The scooter way of life

You've no doubt seen scooters at some point in the past- a small two wheeled form of transportation, which frequently conjures up images of Devo on little red Honda scooters. Sometimes overlooked are the classic italian scooters made during the middle of the 20th century. Classic scooter fanatics generally obssess over two different brands of scooters- Vespa and Lambrettas. You'll encounter people that'll list off reason after reason as to why they prefer one over the other, the arguments of which are generally too tiresome to print here, but I'll provide some of the more mundane details elsewhere.

I'd been interested in scooters for quite some time before I managed to save up some money and buy one. I took the easy way out, and bought one that had been recently rebuilt and restored, which gave me instant gratification on the road. It's a 1964 Vespa, with a 125cc engine. It'll do approximately 60 miles an hour on a flat, allowing me prlenty of time to get to speed. As for cruising around the Twin Cities, I've had no problems keeping up with traffic, as long as I don't try to take any Interstat connections. One thing of note- at over 50cc's (and lacking the distinguishing pedals) this thing is definitely NOT a moped. After buying the scooter, I met up with a group of local scooter riders that meet ever few weekends, and call themselves The Regulars. Once I started to attend the meetings, I started to learn the differences between different makes and models of vintage scooters, as well as some of the finer niceties. (For those that are interested in learning about scooter variations, I've compiled a comparison betwixt two of my scooters. )

When scooter fanatics meet, they can discuss certain niceties of scooters, parts, and accessories for hours on end. One of the fun things about vintage scooters is their simplicity- anybody with a little curiosity can perform any needed work on a scooter with nothing more than a set of metric tools, a Haynes manual, and the willingness to stick with it. I recently rebuilt a scooter for the first time. A friend of mine bought a scooter which was in relatively sound shape, but needed some help. I tore the body down to its component parts, and then separated the engine into a couple separate piles of random hardware. Keeping track of which bits go where is a daunting task, but after the engine goes back together, it's incredibly satisfying to give the starter a kick and feel the engine come to a smooth idle after a few sputters. There's a definite craftsmans pride involved. I still have yet to do paint and bodywork, but maybe that'll happen in the future.

Here are a few pictures of the scooters currently in my stable-