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: http://world.honda.com/SuperCub/main.html)
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: http://www.kawasaki-estrella.com/html/i-m-versionen.html
Suzuki has done what Kawasaki wouldn’t though, and released their own small, Triumph-inspired street bike in Canada: http://moto.suzuki.ca/Product%20Lines/Cycles/Products/TU250X/2013/TU250X.aspx
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: http://www.vespa-canada.ca/scooters/lx-150-ie/overview.html
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: http://www.vespahalifax.com/scooters/piaggio-scooters/mp3-500
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: http://motorcycle.honda.ca/scooter/ruckus
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: http://www.tamparacing.com/forums/attachments/cars-sale-wanted/140298d1286996350-fs-custom-built-honda-ruckus-sale-51708_110632238996341_100001486970613_91422_5627951_o.jpg