It was 2008. As I recall, gas prices had risen rapidly to over $2.50/gallon. My commute to work as well as the driving around I needed to do made paying such exorbitant prices ridiculous. I decided that enough was enough.
I had it in my head that my father had talked about getting a scooter. His commute was about as far as mine (which was only about six miles each way). He was toying with the idea of a scooter as a means by which to save some money and probably have a little fun. I took that as permission.
I had previously had a motorcycle many years before. I rode that Yamaha Seca and loved it. In retrospect, I never should have sold it. If you have one you want to sell, feel free to contact me. In any case, at the time, I didn’t really want a motorcycle proper. I had it in my head that a scooter was the vehicle for me.
I went to the local motorcycle dealership at lunchtime one day. I was dazzled. I remember the smell of rubber and the gleam of chrome. The colors and the way they had bikes lined up made it difficult to know where to start.
The dealership I went to sells lots of different bikes. They sell cruisers and sport bikes. They sell touring bikes and dirt bikes. I didn’t know where to start and I didn’t really know what I was looking for. I put my trust in the salesman. We talked a little bit about what I wanted and what I was after. I told him that I didn’t think a motorcycle was what I was after but that I was drawn to the big scooters. There were two scooters he thought I would like. One was the Suzuki Burgman 400. The other was the Yamaha Majesty 400. Suzuki makes a 650 version of the Burgman but that was out of my price range.
Being the easy sucker that I am, I asked a few questions about it. Mike (the salesman) was really good and quickly had me convinced that I needed a scooter. It really came down to price. The Burgman was $1,000 more than the Majesty. I asked him if it was $1,000 better. With a smirk, he said “No”. I was sold on the Yamaha.
I went back to work and considered things. It took about 0.1 seconds because I was sold. I just needed to concoct a decent story to tell my wife. The next day, I returned to the dealership. After just a little bit of negotiating we had settled on the sale.
I never even took it for a test ride.
In the time since, I racked up nearly 8,000 miles on that scooter over the course of a few years. I took many trips on it and made a bunch of videos. I loved getting looks from people as I would cruise along with them on the interstate. Of course, I have a lot more experience and I know that the little trips I was taking were merely little day trips. But still, with out those baby steps, I wouldn’t be where I am today.