The scooter that got sold and then got wrecked

I kinda knew it was going to happen, although I hoped that it wouldn’t.

I ended up selling Mia on Monday, to a sweet older lady who was buying it for her son-in-law, who’d never been on a scooter until he rode Mia in loops around the parking lot of the nearby CVS on Monday night. Neither of them minded that her electric starter didn’t work, and I was glad she’d be getting out of my garage and getting some use. I was a little nervous for the son-in-law, especially after he fell over at one point while taking a curve a little too slowly, and the fact that he didn’t have a helmet also made me worry – but then again, this is me.  I worry too much. About everything. I was worried about freakin’ Lapis the other day when I took her for a car wash and wasn’t able to fully rinse all the soap off of her.

Well, this morning the sweet older lady emailed me to tell me that her son-in-law had crashed Mia, and asked if I knew where she could get her fixed.

Strangely, I’m not quite as torn up about Mia being in a crash as I thought I would be. I’m worried about the lady’s son-in-law, that’s for sure, and I feel bad that she bought a scooter and only three days later her son-in-law wrecked it.

I pointed her in the direction of the nearest Genuine dealership, and also sent her a site that sells individual body panels for Genuine Buddy scooters – and let her know that if she just got the body panels, I’d help put them on, because I’ve probably taken almost all the panels off except the floorboards at some point or another. (And if worst comes to worst and I can’t get them on, I’ll ask Scott to see if he can give me some pointers.)

Gah. Poor old Mia. I almost wonder if I should’ve just given her back to Damion, busted electric starter and all.

Lapis’s odometer reading: 5532ish miles
Stevonnie’s odometer reading: 44 miles

The scooter that won’t start, the car that’s still awesome, and the motorcycle that turned into a scooter

I think it’s safe to say that a heck of a lot has happened since I last posted.

Poor Mia. She’s been sitting like this for a week and a half while Ross and I try to figure out what the heck’s going on with her.

First off, let’s start with poor old Mia, who I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to retire.  After Scott fixed her horn, we had a pretty nasty rainy period that made it unpleasant or just plain impossible to ride, so Mia spent a few weeks in the garage. When the rain finally cleared up a bit, I figured I’d take her to work one day – but she had other ideas.  Ideas that involved her electric starter making some very, very strange noises when I try to start her. She kickstarts fine, her battery’s still in good shape, but I’m kinda leery of riding her on the off chance there’s a short in her electrical system somewhere causing the issues with her starter. What if something else shorts out and I end up with no turn signals? It’s not fun riding a scooter with no turn signals – I’ve done it before, and I don’t exactly want to do it again.

So, for now she’s in the garage until I figure out what to do with her.  I don’t know if it’s worth it to try to sell her, with her starter issue. I feel bad that I’m thinking of selling her, but since she’s spent most of this summer in the garage due to one issue or another, there’s really not much of a point in keeping her, is there?

Lapis had some adventures on my friend’s farm recently – mainly involving parking on the back lawn while they had gravel delivered.

Lapis is still doing well – I hit 5000 miles on her pretty recently, and I think I might be close to 5500 at this point (I should check on that). Even in ridiculous rain and insane heat, she still handles well and is still fun as heck to drive. I actually even drove her out to my mom-in-law’s house out in Spencer, IN – it was my second time driving out to Spencer, but first time actually driving to my mom-in-law’s. Visiting her at her old house in Fishers involved driving on some terrifying highways (465 is just scary), but driving to Spencer is fun! Other than that, though, no exciting road trips with Lappy lately.

Finally, it’s time to introduce the newest resident of my garage: Stevonnie, a 2019 Yamaha SMAX 150.

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She’s beautiful, isn’t she?

First, a little backstory on how I ended up with Stevonnie. For a few years, I had a Honda Rebel in my garage, waiting for me to learn how to actually ride a motorcycle. I never actually rode it anywhere, the 6 miles it had on the odometer were all thanks to Ross. Recently, I got brave enough to take the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy course, and while I learned a heck of a lot, I didn’t have enough experience controlling a big bike to pass the exam at the end. (Remember, Mia’s a 50cc and barely weighs 200 pounds, and the bikes they had us on at the riding academy were 500cc bikes that easily weighed 500-600 pounds.) While taking the course, I realized that maybe I’m not entirely cut out for motorcycle riding – sure, I can now use a gear shift and operate a clutch, but mainly, I just want to twist the throttle and go. I’ve been spoiled by Mia all these years with her automatic transmission, and manual transmission just isn’t for me (at least on a two-wheeled vehicle).

