September 13th, 2004

james t. kirk - worried

TELL ME NOT TO BID ON THIS SCOOTER

Okay, so here's the thing.

A few weeks ago, for a reason I cannot recall, I decided to type "vespa" into eBay and see what came up.  I've thought that Vespas are cute, I guess, but I never gave them much thought.  I don't know what sparked the notion, but this time, after looking at a few auctions, I went nuts.  Over the past few weeks, I've done a lot of research.  I've added the vespa community to my friendslist, in hopes that I could pick up some things.  I visit the Motor Scooter BBS daily.  I've frequented scoot.net.  I bought a book called "How to Restore and Maintain Your Vespa," since there is no such book as "How to Buy Your First Vespa."  At least, I couldn't find one.

The first question was whether to get a vintage, or a new Vespa.  I like the way the vintage ones look -- but they require a lot of maintenance.  Theoretically, I'd be interested in learning how the engine works, and buying a beater and cleaning it up and getting it running correctly, etc.  Practically speaking -- guys, I still haven't taken my Christmas decorations down.  I'm not very good at getting things done in a timely manner, and if I bought a vintage Vespa, it's very likely that it would be broken a lot of the time -- and that I'd end up paying someone else to fix it.  So at this point, I'm 85% sure I should get a new Vespa.  And then, in two or three years if I'm still as enthusiastic about it as I am today, maybe then I'll spend $1,500 on a beater, and fix it up nice.  But for now, I think a new one would be my best bet.  They're not AS cute as vintage, in my opinion, but they are still pretty cute.

So right now, there's a 2004 ET4 on eBay.  The auction ends at about 3pm today.  I want it so bad.  There's all this extra shit included, and the prices that that guy gives are legit.  If I could get that scoot for $3,500, that would be a remarkable deal.  The thing is, I don't have thirty-five hundred dollars.  I mean I do, I could get it (I think), but man, talk about an impulse buy.  I don't even have a motorcycle license!  I've only ever ridden on motorcycle once in my life, and that was yesterday!  (Thanks, Neil!)  And I thought it was scary!  But in an exciting sort of way.  But man, what if it turns out I don't even want it?  It would be winter by the time I figured that out, and I probably wouldn't get as much money for it.  And where would I put it?  I think it would fit at the bottom of my stairs, but I don't know if I'd be able to open the door.  And I shouldn't be spending that much money on a toy!  I'm supposed to be saving up for a house!  This is the opposite of that!

I guess my fear is that in the Spring, I'll decide that yes I do want a scooter after all, and then I'll never find this kind of deal again.  I mean, it's in Staten Island!  I could go pick it up!  The whole country, and he's right up there in Staten Island!  But that's stupid, that is the biggest, stinkiest piece of rationalization ever.  YES it's a good deal, but I could find a decent deal in a few months, who knows.  Or maybe this is just another phase, and I'll be bored in three months, and have spent all that money.  But then I could just eBay it myself, right?  But what if I don't even LIKE it??  What if I buy it and get my license and then ride and am like "oh man I do not like this!"?  I haven't even test-driven one yet!

Tell me to not buy this scooter!  I want to ask what to do in the Vespa community, but I'm afraid someone will snatch up the scooter themselves.  Which would be a GOOD thing!  And besides, if someone wants a 2004 ET4, I'm sure they've checked eBay in the past seven days.  But still!

And to pre-emptively answer the most FAQ I've received in the past few days:  yes you need a motorcycle license, it's 149cc's, it hits a top speed of about 65mph, and it's an automatic transmission (older Vespas are manual).  And they don't make mint green anymore for the US (boo!).

EDIT: Nevermind! The auction ended early. My decision was made for me. Thanks for your input. I'll be in a grumpy mood for the rest of the day if you need me.