Today was the day that I finally had to ride my Buddy International scooter to San Francisco in order to get the first maintenance service. Also, I wanted to install the GIVI topcase, which finally arrived after a long long wait. It seems scooter accessories are in short supply, given the increased sales. Everyone wants a cheaper mode of transportation. I was lucky that I caught the wave early on and did not have to wait for delivery of the scooter.So, I was dreading this day because it was going to be the first time I actually took the scooter on highway 101. There were a couple of stretches that I had to enter the highway, a short stretch in which highway 1 joined highway 101 (between Mill Valley and Sausalito) and then crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. I dreaded the most crossing the bridge because it is notorious for cross wind. Given that, I decided to be there around 9:30AM, after the morning commute and before the winds kicked in.
At least for today, everything went according to schedule. It was a sunny, cool, morning. The scooter behaved superbly. It took me about an hour and half to reach the dealership in San Francisco. I loved the stretch of road along the Presidio. I dreaded a bit about street traffic, but San Francisco motorists seem to be more attuned to scooters and motorcycles. It is also more fun when you see scooters around. I felt that I was not alone, which is sometimes how I feel around here.
The scooter dealer knew that I needed to return early, before the afternoon commute rush hour. They were quite efficient and right during lunch; I received a call stating the scooter was already serviced. The return trip was a bit tiring because of the heat and my head was swelling within the helmet. There was only one stretch of the road that I felt uneasy, and that was at the end of the Golden Gate Bridge, on the Marin County side. It was there that the winds started to whip. The scooter still felt secure but my body felt being whipped by the cross winds. Luckily, all I needed to do was to take the exit right after the bridge.
My opinion, so far? The Buddy is a nice scooter for casual cross-town rides. It is a very easy scooter to use, with enough torque across the RPM band to keep me away from cars. It is also quiet and has a great horn. Life is good.