HELLO SCOOTS! YES WE'VE GONE PURPLE FScootMaryland.com Meet. Share. Ride. ... a scooter blog

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Scoot-tastic Weekend!

Ah finally it's here! The scooter gods and the weather gods have aligned and given us our first good riding weekend of the spring!

To add to the fun, MB, Bryan, and I will be kicking Saturday Morning off with a little riding tutorial for Bryan, and then on to some serious scooter shopping.

Since my last post about this new scooter process, MB has told me that it will be Bryan riding to work and not her, however she suspects that she might want to join in the fun as well.

So now we set off in search for a ride that is predominantly comfortable to the 6'4ft Bryan, but also suitable to the 5'2ish MB. I imagine this will mean something big and strong enough for him, but just low enough for MB's feet to touch pavement without to much trouble. HAHA This was her complaint about my Vino, she could not comfortably put her feet down when stopped enough to feel stable.

Last night she tells me they are looking at the Buddy, so I assume she is referring to the 125 model.

So off to Motostrada, and Pete's tomorrow to find their ride!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Wimpy Winter that wouldn't end continues not to

This was this morning ... at the moment the snow has started again!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Vmoto Scooters

The stars must be aligning today over Australia, because I can't seem to get away from Vmoto, an Australian Scooter Company that I didn't even know existed before this morning.

First ... This morning I watched a video segment on The Scooter Scoop posted from an Australian TV show featuring the the Vmoto Milan. It was interesting but I didn't think anything of investigating the scooter in the video. It looks nice and euro looking, but I just moved on.

Next ... I went a wandering on the web, and found a guy in Annapolis selling a nice looking scooter. Further investigation led me to search for Vmoto, and finding their hipster, grassroots-ey Genuine style website www.vmoto.com.au

Other results from the same web search brought up a link to Annapolis Scooters LLC which actually takes you to the domain http://www.vmotoscooters.net/, and a very crude website ... it's unclear to me wether this website is being wimsical or was made by a 5 year old. And I'm guessing said dealer is where said craigslister purchased the scoot they are now selling, for $1000.

So any thoughts on this company and its products?

I have to say my excitement over an Auzzie Scooter Company with a cool story, and a cool website, and some cool ads was a little dulled by a sentence in their company bio ...
"Our Motorcycles are manufactured to exacting standards in the Peoples Republic of China" ... a statement one might snicker at given it's ability to be read in the positive light they meant it, or the negative light a person who knows of Chinesse Scooter Reputations.

Never-the-less ... I'm not going to write-off a brand just for that ... and I am quite impressed with two of their more euro-styled models, the Milan 50cc and Montego 125cc. Perhaps a trip to the Annapolis Location is in order as Heidi and I will be down that way visiting.

All the being said ... being an Ad-Man myself, by career, I do appreciate their marketing!
I am always a fan of the clever, straighforward, simple ad, with the obvious and cheesy double-entendre ...

A redeeming little corner of the Vmoto AU website is their merchandise section. It's nice to see (and gives me a better feeling about) a company the takes the time to do a full branding and create accessories to complement not only their main product but the scooter lifestyle.

Accessorize VMoto Style

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

50cc-ers ... The Tax Man Cometh

As we speak, your representatives (and I use that word loosely) in Annapolis are hard at work to get their hand in your pocket. Currently under consideration in the 2009 session are House Bill 650 / Senate Bill 793 which read virtually the same.

Now I'm no lawyer, and my eyes do go a bit cross when trying to comprehend page after page of legal-speak, but the upshot seems to be that you 50cc-ers, the quietest of our scooter nation, have been squeaking by scot-free as far as the state is concerned, and if this bill passes your free ride is over.

