Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yamaha Safety Recalls: Morphous + Majesty

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a recall notice for Yamaha Majesty and Morphous scooters from 2006-2007. Supposedly:

the engine could stall and be difficult to restart because the wire terminals in the fuel pump wire coupler have corroded. Water can enter from the main wire harness end and run through the harness to the fuel pump coupler.

If the water remains in the coupler for an extended period of time, the terminals can become corroded, which can prevent the fuel pump from operating properly. If this corrosion affects fuel pump operation while the scooter is being ridden there could be a crash resulting in injury or death.

Dealers will be able to install a fix and replace any corroded parts of the harness after May 1st. If you own one of these scooters, contact Yamaha at 1-800-962-7926.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Price of Gas..

If you have been reading/watching the news lately, you'll know that reports are up on people buying scooters to combat the high price of gas. I can say that I have no problem filling up my tank with supreme unleaded when riding my scooter. Why not? I barely notice a difference on a 2-gallon tank.

Being a scooter owner for over a dozen years, the savings are fully realized by me. Those who are putting out $2-5K for a new scooter thinking it will "save" them money, may find out that the gas savings only offset the purchase price if they drive the scooter each day and keep the car parked for an extended amount of time. No matter...they'll be having fun, enjoying the freedom of scootering, marveling at convenient parking and cheap liability insurance, that they won't even think about it.

Check out some recent news items from around the country:

Channel 10 News in San Diego, CA

Citizen-Times of Asheville, NC

WLBT in Jackson, Mississippi

WGHP, North Carolina

The one thing this type of mass scooter-buying brings to mind is safety. Look at this quote from the Asheville news story:
Scooters are still easier to drive than motorcycles, Williams explained, with no gears to shift and all the controls at your fingertips. “Anybody who can ride a bicycle can be riding a scooter comfortably in five minutes,” he said.

While it is true, I do hope that all dealers are giving their customers a firm dose of reality by instructing them on proper safety gear and by encouraging them to take a safety course. I know that once Piaggio came back to the USA, I felt really unsafe riding with packs of new scooter riders who were squirrelly at best with their new bikes. I also know several people that picked up fairly new, but slightly damaged GTs that were offloaded once their new riders had a minor spill and were scared off.

I'm concerned that without proper training and awareness we'll see a lot more of these:

Woman dies in wreck
By Antonia Robinson

Staff writer

A woman died in a motor scooter accident on Mt. Olivet Road, April 23.

Darla Kupfer, 57, of 34 New Hope Road, was riding east on Mt. Olivet Road, said Trooper Anthony Coleman. She was going around a curve and the scooter drifted off the road and into some nearby trees.

Kupfer was taken to Hart County Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

She was often seen riding on her scooter by residents near the accident, said Sheriff Mike Cleveland. Kupfer lived about three miles from the accident and would mention to others how she saved money on gas with her scooter.

If you are a new scooter rider, please make the effort to understand how to ride safely. Buy good quality riding gear, study up on proper riding, and practice riding outside of just your commutes to work or on errands. I suggest going to an empty parking lot to ride around. Make tight turns, weave in and out of tight spaces. Create your own obstacle course. Perhaps even get a group together to practice.

And if you are a long-time scooterist, don't be afraid to kindly and gently offer advice to new riders who could benefit from your experience. It's better ( and a lot less painful)to learn from the experience and mistakes! of others.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Safety Commandments

II was buzzing around this new site, For Car Drivers, from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to raise motorcycle awareness among car drivers. They posted this list of "commandments" from the Vatican for drivers, which I found both odd and comforting at the same time...

The Vatican Weighs In

No wonder even the Vatican has called for a return to sanity behind the wheel. They've put their advice in the form of the following "Ten Commandments for Drivers" and we present them here not to endorse any particular religion but to demonstrate the universal concern over the needless waste of human life in traffic collisions:

1. You shall not kill.
2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination and an occasion of sin.
6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
7. Support the families of accident victims.
8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
10. Feel responsible toward others.

