Monday, August 09, 2010


Over the last couple of months I've been thinking about selling my scooter and upgrading to a better one. My six year old Vmoto Milan has done about 30,000kms, which is approximately double the standard lifespan for this model. Built in a Chinese sweatshop out of cut-price parts and wishful thinking, the poor old thing is in the twilight of its days. Or, alternatively, in the Twilight of its days, since it's a slow, cheap, simple piece of plastic only appreciated on a very shallow level by the undiscerning.

Everything still works, more or less, but without much enthusiasm for the job. The engine floods under all but the gentlest acceleration. The oil reservoir leaks if it's filled more than halfway. The seat is tearing along the seam. If it starts on the first go it's milding astonishing, and if it starts on the 30th go it's entirely unsurprising. On top of all that, over time it's developed a comprehensive collection of rattles, clatters, whines and squeaks, meaning that I'm not so much riding a scooter as a cacophany.

A brand new Vmoto Milan can be purchased almost anywhere for around $2,300, but all evidence suggests that it wouldn't last anywhere near as long as my current one. I'd like to upgrade to a more robust brand, like a Honda or a Vespa, but I have little idea of how affordable this might be. Most scooter websites are coy about listing a recommended retail price for their scooters, in much the same way that the average burqua-clad Muslim woman is coy about flashing her knickers. would apparently rather burn in Hell for all eternity than tell the world how much a new Vespa LX 50 costs.

There's always the second-hand market, of course, and at first glance it would seem like an ideal source, since scooters are often impulse purchases whose appeal fades on the first rainy day. However it seems that demand is still outstripping supply. According to the most popular car and motorbike selling website, it's easier to buy a used Rolls Royce around here than it is to buy a used 50cc motorscooter, by a factor of more than two to one.

It's all too hard. In the end inertia will probably win out, and I will continue to coax my scooter along as carefully and gently as I can.

Until one day it coughs, makes an entirely new and horrible noise, then dies... probably in heavy traffic, on a street with no exits, in the dark, while it's raining.


Anonymous Tara said...

Hopefully it wont be hailing too.

1:53 PM  

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