Saturday, July 31, 2010

Being Visible or RESPECT and FEAR the PINK HELMET!

In which our heroine attempts to make NOOBs understand why a pink helmet is AWESOME!

Oh, most lame of lame pink helmets with crappy graphics, how I love thee.

As a 2-wheel-rider on the Road knows, VISIBILITY goes a long way towards protecting you from possible harm.

Today's drivers are coffee-swilling, french fry-eating, make-up applying, radio-adjusting, cellphone-talkin' and texting MANIACs!

You think I don't now what I am talking about??? I see you out there!

So you need a FULL FACED HELMET NOOB! NO ARGUMENTS! Do your really want me to include all the links to smashed faces and mangled jaws of those who choose to ride sans helmets? NO YOU DON'T! Do you know what ER workers call people who ride without helmets? ORGAN DONERS!

If you are like me, you don't have hundreds of dollars for a good helmet. People yell at me all the time, "Spend the money and protect your best asset, YOUR BRAIN! GET A REAL HELMET! Get a Shoei, Arai, Nolan, HJC. Jeezbus CRISP!"

Sure these brands of helmets are considered the best but they can cost anywhere from $200 - $600.00.!!!

If you do not have the money, any helmet is better than none. eBay is full of cheap helmets and so is craigslist. It is still better to try on as many top-of-the-line helmets as you can in a store and then see if you can find it for cheaper via the internet.

That being said, helmet choice is important in getting noticed. Even though a black helmet with a black visor is ultra cool, it is the LEAST VISIBLE HELMET OUT THERE.

Believe it or not, I have found that wearing a pink helmet goes a very long way with improving your visibility.

I have ridden with both an ultra cool looking V-Tune Black on Black Helmet and my crappy eBay WOW $40.00 helmet and I have seen the difference.

A pink helmet immediately identifies me as a woman. Plus it looks like a Gee Dee TEACUP! When I merge, I notice most drivers give me room or hang WAY back. Unless they are total DEEKs!

In fact, I have noticed the difference in drivers behavior towards the pink helmet SO MUCH, that I now feel NAKED without it.

I know I will save up and get a better helmet, but if it doesn't come in pink, I will be sending it out to be painted ASAP!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Best Kind of Man for a Scooter Gal

In which our heroine discusses the best type of man for a scooter gal...

Uh, this guy.

That is all you need to know.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

SCOOTER HIJACK - or Friends don't let Friends Ride their SCOOTERS! So Don't ASK!

In which our heroine learns not to lend out scooter rides to NOOBs!

I let a friend ride my scooter...once. She had seen how much fun I was having riding my scooter and she begged me to let her give it a try.

Being a NOOB myself, and not knowing any better, I told her to dress properly and meet me in the school parking lot. My plan was to take her through the introductory / basic steps taught to me by Scooter School and the MSF course and then maybe let her ride the scooter around the parking lot at the end of the session.

Just like the MSF/Scooter Classes, I wanted to start off by having her just sit on the scooter and get familar with the machine. Then I would point out all the features and have her duck walk it across the parking lot and back. Sloowwww and easy.... That was my plan, just like the classes. One step at a time. I was pretty excited to teach someone all I had learned.

I should have known better, because as soon as she sat down on my scooter, she grabbed the key, "This is how it starts right?" she asked eagerly.

"Yep, but first we....." I barely replied when she started the scooter and drove off!

Yep, off she went! Right across the parking lot over the grassy medium, into the other parking lot and around the school out of my sight!

I just stood there, my mouth hanging open like a total DORK!

Finally she came carrooming back from the other side of the school. She must have gone from parking lot to parking lot. All the while she had her feet hanging down an inch from the ground and possible disaster and injury.

"Pick your feet up! and Come back!" I yelled and waved my arms like a mad person.

She came back and screeched to a stop. Thank you Jeezbus! Praize the Lawd!

But before I could tell her to get off, she took off again! This time she went UP ONTO THE SCHOOL SIDEWALK! and attempted to weave in and out of the plastic orange parking pylons. Again, her feet were hanging down the entire time, dangerously close to scraping the ground or getting caught on a pylon.

This was positively CRAPTASTIC! I think I was having a seizure. I was actually clutching and unclutching my hands in the air while dancing around like a crazed ferret.

Somehow I maintained my cool and when she came back I grabbed the handlebars. " do you see how it works?" I asked her through gritted teeth.

