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Molto Verboso
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
... the Vespa rider is a rugged individualist.

Out on the scoots today to what the Rapid City Harley dealer calls "The Rally at Exit 55". I call it a huge vendor-fest, selling all manor of things to the folks in the Black Hills for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Here's some video...

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Gigi, '13 GTS 300ie Touring
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I watched, I think, just before you posted it here. Good job!
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UTC quote
nice video and nice vespa
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Shared with my Facebook contacts.
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As I commented in YouTube, I was glad to be able to watch. And glad I wasn't there.

I've never liked crowds. My job as a photographer often sent me into crowds. People would get excited to learn I had a sideline pass to photograph Penn State football games. I always considered it punishment.

You are a rare bird riding a Vespa into the flock of Harleys. Good work!
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UTC quote
Nice video. That's a beautiful part of the country, best seen most any other week of the year. As a Harley-Davidson employee, I have been to Sturgis twice to work the factory demo rides. It is an event worth experiencing, but I have no desire to return on my own dime.
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UTC quote
Did you get any dirty looks or snarky remarks from the Harley riders? I'm guessing not.

I ride my GTV300 in the area "Ride to Remember" each Memorial Day. Hundreds of riders participate, and I'm the only Vespa. I always get well-wishes and compliments on my ride, which kind of surprises me each time.
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Molto Verboso
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I've ridden my Helix clone several times on rides comprising of mostly large V-Twins. No one has ever given me a snarky comment. I get treated the same way I do on the Kawasaki.
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Who knows what they would say about my little three-wheeler ...
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Attila wrote:
Who knows what they would say about my little three-wheeler ...
"Hey! That's Cool. What is it??"
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
VESPAsfw3 wrote:
As I commented in YouTube, I was glad to be able to watch. And glad I wasn't there.

I've never liked crowds. My job as a photographer often sent me into crowds. People would get excited to learn I had a sideline pass to photograph Penn State football games. I always considered it punishment.

You are a rare bird riding a Vespa into the flock of Harleys. Good work!
Hi Steve,

I saw your comment on YouTube, but it was being snarky and not letting me respond. I'm OK with crowds, but generally don't search them out; the Sturgis Rally is quite an experience, though. It is worth it to get out and about with the crowds, just to feel the energy. Before we retired, we had a photography studio in Spearfish (17 miles from Sturgis), and I used to shoot the "official" Main Street Photo, at noon each day... what a sea of humanity! We had the equipment to kick out 8x10s by the hundreds, and could have the first batch of several hundred photos heading to the sales booth on Main Street within a couple hours (and then keep processing into the evening). It was nothing like the commercial and portrait work we did the rest of the year, but it was definitely worth it from a financial perspective. We'd often go back down to Main Street in the evening, delivering more photos, and sit on our bikes and watch "the crazy parade" go by.

I'm a bit more interested in keeping the crowds at arm's length these days, but this event truly is different. Today, we made a run down Main Street, then got off the scoots and walked around a bit. More video coming.

For those who enjoy a motorcycle lifestyle, (scooters, too) a trip to Sturgis during the Rally is like Mardi Gras on motorcycles. It really should be experienced at least once.
OP
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Molto Verboso
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Sturgis Main Street, Tuesday late morning, Day 5 of the Rally...

A couple stills...

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

https://captnjim.blogspot.com/2021/08/to-sturgis.html
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Out on my favorite "scooter loop" here in the Black Hills, avoiding much of the Rally traffic. This one is narrated...

Faster to edit, using a wireless mic synced/streaming to the camera... but it takes a lot longer to "processs." If you have a half hour to kill, grab a cold one and enjoy some of the fun Black Hills roads. My feelings won't be hurt if you turn the sound off.
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So many 1800 cc machines going 5 MPH!
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My brother is in there somewhere. Didn’t spot him, though. I went through Sturgis on September day, and the streets were like a ghost town. I sent a picture to my brother, asked if he’d ever seen what the town actually looks like, and told him I couldn’t find a drunk biker or naked biker chick anywhere!
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UTC quote
Captain Jim wrote:
My feelings won't be hurt if you turn the sound off.
I wouldn't think of it! Clap emoticon
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
One last Sturgis-related video...

A few stills...

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

And a story that I thought I had on video regarding the Vespa...

https://captnjim.blogspot.com/2021/08/sturgis-rally-friday-13th.html
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UTC quote
Steve wrote:
My brother is in there somewhere. Didn’t spot him, though. I went through Sturgis on September day, and the streets were like a ghost town. I sent a picture to my brother, asked if he’d ever seen what the town actually looks like, and told him I couldn’t find a drunk biker or naked biker chick anywhere!
What is your brother driving?
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Attila wrote:
What is your brother driving?
Currently, he rides a late '90s Honda Goldwing 1800, and an '00s BMW 1200 dual sport that he's ridden to the north shore of Alaska and though the Canadian Maritime Provences. I don't know which he rode to Sturgis last year. He's ridden to 49 US states and five Canadian Provences, covering several hundred thousand miles so far.
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Steve wrote:
My brother is in there somewhere. Didn’t spot him, though. I went through Sturgis on September day, and the streets were like a ghost town. I sent a picture to my brother, asked if he’d ever seen what the town actually looks like, and told him I couldn’t find a drunk biker or naked biker chick anywhere!
I have a video on my YouTube channel of Sturgis three weeks before the Rally. We used to live in Sturgis (many years ago), and I can attest that it is mostly a ranch/farm related town the rest of the year. The downtown area changed after the 50th Anniversary Rally, with the first big crowds (went from 30,000 to 40,000 people to over 300,000 that year). Vendors with stuff to sell could see the potential moving forward and bought up a lot of the downtown buildings... many that stay empty now the rest of the year.

