Friday, May 24, 2013

Farkle, meaning

Main Entry: far·kle
Pronunciation: \ˈfär-kəl\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): far·kled; far·kling \-k(ə-)liŋ\
Etymology: Moto English, conflation of function and sparkle
Date: 20th century
transitive verb, to add after-market functionality to a powered two-wheeler, especially chrome-plated accessories
synonyms: splurge
— far·kly \-k(ə-)lē\ adjective
noun, a device extending the function of a powered two wheeler
Vespas may be the ultimate urban vehicle.  They are compact, comfortable, nimble, powerful, rolling works of automotive art.

Vespas are also wonderful beasts of burden.  A stock Vespa offers spacious underseat storage and a glove box in the legshield, both of which lock securely, and a bag hook on the legshield.  There is also the passenger seat. With a few straps, bungees or cords you can carry some surprising stuff on the passenger seat.

Most Vespa owners augment this already impressive capacity by adding a rear rack, a topcase and sometimes a front rack.

It's the carrying capacity of scooters, and Vespas in particular, that makes them superbly suited as a commuting vehicle.

But can the ultimate commuter bike also tour?

The Vespa's achilles heel as far as touring is concerned has nothing to do with its small wheels, and  everything to do with its small fuel tank.

It's a more or less open secret that I'm gearing up for a major touring challenge.  It will be a significant challenge for me.  On the other hand, I have every reason to believe that my Vespa GTS 300 i.e. Super is more than capable of carrying me there, and back.

The trick to touring on a Vespa is to use other Vespa strengths to compensate for the Vespa's main weakness.

Today I received a long awaited farkle from Didge at Classic Racks in the UK.  Didge is legendary among Vespa cognoscenti as the inventor, manufacturer and purveyor of the versatile footrack.
No, a footrack is not a rack you wear on your foot, nor is it a rack on which to rest, or store your foot.

It's a sturdy metal rack that turns the Vespa's footwell into a superb place to carry gear that would be challenging to carry elsewhere.  It's also the perfect place to carry a small jerry can of gasoline.
True to Vespa form, Didge's footrack serves its utilitarian purpose, and does it in style.  Installing the rack took a screwdriver and all of fifteen minutes.
Next step: go to Canadian Tire and pick up a suitable gasoline container.

8 comments:

  1. David:

    You lucked out, it came in Black !

    You could also mount highway pegs by using those hose clamps to the front of the rack with something tubular. You need to be able to move your legs around

    Don't go to CT, get one/or two of these instead:

    http://garysusatour.blogspot.ca/2013/04/the-smallest-things-can-give-lot-of.html

    they come in different sizes. I have seen them at the BMW dealer. Much better sizing instead of that cheap red plastic square container

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    Replies
    1. Bob, I think you had steered my to Gary's post about the Touratec can a while ago. Thanks for reminding me. I've got a frugal side though and CT will be hard to beat... time will tell. Maybe I'll shoot over to our BMW dealer and see if they have it. Instant gratification and any excuse to visit the BMW dealer are powerful motivators. Plus the Touratec one will go so nicely with the black colour scheme!!!

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  2. The Touratech cans might cost a few bucks extra but the shape is much easier to handle. I very much like the foot rack. In Europe we have plenty of gas stations so the idea of running on empty didn't occur to me.

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  3. Oooh, Sonja... the black footrack rhymes nicely with orange!!! Plus if you don't need it for gas, you'll so want it for grocery shopping since you'll be doing that daily on your scoot. Small fridges are a small price to pay for living in beautiful Europe :)

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  4. That is a pretty nice looking rack.

    Functional and sparkly (well shiny), yep it's a farkle......

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    Replies
    1. Trobairitz, it is shiny. Shinier than the rest of the bike. Black is a challenging colour for vehicles. If you spend the weekend polishing and waxing, they look better than almost any other colour. Yet as soon as they roll out of the driveway, It's all for nought.

      I've decided that "pretty clean" and "fairly shiny" are good enough for me. Besides, a bike needs some character.Like jeans and true safari suits. The sleeves are better rolled up, the pants a little dusty, and the back a little sweat stained. My mother would sometimes get carried away and iron my jeans. It's pretty much the kiss of social death.

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  5. Interesting adornment ... Can't wait for a full picture. I've only ran out of gas twice and then not really as I still had the reserve tank. My motto - never let a gas station (or bathroom) go by!

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  6. Karen, that's a sensible approach. I just want to make sure I'm not a liability to folks with more range.

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The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.