October 31, 2012

Decals for Zaporog

Thumper had his decal. Zaporog has his Tryzub.

The Tryzub on the right is a photo of a plaque that have been with the family for over 50 years.

Posted by Paladin at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2012

Shopping Cart


For me, a vehicle is a tool. My vehicle needs to work, such as going grocery shopping. 25 pounds, in the top box, still more room available.

Posted by Paladin at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2012

Vespa -- Bought!

People talk about motorcycles or motorscooters are or are not Freeway Legal. So let's talk about the LAW... the California Vehicle Code.
Here (left) you can see the sign at the entrance of the freeways. The law that enables the prohibition is, and I quote:

CVC 21960. (a) ... with respect to freeways, expressways ... prohibit or restrict the use of the freeways, expressways ... by pedestrians, bicycles or ... motor-driven cycle....

See?? The law prohibits a "motor-driven cycle." The defintion of exactly what a motor-driven cycle is also in the law:

CVC 405. A "motor-driven cycle" is any motorcycle with a motor that displaces less than 150 cubic centimeters.

In the law, a freeway legal motorcycle one that has 150cc displacement or more and a not freeway legal motorcycle is a motor-driven cycle, one of less than 150cc displacement.

So now let's talk about my dark blue 2012 Vespa, pictured to the left, with a light blue 2013 Vespa: with the specifications for the two scooters from Powersports Network or any other site that specifies the size of the motor:

As you can see, in 2013 Piaggio made a *small* change in the motor on a "150cc" Vespa -- it is less than 1cc smaller. But that change is in the difference between a 2012 Vespa LX150 Freeway Legal Motorcycle; and the not freeway legal 2013 Vespa LX150 Motor-Driven Cycle.

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UPDATE! Vespa USA was wrong. The 2013 Vespa is ALSO California Freeway Legal. (The Piaggio Fly 150 is still listed as 149.6cc)

Posted by Paladin at 06:02 AM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2012

Vespa -- Rental

I have been thinking of a Vespa for a few years. Finally rented one to see how good/bad it is.

I had Wendy drop me off at LAX Eagle Riders, goes on her way. I walk in the office, 10 minutes later I am on the road. Starting off, I keep it slow and easy, make the right on Imperial Blvd east. This was my first time ever in a twist-and-go -- not bad. In a car, at a stop, the transmission will creep forward and you have to stay on the brakes. The Vespa has an automatic clutch, and idles totally stopped. A little pause between a twist and a go, but you get used to it in a few miles. Coming to a stop it has engine braking, but at the last second, under 4 mph, the clutch releases and you need to brake at an idle. By the time I hit left onto Lakewood Blvd I was very comfortable.

Lakewood becomes Rosemead, at one point of traffic hits 60, the scooter keeps up just fine. Reach to the National Forest office in Arcadia, to pick up the Senior Pass I have been wanting. People in the parking lot stop me and ask questions about the scooter -- seems like a lot of older people are thinking of cheap transportation.

If the Vespa was not acceptable on the freeway I was considering a Stella. The 150 had managed 60+ on the streets, so I hopped on the Foothill Freeway west. Sitting upright, ignoring the wind, the scooter gets up to 65mph and keeps up with traffic. Actually change lanes to the second lane to pass slower trucks. Cool! On a downhill I back off the throttle as I was exceeding my speed limit, 70 mph in a 65 zone.

At No Ho I check on the too cheap Stella. Owner says it was sold in a day. I tell him he priced it about $500 low. He grimmace. Look at a Wolf, a very good little motorcycle. Only looked. I had already got comfortable on the scooter and I did not want to swing a leg over the saddle.

Blah blah, streets back to Gardena, get gas. 76 miles, 67 mpg. I like it! Pick up groceries on the way home, the under-the-seat storage holds the papers for the scooter, my jacket that I didn't need once it got warm, helmet, and mushrooms and carrots I needed for chicken pot for dinner.

The Vespa is an excellent shopping cart, once I get a rear rack I will be able to carry a case (of beer -- the minimum for shopping, a sixpack is not enough.) I don't need the speed, the little Vespa is a 150.5cc legal freeway legal motorcycle and it *does* keep up with traffic so I *can* ride the freeways if I need to. With front and rear racks I can carry enough for a tour -- will only be on Interstates where they have removed the old roads.

Yeah.... I think it will be just fine for my usage.

Posted by Paladin at 06:01 AM | Comments (0)