In a different vein, and more related to this post, about 20 years ago, my sister and I were talking and she said, "A guy I work with is going to that Sturgis motorcycle thing - you should look for him; you two would have a lot in common. You'll notice him right away: he is a big guy, and he has a beard and always wears a black t-shirt. And, he rides a Harley."

Yeah, that narrows it down to a couple hundred thousand people there that week.
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UTC quote
Nice videos Cap'n!
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Very nice ( said in a Borat accent)
I wonder if the Vespa got the attention cuz it is well maintained or just cuz it is a cool Vespa.
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baba12 wrote:
Very nice ( said in a Borat accent)
I wonder if the Vespa got the attention cuz it is well maintained or just cuz it is a cool Vespa.
I do maintain it and keep it looking sharp, but it may not look like it right now... last month, a deer darted in front of me; the resulting collision tore the front fender off. So, my beautiful blue Vespa now looks a bit like a "bobber." Unintentionally. Parts are ordered, no other damage, rides fine.

Just over 3,000 miles on it currently, it feels like the engine has "opened up" - running strong and getting better fuel mileage (my last fill-up garnered 84.5mpg, with a mixture of highway and twisties). The mileage on our bikes has been consistently better when we're in the Black Hills, where non-ethanol gas is available. Not sure if the fuel tank is smaller on this 2020 GTS HPE - I am getting 130 miles or so before the fuel light comes on (at two bars), where my 2009 GTS would get closer to 150 miles.
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UTC quote
Just answered my own question: 2020 HPE fuel tank: 2.245; 2009 GTS 250 fuel tank: 2.43 gallons. So figuring that 1/2 gallon or so reserve, that seems in line where the fuel light comes on. Thanks Google.
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Nice vids captain, but I have agree with Steve. I don't like group rides - it only takes one numbskull and it takes too many down. Never been to Sturgis, but I lived 200 miles south of Daytona Beach, so that was a yearly trip for me. I really miss the sidewalk shows most of all, especially the vintage bike section. But that was a different time, now most trailer their bikes in, pose and point to the new Chinese chrome parts on their American bikes. Thanks for the your post.
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Just doing my part to show a slice of life on two wheels. When I post a video, folks can get an idea of what Main Street in Sturgis actually looks/sounds like. It can be as crowded as you want to be involved in, or you can still find great roads to ride that are relatively uncluttered with traffic.

How is that possible with an extra 800,000 people (roughly the population of the entire state of South Dakota) in the Black Hills area? Thanks for asking; the main roads, like: to Mt Rushmore, Iron Mountain Road, anywhere in Custer State Park, Boulder Canyon Highway to Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon are publicized as being "scenic"... but there are some delightful, twisty back roads that are just as entertaining, and less known.

That ride down the Main Street of Sturgis during the Rally is alive with energy. You can just ride through and take it in, or stop, park, and wander around. While the majority of retail is done in t-shirts, there is everything imaginable for your two-wheel conveyance (granted, most of it revolves around Harleys). Three years ago, I stopped at the Corbin display right before the Rally started, placed and paid for a new seat to be built for my GTS, and the timing was such that I had it 4 days later. From California. Timing. Two years ago, the Nolan helmet I was looking for was being sold by Nolan inside the gigantic Harley dealer.

I have sometimes called it "the world's biggest motorcycle stuff sales event." Music concerts. "Fair" food. And some of the most interesting people-watching to be had. (understatement) If you don't like crowds, it may not be the place for you, but I can go there for the day, then go back the 40 miles or so to the very nice, upscale RV resort where we are staying, and have space and relative quiet. Staying at the Buffalo Chip campground wouldn't be my thing, but it is an annual event for many thousands of people (reported 120,000 people at the Kid Rock concert there, and that entry included camping, if you wanted).

Having lived in the Black Hills for almost 30 years, we saw it grow from 30,000 or so that was common back then to the half million+ of the last 30 years.

Like others have related on this thread, I'm not a big fan of group rides. One day, I'd like to go to an AmeriVespa if the timing/location works, but not to ride with a bunch of others. Over the 50+ years of riding we've done, we've been to a lot of rallies, and done a fair share of group rides; these days, I'm most happy with my Honey and me and a picnic lunch.

I shoot the videos for my own entertainment. Anyone who has done video work can attest that even a small video like I've posted here is a lot of work... certainly more time cutting and editing than shooting. I post them in a couple places, hoping folks will enjoy "the ride" (I generally try to make these scooter videos from the rider's perspective). While I make them "public" so they can be seen here, I'm not promoting anything nor trying to monetize things. I used to shoot photos for the "memory insurance," but these videos tell more of a story.

