Rain. For the second day in a row the riding conditions were less than ideal. At 7 am the temp was 48 degrees with heavy rain falling. Thought perhaps an hour would make a difference so I poured another cup of coffee.
I should have told you how I became a scootourist. Touring has been a way of life for me for most of my life. Bikes of choice have been Honda ST1100/1300, HD Ultra Classics, VStrom 1000, BMW Oilheads and a couple of Goldwings. About 5 years ago I started touring on a Kawasaki W650 twin. That is a 67 Triumph Bonneville copy built to high quality standards by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. For the last 4 years I have made the round trip from the East Coast to the Grand National flat track finals at Los Angeles. Small displacement and a small fuel tank plus the elemental experience of a simple motorcycle thrills me.
Two years ago I was browsing Craigslist at home in Daytona. There it was…a 2009 Piaggio BV250 Tourer. On the ride home from the previous owners house it occured to me this would be fun to tour on long distance. When a good friend decided he needed a scooter I sold it to him. NormNelson. Naval aviator, retired Delta pilot, 6 time winner in Vintage racing at Daytona and a guy who has ridden his classic 58 Sportster to Alaska and back from Jacksonville Florida twice 25 years apart. Norm began touring on the BV almost immediately. Many trips from St Augustine Fl to Cressen Texas and just about everywhere else has turned the odometer up to over 60,000 miles.
Watching Norm pile up the long distance scooter miles inspired me. I bought a Kymco Agility 125, then added a Kymco GTi300 and a Piaggio BV500. When Rick at Kymco kindly offered me a chance to ride the Kymco Xciting. 500i ABS on my annual Daytona to LA trip I jumped at the chance. Having sold all my motorcycles I am now a full time scootourist.
Funny I always thought I would make that transition when I became too old and fragile for a full size bike. Glad I didn’t wait!
It was a Norm Nelson inspired day. Riding my second 50 degree full rain event 450 mile day in a row I thought about Norm alot. If he can ride a stock 1958 HD Sportster twice to Alaska through sleet, snow and the dark of night I will be fine on my sweet little 500cc missle. (Did I mention Norm finished and darn near won the 2013 Cannonball on a
vintage 1920 something airhead BMW?) Fully tucked in behind all that front fairing and windshield I actually had a great day riding.
1050 miles is all that remains on this trip then I will be home in Daytona. Biketoberfest is in full swing. If I get in Friday nite I can clean the 500 and change oil early Saturday morning and go enjoy the sights and sounds of Bike Week light on the Xciting 500! Think I will invite Norm to come down from St Augustine on his BV250. We can do stop light drag racing and outrun some Harleys on the streets of Daytona.