Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cool... ?

My Velo 150
Scene:  Frank climbing back under the covers this morning;

"Oh Frank... you're so cool."

"Like the Fonz?"

"Ummm, no... like your legs are cold."


This past week, the subject came up more than once, in totally different ways and from different angles  I'm not even sure when the word entered the English language or how it got subverted to mean, "in" or "right on" or "hip."

a : marked by steady dispassionate calmness and self-control cool
and calculating administrator — Current Biography> b : lacking ardor or friendliness cool impersonal manner>
b : very good excellent:; also fashionable, hip : cool

My friend Mike was over the other night.  We were looking at ways to mount a set of soft saddlebags to his XV 650.  Of course they were of the faux leather, fake buckled, shaped and cool type, associated with those bikes.  Mike rode an SR250T many years ago, and to say, he's been salivating, feeding barely dormant, the bug for decades now would not be a misnomer.  After my arrival last September, he/we went and purchased a very nice 650 V Star.  Bike* is in great shape, low to the ground, twin side pipes of course, and feet waaay out there.  In other words, it's "cool."

He hasn't ridden for a long time and has some reservations, but is determined to give it the old college try.  We started with the basics last fall in the local elementary school parking lot.  Balance, clutching, starting and stopping around some pylons.  

Chris, his son.

During our talk, I suggested, as I have to many people over the years, that maybe he should consider any number of mid displacement scooters as an alternative.  Sitting in my spare office chair, he gave me a most definite "I wouldn't be caught dead on one of those things, they just aren't "cool" looks accompanied by a frown that added, "how could you even suggest that?"

Rock stars, pretty "cool"

Even my very long time pal, Ronnie M. and I had this talk at various times over the years.  Now here's a guy that's been riding since knee high to a grasshopper, and for a long time had a sports touring version of Honda's six, the CBX, and finally, in his mid sixties, he's added a scooter to his flock.  It's a Suzuki 650 twin, and he just loves it.  Comfy enough, fast enough and yes... even "cool" enough.

Back in '82, as Yamaha was introducing it's CV 80J (Beluga) to Canada, as a separate line to its motorcycles, I was one of the first, if not the first to sign up and take them on.  After the initial season went by, I found that dealer reception had been luke warm or even 'cool' but in a cold way.  Why?  Turns out most of the existing dealer body, that cut their teeth on proper motorcycles, thought the little two up fan cooled two stroke single, just wasn't cool.  After all, as I'd heard, what self respecting motorcyclist would be caught dead on a scooter.  (Mods and Rockers anyone?) 


Course those were the same days when I was advertising motorcycles and training to women, after having operated a very successful NTP for years with a lot of women participants.  My ads aimed at attracting women (which then represented about 1% of the riding public) were met 'cooly' by the co-op folks at the manufacturers level.  I'd heard not once, but many times that "it was a waste of money, trying to attract females to the club."  

My Adventure 150  (Phoenix)

Well guess what... thirty years on, scooters are now considered cool, and women make up 35% of the new riders these days.  

Recently sold, SD Sense

How cool is that?

:)* PS Mike bought the 650, from a female rider!


  1. 3:31 am ?


  2. Nipponese one percenters...? Maybe so!

  3. Hey check this out...