She was all smiles! She thought it was GREAT! She just kept saying how easy it was and how she could see why I liked it so much. She had a great time, I almost had a stroke.

People, Scooters are NOT TOYS! They are VERY EXPENSIVE VEHICLES! Costing as much as some motorcycles or more. You can easily get hurt or destroy someone's property so RESPECT THE SCOOTER AND RESPECT THE OWNER!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

This Little NOOB cried Wee! Wee! Wee! all the way home!

Wherein our heroine gets her first scooter and discovers that Red Necks are indeed alive and well in Naperville, Illinois.

When I was a mere niblet at 47 I bought my first scooter. My co-worker and his partner had found a good scooter dealer in Chicago called, "Motorworks" and they decided I should take a look.

We took a ride there after work and I was totally dazzled by all the shiny new scooters! There were so many scooters to choose from, Vespa, Piaggio, and Kymco, but when I saw this little Ivory beauty and sat down on it, I was hooked.

First off, I could flat foot it. So that was great. Second, it just fit me perfectly. (Remember the Danger Zone Theory, people).

A Kymco People 150 has 16 inch wheels, larger than the typical 12 inch wheels of most scooters.(Larger wheels allow for more control, less bumping) So this scooter is perfect for us tall, skinny types. It was light and maneuverable. Of course I figured all this out utilizing only MY BUTT because all they let you do is sit on the scooter, not ride it.

Once it was established that I was indeed buying this scooter, (no matter what), Motor Works installed a brand new battery and cranked that baby up.

Let me tell you, it was like you're seeing your first christmas tree lit up. Super Cool! What is great about the Kymco 150 is that it has audible turn signal indicators, so you know if you have left an indicator on, (An easy mistake to make with scooters).

I also purchased a light blue Corrazo armored jacket and they threw in a free white 3/4 helmet. I now looked like an official member of the dweeb army.

For a fee of $75.00 the scooter was shipped to my house 2 days later.

I was there when the van pulled up and they unloaded it. So AWESOME!

I immediately put on my jacket, boots, helmet and gloves and rode the scooter down to the Middle School, with permit in hand. I kept to the side streets and played it cool.

Empty parking lots are the best place to practice riding. Using the MSF course test diagram found in the permit book, I set up my own obstacle test in the parking lot.

I was doing great! or so I thought...

One night on my way back from practicing, I came up to a four-way stop. As I stopped and a red pickup truck joined me in the other lane. We went through the stop together and as I accelerated to about 25 mph , a very loud and surprising YEHAW! issued from the pickup truck and a BEER CAN flew out of the window and hit me on my helmet.

Of course I did what any scooterist worth their salt would do...I totally lost control, " JEEZBUS CRISP!"


I went over in slow motion. I can still see the entire sequence, clear as day.

Luckily, I was next to a grassy medium between the lanes. My scooter slid on its side up against the curb and I pushed myself off and began rolling.

As Captain Kirk will tell you, rolling actually helps.

I rolled and rolled and rolled. It was like;

blue sky

blue sky

blue sky
gee, that tree is getting closer

blue sky
I really hope I stop before I hit that tree...

Finally I stopped about 2 feet from the tree and I jumped up. I was all like, "Yeah, I meant to do that".

First things first, check all my bits and pieces. Once I was sure everything was working I went to the scooter, shut it off and picked it up.

Cars were pulling up, and checking on me. People were so far off they did not see the entire event, but once I picked up the Budwiser can and told them, they rushed off in pursuit, for all the good it did, the FARRAGAN ICE-HOLES were long gone. BASTAGES!

First thing, I was okay, my armored jacket and helmet really helped during the tumble and all I had was a scraped knee and some grass stains on the jacket, which came out in the wash.

Second thing, the scooter wouldn't start! JEEZBUS CRISP! (Now, can anyone guess why the scooter wouldn't start??? Anyone... PERHAPS I LEFT THE KILL SWITCH ON!)

Ahhh, I can laugh now, but I pushed the damn thing about 7 blocks all the way home before I found out the kill switch was still on. DING DABBIT!

My scooter was scratched and dented, and so was my pride.

I called my friends, crying and feeling sorry for myself, but I was mostly ashamed that two DINGLEBERRIEs had gotten the best of me.

The next day I made sure to get out and ride my scooter around the block. Oh yeah, you know I was super nervenoid and tense, but I did it. Gradually I went back to my usual routine and then onto scooter school.

