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@miss_otis avatar
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LX 150 "Arletta"
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Location: Kingston, ON
 
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@miss_otis avatar
LX 150 "Arletta"
Joined: UTC
Posts: 347
Location: Kingston, ON
UTC quote
I'm millimetres away from plunking down the dough for an LX 150. I've gotten an insurance quote, am reading up for my M1 license and have been to see the dealer many times. I don't know any scooterists, and I think you can count the number of scooters in Kingston ON on one hand, so I've learned a lot from the accumulated wisdom/experience expressed by this community. I'm looking forward to joining you on the road!

I've never driven a scooter or MC before and I've registered for the Humber College one-day scooter course on August 26. I'd love to hear from people who've taken to course as to whether it made them feel more confident/competent on the road. My understanding is that there is no road driving in that course. Relatedly, is it sufficient to take that course, or should one also take the motorcycle course offered at various colleges? I'm not keen to have to fuddle through the manual transmission stuff if it isn't necessary, on the other hand, it's handy to have the M2 test given on site and if there is more/different training from what's offered in the scooter course I'm prepared to do it. Any opinions?
@benito avatar
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2010 Dragon Red GTS 300 Super, 2018 Grigio Titanio Piaggio Liberty S 150
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@benito avatar
2010 Dragon Red GTS 300 Super, 2018 Grigio Titanio Piaggio Liberty S 150
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Hey Miss Otis, are you able to lunch today? Just kidding, I'm busy for lunch today myself.

Anyhow, bad joke aside, welcome fellow Canadian and Ontarian. Too bad you're so far away from Toronto because we have a great scooter scene happening here. If you'd like to ask Ontario specific questions to some of us in the GTA area click on the link to our club site in my signature below.

I have heard very positive reports on the one day scooter course at Humber college. Also because you are riding their scooters, you can get your first scooter drop over with and not damage your soon to be own brand new Vespa. I didn't take the course you are asking about so I can't tell you anything about it from personal experience.
⚠️ Last edited by Benito on UTC; edited 1 time
@michael_h avatar
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2006 LX150 "Amadora"
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@michael_h avatar
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UTC quote
Re: newbie question especially for Ontario scooterists
Miss Otis wrote:
I've never driven a scooter or MC before and I've registered for the Humber College one-day scooter course on August 26. I'd love to hear from people who've taken to course as to whether it made them feel more confident/competent on the road. My understanding is that there is no road driving in that course. Relatedly, is it sufficient to take that course, or should one also take the motorcycle course offered at various colleges? I'm not keen to have to fuddle through the manual transmission stuff if it isn't necessary, on the other hand, it's handy to have the M2 test given on site and if there is more/different training from what's offered in the scooter course I'm prepared to do it. Any opinions?
Hi, and welcome to MV! I have taken the Humber course, and wish that it was offered at other Ontario colleges. It is the same course as offered for the motorcycles, except you don't learn about shifting (automatic scooters). They provide the scooters (Vinos) and the trainer to rider ratios are very good - when I took the course, we had 10 riders, and 3 trainers. You learn all of the basic riding skills, which is what the course is meant to teach. It is taught in an incremental manner. For example, before you ride the scooter, you are taught how to balance on one.

I had done some (limited) riding before the course, so the very basics, such as balancing, wasn't as beneficial. However, I am sure that others found it useful. By the end of the day, and it is a long day, you are doing slow speed controlled maneuvers and counter-steering. At the end of the day, our instructors ran us through the M1 exit test. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Transportation had not yet changed the regulations to allow scooter courses to formally evaluate the M1 exit exam. On the day that I took the course, it rained the entire time. What was nice, was that I had the opportunity to become used to riding in the rain, and seeing how well the scooters manage in that weather.

A word of caution - the instructors are very serious about making sure that you have proper riding gear. Show up with less, or without your license, means that you won't be taking the course. Also, they book up extremely quickly!

I can assure you that the M1 exit exam offered through the Ministry of Transportation is no where near as challenging as that offered through the Humber course. So even if they cannot formally evaluate you, having done it will make you ready for the Ministry's own exam.

