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Old 10-02-2005, 10:27 PM   #1
kirkmoon OP
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Are are hip urban Vespa riders the Harley guys of scooters?

Dear Abby:

I was out toodling around town one summer evening enjoying the sights on my wife's Aprilia Scarabeo 50, a very fine little around town scoot. I happened upon a large pack (maybe 20-30) of urban sophisticates riding their (to a person) Vespa's, dressed in black hightops, various forms of punk, retro and alternative attire and 50's Italian helmets. Excited to see such a large gathering of my presumed brethren, I tried to follow them to see what they were up to, but they woudn't even acknowledge my existence, let alone give me the time of day. Blew me off like I was a three day old baguette or something.

Are urban scooter trash the Harley guys of the scooter world ???? Or am I just too sensitive?

Sincerely,

Stuck in the Sunset
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Old 10-02-2005, 10:48 PM   #2
Photog
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Dear Stuck,

Does your scooter have a clutch? If not, sod off.

Hugs and Kisses,
Abby



You've probably encountered a pack of hard core classic bike riders.

There is a huuuuuge chasm between the auto scooterists and the shifty bikes, in general, though it can vary from group to group.

The cool thing is that they are the last of the old-school know-how that keeps those bikes going, and generally most of them can ride the snot out of them as well.. These are essentially the Ton-Up guys of scootering and a mentality similar ADV riders...which is why they tend to gravitate towards the Ton-Up rallys: lots of real riding, lots of social stuff that centers on figuring out how to stop oil leaks and seized pistons.

Unless they are asshats as a matter of club prerequisites....that happens, too. That may well have been the case--they're shitheads first and riders second.

Generally the groups that put the ride first will give you a bit of shit about being on an automatic, then tell you to buy the first round and all's well.

I've found that, almost to a one, the classic bike riders are VERY welcoming to those who are interested in their bikes. Show up on a KimChee Happy Flea and they'll be a bit edgy, but I suppose that's like showing up at an ADV rally on a NOS Hayabusa wearing baggy pants, fake bulletproof vest, and one of those chrome Nazi helmets.

Once you establish some cred by acknowleging their (our?) insane devotion to vintage metal scoots/culture/history , they'll welcome you no matter what you're on.

A kitted classic is a feisty thing that needs a lot of mechanical know-how to manage and a fair amount of skill to make it perform to its potential. Those that ride them pride themselves on being more in touch with the machine. I am honestly in awe of what it takes to ride one well, and tune it properly. And I"ve been riding and wrenching for 25 years.

Of course, a modern auto will blow the doors off the older scoots off the line, and you sure as hell don't want to mess with, say, an Italjet Dragster 180 no matter WHAT you're riding, modern sportbikes included. The modern autos are marvels. Period.

The last possibility is that they're so deaf from their Jim Lomas pipes and addled from snorting blue smoke that they never noticed you.
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Old 10-02-2005, 11:09 PM   #3
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Knowledge...

That, my friends is a good reply. Culture, technology and history all wrapped into one.

If I didn't have a 25 mile commute down the autobahn (280) to work everyday, I could see myself going scoot. Love the simplicity (for the new ones, at least).

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Old 10-02-2005, 11:53 PM   #4
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The Mods Vs. Rockers Thread is a good example of the culture. Sort of a starting point.

There's some difference of opinions, but some historians say that the mods vs. rockers thing was something cooked up by the media. The different groups would clash, but not simply due to Mods-ism or Rocker-ism. Nowadays it's a great acknowlegement of a classic era.

Both were working-class groups. Current clubs still have that working-class thing going, as well as steadfast devotion to the bikes. Hard core stuff. When I got hooked up with our local Ton Up group, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that these guys weren't "dressing up" for the rides, or riding Sunday bikes. Their Nortons and vintage Triumphs were oil-leaking daily drivers. They wore the Davida helmets every day and their jackets were well-worn. If you're really into motorcycling, they're totally irrestistable as a group. And the classic scoots are part of that.

Since it draws on the hard-core motorcyclists, naturally it's gonna be a bit clannish. They are as irritated by posers as we are. The emphasis is on riding, and having a certain respect for those that ride well AND manage to keep oil in the damn things.

That's why I was sorta surprised that so many people think of all scoots as being synonymous with little 49cc flea market bikes, when the classics are so much more aligned with what I considered ADV to be all about--a real sense of riding, adventure, and a good amount of mechanical savvy needed to make the adventures end up some place other than a flatbed.
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Old 10-03-2005, 05:48 AM   #5
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That woman knows how to say it, and wow does she say it well!

Hallelujah, Sister Photog!
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Old 10-03-2005, 08:36 AM   #6
kirkmoon OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photog
Dear Stuck,

Does your scooter have a clutch? If not, sod off.

Hugs and Kisses,
Abby



You've probably encountered a pack of hard core classic bike riders.
Show up on a KimChee Happy Flea and they'll be a bit edgy, but I suppose that's like showing up at an ADV rally on a NOS Hayabusa wearing baggy pants, fake bulletproof vest, and one of those chrome Nazi helmets.
Thanks Abby -

I can see this scooter thing is WAY more complicated than I ever realized.

Intellectual thugs in Converse All Stars terrorizing the local Peets Coffee. Scooters with clutches.

What is this world coming to?

Sincerely,

Stuck in the Sunset (clutchless, as usual)

p.s. great answer to my naive question....thanks....I love the thought that little old me on my dumpy shifterless scooter is to hard core scooterists as the above mentioned 'Busa rider is to Adv types. Hilarious analogy. I will think of it while toodling around on the baby beast.
p.p.s. It sounds like the short answer to my original question is....yes.
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Old 10-03-2005, 08:46 AM   #7
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If you lift up the rock and turn it over, there's a lot of subculture squirming around under there. Who knew?

It's a blast, though. I think the easiest way to get to know what it's about is to check out the Mods vs. Rockers rallies.

Insanely fun stuff.
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