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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.


( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 13th, 2004 07:44 am (UTC)
Okay, whatever, you know what? This is stupid. I'm just going to be good and work on my drainage report until 3:30 this afternoon, and then the auction will be over and my life will continue as always. The end.
Sep. 13th, 2004 07:47 am (UTC)
There is always going to be a deal out there so there's no reason to rush out and buy one now at the end of the season. I'd wait. Besides you can use the winter to research more.

Mint green would be my color of choice.
Sep. 13th, 2004 07:56 am (UTC)
You're right, it would be so frustrating to put myself in a tough position to scrape up all that money, and then not even be able to ride the thing for six months . . .

And they still made the mint green in 2002 . . .
Sep. 13th, 2004 07:48 am (UTC)
$3500 sounds like a lot to me for an impulse buy. If you could you get a slightly used one for closer to $2000, or maybe a non-Vespa-branded scooter for less, it would be more reasonable.

You could probably keep it in Mitch's garage (once Kevin gets his motorcycle fixed and out of there). And you could go riding with everyone next summer. And if beaters are $1500, it sounds like they hold their value pretty well, so it's not like you're just flushing $3500. My recommendation would be to buy a beater and fix it up, but then again my record with internal combustion engines is not so good.
Sep. 13th, 2004 07:52 am (UTC)
If you could you get a slightly used one for closer to $2000

That is a good point! That it has only 400 miles on it is really nice, but it wouldn't matter much to get one with a couple thousand on it, if it were a grand less.

But then you make other good points! Damn you for taking both sides, you cheat.
(no subject) - qed - Sep. 13th, 2004 08:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 13th, 2004 07:56 am (UTC)
I think vepas are amazing, and that you should get one. Sorry.
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:00 am (UTC)
This may be stupid of me, but you said you want mint green, right? It does look to be nice and minty fresh from the pictures, but he says in the description that it's actually baby blue ("Scooter looks a little green in some photos. This is due to the weird lighting when I took photos! Scooter is a beautiful rich Baby Blue and Pearl!!"). Just thought I would point that out if it makes your decision any easier (I hate making big [and little] decisions, too!).
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:10 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, don't worry, I've read that description about forty-five million times this past week! Yeah, I know it's blue, but I think that's sort of cute, and that two-tone action is totally hot. Man, I just checked the Vespa site to see which colors ARE available on new scoots, and they don't even have that light blue! Just pearl, red, platinum, black, and blue, all of which are . . . pretty lame. I wonder how that guy got those colors, or maybe the ones on the site are for 2005, and the baby blue was discontinued last year . . .

Good lookin' out, though, thanks!
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:10 am (UTC)
haha, i just outbid you!

anyway, i'm a big impulse buyer...especially when the thing is very expensive. houses, cars, timeshares, motorcycles, etc. and i can only say that, while getting the thing feels great, it never feels as great as you think it's going to feel before you get it...get it?
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:12 am (UTC)
Um, okay, great . . . thanks?
(no subject) - swolfe - Sep. 13th, 2004 08:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:23 am (UTC)
this might be a silly question, but would you ride the vespa for pleasure or for real transportation purposes? I see people ride them all the time in the city but I don't recall ever seeing someone ride one in the suburbs.

regardless, I agree with Kate. Vespas are cool! I would kill to have one. but maybe if you wait until the middle of the winter, you might find an even better deal. Right now the weather is all nice and pretty and everyone wants to be outside, and in Janurary the competition might not be as stiff.
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:27 am (UTC)
I haven't seen one in the suburbs either! Heck, I've never seen one in Philly, but boviously I don't spend much time there.

I figure that I will ride it to/from 508, the Manse, and work, all of which are less than 10 miles from my house. That's 80% of my local driving right there, so I imagine that in the warm months, I would get a lot of use out of it.

The auction's ended early, so it's a moot point, this one, anyway. I think I will get my permit and take a course and get my license, and then look at getting a scooter. Do this the right way, the practical way. Oh well.
(no subject) - tamisevens - Sep. 13th, 2004 12:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:28 am (UTC)
i doubt a paint job would be very expensive on a scooter, being so small and all. Possibly if you bought a slightly used one at a lesser price, you could have it painted the exact color you want it and still not spend too much money.
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:40 am (UTC)
Actually, you'd be surprised! Paint jobs can run up to a thousand bucks for vintages. I'm not sure about the new ones (some of the parts are plastic, I don't know how that would affect things). But yeah, color isn't TOO important at this point. It's certainly not going to be a sticking point -- as you point out, that's always something that can be changed.