I would not hesitate to take the course again! I only wish that they had the same opportunity for the M2 course. I have searched and found that all of those courses include a portion of highway riding, and for that reason, they limit them to motorcycles with 250cc displacement or better. I would bet that if you showed up with a GTS you would be alright, but they won't accept you with less.

Take the course - you'll find it very beneficial!
@skeeterbug avatar
UTC

Member
GT 200
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Posts: 40
Location: Belleville, Ont. Canada
 
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@skeeterbug avatar
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Location: Belleville, Ont. Canada
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Hey there....I live in BELLEVILLE....so not that far away!
There are indeed very few Vespas (or scooters for that matter) in this area, but I look at it as my job to 'educate' folks on a great ride!
Where are you going to purchase your bike?
Just got my GT200 last year, and love it...though am certainly a newbie rider. I would like to know more too about scooter courses/M license testing...do they make you take the M test on a regular motorcycle which has to then go 401? If others can help with this question...please jump in!
good luck...Skeeterbug
@michael_h avatar
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2006 LX150 "Amadora"
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UTC quote
Skeeterbug wrote:
Just got my GT200 last year, and love it...though am certainly a newbie rider. I would like to know more too about scooter courses/M license testing...do they make you take the M test on a regular motorcycle which has to then go 401? If others can help with this question...please jump in!
good luck...Skeeterbug
The M test (actually, the M2-Exit exam) has two options. If you seek a regular M license, which allows you to ride any motorcycle, there is a freeway component. So you will be on the 401 or similar highway. I guess if there isn't one around, you'll just be tested on a regular higher speed highway. I understand that the freeway stretch is relatively short, and your GT should be able to keep up to the 100 to 120 kph speeds.

If you have a scooter that is less than 150 cc, you can opt for the limited license (ML). This is the same exam, minus the freeway section. You'll be prohibited to ride on the 400 series highways, or roads where the posted speed is 100 kph. If you want an M license later, you retake the road exam.

If, like me, you have an LX150 (and perhaps you with your GT200), you have the choice. If you want the full license, go for your M and take the freeway portion of the test. I won't because it would certainly be a very frightening, if not life-threatening, experience! On a good day, I can hold a true 90kph (100 kph indicated). Where I live, most of the traffic on the freeway are freight trucks travelling well in excess of 100 kph, and not about to slow down for a scooter! Add to that the terrible condition of my stretch of highway, with potholes large enough to rip the wheel right off of my scooter. No thanks! I plan on doing the ML and will retake the M when I have a more capable machine!

If I had, however, the GT200, I would take the M license!
@michael_h avatar
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2006 LX150 "Amadora"
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More information about motorcycle and scootering licensing in Ontario can be found here and here.
@skeeterbug avatar
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Location: Belleville, Ont. Canada
 
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@skeeterbug avatar
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UTC quote
Thanks Michael, for relating your experiences. Since the M license (no matter what class) isn't allowed for a period of 18-22 months, it's a moot point right now...my GT200 can hold 100-110km/hr without feeling like it's going to disintegrate...(have done that speed on non-400 series highways)...but as you said, I don't relish becoming trailer-fodder either. Where I live, there are two exchanges within a half mile of eachother, and I suspect that they would ask you to go on one ramp, and off the next...who knows!
although I don't intend to ride motorcycles...I would like to keep my options open to me, and go for the M (unrestricted) license! Skeeterbug
@scoots avatar
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GTS250 Gilera Runner SP180
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Benny,stop chatting up the newbies....or I'll have to wave my stick.. Laughing emoticon
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@miss_otis avatar
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Hooked
LX 150 "Arletta"
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Posts: 347
Location: Kingston, ON
 
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@miss_otis avatar
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Location: Kingston, ON
UTC quote
(laughing) Miss Otis Regrets she is unable to lunch today! I hardly ever get called on that moniker.

