A scarcely mentioned vehicle here has been the original Chinese scooter pictured over there on the right. It's super long name is Bashan Eagle Milano 150DX. Around here it's just called "The Scooter". It's been sitting in the garage with a massive oil leak for the last year while I availed myself of the pleasure of using the Big Scooter and the 50cc bike. I was about 99% sure the problem was a cracked cylinder head,...and I was right. Last week I replaced the head with a whole new unit from Scrappydogscooters.com at a price that was hard to beat. As I removed the old head a very large piece of it fell on the ground. Your humble servant here had overtightened the bolts next to the head and heat stresses had broken the unit. I had relied on my "Finger Meter" to tell me when to stop tightening the bolts and it was in error. This time I had an old fashioned torque wrench and when the needle started to move I stopped tightening.
After a few upgrades, adjustments and parts replacements the scooter ended its year long hibernation and sailed down the road, good as new. It bolstered my confidence in my mechanical ability and is ready to add to the 7350 miles on its odometer. We are trying to sell it but if we don't get our minimum price it will be kept and put back to work. It's truly practical, fuel efficient and practically brand new with all the parts we've installed. Even better it's well broken in. The 50cc bike is now the darling of the garage for short rides but sometimes you need a few more horses to get to town.
On another front, tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of my acquisition of the big scooter. It has passed the targeted 5,900 mile mark which means it's had 4,000 miles put on it as MY scooter. While not epic mileage it's still more than I've ridden anything in a year in a long time. It's had three oil changes, a tire change and slight mechanical issue in that time. I have no complaints.
The 50cc bike continues to defy the stereotype of Chinese vehicles and just keeps ticking. It's funny to say this but I've begun to think of it more as a small motorcycle than a moped or scooter with gears. After years of practice I've gotten much better at shifting it so using it makes every trip on it a small tour. It continues to amaze me with its spirit.