OMG I sure said the word "point" a lot ...
(no subject) - christy_p - Sep. 13th, 2004 08:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - littlewashu - Sep. 13th, 2004 08:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - swolfe - Sep. 13th, 2004 08:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - christy_p - Sep. 13th, 2004 10:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:29 am (UTC)
these people are all wrong. forget a vespa. you should be getting a prius. they are way cooler than vespas (which are, admittedly, pretty cool).
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:41 am (UTC)
If I'm agonizing over spending $3,500 for a scooter, I don't see how spending $22K on a car is going to solve my problem. But thanks for your input.
(no subject) - king_kai - Sep. 13th, 2004 09:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:30 am (UTC)
I know the auction has ended and all, but just for the future, I don't believe you need a motorcycle license to drive a scooter (at least you don't in Washington state). I think it's because they can't go very fast or something.
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:37 am (UTC)
Hi, Heather! As mentioned above, I've been doing a lot of research in the past few months. I do, indeed, need a motorcycle license in New Jersey in order to ride a Vespa. It goes 65 mph. I admittedly didn't look into laws in Washington, but that was because I didn't have plans to ride it in Washington. To be honest, the idea that someone can do 65mph on a vehicle for which they are not licensed is somewhat terrifying.

Some states don't require licenses for vehicles that do not travel over 25mph, which is why the ET2 was released. I think I'd still need a license in NJ, though, we are super-safe about this sort of thing.

But seriously, I have been doing my homework. But thanks anyway.
(no subject) - littlewashu - Sep. 13th, 2004 08:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - petit_chou - Sep. 13th, 2004 09:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - king_kai - Sep. 13th, 2004 08:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - petit_chou - Sep. 13th, 2004 09:46 am (UTC) - Expand
agreed - counterfeitfake - Sep. 13th, 2004 10:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bigtoe250 - Sep. 13th, 2004 08:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - littlewashu - Sep. 13th, 2004 08:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 13th, 2004 08:55 am (UTC)
Have you seen ScootRS? They take vintage Vespas, and replace most of the old parts with brand new commercially available parts. That way, your scooter won't break down every five minutes, and when it does break down, you don't have to hunt down special Vespa parts for it. They also paint your scooter whatever color or combination of colors you want.

I've been fantasizing about a Vespa for a really long time now, and when I buy one, that's the way I'd go.

Sep. 13th, 2004 08:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, someone in the Vespa community recommended them! That's definitely an option. They're about as expensive as new ones, then, but boviously way cooler-looking . . . I'd poked around on their site a little but not much, I will look into it more now, thanks!

Also there is the Stella, which is a new scooter with vintage-stying. (And is manual transmission). That's an option, too, they're slightly less than real Vespas.
(no subject) - littlewashu - Sep. 14th, 2004 09:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 13th, 2004 12:44 pm (UTC)
Man, listen. I hate to be the voice of reason here, but one day you'll be dead, and then do you think you'll be glad you didn't get a scooter? OF COURSE YOU NEED A VESPA.
Sep. 14th, 2004 07:18 am (UTC)
but when you're dead you can fly on a talking pink air-vespa made out of self-regenerating cotton candy. they run on moonshine & rainbow juice, & your cumulonimbus hair will be billowing in the citrus breezes, because there are no helmet laws in the Afterlife.

but then again, maybe you should get one now, if only for the sake of comparison.
(no subject) - illscientist - Sep. 17th, 2004 11:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 14th, 2004 08:36 am (UTC)
Hey, I didn't have time to read every last comment here (I did do a Control-F to avoid redundancy), but I wanted to tell you that they just opened a Vespa store/showroom on South Street, around 11th or so. Don't know if you'd wanna check it out or not, but it might be fun.
Sep. 14th, 2004 09:28 am (UTC)
Man, yeah, definitely! I guess it would help to see some of these puppies in person before I drop a few bills on them . . . and I think that Vespa dealerships have vintages laying around sometimes, too!

Thanks for the heads-up, yo.
( 41 comments — Leave a comment )

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