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The adventure begins…

October 7, 2006

The paperwork was done. As I put on my helmet and gloves, memories of picking up my first scooter flooded back. At least today is sunny; my first ride on my 2003 Vespa ET4 was in the rain. I made it home without damaging myself or the bike that time, and by golly I will do the same today.

Steve Calvo, the sales manager at Vespa Seattle, had finished briefing me on the controls of my new, beautiful, black PX 150. Now it was time to get on and start riding, though this first ride would be in the alley behind the store.

Here is my new PX 150

All afternoon, I had been visualizing the wonderous new sequence of events that is riding a manual-transmission Vespa: squeeze the clutch lever, twist, release the clutch lever. Oh, and try not to do a wheelie on that last step… it will do it, trust me.

Motorcycle safety classes teach you something called FINE-C, which stands for Turn on the Fuel, Turn on the Ignition, Make sure you’re in Neutral, Start the Engine, and Check your mirrors. Happily, this applies to a PX 150, as does turning the fuel off when you arrive at your destination. Check, check, check, check and check. Squeeze the clutch lever, twist toward you until you hear *clunk* and the bike jumps a little bit, you’re ready to go.

Yep, I did a wheelie. Two, actually, before I realized where the clutch lever was positioned when the clutch engaged. Third time’s the charm, however, and I move tentatively down the alley. Okay, that’s good. Let’s turn around and do it a few more times. Another wheelie. Smoothly, Orin. There you go.

Feeling more confident, this time I go fast enough to make a shift to second gear necessary. It works! Wow! I turn around and come back, and do it again. “Were you getting into second gear?” asks Steve. Yes, I say, so proud of myself. I’m good. It’s time to head for home. Favicon

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One Comment
  1. Bob Brown permalink
    October 7, 2006 7:55 pm

    Great blog, Orin! I intend to follow your adventures. As a fellow new PX150 owner, and former ET4 jockey, I can really relate to your experiences.

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