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We’re actually having winter

January 19, 2012
Snow on the GTS

The Fourth Estate was my primary means of transport this week (Orin O'Neill photo)

“A winter wonderland,” said NPR. The Weather Channel sent Jim Cantore to Seattle (“It’s never a good thing when they send people to your town,” observed one wag) to stand out in the record snowfall, which ended up falling between Olympia and Portland. We’re famous; Bellingham was colder than Anchorage, for a short while.

By the weekend, normal Western Washington weather—45°F and rain—is supposed to return. Good.

Thing is, on Monday I probably could’ve taken the GTS for a short ride. The city of Bellingham anticipated well, spraying de-icing compound on the main streets early Monday morning. The pavement remained bare and wet, and while getting out of the foothill villa’s parking lot can be a challenge, the maintenance guys even plowed and salted the little uphill leading out to the street.

But I didn’t want to tempt fate. And the Fourth Estate has a good heater.

In fact, the car got around rather well, without snow tires or chains. If the local climate were drier, I’d consider riding in below-freezing temps as Steve Williams does. You can be quite comfortable if you dress properly.

So, with actual winter behind us (said he, hopefully), thoughts turn to spring, and better riding weather. Maybe a new scooter is in your plans?

Piaggio MP3

Piaggio MP3: outta here

If you’re thinking about a Piaggio MP3, you might want to move sooner rather than later: 2strokebuzz reports that as of Q2 2012, MP3s are no longer available for dealer order. None of them.

In fact, Piaggio has done a slash and burn of its 2012 model lineup, leaving only the Fly 50/150, Typhoon 125 and the recenly-introduced BV SportTouring 350.

2012 Vespas won’t be available in red, orange or 2-tone colors. No RED? That’s right. Black and titanium, and silver, but no red.

As Bryan points out, none of this should come as a surprise. Dealers have been falling like bowling pins, and the ones that remain are up to their eyeballs in ’11, ’10 and even ’09 models. And it’s not just Piaggio; Honda and Yamaha only list a few offerings as 2012s.

As I’ve said, scooter dealers are dealin’. Be not afraid of a brand-new ’09 model, especially if the dealer’s taking a couple grand off the price. Where I live, you can get an actual Yamaha Vino 50 for less than an off-brand Vino knockoff.

If you have to wait for the snow to melt, well, it’s one more reason to look forward to spring. Favicon

  1. Jack Riepe permalink
    January 19, 2012 4:08 pm

    Dear Orin:

    We are actually only ten weeks away from spring, without a real snowfall yet, or the desperate cold that is so seasonal to the east coast of the US. Still, my arthritis is the worst it has ever been and I await warmer weather before I consider mounting up again.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  2. January 20, 2012 11:15 am

    I was going to complain about the 5 inches of light, fluffy snow we got last night here in Westbrook, Maine until I saw the mess you got on the West coast. I’ve used my snow blower twice this winter, compared to two to three times a week in previous, typical Maine winters

  3. Steve Moore permalink
    January 22, 2012 4:40 pm

    I’m almost ashamed to talk about our weather here in southwest Florida. With near 80* weather in December and again this month, I have been riding my GTV 300 nearly every day. Much nicer than our sweltering summers where riding in early AM or at night are the only real options (unless you are the shorts and flip flops type).

  4. January 23, 2012 10:51 am

    Fantastic snow came to the Northwest and all we got down here was flooding. Sigh……….

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