Rome Travel Guide

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

We Get a New Scooter

The expert driver (yes, helmets are required; tickets are given).
The time had come - in 2019 we "traded in" our (very) old Malaguti 250 for a Honda Forza 300. The Honda is our third scooter in Rome and certainly the largest, classiest, and most expensive. For those who picture us zipping around Rome on a Vespa, well, nope. A classic Vespa has less than half the power of this baby, and is considerably smaller. Gregory and Audrey, move over.

(I guess I should've posed like this.)

Bill did a considerable amount of research to come up with the Honda as our first choice. The 300 cc is an ideal size for us, because it gets us into the hills and mountains around Rome without groaning, as the Malaguti did. Bill's usual passenger also had a lot of complaints about the hard ride on the back of the Malaguti; the Honda's suspension is way better.

Picking it up at the dealer's near the GRA - yes, though it literally is in the
 showroom, that's OUR scooter.  Friend Massimo helped with the negotiations.
We could have purchased a used scooter for a better price, but given our use of the scooter in Rome (we put on about 1,000 kilometers in 2 months) and our amortization of it over our remaining scooter life, we decided to go with a new model. The Forza 300 also is fairly new for Honda; the first model was 2018.

The detriments to driving and riding a scooter include the terrible streets in Rome and the surrounding area and parking challenges. We've written about renting a scooter with the bottom line: don't and about the dangers (the statistic - 25% of deaths on the streets of Rome are moto riders).

The additional negatives for a new scooter, and of a popular model such as a Honda, are the worries about it being stolen. So insurance (which only covers a portion of any loss) and a garage are extra expenses.

We spotted our model in a scooter showroom window in Rome.

We found this garage near our Pigneto apartment.  It was run by an Egyptian, who told us to go the Pakistani next door to get our documents copied for him - indications of Pigneto's immigrant-friendly neighborhood. Bill found the steep driveway down to the parking area somewhat challenging. It was one-way in and one-way (on another street) out, but not everyone felt obligated to follow those rules.

And, for posterity - below, our first scooter, a Hexagon 125 (bought used in Bologna in the early 2000s and driven - by Bill - over 4 days and more than 250 miles/450 kilometers - to Rome). We survived - and one bone-breaking accident later - still do. We often quote one of our Roman friends, who says there are 2 kinds of scooter drivers: those who have fallen and those who will fall.

Not quite the Audrey pose, but equally posed (the kickstand is down; no helmets).

 Dianne (the passenger).

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