I was buzzing home from work last weekend and I got stuck behind a car doing just around 50 something miles an hour (the Vespa speedo is about ten percent optimistic). The big drawback to a 150cc engine is that it is almost impossible to pass a vehicle that is just under the limit. Sometimes the distances are just too short and other times the asshole, realising he is being passed by a moped, speeds up and makes for a chaotic moment on the highway. In this case I stopped at the gas station at the end of my street to fill up (1.7 gallons/ 7 liters of premium) and the car I had been tailing pulled up too. The driver got out and started staring at the scooter.
"How many miles to the gallon do you get? " he asked, the usual opening question.
"About 70, " I replied though my full, face helmet. The lack of a full windshield prompts me to wear a full face helmet on the Vespa.
"And you can cruise at 60 miles per hour?" he said, leaving the question hanging.
"Evidently," I replied, putting the pump away. I'd been following him since Mangrove Mama's and he knew I'd had no problem keeping up. Harley Riders hate it when they find themselves tailed by the pansy little scooter:
And sometimes people in cars, ignoring the fact I'm doing 60 will pull ahead just not to get stuck behind a stupid scooter. One of my colleagues coming into work one evening in his police cruiser pulled alongside at a traffic light on Stock Island and rolled down the window. " Hey, that thing goes pretty fast!" he said. I'm sure the other drivers watching the exchange thought I was in trouble for some reason. What they didn't know was I have the ability to make his life hell all night if I feel like. I was amazed he recognized me in my helmet riding my wife's scooter, but cops are smart like that.Happily it's hard to break the speed limit in a 55mph zone on a Vespa 150, so I hadn't been breaking the law in front of him, but he was surprised at how well I could keep up on the four lane section of Highway One. Vespas, even simple carburetted ones like the ET4, are fast as well as solid and comfortable. And the ET4 also sports weird oval mirrors:
Plus the scenery is just as good from the seat of Vespa as from that of a Bonneville or even a Harley:
And then I get to look out of the Communications Center windowat the top of the Police Station all night and see my little cream colored Vespa 150 ready to take me home:
I like the Bonneville because it has the ability to pass others easily, it doesn't notice headwinds and it engenders more respect from other road users. But the Vespa makes a welcome change from time to time and I'm really glad my wife enjoys owning and riding it so we can justify having it in our lives. It's definitely a keeper.