an absolute noob buys Aprilia 250. Falls off

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Nimajus, May 28, 2013.

  1. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    71
    So my friend and main job provider has all kinds of toys including a 125cc Yamaha Typhoon.

    One day after work he said, jump on and take it around a block...
    So I did...

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    Sorry for the outfit, was working :D

    A though of buying a motorcycle or a scooter had visited my noggin a year before. It had totally returned when I jumped on my friends scooter and took off. I was amazed by how easy it was to ride, how light it felt and steered. Just the whole 3min experience sold me on the idea of having one.

    I had driven my car seven days a week and while I carry equipment on the weekends, I'm almost always alone in a large four door sedan dragging this huge weight to work like a motorized hermit crab.

    I really felt shitty driving this boring heavy box around all by myself. Putting a lot of miles and slowly wearing the suspension on every bump.

    So I went to Craigslist and with my friends help I found many Fly 150's and Zuma 125's.

    Without many responses and some high mileage and modded scoots around NYC and Queen's area I kept looking.

    Then this Aprilia 250 greeted me with a big bright Borinquena flag spray painted on its cut down windshield.

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    So I picked it up with 7300 miles and in a very nice condition.
    Got it registered, got my permit and insured it.

    Second day of riding on it, take it out for a small errand onto a busy Jericho Tpky and few blocks from work a lady in a big SUV...
    pulls out from being parked without a blinker to do a U-turn across two lanes, double yellow.

    Since I'm literally clueless, I beep and start to brake. But she's continuing with the U-turn so I panic and turn to the slow lane either too abruptly or without releasing the front brakes fully.
    Anyways I end up sliding for quite a bit with the scooter on my leg :)

    Gladly I softened the scooters fall quite a bit with myself, so it did not get much damage. Just a few tiny scratches and a few broken clips on a plastic piece. I myself just got a bloody leg which is almost healed up.

    The lady stopped on the other side of the road. Saw that I stood up (with some help from old ladies from a hair salon :D - talk about embarrassing) and then she drove off as I reached to get the scooter off the ground.

    So a very important lesson learned, I went on riding the next day with a very swollen and immobile ankle.

    Since then I've ridden every day to work except the weekends when I carry equipment in my car.

    Been driving all around Long Island with any time I would have before or after work. One day ended up riding for five hours around the North Shore.

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    On a damp, cold day.

    Today I tried to see how it is in the rain, and was amazed at how dry I arrived at work. I am frikking addicted to this thing.

    In the two weeks I put over 500 miles and can't wait to go Adventuring. On Memorial day after a busy day I drove to Queens to join my friend who got me into scooters, and ended up on my first Highway adventure :O

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    So hello everyone! This is me - Nimajus or Neo. I'm waiting for a real helmet to ship any day now and then will want to venture further from home.

    P.S. I want to say a big thanks to Klaviator for his amazing Aprilia Sport City Review and just posting all the stuff showing that a scooter like this is such a capable bike to go everywhere. Thanks!
    #1
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,915
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Welcome to the forum. You picked a good scooter that you won't outgrow very soon.

    As for crashing it.......join the club. At least it crashes pretty well:D
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    Don't ask me how I know:hide
    #2
  3. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    875
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    congrats and welcome! the sportcity 250 is awesome, and is pretty much the ideal scooter, in my eyes. (i traded up to a bv350 because i need more highway power, but the sportcity 250 was just enough lighter and more flickable to be irresponsible fun.)
    #3
  4. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    433
    Location:
    central valley, california
    Welcome to Adv; Welcome to the SC250 Crew; and welcome to the SC crash club!
    #4
  5. btcn

    btcn Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,880
    Location:
    Morgan Hill CA
    Don't worry, 99.999999% of the time, you either gone down or your fixin' to!:deal
    #5
  6. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,069
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    I've been down only once, when I was literally sideswiped by a Suburban while legally riding my 50cc moped on the shoulder. The idiot driving the Suburban was actually trying to pass on the shoulder, and didn't see me in time. Unfortunately it was a bit more serious. I didn't stand up. I spent a week in the hospital, and was off work for nearly 2 months, with another month on light duty. I still have permanent injuries form that accident.

