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.