Ohio Classic Sccooter Meet 5/1-5/3

I received a flier advertising the upcoming Plain City Meet '08, which is a celebration of classic scooter marks such as Cushman, Mustang, Heinkel, Bella, Rabbit, Whizzer, Vespa and Lambretta.

The weekend meet takes place May 1st-3rd at Pasttime Park, 370 Chillicothe St., Plain City, OH. The flier promises rides,games, show trophies and prizes. I think there wil also be a swap.

The event's website isn't working right now, but if you are interested in attending, you can contact:
Adam bzengelATaolDOTcom
Dave cscootdATaolDOTcom

Camping for the weekend is only $30.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Anyone seen "This is England"?

I heard about this 2006 British film a few months ago, but haven't seem it, yet. I'll add it to my Netflix queue. Anyone seen it & want to comment on it? Are there any scooters in it? The soundtrack has some good songs and it received several favorable reviews.
From the IFC website:
It's 1983 and school is out. Twelve-year-old Shaun is a lonely boy growing up in a grim coastal town in northern England, whose father died fighting in the Falklands War. Over the course of the summer holiday he befriends a group of local skinheads. With his pent-up rage and frustration, Shaun finds exactly what he needs in the gang-mischief, mayhem and brotherhood. He also meets the volatile and boorish Combo, an older skinhead who sees himself in Shaun. Adopting Shaun as his protege, Combo leads the gang down a hate spewing path that culminates in an irreversible act of violence.

Should be an interesting film to watch, although I wonder if it will reinforce the mistaken American idea that all skinheads are Nazis or National Front types.

This is England official website

Lemme know what you thought of it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

etsy Scooter Girl Wallet

I like crafty,unique items, but I don't like sloppy homemade items. This wallet on etsy looks like the former, not the later, but who can say if I have never seen it in person..hint...hint...
I like the style of illustration and orange is the new black, ya know. It's from the tinymeat store, which has lots of other cool (even if they are not scooter-related) wallets.
Yo! Check it..

Monday, April 21, 2008

Scooter Belt Buckle on Etsy

I'm not the kinda girl who can wear a belt buckle, but if I were, and I had a pair of hose nifty hip-hugging pants from the sixties, I'd wear this belt with some red go-go boots.

Maybe not being a belt kinda gal isn't so bad...

I found it at the etsy exboyfriend store or $30. The buckle is resin, so I'm not sure it would hold up. This might be a "special occasion" buckle. You know, for rallies, bar/bat mitzvahs, school photo day, etc...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Rebound Rituals

While this book is no longer in print, you may be able to find it online and at places that sell remainder books. I saw some at Amazon
Rebound Rituals: 50 Ways to Bounce Back After Breaking Up has a cute scooter girl on the cover. Her safety gear is questionable but her joie de vivre is solid. :)
The book offers 50 ways to deal with a breakup and come out on top. Who of us couldn't have used such advice in the past? The book has suggestions like hosting a "pity party" or beauty party with friends, taking a dance or exercise class. Me? I bought a brand new car when I had my last major breakup. Nothing makes you feel better than spending $15K on a convertible.

Rebound Rituals also gives you permission to burn his old photos and letters, stalk a new crush and watch porn with your girlfriends. I think it is great that a scooter ride is on the cover. I always feel very free when I ride and my first scooter filled me with a sense off independence and freedom, even if I couldn't change the tire or a cable. :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Fundraiser for Josh

I went to the fundraiser for Josh on Sunday and had the oil changed on Scoot!'s SYM HD200. I find it a pain to change the oil without a chock r way to tie it down, so this event was perfect timing.

There were about 40-50 people there. Clubs like Vespa Club Los Gatos, San Francisco Scooter Girls and the Royal Bastards were there to see Josh, wish him well and have a BBQ & oil change session. Curt Fargo brought a fancy BBQ and his trailer filled with goodies and his tools. When I checked with him last he said that he had done about 10 oil changes in a row.

