and I got lots of comments from passersby and a few honks. Everyone thought I ran out of gas…. how silly. I passed at least 5 gas stations. Suffering from heat exhaustion and muscle fatigue, I made it. I was still wearing my riding jacket for sun protection since I only put sunblock on my hands and face before I left. I am so glad I did that. I would have been a crispy critter for sure. My clothes were 100% soaked and I took the world’s longest cool shower to bring my body temp down. It was nice to relax for a few minutes. After the shower I rested most of the afternoon. I drank a ton of water and ate healthy food to make sure that my electrolytes and mineral balance were normalized because I know that I would be sore.

I was right about the soreness… I’m feeling it today for sure. My arms still feel kind of like rubber bands and my ankles and wrists are super unhappy. But, with all that trouble and stress, I will say that I have a new found appreciation for other riders. I now know first had how it sucks to be stuck and having to push. I know that I’m capable of taking care of myself on the open road and that if I were to break down, I have the fight in me to do what I need to, to be safe. I also know now that this was a very important life lesson not just for riding. I can do much more than my physical body thinks it can if I shut out the negative internal monologue. I’ve been struggling with my internal conversation lately and she’s been saying unkind things to me about my effectiveness and such. I know that if I turn that off, I can overcome great difficulties. That doesn’t mean I’ll enjoy it, but I am able to find the positive lesson in the hardship. I’m grateful for that.

So there you have it kids…. My latest adventure in scooters.

Until next time!

~wem