But the entire event did show me something... That I was determined to ride, I could survive a fall if I was lucky enough, and TURN THE KILL SWITCH OFF if you want to start your scooter NOOB!

Wrong Top + Strong Wind = Wardrobe Malfunction


In which our heroine discovers why all those bikers wear tight clothes.

Yep, usually I am all ATGATT,(all the gear all the time) but today we had to make a short run to my BFs house in the country. It's very warm here, so I went without a jacket, just a tank top. I have ridden like this once before, so I didn't anticipate any issue.

Obviously I picked the wrong top, because as soon as we hit the country roads, the wind picked up and so did my top!

When we stopped I tucked it into my pants, but the wind decided that now it could go down my cleavage and pull out the top that way. It shoved the neckline down to my belly, and then it started on my bra!

I was so fricking P.O.ed, but I knew we only had a few miles to go. I must have flashed at least a dozen cars!

I alerted my BF, who confirmed my worst fears by busting out laughing as he rode next to me. I thought he was going to crash, the dork!

Finally we got to his house and I put on one of his daughters old t-shirts.

Now I know why bikers wear leather vests!

Oh, now my BF refers to this incident as, "Boobs across America"!


In which our heroin guides NOOBs through buying a scooter.


In the off-season, typically in the fall or winter. Dealers may be more desperate to move stock and unload a few scooterS instead of storing them for another year. In big city shops, space is at a premium and often they rent out their shops as winter storage for city scooters. So if they have a two-year-old scooter hanging around, (Like my 2006 BV 500) they want it out. Plus mine was used as a test model and had about 60 miles on it.

I think I got about a $1000.00 knocked off the price.

Price on a current year model scooter is usually not negotiable so save your breath.

You can also try eBay or Craiglist, but do your homework and take a scooter/motorycle person with you to check out the actual vehicle.


1. NO TEST RIDES without a M class license and even then, most places will not let you test ride.

Motorcycle/Scooter dealers are dubious about letting you drop one of their very expensive vehicles in their parking lots. This is why it is important to get your license first by going to a MSF course or Scooter school in your area.

If you do have a license they might be more open for you taking a test ride but even then NO GUARANTEES NOOB!

2. YOU WILL ONLY BE ALLOWED TO SIT ON THE SCOOTERS. The only way for you to find out if a scooter is right for you is by sitting on it. Sometimes they will not even let your START the scooter! RIP OFF! you say, but hey, it's their world. They are keeping their property as NEW as possible.

3. WEAR A PAIR OF GOOD SOLID BOOTS OR SHOES. You need to be able to place both your feet flat on the ground (flat foot it). The best way for you to control your scooter at stops and starts is when you can have both feet planted firmly on the ground.

You will learn that the slightest wobble or lean will cause you to drop your scooter. Some scooters weigh hundreds of pounds and balance is crucial, hence the need to flat foot it.

If you do drop your scooter, and you probably will, do not feel too bad. We all do it. It is picking the damn thing up that is the hard part. 150cc and under are pretty easy to life, anything more requires strength or a special technique I call, "Stand there until some helps me pick the damn thing up". Hey it works!

Now don’t get all pervy on me, but I find that a good fitting scooter is one that you can have it wedged up firmly in your danger zone while you flat foot it. This is NOT EROTIC so stop even before you start, Pervey McPervertson.

Also, if any part of sitting on a scooter is uncomfortable. It is not the scooter for you.

4. INSURANCE, ARMORED JACKETS, HELMETS, BOOTS AND GLOVES, are also part of the package and you can be expected to pay quite a bit. Good quality gear can cost hundreds of dollars. Try things on at the store to see how they fit, but try to buy them on eBay or Craigs List. More about gear later.

5. CAN YOU NEGOTIATE A DEAL? If not, bring someone with experience with you. You don't want to get hit with some sort of BS fee for some sort of crap. If you buy an expensive top of the line, brand-new scooter, they should throw in a helmet or jacket for free, if the dealer is "cool". Especially if you are dealing in CASH.

6. DO NOT FALL FOR HIGH PRESSURE OR BAIT AND SWITCH TACTICS. If you are a NOOB you will NOT need an expensive 300cc or over model. MAYBE a 250, but true NOOBs only need a 150 to start. Please don't kill yourself on a brand new 250. You have to work your way up to riding on highways. It takes at least a few months experience for a true NOOB to get on a highway. If you have 250, you might feel tempted and that is a good way to get hurt.

