It was a glorious Saturday and the weather was perfect for a scoot. But today's scoot had a specific purpose and that was to ride the Elite 110 over the foothills a distance of 40 miles to the little Honda Powersports dealer and then pick up my Honda Met 49cc scooter and ride it back home the same way.
The routes over to the next county wind down into the hollars via twists and turns, up and down, passing by creeks and farms and fields. It is rough riding where you constantly have to be alert for critters and gravel and eroded road surfaces. But it is a blast to ride!
Toward the end of the ride there is a final descent into a long valley that is surrounded by small green foothills or "knobs" as they used to call them back home (Kentucky). It is an absolutely breath-taking ride experience.
But I was about business today and that was to turn in my Elite and pick up my Met. I knew that by the time I got done with this day I'd either be elated or devastated that I'd made the trade.
This ride over and back on each scooter would definitely show me the contrast between the two scooters and how they handled on the road.
The route being twisty and up and down hills made for some slower going than usual as you are entering blind curves, encountering hidden driveways, and watching out for deer and scampering bunnies.
But I didn't care. I love to ride at a moderate speed of 30-40mph max anyway.
The Elite rode smoothly and struggled just a bit up some of the steeper hills. I felt that confident, smooth ride of a Buick, if ya know what I mean. I had to keep the throttle open as it would not coast along once I let up on the throttle. It slowed down immediately. So I felt myself pushing myself along, even though the scooter has plenty of power to spare.
It sits a bit high off the ground from what I was used to on a Ruckus and the "dash" is at about mid-chest level. With this I feel that I am up higher off of the road surface, which I am.
I definitely feel as if I am sitting ON the scooter and separate from it. When I ride "fast" (40-50 mph) I feel wobbly and like a sail in the wind.
It is smooth and the seat is comfortable, yet I feel like I am sitting up on a moving barcolounger stool! It is almost too comfortable and plush.
Well, by the time we got to the village where the Honda dealer was all I wanted to do was get off and that I did. I parked it under a tree out back and went about the business of doing the paperwork for the Met, which was ready and waiting for me. While I did that they looked over the Elite and found it immaculate. This all took a while and I never once found myself second-guessing my decision. Not even a sentimental last glance went out.
Good! Very good...
Now it's time to depart on the Met and I've got an alternative route set up for the return. It is about the same length, same sort of terrain. I climb aboard and give it gas and it moves out swiftly on it's Ruck-like rumble.
Immediately I'm hearing and feeling my Ruckus moving underneath me and my heart is filled with excitement! WOW! Here we go! Feels SO good! So familiar...good times remembered.
My mind whispers, "Now you will find out if you have any regrets about trading in the Elite" and before I could complete the thought I felt a big ol' grin breaking out over my face! I was heading up a hill and moving into a turn and the little scoot just felt like it was alive as it took off!
It's moving forward and I immediately realize that this scooter (like my Ruckus, it's cousin) felt right because it "fit" my body. Driving it was almost "intuitive". It felf so familiar, so natural, and was so much fun!
Instead of "plodding foward" with the throttle I was surging forward into the ride and, being closer to the ground with the handlebars at waist level, I felt like I was flying! Now that ol' Buick was a Miata!
The Met did slow down to the 20's up some of the steeper hills, but I already was throttling it in the pre-hill "dip" and revving it up the incline in anticipation. After all, I'd been doing this sort of movement for 5 years previously on a Ruckus (same exact motor) and it was a familiar maneuver to me zooming around these foothills. No problem!
I got that Met up to 40+ several times over the next 40 miles and was zooming down twisties and flying up hills like a monkey on speed! The faster I rode the bigger my grin got! I "felt" the ride, the fun of the movement, the thrill of the corner carving.
The Old Joy was back, the thrill of riding, the pleasure of handling the scooter over twists, turns, hills, all while watching the gorgeous scenery slide by. Not to mention all the smells of the woods: honeysuckle, camp fires, barbeques, the damp, dark earth, the creek beds. Good stuff!
It was fun again, I felt free, I felt happy, I felt alive, I felt like I could ride forever and did not want to get off!
Both scoots took the hills well with the Met slowing down a bit, but making up for it on the downhills and straight aways. The handling and maneuverability of the Met was superior to me. The fit of the Met for me was superior. The Elite was the cushy Buick, the Met was the sporty Miata.
I felt "one with the bike" on the Met. I felt like I was sitting on a chair with the Elite.
Because of my comfort and confidence level my average speed home was about 37 on the Met. On the Elite it was about 27 because I was slowing down in turns to handle the larger feeling scooter's weight.
I knew without a doubt that I had made the right decision for me in swapping out for the Met. I have no regrets and cannot wait for my next ride...just like in my first days of scooting!