I’m sure many of us started our riding and rally going journeys using a humble 125cc scooter. Most will have passed our tests and moved on to quicker machines, better equipped to cover long distances (or not as the case may be).
As such, it seems a strange decision for a regular rally stalwart to choose to go back to a 125 for the 2017 rally season…
The Rain Man of scootering
If you’ve been on a rally in the last 30 odd years you’ll have bumped into, know, or have at least shared a drink and a yarn with Col, or ‘Scarborough Col’ as he’s usually known. Col is the Rain Man of Scootering, he can tell you the exact date of every rally, he can tell you what was on the rally patch and has often quoted things to me that I’ve written in the past and can’t even remember writing. He can also tell you how much fuel his scooter used on any journey to and from a rally.
As such he’s the perfect person to write a regular blog about his rally season, especially as this year Col’s decided to do it a little differently by riding a PX125, rather than his usual Prodigy themed, tuned PX, his GTS 300 or his Lambretta. Not one to make things easy, Col will also be riding everywhere possible via ‘A’ roads.
Although his scooter is standard at the minute he’ll be fitting a few parts along the way to improve it if he feels it needs it. Starting with a few SIP goodies.
34th rally season
2017 sees the start of my 34th consecutive year of riding scooters. I couldn’t begin to calculate how many miles I’ve ridden over the years (editor’s note: Col is being shy here, he could tell you exactly how many miles). From March 1984 I’ve always owned at very least one scooter that has been taxed, tested and insured, ready to ride at any time.
I’ve attended literally hundreds of scooter events – rallies, custom shows, racing and ride outs. The scooter I’ve just purchased is the 60th one I’ve owned. This one is just a bit of an odd choice, when all things considered. The idea behind buying it was solely down to two features I had read here on ScooterLab back at the end of 2016.
All routes to the seaside
The first article was the debate about the National Rallies being stale, or too repetitive. Iggy suggested riding different routes, on A&B roads instead of motorways, wherever possible to the rally venues. I realise the Nationals get a fair bit of criticism from some scooterists these days, but I still love them. I’ve been a very loyal supporter of the Nationals for all of my years of riding, and I don’t see that ending any time soon.
The other article was the announcement that Piaggio were ending production of the 2-stroke geared P Range after a run of forty years. The latest PX 125s and 150s will be the last.
It was then that I had a eureka moment and thought ‘that’s it!’ I’ve never owned a PX 125, so I’m going to buy one and ride it to as many National Rallies as I can. My salute to the legendary P Range, and a MASSIVE thumbs up to the rally organisers who make these big events happen…
A seed was sewn. I went to my local Vespa dealership to get a price on a trade in deal on my GTS 300 for a New PX125 (the salesmen thought I was joking). Whilst in the shop I got a phone call from a very good friend of mine, a lad named Jase Potter from York. Many of you reading this will know Jase. He is truly a one man comedy machine, but also a mechanical genius. In his garage was a mega low mileage PX125 owned by another mutual mate, which was needing a new home. Three hours later I’m riding home on an extremely clean bog standard 125 with just 500 miles on the clock. That 45-mile journey was far slower than I had bargained for, but good fun none the less.
SIP my ride
Fast-forward through the winter to early March, and I see an advert, (again here on ScooterLab) advertising a discount for UK customers buying from German scooter superstore legends SIP. Knowing their reputation for top quality parts, I placed an online order for hopefully all the parts I will need for a seasons riding – the idea being to make the scoot handle a bit better and go a wee bit faster.
Just 54 hours later a box full of shiny goodness is on my doorstep, leaving me a few short days to fit it all before the Easter National Rally – ironically here in my home town of Scarborough. Not much of a riding test I know, but within the next six or seven weeks I will also have attended both Weston-Super-Mare and Kelso on it too.
The team here at SLUK have kindly offered to let me do a small blog on this year’s travels. I hope you all find some interest or amusement within the updates.
Cheers and ride safe,
Words and photos: Adam Collier – A.K.A Scarborough Coll
Additional image: Booga