Hittin’ the road?
Have you noticed how many people are planning long road trips on scooters and small motorcycles? Maybe you have your own plans… and you’re wondering how to prepare, what to bring, etc. Back when this here blog was getting started, Shreve Stockton’s Vespa Vagabond, a journal of Ms. Stockton’s journey from San Francisco to New York on her Vespa ET4, was one of the top scooter blogs. In the most recent post, she answers a reader’s questions about the very subject of long journeys.
Longtime readers will recall the 2008 Oregon Road Trip I made on the PX. It was an interesting exercise, but I’m not ashamed to admit I wouldn’t do it again, at least not on a bike like that. The reader plans to do her trip on a GTS 250, which would be a much more comfortable mount, but I think any scooter capable of at least 60 mph would make sense.
Since Ms. Stockton made her trip, GPS navigation devices have become quite cheap; one of these would be better than having a bunch of maps (or even old-skool GPS, aka pace notes). AAA’s Plus RV membership includes towing for motorcycles and scooters and is a worthwhile investment. Of course, have your scooter thoroughly serviced before you leave, and get new tires while you’re at it. Carry some basic tools and a few spare parts, because things can break at the worst possible time, and most likely will do so in a place where the local repair shop has never seen a scooter up close.
I’ve personally found 200 miles, give or take, to be a comfortable daily distance (your mileage may vary, of course). And I second Ms. Stockton’s advice about hydration and snackage—fruits and grains are better than junk food. Oh, and if you take medications, make sure you have a sufficient supply (or are able to get refills along the way).
Follow Rick Steves’ advice and pack light, but make sure you have sufficient clothing for any weather you are likely to encounter. And above all, keep the rubber side down.