Curt was able to pause in the action to see Bosco (our postal volunteer and San Jose Vespa rep) get his head and grizzly beard shaved. That shaving raised about $500. That's great and he didn't even have to take his clothes off!

I'm not sure how much was raised on Sunday, but when I put my cash in I saw lots of $20 bills in there.

I'll see Josh tonight at our Scoot! meeting and will get an update on his condition and medical bills. For now, here are two pics from the event.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Facebook Flair

Just a reminder that you can "represent" Scoot! on your facebook pages with our very own Piece of Flair. Just add the Pieces of Flair application and search for "scoot" or "vespa" or "lambretta".

It's easy. These images are old, but now 18 folks have posted the Scoot!logo pin. Woo-hoo!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Erin from Esurance rides a Lambretta...

Saw a new Esurance.com commercial tonight which has their animated spokesperson, Erin riding a stylized Lambretta. Check it out:

I couldn't figure out how to embed the video from their site so I used Youtube, but you can
see a better quality version here.

Vegas Photo

DocBob XYL from Kentucky sent me this photo of my BF Jon, me and super-tuner Tony Simoni taken at the Vegas rally. I wonder what we were talking about when it was taken, but I suspect that Jon was awed by my stunning beauty at the time, thus his hand over his mouth out of sheer disbelief. Or maybe he was yawning and I have misinterpreted it. Anyway, here are some suggested captions. Feel free to submit your own, but keep 'em clean, folks!

Jon: Is 9am too early to have a beer?
April: What is Tony saying? I don't understand a thing about two-stroke tuning...
Tony: OK, I can tell by her blank expression that she doesn't understand a thing about two-stroke tuning...

Jon: Too...much...beer...last...night.....ugh.
April: "uh-huh"
Tony: I never noticed before that April had alien antennae

Jon: OMG please say you are binging back the Chickn Wing...please say you are bringing back the Chicken Wing...!
Tony: So, I'm thinking of bring back the Chicken Wing Pipe..

Well the last sccenario will only be funny to SouthBay folks, but I laughed as I wrote it.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Win a Trip to Italy or a Vespa

Pasta Pomodoro is an Italian restaurant chain in California and Arizona. They have photos of Vespas in their locations and use images of scooters on their menus and to-go bags. They are currently holding a contest where winners can win either a trip to Milan, a Vespa or a 10-person dinner.

You must be a legal resident of California, over 18 years old and enter by April 30th. So get to it! Follow the link above or go into one of their locations and enter.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Local Fundraiser for Josh

Curt Fargo and Bosco (Scoot!'s volunteer mailman) have combined forces to do a fund raiser for Josh. If you are in the Silicon Valley and need an oil change, come on by.

DATE: Sunday April 6th

TIME: 11:00 AM Sharp Scooter Ride
1:00 PM Oil Changes & BBQ
4:00 PM Oil Changes Stop
5:00 PM We let Boscos Neighbors have back their complex.

LOCATION: 250 N 1st. Street
Campbell, CA 95008

This fund raiser is open to all, you can partake in any part or all of it. At 11am sharp we will be doing a local scooter ride (staying out of the hills) and afterwards at 1pm we will have a Hamburger, Hot Dog and Chicken BBQ. At 1pm we will also be doing oil changes on Modern Vespas.

All of this is FREE but hopefully you will ad some $$$'s to the donation can.

Pedro Zaragoza- Impressed with a Vespa

The man credited with creating packaged holidays and bringing the bikini to Benidom, Spain has died. The Times newspaper ran an article about him which relates how he gained support for his approval of bikinis on the beaches, by riding his Vespa for 9 hrs. to appeal to Franco. Apparently, his stunt worked and earned him reprieve, and bikinis came to grace the beaches, despite the church's disapproval.