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Trend Setter

Posted on 2008.06.04 at 00:00
Current Location: 75409
Current Music: Broughton - Lost in Space

I've been considering doubling my commute time. The reason for this, would be to lower my weekly fuel cost to approximately $5 ($20 monthly) by attaining 70 miles per gallon.

Yes, that Tiburon is rated at 27mpg, but those who've ridden with me know it gets nothing even close to that, and why. I scream down the highway at 80+ and hug closely all the twists and turns which are thrown at me. Having a clutch paired with a V6 and a low-slung car is great fun. And at $45 weekly gas consumption, I've been thinking on getting something a little less...thirsty.

I'm not an environmentalist. The only time I embrace something which is 'green' is when its also advantageous in other ways, be it less expensive, money-saving in the long term, or something I can put in my mouth. My wife and her HOV-buddies had a conversation several weeks ago about getting a scooter to drive into Dallas on to save gas. glodowg was convinced it was the future of commuting. Everyone had a big laugh. I did too.

Until I started thinking about it.

I no longer commute 150-miles round trip. I live half a mile off the highway, and work is half a mile off the highway eight miles away. There is a frontage road which runs parallel the entire stretch of road, save for a quarter-mile section which dumps you on to, then off of, the highway. How cool would that be?

My mind was made up when work took a group of parking spaces next to the door and turned them into motorcycle parking.

I started researching highway-capable mopeds, and this is my story.

Yamaha makes one that gets 123mpg, but it doesn't go over 30mph. Honda's largest model is $8500. That's only four-hundred dollars less than I paid for my used CAR! Also, every manufacturer has their own version of the Italian Vespa - the original classic scooter - none of which suited my needs perfectly. Then I discovered the Chinese market! For less than $2k, you too can get a 150cc highway-fairing two-seat moped which will propel you 60mph at 70mpg. Its a win/win. In Texas, you must license and register any motor vehicle over 49 cubic centimeters displacement, which runs $33 annually. Tax and title will cost me $170, still keeping me under two-thousand dollars.

The more I looked into these Chinese products, the deeper I looked into maintenance and trouble. I finally settled on one recurring factor: NOT $8500! There's a showroom in Plano, a block from Fry's Electronics. Today was the day I was going to pick up my wife, who works one block South of Fry's. I drove straight to the dealership after work and met the owner. The moped was much larger than I imagined - and I could even haul drax0r to work with it. They keep a 150cc scooter outside for test drives and they couldn't wait to get me on it to dispel my fears about power. As I circled the parking lot, I realized that this would be perfect as my new daily commuter.

My wife rode one too. She liked the Vintage - the Chinese version of the Vespa. She imagines us loading up our kids on the back and exploring the back-roads of Texas around our little town here North of Dallas.

drax0r thinks people are going to laugh at me. And while that's entirely possible, I'll be paying off this little baby with the nearly $200 I save in gas each month.

But knowing my luck, pretty soon everyone will be driving them.

Yeah, that's me, the Trend Setter.


David Alexander McDonald (Steven E. McDonald)
wyldemusick at 2008-06-04 06:23 (UTC) (Link)
Huh. You know, had I the spare $2K, that would probably work for me as well...no car here, due to cost more than anything else, but I wouldn't object to this as transport.
ehowton at 2008-06-04 11:57 (UTC) (Link)
In a cruel game of Catch-22 being played by the fates, I too won't have the spare $2k until I stop driving my car to work everyday.
photogoot at 2008-06-04 06:38 (UTC) (Link)
I want to see you with drax0r riding bitch! Yes you will get noticed. Looks like great fun. I love the commuting idea. I hate the exploring Texas's back roads idea.

When do you take delivery? Will yours be blue too? Thats a really good look'in scooter!
ehowton at 2008-06-04 11:59 (UTC) (Link)
I don't really care what color it is, but yes the blue is inoffensive. Wife's going to crunch some numbers - we both raises this month.
galinda822 at 2008-06-04 14:14 (UTC) (Link)
It's very nice. How big are the wheels...cause they look really tiny? Love the blue!
ehowton at 2008-06-04 14:41 (UTC) (Link)
Well, I couldn't find the specifications. I remember thinking that too, until I actually rode one. It was a non-issue.

Blue, check ;)
wardlejew at 2008-06-04 14:38 (UTC) (Link)
If you could only find a yellow color like the shoes in your previous post. Then you will be a Trend Setter... and you will increase your safety because you will be noticed.
ehowton at 2008-06-04 14:41 (UTC) (Link)
You are SO right - Now I need those shoes! If I thought I was going to look ridiculous riding a moped to work, those canary yellow shoes would be the icing on the cake!
osontx at 2008-06-04 15:03 (UTC) (Link)
ehowton at 2008-06-04 15:09 (UTC) (Link)
Let me try to articulate how cool you are: That thought already crossed my mind. Our own little scooter dealership in Anna! The guy in Plano, being the only one of its kind in Texas (Lance) gets business from all over the state!

Sorry - haven't found one with a sidecar yet :(
jaceman at 2008-06-04 18:42 (UTC) (Link)
drax0r thinks people are going to laugh at me. And while that's entirely possible, I'll be paying off this little baby with the nearly $200 I save in gas each month.

*falls down laughing at you*
ehowton at 2008-06-04 18:45 (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to need another Apple sticker. I thought all mopeds came with them.
hiro_antagonist at 2008-06-04 22:39 (UTC) (Link)
Why a moped instead of a motorcycle?
ehowton at 2008-06-04 23:09 (UTC) (Link)
Total Cost of Ownership mostly.
codekitten at 2008-06-05 01:26 (UTC) (Link)
adds up to me.
irulan_amy at 2008-06-05 04:11 (UTC) (Link)
Wow - when I think scooter I think tiny cute-type thing. That is not what I pictured when I listened to a story about scooters on NPR the other day.

The savings is nice.

I've been thinking about a similar option. I mean, it's practically always sunny here, and the gas savings would be at least $150/month for me. Also, having that kind of ride means you can get around quicker here. I do not have the balls to zip between cars like motorcycles do though...hmmm.
ehowton at 2008-06-05 09:07 (UTC) (Link)
We don't that option in Texas. I remember the first time I saw that - I was in San Diego; I was flabbergasted! Different places have different rules. The first time I pulled onto the interstate in Massachusetts and nearly got clipped because they're allowed to drive on the shoulders during rush hour?
jaceman at 2008-06-11 15:45 (UTC) (Link)
I have a friend who was talking about these, but knew nothing about them. Ironically! So, I was hoping you could tell me the name of the company and/or throw me a link so that I could forward it to him.
ehowton at 2008-06-11 15:49 (UTC) (Link)
The Chinese brand scooter I'm looking at is the Lance: http://www.lancepowersports.com/
jaceman at 2008-06-11 16:35 (UTC) (Link)
And HERE is something that EVEN I could enjoy for less than 2 grand.
ehowton at 2008-06-11 16:51 (UTC) (Link)
Now that's impressive.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2008-06-19 08:06 (UTC) (Link)
Dude, you look gay on that scooter and why aren't you wearing shorts???
ehowton at 2008-06-19 11:20 (UTC) (Link)
I didn't have any overwhelming urge to gobble cock once I straddled the moped.
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