Why I don’t blog as much anymore…

Posted in Life, Love and Scooting on June 10, 2015 by Jason

When I started this blog I purchased my first scooter “Pepe” due to the financial inability to purchase and maintain a 4 wheeled vehicle. I much like other red blooded men out there had often fantasized about cruising around on a motorcycle yet with meager income I never had the expendable cash to afford a 2nd vehicle for fun. I can even remember receiving a model motorcycle as a joke wish I could get you the real thing from a previous spouse. I guess it wasn’t really a joke and actually was quite sweet, but these are memories of a long time far gone time. So what am I babbling about…

My love for 2 wheeled transport started in a couple of ways. When I was younger my bicycle was my freedom. I remember my friends and I riding for hours around the neighborhoods on my Schwinn Predator who was named black beauty. We would try to get lost in the little town of Lima, Ohio which was impossible to do. I went on to riding bigger and better bikes as time went on and even raced for a while.  This made me always very comfortable on 2 wheels. I also remember my brother getting a small 250cc sports bike and taking me for rides. Later when I was 16 I got a extreme piece of junk moped… I loved it but I lacked the mechanical knowledge to keep it going. Much after that I had a car and nothing else that is until my last car died and I couldn’t afford to revive it or purchase a new one.

Back to Pepe… Pepe was a very yin and yang relationship. Although I purchased the bike out of desperation and no other option other than riding a bicycle which I did hold as an option. The bike option would have possibly worked but I would have been hard to get to work on time due to the distance. Pepe filled a gap that was needed and filled another I hadn’t realized I needed. The known need was obvious, I needed to get to work and have the ability to get around to the grocery and such. The unknown need was very different. Riding a scooter made me somehow different than everyone else. I started riding during one of the gas spikes so there were people that were intrigued by the idea of riding a super gas efficient vehicle, but I don’t know of any of them that followed the idea of doing it. Maybe the reason that no one followed my example was that Pepe had a dark side. I will be 100% honest; I spent probably a quarter of the hours that I rode that scooter maintaining that scooter. This is probably the main reason I don’t write as much anymore.

So my advice if you want a semi cheap, but very reliable scooter buy something that cost a little more and you won’t be sorry. If I look back at the work missed, the money spent on parts and the time I put into that bike I would have to say I may not have quite reached the price of the new bike I purchased but I can promise that I could have found a used one. So look at Yamaha, Honda, Buddy and I’m sure there are a bunch of other manufactures that you could go with that are just as good. It will give you less to write about and your only concern will become the rain and cold.

A side not for people that find themselves in the same situation I was in, don’t sweat it, you will probably fall in love just like I did. If anyone ever tells you that you are stupid for buying a Chinese made scooter then they are the stupid ones. They are a gateway drug, but not in a bad way… enjoy the high.


Upgrade Update

Posted in Life, Love and Scooting on March 11, 2015 by Jason

So I took advantage of the beautiful weather today to go ahead and start the upgrades that I had mentioned last week.Here is the update and thoughts on each:

Cell Phone Mount

IMG_3429  My initial thought was to place the phone mount in the middle of the handlebars but I did not have the tools the remove the bars so that I could snake the mount under the bar. I ended up placing the mount to the left near the left hand grip which although doesn’t look as nice it does have it’s advantages. With this placement I have the ability to easily touch the phone with my thumb without removing my hands from the grip.

The original install looked as though it would not work out. Getting the clamp to come down solid so that it would not spin on the bars took quite a bit of work to get to clam. It also took even more work to get the ball joint to tighten to the point that it would not spin and tilt without trying to make it.

IMG_3430The mount on the other hand is very solid and even has a lock so that it can not bounce free even though I haven’t noticed a need for it. I have been using this for about a week and am pretty happy with it. Below there is a link if you are interested in purchasing it, but keep in mind it will only work with a iPhone 5 or 5s using a Lifeproof case.


Reflective Tape for Rims

IMG_3437This was probably the hardest of the upgrades that I did. I have no complaints on the product but I could have done it on someone else’s bike before I did mine to learn what to do. Although I can point out every one of my mistakes I’m sure for the most part people will not notice it on a glance and I like the way it adds a bit of flare to the wheels.

