Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Experienced Norton rider tames Scooter:

Guest post from Bobbie2:

A week or so ago my friend from Green Lake came to Vancouver for the annual Canadian Route 66 Association picnic. There were many events happening around town and we had planned a m/c weekend on our bikes to savour them all. Saturday evening was scooter orientation (Prev post) . I wanted Bob to get a few miles under his belt before we headed out on Sunday.

It was an action packed day. We wanted to squeeze everything in. Today was the Ladner Quilt Walk and Car show. Ladner is a small community with a town centre. The main streets were closed off for live music, food vendors and a huge car show. The Quilts were for the women, to give them something to do while the men ooggled at all the cars. We had to make an appearance at the Route 66 picnic which started at 11:30a. Then we were off the the Gastown Classic Motorcycle show where they closed down the streets for motorcycles of all types could park for free. I was also trying to squeeze in the Latin Summer Festival at Trout Lake where they had live music and food from the Caribbean. And of course, we had dinner reservations at a riverfront restaurant with a view of the Fraser River down in Ladner. Whew . . . we managed to squeeze it all in and what a beautiful day.

Here are some comments from Bobbie2: (unedited, naturally)

"On a recent weekend trip down to Vancouver from our home at Green Lake, I was invited by Bob to go ‘scootin’ together. Bob wanted to put some miles (kilometers??) on his new V-Strom 650 and wanted me to try out his other ‘ride’ - the 500cc Kymco scooter. Prior to going for a spin (hopefully keeping the rubber side down!), Bob instructed me on the differences between the Kymco and my bike back home – a 1974 Norton Commando (my first, and so far, only bike – original owner, 70,000 miles.) The biggest operating difference, of course, is the automatic CVT transmission (and no clutch lever!) The left lever is the rear brake, I must remember this! I assured him I was familiar with the CVT as my ATV and snowmobile operate with the similar transmission.
After a couple of practice runs around the block, we were off ! Bob took us on a scenic Saturday evening tour around Lulu Island (Richmond), riding the north side along River Road, then down to the south side ending on the wharf at Steveston. I was pleasantly surprised with the smooth, quiet ride and good handling of the ‘little’ scooter. On the return ride along Oak Street in Vancouver back to Bob’s place, I made my only boo-boo of the weekend. Coasting to an easy stop at a stoplight, I grabbed the clutch (er ,,,, I mean brake) lever as I would on the old Norton – I found out how well the rear brake does work ! Didn’t do that again!
On Sunday, I got a little highway time on the Kymco riding out to Ladner through the Massey Tunnel under the Fraser River for a car show and a picnic, then back to downtown Vancouver for the Gastown Motorcycle Show, then back to Ladner for dinner, then finally back to ‘Bob’s Garage’ in Vancouver. In all, close to 200 kilometers of scooter experience under my belt, and yes, the rubber did stay on the pavement!
I did not find it hard to get used to the operational characteristics of the scooter – I think it would be a perfect machine for people to learn motorcycling. It is an ideal city commuter but it is also very capable of highway trips as well. The only thing I didn’t get used to was the relatively high rpm the little engine spins as compared with my Snortin Norton. The old Brit turns 3500 rpm at 60 mph whereas the little Kymco is beyond 5500 at this speed. You don’t really have much feeling of how fast the engine is going as it is so quiet and smooth running – no British mechanical clatter! The engine is red-lined at 7500rpm, so I was concerned that it may be ‘running out of wind’ at 100kmh – NOT SO! Bob told me that I didn’t have to baby the little scooter as I was doing, so I cranked on the throttle. I was really surprised by the ‘bark’ of the exhaust and the acceleration that ensued! Quite impressive, this thing actually can be a highway cruiser and go up hills, after all, it isn’t a 125cc machine, is it?
Now back home in the Cariboo, I have to re-acquaint myself with the vintage Norton – clutch on the left, shifter on the (yes) right! I still have to remember the shifter thing when riding any ‘modern’ bike otherwise the rear brake gets a workout when I upshift! (1-up, 3-down right hand shifter --- bass-ackwards you know).

Thanks for the fun weekend, Bob #1………………Bob #2, Green Lake……… "

We parked our bikes and noticed this delightful Enfield beside us:



You may think that I like to take pictures but as you will notice, he takes a lot too


It was not just a car show, there were lots of classic motorcycles too, and this BOSS HOSS with the '57 chevy rear end


There was this Beemer and rare sidecar


This was a very early model Triumph 500. The lights had to be lit with a match powered by Calcium something or other, some fluid was dripping on it to produce acetalene gas. The owner explained how it worked but in one ear and out the other.


Seeing that it was also a quilt walk, here is a quilted car cover


Tevi's Termite taxi makes another appearance at the Route 66 picnic


We finally arrive at the Gastown Motorcycle show & shine, the largest motorcycle event in the Province. There are bikes parked everywhere. This is just a teaser. I have many photos of different bikes and may post more at a later date.


After a couple of hours looking at bikes and listening to the live music, we made our way to the Latin Summer Festival


There were many displays, food vendors, clothing for sale and live latin music on the main stage


We made our way to our dinner reservation in Ladner


For some reason I wasn't very hungry so only ordered the fish and chips. It must have been the heat or the excitement of seeing my scooter follow me around all weekend


Black and White, parked side by side.


It was a perfect end to a perfect day action packed and filled to the brim with Bobbie2. Finally we got to ride together


Naturally, after dinner Bobbie2 wanted to go for another ride, and so we did


  1. Good grief! "Vancouver...Solidarity...Cuba" where's the CIA torture programme when you need one? Nice pictures though, especially of that parallel twin.

  2. What a fantastic time you had, I am soooo jealous, oh please please do another blog and put some more photos of the bikes you saw, they look great, your fish 'n' chips look yummy...

  3. Dear Bobskoot:

    The extent of your global scooter conspiracy is evident. Bikers arrive at your house, where they are conned into riding a scooter someplace to look at quilts. What's next? Guerrilla knitting?

    I intend to get a little scooter time myself, down in Maryland, before the summer is out.

    I am not much of a trike person, but I'd go for that 1957 Chevy trike in a heartbeat. Cool shot. There are at least two people in my Beemer riding club (the Mac-Pac) with that same side car. They will be out for a run in October.

    Very neat blog today.
    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad

  4. Mr Conchscooter:

    I posted that Cuba tent just to see your comments. I knew it wouldn't escape your eagle, beagle eyes. I believe that there are daily flights to Veradera, Cuba. We are unrestricted to travel to that exotic land which graces your horizon. Take a trip up here to BC and we will go there for a vacation (notice that you have trained me well, and didn't use the word Holiday)


    Okay, let me organize my photo collection and see what I can do. There was lots to see and thousands of bikes parked everywhere

    Mr Jack "r":

    My friend, Bobbie2: sort of flinched when I told him our plan was to go to Ladner for the Quilt Walk, but he didn't say anything until much later. He had heard of this event before, as it has been held for a few years now but never had the desire to go and actually look at Quilts. Little did he know that it was a huge car show with lots of motorcycles. All Boss Hoss trikes have humungous V-8 engines, precisely what you are looking for, and you don't have to swing your leg over either

  5. great event, just look the motorcycles, look the Generic Viagra, the food, the jackets, men it's a excellent chance to know some motor girls jejejeje.