Thanks, Benny and Michael, for your input. I'm looking forward to the HC course - I tried to get into the one this Sunday but they were full (although the website showed space) - the woman on the phone said the classes were capped at 6 students! Michael, thanks for the Ministry links. Interestingly, they say there that FAnshawe College in London offers the scooter course, but the FC website has only the MC courses listed.

Skeeterbug, we will have to be the trendsetters in our respective towns! The dealer in Kingston only started selling Vespas in February. Although they're a bit steep for a student budget, I'm interested to see whether they start showing up on campus at Queen's.

I'm glad to know there's an option to the full M license - I can't imagine ever taking the LX 150 on the 401 - big trucks barrel that road from Montreal to Toronto without touching the brakes, as far as I can tell!

Cheers,
Miss Otis
@quentin avatar
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Red GTS250
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
 
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@quentin avatar
Red GTS250
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Miss Otis wrote:
(laughing) Miss Otis Regrets she is unable to lunch today! I hardly ever get called on that moniker.

- I can't imagine ever taking the LX 150 on the 401 - big trucks barrel that road from Montreal to Toronto without touching the brakes, as far as I can tell!

Cheers,
Miss Otis
that's why we have the likes of Lakeshore and highway 5+ 6. Scooter friendly roads that link Toronto with the rest of ontario
@benito avatar
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2010 Dragon Red GTS 300 Super, 2018 Grigio Titanio Piaggio Liberty S 150
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@benito avatar
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Scoots wrote:
Benny,stop chatting up the newbies....or I'll have to wave my stick.. Laughing emoticon
Awwww but I like saying hi to the newbies.... Crying or Very sad emoticon
@redbike avatar
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Hooked
'06 GTS250 '76 Jet 200 '81 100 Sport
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@redbike avatar
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Location: Alberta
UTC quote
Can't speak to the Humber course, but in addition to the msf-type courses offered locally, you can also sign up for additional training, 1-on-1 with a trainer, and such an opportunity may exist in your area. I did one this spring after a year of getting to know my scoot and it was invaluable and I will undoubtedly do another one in future. It was 3 hours, two of us in the class, and 2 instructors. $136.00, which I thought was pretty good value as well. Perfect for getting individual attention to one's own requirements for improvement. Enjoy your scoot!
@benito avatar
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2010 Dragon Red GTS 300 Super, 2018 Grigio Titanio Piaggio Liberty S 150
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@benito avatar
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Miss Otis, by the way, regarding what redbike just posted, one of our club members is a scooterist/motorcyclist that does the training for the City of Toronto Police Department. Police Officers who will be riding motorcycles are trained by him and given specific training to pass the graduated M licensing exams. He will be doing such a course for us scooterists here in Toronto in the near future. If you had some way of getting down here you might be able to join us.
@redbike avatar
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'06 GTS250 '76 Jet 200 '81 100 Sport
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Location: Alberta
 
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@redbike avatar
'06 GTS250 '76 Jet 200 '81 100 Sport
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Posts: 114
Location: Alberta
UTC quote
Benito wrote:
Miss Otis, by the way, regarding what redbike just posted, one of our club members is a scooterist/motorcyclist that does the training for the City of Toronto Police Department. Police Officers who will be riding motorcycles are trained by him and given specific training to pass the graduated M licensing exams. He will be doing such a course for us scooterists here in Toronto in the near future. If you had some way of getting down here you might be able to join us.
See, I thought so! I should have added that many scoot-types are knowledgable enough to provide training to newbies, and this is a perfect example. Ask around, get on the net and search your local area, there's bound to be some options like the one Benito posed.
@michael_h avatar
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2006 LX150 "Amadora"
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Miss Otis wrote:
Michael, thanks for the Ministry links. Interestingly, they say there that FAnshawe College in London offers the scooter course, but the FC website has only the MC courses listed.
Fanshawe does have a course, but it is the M1-L course - designed to help first time riders get their M1-L license. Previously, individuals riding a moped or <50cc scooter did not need a license. That course is for them. You'll be wanting the regular M type course.

Good luck, and stay safe!
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