The major thing that i will give as a hint on how to install the tape is to make sure you place it in the tool correctly and once that is done use the tool to gently guide it around the rim while pressing the tape in the place with a trailing finger. Also for the front wheel of a scooter you can place a box and in my case a empty bottle of Diet Coke to prop the front wheel up so that it spins freely. I’m not sure how you would do this without trying it but I wish you the best of luck.


LED Tail Lights and Tail Light Cover with Integrated Turn Signals

The tail light conversion was probably the part I was most excited about. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the design of the scooter, but when looking at some of the customs that have been done I have wanted to see what I could make happen to mine. Below are videos of before and after (I appologize for the leaf blowers in the background)

Here is what it looked like stock:

Here is the new set up:



So it’s been a pretty productive week… if only I had unlimited funds to be able to do everything I want to do to it.

Upgrade Time

Posted in Life, Love and Scooting with tags , , , , on March 4, 2015 by Jason

So I’ve had the new scooter for a little while now and I think it’s time to do some upgrades. I’m not planning anything super drastic this go round and unlike my previous scooter I am not planning any performance upgrades at this point. So what is in the plan:

Cell Phone Mount

This theoretically should be the easiest of the “upgrades” even though none of them should be super difficult. I often find myself using navigation on my phone and even though I can hear the spoken navigation with the Bluetooth in my helmet it will be nice to look down and see a map as well. I was thinking about putting a cigarette lighter in as well but for the time being I will start with just the cell phone mount.


Reflective Tape for Rims

This would be considered both a safety upgrade and a style upgrade. Currently the scooter rims are solid black and have basically no style at all. They don’t look bad by any means but they just have no flare. The reflective is essentially a red pin stripe that will circle the outside edge of the rims which I hope will add a bit of style. Since it is also reflective is should “light up” at night to make me more visible from the side.


LED Tail Lights

I chose to upgrade the tail lights for a couple of reasons. First I want to be more visible which the brightness of the aftermarket tail lights should achieve that. Second I think they look really cool, I mean who wouldn’t want something that looks like afterburners coming out of the back of your scooter? I know I do. The Koso “Afterburner” also adds another set of turn signals as well in the middle of the brake lights.


Tail Light Cover with Integrated Turn Signals

I remember when I first looked at the design of the tail light I thought that the recessed areas on either side of the brake like would be a great place to have placed the turn signals. To my delight I found a kit that does just that. Once this is done I will have 3 sets of turn signals in the back so I’ll have to wait and see if it looks a bit overkill.


It will never cease to amaze me how many bolt on parts they make for the different scooters out there as well as the creativity of the customs that out there. I will do my best to do a write up on each one of the items as I get them installed over the next few weeks. As always be safe out there.

Helmets… What’s the Difference?

Posted in Life, Love and Scooting on February 14, 2015 by Jason

Back when I had my first scooter (RIP Pepe) I went with a 3/4 helmet with a tinted visor. Why did I do that? Well I thought it looked cool, and it kinda did. After my first accident which involved a side impact which was fully protected by the helmet I couldn’t shake the idea of “what if I would have landed on my chin?” This caused me to switch to a full face helmet from that point forward.

My first and second full face helmets were cheap no name helmets that were DOT approved. Both were stylish in their own way and I had very few problems with them. Neither had been in a full-blown accident so I can’t even speak on their ability to protect my noggin. A main good feature that I noticed about wearing a full face rather than a 3/4 was the protection from the wind. This was very helpful on the cold mornings but it also dampens the wind noise so you can hear better. If you are at a stand still they can get quite hot, especially in the summer months here in Florida but all in all I prefer them to a lesser helmet.

Once I started riding again I decided to switch to a higher quality full face helmet. I decided on an HJC FG-17 which was not only DOT approved but was also SNELL approved which is a much stricter measure of the safety of a helmet. Now I have yet to use this helmet in the heat of the summer but I have to say that it performs superior to my previous helmets in rain and cold. One of the main things that I ran into with my previous helmets was that the face shield would fog during cold weather or rain. This helmet does not have that problem. Thankfully I have not had to test the impact resistance of the helmet so far and *knock on wood* hope to never have to.

