So I was gravitating towards the Honda Silverwing that would hopefully be available. After all, I could walk to the Honda Dealer, he was friendly and helpful and when I mentioned a Vespa to my sister, she just could not stop laughing. She simply said that 300 CC was not enough for two people. She did say if the plan was to buy two bikes, that it was a better plan.
Everyone told me the same thing. Bigger is better. The more power you have, the better it is to get out of trouble when you need it.
At the end of May, the phone call came in from the Honda dealer. “The bike will be here on Friday,” he said. Therefore on Friday I went down to see it. The price was $ 5,500.00 and the warranty was the balance of 6-months. The color was burgundy and it had a top box with a back for my wife (Chantal). It did not have a scratch or even a rock chip. This bike was mine!
I test rode it around the Honda parking lot. It purred like a kitten. Nevertheless, at slow speeds it was heavy and awkward to handle. I could not wait for Chantal to get home from work to see the bike. In fact, I told her to drive straight to the dealer and meet me there. I was excited!
She liked the bike, the color and the backrest. I straddled the bike and told her to hop on the back. When she did, the bike shifted and it was all I could do to prevent it from falling to the ground. It was a heavy bike.
The dealer could not sell it to me until Monday and told me to go home and think about it because it will be here waiting for me on Monday morning.
Later that night, I started surfing again and more and more Vespa videos appeared mysteriously in front of my screen. I think it was some kind of out of body experience or a hidden sinful pleasure that I did not want to admit.
So that evening, I started to talk with Chantal and shared some of these videos. The one video that I seemed to watch repeatedly was this fellow in Texas. Yes, fromTexas of all places. I always thought that Texans liked things BIG!
I started thinking about why I wanted a bike and how I intended to ride. Was I about to ride up and down the 401 to visit my friends in Toronto or even ride down to Florida or was it to zip around Cornwall. I began to realize that if I were to ride it daily that I would be zipping around Cornwall, shipping, going for lunches and possibly across the river to the US to get my mail at the PO Box I have in Hogansburg. Additionally, I do not like driving my new Honda Civic long distances on the 401 so why would I want to ride a bike on the 401. The 300 CC Vespa seemed like a perfect marriage between zipping around Cornwall and having the ability to ride at speeds up to 130 Km/Hr. when required. Finally, the gas mileage and environmental concerns played heavy on this decision. Therefore, the big Honda Silverwing started to creep down my list with more cons than pros specifically most internet comments about how difficult it is to park and get in and out of small places. I just started to feel that it is too big and too heavy. The Vespa GTV-300 really started to grow on me. Hey, I was happy with a Honda 350 in the 1970s and it transported me everywhere I wanted. So why wouldn’t this Vespa make me happy?
That Friday night before closing my eyes in bed, I decided that I would drive up to Ottawa to visit the Vespa Dealer with Chantal.
The night was long as I tossed and turned thinking about exactly which way I was about to go. it was worse than Christmas Eve as a kid.
Saturday morning finally came and we hopped in the car and drove up to Ottawa. I looked at two bikes. I initially went for the BV 500 because bigger is better. However, I kept on leaning towards the Vespa GTV.
The Vespa GTV-300 That I Fell In Love With
The Piaggio BV 500
The dealer I stopped at was not the official Vespa/Piaggio Dealer but had a stock of new bikes from 2007 when they dropped the Vespa Dealership and started a Honda Dealership. They now offered Honda, Yamaha and more. They were huge and I really have not seen so many bikes and power toys under one roof. but they had a weird way of pricing and in order to get a price we had to make an official offer with a down payment. .
I really liked the Vespa GTV-300, which was a modern version of the first Vespa’s made in the late 1940s. However, the one they had was from 2007 and was a greyish/blue color and not the stand-out gorgeous color of the new espresso brown. Therefore, I actually left by making an offer on the Piaggio BV-500 because of the bigger engine.
Again, that evening I surfed the net and read about the differences between the Piaggio BV 500 and Vespa GTV-300. That darn itch just would not go away. When I was younger, I drove Triumphs and MGBs while my friends were into Camaros and big engine cars.
I also thought that getting out of trouble means that a choice was made to get into trouble. I was convinced that if I do not intend to ride on major highways that I could always choose to stay out of trouble. In fact, I could ride thinking that I am the invisible man and that no one can see me. That way, I would most definitely think twice before assuming someone can see me and will wait for me to pass. Bottom line is that 300 CC will do me just fine!
So Monday morning I cancelled my offer at the other dealership. I finally came to a decision. I wanted what I wanted and what I wanted was an Espresso Brown GTV-300 Vespa 2012 with No recalls like on the 2007. So I went for the clean European look, feel and style.
I ordered one from Gear Head Canada in Ottawa (The Official Dealer with an Official Warranty). The Bike was to be prepared and delivered by June 1, 2012. Yippee!
Next was the riding gear. Vespa has cool riding gear, but it is not the safest available, especially for face plants. I so much wanted to have this look while on the Vespa but after watching two face-plants into car accidents, I decided to get a full-face Shoei helmet. At least I got one that color matches my bike with a wonderful Tan and black Tour Master Leather Jacket, riding boots and leather gloves. Finally, my sister convinced me that road rash was road rash at any speed and that doctors can easily fix bones but when the skin is scraped off on the pavement, it presents a much larger challenge. So the decision to be fully protected was made.
This Vespa Helmet Would is So Cool with my Brown Vespa!
I love this Helmet, But It Is Not So Safe
Ended Up With a Shoei QWEST Anthracite Metallic
DOT and Snell Certified
My Jacket and Boots – Boy Was I Ready to Ride!
So all that was left was to pick up the bike at Gear Head Canada!
And So the Vespa Adventure Begins…
Dennis and Kim said:
Peter. I love he blog! I was so surprised to see you speak of the Texan whose video helped you make the decision. I am so glad I helped. And now I can learn from your experiences. I just ordered the running turn signal lights from ScooterWest. Maybe one day my wife and I can make it up there to ride. God Bless! Dennis (TheRmeyPilot)