|A Personal blog about riding, and just plain joy of life.|
have ridden some kind of powered vehicle since I can remember. My first
introduction to riding was via the purchase of an inoperable 'ToteGoat'
from a friend. When
it occasionally started, it was, well, SLOW. Perfect for the parents of a kid
that dreamed of MotoX stardom. Even when it ran, it wouldn't do over 5mph with
the gearing it had, and the only way to jump it was to put a ramp up to
it, run up the ramp and simply jump it- the bike itself was not capable
of leaving the ground. After spending
every cent I could earn, and weeks of time working to make it sputter,
my folks relented and allowed me to purchase my first real ride, a Bonanza mini-bike. 4hp of pure terror. After some bad crashes trying to realize a MotoX Star dream,
it didn't take long before the folks realized I would kill myself unless I had better gear, and
then relented to a larger bike.
Then a funny thing happened. One day I came home to a shiny new CT90 in the garage. My parents bought a bike for themselves......!! The Game Begins!!!
Fast forward 50 years of MCs from ported and polished Kawasakis, Yamaha DTs, MotoX Centurions and desert riders to 500/550/750cc cruizers. There still isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about them. But years go by, and needs gradually change. One of the things I always remember is that every time I would pass some person on a scooter, the thought of what it would be like to own one would pop into my head. Mostly the thought would vanish,and I would simply gear up and go on my way. A critical point occurred a few years ago when I let my last 750cc go, and it left a big hole in my life. Fast forward to $4.00 / gal gas....my truck commute-co$t is driving me crazy. A nagging question resurfaced: Ok, what about a scooter? Are they as much fun to ride as a motorcycle??? Do they handle well????
Honda finally revisited their scooter lineup, and intrduced a mid-range 300cc-class scooter. Powerful enough to take on freeways, but with the nimble character of a scooter, it has profoundly changed my commute to work for the better. Here are my thoughts on it so far..
|No getting around it, people
either LOVE or HATE the look of the maxi- scoot. As a commuter vehicle,
it rivals the size of a much larger bike, but weighs > 100lbs less,
has weather-proof storage and gets better mileage than what I thought: about 70mpg.
One thing that most people don't get is that Maxi's don't replace bikes...they replace CARS.
To improve handling, the gas tank was moved lower down into the chassis, and the fuel-injected overhead cam engine is down under the driver. As a result, the center of gravity is lower than a normal bike making these extremly agile, and highly maneuverable. Clearly not as fast as a sport bike, but fast nevertheless- and damn fun.
Easy to throw over in twisty backroads...
Maxis offer bigger storage than the Forza, but I am used to
bikes with no storage so this seems cavernous to me. I can put a
rain-gear under the seat with
lockable protection. More importantly, I can include a full camera gear-bag for photo-ops.
This allows me to combine photography with riding...two of my favorite pastimes.
The only odd thing I have noticed is that small trips that used to only take 5 minutes in my truck now take 30 minutes on the Forza.
And for some reason, the miles travelled are always 6 times longer...