In an amazing coincidence I acquired the members of my Chinese scooter fleet at about this time of year. Both of the scooters were brought into the fold at the end of July while the 50cc mini-motorcycle was purchased in August. This is my chance to make my State of the Fleet Address.

I see on the odometer that my Big Scooter is now at 11,872 miles. It has become my main ride for commutes and trips to the doctor in Johnson City. It is still giving me in the neighborhood of 70 mpg and just keeps ticking. Over time I did the routine maintenance required to make it ready to depart at the drop of a helmet. If I needed to make a trip it would be up to it. New tires, a new drive belt and regular oil changes every thousand miles have it running strong.

The first Chinese scooter, Lazarus the 150cc Vespa lookalike, now has 8,975 miles. I bought it in 2008 making it seven years old. If the big scooter suddenly came down with a mechanical malady Lazarus could slip into role of commuter and Doctor tripper with no problem. It might take several minutes longer as it's not as fast but it is still a “Go Anywhere, Do Anything” machine. It has taught me about the strengths and weaknesses of a Chinese scooter and the big scooter has benefited as a result.

Lastly, Rocket, my 50cc mini-motorcycle has 4,154 miles on it. It's averaging nearly 700 miles a year in its capacity as “Grocery-Getter and Errand Runner” sipping fuel on every trip. This little bike has been the most eye-opening of my fleet. While the other two have required the occasional repair, Rocket has been like a faithful horse. It is always ready to go, requires only the occasional bit of maintenance and goes pretty fast for its size. On a level road I have seen 55 mph on the speedometer and at that it gets 130 mpg. Every 65 miles I have to put a half gallon of gas in its small tank and see less than two dollars registering on the gas pump.

I can only hope that the trend continues and we enjoy ongoing success. We ride, we smile, we save gas, we keep the cars parked.