Passage would mean the 50cc-ers would join the rest of us who already bear the burden of state registration, and insurance costs. Your scooter would now be registered with an S-Class and you'll be subject to an annual $35 registration, and an additional $13.50 surcharge. ( i love that "surcharge" bit, just call it a cool $50 and stop bullshitting people! ).
Additionally you'd be required to obtain insurance, now whether the state's new definitions would lead to a new product called Scooter Insurance as opposed to Motorcycle Insurance, which in my mind might be a bit cheaper, remains to be seen.

I have yet to read anything about safety or training classes being required, a task the rest of us Scoots, who the state considers motorcycles, must also bear at a cost of anywhere between $135-300 dollars, that is... if you can find an opening. Thats right folks, in order to ride your scooter legally, you must first learn to ride a motorcycle. That equates to being forced to learn stick when you drive an automatic car. It's moronic! Don't get me wrong, I fully support rider safety courses for everyone, I just don't appreciate being put-upon by the state because they see us as one lump. According to the State of Maryland legislation My Vino 125cc Scooter has more in common with a Harley-Davidson than it's own little brother the Vino 50cc. 75cc's seperate these two scooters and not much else, but according to the state, the 125 is a motorcycle and the 50 is a scooter.

It's not so much that I think anything about this bill is unreasonable, its just the cavalier way our representatives pass legislation over something they don't understand. I totally agree in fact that whatever laws do or do not exsist as it pertains to two-wheeled transportation, every scooter should be treated equally, we drive the same roads, we present the same risks, and the same potential for medical bills and litigation. But lets look at issues and propose laws based on at least a little bit of education on the subject, and to the Delegates and State Senators who have brought this bill fourth, if you need that education feel free to ask those who know. I imagine we'd be more than happy to sit down and talk about the laws that effect the activity we so enjoy. Other wise quite frankly you look like a bunch of typical politicians, arbitrairily taking from the people because you can, and passing our money to the state and special interestes like say insurance companies who will no doubt profit from this legislation.

If you'd like to talk by all means email me through the site, I'd be happy to take a day off of work and drive down to the state house for a constructive conversation. Because as it is, all I see when this current legislation is said and done, the reality of the situation will be the same as any time the govenment clamps down on an activity. Those who do it right will pay, those who don't wish to pay will go through illegal channels and circumvent the the system. Nothing will actually change in the humanity aspect of the problem, but the State's Wallet will get a little thicker, and they can fund a study to study and observe the potentianl usefullness of studying whether or not to replace light bulbs in State Buildings.

For all my tough talk, I'll help you out by getting the ball rolling with ...
Dave's Scooter Laws for the State of Maryland:

1. Any vehicle with two-wheels, a step-through chasis, gas or electric powered, without pedals, is a Scooter.

2. All vehicles as defined in #1 as scooters being operated in the State of Maryland are subject to:

A. State Motor Vehilce Registration and Tags for a fee of $35 plus a $13.50 surcharge ;) annually. (this would actually help you a lot if your scooter was stolen, well at least more so than if you didn't register it)

B. To carry Scooter Insurance (Both Injury and Liablity because I don't want to pay your medical bills and neither should the state. These policies should be somewhat cheaper than motorcycle insurance considering the physical vehicle cost is less, and the speeds and roads traveled are generally less than that of Motorcycles.)

C. To complete a 1 Day rider saftey course, and receive an S-Class License upon successful completetion of the course. (Learn safety, defensive driving, and manuvering skills specific to scooters ... not how to shift a motorcycle)

There I have said my piece ... and now for your consideration:

If you'd like to read the bill click below:

House Bill 650 Senate Bill 793

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Time to use my powers for good

This is my friend Mary-Beth, "MB" to her friends. She's been one of my closest friends for at least a good decade now, and we actually grew up just a few blocks from each other. 

It had come to my attention last weekend that she and husband Bryan were in the car market. New changes in their job locations has brought about the need for a second car. 

In discussing this over IM today I brought up the possibility of scooting since their jobs are now within no more than 20 minutes from their home. A suggestion that I thought would be laughed off, but to my surprise MB asked to compile a list of possible two-wheeled ride options for her, as even a brand new Vespa is much cheaper then a crappy used car and a whole lot more fun, not to mention the instant cool factor with coworkers haha.

