Sunday, July 8, 2012

My first official BREAKDOWN!

If you ride, you know that there is always a slight danger that your scooter can suffer a breakdown.

This is what happened:

While riding our scooters back from Amerivespa 2012, we pulled over for gas.

I have NEVER filled my scooter up to the brim during the summer. My own scooter mechanic, Milan from Motorworks, in Chicago had told me:

"NEVER fill your gas tank all the way to the top and you will NEVER have an evaporation canister problem."

(Very quickly, Evaporation Canisters have been installed in scooters to catch the few gas drops from a tank overflow. It is supposed to then feed the gas back into the engine but often it just makes the engine, basically choke on this extra gas. It is usually wise to remove this Evaporation Canister.)

I also know enough not to top off a tank when it is HOT HOT HOT out. Something about vapor lock or some such fear is always in the back of my mind as well. So for 4 summers now, I have been riding and filling my tank to only 3/4 full.

So while my back was turned, my unknowing BF filled my gas tank to the brim on a HOT HOT summer day and SURPRISE!! the scooter wouldn't START!

Of course you know what happened next... WORLD WAR THREE on the SIDE OF THE ROAD!

You need to listen to this woman when she talks about how her scooter needs to be treated...

After THAT was over, it was decided that I would ride the MP3 400 home while my BF stayed with the Blue Dragon and try to coax it home.

So I rode the reliable MP 3 400 home while my BF got the Blue Dragon to sputter on for about 20 more miles before it died completely at a gas station in Pingree Illinois. Luckily that is only about 50 miles away from home.

By then I had the car and went up to Pingree and picked my BF up. Leaving the Blue Dragon at the gas station over night... now WHY would we do THAT? Because my BF believed that the scooter would start again the next morning when the temperature was much cooler. 

So my BF and Mike went up to fetch the BV early the next morning and it still would not start. They THEN loaded up on the carrier on the back of the Trailer Blazer and brought it home. 

I contacted Motorworks and they had us bring the BV 500 in very early the next morning. There they removed the HATED EVAPORATION CANISTER, since my BF is not good at following directions. Then they checked the fuel pump finding a cracked fuel pump hose. 

Apparently the hose was previously replaced due to a recall but was still not the best quality hose. It also became brittle over time and cracked. When we added all the gas, we caused the pressure in the tank to increase and this made the hose crack even further.

Motorworks replaced the hose (again, but this time with a big black BMW hose, YEAH!) Once you go BMW you never go back!

This has fixed my BV 500. Supposedly, I will NEVER HAVE AN ISSUE LIKE THIS EVER AGAIN!!!!

But this was my first real break down. I think we dealt with it okay. It could have been much worse. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


When posing for a photo, think "Dignity, always Dignity".

 BV 500's are a breed apart. If you want anything "custom" for a BV 500 good luck. It's not your classic Vespa. There are not a lot of chrome accessories that you can buy for them.

The BV 500 is kinda, the true motorcycle wannabe of the scooter world. It has neither the looks or charm of a classic Vespa, nor does it have the big power and panache of a motorcycle. 

They are stuck in a netherworld, powerful enough to challenge and keep up with the bigger bikes, but still, only a "scooter" in the motorcycle riders eyes. 

And, to a pure scooterist, the BV 500 is simply "NOT a CLASSIC". It is an ugly modern hunk of plastic.

Call me crazy, I kinda love it. For me, the BV 500 is everything I wanted and needed in a bike.

So brimming with a irony, I decided to have my BV 500 custom painted like a traditional "chopper". I chose a local bike painter and created my own graphics. 

Wings would not fit, the BV 500 is too skinny!

I also painted my own top case with a similar design. Then I rode the thing around like a dork.

Yeah, my crazy has a name...what's yours?

But I never thought that my idea of crazy fun would be the accepted "norm", and that is the very heart of Amerivespa.

At Amerivespa they allow people to enter their scooters into the Concours D' Elegance. This is a scooter beauty contest in which the most artistic of scooters win. 

My BF and other's insisted that I enter my Blue Dragon into this contest. I didn't want too, because my scooter came no where NEAR the artistic creativity and excellent mods of the classic and other scooters. They were works of ART. But we entered the Blue Dragon anyway.

It just goes to show how seriously the rest of the modern scooter community takes this contest, because I WON!

Of course I don't have a photo. Because someone FORGOT THE CAMERA! But I do have a great trophy which is in my office at work as well as my sign. 

That is "LiL' Miss Automatic Other " to YOU!

See, you never know what will happen when you let the crazy take over... it just might lead to something GREAT!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Amerivespa and all points in between

And I thought this was over the top... HA!

Well it's been a looooong time since I posted ANYTHING.

And why? Because I am out living my life and up to NO GOOD.

First, I had to get ready for Amerivespa in Lake Geneva.

Let me just say, that Amerivespa is a MUST! If you ride a scooter you MUST attend at least one Amerivespa in your life. You OWE it to yourself. 
Record ride photo... it was AWESOME!

Now, I had so much to do, with work and with getting ready for Amerivespa that I had to let my blogs slide. But now I am making an effort to come back and document the insanity. 

It helps if you bring your own camera.  Photo by Brian Albers.
Note to self, next time, DO NOT FORGET CAMERA!

First, how do you prepare for Amerivespa? As a matter of fact, I could have gone MORE around the bend, because about 1/3 of scooter riders deck themselves and their scooters out like it was the Mardi Gras.

I have no idea who to credit for this photo but it is AWESOME!

I got myself a nice new helmet and stuck some chrome horns on it. That's how I got ready for Amerivespa. I got a few looks riding up there, but I enjoyed the little bit of attention. But let me tell you, when I got there, my helmet and custom painted dragon scooter was just a wee drop in the crazy bucket.

Turns out this is only semi-crazy at an Amerivespa. 
FYI - could have used MORE Insanity.

Lots of these scooters are classic with crazy awesome paint jobs and great details. I was there 4 days and I don't think I caught all the scooters with all their details. It was just insane.

See, I am NOT the only one! 

If you just "Google" Amerivespa you will find tons of photos and videos to satisfy your curiosity.

My Blue Dragon, tucked in with the other scooters.

Let me just say, the 2012 Amerivespa location (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin) the venue (MAC Motorcycles) the parties, the people and the scooters was over the top awesome. I don't think I have ever met such wonderful open, kind and inviting folks in my life. I really enjoyed every aspect of it. 

Note to self, No matter how much your friends like your white pants.. 
DON'T WEAR THE WHITE PANTS! Your friends are NOT your friends and your FAT WHITE A$$ will be all over everyone's Amerivespa photos.

Because no matter what you ride, you are welcome. Scooterist love other scooterists and other scooters. Amerivespa should really be Ameri-Scooter.