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Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

Last post 05-27-2010 07:37 PM by niks. 18 replies.
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  • 09-05-2009 07:48 PM

    • WaspLover
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 09-04-2009
    • Mainland, Shaky Isles
    • Posts 163

    Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

    (First posted on another forum, so I'll just copy and paste here.)

    I've been itching to do a long-ish ride on my little Vespa, and today here in New Zealand, we've got such great weather I couldn't pass on a ride. I decided to head for Akaroa, about 82 km (51 miles) away from Christchurch for some fish and chips.


    Route map of Christchurch to Akaroa, courtesy of Google Maps. Total distance, about 82 km (51 miles).


    1445 km (898 miles) on the clock before the journey begins.


    Packing some bare essentials for friends in Akaroa. Living in the sticks means a really, really high cost of living!


    First photo opportunity didn't take too long to turn up... this shot taken just outside Tai Tapu, a town south of Christchurch city.


    Almost there! 54 km to go... (just right beyond those hills...).


    No Kiwi road trips will be complete without photos of the sheep!

     
    Arrival at Little River... which is a town, not a river. Here is where the scenic, flat journey ends and the scenic, hilly journey begins.


    Somewhere along the journey after Little River and the top of the first hill.


    The Little Scoot taking on the world! Watch out, World!


    At the top of the second hill, just outside a nice cafe called the Hilltop Cafe. It has probably the most scenic view of the Akaroa harbour. It's a hazy day today.


    Sorry, couldn't resist the sheep photos.


    Finally, the little Vespa survived the journey and made it to Akaroa. Locals couldn't believe someone just rode into town on a 50cc scooter, it was quite funny to watch their faces :-) One of them looking at the scoot from afar thought it was a GT200.


    Everytime I visit Akaroa, I'll have fish and chips from this place. It's awesome! I was too busy eating to take pictures...


    A picture of the harbour at sea level. I would take more photos if not for wanting to leave soon before the sun sets...


    Back in Christchurch just before the sun sets completely. 1624 km (1009 miles) on the clock. Total of about 4 hours saddle time... yes, it's a butt-achingly slow ride.

    Mocker Club Member
  • 09-05-2009 07:58 PM In reply to

    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

     Well done Kelvin! That looks like a stunning route according to the map, with twisties galore! How did the scooter handle it with the hills, speed zones, other traffic?

    I'm so proud of you & couldn't help but let out a yelp of joy knowing you had completed your dream cruise on your nifty fifty. Big Smile

    They're beautiful photos too. Even the one of the sheep Wink

    Wanda
    Today 50 (2,500km), Montego. Fly (2,500km), Le Grande (7,000km), Vespa PX (200km), Vespa GTS250ie (46,000km), now looking at the world through Ruby coloured glasses on a Vespa GTV300ie Vie Della Moda.
  • 09-05-2009 08:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

     Sound like you had a great day nice photos . Yes

  • 09-05-2009 09:05 PM In reply to

    • WaspLover
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 09-04-2009
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    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

    Scooternut:
    Well done Kelvin! That looks like a stunning route according to the map, with twisties galore! How did the scooter handle it with the hills, speed zones, other traffic?

    Thank you!! Cool Yes it is twisties galore after Little River... bit of a sportbiker haven actually! In my ride today I met 1 cruiser dude (who looked at me on my Vespa as if I'm from Mars), two friendly nod-returning sportbiker dude, and four unfriendly nod-ignoring sportbiker dudes. Guess they were too busy keeping the rubber side down!

    The lil' ol'Vespa doesn't like hills too much (as can be expected for a 50cc!). On most gradients she managed to maintain 40km/hr. At one point in the journey I was going up Mt Vernon (in Akaroa) and she actually STOPPED on one of the slopes even when I've opened up full throttle... I had to get off, throttle and push the scoot up! That said that particular slope is very steep... probably more than 45 degrees incline, but man what an experience.

    Handling wise, she's a dream. I guess this is due to the steel monoque body and with decent suspension on her? She handles pretty much like a "proper" motorbike. It's actually quite fun to "flick" her around. However the lack of horsepower really shows... it takes forever to get up to speed again whenever I slow down for a turn or to allow traffic to pass. Then again most turns are easily done on the Vespa since her max speed is an indicated 75km/hr (so actual top speed is more like 65-68km/hr).

    I check my mirrors so frequently my driving test instructor would be proud. The speed limit is 100km/hr, and most drivers do a bit more than that, so I always let vehicles behind me pass whenever safe to do so (which is most of the time except in tight twisties in which case they shouldn't be going that quickly anyway!). I'd tap my brakes a little and and close the throttle, and drivers behind me will get the message to pass. If there's a cycling lane I'll use that in this situation. I've had a cop car passed me today I thought I'm in for it (was in cycling lane, which I should not be) but he's cool with that since I guess he probably saw me going into the cycling lane to allow cars behind me to pass.