However, I did want to ride something faster than a 50cc scooter, and something a little heavier than Mia. With her performance upgrades, she can do 45 mph, but it’s a terrifying 45 mph because she’s really light and really not meant to go that fast. So, I made the decision to trade in the Rebel for a bigger scooter – and ended up with the Yamaha SMAX. She’s a little tall for me, but I can make it work (or at the very least, I can see about getting some foam shaved off the seat so I can get both feet on the ground, haha). And oh, she’s so much fun to ride, even though I was a little extra cautious with her on the ride home due to not being all that familiar with her. Instead of being at full throttle all the time to get to 35-40 mph, I just have to give her a little bit of throttle and before I know it, I’m doing 45. I can’t wait to take her out on country roads and let her fly. 🙂

Lapis’s odometer reading: 5437 miles
Mia’s odometer reading: 7868.1 miles
Stevonnie’s odometer reading: 3 miles

The scooter that wouldn’t honk (and how an old friend helped her get noisy again)

I finally got the chance to ride Mia for the first time this riding season a few weeks ago – it took filling her with a gallon of ethanol-free gas to get her started, but once that was in her system, she fired right up. I rode her to the office and back on that first trip, which was lovely – except for when I got stuck behind a person at a light who was more concerned with their phone than they were with driving their car. I honked, or tried to anyway – Mia only let out a sad “hhhrrrrrnn” instead of the loud two-tone blast that I’m used to. So, I figured that her Stebel horn probably kicked the bucket, and a new one would do the trick!

I was wrong. The new horn made the wheezy sad noise too.

Ross dug around in her and found some corroded wiring where her deadlights were spliced into the wiring for the horn, and he didn’t want to dig around too much more for fear of doing something he couldn’t fix.

Enter my old friend Scott – people who’ve been following my rambles about Mia for a while might remember him, but for those who don’t know, he used to run Wick’s Wheels, which is where I bought Mia. He’s out of the scooter business now, and is working in software development, but when I mentioned Mia’s issues on Facebook, he offered to take a look at her and see if he could fix her up.  Given that he’s spent much more time rummaging around in Mia’s insides than I have, I rode her over to his house and he took a look at her.  Long story short: the deadlights (typically used as the turn signals outside the US) that Scott wired up into the horn relay a few years ago were drawing too much energy for both the lights and the horn to work properly – and since I’m not planning on doing any night riding anymore, we decided to disconnect them entirely and put some new wiring in for the horn just in case. That was what she needed – she honks now!

I rode her to work for the first time this season yesterday, and oh, I missed riding to work. It felt so good to be riding, even in the morning when it was still a little chilly out.

At the office, ready for a quick trip across campus to go teach a workshop!

Riding her around in the late afternoon and evening was absolutely wonderful – it was 80 degrees out, and even though it was windy, it wasn’t so bad that I was getting knocked off the road. (I can definitely feel the difference of riding without the windshield – Mia’s nowhere near as aerodynamic as she once was.) Riding to work yesterday felt almost like the last nearly-two-years of car commuting never happened – it just felt natural, like an old comforting habit.

Now my body just has to get used to regular riding again.  After riding around Scott’s neighborhood with him and his dog (very, very slowly – the dog has plenty of experience riding as a scooter passenger, though!) this past weekend, I woke up very sore the next day – and after yesterday’s scooter commute, my right ankle is angry – since it’s the side I tend to lean towards when holding up the scooter at a stop light, I understand why it’s cranky.  I’d say I don’t remember being this sore when I first learned to ride, but I’m pretty sure the longest scooter rides I took when I first learned were maybe a mile and a half long – and my commute’s about 5 miles one way now, so that’s probably why my scooter muscles weren’t nearly as angry when I first started learning.

Ah well. My body’ll get used to riding again soon. (I hope.)