    I would not ride wearing that German helmet, at least get a decent (though it does not have to be expensive, just DOT certified) full face helmet. And make sure everything is covered, long sleeved shirt/jacket, long pants, solid shoes/boots that won't come off, and gloves. I am not into the ATGATT thing, but I won't recommend against it either.

    Best of luck with your new scoot. You might also want to check into taking the MSF course if you are a new rider. And remember, anything out there on 4 wheels really is out to get you.
    #6
  7. ScootTour

    ScootTour Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,491
    love riding my SC.
    I just hate looking at it.

    I am not a fan of its style but I like everything else about it.
    #7
  8. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,398
    Location:
    MS. Gulf Coast
    You couldn't find a real helmet in the entire NYC area ?
    #8
  9. ScootTour

    ScootTour Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,491
    Would not surprise me.
    Even in Houston its hard to get riding gear retail.

    I have been in JP motorcycles in Denver and holy smokes that is a place with some friggin gear..I think it was JP
    #9
  10. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,311
    Location:
    Florida Keys
    Apparently this is going to be a hard core rider. Goes out the first day, tries a major highway, drops it, lets it chew his leg up and doesnt give a shit and keeps going.

    I'd say keep doing what you're doing and keep posting pictures. In a world filled with nannies you are a breath of fresh air. Well done.
    #10
  11. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    71
    So been very busy with work...
    My car has been very busy collecting dust... while my scooter collecting miles on the odometer.

    This weekend I went over 9000 miles! I'm almost at 2000 miles since I got this scooter! WOOOO

    I can't believe how versatile this thing is. Yesterday I rode to Manhattan to meet a client; and even though my 250 has a very small storage compartment. I managed to fit a dSLR camera, a vodka bottle and a messenger bag under the seat.

    It was raining the whole day and it really was not that bad. Highway and traffic is not that bad. And even though I get a little wet it's still SOOO MUCH more fun than sitting in the damn car.

    The new helmet makes a huge difference, and cruising at 70 on the highway feels quite good. I even drove wearing the suit to work the other day :D

    I also put back the little cut-down windscreen back on after painting over the flag. But I'll have to do maintenance on the scooter soon.
    The belt seems to be a little loose, especially on 'low gear' or should I say low part of the cone.... I don't know how to describe it.


    Anyways so this is what I want to ask you Battle Scooterists...
    How difficult is it to change the belt, I could go to my friend and borrow his tools, he has impact gun I think which is needed. Or should I take it to the dealer? Any idea what that should cost?

    The thing is that I want to go to Texas for the formula 1 race in early November; and I really want to take the scoot over there.
    I figured I could do 4 hours of driving, then take a break, do sightseeing. Then drive 3 more. This way 7 hours a day is not a bad progress and I could see more of this country.

    I need to figure out storage situation and gas canister. Also is there a reason I don't see too many photos of bikers traveling with a backpack on these trips? Any advice would be appreciated.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,915
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Glad to see you are enjoying your Sport City.

    To answer the questions in your last post, I replaced my belt, rollers, and sliding blocks myself at 11,500 miles. I adjusted the valves at the same time. I documented all this in this thread: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=695285
    This procedure starts around post #70.
    It was a pita and I did have to get some extra tools although I did not get all the special Aprilia tools. If you are going to replace the belt, you might as well to the rollers, sliding blocks and check the valves at the same time. It's not easy to do but will save you a ton of money.

    As for storage, the easiest solution is a tail trunk. The sport city can carry quite a bit of stuff. Here's pic of mine on a trip with all my camping gear:

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    I also had a bag on the back of the seat as well as saddlebags. Don't forget you can also carry stuff on the floorboards between your feet.

