Thursday, March 13, 2014

Life's pleasures

We got a wallop of snow yesterday.
But spring is nevertheless in the air.  The winter's snow banks were battered and receding before this latest storm and lawns were peeking out along the sidewalks.

The Primavera is the new Vespa small frame model that takes its place in the Vespa lineup with the venerable LX, and the not so modern PX shifty.

It's possible that with spring in the offing, the name of the new Vespa model became a subliminal message that inspired the editor of the chi-chi insert in this morning's paper to feature a piece on Vespas.
In the world of riders there are many two-wheeled alternatives and brands, and each has its loyal devotees.  It can't be denied however,  that three brands are particularly iconic.  Harley, Vespa and...

Well maybe there are just really two.

I was going to say the third was BMW.  It occurs to me that to say so may betray more of a personal preference and less of a statement with universal appeal.  As I was going to commit "BMW" to the page, I thought of the chorus of jeers and taunts that would come from the justly proud owners of Triumphs, Indians, Ducatis, Yamahas, Suzukis, Hondas, and... well, that third place spot will have many, many contestants vying for the honor.

All that being said, this morning's Plaisirs de vivre - Living with Style magazine struck my fancy as you may easily imagine.

Spring is definitely in the air.


Canajun said...

We missed most of that snow but burrowed back into sub-zero temps again. So tired....

David Masse said...

I know, I know.

There's always St. Patrick's Day. The winter never breaks before then.

Look on the bright side Dave, beer and a burger on St. Patrick's day at a local pub, then we'll hit some serious warm days, the snow will be retreating, and best of all, we'll have have at minimum of seven glorious months of decent to excellent riding weather before us.

RichardM said...

No comments on the weather except maybe it's time to get out the skis and enjoy what little snow you still have.

I didn't think a burger is traditional St. Patrick's day fare. Maybe bangers and mash, corned beef or even a nice stew would be more acceptable. Maybe just boiled cabbage would be the low fat/carb option. ;-)

David Masse said...

Traditional, Schmaditional. I vote for burgers and beer. Green beer if you must.

Unknown said...


I generally buy a brand based upon reliability and where to take it for service. There were no Vespa options here in Vancouver due to the closure of Vespa Vancouver, and the other dealer is "not an option" so if you want to ride you ride a UJB, in my case a Suzuki Vstrom, the one you turned down.

The Beemer was an impulse decision since one was available "preowned" at the right price. No regrets in life and I have always wanted a Beemer. As I was riding across the flatlands "between the two oceans" I don't think my UJB could have kept up . . .

A weekend photographer
Riding the Wet Coast

No Guinness in Vancouver due to the Dock Strike and picket lines, green or otherwise. Perhaps a McD's green milkshake with green ketchup.

David Masse said...

No Vespas, no Guinness... Sheesh, that's paradise for you. I guess even otherwise perfect places have to have some challenges. Otherwise, why pine for heaven?

David Masse said...

Oh... I just finished shoveling a freaking mountain of snow off our walkway so that we can get the morning paper and our bills delivered. Talk about a thankless task.

What I need now is a Senate appointment. I'm pretty much ready for a taskless thanks.

Trobairitz said...

Taskless thanks. Now that's funny.

It is nice to see the write-up about the Vespas. Spring is in the air and with it, two-wheeled adventures.

David Masse said...

Brandy, this winter thing is really becoming tedious.

I may have to take up skiing again to balance things out. Maybe snowboarding... if my nephew from Florida can do it...

David Masse said...

Bob, it took me a while to decode "UJB". I never did find it, but there is a Wikipedia page for "Universal Japanese Motorcycle" and I'm now guessing that's what you had in mind.

I felt bad for omitting Suzukis, so I've gone back and added it in. No slight intended, rest assured.

What about a Moto Guzzi Stelvio. Any thoughts?

Unknown said...


Yes, it should have been UJM, NOT UJB but I knew you would figure it out.

Having had two Alfa Romeos I told myself that never again would I ever buy anything that didn't have a good parts or service network. It was great to drive the Alfa, when it wasn't in the shop waiting for parts.

so with any vehicle it has to be mainstream. Honda, Toyota, VW and not Yugo or Citroen, nor Jaguar nor Lada. Same with bikes; Suzuki I like, Honda, BMW, even (gulf) H-D. As good as they are Triumph does not have a good dealer network out here.

A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast

VStar Lady said...

David I'm sure spring is going to happen, it's going to happen, it's going to happen (I keep telling myself over and over again!) If we say it enough we might start to believe it.

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

I own scooters, at least they fit the definition as described by some but if you Italian owners keep at it, I may have to break down and get a real scooter. I find it hard to quell my enthusiasm for them when you share yours.

Steve Williams said...

I agree with Vespa and Harley being iconic. If there is a third I think it would have to be the classic components of Triumph's line of motorcycles. BMW seems all over the place now save for the boxer style engine. They don't look iconic anymore though.

Winter has paused a bit here and I can feel myself emerging from pupation. This was the worse winter for riding -- mostly in my head but it was successful in keeping me off the road more than previous years.

I need some warm air!

Stay warm.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

David Masse said...

Karen, you're on the money!! It started today... and now it's stalled.

Please keep repeating it, so it gets the jump start that's badly needed.

David Masse said...

Doug, you've got a Helix!! How cool is that? It's like having a Citro├źn DS, or an MG TD. So iconic, and rare. Adding a Vespa seems unnecessary.

David Masse said...

Amen Steve. We got a taste today with positive temps melting winter's mantle.

I was going to take a ride... and then it started snowing.

Dar said...

Spring is coming, it just starts out west and then creeps it's way across the country. I know I have it easy without the snow, but the unrelenting grey and torrential rain we have been getting all winters still takes a toll on ones psyche. It seems to have been bucketing down since October pretty much non-stop.

David Masse said...

Dar, crappy weather is crappy weather, wet and windy, or cold and snowy.

Hopefully you've got some sunny warm days coming your way in the next little while.

len@RE-GLAZE-IT said...

Hi David,
Vespa is king my friend;)
I've recently purchased a classic lambretta Gp200 ... Must say I truly love it....classic shifter , 2stroker ... The smell..the sound , it really is great.. But after an hours ride and then onto the gts , oh my god the vespa feels like a Rolls Royce!!
Vespa is king !
Hope you well mate,
Regards LEN

David Masse said...

Len, the Vespa GTS is at once art and an amazingly competent machine.

I am well, thanks for asking. Also anxious as are many others for this winter to yield to spring.

The City Mouse in the Country said...

I might argue Honda would be the third "Iconic brand" because of the classic Rebel. Harley in pretty much the motorcycle brand that people know. When you think of "scooter" the image of a Vespa pops into you head. I think if you were asked to draw a motorcycle...the Rebel is what someone would draw.

David Masse said...

Rob, you are right that Hondas are legendary, and the Rebel (click here for the Wikipedia page) is certainly a classic, although only in production since 1985.

The thing that amazed me in looking it up, is that the Vespa GTS 300 i.e. has a substantially greater displacement (278cc vs 234cc), a higher top end (80 mph vs 70 mph), and is a heavier bike (341 lbs vs 320 lbs - wet weight) than the Honda Rebel.

Yet if you look at the Vespa and the Rebel side by side and asked the average person which of the two is the more capable bike, I doubt that anyone would choose the Vespa.

Appearances can be deceiving.

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