Category Archives: General Ramblings

General ramblings as I navigate this world on Bella.

Photography From The Saddle

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. Continue reading Photography From The Saddle

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

Proficient Scootering - A comprehensive guide to safe, efficient and enjoyable scooter ridingYou asked, and I listened!

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 Books 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… Continue reading Where Have I Been?

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. Continue reading A Word to Car Drivers

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

Aprilia SRV850

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, 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):

  • It will have a “step-through” design. Meaning that to mount the vehicle, you “walk” through the gap between the saddle and the handlebars. This is as opposed to the motorcycle where you swing your leg rearward over the saddle.
  • It will likely have automatic transmission. The most common type of automatic transmission is the CVT or Constant Velocity Transmission, which we will cover later. Again, there are instances in some of the larger or “Maxi” scooters where it is possible for the operator to control gear selection by the use of “paddles” on the handlebars, but this is most definitely the exception, rather than the rule.
  • It will most often have considerable under-seat storage.

I may have added to that list that they generally have smaller engine sizes than motorcycles.

The item on that list that comes first is the fact that it has a “step-through” design. It was first on that list for a reason. Personally, I feel that the SRV 850 would be not so much a “step-though” as a “stumble-onto” design.
I feel I would be at a loss to decide whether to swing my leg rearward as I would on a regular motorcycle, or do the one-legged hop with right leg extended like a half-maimed flamingo.

I also have to wonder whether – once the engine and power characteristics reach this level – it is actually still a scooter, or merely a slightly differently configured automatic bike?

Now, I understand that scooters with a larger than average step-through portion are nothing new – witness the fine Suzuki Burgman and even the Genuine Scooter Company’s Blur, but this trend to push the boundaries of traditional scooters is causing me to question the point at which a scooter becomes a motorcycle even more.

Don’t get me wrong, I welcome the progress in the scooter world, and think that little but good for us all can come out of it, but it does keep forcing that question on me: When does a scooter become a motorcycle?

I would welcome your thoughts on this. Do you consider this a scooter? would you buy one? The comment thread is open!

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).


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!

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. Continue reading Other Road Users’ Attitude to Scooters