Thursday, August 9, 2018

World's Best Commute

I have decided I am going senile in my old age. I am really enjoying living with a  plastic Japanese scooter, and this coming from a man who has ridden classic Italian Vespas since 1970 when my mother bought me my first ride. Of  course I mixed those up with lots of normal machines with awkward luggage, gearboxes and classic motorcycle styling. I've put 6,000 miles on it since I bought the Burgman 200 on the Ides of March this year. Almost all those  miles were commuting and it has proved to be a sterling ride. It can outpace most cars at the traffic light derby, it returns at least 75 mpg and is entirely comfortable in and out of the rain. Color me astonished, I had no idea these homely banana boats were so useful.
The best part is that this scooter is totally under rated as its only 200 cc and typically first owners "move up" abandoning these modest scooters hardly used and traded back onto the sales floor usually on sale for around three grand on Cycle Trader. The underseat storage is so vast I have no need of extra luggage in daily use, the stock windshield works fine for me and the glove box comes with a 12 volt plug to charge my everything electronic. The scooter has modern ABS brakes and a low seat height with tons of room to move your feet from stretched out to scrunched up. Fantastic, yet none of that means anything if it were boring to ride but in that department the Suzuki is light  and easy to push round the few corners I encounter in South Florida, and cruises smoothly at 65 mph with no effort at all. I love this unassuming machine and I am planning  a long ride on it before the summer is out to see if it has the potential for touring that I think it has. More on that plan next week.
Meanwhile in the real world it is motorcycle enough that car drivers leave me alone and if they don't it will run up to 75 mph easily with a few more miles per hour if needed to get away from them. And traffic on the Overseas Highway has been thick all summer long. I'm hoping schools opening soon will get vacationers to return Up North for a while before winter comes and they all bounce back. But for now every ride seems to be a line of cars tonking slowly along the highway.
But the views are excellent. Some days I pass the traffic queues if it seems worthwhile, some days I troll along behind them at ten under the speed limit (variously 45 and 55 mph) and others days I pull over and snap a few pictures to remind myself where I live. Some few occasions I get to ride all by myself on an empty ribbon of road. I imagine myself coasting across the country on my Baby Burgman. There is a 400 cc version of this scooter and the mighty 650 Executive which any rider would tell you are more suitable scooters but for me the Burgman 200 is perfect, small light and simple. At home around town in narrow scooter parking as it is on the open road.
I pass by Fat Albert and the drug interception blimp gives me an idea which way the wind is blowing. When you are pushing a 200 cc engine a following wind helps..! 
Summer is the season of sudden rain which Rusty hates when we are out walking. He hears the thunder and starts looking around for the car. Me? I stare at the clouds and see faces and patterns and swirls and all manner of wonders in the skies above. Summer really is a  great time of year. The winds have been cool and dry lately and going swimming in the canal behind my house feels on the brisk side of warm. It's all relative and for round here the water has been chilled by rain and wind. It's actually quite nice. But indoors the air conditioning keeps things cool and dry and serene.
It's dark when I leave home in the morning and those 23 miles from the police station separate from last night's 911 nonsense. Take the dog for a walk and I am ready to sleep the sleep of the just. 
Damn! Summer's going to be over soon but happily I will  hardly notice down here in the land of year round scooting.