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But, I thought you readers might get a kick out of the story.

I have mentioned it before.....one of my other hobbies is motorcycling.
If it has two (sometimes three) wheels I'm into it in some way or another.
This includes, motor scooters.....specifically geared scooters that require manually shifting such as a Vespa or Lambretta.

In the late 90's, Vespa contracted with a company called LML located in India, to continue to produce Vespa, two stroke geared PX150 series, scooters.
This arrangement allowed Vespa to continue marketing scooters while essentially re-inventing their product line in Italy, to become four stroke powered CVT (automatic) transmission machines of varying displacements.

Sometime in 2002/2003, the old Vespa tooling was sold to LML......Vespa now focussed on their new product line and LML continued to stamp out old/new PX150 two stroke machines.
The machines are marketed to this day throught Europe as LML and in the U.S.A. as Genuine Stella.

I have a 2009 Genuine Stella 150cc geared two stroke scooter in my stable of toys.

For whatever reason, I get a real kick out of riding this old/new machine.....it is very finnicky, something always needs to be adjusted, tightened, lubricated........it requires continual mechanical input to operate correctly.......this scratches the mechanic itch I have.
Weirder yet, I find it more entertaining than any of my road bikes.

Ok, a long winded (as usual) introduction of a machine.....moving on,

I am on a forum that is based in England....specific to the LML product on their side of the pond.
One of their contributors, named Matt (screen name Tipper) and I have had some very entertaining discussions about these machines and, as is often the case with forum discussions I feel like I've met him.

Matt is a dog lover......deeply into Greyhound rescue programs.....we have similar programs this side of the pond.....involves taking retired greyhounds, ex racing dogs, getting them healthy and finding them a home.....an honorable endevour IMO.

To help raise money for this cause, Matt is riding his (shipped over from England) LML scooter ...........From New York to San Francisco!

He is travelling our country coast to coast on the Lincoln Highway.....most know that as U.S.30.....America's first coast to coast highway.

All this to tell you readers, if you want to read his thoroughly entertaining blog go to ' mattipper.wordpress.com'
And, if you want to know what that grey haired old guy named Robby looks like I can be found on page 10.

I decided to post this because Matt is in Fort Collins Colorado today having some service performed and our resident Colorado guy, Obermd, came to mind.

Now, for perspective.......a 27 year old man, crossing a continent he has never been to, on a machine designed in the 50's, for the purpose of 'in town travel', alone.
Some will say he's nuts, but the realities are, his spirit of adventure and belief in self are far beyond most.......

Read the blog, I look forward to your comments.

Rob
 

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That's awesome! One of my fantasies is to ride a motorcycle across the backroads of the U.S. with nothing but a bedroll and a backpack.

Also nice cause. One of my neighbors has a greyhound rescue -- she's one of the most sweet, gentle, and quiet dogs ever. She's afraid of most men -- can't imagine what kind of life she must have had before finding her home. :(


Sent with iLove 6.0
 

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Not a Vespa (but still a scooter)...but I own three Lambretta scooters, two of them 1984 SX200's and one 1967 LD175. All three are in storage in Italy to use when I go there every year.
 

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Taking me back to the 50's with this thread, like a 1957 Piaggio that I had back then. This is closest photo I could find, mine was orange, and had rather large wire wheels on it. One thing I do remember, was next to impossible to find parts for it. Was either a 125 or a 150 CC and would hit 60 mph top speed. Recall it was a four speed that was far from the Crushman's we had around here. Also a two cycle engine, had to carry a can of two cycle oil, spare spark plug, and some kind of cheap spark plug wrench.





Close to what I had, but can't find a photo of it anywhere. Was in the military at the time, and darn near went broke getting my uniforms cleaned. So only kept it about 4-5 months.
 

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I have n idea what a Vespa will do....but I know it will vary by model and displacement just like Lambrettas (different modes have different gearing options).

I've had one of my SX200 Lambrettas to 70 mph on level ground. And I'm a decent sized guy. The 175 would be lucky to do 60 mph with a strong tailwind downhill.
 

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These will do 60 on a still day, flat ground but with ten inch wheels 60 feels like 100.......chassis is way beyond its design limits.

50 is a piece of cake, not too hard on the machine or the rider......Matt is keeping his speeds in the 50 range and keeping his daily mileage in the two to three hundred per range.
He has essentially set aside a full month for this journey so time is on his side.

Take a look at the blog....very entertaining......with pictures.

Rob
 

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Super cool I am total jealous, I would love to do that!
Ditto! Part of it is taking the time off. The other, figuring out a route. Sounds like he's avoiding the tourist spots and just finding things along the way. Was there any particular spots he planned to hit?

BTW, you look younger than I pictured you based on clues you've posted on your age.
 

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That sounds awesome, good for him! I agree with the fun factor of scooters, I had more fun riding a Honda Ruckus than I do on a Suzuki V-Strom 650 or Harley Sportster 1200. Don't need speed or power to have fun!
 

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Ditto! Part of it is taking the time off. The other, figuring out a route. Sounds like he's avoiding the tourist spots and just finding things along the way. Was there any particular spots he planned to hit?

BTW, you look younger than I pictured you based on clues you've posted on your age.

