Battery up

El Diablo Rojo rides again!

One of the neighbors was chortling about never seeing me riding the Vespa, so I dropped in a new battery (yeah, it’d been a while) and after a bit of reluctant huffing and puffing from the caged, carbureted beastie we’ve been buzzing around the ’burbs again, just ’cause we can.

But it turns out that as per usual I’m behind the curve, out of fashion, so 15 minutes ago.

All the Kool Kidz are rocking the electric motorcycles and scooters these days.

The only part I got right was the battery. ¡Que triste es la vida Vespa!


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23 Responses to “Battery up”

  1. JD Dallager Says:

    Paint some flames on the rear sides of that little beauty and the Retro Millennials will offer you a fortune! Nice lookin’ wheels, muh man!! 🙂

  2. Steve O Says:

    Good looking scooter:

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    That red Vespa will always be cool. Eternally. Forever. Until hell freezes over. And, damn you, now I want one again.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Those Zero electric motorcycles look pretty sharp too, Paddy me boyo. But there’s just something about a Vespa. Even if the Piaggio R&D chief on this side of the pond says:

      “Scooters were never sitting at the base of the motorized-mobility family tree somewhere between bicycles and cars, lurking as 49cc objects of desire for 15-year-olds whose dream was a muscle car. They have always been niche vehicles for hipsters, Europhiles, or vacation/resort vehicles experienced in warm-climate cities like Miami Beach.”

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Hey, its red and has two wheels.

  5. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    The last motorcycle I had was one that each time I wanted to play with it, the 1st thing that had to be done was install a new battery.
    I came to the conclusion that I really didn’t need it after a few new batteries. Electric scooter? Low-pollution car substitutes are always good unless they’re replacing no-pollution bicycles – those that go nowhere unless the rider provides the energy.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      You make a good point, Larry. The Vespa is basically a toy out here in the Duke City suburbs, not a true transportation alternative.

      I could leave the Furster in the driveway and run errands with El Diablo Rojo on the comparatively low-speed thoroughfares of downtown Bibleburg.

      But here everythng is high-speed, median-divided, multilane mess, and all the drivers are either actively or casually homicidal. The Vespa hasn’t quite got the oomph to get out of their way.

      I do see other scooters, but they’re mostly 125s and up, I think. You have a fighting chance with one of those. But then you’ve replaced one big polluter with a smaller one.

      The humble bicycle offers more options, including the vast network of paths. And I feel more confident in traffic on a bike, since I ride one nearly every day for a couple of hours. But a fella will work up a sweat running errands on a human-powered vehicle during an Albuquerque summer.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        I know what you mean – that’s where I think e-bikes make sense – as substitutes for cars. Racks/baskets enough for a good load of groceries and e-power to haul ’em home without ending up soaking wet. Luckily for me, anywhere I need to go for that kind of stuff in Sicily (well, in Iowa too) is flat enough that a regular ol’ pedal bike is more than adequate…for now anyway.

  6. Dale Says:

    The old Vespas are cool and desirable, but those tiny wheels can be killers if you hit a pothole or an object -especially in a turn. I would still buy one if it was cheap and in good enough condition to restore.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      For reals. With tiny wheels and the low center of gravity my mad cornering skillz become even madder.

      I notice that some of the newer models have gone all the way up to 12-inch wheels. Woot!

      Now scope out this bad boy: The all-new 2019 Honda Super Cub. With semi-automatic transmission, no less.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Woot! I remember those little Hondas from the 1960’s. I have a book by a retired UCLA professor who started out on one of those little street buzzers and who gradually moved up to full on road bikes.

        The big BMW is pretty useless for putting around town. I’d rather be on the bicycles. But now that we are down in Fanta Se, I sometimes ride the Flying Brick back and forth to BombTown rather than use the car, which gets half the mpg the big bike does. Usually I carpool with a friend down the street.

        It sucks to not be biking to work every day. I suppose I could…but 70 miles a day seems daunting.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Ah, but before much longer you will be a man of leisure, que no? Then you can ride whatever whenever.

        One of the advantages of being an independent contractor tasked with supplying lies to the Fake News is that I get to do that without having to retire.

        Well, some days, anyway. I notice I have another BRAIN deadline this week. …

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        That Super Cub might just bump the Vespa out of my heart. The reason is that my buddy Clif owns the Honda dealership two miles from here. The closest Vespa dealer is in Tucson 80 miles from here.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Cute lil’ dickens, innit? Only a 1-gallon gas tank, though, so you can’t go all like “Easy Rider” an’ stuff.

      • Dale Says:

        I clicked on your link and the Super Cub seems to be a great ride if you don’t have to maintain a speed over 40 mph. I do like it. It reminds me of my high school days.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          The boyos at Cycle World say it’ll do 55 mph, Dale. I notice that the dude doing the video walkaround never even got on it, much less pushed the envelope in that direction (though he did start it).

          I’m OK with 45 in a straight line on the Vespa, but I’m not fond of taking the bugger out on any road where I need to be hitting that kind of clip on them itty-bitty wheels.

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      Not cheap and probably not coming to ‘Murica, but they have you covered in Italia with this
      I scratch my head when I see these, but there are a lot of ’em on the roads here.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I’ve seen a few of the Can-Am Spyders on the road, but not one of these yet. Didn’t the Giro use them as support motos on a hilly stage one year?

        • larryatcycleitalia Says:

          Piaggio was a Giro sponsor awhile back. This year it was Yamaha. Dunno why these things with two front wheels are popular, but perhaps it has something to do with the issues Dale posted about? They seem kind dumb to me, but what do I know?

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