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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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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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