Ha ha,
Thanks, I think......65 this August......maybe you confused me with Nick......he has me believing he is so old his SS card is a flat rock with the number '1' engraved on it.

You out there Nick?

Rob
 

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Taking me back to the 50's with this thread, like a 1957 Piaggio that I had back then. This is closest photo I could find, mine was orange, and had rather large wire wheels on it. One thing I do remember, was next to impossible to find parts for it. Was either a 125 or a 150 CC and would hit 60 mph top speed. Recall it was a four speed that was far from the Crushman's we had around here. Also a two cycle engine, had to carry a can of two cycle oil, spare spark plug, and some kind of cheap spark plug wrench.





Close to what I had, but can't find a photo of it anywhere. Was in the military at the time, and darn near went broke getting my uniforms cleaned. So only kept it about 4-5 months.
Found a picture of a 1957 Vespa but couldn't link the image....
 

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Wow!

It's one thing to do the Iron Butt on a Helix, but on an LML Star/Stella?

My Helix's wheelbase is over two feet longer...that helps a lot on 10" tires. (it's only about two inches shorter overall than an Electraglide)

My first streetbike was a Vespa 50 Special. The Veglia speedo would read almost 50mph - it was actually only travelling at 35mph. Third gear with throttle twisted to the stop and tucked down behind the bars. I loved that machine. It was surprisingly good off road as long as it wasn't too muddy. Fun to carve through corners. Maybe girls didn't like it as much as a "real motorcycle" but more girls liked riding on that Vespa than ever did riding my BMX bike.

I'm eventually going to get all the parts I need to put my pile of P200e parts together, or maybe I'll just buy a new 4T Stella - but any long trips I'll stick to the Helix

Godspeed Matt!
 

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Ha, we had a moped for awhile, but if that engine quit, was like trying to pedal a truck.

When we were kids, like 12 years old, a buddy and I attached an old washing machine engine to a bicycle. Darn thing was lucky to hit 5 mph. But we were stopped by the cops and they made us get this thing off the road.

Kids today don't do things like this, play video games instead. But now I see they are making ATV's and motorcycles for young kids, was told the ATV's have an adjustable throttle limit, but motorcycles don't, and are legal for off highway use.

Wife works at the emergency ward at our hospital and sees more of these banged up kids riding these things. As young as seven years of age, with still seven year old brains. Son was interested in buying one of these for our granddaughter, we talked him out of it. She needs exercise, get her a bicycle instead.
 

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Thought I'd give this a bump.....he is going through the desert yesterday and today with a almost disaster today.

To those that haven't read the blog, set aside about an hour to take it all in.....maybe more if you like to re-read certain stories.

Again, the blog can be found at: mattipper.wordpress.com.

Good stuff if you fancy yourself a roadie.

Rob
 

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Ha ha,
Thanks, I think......65 this August......maybe you confused me with Nick......he has me believing he is so old his SS card is a flat rock with the number '1' engraved on it.

You out there Nick?

Rob
1995 was the last year for motorcycles for me, before then, that road looked like one huge belt sander, but ignored it. Getting hit by the crazy kid permanently ended motorcycles for me. He was oncoming and in a no passing zone and jerked right in front of me. My motorcycle when under his vehicle and witnesses said I flew 45 feet over before hitting the pavement. I didn't feel a thing, but woke up hours later in emergency with wild dreams of a gray bumper hitting my front wheel.

Was in a state of shock when I came to, didn't feel any pain at all, until that shock wore off, God I don't even want to think about this anymore, was all kinds of damage to my body from head to toe. Good news was all my pieces were there, and eight long years of physical therapy. Just no protection on these things, over the years, had many close calls, but never this close.

During the same week, one guy lost his leg, other broke his neck and was killed. Did have ligament damage to my neck, but took a year before I could turn my neck again. Two broken bones, they heal quick, ligaments are the worse.

Ha, the next morning, my lovely wife hired a man hating woman attorney and applied for a divorce because she didn't think I could support her life style anymore. This was good news, and I still got full physical custody of my two minor children. Left me deep in debt, but was shocked how quickly I got out of this without her blowing money faster than I could earn it.

Also got an IRS audit, so had the accident, divorce, and audit to deal with. Audit after a year proved I paid one dollar too much one year, and a buck less the next. While we were legally separated with no liability for her after this, still got stuck with some of her bills, like $15,000 worth. I only lost a weeks worth of work, but could pace myself. After five years of this stuff was debt free, three years later met the most wonderful woman beyond my most wildest imagination. Been happy ever since.

Hair is still brown, hasn't turned gray yet. People still recognize after 30 some years. Also did a lot of remodeling to my home I managed to keep to make my then new wife happy. And still doing all of my own car work, even after my dealers butcher it up. But can't no longer kick out my feet to jump off my creeper. LOL, this is the worst part of working on a car.

Youngest son is still on motorcycles, got a Harley, said dad, take it around the block. Just said no thanks, be my luck, some idiot will fly out of their driveway and hit me. I never want to go through this again, once is enough.

Never tried to get my medical certificate again, so also quit flying.

This last weekend, wife and I agreed to take care of our 18 month old grandson. But our friends had an emergency meeting so we also got their 14 month old daughter. LOL, this kept us hopping with two exploratory kids in a home that is not child proof. But they are so precious when sleeping.
 
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