Friday, October 21, 2011

Can't we all just get along?

Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. 
It's just that yours is stupid.

Why oh why do people have these jacka$$ opinions about what people ride? As if "shifting" somehow elevates your IQ.

Okay - I am going to say it... I drove a stick shift for 25 YEARS and it DID NOT expand my knowledge of the vehicle, traffic or enhance my driving experience. And yes, 25 years of driving a stick does NOT make me a better driver than anyone else. Yeesh.

In fact it SUCKED! Yep, it was a pain in the arse and after 25 years I was THRILLED to get an automatic ANYTHING. I only did it because that is what my Dad taught me to drive, so out of loyalty to me old Dad, I kept buying them. That is MY personal experience and that led me to purchase a scooter. 

I am just as in tune with my scooter as you are with your bikes. I was in tune with a mechanical log splitter when I lived in Colorado. I was even in tune with a hot dog packaging machine at Hygrades one summer. I am in tune with whatever, vehicle, appliance, power tool, light switch, electric toothbrush, that I so choose. So puhlez, spare me your boring one-sided arguments. Are your egos so fragile? That you can't have a girl riding a scooter on a highway next to you? My BV500 can go anywhere your bikes can. Deal with it.

When I read the article regarding the new Aprilia 800cc scooter, I was pretty excited. I ride a BV500 and anything with more power for the highway and touring would be great to try. Of course there are the usual naysayers and hardcore macho jerks who just can't share the road with other 2 wheel vehicles and will say anything to protect their tiny territory. 

Taken from an article located on This is just an excerpt from the comments found below the article. The comments are sometimes interesting, yet annoying and predictable. Usually I skip them. I have heard them all before. So I am going out riding while the nice fall weather holds here...

Enjoy the pageantry:

ziggy says:
The only difference between these pigs and a real ride now is skill, commitment and training.
As for a city scoot–I’ll take a drz or something comparable any day.

Ruefus says: Spoken like one who’s spent next to no time on one but thinks they ‘know best’.
I assume you still have a horse and carriage as your main source of transportation then? No?
Engines and the vehicles they propel are so dirty and lets face it, don’t take as much skill, commitment and training to operate.

ziggy says:Nope. Spoken like someone who has spent countless hours in the saddle riding and racing on and off road. I’ve had lots of training, many certs, and broken enough laws to know that maxi scoots and their ilk are nothing but the dumbing-down and sissification of motorcycling. 
ANYONE ride them, and they make the “perfect city scoot” from the cafe to the mall and back…hooray!
Sorry chum but not my kind of riding! 

Ruefus says:  
That’s a different tone than your original post, and one I can understand. The first implied scooters were somehow less valid. The second basically says different strokes for different folks. That’s fine. Most riders haven’t the level of expertise you do and don’t want it.
The whole POINT of a scooter is to not have to focus on gear selection, rev range, clutch brake, throttle…..etc.
Yes. They take less training to ride. For a myriad number of reasons, that’s the point. Much the same way automatic transmissions in cars are popular. It’s simpler. But having ridden several types of large scooters (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Aprilia, Kymko….you name it…..used to sell them), I can tell you that the ride is entirely different. It’s not ‘dumbed down’ so much as it is a different experience. Much like a Gold Wing, a Burgman 650 disappears beneath you after achieving walking pace.
You still have to hit the apex right to grab throttle on exit. Have to be very wary of lean angle, as the wheelbase requires more roll to effect a turn. You can’t move your body as much to compensate when you cock up a line, so don’t.
As for riding a DRZ as a commuter, while you’re either strapping on your backpack or properly loading your saddle bags…..the inexperienced scooter rider indiscriminately shoves their bag and whatever else under the centralized underseat storage, steps on and disappears before you or I have thumbed the starter.
Like I say….diffn’t strokes…..

ziggy says: I’d say my message in long form is the same as what I wrote in short form. I also contend that the least skilled and most dangerous riders I’ve seen are scooter pilots. 
The whole point of riding a motorcyle is to be totally involved in the experience, at all levels, with complete focus and concentration untill the world melts away and you feel like you are flying. 
The whole point of a scooter is to sit up like you’re at the breakfast table and toodle around from stop to stop. 
If I am going to commute, it is going to be rip-roaring fun and believe me, it’ll be on a DS. If I’m going to run errands that require toodling around, I’ll do it in my car. 
There’s very little difference in terms of price and experience between scooting around on a maxi and driving around in a smart car or base model econobox. So if that’s the selling point, I’ll take the econobox to bring home my groceries, thank you!
Bikes are fun. Econoboxes are practical. Scooters occupy a netherworld between the two where fun and passion are greatly diminished, and practicality only modestly upgraded. 
My sense is North Americans are just too red blooded to fall for this crap. 

Ruefus says: I agree on two things. Motorcycles are about the experience. Scooter pilots are, by and large, less well-trained.
Scooters are about simplicity and transportation. And the experience on a maxi-scooter is nowhere close to that of a smart car or econobox. Wwwaaayyyy different.
Horses for courses….but if I owned this I guarantee the Aprilia logo down low would end up needing pucks….. 


  1. Bel - you rock and so does your scooter. I now ride both a scooter & motorcycle that requires shifting. I see no validation in Ziggy's arguments that you are more in tune with your bike because you shift. What hogwash and drivel. It doesn't matter what type of 2 wheeled vehicle you ride, it's how you ride it & how you are trained. My scooter still rocks the parade for urban commuting and general all purpose errands hauling home groceries. I love my motorcycle for longer rips, but it sucks for carrying stuff. You ever notice that most riders who trash scooterists are male? Women cyclists are more open to different modes of Moto transport. I am not a Moto snob, I love scooters and I wave at all scooterists. Funny since I got my MC endorsement the question I hear asked the most is "So when ar you buying a Harley". Ugh, there is more to motoing than just motorcycles.

  2. Too true Dar, Congrats on your MC endorsement. It doesn't matter what you ride, a good rider is an aware rider and a rider who doesn't take stupid chances and obeys the law. I

  3. people are goofy --- even in the scooter world, there are the MVers, the vintage riders, the shifters, the honda, yamaha, suzuki and the oft abused generic chinese scoot riders -- i ride Piaggio MP3 500 - and have been to rallies where most gravitate to segregated groups -- oh well - i will still ride my ride at my own pace and time