Monday, August 19, 2013

End of an Era

Bad Penny is getting a new home, tomorrow.

I'm selling her for whatever it costs to get a duplicate title (I can't hang onto shit), + $1. To someone who is a talented mechanic, and who also needs cheap, reliable transportation to keep a job. And, this person is hauling it away from the water treatment plant, where it has been for a year and change.

I'd love to have a second, backup bike, but I just don't have a place to do the work on it, nor the tools to do it. Plus, this may be the only good deed I can ever afford to do, again, so... strike while the iron's hot, sez I.

I'll keep the site up, as it gets a lot of hits for people researching service issues, answers, and assorted tomfoolery that's been posted.

Meanwhile, the Wanda era is still in full swing.


Thursday, August 9, 2012


Let's hope Bad Penny's doesn't look this bad.

First thang once I get Bad Penny home (soon, I hear), I will pull the seat bucket out, and just enough plastic panels to get to the head and cylinder. Both will be removed and taken to a machinist for evaluation and appropriate machining of the mating surfaces.

Once that is accomplished, the long, slow task of a non-mechanic guy and some of his friends putting Bad Penny back together again will be documented, here.

For scooter riding and socializing, see A Scooter Called Wanda, for now.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


My attorney friend texted me this afternoon:
JP. Soon you will be the reowner of a used Kymco scootah

They will as you expected want a release of the county and [towing company]. And we'll have to get a way to pick up the bike during working hours but otherwise its all

He had done me a solid, and wrote a letter to the county attorney last month, and it apparently finally made an impression.  :)  I owe him many beers.

So, just as I was about to shutter KymCojones, this happens. Ain't life funny?  Too bad I already retired Bad Penny from Fuelly, having expected never to see her again.  :(

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thanks For All The Fishheads

This is the last photo I took of Bad Penny before it was illegally impounded by the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department. I took this on 6/26; they snagged the bike on 6/28, just over an hour after discovering her at the side of TN-840. Had she been a ragged-out 1998 Ford Escort, they would have slapped a green sticker on her, and waited 72 hours before impounding, but since the sight of a parked-upright-on-center-stand scooter caused a green-ass deputy to call every fire and rescue squad in the area, they couldn't save face any other way than to steal the poor bastard's sole vehicle without a single attempt to contact said poor bastard... and it had to happen in just over an hour, y'know.

Bad Penny got her name from her penchant to blow a head gasket every year. This year's issue is almost certainly the same problem.

The first time this happened, it was still under warranty. My excellent dealer did the repairs, gratis; KymcoUSA did not pay for those repairs, as they also failed to do on every warranty claim my excellent (now defunct) dealer submitted to them. Learning that, I decided there would be no more Kymco scooters in my stable. Ever.

Did Bad Penny serve me well?  Between head gasket issues, very much so -- she ran the interstates with ease, and was finally getting the 70- and near-70MPG fuel economy a good, broken-in, well-maintained People 250 should get.

Still, she is not worth recovering, unless I can get her back at auction for $1. The repairs are going to be $900, at minimum, and that may not include the resurfacing of the mated surfaces of the head and the cylinder, which she has obviously needed since the first repair. I may go to the auction, hand out printed copies of the story, and offer up my two keys for $200 (there are none with the bike), and the new Michelin City Grip I just got for the front for fair market value ($100).

So, the bottom line: This blog is going on hiatus. I invite you to join me at my new scooter blog, A Scooter Called Wanda, instead.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thai One On(da)

I tried twice to post this via e-mail from my phone yesterday afternoon, but no joy.

Soprano insisted that I test-ride it. I filled out the forms and got the key, put on the tennis-ball yellow Fulmer modular helmet I had brought, and it took no more than 20 yards -- I knew this was the smart bike purchase. The sheer smoothness  of the throttle, the absolute lack of ugly vibration, the completely ergonomic effortlessness of the entire package... yes. This needed to go home with me.

And thanks to Soprano, it did. Holy crap, what a scooter. It's perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Friday, July 27, 2012


That's what I'll be "saying" to Kymco, tomorrow, with any luck.  :)

h/t to Lotrat.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Trigger

... she is nearly pulled. On a white, 2011 PCX125. Financing is in place, thanks to a wonderful human bean, and the dealer has uncrated it for me to try on, ergonomically.