    #12
  13. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    71
    I have the tail trunk, but the saddle bags I've looked into seem too small. Which ones do you have/would recommend.
    Also is a bag on the bag a special bag? How does it attach?
    Where should I keep the extra fuel? (Do I even need it?)
    And why I don't see people with just a big backpack?
    Is it uncomfortable/dangerous?

    I just don't see why I would not have my 50 gallon backpack on while riding.
    It does not seem like it would get in the way too much.

    [​IMG]
    Heading Home by Neo - nimajus, on Flickr
    #13
  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,915
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    The saddlebags are tourmaster. They are pretty small but they attach under the seat so they don't have to come off when getting gas. Large saddlebags just won't fit. The bag on the seat is something I picked up at Wally World, nothing special.

    A back pack would work if that's what you want to do but seems like it would be a hassle every time you got off the scooter.

    I don't carry extra fuel but perhaps out west I would.
    #14
  15. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    71
    So last three days in the row I had shoots in New York City, and took the scooter out there.

    On Sunday it was extra special because I had to shoot video, so I ended up having two cameras, tripod, monopod, led light, 4 lenses, stedicam, microphones + my girlfriend. I am absolutely amazed at the versatility of the almighty scooter.

    Why don't everybody have them?!

    Today I shot and assisted a shoot in Central Park, so both my boss and I scooted out :)

    Here are some pics.

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    His Yamaha Zuma 125 having no problem on a highway. It had a great last day (he sold it few hours ago, going for a bigger scoot)

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    Riding on the side of Queensborough Bridge

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    #15
  16. Chillis

    Chillis Land Barge Pilot

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,234
    Location:
    Spring Mountain Range
    You just called an Italian bike a Japanese bike. Out!

    Battle scooter license was just revoked! :rofl
    #16
  17. redhandmoto

    redhandmoto Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    689
    Location:
    People's Democratic Republic of Tarsnakestan
    Stunning photos, btw.
    #17
  18. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    71
    Oh damn.... Sorry about that.
    My friend (in the pics) just sold his scoot, buying yamaha tmax.
    My girlfriend is thinking of getting a fly 150 so I got all mixed up.

    Anyways seems like I've inspired people around me to scoot after putting 2k miles in a month with no long trips.

    Also just ordered rustoleum neverwet. It's this spray on chemical that repels water. Should be nice not to get droplets on the visor since I ride a lot and it's been raining a lot in NY this year. Maybe it will work okay on jeans too :)

    I got curious imagining what it would do if it was applied on tires.
    Would it push away water more efficiently making the tires work better, or make you hydroplane... hmmm

    Saw this video that blew my mind a bit
    http://youtu.be/DZrjXSsfxMQ?t=57s

    My amazement with my scooter continues...
    It is so much like bicycling while being able to cover great distances and not having the cost and burdens of other modes of transport that it makes me explore so so so so much.

    Just in the area around where I lived I keep making stops and turns and finding all kinds of things. I discovered these amazing cancer and genetic laboratories located in one of the most scenic locations of Long Island, NY. I found a huge wilderness park that hides in the midst of sprawling suburbia. Little windings streets, lakes and just wow. I had some very expensive equipment stolen from me this weekend, and because of the scooter I still manage to smile.

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    #18
  19. K-Chil

    K-Chil Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    Littlefun, CO
    I read your first post.

    Thanks for sharing. I wasn't expecting to have the attention-span to read all that, but you must be a good writer, since it held me in spite of the undiagnosed ADD I most likely have.

    For shame! Don't you know you should have ALL your gear before you have your bike?

    Actually, when I finally got back on two wheels with the Zuma 125, I didn't have my old helmet handy. It was locked away in storage for years, inaccessible to me unless I completely sifted through all my boxes and junk to retrieve it. I'm an uber-safety nerd, but I broke the bank when I initially bought the Zuma. I won't make too many excuses, but I kind of needed the extra mode of transportation so my girlfriend could use my car. Hey, a man's gotta please right?

    I know what safety standards I set for myself; I don't preach to people either, but I can't help but feel at least an ounce of shame when I know I'm not following my own advice.

