So Who Are We?
The "we" I refer to would be (for the most part) me, my wife
Bev, and a few close friends. If you think you should be included in these
"close friends" you may want to consider buying our friendship. That's
right, Bev and I freely admit we can be bought. Scooter related gifts are always
a big plus, and there are all the usual things: doing our yard chores for us so
we have more riding time, picking up our tab at the various coffee and snack
places we ride to, and large cash gifts are always in good taste.
If you're wondering whether or not I'm serious, this website probably isn't
really your cup of tea.
My name is Dave and I'm a scooter addict (Hi Dave). In fact, I have
been pretty seriously "into" anything (powered) on two wheels
since I was about 11 years old. My first experience was riding a friend's
lawn-mower-engined-home-built two-wheeled toy. We used to set up old doors from
the junkyard as ramps and "jump" over things like toy trucks and
whatnot. This lead to the acquisition of a little fat-wheeled Honda by one of
the neighborhood kids. He was, needless to say, everyone's very best friend at
As the years passed, I went through a lot of two-wheeled conveyances. The group
of pictures below is a rough chronology of some of them:
Notice a Pattern?
Boy, this doofus can't seem to decide what kind of rider he is.
Now in fairness, a couple of those bikes were my wife's, but more on that later.
Yes, I know, this is a scooter site.... there were a couple of scoots in there,
and no, they weren't my wife's. So how about now? Here's the 2013 situation:
Oh Yeah, a "Restorable" Vespa
Wow, What a Change!
Now we come to the "real" story. As you can see from the picture at
the top of this page, I am a fat old man. I no longer entertain any illusions
about becoming a professional racer, or feel that I must have and ride a certain
type or brand of motorcycle in order to define myself. I ride for FUN. My
wife (pictured to the left and above, and yes, I am completely aware that she is
WAY too hot for the likes of me) has
always gone above and beyond in trying to share my passions. She had ridden with
me for all of the over twenty years that we have known each other. I was always
pushing her to ride on her own, and a while back, she took and passed the MSF
(Motorcycle Safety Foundation) basic course. Being a reactionary motorcycle
fanatic, I ran out and bought her a 450cc Honda Rebel and a 250cc Ninja (see
the pictures in the gallery above). She did her best, but the Ninja went down a couple of
times (low speed, lots of bike damage, no human damage) and she wasn't into
Those bikes were sold, and we went with the two-up big touring rigs. As it
turned out, Bev was no longer into this either. She was glad to do
a little around-town parkway cruising, but I was going on the longer rides
alone. I like to ride at a fairly "sporty" pace, and we are surrounded
by gorgeous routes here in the upper Midwest. Hauling around a touring behemoth
was not what I had in mind. Enter the Suzuki Bandit.
I may have mentioned earlier what a "fat old man" I am, and the
Suzuki Bandit 1200S is probably the best choice in a crotch-rockety-tourer for
those who fit the aforementioned classification. It's fast, I mean fast,
especially if you think your old Honda Custom 900 was fast. It handles well and,
most importantly, it's comfortable.
So now the Bandit is my ride and Bev is pretty much staying away from the
whole motorcycle thing.
Well, there was the Yamaha Vino scooter of Bev's, but that's nothing to do
with motorcycles! Through a set of interesting circumstances, Bev ended up with
a new Yamaha Vino 125 which she liked MUCH BETTER than any motorcycle of hers (or
min e for that matter). I think it is completely cool that she has purchased (and rides) a scooter. We have had them
before. Look back up at the "historic" pictures above and you'll
notice a Honda Passport, a severely neglected Vespa P125, and a Honda Helix (I also "borrowed" several Vespas over the years, you know, ones that your friend owns but doesn't work on,
you wind up fixing it and keeping it in your garage for a season or two). Of
course I'm WAY too old, fat, and tough to ride a scooter. Of course I had
to try out Bev's scooter... just to make sure it was safe and all.
That was all it took. I couldn't peel the grin off my face for days. I
thought about getting another Vino and doing the "his & hers"
thing.... but I'm just not quite that sort of person. After looking at lots of
places and lots of scooters, I picked up a 2004 Stella from Bob Hedstrom at Scooterville
in Minneapolis. I cannot say enough "good" about Scooterville, Bob, or
the Stella. Have a look at our LINKS page for
more on Bob and Scooterville as well as more on Genuine Scooter Company, the
home of the Stella. The Stella filled a need that I hadn't even defined. It
brought back pleasant old memories and has helped create pleasant new ones. My
wife and I were hooked. We had become scooterists.
Our next scooter acquisition was a 2006 Kymco People 250 which has
become our "touring" ride. That's right, the same wife who wasn't into
the Goldwing is more than happy to ride two-up on a maxi-scooter. While helping
me out on my review of the Buddy 125, Bev fell
in love with this scooter. Her Vino went up for sale, and she got a black Buddy
which is VERY happy with. I have also sold my Bandit 1200 and picked up a nice
BMW.... gotta have at least ONE motorcycle in the garage.
Boy, there must be something about doing those reviews, after helping with
the Genuine Blur review, Bev decided that she
wanted one. Now we have a Blur in the garage with the Genuine windscreen and
luggage rack - both of which were VERY impressive accessories that fit PERFECTLY
- along with a Shad trunk. Bev's idea was that the Buddy would be her "city"
scooter and the Blur would be her "over-the-road" scooter. It hasn't quite
worked out that way, in a large part because I have become addicted to riding
the Blur around town. Yes, in most circumstances, I would still rather take my
Stella for city rides, but when a twist-and-go is called for, the Blur is just
too much fun to resist.
