Wheels baby, wheels.

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ll occasionally hear me gripe about talk about life without a car in the city. For the most part, it’s liveable. There are times, lord there are times, when it would just be nice not to have to wait for a bus, a subway or a streetcar. Times when you could just pick up and go somewhere without a big ordeal.

If you’ve been around, you’ll also know that I fully explored the idea of car ownership last fall. After the insurance company weighed in, I knew a car was not in the cards for me, at least not right now.

For about two years I’ve toyed with the idea of an electric bike, or a motor scooter. The early part of last year, an electric bike had the upper hand. Since last fall, my research (non-scientific nor academic) has caused me to lean away from ebikes, and more to motor scooters/motorcycles.

Friends – meet my new Piaggio Fly, 150 CC.

Here’s the back story: While on vacation, I went into Motoretta, a sweet little shop here in Toronto. I’ve intended to drop in to Motoretta for about the last 18 months.

Last week I wandered in. It was dead. Clem, a cute and patient Australian guy had all the time in the world for me. I admitted to him that I didn’t have a motorcycle license, but I’d looked at Vespa’s and their cousins on-line for quite some time. He quizzed me on my knowledge and I came out pretty fair, I think. At least Clem didn’t treat me like an idiot or a random tire kicker.

I confessed that despite my love of the european styling of the Vespa (and particularly the pink one in the window), it wouldn’t get along well with my pocketbook at about $5K. Enter the Piaggio. Made by Vespa, but fibreglass body instead of steel. Vespa engine and parts.

Then Clem mentioned that they were closing for a few days due to upcoming renovations. He also mentioned that he had a few 2010 models. The price started dropping. Clem held my attention with more than just his cute Australian accent.

After a consultation with his computer, and a confirmation that there was still a silver one (’cause hey, colour matters to chicks), he offered it up at $1999. Now friends, I’ve looked at these things for a while. It’s pretty hard, if not near impossible to find a new, 150 CC, 1 year warranty for that price. An reasonable electric bike is about $1495. For another $500 I’ve got a motorcycle.

Add some money for freight, a cover, a trickle charger and the back trunk and rack (oh and delivery) and it was a smidge over $3K. They threw in a couple of helmets. Do you like my new lady bug helmet? Isn’t it mature? I’m very happy with the price tag.

Oh, I spent another $14.95 on the Official Motorcycle Handbook and $17.50 at the Ministry of Transportation to write my M1 license. Yep, I even passed. Be forewarned that I’ll be on the roads very soon!

Insurance is about $800/year, but will no doubt go down next year as I graduate to an M2 license after my safety course ($450).

Let the knuckle wrapping begin. There is no plan in place to pay for this purchase. Yes, I’m almost debt free. If this adds to my joy and ease of living as much as I hope it will, I won’t grumble about paying for some groovy transportation. It won’t solve every transportation need, but it will sure help a lot.

Yes, I’m revising the budget – again. I’ll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, I’m just feeling a bit of relief. At this point I’ve convinced myself that relief may well come with a price tag.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Cute bike! I really want to take one for a ride one day.


  2. I LOVE it!
    You go girl – I totally think you deserve it, even if you haven’t totally figured out the financial side of things – I know you are totally good for it and will get that set of wheels paid off in no time! It’s good for your soul! And you look HOT sitting on it!


  3. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it’s so cute!! I’ve often thought about getting a Vespa – usually when the 3 of us are trying to coordinate our schedules around ONE car! You are going to have so much fun! Congratulations!


  4. Posted by DTN on February 17, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Love it and congrats…


  5. Posted by Ann on February 18, 2011 at 8:02 am

    That is the cutest thing ever! I had a motorcycle quite a few years back, in fact that’s how my husband and I met, on a motorcycle course. I love riding a bike, and once you learn how to ride you never want to sit on back behind someone again. I’d love to get a bike again but not in the cards right now. After saying that though, sometimes it feels so good to do/get something we’ve been wanting forever. This’ll just push your debt free date 8-12mths, but you’ll be loving the open road while you pay it off.


  6. Posted by Momofthree on February 18, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Love the helmet! Enjoy!


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