Not Just a Scooter, It's a Vespa

Or so I'm told. After buying one this weekend I was made aware of the fact that we've joined a bit of a cult on two wheels. Well, when motoring in Rome...

A couple years ago I saw a blog post about a promising looking, fully electric scooter from a company in Canada. I got really excited but couldn't even think of exploring the option because they weren't yet approved for selling here in the states. With gas prices so high ($4+ per gallon), AP's desire to start a scooter gang, and since home and work are so relatively close I recently began eying that electric option again. Lack of a local dealership combined with some sketchy reviews online urged me to drop my dreams of an electric mode of transport (for now) and look toward gas fed scooters. Knowing their efficiency can be anywhere from 80 to over 100 MPG I still felt like this is a step in the right environmental impact direction.

Last Tuesday our short journey started. We first stopped by NW Motor Scooters [ map ] on South Tacoma Way near the corner of 56th. Since I knew little about scooters I asked numerous newbie questions of Shauna there and looked at the shiny little vehicles. They specialize in Vespa's as well as a couple other high-end brands from Europe and one from Taiwan. The quality of the scooters they sell is high but prices were above what I thought we should think of paying. So we moved on down the road to Tacoma Motorsports [ map ] on Center St. across from Home Depot. Though they had a couple promising Yamaha and Honda scooters at great prices I could tell they were more of an after thought compared to all the motorcycles and watercraft they sell.

We mulled it over, looked at specs, prices, and thought about it for the rest of the week. Then, on Saturday, it was go time. We took a quick stop to look at a promising model of scooter at Tacoma Motorsports again but were first put off with their service Tuesday and again Saturday. That combined with a lack of the model of interest (and the fact that I didn't want to support a company that also sells annoying motorized watercraft) led us back to NW Motor Scooter. Shauna gave us her undivided attention amidst a busy selling season (they've sold about 50 scooters in the last two weeks -- about 2/5ths of their inventory). She walked us through the pros of a couple models of Vespa's and we were sold.

It's great to have a local company willing to dedicate themselves to such a locally focused mode of transportation. The quality of their stock and service helps elevate them above places selling those basic scooters and it shows in the 4 other buys that took place while we were there that afternoon. Our support posse of Frinklin and AP was along and helped us make our decision and even see me home safely on my first ride. From there, Sarah and I were hooked. Right after we got home we doubled up and headed to the Red Hot for some dinner then rode it around our neighborhood a bit. Sunday morning we cruised down for breakfast at The Spar then took the long way home down Ruston Way and back up on Pearl and through various North End neighborhoods.

Is this just a fad or something for the heck of it? Well, I'm taking it to work today and seeing how most of our daily world is right here in Tacoma, it's a pretty great option to avoid hopping in the car. Come to think of it, after we got the scooter Saturday we didn't use our cars all weekend save for a grocery trip Sunday night. Not too shabby.

Tuesday's selection at NW Motor Scooters

Sarah looking cute on a yellow Vespa LX150 (though, unfortunately, she's not for the yellow)

A Yamaha Vino over at Tacoma Motorsports

Another Vino and some Honda Metropolitans at Tacoma Motorsports

Back again Saturday at NW Motor Scooters

Saturday's slimmed down scooter inventory

If AP didn't already have a scooter, this would totally work

Getting ready to head home

Some last minute words of advice for Shauna

On Stevens heading toward 6th ave (me on the green scooter with AP pacing behind and to my right)

Sarah motoring around our neighborhood Saturday night

Our Vespa all snug in the garage near its new buddy Fanta, the 1972 Karmann Ghia

Our Vespa looking stylish on the sidewalk Sunday morning near The Spar

posted Jun 2, 2008 under nw motor scooters, scooter, tacoma, vespa  


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