Monday, August 24, 2009

Black & White: Kymco and Wee

I have a friend whom I have know for many years. He is a car guy. We have travelled together to many places. He was a former resident of the Vancouver area and little did anyone know that he was also an avid motorcyclist. I happened to be in his garage a few years ago and noticed this pristine, classic motorcycle in the back behind his other cars. Yes, he was also a former member of the BC Corvette Club (<-- click link) and his wife is the founding member of the Canadian Route 66 Association (<-- click link) . Let me introduce you to Bobbie2 yes his name is Bob, but I am Bob1) . Bobbie2 was the proud owner of a Norton Commando 850 which he purchased brand new off the showroom floor in 1973 . It is a beautiful bike. I never knew that he rode so over the years I was trying to get him interested in a trip somewhere. He has since moved to the Cariboo to a cabin nearly in the wilderness about 5 hours northeast of Vancouver. He had occasion to come to Vancouver a week ago and I put the bug in his ear to bring his M/C attire and I would happily loan him my "extra" wheels and we would spend the weekend riding to various functions while our wives took to the car

(bob (aka: Bobbie2) with my Kymco X500Ri)

Saturday was orientation night. Bob arrived in Vancouver late in the afternoon, checked into his hotel and made his way to my place where I had checked over the bikes to get them ready

(Black WEE: on the left, White Kymco X500Ri: on the right)

It was time for his scooter orientation. Thank goodness BOB understood the mechanics of how a CVT works as he also has snow mobiles with CVT transmissions. He has never ridden an automatic motorcycle. Of course the left lever is for the rear brake, NOT the clutch. He was also not used to the higher RPMS needed to propel these scoots for his Norton runs at freeway speeds at around 3,500-4,000 RPMs not like the X500Ri which normally finds itself at 5,000. RPMs.


I really never thought about it before but my WEE is black. I had no choice since the dealer only had the one unit left, and my Kymco is white. So according to my moods I can choose the appropriate colour. If I feel bad I can ride the Black one.


We decided that we would go for dinner first, then after we would go for a short orientation ride to get familiar with the scooter. I know the scooter is highway capable for last year I rode it to Oregon and Kelowna. On group rides I am usually the one taking up the rear (sweep) but today I was the group leader. I must say that looking into my mirrors all night long, it was strange to see my scooter following my every move.


We travelled down to the farmlands of Richmond and found ourselves at this farm market. We noticed another member, Tevi of the Canadian Route 66 Association was there in his "Termite Taxi" which is familiar to many in the local car circles.


We visited with Tevi for a short while then headed to Steveston


We were about half an hour too late for sunset but we navigated the slow route along the Fraser River in the twilight. We headed for the Government Wharf and took a few more pixs of the setting sun.


It was now dark so we called it a day and headed for home. The next post will be from my guest speaker BOBbie2 and his impressions of riding the Kymco X500Ri. It will be un-edited and in his own words.


  1. No Norton pics? But young Bobbie2 does seem to be wearing a Belstaff jacket appropriate to the climate. Is it waxed cotton or a modern re-make? It gives me a rash on my wrists just thinking about it.

  2. Nice shared ride tale! I love the pic of the boats--wonderful reflection. I had to chuckle at when you want to feel bad you ride the "Black" one. Over here we say the opposite. It would be the "white" one to ride when one feels bad!

  3. Love the Taxi picture. You always seem to find some interesting vehicles in your neighborhood.
    Looks like a great way to spend some time with an old friend.
    I had a choice between red and blue when I bought my scooter, and picked blue because of my Alma Mater, Kansas Jayhawks.

  4. I'm intrigued by the trunk on the Kymco. It looks like it's hanging out into space.. I suppose it's okay, though, since the motor is in the back anyway.

    I can see how the floorboards would be an advantage on long rides. Plenty of variety for foot positions.

    Nice batch of photos. Trouble is, I'm hungry now!

  5. Nice of you to share, Bob. Always more fun to ride with a friend. I think I'll have to check out Stevestson when I'm up there.

  6. Bob, that last picture is out of this world...what a nice shot...!!
    Bravo mon ami.
    Yeah I always thought, like Irondad, that trunk on the Kymko looked odd, but I guessed you needed that for all your photography gear...finally, a very nice account of a night out with a friend and your own two bikes.

  7. im with baron, the last two shots for me, just spectacular!! great post and post.

  8. Mr Conchscooter:

    I also have a Belstaff riding jacket that I purchased brand new back around 1981 from a BMW dealer which has since closed down. It is oiled cotton, something like that. NO armour. If I could lose a few more LBS I could wear it again. I last saw the Norton about 5 years ago. Perhaps the next time I go into the Backwoods I will take another pix. OR if Bobbie2 is reading this, he can send me a new pix for me to post


    I really didn't even notice that I had a "BAD" one and a "GOOD" one. Black would not have been my first colour choice, but it's growing on me. I am nearly all black now; black cases, black riding gear, and new black helmet. It's now sort of a theme . . . the BAD dude


    Whenever I see a Conch tourmobile I take a picture for my friend, Mr Conchscooter. I know he appreciates the fact that there will be employment for him up here, when he decides to emmigrate to BC and take advantage of our single payer health care. You know he has an aspiration to be a tour guide of substance


    The top case on my prev SV650 also hung out into space. Its sort of the way the bracket attaches. I actually think it is safer to have it high just in case you find a Hummer or F350 super duty behind you at a light. Otherwise they won't see you under their hood.
    And yes you are very correct, all rides end up somewhere to eat. So if you are hungry, just go for a ride.


    No problem, there are lots of little hideaways around our area. Another place to check out would be Fort Langley.


    It was sort of strange seeing my two bikes all weekend. I should have posed them more with some water backgrounds. Everyone would be wondering how I got them there together. I should really bring my good equipment. I only used the small pocket camera which is not good in low light. It's not like I don't have better cameras sitting at home

    Ms M:

    Thank you, but as just mentioned above, I will bring my more capable camera the next time.