I shouldn’t be surprised how many ways there are to dismiss people and things with a word or a gesture. Humanity revels in differentiating one group from another. On a near insignificant level it happens with motorcycles and scooters. “That’s an entry level bike,” or “That’s a chick bike,” can be taken in a number of ways. At least the first phrase.
Entry level can refer to a machine that’s easy to handle for a beginning rider — light, nimble and manageable power. Or it can mean a first step in a series of machines leading to a logical end — an arbitrary assessment by the person applying the phrase. Usually it means a path to a larger, more powerful machine and assumes bigger is better. And then entry level can be applied as a dismissive term — only losers and cowards, the Casper Milktoasts of riders would even consider such a machine.
The more straightforward dismissal is to refer to a motorcycle as a chick bike — as if I real man would not be caught dead on such a device. I always wonder if women riders have some similar dismissive terms for various motorcycles and scooters. I know they have them for pick up trucks and the boys that drive them. Often it’s just a hand signal involving the thumb and index finger.
Scooters are all entry level machines from one perspective. And even among scooter riders there’s a hierarchy. The only chick scooters seem to be the pink ones.
When my friend Paul and I rode to breakfast last weekend I was in the odd position of having the “big” machine. The Vespa GTS 250 dwarfs the 1965 Vespa. But the real story — the vintage Vespa moved along just as fast as the new one on the roads we traveled.Continue Reading