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Simultaneously I tried to engage both the Wayback Machine - watch out Sherman! - and Homer Simpson's Stratolounger 6000 to both visit the past and rocket into the future....



thanks for a nice chuckle on a grim, cosmodemonic corporate day.



Now where is my Gregory Peck suit....and where is the wife's "Roman Holiday" outfit??
 

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Great Read thanks.. Love the pictures. Makes me want to go back to Europe again... I am starting to see some larger scooters on my commute... Fun stuff for a rainy friday... Thanks Gabe.
 

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I think that single-sided front swingarm is way cool! I've seen that on a motorcycle twice - some ugly euro aftermarket thing and on that yamaha gts.



Sounds like an opportunity for some saavy engineer...too bad my mechanical engineering know-how starts and ends with plastic model kits labeled "snap-fit".
 

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I'd rather be shooting through Sheboygan on a Salsbury.



Or tootling through Tipperary on a Triumph...
 

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Re: A Long, Dashing Tale Minus Long Dashes

Gabe:

On your Word command bar, click on Insert. Then click on Symbol. Then click on Special Characters.

The Em Dash is at the top of the list.

It's much more effective than a hyphen for setting off parenthetical asides. Oh, and if you put a space before and after the Em Dash, it's even more clear to the reader that you're inserting a side comment.

That's all for now. Gotta dash.
 

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I've never understood the appeal that scooters have for some people. I've ridden some scooters, and they are fun in the way that anything with a motor and wheels are fun, but why choose one over a motorcycle? There must be something I am missing, so somebody can enlighten me if they want.
 

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They are fun because they are practically nothing but "with a motor and two wheels". They are easier to navigate through crowded city streets--and I mean just about everywhere else outside of the US. Although San Francisco and Portland come to mind where one would be cool.

You sit "on" a scooter (like a chair) as opposed to a motorcycle, where a better description would be to "straddle" or "mount" (like a horse), which makes it less intimidating (in my mind, anyway).

If you dumped a motorcycle at 5-10 mph, you'd most likely go down with it. If you dumped a scooter at said speed, it seems like you could just jump off it and land on both feet skipping, which someone might.







 

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Scooters have some benefits (for in-city riding) vs. motorcycles:

Better gas mileage



Cheaper



More comfortable - no gear necessary (try to imagine a woman with a skirt riding motorcycle :)



Slower = safer ? Some people think so at least...



lighter = easier to handle, park, etc.
 

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Nothing New for Vespa

Can you say "Surplus aircraft parts"? Piaggio's engineers had to find something to do with the factory's aircraft-building tooling after WWII. The engineers who designed the first Vespas had no real knowledge of motorcycle design, so they designed the front end like landing gear.

-gabe
 

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Please God! Not the Em Dash!

Ashley has read the riot act about his one. Actually, when you use two hyphens in Word, the program automatically makes the dread em dash. However, when I send text to Fonzie for placement in the story, that formatting dissapears and turns it back into a single hyphen. Oy. I think putting a space in front and after it will help. I'll start trying that.

If you want to see Grammar go hang out with Grandpa. Sorry!

--Gabe
 

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What a Can of Worms!

I could easily substitute the word "cruiser" for "scooter" in your post. The scooter is a specialized vehicle that excells at certain tasks and isn't so good at others. For short trips, you can't beat a small-displacment, lightweight scooter, espeically if you have limited need for speed or handling.

It's because they are really easy to ride and almost completely uninvolving of their owners unless you want to involve them. You pop open the seat, grab your helmet, but it on, put your bag or shopping under the seat, hop on the scooter , start it up and vamos!

Sure, you should wear all the protective gear you wear on a motorcycle, but there is something so harmless and friendly about riding a scooter that you don't worry about it, and because the speeds are lower, you find dangerous situations difficult to get into and very easy to get out of.

If you're in a crowded place like Rome, NYC or San Francisco, you find that the power advantage of a motorcycle is negated by the scooter's agility and carrying capacity. If I was banaished from the freeway forever, I would sell my Triumph and get a 50cc 2-stroke very quickly. A 72cc kit and malossi pipe would follow even more quickly.

If you live somewhere that is better suited for automobiles for short commutes and errands, ie, no lane-splitting, light traffic, ample parking, then scooters make no sense unless you just like riding them.

Big scooters like the GTS are a harder sell, but for carrying a passenger and havign a slow, relaxed cruise, it's hard to beat something like this, and good fuel economy would make it a really good way to do a 8-15 mile commute.

Here's the bad news; we have a lot of scooter-related content coming from MO. We did a lot of scooter stuff this summer, and it's motorcycling-related, so we report on it.

Here's a final thought; scooters accounted for sales of anywhere from 70,000-150,000 in the USA last year (depending on who you talk to; non-MIC companies don't report their sales figures). Standard motorcycles (which we here at MO love to report on, like the Ducati Monster, Honda 919, Yamaha FZ-1, etc) were something like 20,000.

What's the appeal? I don't know for certain, but it's huge!

-Gabe
 

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Keep it up...

I have a friend that used to live and work in downtown Seattle. He couldn't agree with you more. He had a scooter that I used to make fun of.. Also, I have seen some of the bigger Silver Wing like ones on the freeway latlely in the HOV lanes.. When you think you can get a Silver Wing with ABS for $8,449 or a a Reflex ABS for $5,999 ideas start running in my head.. i.e a great commuter vechicle with storage for my laptop, ABS for rain, great gas mileage and fun..My normal commute time would be cut in half if it rains (yes folks forget how to drive in it) or there is an accident on 405 my commute time would be a 1/5 of the time to get to work i.e Monday because of the rain and a accident it took me 2.5 hours to go 31 miles..
Gabe thanks for planting the seed. I initially was scooter bigot, but now I can see it..

‘Minds are like parachutes — they only function when open.’ Thomas Dewar
 

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Key West Florida has 30,000 residents year round- of those 8,000 don't have car. Of those, thousands get around the 4 mile x 2 mile island on scooters. They ride buses provided by the city if they cjhoose to evacuateto the mainland during hurricanes.

In a small crowded city with perfect year-round weather scooters are ideal. But this is naturally the exception.

Scooters are much easier to ride,for people looking for alternatives to CARS, they can literally hop on and off, they are clean with no chains spraying grease or rain water spraying around your legs and shoes.

They have built-in balanced load carrying capacity ( think front carrier racks for Vespas) and in the old days when they were cheap they were good value ( wasn't everything?)

Nowadays motorcycles are reliable clean and economical so, lucky us, we get to play the lifestyle game on our rides.

Nice to see a Vespa review on MO.
 

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Great write-up, thanks! My Ducati ST2 is privileged to share garage space with a 1957 Lambretta LD150 that was ridden 2-up from Niagara Falls to Equador in 1959 and back. Not at any great speed, granted, but the scooter concept was brilliant and has proven durable. When I'm old enough, I'll go back to scooters.
 

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Nice read. But, somewhat confusing. At first you state that the wife had her own scooter, then when you state that she needed to use the passenger footpegs on yours, the reader goes "huh?". Reading on, it becomes somewhat clearer that there was one red scooter driven to Florence and back. Needed better editing.

Maybe it was just that old Lambretta I had that I am still touchy about. Only two wheeled contrivance I ever spilled on.



triodes
 

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Re: Please God! Not the Em Dash!

Em dashes in MO are simple -- a space, two lines another space.

However, as with all graMOtical rules here, it can be freely broken. I'm sure that it's all Sean's fault, he likes snigglets.
 
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