Joining Facebook groups and following Instagram accounts related to scooters has inevitably led to an uptick in all things two-wheeled popping up in my “suggested” social media. One of the suggestions I got last week was Kick It Vintage, a group promoting vintage moto events in and around St. Louis. I learned that they have an open showcase of vintage bikes each month at one of our local breweries, and decided to check it out.
I like old bikes. Old scooters, the classics – two-stroke Vespas and Lambrettas, the delightful but now defunct Triumph Tigress. Old motorcycles, the cruisers and cafe racers. Such beautiful, even glamorous machines with form and function, and so much culture around their followings. Mods vs. Rockers wasn’t just about the bike you rode, it was about your way of life.
There’s no real agenda for Vintage Bike Night – just wander, meet people, chat. Vintage bikes on the main part of the lot, modern bikes off to the side. There were some real heaps of rust, some perfect restorations, and some crazy custom builds – definitely something for everyone. Some had sale signs but most were just to show off for the love of the bike. I had a nice conversation with the owner of some of the old Vespas, though I was a little bummed to see only one old Stella, and no other vintage scooter brands represented. Someone parked a GT200 like mine in the vintage section for some reason, and looking at it next to an old P-series I was reminded of how itty-bitty the old ones really were… and yet they’ve toured on rutted roads and mountain passes across continents. Incredible.
I ran into my mechanic as I was about to leave, and he was very happy to hear that my latest mod, the new brake light, went off without a hitch and wouldn’t require him to repair any more of my mistakes.
“It’s addictive,” he warned, “doing stuff to those bikes.”
“Oh I know,” I assured him. “It’s one of the reasons I picked a Vespa – there’s so much aftermarket kit available, and a huge DIY following. I used to have a Wrangler, you see.”
“THAT explains it,” he grinned. “The Wrangler is a fun one to work on.”
“And so easy. Not like my stupid Mazda where I pay $200 in labor to change a headlight because they have to take off the whole freaking front end to access it.”
Which led to talking about headlights, and the kit to upgrade the Vespa turn signals with LED running lights, and, and, and…
I don’t really have the resources or know-how to deal with a vintage scooter right now – a modern Vespa was sort of the best of both worlds for me, and works with my lifestyle and lack of garage. Vintage Bike Night got me itching to ride one of those shiftys, but that will have to wait. It was a fun evening with lots of (moto) eye candy and cold beer outdoors in June. What more could a loopy scooterist ask for?