My first motorized street legal machine was an unloved, uncool Puch Bombardier 49cc moped.
Unloved by others at least. For me, coming into scootering and motorcycling a bit later than some (my 20’s) it was a first taste of freedom, and an occasionally terrifying introduction to the world of two wheeled transport.
You had to pedal to get it going, and the two speed gearbox didn’t exactly accelerate with the force of a thousand fighter jets – rather the slipping and semi-functional auto clutch gave you a few minutes to think about your day before it would engage and start to bring you up to a reasonable road speed.
It had no storage – and considering you had to mix the two gas that meant strapping some kind of small bag to carry the two-stroke oil and a mixing cup. Though the way it sipped fuel did tend to make gas stops somewhat rare at the least.
It was a machine that few would appreciate – but it started me on a path that has led to riding on 3 continents and across Canada, and I will always appreciate it for that reason alone.
And in its’ own strange way – that is what has led me to creating Scoottoronto.
I’ve dabbled with writing for other online magazines and blogs – I did several articles for the excellent online magazine Canada Moto Guide for example – but always with a focus on either scooters or sidecars or the quirky human side of motorcycling.
Scooters in particular tend to be an unusual segment of the motorcycling world. Despite increases in capacity and the introduction of the Maxi-scooter, they often aren’t seen as being “real” motorcycles by a fair number of riders. You also get some divisions between vintage or classic scooter riders and modern twist and go plastic shelled machines – many vintage riders have little or no interest in more modern machines.
I’ve always appreciated both – I’ve owned several manual shift Vespas, the aforementioned Puch Bombardier, several Kymco modern scooters and currently I drive (among a few machines) a Burgman 400s with an Armec sidecar.
I’ve done reviews on and genuinely liked everything from a Sym Simba cub clone, to a Sachs Madass 125 – and I can appreciate a quick nimble little twist and go city scooter that has its’ own unique charm.
Scoottoronto is about these and more. It’s about the Moto Compo, it’s about the Lambretta, it’s about the BMW1 C1 and the Piaggio MP3. It’s about the often overlooked, occasionally unloved, quirky and wonderful world of scooters – with a focus on Toronto and Ontario riders and rides.
This will be an evolving mix of magazine and blog, sliding somewhat neatly into the gaps between the mainstream motorcycling media and the public awareness of the scootering world. It’ll be an interesting ride into a world that often is overlooked.
And hopefully, you’ll enjoy coming along for the experience. I’m not sure where we’ll end up – but it should make for an amusing trip none the less.