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GTS memes

October 2, 2008

meme: /meem/ n. [coined by analogy with `gene’, by Richard Dawkins] An idea considered as a replicator, esp. with the connotation that memes parasitize people into propagating them much as viruses do.

Scooter ownership seems to be a fertile field for memes. In the case of the PX and the GTS, it probably doesn’t help that the owner’s manuals appear to have been written in Italian and run through Dictionary.com’s text translator. I’ve had the GTS for less than a month and these memes have already surfaced:

“You can’t open the glovebox door without the key in the ignition.” Sure you can. With the key inserted and turned to either the “off” or “on” positions, you can open the glovebox door by pushing the key in. If you turn the key to the “off” position and remove it, you can open the glovebox door by pressing on the face of the key slot, as illustrated below.

Push here to openSee, it works!

“You can’t open the underseat storage compartment without the key in the ignition.” Again, not true. Again, turn the key to the “off” position and remove it. Press the button with the open padlock and you’ll hear the little solenoid make its noise. You can then lift the back of the seat and place your items in the storage compartment. Remember, NO PETS!

“There’s no way to open the underseat storage compartment if the battery is dead/solenoid quits working.” You get to the engine and the fuel spout by opening the seat. Piaggio included the electrical/solenoid setup because you need to have clever features like that if you’re going to ask people to pay over $6,000 for a scooter. But there’s another way to open the seat—the little lever shown in the photo below:

The other way to open the seat

Orin O'Neill photos

Pull the top toward you. It won’t move much; you’ll hear the seat unlock, then you can open it.

Don’t take my word for it. Try this stuff yourself. You can probably also do all this if you have a GT. Favicon

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5 Comments
  1. October 2, 2008 8:08 pm

    How many warning signs does the Vespa carry? There’s two in those pictures alone.

  2. October 2, 2008 8:44 pm

    A bunch. At least six, maybe more (not counting the “No Pets” labels in the top case and underseat bin)… the owner’s manual has a complete listing, with a picture of the label and its location.

    If you sell a motor vehicle in the U.S. in 2008, you need to have lotsa warnings, both on the vehicle and in the owner’s manual. And I’ve always thought Piaggio USA employs nervous lawyers…

  3. October 2, 2008 10:41 pm

    Get the ugly ones off ASAP. The top one peels off easily, the one by your feet will come off easy with a hair dryer. If you bake them in the sun it will make your paint two diff colors when someone finally does peel em off.

    All those things are what Tina showed me at Vespa Seattle when I bought mine, it’s amazing how many people don’t know about them or never read their owners manuals.

    Same thing went for my Malibu, my grandma had it for 4 years, never read the manual, I get it and then change all the settings she never knew existed but wanted. Like the horn honk when you lock the car with the remote.

  4. October 3, 2008 2:46 pm

    So, if I’ve got it right a meme is a false premise passed on authoritatively by other people who know no better? (The person who wrote the Libretto di Uso e Manutenzione should have tested the theory, found it incorrect and changed the wording. Or the person who translated the Italian into the Owner’s Manual was a meme for not checking before passing the incorrect information along…? But you are an anti-meme for correcting it. Or not?

  5. October 3, 2008 7:16 pm

    The memes in this case are the phrases in bold italic in the body of the post. These are things I’ve seen on message boards, in other blogs, or been told by people. Another definition of a meme is a belief that persists in spite of overwhelming evidence disproving it. This business of cell phones causing brain cancer, for example… more studies than you can reasonably count say there is absolutely no truth to the idea, yet it persists.

    In a perfect world, Piaggio would have a group of people in every market who write the owner’s manuals in the native language, and more importantly, idiom. They would make clear the things I’ve pointed out above. But we don’t live in a perfect world…

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