7, TAKE YOUR TIME. We know you have a bad and rashy case of SCOOTER FEVER, but you have to do your research. See all the scooters you can, see what is being offered. Tell the dealers who has a better offer and see if they will offer to meet that.

8. VISIT AS MANY DEALERS AND SEE AS MANY SCOOTERS AS YOU CAN. It is best to get as much information as possible. Do not make an immediate purchase.

9. SCOOTER FINANCING What are you KIDDING ME NOOB! Keep delivering pizzas and cutting those lawns until you have the CASH! FINANCING IS FOR DWEEBS WHO WANT TO GET RIPPED OFF.

Honestly, I don't know much about the financing of a scooter. I prefer to have the money before I purchase something. It seems to me that after a summer of hard work, you should have enough cash to buy a scooter in the winter or fall...IF you don't spend all your money on wine coolers, rap cds or porno mags YOUNGSTER!


In which our heroine attempts to guide NOOBs through Scooter purchasing process.

Well, you can look online all you want, but you will have to get yer butt out of the house and start actually looking at real scooters. You will find them at your local Motorcycle or Scooter Dealers.


ANYWHERE FROM $2500 - $8000.00

The lower the cc, the less speed and the lower the price. For example you may be able to get an New Aprilia 125 cc at around $2,600.00. Or a Yamaha Zuma 125cc for $3600.00

Remember the lower the cc, the lower the speed, the less roads you will be able to ride on.


Typically used for zipping around camp ground, trailer parks and country roads or colleges. Maybe some city streets... if you are squirrelly enough to try it!


WHAT? Sure it's a bit cheaper but don't be a CANDY A$$ - go for a 150cc and ride on some real roads NOOB!


Good scooter for most roads and streets, city and suburban traffic. But still small and light. Maneuverable and good for a NOOB to gain experience. BEST PICK.

All higher cc scooters are NOT recommended for NOOBs unless you have previous riding experience or are fairly strong or determined.


All streets, roads and highways.


Maxi scooter, all streets, roads, highways and can be used for touring.


Maxi scooter, same as above.

Conversely, The cheaper the brand of scooter, the closer to CRAP.

Don’t tell me about the great deal you got on a Roketa or a Bali, Lance or Qlink, If you are not a mechanic, you just got screwed. These cheap scooters are filled with plastic parts the melt and break before you can say, WTF! So DON”T DO IT. Unless you LOVE to tinker and look for parts online, save your money and wait to get a Vespa, Piaggio, Aprilla or Kymco. Just my personal recommendation.

Quite a bit of this $$$ info came from the Modern Vespa forum, so check it out.

Dealers will typically charge the follow fees:

Let's say you choose a Vespa GTS 300.

  • Listed on web site for $5999.00
  • Tag and title = $290 -- a state fee, hence not negotiable
  • Import fee = $320 -- not sure about this one, my guess is not negotiable
  • Assembly fee= $200 -- the only negotiable fee on your list, but very small
  • Tax at 6% = $360 -- a state fee, hence not negotiable

CHA CHING! grand total for this particular model = $7169

Add in an armored jacket, helmet, gloves and books and you are close to $8000.00

Wait, license, tags and INSURANCE - Now you are over $8K.

Who said scooters were cheap transportation? LIARS!

So it is better to go after an older model or a used scooter. This is probably the best opportunity for getting the dealer to lower the price. More about that later.

You need to remember these brands - These are in MY personal order of what came to my brain first - so it goes...

Top of the Line. Classic scooter styling.
Has Piaggio parts and engines so good reliable scooters. In my book, less stylish as the Vespas but larger under seat storage.
“Rice Burner” Good reliable Taiwan scoots with good history and easily serviced. BEST PICK FOR NOOBS
Like Kymco, reliable Asian scooter.
American branded but Asian made Also reliable.
Recommend scooters.

Good recommended scooters

Reliable Maxi scooters (NOOB you cannot have one of these unless you have previous motorcycle experience. These scooters are Mega BIG, you can’t handle a Bergman, so don’t go there.)

All others are NOT TO BE CONSIDERED, unless you are a mechanic who loves to tinker Believe me, I know.

Now that you know the brand of scooter you want and can afford, off you go to a dealer...