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Personal History

I don't ride motorcycles, I ride scooters. I have been riding since 1981 Vespa and Lambretta scooters.

I have riden both stock bikes and tuned bikes, and have been involved in a pretty nice local and global group of fellow 2 stroke Vespa and Lambretta scooter riders.

I decided to  buy a newer automatic 2 stroke scooter around 2000. Vespa had just started to market and sell their 1st breed of automatic scooters or as they are commonly called "Twist n Go". I didn't buy a new Vespa ET4, I opted to buy one of the 1st sports automatic scooters a Gilera Runner 180 2 stroke.

The 1998 Gilera Runner 180 2-stroke had a tuned engine, with a Malossi 171 kit, a Malossi Reed Valve Carb, Paoli Reverse Forks and a Gianelli expansion chamber. At the time I added the newer automatic, there was a lot of reistance and exclusion by people who rode what are still referred to as Classic or Vintage 2 stroke scooters.  Since I have been riding for as many years as I have, didn't have a problem with the newer technology and actually embraced it. I figured I could at the very least show both types of bikes could co-exist regardless of how you felt towards one or the other.

Ironically, it seemed like there were more of those hard line types who tried the newer bikes, and actually enjoyed the difference in both ride and performance. There are still those who refuse to recognize or accept the new automatic scooters into their own little groups, opting to exclude these bikes from rides when they have them.

A scooter is a scooter, be it a Vespa, Lambretta, Mitsubishi Pidgeon, Fuji Rabbit, Cushman, Harley Topper, Bajaj Chekak, Genuine Stella of the many other Chinese, Korean, Japanese brands, both manual shift or automatics.

My wife also rides, and our son who is 21 is now in the process of getting his motorcycle license so he also can join in on the fun. We have 5 bikes currently 4 Vespa and 1 Gilera Runner 180 2 Stroke. In the order of age:

1976 Vespa ET3 Small frame 125 2 port engine with a kit and tuned, and equipted with racing forks and other aftermarket enhancements.

1984 Vespa T5 which is a 2 stroke 5 port 125 engine, never imported over here due to the US ban on importation of 2 strokes after 1982. This bike was grandfathered in due to miles put on the bike. This bike is also tuned with a Malossi 171 Kit, Del Orto 34ml reed valve carb, BMW fuel pump, Grimeca Front Disk Brake, and a high performance expansion chamber. This bike has incredible bottom and top end pull and will easily do somewhere in the mid 90's when tuned properly. This bike is a custom, done in the Newcastle Brown Ale theme, and has been featured in VQ Magazine, Scoot Quarterly and Scootering International magazines in the early 2000's.

1998 Gilera Runner 180 2 Stroke automatic, kitted and tuned again this bike is an asphalt jetski that will hit the upper 80's low 90's so fast its scary. These bikes have front and rear disk brakes for optimum stopping, and the reverse forks help with the handling especially on nice winding canyon roads like Mulholland, Kanan Dune, Las Virgenese, Trabucco. Sounds like a motocross bike, and often causes people to do a double take because they aren't seen on the road often if ever.

2002 Vespa LML Drop Bar PX 150 2 stoke. Bike is fitted with a drop bar kit, Bitubo adjustable front and rear shocks, racing front mudguard and scoop, along with diamond plating on the floor boards, a SIP racing seat, JL expansion chamber and cutout aftermarket cowlings for an even more unique custom look. The bike is Shock Green so it stands out.

2005 Vespa PX150 Serie America which are the last of the classic Vespa's made in Pontedera Italy. Only 500 bikes produced, the very last from this ICONIC plant in Italy. Genuine Scooters bought the rights to the molds that Vespa used for the classic body style and has been producing their own Stella 150. The first Stella were 2 strokes, but are now 4 strokes. I prefer the 2 stroke, simply because they are easier to tune, and for a bike that in California has a catalytic converter, which is like sticking a potato into the exhaust system causing the bike to barely break 50mph, the 1st thing you do is get an aftermarket SITO Plus exhaust, upjet your main jet to a 98 or 102 and you almost get what the bike should be capeable of hitting somewhere in the high 50's to very low 60 mph range. Still freeway legal, but when you can barely even get up to a speed even the slowest of traffic moves at its an adventure.

I try to ride every weekend, and have started to get back into participating in as many rides or rallys as I can now that our kids are no longer kids.

Riding Goals

Keep the history and fun of riding a classic scooter alive, even riding the new automatic bikes, to gain participation and acceptance into the scene as a whole and not segregated into a classic vs "plastic" scene. 

If you want to create a bike as an homage to the 1960's "mod" scooters with the many mirrors, lights, accesories, or you want to make a cut or chopped Vespa or Lambretta, even proudly ride on a "rat" bike everyone is welcome. We are all unique and our bikes can express this, while at the same time also having a good time riding with friends and or family. 

The more riders the better the ride!

Competitive Highlights

I am not into racing scooters, but there is the ASRA where many race their tuned and modified Vespa and or Lambretta scooters on tracks like Willow Springs.

My competitive nature is more about having a bike that looks nice and performs even better.