Tag Archives: scooter

Bennett’s Insurance. Moped and Scooter Guide

BennettsI was happy to recently be asked to provide some safety tips for new scooter riders on Bennett’s Insurance’s new Moped & Scooter Ownership Guide.

The guide is a worthwhile read if you’re new to the scooter world, or thinking of entering it. Among other things, it covers licensing requirements for the UK, clothing, buying your first bike, buying electric bikes, resources and, of course, safety! Check it out here!

New Initiative for Increased Motorcycle/Scooter Use and Safety

Red ScooterA very encouraging initiative came from the Motorcycle Industry Association and the Association of Chief Police Officers today.

Realising the Motorcycling Opportunity; A motorcycle safety and transport policy framework was devised in response to the slow-down in crash statistics for motorcycles and scooters in the UK. Continue reading New Initiative for Increased Motorcycle/Scooter Use and Safety

Piaggio BV350 Review

Piaggio BV350It has been quite some time since a new scooter created such a buzz among the scooter community as Piaggio’s new BV350.

I have watched with interest all the speculation leading up to the launch, and read with interest the opinions of the lucky people to first get their hands on the BV 350.

Well, thanks once again to my friends at Vespa Marietta, I was given the opportunity to judge for myself whether the machine lived up to expectations. Let’s see… Continue reading Piaggio BV350 Review

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!

66 Year Old Retired Police Officer and Civilian Naval Captain to Race from Savannah to San Diego on a Vespa Scooter

MARIETTA, GA, March 07, 2012 – On April 22nd, sixty scooters will line up in Savannah, GA to participate in the Annual Cannonball Run.

The 8 day race stretches 2,648 miles across the U.S. and ends in San Diego, California. This year, newcomer Capt. Gary Kinney plans to finish the entire race riding a 2004 GT200 Vespa scooter.
What makes Capt.Gary different from the other 59 avid scooterists, Capt. Gary is 66 years old and he is riding to win.

With a resume like Capt. Gary’s, it doesn’t take much to see why he describes himself as an adventurer. Born in Traverse City, Michigan, Kinney moved to Dothan, Alabama and joined the police force as a motorcycle officer. Retiring in 1988, Kinney began his new career as a boat captain.

For the next 24 years, Capt. Gary sailed oil boats, yachts and Naval research vessels in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, Cuba and in the Pacific along the California Coast. He calls these his pirate years.

Kinney got the idea to participate in the endurance race from Floyd Grimm, Shop Manager of Vespa Marietta in Georgia. Gary claims Floyd “tricked him into it.” According to Kinney, ”we have a scooter that can win it and an old man who’s stupid enough to do it.” Within a few months,

Kinney had a team of backers including Vespa Marietta and several large powersports manufacturers who are supplying Kinney with the equipment he needs to complete the race.
The winning is up to Kinney. “The journey is more important than the destination, but if you’re not the lead dog the scenery doesn’t seem to change. With “world-class mechanic” David Brogdon from Panama City, Florida, and a truck full of tools, Kinney feels “pretty darn comfortable” that he has a good chance at winning.

Over the past five years, the Cannonball Run has become the top race for hard-core scooter riders across the nation. Each rider has eight days to make the almost 3,000 mile journey.
They must check into 3 control points each day and mark their time on a timecard. The winner of the race, is the rider with the fastest overall time, minus any handicap on the scooter depending on its age and displacement.

It’s not just the new fast Vespas that are entered in the race. These new bikes can easily coast along at 80 mph and still get 70 mpg. Included in the line-up this year are a rare 1946 Salsbury 85, several 1950’s and 1960’s Vespa and Lambretta scooters and even a modern 50cc Yamaha which screams along at 35 mph.

When asked about any challenges he sees ahead Kinney responded, “I don’t have a whole lot of quit in me. When you’ve been a boat Captain as long as I have…and if you’ve passed as many lighthouses as I have…you’ve got to be pretty darn handy making things happen.” As Kinney puts it, if something happens on a boat “you’ve got to get it fixed and get it going.” Is Kinney worried about the distance? According to him, “there’s a lot of endurance involved. It’s a mindset. Its another day

Scoot Network Launches Electric Scooter Sharing in San Francisco

A company called Scoot Networks yesterday announced a dream to place electric scooters – which can be rented by the hour, or by the minute – in every city.

They aim to create “pods” in convenient locations where customers can pick up and return the scooters.

Currently, the service is in “closed alpha” mode – meaning it’s not yet open to the public.

Scoot Networks is buying up a model of electric scooter from a Chinese manufacturer to populate its fleet.

The scooters have a maximum speed of 30 MPH, which means that you won’t need a motorcycle license to ride them.

Their aim is to first create a network of scooter “pods” outside of work-spaces and company campuses, and the next phase will be to liaise with public transportation, and, finally to open up to the public when the infrastructure reaches “critical mass”.

Monthly subscription for this service is expected to be between $100 and $150.

Curiously, they are operated by putting “your iPhone” into the dashboard.
I guess that means us Blackberry users or Android enthusiasts have to walk.

Boca Raton Woman Charged with Aggravated Battery After Ramming Scooter

A 42-year-old Boca Raton woman is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after being accused of ramming a scooter with her SUV on Monday, according to Lighthouse Point Police.

Tina Marie Brown got into an argument with L.W. Bedinotti III in the parking lot of a Publix supermarket on the 2400 block of N. Federal Highway, Commander Michael Oh said.

“He was driving through the parking lot with his wife on the back of his scooter and at some point [Brown] was crossing the parking lot and she felt that he drove a little too close to her and that started an argument,” Oh said.

Bedinotti’s wife went into Publix and while he waited outside Brown drove up and bumped the front of his scooter with her vehicle. She continued to push his scooter backward with the front of her SUV so he turned and drove past Brown to get out of harm’s way, Oh said.

The whole incident was recorded by a surveillance camera. Police arrested Brown. Bedinotti was treated for back injuries and released from the hospital.

Source: Orlando Sentinel