Stay tuned. I may ride away on it Friday.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I have a bit of a dilemma.

As many of you know, it took me a long time to find this awesome job that I started in March, 2012. Now, because of the crushing boot of the state, I find myself without a vehicle. Fortunately, I've had use of a borrowed spare car for the last month, but that can't realistically continue much longer.

With the attendant horrible credit score and no money saved up, one option would be to buy a car at a  buy-here-bend-over-here lot, paying too much for the car, paying way too much interest, and then having to carry insurance that I can't possibly afford on said car. Then of course there's the fuel economy issue, where I would be paying at least double to fuel a car every week compared to what I've spent on Bad Penny's gas (a beater car that gets 35MPG is probably hoping for quite a lot).

So, I would like to propose to my readers this: An investment fund that will yield 15% compounded interest annually which will finance a new Honda PCX scooter. The 2013 PCX150 that Sloan's has in stock can be had for just under $4200, gets over 100MPG, and it's a Honda -- the most reliable machines on the planet. Sloan's also has a 2011 (new, in-crate) PCX125, like the one pictured above, that they are willing to deal on, but I couldn't lock down a price over the phone on it, this morning but $3923 doesn't sound like that great a deal.

If, say, the PCX150 were $4200, and "shares" were made available to you, my friends @ $100 each, each share would pay out $152.09 in August, 2015. I know it's a high-risk proposition, but I would rather pay my friends this money than some sleazy car lot, and I think 15% is a fair return (and less than I would be paying the sleazy car lot for a questionable, overpriced beater of a car).

Anyway, I'm not sure how to get the ball rolling on this, or if enough people would even entertain the idea... I have relied on your kindness far too much over the years. That's why I would definitely only want to do this as a loan/investment deal, if there's enough faith left in me out there to make this happen, that is.

I would welcome all ideas, concerns, criticisms and commentary in the comments, here, if you would be so kind. Thanks.

UPDATE: At the catblog, where I originally posted this to spitball with my pals, some commenters suggested more shares at a lower price. That makes sense to me. And with an annual payout, too, so the risk gets further diluted. So, if this idea moves forward, I think I'd look at 168 shares for sale at $25/ea., with an annual payout per share of $12.67. That's a 152% return over three years. Two years, break-even; third year... profit!  :)

If interested, please contact me @, and state how many shares at $25 each you'd be willing to buy on the above terms.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Useful Hand Signals for Scooterists, Part I

This one helps with tailgaters. The ones paying attention, anyway... who aren't complete assholes

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Now You See It, Now You Don't

Bad Penny broke down on TN-840 between Smyrna and Lebanon on Tuesday evening, about 7 p.m. Loss of power, followed by a peg-out of the temperature gauge. Hm. Head Gasket #3 seems likely.

I was on the way to meet up with Andre, to do some network troubleshooting. I gave him a call, and he immediately hopped in the car and sped towards my breakdown spot. When he arrived, I tried it again, with him following. Within a minute, same loss of power. I pulled off, parked it 20+ yards from the shoulder in a gentle culvert (to make it less obvious, and to get it off the shoulder) on a flat piece of limestone. I fired up MyTracks, set a waypoint, and hopped in Andre's Buick.

Fast-forward to Thursday afternoon, about 4:20. I still had not secured a truck, when a co-worker asked where my scooter was. I explained to him, and he was like, "Oh, shit!  If you had called me Tuesday night, I'd have been right there with my truck and trailer!" So, we went there this afternoon, straight after work.

The only problem being... Bad Penny was gone.

Okay, let's call the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and see if they towed it, as abandoned. Oh, the numbers online listed for the Rutherford County post are all disconnected!  How convenient.

Once I got home tonight, I called the non-emergency number for Metro Police, and asked if they had a better THP number. They gave me one, and I did in fact reach someone at THP. They could find no record of towing in a scooter from TN-840 in the last two days, so I asked if they had a number for the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, so I could report it stolen. "Oh," said the dispatcher. "Ask them if THEY towed it, 'cause they also patrol TN-840, and don't always coordinate abandoned vehicles with us."

BINGO. RCSO had it towed, and they gave me the address and phone for the towing company.

Let's see if you can figure out why I might get Bad Penny back without paying a towing charge or storage.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Discontinued? Or...

