Sunday, 31 August 2008

Learner's Test and a New Helmet

As the new school approaches and the warmth of summer holidays dissipates, I find that after my trip to Seattle, I didn’t really go on any more adventures on my Vespa. I did lots of local rides to shop or visit a friend but no long ride - not even to Vancouver. Jobs around the house and family trips stole that last few weeks of August.

I did manage to do a couple of Vespa related things, however.

First, I wrote my motorcycle learner’s license test.

In B.C., if you ride a scooter or motorcycle that is 50 ccs or less (like my LX50) you only need to have a regular vehicle license. I know that this special allowance has been revoked in some provinces and states and may be in B.C. too. This is because some of the 50 cc riders are just not that proficient and it forces them to take a test to ride two wheels.

After my trip to Seattle, I mulled over the idea of getting a bigger scooter. This would give me the opportunity to go farther on my scooter next summer. So I decided to take the test. Once I get my actual license, I will be able to ride bigger scoots.

I walked into the Driver License office, and to my great surprise, it was empty! The young woman behind the counter must have been in her early twenties. She was very nice as she took my money and prepared the paperwork that was necessary. However, when I was about to write the test, she said, “Make sure you take your time as some of the questions are (then she whispered) really, really tricky.”

I resisted the temptation to cup my hand over my ear and yell out, “Eh?”

I ended up with 97 % so I guess I did all right.

The other scooter related accomplishment was finally upgrading my helmet.

When I bought my Vespa, I bought a pretty cheap helmet that was a half helmet - not much more protection than a bike helmet - but that was what I was comfortable with. As time has gone on, however, I’ve talked to several people and read some compelling information and I felt that I needed some more protection.

I tried the full face helmets but I got claustrophobic and very uncomfortable wearing them.

So I compromised on a 3/4 helmet.

The helmet is a ZOX helmet with a face shield. I still find it a bit confining compared to the old helmet but I do feel safer. I’m also finding the ride very quiet as my ears are covered and soundproofed.

Well, now it’s back to school, safer and hopefully a bit smarter!


best ever rates said...

very cool.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in buying your scooter when you purchase the new one. Perhaps we can go on bike patrol with them. We could get the rounds done faster and have more time for coffee!!!

Conchscooter said...

fee fie fo fum I smell the exhaust of a GTS 250.

John McClane said...

Yup, defo... a GTS 250...

Baron's Life said...

Congrats on getting your learners license.
I wonder why the department of transport does not change the rules to make it easier for experienced 50 cc riders to upgrade their license to any size scooter, say after 2 or 3 years of riding a 50cc scoot. You would have by now learned all the road safety rules you need to know about. Riding a 250 cc is not much different from a 50cc scooter...just a bit more power.

Orin said...

I would disagree with baron. Most people who ride 50s on their own internalize bad habits because nobody makes them learn proper riding technique. I see this all the time... you can easily tell whether someone has done an MSF course just by watching them ride, whether motorcycle or scooter.

I third the GTS motion, but it's a much heavier bike, and you'll need to get used to that. That my friend Safety Ed dumped his GT in Portland had much to do with his relative inexperience on it, coming from an LX. But the big Vespas are wonderful. GT or GTS, you'll be bopping along at a comfy pace, then look at the speedo and go, "holy @#$%, I'm going 60 mph!"

Scootin' Old Skool

bobskoot said...

I 4th the GTS motion. expands your horizons & road options. sometimes I cringe when I see inexperienced people ride those 49's, weaving in and out of traffic, sometimes even on the sidewalk in their shorts and T-shirts. congrats on your new 3/4 helmet. I've been trying to work up to a modular (for more protection), but like you find them too confining, especially as I wear glasses. I purchased a modular last year, but too claustrophobic to wear.

Dave Dixon said...

best ever rates
Hey, I can download a pic with the best of them!

Hmm - good idea!

conch scooter and johm mcclane
Thanks for the ID.

baron's life
That's what I think but the opinion differs in the next few comments so now I'm re-evaluating.

I'm going to have to think about a course - might be an idea. The 250 does look like a nice machine... I wonder what Steve of Scooter in the Sticks would think about that....

Yeah, I'm really happy with the 3/4 - it's a nice compromise.

Heinz & Frenchie said...

We have the 150 LX and have a friend that has the 250. We are happy and so are they, but the 250 is heavier and some people think more stable in windy weather. We think the fuel injection is a real plus and the ride is smoother. As long as you are upgrading, think long and hard. Steve, of Scooter in the Sticks could most likely offer you invaluable advice. Also a course is a great idea! Even for experienced riders. Good Luck whatever you do! And ride safe in that new helmet.

Lance said...

Congrats on passing the test. I recently passed mine, and am glad I decided to do it. I have a Honda Elite 150 (old school scoot from 1986), which is great, but wouldn't mind the extra uumphh from a 250cc. Happy scooter shopping!

Dave Dixon said...

heinz and frenchie

Yes, I'm sure Steve would be the one to ask. And, yes, I should probably take a course. Many things to ponder...


Thanks - still it's a lot of decisions, decisions- do I want to go a little bigger, a lot bigger or should I simply be satisfied with what I've got?