Lapis’s odometer reading: 4430ish miles (I’m guessing, I haven’t driven her since Wednesday)
Mia’s odometer reading: 7822.5 miles (FINALLY past the 7800 mile mark)

Somebody hit 4000 miles today!

Yay, Lapis hit 4000 miles!

IMG_20190311_131106I noticed as soon as I got in the car while running errands, and managed to grab a picture before I drove off, heh.  My goal is to get her to 5000 before her birthday next month – not sure if that’ll happen, but who knows, I might end up taking a long trip somewhere.  Worst comes to worst, I can always just go work at IUPUI a couple days next month. 😛

Lapis’s odometer reading: 4036 miles, or pretty darn close to that – guesstimating based on today’s travels after I took this picture
Mia’s odometer reading: still 7792.7 miles, surprise surprise – but someone’s gonna be rolling out of the garage for a ride on Wednesday, if all goes well

Quiet winter so far

It’s been a pretty quiet winter so far – no crazy snow (yet), but there have been a couple of ridiculously warm days that had me tempted to unplug Mia from the battery tender and take her for a ride. Now we’re back to weather that more resembles a proper Midwest winter, and we’ve got a winter storm warning for this weekend – which means it’s proper Subaru weather, haha. I might have to find an excuse to drive Lapis somewhere this weekend, just to see how she handles in proper snow. (Don’t worry, though, if we’ve got a blizzard, nobody’s going anywhere. Better safe than sorry!)

So, yeah. Not much in the adventure realm for either of my girls, so instead of rambling about places I’ve been, I’ll share one of my favorite pictures of Mia from her first winter.  I dragged her out on a snowy afternoon to get some pictures of her in the snow, and this one turned out rather well. (It’s a rare picture of her before she had the black swirly decals on her! Which I’ll probably replace this year, I miss them.)

Green and black scooter parked in a few inches of snow, in front of snow-covered bushes.

Lapis’s odometer reading: 3554 miles, approximately
Mia’s odometer reading: still sitting at 7792.7 miles

Lappy’s first snow!

Yep, I woke up to a snow-covered Lapis this morning – her first snow ever! (Speaking of which, I’m much less nervous about driving Lapis in the snow than I was when it came to driving the old car in the snow – hooray all-wheel drive!)

I’m glad I no longer have to ride around on Mia in this weather – pretty sure neither of us enjoyed it, heh.

Lapis’s odometer reading: 2765 miles, I’m pretty sure
Mia’s odometer reading: same as last time, she’s in hibernation for the winter

Lappy’s first service, and Mia’s first winter off

Lapis went in for her first service last week! Everyone at Royal Subaru was kind of astonished that I only had barely over 2,500 miles on her, but I don’t drive quite as much as Ross (who hit 10k on Luna this week, I think), so the miles aren’t going to pile up quite as quickly. My 5-mile commute probably has something to do with that, heh.

With the colder weather coming, I’m really glad I traded in the Versa Note for Lapis – she warms up way faster than the Versa Note did, and the all wheel drive is going to come in really handy when the snow flies. I’m actually looking forward to winter driving! How crazy is that?

Speaking of winter, I think Mia’s pretty much entered her winter hibernation for the year. It got cold really quickly here (a few weeks ago, it went from the high 80s to the mid 50s in the same week!), and my cold tolerance isn’t what it used to be. So, unless we get a warm day anytime soon, I’ll probably tuck Mia away in the garage and let her sleep for the winter. It’s Mia’s first official winter off with me – while she spent last winter garaged at my mom-in-law’s house, she wasn’t my scooter at that point. I think she’ll appreciate not having to run in sub-zero temperatures.

It’s strange – I don’t think I’ve actually winterized a scooter since 2011, when I first got Scooterlou. Even then, she was only put away for two months before the weather warmed up again (it hit 70 degrees in January of 2012!) and I dragged her out to ride. I’ve almost forgotten what you need to do to winterize a scooter! Ross put in some Sta-bil, and we’ve got her hooked up to the battery tender, but what else do you do to winterize a scooter?  I’m going to have to do some research.

Lapis’s estimated odometer reading: I know I hit 2600 miles yesterday
Mia’s current odometer reading: 7792.7 miles