Over 20000 miles, finally
I was a bit surprised all the riding we did in Victoria didn’t push the total over 20000. The trip to Seattle from Bellingham didn’t do it, either. The milestone was finally achieved somewhere on the way to Everett, coming back from Mods vs. Rockers.
The GTS had 3400 miles on it when I got it in September, 2008. It’s been ridden ever since: many trips between Seattle and Portland, Seattle and Bellingham, Seattle and Vancouver, and the longest of all, Portland to Spokane and back.
It’s funny how many scooters with only a few hundred miles on them are even now listed for sale, even as gas topped $4.00/gallon (albeit briefly). Scooter shops that were counting on a repeat of the Great Scooter Fad of 2008 were disappointed that it doesn’t seem to have materialized.
Of course, the big reason for that is in 2008 people still had jobs, money and/or homes they could use as ATMs. This time, they don’t.
There isn’t going to be a significant shift in the way most people get around unless the price of gasoline goes above four bucks in the U.S. (or five in Canada) and stays there. The oil producers aren’t stupid—they know where their bread is buttered.
In the meantime, we might see cars that offer scooter-like fuel economy from Fiat, Ford and Mazda next time fuel prices spike. The 120 hp (89.5 kw) expected from Ford’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost is not a pie-in-the-sky figure; similarly-sized motorcycle engines produce 180 or more, without the turbocharger.
I’m thinking you won’t see large numbers of Americans on scooters unless a significantly higher price for fuel is accompanied by a significantly lowered standard of living. Which may yet happen, I’m afraid.