Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Real Scooter Post!

This is probably the most on target scooter post you'll see here, so if you're a visitor who doesn't give a rat's ass about my other brain rambling posts that might or might not have anything specific to do with scooters , I encourage you to savor it.

I noticed some time ago, on a day when I took a 102 mile ride up and down and across the valley, that there are three distinct positions in which I can sit on the scooter and that each of them more or less depends on where I choose to place my feet. 

By far the position in which I ride most often is this one.  My heels are firmly planted at the very front of the sideboards, with my toes and most of my feet extended off to the sides.  Sitting this way is most comfortable as it allows me to lean backward to some degree and I find that to be less tiring on my spine and butt.  I've noticed one other significant thing about this position.  In it, my knees bend out to the sides and into the wind, past the sides of the front fairing.  For some odd aerodynamic reason, this creates an airflow that bypasses my face which is especially good in both very hot and very cold weather.  If I could measure the difference in the flow of air that's going around my face rather than directly at it as it does in the other two positions, I would bet that the difference is significant.  It's odd to me that in spite of the high windshield on the bike, the placement of my knees seems more significant in keeping my face out of the wind.  If I were to replace the BV250, the ability to ride with my feet positioned like this would be a major requirement for a new bike.

It can be noted that an additional reason I prefer my feet out to the sides like this is that from the front it gives me the appearance of being on a cruiser style motorcycle so that oncoming bikers will return "the wave" rather than snub me while thinking, "Oh, look at the old man on the scooter, thinking that I'm going to return his bike wave."

I think of this second position is that of a more classic European scooter rider as I picture those continental chaps scootering about with their backs up ramrod straight as if they'd just come from the chiropractor's office.  My feet are flat on the sideboards causing me to sit most directly upright.  In this position, as in the first, my calves and upper legs are protected from the apparent wind created by the scooter's speed, but the trade-off is that the airflow to my face is increased.  Because I'd rather my face be least buffeted I tend to sit like this only when I'm giving my back a rest, or when I'm cruising along in leisurely fashion where I can cruise at a slower speed to savor the sights, smells, and sounds of my surroundings and when I don't have some other motorist hot on my tail because he's in a hurry.

I'm trying my best here not to go off on the tangent where I get all pissed off because most drivers seem to be okay with following a slow moving tractor trailer or piece of farm equipment, but want to run you off the road if you're on a scooter going just as slowly.

This third distinct position has the balls of my feet planted on the sideboard, with my heels free.  It's the one I use the least because it angles my upper body forward which I find to be comfortable only if my spine really needs a break because I've been riding for a significant amount of time.  Like the second position it tends to bring my knees behind the fairing which causes the airflow to come back at my face.  And, in my mind's eye it makes me look like a twenty-something on a crotch rocket which I definitely don't want to look like at any cost, so even if my back is aching you won't find me sitting like this anywhere except on the most remote back roads and byways.

There is, of course, this last position, but I only "ride" like this in the evening on chilly days.  It's totally comfortable, but least gratifying.


Sash Walker said...


For some reason I find that I bend my right foot out when I ride and my left foot forward. I hadn't thought about it before but I would love to see how that affects the wind in my face. I don't have a ferrying, just a windshield, so it may not matter.


Sash ~ The Rude Biker Chick
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Gary Bowen said...

I'm reporting in as a wannabe scooter guy, I suppose, being of the Polaris Sportsmen genre has me appreciating the twist and go method such two wheelers are known for. Although I must confide I just saw the new Honda 700 CTRz751 hell whatever DCT tranny and well just wanted to say I enjoyed your thoughts regards scooter riding


Paul Smith said...

One of the advantages of touring style scooters is slanted forward foot boards. This allows cruiser like seating more comfortably than sticking the toes out around the front of the fairing. I've had much the same observations though. It also seems to vary depending on the type of scooter as to which is the best foot placement. On the Kymco, flat footed was best, while on my PCX, the forward footboard gives the best comfort.

Anyway, good insights.