... recalled?  I wanna know!

Now that I have income, I was considering a different face shield for the Fulmer AF MB helmet which I have, but have not been wearing a lot, due to its level of discomfort. It's a 2XL, but with the headliner padding in it, and the chin bar down, it squeezes my mandible as if it were in a fuckin' vice. It was made for a head shaped like Megamind's.

But "bohica!" was five years old this month, and it was past due for the dumpster, so that's where it went.

Checking Fulmer's site, I see the AF MB is discontinued. I suspect a lot of people had issues with the fit, and the Chinese factory got a pink slip.

Google isn't telling me much... what do you scooter people hear?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Blue vs. Grey: Awards Videos

Sorry about the audio on this first clip. The phone plays it with audio, all the way through, but YouTube didn't make the cut!  So, I spent hours transcribing and subtitling as best I could.


Blue vs. Grey: Post Script

Given the number of comments I heard from the out-of-towners -- before they knew I had anything at all to do with, that is (and truth is, I had almost nothing to do with the rally planning and execution) -- I would say this rally was a robust success. The comments were all about how well-organized, stuck-to-schedule and professionally everything was run, and it was. Those comments made me very proud of scootnashville. Everyone, without exception, seems to have had a great time, for sure.

Amy models the Grand Prize. She worked very hard with Kerry to make this one great event!

Stan (mechanic @ Scenic City Scooters, Chattanooga) hangs out after breakfast, while Oliver checks his breath. I had mints, Oliver!  :)  I didn't see many bloody marys being consumed.

Mike Wolfe noshing on a bagel, and Yours Truly, having coffee. In the foreground is Mike's souped-up, pristine blue Vespa PX200 (P200X?). He almost lost the engine out on the Trace a while back, I hear.  :)  Apparently, the nut to the main bolt came off at some point... it's not like these puppies vibrate, or anythang, right?  PROTIP: Blue Loktite, Mike. Blue Loktite.

Kerry prepares to hand out the awards, and draw for the P200.

The WINNER!  Name withheld for IRS purposes.  ;)

Willy, Hank and northdrums have a post-festivities chat.

I took about ten folx on the West Side's Best Ride, after the close of all rally activities at Sevier Park.

Norm picked up a deceased six-legged friend on the ride.

In all, this is the best rally I have ever attended. Well, it's also the first rally I've attended, too. :)  Hats off to everyone who made this possible -- the sponsors, Willy, Ross, Tonya, Graham and Amy were hugely instrumental to the very successful kickoff of what ought to be a new, can't-miss tradition for southeastern scooterists every year. Here's to 2013!

Day Two, Part Two

Willy draws the raffle tickets. Much stuff was given away... but Kerry (Kerry!) forgot the netbook and helmet I had donated. So we'll draw for that this morning.

I didn't win anything, but I had a great time. Ross (who wasn't there) won a set of Stella pint glasses, I think, which is cool. Nashville Scene gave us an events shout-out last issue, too.

J.T. and I discuss current events outside The 5 Spot. I think J.T. won the $250 gift certificate from Scooter Mercato, and owning a Lammy and a Stella, that may come in handy.

I also got to meet Stan from Scenic City Scooters. The man, the legend.

Norm buttonholes another victim.  ;)  Just kiddin' -- Norm's a fun guy, and he doesn't drink a drop. Did Norm have a table at the swap meet?

Gee, I don't remember all that much about last night, for some reason. Being the old guy that I am, I left just after 11:00 p.m. Breakfast is in 90 minutes, and then we'll see who wants to do the ride. I passed out a few dozen copies of the QR code to that link, last night, so we'll see who's in.

Just found this from Junior @ Dimelo Motor Works. I missed this, being stuck in traffic mere minutes away on any other day.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day Two, Part One

A lovely young woman from Memphis, whose name I have already forgotten, sadly [it's Lettie, btw]. That's her Kymco People 150. She is here in Nashville with her husband, basking in the coolness of the first Blue vs. Grey Rally, evar. They're both with Memphis Kings, probably TN's oldest and best-known scooter club. Memphis is a four-hour interstate drive.

The scene at 9:00 a.m. in Centennial Park.

