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Friday, January 7, 2011

Cooter's Red Scooter!


A week ago Wednesday, I was finally able to find one of the scooters I was hunting for. I was really hunting for a 250cc model, but I found a place in Las Cruces that had 2 2009 500cc's still on the floor. After seeing and getting on them, they were perfect. The 2009 model was the first to have vacuum fuel injection vs carboration, which provides better starting and better gas mileage. Also, the 2009's, if purchased by December 31st, had a $700 cash back offer from Kymco. The dealer offered me $900 off the list price, and didn't know about the cash back rebate. I therefore got the scoot for $4700, just under my $5000 psychological purchase cap. The Thursday after I purchased it, I went in to the DMV and took and passed the written drivers test. They scheduled me for January 26th for the operational test. I got the insurance on that day also, and had the papers sent to the dealer so that I could get plates. Today was the warmest day of the week, so I went in and picked it up. It is kind of like a large riding lawn mower with two wheels. It is very stable in a straight line and at faster turns. I have a lot of work to do in an empty parking lot to get the slow speed handling down. One of the differences between a scooter and a motorcycle is that the motor is part of the left side swing arm, as opposed to being bolted into the center of the machine. That puts more weight lower and to the back of the scooter, and a bit more weight to the left side. Needless to say, left hand turns are a bit quicker than right hand turns which take more of a lean angle of work. Anyway, I got it home today with no issues other than cold hands (light gloves). I followed the break in rules precisely by never going over 70 (about 3/4 throttle), and by moving the speeds up and down so as to not lock onto one speed. I got off the freeway at Akela Flats, and did a much slower ride for the last 20 miles. The scooter has ample storage under the seat, a grocery bag hook in the center below the gauges, a small locking glove box on the left, and a small unlocked box at the front of the seat (where my garage door opener will go). There is a key fob that closes the key hole off so no one can tamper, and by turning the key farthest right, the gas cap pops open. The right brake lever pulls both brakes, and the left lever just the front. It is fully automatic, so your feet don't get involved much. There are two foot positions; one standard flat, and one angled forward for cruising and faster turning. So for day one, so far so good. I have the temporary licence for 6 months, so if i struggle with learning slow motion handling, I will have other chances to try it. Hopefully I will get enough time in over the next few weeks to pass on the first go. Anyway, here is a good review of this scooter! http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/189/3955/Motorcycle-Article/2009-Kymco-Xciting-500Ri-Review.aspx

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