General

Lock Chain and Cover Your Scooter

That is the message of the Metropolitan police in London, after a rash of scooter thefts, and crimes committed by people riding those scooters. It is the message of the Met’s new “Be Safe” campaign.

The “Be Safe” Campaign urges riders of scooters, motorcycles and mopeds to use extra security on their vehicles to make it harder for thieves to steal them. This is advice which would benefit scooter riders the world over.

Poster for the Metropolitan Police's Be Safe Campaign The campaign, which includes a new video, urges the public to join the Met in the fight against crimes committed on scooters, by reducing the risk of their bike being stolen which could later be used by criminals to commit further offences.

Almost 23,500 crimes were committed in London last year, using over 14,000 stolen scooters, motorcycles and mopeds. Along with offences such as robberies, burglaries and theft-snatches, in some cases these stolen vehicles were also used in violent crimes, and to transport weapons and drugs to be used in further crimes. Policing activity is making a difference. In October 2017, the Met introduced new tactics including scrambler bikes, automatic tyre deflation devices and DNA sprays, to support ongoing concentrated policing operations. Since spring/summer 2017, there has been a significant reduction in these crimes. Scooter, motorcycle and moped theft has reduced by 52 per cent and there has been a 47 per cent reduction in crimes committed using these vehicles.

But by stopping these vehicles being stolen in the first place it is hoped that this, along with policing activity, will reduce further crimes being committed.

This new campaign builds on the success of the previous ‘Be Safe’ campaign, giving a specific method (‘LOCK, CHAIN, COVER’) which the public can use to secure their vehicle against theft. This time, Londoners will also see prevention advice in advertising across screens on petrol pumps, on the back of buses and online.

The ‘Be Safe’ campaign supports Operation Venice, the Met’s response to scooter, motorcycle and moped-related crime, and is particularly targeting the boroughs experiencing the highest amounts of scooter theft: Brent, Camden, Islington, Ealing, Haringey, Westminster, Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, and Hammersmith and Fulham.

Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, Territorial Policing, said: ‘We have put a huge amount of effort into stemming the rise in moped-enabled crime, and are now seeing reductions, which is great. However, we are not complacent. All the new tactics and technology we have introduced will be backed up by really proactive policing.

‘We will keep arresting offenders and running proactive intelligence led operations to make the streets more hostile for criminals to operate. Also, through focusing our efforts on dismantling markets for stolen goods we will make these crimes less financially beneficial.

‘Today, I’d like to ask all scooter or moped users in London to become a part of our effort to make life harder for these criminals. Lock, chain, and cover your bike when you leave it. It is simple, yet effective, and if it makes a thief think twice before stealing your bike then it’s worth it.’

Tony Campbell, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association, said: ‘The motorcycle industry is working closely with the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office to help tackle scooter theft and associated crimes, and spread the message that locking and covering a motorcycle or scooter will make it a less desirable target to opportunistic thieves. We are therefore calling on all owners of powered two wheelers and everyone working in the industry to get behind a culture of always using physical security.’

The advice we are giving through the campaign is:

  • Lock: use a disc lock to help secure the front brake disc, or a grip lock to secure the brake and throttle controls.
  • Chain: use a chain lock through the back wheel (the front wheel can be removed). Secure your bike, with the lock taut to an immovable object such as a ground anchor or street furniture.
  • Cover the bike as it makes it less attractive and harder for thieves to steal.

And here’s the type of people we’re dealing with!


Scoot Safely Has Completely Changed — It's the Same

Kicking the Wordpress Logo as if it were a football Take a look at the blog. Notice anything different? I bet not. Yet, I have spent the last month or so working feverishly to completely alter the way Scoot Safely is produced.

This is going to be a short departure from scooter-related material, and it’s going to be just slightly technical. However, I thought my readers may like to take a look into the world of producing blogs, and some of the technical issues involved.

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Photography From The Saddle

Vespa scooter at Crested Butte, Colorado I have two great loves. One, which won’t surprise you, is two-wheeled transport. The other is photography – more particularly, landscape photography. Fortunately for me, they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they complement each other very well.

