Three years ago when I bought the new 170cc scooter I had my doubts. Mostly I had used previous small scooters for milk and grocery runs and that was about it. When I did large group rides I didn't think the scooter would have had the speed to hang with the herd. Its chance to prove its worth came in May when I rode the Suicide Prevention ride out of Poughkeepsie. Last year I used the 250cc Honda on this ride and peeled off from the group shortly after the start. Taking the less traveled route I arrived in Pine Plains, the halfway stop, several minutes before the main group's arrival. I decided that the scooter wouldn't get in anybody's way using that route and I would enjoy myself more anyway.
I started out with the group and was surprised to see I was keeping pace at that time. Arriving at my cutoff point I was still rolling along without detaining anyone and marveling at the scooter's ability. From then on I was traveling alone. On the roads I took the scooter rolled along at 50 to 55 mph with no strain. As I neared the halfway stop I noticed some headlights in the distance behind me. Thinking it must have been people who took another route as I did, we rolled along happily into Pine Plains. As I parked I realized that what had been back there was the Police escorted main group. Little Red Scooter and I had arrived just in front of a thundering pack of large V-Twins.
I stopped for about twenty minutes and struck off on my own to the end point. Again rolling along again briskly I added a longer bit than the route was scheduled for and stopped back in Poughkeepsie. Food and music awaited and the scooter and I weren't the worse for the wear despite its diminutive engine. After hanging around, chatting with other riders and having something to eat I headed home and was surprised to see we had traveled 105 miles on the day. At one gas stop I saw the scooter was getting 84 mpg despite the brisk pace we were keeping and could have gone a bit further than I thought it would before empty.
Happily it could be seen that the scooter could handle a group ride under the right circumstances. It moved well, was reasonably comfortable and got decent fuel mileage. Not just a Toy after all.