Vespa Maintenance can be costly, y’all.

The above photo was running in the ad that I found back in late November of 2011 that brought this lovely machine into my life.  What I wrote back then about my concerns with the hassles of owning a vespa in Israel made me smile when I read it today:

“..trying to figure out if the vespa’s cuteness is equal to or more than the headache of being able to work out all the details of owning it. but it is so cute!!!”

It most certainly has been worth the hassel, even though sometimes I might not agree 100% when those events are happening in real-time.

Today was my first real service check-up and luckily I have found a decent service shop in Tel Aviv to take it to. I did go before, but nothing was needed then and they sent me on my way, with orders to return around the 10,000kms. This time I knew that I couldn’t leave without fixing something, as Roxy had lost a lot of  her spunk and wasn’t performing as well as I knew she could.  (more…)

Are You “Vespa People”? And the story of my first ride on Roxy.

 This week on the ‘ol blog, I am looking forward to getting back to some of the basics about owning a vespa and provide some information I could have found very handy right before I purchased mine. I plan on writing out a few detailed posts that I think will help those out there looking to own a scooter and aren’t sure how to go about it. The questions you forget to ask are often the questions you’ll most regret, so I plan on asking you those in a few of this weeks posts. The posts will include topics such as maintenance, figuring out what questions you need to ask yourself before you even start asking questions to a dealer, and how you can figure out if a vespa is a better choice for you over another vehicle in this time in your life.

 I will go through more of these details from the very beginning steps of someone who is considering their options and wants a better idea of the larger picture and how owning a vespa could help/hinder that picture. If anyone has any questions they would like me to try and answer about these beginning steps before ownership, please leave a comment or get in touch with me (izevel1923@gmail.com). I’ll also write a bit about my own shortcomings with this whole vespa ownership deal that I really wasn’t aware of at the time of purchase and now better understand. I wanted to start off these writings with my first drive on Roxyvespa, from Jerusalem, the day I bought her to show you that things do indeed get better.

My First Ride, in summation:  It was a decent day with warm sun overhead and little wind, considering it was early December. Once the guy (who I bought it) from left, I knew I was on my own and that made me even more nervous. I haven’t drove before in Israel and have only heard, and seen, how bad Israelis are at the whole driving thing. And here I was just going headfirst into this mess on a Vespa. Sometimes, it is just better to do and stop thinking and this was clearly a good place to apply that lack of logic.

For the longer version (for those keen on vespas),  Continue reading

Scoot Safety, Gear. Beyond the Image of Cool

 A Touchy Subject,

ATGATT is shorthand for the motorcycle safety philosophy “all the gear, all the time” which maintains safety gear should be worn at all times and should not be reduced at times when the perceived risk is less. More complete information about ATGATT, read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorcycle_safety_clothing.

 The basic ideals of ATGATT are discussed throughout Rockthegear.com’s site, where they focus on gathering the latest information on safety gear products and provide testimonials of people who have been in accidents. Their mission states,

“We will strive to produce up-to-date information on all the latest available technologies in protective apparel.  Links to new articles from industry-wide sources as well as reviews from riders just like you will be posted weekly. Rock the Gear will ensure that a vast amount of knowledge is always at your fingertips, as well as encouraging the desire to be a lifelong learner…. We promise to always set the highest example of personal responsibility…. We encourage every rider to make an educated decision when they choose what to wear.”

 Make sure to click around the Rockthegear site if you are interested in learning more about ATGATT . They have gathered some of the best information for new and weathered riders that promotes personal responsibility when riding.  Continue reading

Scooter Keys, Flare, and Hardware.

The Dos and Don’ts of Keychain Flare for Your Scooter,

You are most likely thinking this is a silly topic for me to cover, but I have found that being a minimalist (-when it comes to your keychain hardware) is the best way to go for your scooter keys and riding safely. Above is a photo of my keys that I took in December and have since changed around, since I realized that one of the key clips (the blue one) wasn’t reliable. I happened to be out driving, in the mist of heavy traffic, when all the sudden I realized that the clip had fallen off and (somehow luckily) landed near my shoes on the vespa footboard. (I really considered myself lucky because on this key ring was the alarm control, and without this control I wouldn’t be able to ride the scooter without the alarm going off.) I have now taken off the old, blue clip and found a more reliable keychain ring to use in its place. You need to choose hardware for your scooter keys with care and attention: you must know that they will last and be reliable.   Continue reading

Vespa Tetris!

What’s your next move?

Riding a scooter is akin to playing a game of Tetris: hand-eye coordination, spatial relations and meditation all rolled in one.

Once you realize that there is a relationship between traffic and Tetris, your perception of the landscape your driving with forever change. You’ll watch cars whiz past you and structures begin to form as you shape your own driving course to best suit the patterns playing out before you: you’ve started Vespa Tetris. Continue reading

Shopping on Your Scooter,

Ultimate Errand Machine,

This little machine of beauty is so useful, even when you think it would be quite limited from its size, it can surprise you. Today I headed out to shop for tonight’s dinner and ended up with my lightest load yet, to transport home. I once tended to be one of those shoppers who bought a week’s worth of groceries at once instead of a more urban approach of going daily for the things you need. Or course my habits have had to change with the move here to Israel and not having a car’s ample space to utilize. Although, I have been very happy with my resourcefulness and the storage space offered with my Vespa. I have drove before with the [white] bag full and felt a little uncomfortable, so it is just about what you know you are comfy with and staying with those limits on your shopping errands. Continue reading

With The Parking Situation, Custom prevails.

Is it all a matter of tolerance and location? Pretty much, I’ve found out.

 

After doing some more research about this whole parking situation for scooters, I am fairly glad that I am here in Israel where everyone keeps it pretty loose concerning what you can and can’t do with your scooter. I park here and there without any hesitation and don’t have to worry about tickets when I return. I haven’t paid to park in any of the lots since I just make my way up to the store entrance and park off to the side on the sidewalk. I assume there was a more casual way of parking in the states also, but this is just simply not the case.

Continue reading