Thursday, February 3, 2011

Modern vs Vintage or No One Wins in a Stupid Argument


I love my vintage scooter... and all vintage scooters. But, the whole debate about modern scooters is nuts. There are times that it's just a better choice for me to jump on one of my modern scooters. I'm a fan of top-ten lists, so here's my ten reasons why modern scooters don't"suck."

1) They keep scootering alive. Were it not for all the Kymcos and SYMs out there who would bother opening scooter shops? Would there be as many folks out there selling parts? The few scooter related magazines out there would be reduced to maybe one or two based on the limited market. How many scooterists do you know that started on a modern scooter and eventually worked their way into the vintage hobby? Do you really think it would be more fun to do a Sunday ride with two fellow vintage enthusiasts versus two guys on vintage bikes and five more on modern stuff? It's hard enough to find people interested in joining my own club when it's open to everyone. I can't imagine how boring it would be to limit it to the scooterists who just dig vintage stuff (in my part of the country, that would add up to.... nobody).

2) Less maintenance and no bother with 2T oil. Not everyone is really capable of performing basic work on a vehicle. Wouldn't you rather have them buying Metropolitans, versus bodging some vintage scooter that you might want to buy in years to come?

3) They keep the miles off your vintage scooters.

4) They perform better. It's nice to have an option somewhere between a 50 mph vintage scooter and a mini van. The new 16" wheels make them handle better, and they're capable of trips that might involve interstate travel or longer distances.

5) Don't be a hater. Do you really want to be like those ass-hats in the motorcycle world who look down their noses at fuel injection and disk brakes for no other reason than because it's advanced technology? "My bike requires an hour of work for every hour I ride... so I'm better than you" is really silly. My sixth grader uses better logic than that.

6) Who cares what is made out of plastic? Metal rusts. Plastic cleans easily and looks fantastic with a thick coat of wax. Metal dents. Plastic is somewhat resilient to damage. Metal is heavy. Plastic is light. Paint comes off of metal. Plastic can be molded in color.

7) More storage space. I can carry a bunch of boxes to the post office, groceries, kids with soccer balls, beer, luggage for a rally, or all sorts of other things on the modern scooters. They nearly match the utility of a car, and i often use mine that way.

8) Parts availability. Sure, there are places out there on the web selling some parts for vintage scooters; but a Burgman rider can find everything he needs by riding five miles over to the local Suzuki dealership.

9) If you could transport a Genuine Buddy back in time, do you really think a British Scooter Boy from the early 1980s would have looked at it and said "no mate, I'll stick to me P200." Would a Rocker from the 1960s look at a GSX-R750 and refuse to trade his BSA for it? Some would, but you'd be wrong to assume that scooters and bikers from the early days didn't want the newest and fastest. They were doing the best they could in their era, not worshiping some long ago technology. Many might even think we're absolutely crazy to prefer a forty year old scooter over a new one.

10) They're disposable. I don't mean this in a bad way. But if some old drunk granny turns left in front of me on my GTS 300 Super and I plow into her, I can go buy another one exactly like it.... after the insurance company settles with me and I get out of the full body cast. On a vintage scooter you might have to stalk eBay for two years, re-kit the engine, and try to contact that guy in Kalamazoo who does the cool Who Tribute paint job to replace what you lost.

Thank's Scooterguy, awesome job.

BTW all you Plastic Scooter Haters–

I WOULD ride a UNICORN if I could. Because I am THAT AWESOME!
But for now, I will take my BV500.


  1. Personally, I love Modern Vespa. But it can be a handful. I'll never figure out, for instance, why some veteran "forumists" feel the need to label newcomers as "noobs" or "trolls" at the drop of a hat. Or berate newer members for starting new threads because there were five perfectly serviceable "old ones", and then lambaste newer members for dredging up some of those same old threads by indulging in a "necropost", as if grave robbing and really awful sexual misdeeds had been combined in a weird new sport.

    As someone recently posted, those things are "school yard" antics, and there will always be bullies.

    All of which leads me to say simply, I love my modern Vespa, I'd love to try out other modern scoots, and one day, I'd love to try a vintage Vespa or Lambretta "shifty". I just love life on two wheels.

    Love your blog Bel... keep it up.

  2. I personally am fond of the modern ones, although I'm sure the vintage bikes hold much more esteem. Great read!

  3. Totally agree with you here. It shouldn't be about the type of scooter you ride, but that you are riding a scooter! I've had my fill of 'vintage' vehicles, I have two vintage 1970's semiautomatic beetles and guess what ~ they are money pits and aren't running despite putting considerable energy and money into them. So do I want to ride or spend my time fixing my ride? The answer is easy to me, I would rather ride. I think its great that people love the vintage vespas and all that, but in the end we are all riding scooters with the same road laws and enthusiasm for the pure joy of riding. It seems just the same snobbery to me that some motorcyclists have regarding any scooter, vintage or modern.. So I will toot my horn as I go by because you scoot isn't feeling well on the side of the road, but in actuallity I would probably stop and see if you needed a hand, but would some of these vintage folks dothe same? I would like to hope so, because we all enjoy the freedom of the open road with the wind blowing in our face and happy as all get out.

  4. The simple fact is, a modern-day Stella will still be running, long after your plastic-scooters have oxidized to dust.
    Just look around. I don't see many Honda Aero50's around, of which hundreds of thousands were made.