Her stipulations are that it be a 50cc to avoid the tag/registration and insurance issues, also the thought of more power scares her, and that the scoot by pink. While I don't think I can help with the latter I have decided to be her scoot guide in this process that may add one more to the club. 

Here now as we start this process are Dave's top 5 picks in the 50cc class for 2009:

The Honda Metropolitan:
My Scoots little bro, The Yamaha Vino Classic:

The Genuine Buddy 50 (this pic has the pink but i do not believe that are still available:

 The Piaggion Fly 50:

and last and possibly least haha ... the definitely two toned PINK Kymco Sento 50:

All of these options present similar specs and prices, so as I told her it's all a style choice now.

In the next few weeks I imagine we'll take a trip to Motostrada in Cockeysville and Pete's Cycle in Parkville as between the two dealers all of those model will be represented. And of course we'll take care to document the process. If you have any suggestions or thoughts please feel free to let us hear them. Please note the Vespa LX50 was not considered as it retails for a whopping $3300 falling well outside the price range of MB and the five other models.

Meetup to Google

Hi Everyone!
A little administrative business to take care of. It has come to my attention the existence of Google Groups. This being a service from Google that allows you to create websites for common interests. 

This past summer in an effort to get a riding group together I formed a ScootMaryland Riding Group at MeetUp.com. The attempt was fairly successful and the service was very nice although it does come at a monthly membership cost. It seems to me MeetUp's Serivce has the idea in mind of a money making venture at it's core which ScootMaryland is not. So in the interest of Dave not spending money needlessly (because Google offers essentially the same thing for free haha) I have moved the group there. So please now find us HERE. Please take a minute and create a profile and say hi, and I hope to see you all in the spring for some fun rides! In the next days and weeks I'll be tweaking the page, and of course I'll keep you up to date on new developments.

my diagnosis ... 460cc's of italian fun ... a-he-he-he-he

The more I keep coming back to the PiaggioUSA website, the more I keep looking at their BV Tourer 500. I used to go there to drool at the MP3 500, which I still do of course, but at $9K it's a little out of realistic expectation.
I used to think that my next logical step in terms of my two-wheeled evolution was a motorcycle, mainly because of it's increased power, and foray into yet another two-wheeled society. To me the two world's are different, not better or worse, just different. I'm not sure anything illustrates that better then the Orange County Chopper segment a few posts back that involved the Tuttels and the New York Scooter Club. These people are similar, they get a long, but they are different and little snippents of contempt can be detected every now and then, but always kept "in the family" of those who ride on two wheels. That is to say the two wheeled respect is usually always given by each member of the family even though big brother likes to crap on little brother every now and again just because he can. haha

But I digress and bring it back to the BV. This thing is powerful! At 460cc's it's going to blow away most entry level motorcycles. Plus it keeps the carefree wimsy, and euro style of a scooter. Is this my next evo?
Baltimore Traffic beware ... we will carve you and begone in stylish fashion before you know what hit you.


BV Tourer 500

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Saw this one coming ...

Gas prices go sky-high, people seek out alternative energy ... those who sell gas worry about their future, and lower the prices ... we are sedated ... interest in persuing alternatives decline, therefor so does funding and investment ... gas's future is secure and we are right back under OPEC's thumb.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Riding Dirty

As I was wondering through the web today I noticed there seems to be some question about whether scooters are legal at all in Baltimore City Proper. As someone who commutes his 125cc State Registered and Insured Scooter from his home in Baltimore County to his work in Baltimore City daily, I was a bit alarmed that perhaps I had been breaking the law twice a day most weekdays since last June. A quick google for Baltimore City Codes brought me to this pdf of legal-speak pertaining to the matter.