Sure a 45-60 dollar helmet will probably protect you better than no helmet at all but it is my opinion that you are better off spending the money on a quality helmet.

What’s in a Name?

Posted in Life, Love and Scooting on January 31, 2015 by Jason

So those of you that have been following me for a while know that my original scooters have both had names. Pepe and Pepe II respectively. I often wonder how Pepe II is doing now a days but I probably don’t want to know. So on to the new thoughts.. what should the new scoot be called?

So far I have had 2 thoughts…

The first is my own thought. I have been watching Cowboy Bebop and in that show there is a ship in that show that reminds me of the space ship version of a 2 wheel mode of transport. Maybe it is a bit more of a sports bike but to be fare compared to Pepe the new bike is a formula one racer. So the name should be Swordfish II after the ship that Spike Spiegel uses when he is not on board the Cowboy Bebop complaining about the food.

well one thought and one suggestion. The first was suggested by a good friend of mine which at first sounded like a bad idea but the more I thought about it it sounded better and better. It was suggested that I should name the new scoot Scooter… not because it is a scooter but after the Muppet Scooter.

So there are the 2 original ideas… Thoughts on those ideas, additional name ideas?

Motorcycle Safety Foundation Training

Posted in Life, Love and Scooting with tags , , , on November 22, 2014 by Jason

Last weekend I had the opportunity, well more like I had to do it in order to ride my new scooter legally, attend a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Training. The training is mandatory in order to get the motorcycle endorsement on my license here in Florida.

saferideIn order to obtain a motorcycle license here in Florida you must do 2 things. 1st take an approved motorcycle safety training course and then once you have that you are able to have the motorcycle endorsement added to your license at the local DMV. I chose to take my training course at Safe Ride (saferide.com) for a couple of reasons. They were one of the cheaper options, and the dealership that I purchased my bike from would give me credit towards service or merchandise for the entire amount that I paid for the class.

I’m not sure what I was expecting from the course. I had thought about taking it back when I had the 50cc scooter just in case I had ever wanted to be able to test ride a larger scooter and to be honest I should have. Even though on the paperwork I was riding a 50cc scooter which required no additional endorsement other than my drivers license I was truly riding an 80cc scooter which should have had an endorsement. On top of that minor detail after taking the course I must say that I feel that I am better suited to handle certain types of situations that I may not have been prepared for in the past.

The course consists of 2 parts: Classroom and Practical Hands On Training. The class size was relatively small with what appeared to be a max of 12 students with 2 instructors that worked together. When I got there they had 3 tables set up, coffee ready and candy on the tables. We started with course work for the first half of the day and then moved out to the practical part of the day. The second day started with practical, followed by the practical exam then a bit of course work followed by the written exam. As long as you pay attention to the training neither test is cause for alarm since the instructors do an excellent job of preparing you for the exams. I will say that this is true if you are willing to listen which everyone in my class did although it sounds like this is not always the case. With Safe Ride however if you would happen to fail either exam they will allow you to come back free of charge and retake that portion.

I guess in short I would recommend taking the class no matter if you are wanting to be able to ride something bigger than a 50 or not. At $145 it will give you the chance to learn while having the instructors critique the way you ride. Please let me know if you have any questions about the class or exams. As always ride safe.

Back in the Saddle

Posted in Life, Love and Scooting with tags , , , on November 8, 2014 by Jason

A bit over 2 years ago I sold my beloved Pepe and ever since then I have been unfortunately scooterless.

2 days ago I ended up purchasing a brand new 2015 Yamaha Zuma 125, and I have to say the difference between my original scooter and my new scooter is amazing. Although the new bike has not received a name yet, but I’m sure I will figure something out. Without further ado I would like to introduce the yet to be named scooter:

2015ZumaThe major differences between the new guy and good old Pepe is the performance. The difference of speed is obviously quite a bit since Pepe was a 50cc that was upgraded to an 80cc and the new guy is weighing in at 125cc. That additional amount displacement does require a motorcycle endorsement but it is worth it. Other differences are things like the acceleration is much quicker, the headlights are bright enough to see in completely dark streets, and it just looks amazing to name a few.

I’ll keep you posted on the new adventures. Have a great night.

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