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I can has scooter ride (today, anyway)

December 7, 2014
Torpedo, parked

Parked in downtown Edmonds (Orin O’Neill photos)

You generally won’t see high temperatures in Western Washington in the mid-50sF in December. But I will take them, especially when there’s no chance of rain.

I had an errand to run, a perfect opportunity to get more familiar with the Torpedo. I hobbled down to the garage, unhooked the battery tender, and hit the start button. It wouldn’t start. No worries, I’d been warned it was a bit temperamental. I hit the start button again. Nothing. Again, nothing. Again and again, the engine would not fire. And the battery was starting to fade.

Dang. Okay, battery tender reattached, I’ll take the car.

Upon returning, I thought, what the heck, try starting it again.

It fired right up.

Alrighty then! I grabbed my gear and headed out.

The Torpedo was low on gas, so the first stop was at the gas station on the next block. I don’t know if an ItalJet Torpedo 50 requires premium, but the price of gas has been dropping steadily. And the Torpedo probably wouldn’t need more than a gallon, anyway.

Happily, my ET4/GTS technique of sticking the nozzle in as far as the collar allowed and squeezing the lever just enough for fuel to flow worked on the Torpedo; the nozzle clicked off with not a stray drop of petrol, anywhere.

Luckily, speed limits on the nearby streets are in the 25-30 mph range, well within the engine’s capabilities. Next weekend’s ride is likely to go up some fairly steep hills, so at some point I would need to test that. But first, I thought I’d go to downtown Edmonds.

Beautiful downtown Edmonds

It’s been a while since I’d been in this neck of the woods, in any vehicle. Oddly enough, it feels familiar, though I was unable to find the Rick Steves Europe mothership, which is somewhere in downtown Edmonds.

I was rather concerned about being able to put the bike on its centerstand, but luckily it’s light enough to make that a non-issue, even with my half right foot.

Having finished noodling around, it was time to go back to the house. And the most likely way to get back involved going up a rather steep hill.

Well, I did say I needed to see how the Torpedo would do in such a situation.

There was a 4-way stop just before the steepest part of the hill, but a good, hard crank of the throttle made the ascent slow, but eventually successful. I was even traveling faster than walking speed at the hill’s crest on 9th Avenue.

Back in the garage, the battery tender connected and the scoot safely on its centerstand, I’m thinking a few more rides like this would be a good idea. Best to be prepared for what may be a large group next Sunday. Favicon

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