    So I used my kayaking helmet (on par with a bicycle or wake-boarding helmet; the kind meant for multiple impacts) for awhile; I'd say a month or so, before my E3 (Euro-Dot equivalent) finally arrived from Italy. My excuse for that is, well, it's lighter weight than what we can get out here, so there's less mass forcing my head to the asphalt, in the worse case scenario!

    Anyway, you look very mod on the scoot, as you are. Did your friend make you dress up for those pics? I mean, hell, you honestly look like an overboard advertisement for scootering! Don't take it the wrong way; I am just sayin'...

    To be fair, I probably look pretty goofy on a routine basis, with half my motocross gear on for the daily work commute; on a heavily modified scooter no less. I don't see many of me on the road.

    EDIT: Safety tip from the peanut gallery (because the crash wasn't enough to make you alert, right), be alert to potential hazards! You're practically invisible and it behooves one to play out potential hazards in the head as you ride. I ride pretty aggressively but I keep my stopping distance in mind while I do. There's this one right-turn with the right-turn green arrow on my way home from work; many people catty corner from it, turn U-eys all the time (right into my right-of-way-green-arrow-right-turn), oblivious to us folks lined up for the green arrow. I've had some close calls, but I'm always looking out for those nasty left-turning cagers. I'll approach my turn fast and aggressively, let them know I'm not the yield-when-I-shouldn't-type, but it's sort of a mini-game of chicken and I do monitor my speed/braking as needed. I just want my presence known, like any safety-minded two-wheeler.

    I think simply being aware of potential danger is all it takes. Your mind is already poised for caution and reflexes if you're alert.
    #19
  20. Nimajus

    Nimajus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    71
    So I've clocked in over 4000 miles in commuting since I got the scoot.
    I absolutely love it... don't want to touch my car.
    Once in awhile I need to when I carry a lot of equipment for work. But that said I still manage to fit a lot on to the scoot: myself, an assistant, 2 cameras, 4 lenses, tripod, monopod, stedicam and audio for a video shoot.

    My Aprilia is doing alright, got the rollers and belt changed, valves adjusted. But after a 300+ mile bear mountain run my scoot started to sound like crap. The crank chain is loose. It still rides fine though.

    Here's my scoot watching the sunset on the way home from work:
    [​IMG]

    I myself just got an interesting opportunity to do a big trip. A person I know is selling all his belonging and is moving to California from New York.

    on his Yamaha Vulcan...

    So naturally I want to join him. I was gonna fly to LA in a similar time as his epic journey, but not I want to ride to LA instead.

    Due to calendar constraints we're kind of on a tight deadline. He says there is 80% chance that he'll get rid of all business in NY for us to make the cross country trip.

    While if I had a month to ride, I would totally drive a round trip with my 250cc; but I think I need to be realistic. The other day I was doing 70-75 on a highway on a really windy day and few places where I crossed over another highway below, the gusts of wind made me a bit nervous. I was already not feeling stable, because I was recovering my confidence after getting rear tyre puncture on a highway and fishtailing at 60mph.

    So I think I need a heavier bike for the cross country... The power of mine is totally adequate, but I think the weight for stability is not. Please comment.

    I looked into one-way rentals and it's just ridiculous. For 2-3 thousand dollars I'd rather buy a used Burgman 400 or Aprilia Atlantic 500 drive it one way, and sell it fast and cheap in LA. (or if I fall in love, then drive it back and have a scooter for my dad) Any experience with either bikes or recommendations and advice recommended.

    Last thing, I would not have too much time to enjoy and sightsee. My plan is to gun it through the East Coast to Chicago trying to use the initial energy to do 500 miles a day for few days. Then as miles seem longer slow down and leaving the busy cities drive through South Dakota to the Yellowstone. After some time there I think I'd split up with my friend sending him to Gran Canyon and gun it for LA.

    People of high odometers... oh please share your knowledge.
    #20