We had three rides scheduled: The fast ride, which Oliver led to Murfreesboro/Stones River Battlefield; the medium ride which I led halfway*, to Franklin via the Natchez Trace, and; the slow ride, led by Ed and Michele, to and through Percy Warner Park.

Memphis?  Atlanta? Elvis?

Kerry (L) and Willy (R) make up things to yell through the bullhorn to disturb the huge yoga class in the background.

Finally, all of the Trace riders come together at...

... Puckett's. I got most of us lost out TN 46 for a while. Nice seeing that end of 46, you have to admit.  :)

The MetLife blimp, as seen from La Vergne*.

By the time I battled hellacious interstate traffic (90 minutes to move 10 miles) and rejoined everyone at Marathon Village, Corsair Distillery's tap room was closing, and there were only two tables still set up in the Swap Meet. I missed the Slow Ride contest, which was won by one of the vendors from Atlanta. This tent  is for Scooter Mercato, one of our awesome sponsors, based in Atlanta. I bought one of their great t-shirts (pics to come).

RAFFLE BIKE, DAYLIGHT EDITION. The scooter raffle is tomorrow; the other stuff raffle is tonight at The 5 Spot. This blog, as a sponsor, donated a couple of thangs for the other stuff raffle.

Kerry's Tiki P. He and Amy have been constantly in motion since this all started up. What a great crew we have here in

More photos from "one of the hottest clubs in America," The 5 Spot (according to The New York Times). Later, or early Sunday, of course.

* I had some business to which I had to attend in La Vergne this afternoon. Oh, and I am now certified in the "Testing and Evaluation of Backflow Prevention Assemblies" by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Water Supply; inspector #8164; expires 5/11/2015. Yay, me!

Day Two Begins

No booty calls for Amy, please.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Blue vs. Grey Rally, Day One

3 Crow Bar, Five Points, East Nashville, 7:00 p.m. Pictured at center is Ross, who less than a month ago was carried into Vanderbilt Medical Center's ER with a torn aorta after falling victim to a hit-and-run asshole. Man, we're so lucky to have him on this side of the dirt.

Some of the Atlanta crew. I had a Sweetwater 420 in their honor.

As you can see, this gentleman from Atlanta spends some time going to all the southeast rallies.

Willy in full Confederate garb. Love the beard.

Richard flips me off.  :)

Norm?  Are you even registered?

Grand Prize for Sunday's raffle.

Michael T. Davis gives us the skinny on the first day's Main Event: The Record Store Ride.

Also, member Kerry Campbell was interviewed by Fox 17 WZTV's Sky Arnold (who owns a bitchin' blue-badge Allstate) in this segment, which sadly I could not figure out how to embed, here.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thinking Of An Upgrade

... and the one I keep coming back to is the Yamaha Majesty 400.

Now don't get me wrong -- Bad Penny has never run better, and I will likely ride her until her wheels fall off. I hope I'm not riding it when that happens, now that I think about that for a minute.  :)  But on the interstate, I have to give it 80%+ of the throttle just to stay safe in the right-hand lanes.

What I want is to not sacrifice excellent, near-70MPG fuel consumption, and the fuel injected Majesty seems to fit that bill. Fuelly records show an average of around 57MPG on the Majesty 400 in real riding.

It will be a while, and I probably will buy a high-mileage beater Honda Civic for this winter's commuting first, but I will keep coming back to this one.

I really like it in white, don't you?

Even better with the cowl the rest of the world gets. Be watching for one for me!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Closing In On 35 Megameters

So, I thought I would get my CVT belt changed. Did the first one at 17,000km, and it appeared fine, even then. So did this one -- it was 1mm thinner width than the new one.
Rooster's moved into his new shop, which is in a building that is about 100' wide by 1200' long. Yeah... a quarter mile long. It's full of shit from where a bankrupted welding & electrical supply house abandoned all property and inventory. There are five fucking fork lifts in there. Drill presses, tools of every conception... you name it.

This is the back of the building. Millions of dollars worth of shit, just sitting there.

Peggy Sue wants to go for a ride on Bad Penny.

And Jesse Jackson just wants petted... continually, without cease.

Rooster completes the gruelling task of replacing my belt, and then tries to give me some shit about "friend prices," to which I tell him he needs all the cash flow he can get, right now. I paid him what ESS would have charged anyone off the street.