Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year and COLD

It's been pretty cold in Grays River the last few days.
But that hasn't stopped me from riding the new scooter as often as I can. Here it is on the Rosburg Bridge. I love how easy it is to hop off and take photos. 
And it looks cool .. at least to me. 
I am new to scooters, I love how easy it is to run into town and get some groceries. Lots of storage under the seat.
And I live in a great place to see beautiful scenery. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Rain riding

I took a ride to Naselle and around the valley the other day. Here are a few pics.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My New Scoot

Okay. That'd didn't take long. Actually, I've had my eye on one of these since they first introduced them a few years ago. I am the new proud owner of a 2009 Piaggio MP3 400.

Yes, it has 3 wheels.

Yes it weird looking.

Once you are on it, however, it rides just like a motorcycle -- or I should say a 400 scooter. You counter-steer just like on a bike, you can really lean the thing over in the twisties and it is smooth and fast.

I think there are a lot of misconceptions about this three wheeler compared to the Can-Am Spyders. The Can-Ams don't lean, which is kind of the fun part of riding motorcycles. I can't fly planes, so riding motorcycles is as close as I've been able to come in my daily life. It's the leaning that gives you that feeling of motion and speed. Sometimes when I'm driving, I'll even feel myself leaning in to the corner, trying to cut a little more off the apex before accelerating out.

So when people see it they say "oh, it's more stable, right?"

Not exactly. Motorcycles operate by the gyroscopic principle. If the wheels are rolling at speed, they are hard to knock over. They are very stable, even going around corners. In this regard, the MP3 does have a little extra gyroscope up front, (are two 12 inch gyros better than one 20 inch one?) but the real advantage is on slippery and uneven surfaces. That's where the MP3 is brilliant. That's why they've sold gobs of them in Paris -- wet cobblestone streets.

When leaning into a corner, the MP3 has an extra contact patch up front that stays on the ground even when leaned over 40 degrees. That outrigger wheel keeps contact with the road in the event that the other wheel loses grip or hits unstable ground. I found this out yesterday coming around a cover and finding the road covered in mud and pine needles from a recent storm. The Mp3 stayed planted to the road like it was attached with velcro. That's where the advantage is.

At low speeds, it is no more stable that my VStar 650. You can lock the front wheels when rolling to a stop so you don't have to put your foot down, but I'm still in the habit of putting my foot down. The turning radius is very tight and so it is easy getting into my driveway.

So far, my daughters do not like it. They think my old motorcycle was cooler and that dad isn't cool anymore. I'm surprised they thought there dad was ever cool. My wife likes it a lot. She loves the back seat and smooth nature of the CVT. Mama Bear is the opinion that matters most!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sold! Now What?

Yesterday I skipped church and spent the morning puttering around the garage putting spare parts and accessories together. A couple came all the way down from Seattle to buy El Burro.

Shelly was excited about the big red bike. She promised to give it a good home.

 It was sad so see my old friend go.

It is not the end of my motorcycling, but I'm left with a hole in my garage and a fog hangs about the future. What's next?

One of my goals is to get something that is an every day ride. Something I won't hesitate heading to work on even if the weather is a bit damp.

Last winter I didn't tear the bike down and found I rode it quite a bit over the winter. That said, a big carbureted cruiser is not the best all weather machine.

Alas, I shall not speak ill of the so recently sold.

That bike did everything I asked of it. I sorted through a lot of emotions behind those bars.

It was time for something new however, Time to move on. I mistrust nostalgia and am skeptical of sentiment. I could have tottered away until my beard ran long and gray with that bike, but that's not me.

I now have my wandering eye on some younger Italians with fuel injection and anti-lock brakes.

There are new things in the world. Always new places to go.

Adios El Burro,

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fall Riding Weather

I'm selling El Burro. Not sure why, it just seems time for something new. Maybe it has too many memories already for me. Or maybe I'm just looking for a new challenge. It is certainly not the bike's fault. El Burro continues to run like a champ.

 I've stripped it down to go more in the bobber direction. I think it looks tough and it is fun to buzz around without the bulk of the sissy bar and bags.

 With a sunny day, I took some nice snaps. Check them out. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Church of the Motorcycle

I went for a long ride on Sunday while my wife and daughters went to church.

My sister Mindy passed away last week. I didn't feel like talking with anyone at church about it just yet.

So I skipped church and went for a long ride along the Willapa Bay road to the Long Beach Peninsula.

The bay road is full of perfect curves and natural beauty. I listened to the music of the engine.

We used to live and work on the Peninsula. I used to drive this road every day, but I tried never to take it for granted.

At the beach, I rode past the apartments where Amy and I lived the first year we were married. I rode my bike up to the Beard's Hollow overlook and watched the waves crash against the shore. This used to be just a gravel pull out over the steep cliffs. So much has changed over the years. Now it is paved and parked, but still a great place to listen and watch the ocean pound away at shore.

There was little traffic on a Sunday morning, a few RVs and other people on bikes. I made it back to Grandma Nelson's just in time for Sunday dinner, but was tempted to go out riding again.

There are times when I think I'll sell this old motorcycle ... but never when I'm riding it.
My sister Mindy on the back. Her oxygen tank is in the bag.