It’s My Way Or The Highway…

How is that for a catchy headline? LOL! However it is the Highway that is the subject here. We live on a rather Long Island that is criss-crossed with Highways of all kinds. We also have Scooters of all kinds too. In fact we have a few Motorcycle riders that come along too. So the discussion can get complicated as fast as some of these highways do. In the Scooter range, a 150cc is about typical & for decades has been a generic size. That being said, the larger Scooters have become generic too. Now, a scooter in the 250 – 300 range is very common when not too long ago was almost unheard of. We have about an even amount of both classes of scooters in our club. When our club first began, it was the 50cc class was most common and us 150cc riders were the speed demons.

Fast forward to the 21st Century and we have 100+mph Scooters that can easily keep up with whatever traffic comes there way. Just like we recommended a 150cc or better over a 50cc for riding on the streets of Long Island and the NYC area, we recommend a 250cc scooter if you are headed to the highway. Like the Vespa 300GT or the Yamaha X-Max. Most of our Maxi Scooter riders started out on a smaller ride, and understand. However, some that trade over to Motorcycles can forget this. In their zeal to ride with their scooter friends, they want to share their new capabilities with us. That is fine. Most of us however are very comfortable with our capabilities and that is why we are in a Scooter Club riding a Scooter not a Motorcycle Club riding a Motorcycle. Yes, most 150cc rides can easily cruise at 55/60 mph or better at full throttle for extended periods. That is it however, and for safety reasons you can easily be out classed, without having any further acceleration at full throttle. It is the same as a 50cc going 35mph on Jericho Turnpike, which is not even a highway. Yes you are allowed and capable, but do you really want to?

Lets also consider our particular Island of Long. Have you driven out there lately? It is a madhouse. The 55 mph speed limit is a joke. All speed limits out here are joke, on and off the highways. Before writing this article, I did some research beyond my own experience. I have been riding many years. I commute sometimes daily using the Long Island Expressway Service Road. I wanted to try some of Suffolk’s highways, now that I live out here out east. I did not have to go far. I live near the Sagtikos Pkwy. So we will use that as a reference. Its a 55 mph State Pkwy. However it is only 2 lanes and this is important. If you are happily cruising along at 55/60 mph, you are blocking 50% of the highway. Don’t think like a jerk and say “well that’s the Speed Limit”. If you want to enforce the law – become a cop. Don’t use yourself and your scooter as a road block. The average driver is doing 65 – 70+ mph around here and you are in their way. They only have one lane to pass you and they will use it as soon as they can. I do not make reality, I just report on it. On a 3 lane Highway, you have more of a chance out staying out of the way. At least the drivers have 2 lanes besides yours to get around you.

Something else to consider. Are you out riding a Scooter because you want to stay out of the way? Are you comfortable being a road block? Are you out there to prove something? When we ride in a group the problem is even worse, as we take up even more space. Most importantly, we have to adjust to the different riders abilities. Not everyone is comfortable riding at full throttle with cars and or trucks passing you at much higher speeds. Legal or not, this is reality. We ride our Scooters for enjoyment not Anxiety. This is why, in general we avoid Highways. Not because we cant keep up, but because we ride to enjoy the scenery, not see it rush by in a scene of blurry trees and guardrails. None of these observations are rules, btw. We do our best to get around this Island to make everyone in the club happy.

These thoughts can be alien to some Motorcycle Riders. Motorcycles have superior power than even these cars that are zipping by. The concept of being “In The Way” is a joke. So, sometimes our choice of roads may seem less exciting to them. “Why don’t you just take the blankety blank Parkway or the Expressway?” is a common refrain from our Motorcycle brethren. The concept of being able to do more with less is unheard of, in this “bigger is better” society we live in. To some of my Motorcycle Riding friends, a trip to Greenport is just a passing thought. For us, it is an Adventure. I am not saying that the Scootering way is better, but for me, in particular, riding is an not a passing thought, it is an Adventure. i hope it is for you too.

Scoot On…

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jonathan Craigslist says:

    Great read, my sentiments exactly!


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