Monthly Archives: March 2012

Cameron Beaubier – Yamaha Road Racer. Injured Riding a Yamaha Zuma Scooter

Road racer Cameron Beaubier, who finished third in this years Daytona 200 race, today fractured his right knee and injured his wrist – requiring surgery to pin the bones in his knee together.

What was he riding when he did this? Not his Yamaha R6, but a 50cc Yamaha Zuma scooter.

Apparently, he clipped an “unseen hazard” while riding in Cyprus.

Commenting on the incident, Cameron said, “I’m so disappointed to have injured myself, and in such an odd manner. It happened so quickly, and I’m fortunate that there were no other vehicles around at the time. I’m not yet sure what my prognosis is for racing at Road Atlanta (April 20-22) in a few weeks, but I’m hopeful for a quick recovery.”

We hope you have a speedy recovery Cameron – and watch out for those scooters. They can get away from you!


False Signals

Today, I’m going to revisit the subject of signals.

Signals can take the form of electronic turn signals fitted to vehicles, things such as headlight flashes, or arm/hand signals.

In an earlier post about turn signals and signal reinforcement, I talked about the obvious importance of giving good, early signals to other road users.

Well, it turns out that sometimes, the very best thing to do with another road user’s signal is to ignore it!
Further, there are situations where it is prudent to avoid giving a signal to another road user. Let’s look at some examples: Continue reading False Signals

More Scooter Thefts Than Car Thefts in Asheville, NC! Lock ’em Up!

I just heard of an alarming statistic from ABC 13 News in Asheville, North Carolina. Apparently, over the last few months, police there have taken more scooter theft reports than car thefts.

Head over to the source to see the video. In the meantime, I think I’ll start researching anti-theft devices for an upcoming article!

[Update] Let’s hope these three were responsible for the scooter crime-wave in Asheville, and scooterists there may be able to rest more easily.
3 Asheville area teens charged in scooter thefts

Scoot Networks, Hyped Scooter-Sharing Service, Might Run Afoul of State Law

You may remember that I recently posted about the new electric scooter rental service in San Francisco.

Well, it seems they could be scuppered by local interpretation of the law requiring scooter riders to obtain a “special license”

Coverage of the company on Fast Company’s website asserted that “riding a rented scooters (sic) doesn’t require any special certification,” a similar article on Wired’s site says that “the scooters max out at 30 mph, negating the need for a motorcycle license,” and yet another piece on GigaOm says Scoot Networks’ rides are “low-power enough that the driver doesn’t need a motorcycle license.”

Keating tells the Appeal that it’s the California Department of Motor Vehicle’s laws around rentals that keep Scoot Networks’ riders from having to go through the usual $31 application fee, motorcycle learner’s permit (that means no night driving), written test, and either a driving test (administered at the DMV) or proof that you completed California Motorcyclist Safety Program to get the M2 license required for scooter drivers in California.

Keating referred me to CVC§ 12804.9 (h), which says that people with regular drivers’ licenses can rent a vehicle “for up to 48 hours. It’s a function of the vehicle not being very powerful…it’s in the same regulatory category as a moped,” he said.

DMV spokesperson Jessica Gonzalez isn’t so sure.

Referring me to the DMV’s page Motorcycles, Mopeds and Scooters Defined, Gonzalez confirmed after looking at the aforementioned coverage on Scoot Networks that the electric scooters used by the company “would require an M2 endorsement,” that is, a license that would allow a rider to “operate any motorized bicycle or moped or any bicycle with an attached motor,” per the DMV.

And it’s not just the DMV: “California Highway Patrol (CHP) agrees with DMV’s position that these scooters would require an M2 endorsement, pursuant to California Vehicle Code §406 (a),” Gonzalez said.

It will be interesting to watch how his one pans out. For more details, head over to the source: The San-Francisco Appeal

Maryland May Soon Require License, Tag and Insurance for 50cc Scooters

The Maryland senate is currently considering bill SB309, which will require that scooters with less than 2.7 horsepower, or under 50cc are titled and that the operators maintain liability insurance.

Currently, such scooters do not require a title, insurance, or a motorcycle license to operate them in Maryland.

The bill would reclassify mopeds and scooters as “S” class vehicles under MVA regulations and maintains the requirement for moped and scooter operators to possess a valid Maryland driver’s license.

It would also require the use of protective head-gear and eye protection.

While I am honestly “on the fence” about this one, this part did cause a raised eyebrow:
“Chris Shank, R-Washington, co-sponsored the bill because of numerous reports from the Hagerstown Police about a spike in use of scooters and mopeds to transport illegal drugs.”

That seems like the craziest reason to support a bill I’ve heard of yet!

Your thoughts?

Read more:
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Passing (Overtaking)

Overtaking and passing. These are both terms meaning the same thing – depending on your local lexicon, but they both refer to the act of getting past a vehicle that is going slower than you intend to ride yourself.

For consistency, I will use the term “overtaking” in this article.


I have purposely left the subject of passing/overtaking until later in my series of posts.
This is because, with our (generally) lower-powered scooters, it is something that requires a lot more forethought and planning than it would, say, in a car, or on a higher powered motorcycle. Continue reading Passing (Overtaking) at Vespa Marietta this Saturday. Atlanta, GA. will be giving a presentation on scooter safety at Vespa Marietta this coming Saturday during their “Spring Kick-off” event.

With a workshop on scooter maintenance, guest appearances, snacks, spring sale on scooter models, and a talk by yours truly, it should be a great event!

If you’re in the Atlanta area, come and meet us!