My Espresso Brown GTV 300 was ready for pick-up on June 1, 2012 and you betcha I was not late to arrive at Gear Head Canada!
I received my Road Armor, Helmet and I had to sign some papers and was soon to be ready to go. I had purchased a Motorcycle Safety book two days prior and read it front to back twice to re-familiarize myself with riding since so many years had passed since the old Honda CB 350.
The technician gave me a 3-Minute tour of the bike. Yes, you heard me… 3-minutes. I
guess there is not much to operating a Vespa other than the On/Off button,
left/right turn and the open seat.. Oh yes, there is also a horn (it is a cute horn).
I actually had more questions about the how to strap the helmet and the plastic armor in my jacket. We never had such things when I rode. it reminded me of when I started to play senior hockey after 30 years to find out all of the equipment needed to even be allowed on the ice. So much so, I could not smell the cold air or hear my teammates. Twisting and turning was also a challenge compared to the flimsy knee and shoulder pads that I remembered from the good old days.
Therefore, I started her up and looked at the kilometers that read 000003 and pushed her forward off the kickstand. Yes, I said her and no to a name at this point. It felt strange at first as I left the parking lot onto Moodie Drive to start my journey home. I had 128 kilometers ahead of me with a planned route that would take me through the country roads and was estimated to be 2-hours and 24 minutes.
As I turned off Moodie Drive onto Hunt Club road, I quickly noticed the speed limit to be 80 Km/Hr. Wow! I opened her up but I was told that for the first 1000 Kilometers that I should not keep her at the same speed in order to break her in properly. So forward, I rode with the wind whistling through my helmet’s small vents. Since I have a crew cut number 2, wind through the hair is no longer a big thrill anyhow.
When I hit Bank that turns into the 31, cars were travelling at 90-100 Km/hr. Well, that little Vespa GTV-300 just purred quietly and often I had to pull back the throttle after looking at the speedometer to find myself well above the speed limit. Smooth sailing…almost like floating on the pavement. Who would have thought that it would be so smooth with such small 12” wheels? Funny enough but that old song about a Nash Rambler kept playing in my mind.
When I arrived in Cornwall, I stopped for gas and put $ 4.99 in that filled the tank. I thought to myself, “Are you kidding me? It used under $ 5.00 of gas?” I left the gas station and stopped at the Cornwall Honda (Car garage) to show off my new baby. I had just purchased a two Honda Civics with my wife so I had made some acquaintances in sales and with the mechanics. Funny enough, they were all outside looking up and down and commenting on the beautiful color, the leather seats, the small wheels, and the speedometer that hits 160 and so on. After about 15-minutes of almost all the garage employees googling my Vespa, I quietly pointed out to them, “Hey it’s only a Vespa you guys are out here looking at”. Well that broke up the party and one be one they returned to their place of work.
I went home exhausted after my first ride and here is the picture of her parked at home for the first time.