People often compare the strengths and weaknesses of Motor Scooters vs Motorcycles Following is a report of an actual event which shows some of the advantages a motor Scooter offers. So I'll start this way: Generally motor cycles are bigger and heavier than scooters. This makes motorcycles inherently safer at freeway speeds, speeds in excess of 55mph. In general it is better riding a big Harley Davidson at 65 mph then a Vespa 150.
However scoots are inherently better for slower speeds, zipping around city streets, more nimble, easier to get through tight places, and in non freeway situations, are easier to handle and more fun than a large motorcycle. So here's Antonio's report of using a motor scooter to it's best advantage. Scooting at the Woodacre, CA July 4 Parade
I ride an Aprilia 250 Sport City. A quick, exceptionally nimble motor scooter manufactured by Piaggio, the same company that makes Vespa. When purchasing it, one salesman told me "I ride a motorcycle, but if I were getting a scooter, the Sport City is the one I'd get." My scoot has a top speed of approximately 80mph.
ON PARADE DAY I woke up late. I very recently moved from the Woodacre area to a nearby town, putting me about 9 miles from the parade. This parade in my opinion is the best July 4 parade in our county, Marin County. THANK YOU SGV LIONS CLUB.who sponsorded the extravaganza!
The parade consists of many totally insane floats, local horseback riders, floats with live music and informally has about 6 blocks of people parading. It is incredible fun.
Waking up late, and having my scooter decorating paraphernalia, including flag, attached to the scoot, I was ready to go. But I was late. I blasted through downtown San Rafael, taking advantage of every opportunity to pass slow moving cars. In California lane splitting is legal, so on our two lane roads, each traffic light was an opportunity to pass several cars by going in between them. A large heavy motorcycle, although great at 65mph could never do tthis. Up Sir Francis Drake, passing no less than 25 cars, I arrived at the staging site.which In true San Gernonimo Valley style the staging area was "a tad informal."
OK, I pass everybody. Average speed on the way up about 40mph. (Well officer, I wasn't actually going that fast) On the final straight blasted close to 60 and then into Dickson Ranch, where the flea market is. To do this I go over a wooden bridge with large two foot wide oplanks between which are deep indentations . Stay on the planks baby. I'm in. Cars parked everywhere, but on the scoot I pass or go around them all with ease. Unlike a loud hog, I'm not viewed as a threat.
Scoots are cute. I'm there. Take care of some stuff and ask how do I get into the parade. Someone says it's starting, hurry up. Back to the bridge! But to there is a tractor towing a float stopped on the bridge.
Oh man, I have about one foot clearance to go around it before I fall off the plank ...and that plow!... Everyone is looking at me like I'm nuts, but at 1/100th of a mile per hour, right foot touching the side railing of the bridge to make sure I don't topple, I pass the tractor.. plow and all.
Try this on a hog.
Zip - back on the street, flat out and I'm at the back of the parade staging area. If they're nuts, they're there. Those young girls riding around on those big horses are a little intimidating, don't get behind them. the horses that is heh heh. Hay I'm at the BACK of the parade and it hasn't yet started. So I scoot around and between everything, and come across the Harley group. Nice folks, sort of, not exactly like a bunch of Italians zipping around saying ciao ciao. Their bikes are monsters sitting in a pile. I ask if I can join them, and receive a reluctant ok. Clearly I'm not in Paris, so I continue forward, encountering a float with an electric band playing some good blues. Now this is where I want to be, near the front of the party! With a musical entourage, and I windiup next to a georgous silver Firebird 400 convertable. Lovely lady owned it. Gave me a round sticker saying "Celebrate The Music Makers" which I still cherish
I'm at the front of the parade, and short of ahead of the Fire Engines which lead, I can place myself anywhere at will. Why? Cuz I have a scoot!.
The fire trucks roll, I allow the blues band to pass me, (hay I need an introduction, a parade is theatrics) and I slip in front of the next float... stationed 8 feet behind, the blues. get the idea?
Away we go.
A police motorcycle is immensly well set up, with highly trained riders. It can cruise at one mile an hour in a parade generally without the rider having to touch the ground. Your typical motorcycle can not. Motorcycles are much more designed for speed and performance, not cruising slowly in a parade.. waving and saying Ciao. Next to me pulls up a lady wearing gold, on a gold scoot. all right. Then she dissapears. Soon of course come the Harleys who moving much faster pass everybody on the outside. They're loud and powerful. Beautiful big bikes. Not exactly made for "mardi gras parading" or squeezing past tractors, or going around and inbetween tight traffic. A different kind of marching. These guys are in a pack...
Cruisig behind the blues band truck is fun! It's as if almost have a warm up act. I LOVE it. Happy people waving in what I think is Marin's best July 4 parade!
The big bikes are somewhere behind me and other ffoats. Suddenly they come zumming up on both sides of me. They are loud beautiful bikes. But they can't ride slowly, so the continue zooming past everybody. Me and the scootgirl in gold are cruising! Later the big bikes come back, on the sides, going the wrong way, pass me, and then back up again. A child drops they're bandana, I pick it up and give it to her. Easy on the scoot!
Ending the parade route, back over the bridge to Dobson ranch, straight through the flea market. No one complains. I'm not loud or imposing. Scoots are cute. Hop off the scoot, buy a shirt, and meet my buddy, and the friend who is parked just outside of the flea market, in a full sized Gold Lincoln Continental, with the trunk full of beer. I of course only drink one.
The fence is slightly open on the dirt path out of the top of the ranch. Zip, no loud noise
In tight circumstances, riding around and through traffic, waving in a parade the scoot was far better than the Motorcycles. On the open road the motorcycles are faster, but ny Aprilia can to 80 if needed. Through traffic? A breeze. Lane splitting, cool on the scoot. And around the tractor on the bridge, Scoot on.