I love to ride. I was a professional photographer before retiring first time around. Photos and videos are still a part of what I enjoy. I wish 360 video had been a thing during my second career as a boat captain; but I do have many photos and great memories.

I appreciate the comments. Consider this "show & tell" for my childish side. Also to show that riding any brand motorcycle/scooter conveyance gives you that "in the wind" feeling. I'm sure many of you have friends/family who think you are crazy (or have a "death wish") to be out riding your Vespa... like the t-shirt says: If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand. Scooter emoticon

Jim
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Molto Verboso
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I'm going to Americade in September and can't wait. I love to be around other riders, see the sights and enjoy my time with my friends. Will there be crowds....of course there will. I'm going to soak in the energy, take pictures, maybe do demo rides and ride my bike. I enjoy quiet sometimes but I also like to meet people and talk bikes. I can't do that alone.
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UTC quote
After the Rally, enjoying a relatively traffic-free solo ride...

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

The front end looks different? No, I am not making a bobber out of the GTS - fender removal due to deer impact. Still rides fine; parts on order.
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UTC quote
Most of the Rally visitors have moved on... we are now coming into the seasoned citizen tourist time. This video shows some of the riding, and a short discussion of the Schuberth C3 Pro helmet I recently bought...

OP
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
A hot one today, but I don't let the fear of heatstroke keep me from riding. On one of my favorite roads here, I got caught behind 3 Harleys and a Goldwing in what turned out to be a World Record Slowest Transit of Iron Mountain Road...

https://captnjim.blogspot.com/2021/08/be-vewy-vewy-quiet.html

Painfully slow.

I did get a set of Airpod Pros after reading here that someone used them under their helmet. I had tried that a couple years ago with the previous Airpods, with not much difference in sound reduction. Those Airpod Pros under my new Schuberth C3 Pro made for an amazingly quiet ride... especially nice since I was caught behind a Harley with loud pipes (pretty sure the other 3 riders made this guy ride at the back).

A bright side to that slow going: 98.3 miles per gallon on this tank (GTS 300 HPE)... I'm kidding - there is no bright side to going that slow.

No video, but I did have time to shoot a selfie of the new helmet while going so slow...

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
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Captain Jim wrote:
A hot one today, but I don't let the fear of heatstroke keep me from riding. On one of my favorite roads here, I got caught behind 3 Harleys and a Goldwing in what turned out to be a World Record Slowest Transit of Iron Mountain Road...
I didn't know that Harley or Goldwing could go around corner...

Thanks for sharing..
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Burt37 wrote:
I didn't know that Harley or Goldwing could go around corner...

Thanks for sharing..
I've had multiples of both. Apparently, all one has to do is twist that thing on the right handlebar and put some lean into it. That wasn't happening today.
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Captain Jim wrote:
I've had multiples of both. Apparently, all one has to do is twist that thing on the right handlebar and put some lean into it. That wasn't happening today.
I don't know... Looks harder than it should be...

OP
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Damn - that made my butt pucker. Stuff can happen when you grind down on the solid parts. That certainly wasn't the case on the ride I mentioned.

You know what they say: "Slow and steady... really isn't much fun at all."
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
A fun day of riding today - Iron Mountain Road down to Custer State Park, through the park, to the town of Custer for one of the best burgers around (reason enough for the ride), then back into the park. Not a lot happening on the Wildlife Loop, but a fun look at an Alfa Romeo C4, then back to the twisties, where we mixed it up with some Harleys... all having fun!

The whole story...

https://captnjim.blogspot.com/2021/08/it-has-been-said-if-two-sailboats-are.html

And, a couple images...

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
@wleuthold avatar
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UTC quote
Back to the "Sea of Harleys" part of the thread...

In 2013 I led the 7 Bridges Scooter Club ride to the NC mountains.

We stayed in Robbinsville, near the Tail of the Dragon.

I rode the famous ride a few times, once ending up at the stopping area at the bottom among a group of Rocket's cousins (Ducati's)

They were all considerably faster than we were.

Bill
Rocket with it's cousins.
Rocket with it's cousins.
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Sometimes I wonder if instead of the Vespa lettering there was the Harley Davidson also lettering on the sides ...
Who knows if it was built under license how it would go.
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UTC

Member
2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
Joined: UTC
Posts: 42
Location: Ohio
 
Member
@isilentp avatar
2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE
Joined: UTC
Posts: 42
Location: Ohio
UTC quote
Just quick post, Captain Jim to let you know how much I enjoy your posts and videos. Keep up the great work. Ride safe!
OP
@captain_jim avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2020 GTS 300 HPE
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1154
Location: south Texas
 
Molto Verboso
@captain_jim avatar
2020 GTS 300 HPE
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1154
Location: south Texas
UTC quote
iSilentP wrote:
Just quick post, Captain Jim to let you know how much I enjoy your posts and videos. Keep up the great work. Ride safe!
Thanks! It is a treat to be able to spend 3 months riding the roads in this area. I appreciate the kind words.
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