    Thanks guys for the compliments on the photos. Yes it's been a lovely day and I'm glad I did it, but I probably wouldn't do it again anytime soon... also I will have to re-think the Christchurch-Tekapo route... it's a 3.5 hours drive, which means it'll probably take me two days to complete the trip on a 50cc scoot, and I'll have to carry extra stash of fuel with me...

    Mocker Club Member
  • 09-06-2009 08:58 AM In reply to

    • WaspLover
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 09-04-2009
    • Mainland, Shaky Isles
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    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

    Scooternut:
    That looks like a stunning route according to the map, with twisties galore!

    Found this clip on YouTube which gives a pretty good idea of the road between Little River and Akaroa Big Smile

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKZ8kUL-pDs

    Mocker Club Member
  • 09-06-2009 04:56 PM In reply to

    • butterfly
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 06-23-2009
    • South Island, New Zealand
    • Posts 54

    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

    Epic ride, especially on a 50! I used to love doing that drive when I lived in Christchurch. Stunning part of the world.

  • 09-06-2009 05:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

     What have you got the vespa registered has I had a old Honda CB50j in NZ and because it was classed as a motorbike had to get a WOF every 6 months Sad  if it had been classed as a moped no WOF would have been required Smile

  • 09-07-2009 11:46 AM In reply to

    • WaspLover
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 09-04-2009
    • Mainland, Shaky Isles
    • Posts 163

    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

    pyrah:
    What have you got the vespa registered has I had a old Honda CB50j in NZ and because it was classed as a motorbike had to get a WOF every 6 months Sad  if it had been classed as a moped no WOF would have been required Smile

    In theory if a bike does more than 50 km/hr or outputs more than 2 kW of power then the bike cannot be classified/registered as a moped even if it has a 50cc engine. The Vespa is a scooter and... 50cc scooters are slow, right? Right? Repeat after me... 50cc scooters are slow... 50cc scooters are mopeds... mopeds... Cool

    I love those 50cc motorbikes. I don't know why but I love small bikes. I have a full motorbike license and can ride anything I want but there's something about these tiny machines that I find very fascinating. Of course, when I'm stuck going 40km/hr up a hill (or even none at all... in the case of the Mt Vernon slope where I had to get out, throttle and push) I wish I had moar powah...

    And thanks for the post, Butterfly... looks like you had a good ride too yesterday (Sunday)! Now, where are the photos? Stick out tongue

    Mocker Club Member
  • 09-07-2009 01:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

    WaspLover:
    I've been itching to do a long-ish ride on my little Vespa, and today here in New Zealand, we've got such great weather I couldn't pass on a ride. I decided to head for Akaroa, about 82 km (51 miles) away from Christchurch for some fish and chips.
     

    I've never done this road on a bike or scooter, only in a car but have imagined doing it on two wheels. That would have been one of the most fantastic rides anyone could do anywhere

    Love the piccies

    www.scooterhq.com.au

    Where the scooters roam free
  • 09-07-2009 01:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

    Mate, what a great adventure, and fantastic photos. This is what it's all about!!

    And those LXV's look fantastic. I wonder if we'll ever see those in Australia?

    Tassie's number one scooter dealer.

    www.scootershoplaunceston.com.au

    info@scootershoplaunceston.com.au
  • 09-07-2009 06:54 PM In reply to

    • WaspLover
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 09-04-2009
    • Mainland, Shaky Isles
    • Posts 163

    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

    the scooter shop:
    And those LXV's look fantastic. I wonder if we'll ever see those in Australia?

    Thanks guys! Yea the LXVs are a real beauty! I would really like the 125/150cc version of the LXV to be available in NZ though. Of the small-frame Vespas only the 50ccs are available in the LXV model here. The bigger GTV 250 is also available here but the larger size meant it looks somewhat... odd (my opinion, of course). Also they decided to add a nice, big digital clock to the vintage-looking instrument cluster of the GTV 250... and that kind of spoils it for me.

    Mocker Club Member
  • 09-07-2009 11:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

    Big Smile The big clock is so you know how late you will be Big Smile

  • 10-02-2009 05:37 PM In reply to

    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

    Is that because of the speed of a tiny vespa?

    Removed due to stalker
  • 10-02-2009 07:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

     Is that because of the speed of a tiny vespa?  Smile Vespa rider will say they are late because they enjoy riding the scooter and took the long way round  Non vespa lovers will say they are late because they are slow . Take your pick Wink

  • 10-03-2009 01:35 PM In reply to

    Re: Christchurch NZ to Akaroa and Back... on a 50cc Vespa

    What a beautiful ride. Your pictures brought back memories of my trip to NZ in 2007 when I took the same route by car. Except when I was there it was raining like crazy!

    Riding a red HD200 when I'm not riding a bicycle.
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