One of my greatest pleasures is to load Bella with my photography gear, and to head off into the wilderness in search of good photographs. Bella, incidentally, is my 2009 Vespa GTV 250. Venturing out in search of photographs is my form of hunting or fishing (except that no animals get harmed in the process). I make the reference to hunting because – just like the fishermen can report – a very enjoyable day can be had without catching a thing. What a great reason to get out and ride!

In a light-hearted departure from the usual subject of this blog, I’d like to share with my readers a scooter/photography trip I took at this time last year.

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Proficient Scootering – The Book. You Asked, and I Listened!

Proficient Scootering - The book I’m very excited to announce that, after two years quietly writing and re-writing behind the scenes, drawing countless diagrams, and taking photographs, “Proficient Scootering” is available now for all the popular e-readers!

For those who prefer a traditional book, a print version is available as well!

I wish to thank all who prompted me to create this work. It has been a labour of love. I excitedly let it out into the world. Fly my pretties!

Take a look at the Book page for more details.


Where Have I Been?

I surely need to start this post with an apology to my dear readers. It has been a long time — way too long — since I last posted on ScootSafely.

Some major upheavals on the home and work front have taken my attention for quite some time now, and have meant that I’ve had little time to pay attention to Scoot Safely. Hopefully, as things have calmed a little, I shall be back among the living in the blogosphere!

Still, I haven’t been idle! Here’s what I’ve been doing…

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A Word to Car Drivers

Listen, car drivers kill us motorcyclists and scooter riders all the time by pulling out in front of us.

Because of this, please cut us a little slack when we’re wary around you.

To the guy pulling out of the gas station this morning: there you were, squinting into the sun, shielding your eyes with your hand. I was coming from the direction of the sun. You (of course) had no turn signal on, but I surmised you were about to turn left – from the great US turn signal.

The US turn signal, incidentally, is the two round black rubber things at the front of your car which can often – but not always – be relied upon to be pointing in the general direction you intend to turn. That’s all you’ve given me to work with… I’m sorry.

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Aprilia’s SRV 850. 850cc Scooter. Is it Still a Scooter?

Aprilia SRV 850 Aprilia have released their official video for the monster scooter known as the SRV850 (shown below).

With an 850cc fuel-injected 90° V-Twin engine producing 79 horsepower, this scooter surely holds the accolade for the most powerful production scooter on the market.

While I have no doubt it is a remarkable machine – which I would love to spend a day on, It does, however, cause me to pause and wonder: is it actually still a scooter in the generally accepted meaning of the term?

While writing my recent book, [Buying Your First Scooter][1], I had to make an attempt to define what a scooter actually was, because the lines are beginning to be increasingly blurred.

Here is what I came up with (quoted from the book):

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Spring is Here!

I got to spend the day riding in the beautiful North Georgia (USA) mountains on Bella today.

There really is nothing better. Of course, I ride all year round, but weather like this – and seeing nature awakening from the winter – does make me appreciate where I live – and that I get to enjoy it on a fine Italian scooter.

While I was out, I came across an interesting road sign that seemed very apropos for this blog, so I had to share it. (Click for larger version).

Scooter next to a road sign reading WhyWreck Rd

Here’s wishing all my readers a very enjoyable and safe spring and summer of riding!

There is much more to come with the blog this year. I’m currently experimenting with the optimum camera set-up for creating some on-scooter video blogs.

The attempts I have made so far have been quite nausea-inducing, so I don’t want to inflict anything on my readers until they can view it without reaching for the Dramamine!

So, stay tuned, subscribe] to be notified as new content is posted, and let’s all have a great season!

Scoot Safely!


Buying Your First Scooter

Scooter Rider Are you being bitten by the scooter bug?

You’re not alone. Motor scooters are generating a lot of interest right now.

The most obvious reason for this, of course, is the ever-riding cost of fuel.

Many scooters can achieve upwards of 100 miles per gallon.

But there are many other great reasons to consider a scooter for your transport needs. Here are just a few:

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Other Road Users’ Attitude to Scooters

I was just on my way home, and experienced the all too regular attitude of some car drivers. This prompted me to put virtual pen to paper about the attitude of other road users to us scooter riders.

Sadly, there are two common attitudes to scooters on the road in the US. The first seems to be that you don’t really have any business being on the road with such a vehicle, and “real” drivers will tolerate you as a mild form of amusement – provided you don’t hold them up in any way.

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