Baltimore City Code as it relates to two wheeled vehicles. Scroll down to Sub.40

If you ask me this law is made to give police the right to repossess dirt bikes from the reckless youth who zip through Baltimore City Neighborhoods, unconcerned for their and others safety... reckless, unregistered, and uninsured.

In fact in one of the first sections it says:
“Dirt bike” does not include: (i) a moped, as defined in State Transportation Article § 11-134.1; or (ii) a motor scooter, as defined in State Transportation Article § 11-134.4 {§ 11-134.5}.

So I'm pretty sure we're safe, this law was not meant to target those of us doing it right.

The wimpy winter that just wouldn't leave

This winter really hasn't been bad. A few minor snow "events" as the news likes to call them.

As the potential of spring and riding again gets closer, and the more blogs of those who are already back riding I read ... the desire to get back out there builds.

We've had a few really pleasant days recently in Central Maryland, the flip-flops even made a brief appearance this weekend, but the nice weather just can't seem to hold on.

This past winter I didn't get around to investing in serious cold/bad weather gear so I feel like I need the weather back in the 50's to feel comfortable going out for long rides again.

With the memory of these pleasant days in mind, I decided to pop over to weather.com. Unfortunately my hopes were dashed!

The disconnect in electronically connecting

A hardly noticeable difference in my blog today, but a big difference in my head for some reason. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you may notice the hit counter is gone. It took me a while to work up the nerve to do this, to remove that convenient little item that reassured me what I was doing here was important to someone other than myself. But maybe I have come to a realization that bloggers come to ... it's not about them, it's about me. It's a cathersis and an enjoyment ... not a popularity contest. It's time to blog for the love of the game.

A thought has been occuring to me lately the more and more I get sucked into social networking sites by friends ... that thought is ... I really I don't need to have my existence validated by friends by posting a status message on facebook every time I fart and having them comment. By nature I am very social, I love my friends and family, and to me they are what make my life as great as it is, but this "electronic existence status" is begining to wear on me ... frankly it can be exhausting!

So long story short ... I have come to the realization that this blog is for me, for my benefit, to document my experiences and memories ... a way of letting me out, and not the world in.
But of course a blog does let the world in. If this were truly an introspective venture, it would be in a photo album and on a paper journal in my office. So clearly there is desire to share life with those who share my interest. And when I think about it, I do want to share ... I want to "meet" those who share my interests and see and read about what they experience and share what I have.

I wonder if this is the just an ongoing struggle of duality that bloggers must bear?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bad Ass Scooter Riding ...

well maybe a little careless ... I cringe when these guys attempt to shoot up the left side of a bus right as it's left hand turn signal goes off. Then again as they pass within inches of a double parked car ... just waiting for the driver to not see them and open the door. This video would be just another tourist video, but that fact that it's set to "pour some sugar on me" is hilarious!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


For those who rock the Vino ...



For those who rock the Vino ...


Scooter for Hooters

Piaggio recalling 740 Scarabeo 100 scooters

Piaggio is recalling 740 model year 2008-2009 Aprilia Scarabeo 100 motorcycles. In the evaporative emission system there are hoses connecting the fuel tank to the charcoal canister through which the evaporative emission passes. It has shown that the emission hoses to the canister were pinched and/or crimped. In other cases the hoses in and out of the charcoal canister were installed backwards, the roll over valve for the fuel tank was installed incorrectly, and in other cases there was dirt in the carburetor and still others had faulty float valves in the carburetor.


The engine may flood with fuel causing difficulty in starting and the possibility of stalling. It is also possible for fuel to leak from the carburetor onto the ground. Fuel leakage, in the presence of an ignition source, could result in a fire.


Dealers will double check the installation of the evaporative emission systems hoses and components to will ensure that there are no restrictions. The emission system hose will be re-routed and the installation of one way valves as per approved re-routing instructions will ensure that the system is assembled and operating correctly. The remedy is free of charge. The recall is expected to begin during February 2009. Owners may contact Piaggio at 1-212-380-4431.