Cub creates a Ruckus

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I got my motorcycle license years ago. I didn’t have a bike. The first time I rode a bike was at the motorcycle license course. But I’d been interested for years.

It was tougher than I thought it would be. I was bad at it. Didn’t help that I’d broken my foot a month prior, but no excuses: I wasn’t a natural.

I failed the test at the end and didn’t get the license. Oh, the humiliation. But I took a remedial class, retested, and passed.

I still didn’t have a bike, still didn’t get a bike. In the interim – a decade or more – I’ve ridden a dirt bike a handful of times, and that’s it. But one of these days I’ll make a purchase. And when I do, it will be the kind of small cc scoot most Canadian riders sneer at.

I like small bikes. I used to like big Harleys, but not anymore. Blame the time I spent living in Japan. Blame the fact learning to ride was a challenge. One way or another, a light, easy to handle bike with great fuel mileage and a top speed of 100 km/h appeals to me. If cruiser drivers won’t wave to me as we pass on the backroads, I’ll live with it.

That’s one of the fun things about this job: I get to surf the Internet for cool little motorcycles and scooters, post the links, and pat myself on the back for a job done (“well done” would be a bit presumptuous…).

Gotta start with this curious beast: the Honda Supercub (this site is elaborate – interesting but with a learning curve to navigate:

Supercubs were everywhere in Japan. Postal workers drive them to deliver mail. Not sure, but it may be the top-selling “motorcycle” of all time. I saw a show on TV where they propelled one off a three-storey building. It smashed into the pavement below. It was a twisted wreck…but the engine still started.

Yet for some reason, Honda hasn’t seen fit to bring these to Canada. It’s a shame. And Canadian government regulation prevents us from importing anything new, so I couldn’t buy one overseas and pay duty to bring it back home.

Another bike you can’t buy here: the Estrella. I worked in PR many years ago, and one of the clients, an account I was on, was Kawasaki. They had a single Estrella, a sample for publicity, and it looked awesome – kind of like a Triumph ripoff, but smaller and less expensive:

Suzuki has done what Kawasaki wouldn’t though, and released their own small, Triumph-inspired street bike in Canada:

I’m a fan of scooters, too. My wife thinks I’d look ridiculous riding one. She might be right. But I still want one.

Vespas are the classic, of course. This one’s pretty:

And this one:

And this:

Something a little out of the ordinary is the Piaggio MP3 500. You’ve probably seen those three-wheeled Bombardiers on the highway. Well if those are a three-wheeled twist on motorcycles, this Piaggio is a three-wheeled twist on scooters:

Italy doesn’t have a complete monopoly on scooters. One of my favourites is made by Honda, although it would need a bigger engine and probably a better suspension to haul my carcass around:

And as with all Hondas, the customizers are having a great time with it. Search Honda Ruckus custom on Google images and be amazed. Just a sample:

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