2020: State of the Scooter

2020 will be the next Junk Run – where we throw scooters around off-road with likely predictable results.

It’s cold right now in Canada – which I know comes to a great shock to most of you.

To our non-Canadian readers it probably seems like this is the default state, snow and ice occasionally interrupted by a brief period of warmth and sunshine we call summer. Which is then interrupted by most of us being eaten by Polar bears.

But, while our two wheeled machines sleep gently under their winter blankets or tucked into their garage hibernation – those of us who have the scooter bug twitch and mumble in a state of frenetic scoot withdrawal, eagerly awaiting the always-too-distant springtime and the resumption of motorized goodness.

And we’re no exception – we’re already planning our activities and vacation plans. And we hope to bring you along, at least virtually. Because even with the small amount of people who follow Scoottoronto’s postings, we probably can’t fit you into our van.

However, before we go into the near future…. lets take a look at the recent past.

2019 was an interesting year – and one that showed signs of change in the scooter arena.

It was (as we heavily reported on) the last year of the Mad Bastard Scooter rally, since BECO was no longer the Canadian Kymco distributor and the rally no longer had a sponsor.

The 2019 MBSR Rally was epic – but sadly, the last one.

Scooter interest seems to be at a bit of a low ebb as well, with fewer models being distibuted to Canada and some dealers either closing up shop or ceasing to sell scooters in favour of more motorcycle oriented brands.

This isn’t unusual, scooters (and our moped cousins as well) tend to ebb and flow based on the economy, gas prices, and occasionally even popular culture. Since scooters exploded into the mainstream, firstly with the Vespa post WW2 and then secondly with the Honda Cub in the 60’s – we have had the demographics of scooter riders change, the economic environment change, technology and costs change, and even (with climate change) the weather change. And right now, it seems like this has lead to a slight decline (at least in what we have perceived) in scooter purchases and ridership in recent years.

But – with the rise of electric machines, a greater consciousness about consumption and efficiency in transportation, and a rise in alternative transportation in general – we feel that things will swing back around as they have several times in the past.

And with new offerings in Asia and Europe coming around and maybe (hopefully) trickling over to Canada one day – we could see changes in the scooter market.

But that’s the big picture.

For the small picture – what is happening with Scoottoronto in 2020, we have some updates to share.

We’ve posted before about our Mini-Camper minivan project – building a minivan camper setup. This upcoming weekend we’re adding a trailer hitch and we’re looking around for a trailer setup capable of taking either two scooters or our Burgman sidecar rig.

We’re getting a trailer for our Burgman 400 – because travelling across a continent in June when the weather can vary between 5 degrees C and 30 degrees C is…. occasionally unpleasant.

This is so we can (in the limited vacation time we have, and with the limited vacation budget we have) take a trip out from Toronto to the west coast – parking our Mini-Camper as a base camp along the way and doing day trips in the Prairie provinces, in the Rocky mountains, and extensively out in B.C.

2020 is also the next year for the Junk Run event – and we’ll be adding some updates about that in the near future. For those of you who haven’t heard of it – the Junk Run is an event where you seek to buy a scooter in working shape for $800, then run it offroad because your mother never taught you things such as not running with scissors and you somehow thing this is a good idea.

And this year the Junk Run is going to the Park to Park trail – so the ride length and challenge will be greater than ever.

Expect several postings on that.

We’ll be also adding a Vendor/Dealer section to help point out some of the GTA vendors for scooters and motorcycle gear. These won’t be recommendations or reviews (for now at least, we may add more reviews later) but will be informational to help you find places to buy gear and have your machine serviced.

We’re adding some dealer and vendor info – so you can toss your cash at some swanky scooter upgrades.

On top of that, we have a few other events we plan to attend – and 2020 is also going to be the year of the Scoottoronto Scooter Shed build. This will be the workshop in which we will accomplish amazing mechanical transformations. (Ok ok…. we might manage to change the oil.) We’ll be posting all the (bad) planning and decisions going into that build.

And assuming I can kick myself in the ass and get myself contacting people and arranging things – I hope to add some Scooterist interviews and human interest articles as well. (Feel free to give a shout out if you have an interesting person or story that is scooter related you want us to tell.)

So that’s what is ahead for 2020. A minivan kitted for adventure. Showing off our junk in public while getting dirty. And hanging out in a shed.

Can’t you just feel the glamour happening already?

See you on the road,


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