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Thanks, for the tip on parking. So much to learn
I will defintely be doing the advanced training again as they have 4 different levels so I’ve still got lots to learn. I was even thinking about taking level 1 again as everything is so different but I will make a decision on that later on. However I suspect I will go for level 2. My problem is it is only offered in June and September and I am on a road trip in June so I will miss that one.
I’m not sure about the center stand. Couldn’t you get one of those stands that are separate from the bike? Realistically you don’t really need a center stand while out riding, only when working on the bike at home. I realize there are some situations where a center stand would be good to have but they must be few and far between. But I could be wrong, having to use a stand at all is still new to me
I think the body of this bike is gorgeous. It is to me what a bike should look like. I admit the front takes some getting used to and I never really did warm to the older style, but I quite like the new look. That was a large reason why I went for the new model even though brand new older models are still around with significant price cuts.
Some more pics.
It’s a 500cc maxi-scoot, a Piaggio MP3. Looks weird but handles (more or less) like a regular bike.
I’m really liking it so far. Put a few more miles on today, just toodling around and some parking lot practice. That’s 450 now so almost time for the first service Guess that just means it’s closer to the time I can start opening it up
Not so good is the belated realization that I need to spend lots of money to get it the way I want it. I’ve never been one for much in the way of “farkles” but moving from a scooter I now need some storage space dammit! Tank bag and luggage rack on order as well as water proof boots. Later down the line will be hand guards and fender extenders (front and rear). The list just keeps getting longer.
Was also playing around with some camera angles today. Will upload a short video soon so all you guys living in Narnia can live vicariously through us west coasters
EDIT: Video included
Yeah, the scooter was not cheap. The price made me think long and hard about buying it but this was 2 years ago at the peak of the gas prices. Couldn’t find bikes for love nor money at that time. I really wanted the new look Ninja 250 but there was no telling when I would get it. I happened to live next door to the Vespa dealer at the time and the scooter was available and my patience had run out. I figured the extra cost would pay for itself if the extra wheel prevented me from a trip to the ER. Never did go there so who knows, it might have worked.
Sorry to hear you can’t get riding. We had an amazing day here, probably got into the 50’s with blue skies. Felt like spring was just around the corner. Course it didn’t last and it is raining heavily again but I did get a great day riding in. Here’s hoping for a thaw for you soon.
Yup, scoot was/is an auto. I didn’t do too badly at shifting but I’ve got a long way to go to be smooth. Also got to think about which gear to be in now before a corner, that will take a little time I think. One problem I am having which I knew would be an issue is my throttle control. Scoot was so vague I could be very ham fisted and it did not matter, on this it matters. Got lots to relearn.
Gary, I agree with you on the looks. When I first saw one I thought it was pig ugly. Great body, shame about the face. Didn’t really get my attention till I saw one fitted out like an ADV bike with Trax luggage and hand guards. Started reading up on them after that and read nothing but great reviews on them, won motorcycle of the year from MCN a few years back (maybe even twice, not sure). When it got a face lift last year it clinched it for me as now I think even the front looks good. It has to grow on you but I now like it.
Sweet riding day here today!! But first I got to wait for my hangover to go away, dammit
Still have the MP3. It’s having issues with the steering bearings so it came close to being sent to the knackers yard but I decided to hold onto it. It’s great for shopping runs and commuting in Seattle’s fine weather.
Here’s my opinion on the “want to move up from a 250” statement. If were talking about a Ninja here and not a cruiser, then I don’t buy it. Will there come a time when you wish you had more power to overtake someone? Sure. Will there come a time in the twisties where you wish you had more power? No.
I have a very heavy 500cc maxi-scoot (less power to weight than the Ninja 250) and have done 26000 miles in little over 2 years. Do I wish I had more power now? Yes, but when it comes down it it’s only on very specific occasions. I’m having most fun when leaned over into corners on twisty country roads. I am not at full throttle at those moments so why do I need more power? I don’t. Sure it would make my life easier when I come up behind a slow car to have instant acceleration on tap, but that power would probably have got me in trouble in the early days. Do I regret buying this as a first bike? Not at all. Most of my riding buddies are on 1000cc+ cruisers and have been riding for a lot more years than me but that cannot stay with me in the twisties. That says a lot more about them than me but you get my point. Don’t get sucked into the whole power thing, especially when you are brand new to it. Trust me, you will have plenty fun on a 250 (especially when you smoke folks on larger bikes )
This has always been a pretty small forum but that helps keep the conversations civil. It never gets petty or tedious the way many other forums do. However that does mean it gets quiet in here from time to time, especially over winter when there is not much going on. Like madjak says I’m sure it will pick up again in a few weeks with the weather. I’ve always enjoyed the conversations on riding technique that go on here. Again, most other forums if not degenerating into name calling center on what farkles to get. Unless you are planning on shopping those conversations are pretty boring.