In June of 2007, a horrible life-altering event occurred: I sold my
BMW motorcycle. For the first time in about 30 years, I do not own a
motorcycle. It was a hard thing to do but I simply was not riding it. In
a season and a half, I didn't even put on 900 miles. I also needed to make some
room for Bev's new "highway" scooter, a 2007 Yamaha Morphous. Bev was very taken
with the LOW seat height and comfort of this scooter. Now I know it's
odd-looking, but remember, we had a Helix when they were new so we're no
strangers to "odd" scooters.
There's also a Bajaj Legend in the garage now. I'm going to sell it, really.
I just got it to play around with a four-stroke, manual-shift, metal-bodied
scooter..... no foolin'..... it'll be for sale any day now. There's those boxes
of parts and a frame that make up a "restorable" Vespa in the garage too, but I
don't count that one.
I expect that I will have to get some kind of small motorcycle, soon, just to
keep "balance" in my life. Hmmm, maybe a nice Kawasaki Ninja 500, or perhaps an
older Honda CB....
OK, "soon" is here. I have added a Ninja 250 and a 1973 Yamaha to the garage.
Whew! We have some motorcycles again. The scooter shuffle continues - Bev's
Buddy 125 has been replaced by a Buddy 150 BlackJack, there's a hopped up
Rattler 50 in the mix, a Scout (based on the Honda Cub) and maybe some
more hiding in the corner under a tarp or something.
April 2011 - This is going to be another transitional year for
our collection of powered two-wheeled conveyances. Over the winter I purchased a
Royal Enfield Bullet C5 motorcycle. My vintage Yamaha will be sold to make room
for this addition. The Ninja motorcycle will also go, probably to make space for
a Hyosung GT650. The Blur and Rattler will be removed from our scooter
collection and there's a really good chance that my beloved Kymco People 250
will go. In 2007, Kymco brought out the updated People
'S' 250 which we reviewed and compared to my People 250. The 'S' had some
nice updates but not enough to make me want to trade in my People. Now Kymco is
bringing the People 300i to this market. 300cc, fuel injection, if this machine
is as impressive in person as it's specifications indicate, I'll be upgrading -
largely due to the fuel injection.
September 2011 - As predicted above, this has been a
transitional year four our garage. The vintage Yamaha and Ninja motorcycles are
gone. The People 250, Blur, and Rattler are gone. A Royal Enfield, Honda Elite
and Kymco People GTi300 have been added. There are more on the way with a Wolfe
Classic motorcycle expected soon, among others.
September 2013 - Has it really been two
years since I updated this page? Has this website been going on for
eight years now? Have we really published
57 reviews? Whodathunkit? Since 2011 several
HUGE events have happened: My daughter moved back from New York, got married,
took the house, and I hear that I'll be a Grandpa next year. Bev and I have
moved into a townhouse about a mile down the road on the boarder of Maplewood
and St. Paul. This has had a big impact on our riding situation. I've gone from
a 2 and-a-half car garage with a workshop AND a cement carport to what the
townhouse association laughably calls a 2-car garage. Can't open the doors if
one puts two cars in there. Had to cut WAY BACK on what we had. OK, in fairness,
I probably have just as many powered two-wheelers, but I'm not counting things
stored at locations other-than home. Bev is getting around on her Honda Elite
110 and a Vespa GTS 250. I've got my Stella and Kymco People Gti 300, the Royal
Enfield motorcycle is still there. That's all I can (literally) cram into
the garage. Other stuff is at other location in and near the Twin Cities, but
I'm not counting vehicle titles, just at-home rides. I mean a Suzuki Burgman 650
in the Fox Lake area of Illinois can't really count, can it?
August 2018 - Right. That whole thing about
time moving faster as one ages? Completely true. This website is now 13 years
old and I think we're past 75 reviews but I don't keep track anymore. Activity
on JustGottaScoot.com has been WAY down over the past few years. Few reviews, no
podcasts, less news, and it is all my fault. I'm going to blame it on my age.
That's right, those 50 - 60 years can be every bit as nasty as anything you
might have heard. Many "normal" elements in my life had to be pushed to the back
burner as both my parents required increasing care and then passed away. Then
there was the unexpected death of my best friend and business partner. My
daughter's divorce and health concerns for my wife didn't make things any less
busy. Suffice to say that my available time has been measured in nanoseconds.
So far as scooters go, getting review machines has become
quite difficult. I would have to purchase, review and then sell scooters which
is just not a realistic option for me. Right now, regular riders include a Vespa
LXV, Vespa GTS, Piaggio BV350 and Yamaha Majesty. Honda has threatened to bring
the Cub back to the USA and I'll probably have to buy one of those in 2019. I
try to stay involved in the scooter world by helping out on Saturdays at
Scooterville as often as I can.
July 2019 - Bev and I have moved to the
northeast suburbs (White Bear Lake area) which does make it even more
challenging to participate in metro scooter activities. Early in the riding
season Bev's Vespa GTS 250 was totalled. I was riding it on Highway 96 in White
Bear, approaching a stop light when I was rear-ended by a distracted driver in a
mini van. No major injuries to me, but the scooter was done for. We replaced it
with a new Vespa GTS 300 that we both really like. I also still have a Yamaha
Majesty that I ride often and Bev still has her Vespa LXV 150.
Nothing much new has been added to this site as I am still
persona non grata so far as the major brands are concerned. Because this site
doesn't accept advertising, we can't get scooters to review.
For more mindless ramblings, visit the BLAH
(as in blah, blah, blah) page. To buy cool Just-Gotta-Scoot stuff, see
the STUFF page.