Ben had a post a few months back about his bike breaking down and how he would not be contributing any more to the forum as he was going to be bikeless for the foreseeable future. I don’t think that has made a huge difference as he was never very active in here, he would just do the occasional review on the main page.January 26, 2011 at 11:35 pm in reply to: One possible tactic for cars making a left turn toward you #29160
Jeff, I don’t understand what you are saying. How can you turn right to go behind a car that turns left into your lane? Maybe I’m being dense but I cannot picture this scenario. Also I’m not sure what car you are close to the bumper on or why?January 26, 2011 at 11:31 pm in reply to: One possible tactic for cars making a left turn toward you #29159
I would caution against standing on the pegs if there is a very good chance you will either need to brake hard or swerve. Both of these are much harder to do if you are standing and I would go as far to say no-one could do either as well as they could when sitting.
There was a very long thread over on advrider where folks recommend standing on the pegs if someone is tailgating you. Consensus was it really works, I guess it does get folks attention or at least make them worried you might fall off and damage their car! But personally I wouldn’t do it in front of a left turner.
I’m going to disagree with Madjak slightly. It’s been proven scientifically that hormones in men make them more likely to take risks when young before settling down and playing things safe. None of that is a great surprise and there are obvious biological reasons for us to be wired that way, but know that it is not just a case of maturity, you are fighting your body chemistry. Hell, even the word “mature” implies safe and sensible behavior only comes with age.
So, forewarned is forearmed. There will come a time when you will give in to your irrational impulses. If you are sitting on a supersport when that happens your odds of crashing are higher than on a 250. Your problem is you don’t have the skills yet to know how to ride through those situations so your choices before it happens are very important. Strangely, starting at 10 is probably a lot safer than starting at 18. TrialsRider had learned how to ride before puberty kicked in and reduced his mental processes to that of an ape. I’m not sure he ever got past that though. He still seems to be stuck on the dirt
From your posts on here I don’t doubt you are starting off on the correct path and I’m sure you will become a very safe rider. Riding with older, experienced guys would be a great way to start off if you can manage it. Try meetup.com, I’ve found a lot of riding buddies that way.
I recommend contact lenses! I only wear my glasses around the house and put my contacts in if driving or riding. It’s just another layer to reflect glare in front of you, not to mention it gives you severe tunnel vision. No more flicking your eyes to see whats to the side of you.
On my first helmet I purchased a dark tinted cellophane strip that attached to the top of my visor that worked pretty well. When riding into direct sunlight I just had to tilt my head so I was looking through the tinted section. Unfortunately it wouldn’t stick to my Arai visor due to the vents in the visor. I like the sound of the internal sun shades that raise and lower but they are only available on a few helmets. Not worth buying a new helmet over but if you are in the market it would be worth looking at I think.
Yeah, I guess it doesn’t rain much in AZ and when it does the roads are probably really greasy. I can see just avoiding it would be an option there. I’ve read on forums some folks who ride into work in the sunshine then freak out when they have to ride home in the rain. That I think is silly and potentially dangerous.
“If you will ever ride west after 4pm, get a tinted visor”
Or wear sunglasses. Depending on how long you are riding you may end up riding in the dark. Easier to carry sunglasses than two visors IMO.
“The key to comfortable turns is the lean”
The key to turning is to lean. I found the comfortable part only when I slowed down enough before the corner so I could be on the throttle the entire way through it. Getting good at corning is whole book unto itself!
“If possible, just avoid the rain. Your gear and your bike like it less than you do”
Not possible here in Seattle and probably not possible for everyone 100% of the time. For me it’s just another part of riding and I don’t think people should go out of their way to avoid it. Sooner or later you are likely going to do it so I don’t think it should be built up in your mind as a big deal. And it’s really not an issue for most bikes, even my Italian scooter with questionable build quality.
And I’m with Ranette on keeping the registration in your wallet. If the bike was to be stolen I would prefer to still have the registration papers.
But other than that, good list! And welcome back.
I’ve been following a ride report of a guy touring South America and he attended a motor show in Lima, Peru. He said there were a lot of nice looking Chinese bikes there. BMW had a R1200GS for sale at $37,000 US! No wonder there is a market for Chinese bikes.
These were two of the 400cc Chinese bikes