hawaii-1-2Today marks a milestone. Not only is it my first ever visit to Hawaii but also the day I complete my United States ride map by adding the last state for me to ride a PTW (aka scooter or motorcycle) in.  The plan was to meet up with Judy who kindly offered to give us a tour of Oahu when our shipped docked in Hawaii.

hawaii4Things started off very well as we walked off the ship when Steve said, “I see a Vespa.” When I looked the same direction I saw it was Judy coming to meet us riding Leo her LX and wearing her colorful Diesel helmet, yeah.

So we grabbed a cab with Judy following to take us to the place we’d reserved a pair of scooters. A Buddy 125 and Vespa GTS 250 for our tour with Judy. hawaii1When we arrived there were plenty of scooters and several “t-rex” aka little 3 wheeled 50cc “cars” but no body at the place. We tried calling not only the number I had on the reservation confirmation but every number on the building and on any of the scooters or t-rexes parked around the lot.

The guy who lived next door even came out and asked if we had called the owner. When we said we had with only voice mail as the result he tried a number he had with no more success than we had. So on to plan B. We found the next closest scooter rental shop and headed over.

hawaii2Unfortunately, they only had 1 125cc and the rest were all 50s so we got their “premium” 50cc which was supposed to go 45-50mph and set off. I was riding a Cali and Steve had a Sym Jet 50. As we headed  out on the two scooters following Judy we saw what almost has to be the iconic scooter set up for Hawaii, a red scooter with a red longboard attached via a surfboard rack. That’s when you know you are near the Pacific Ocean.

First stop was for a view of Diamond Head which was on Steve’s must see list.


We took the coastal road just over half way around the island stopping for lunch after the Cali decided not to start when we stopped for gas.

hawaii6 Fortunately it turned out to be a bare wire at the kill switch that if it came into contact with metal wouldn’t let the scoot start. Thankfully Steve found it and we were able to get back on the road after a bite to eat.  Scenery was as fantastic as you might expect despite the rain and over cast.

hawai10In a couple of places the road was so close to the surf that you could easily get wet from the spray. In fact the scooter seats did while I was taking this photo.

Between the delay in getting scooters and troubleshooting the problem with the Cali not starting when we made our first gas stop we didn’t get to see as much of the island as we originally hoped. Since the scooters had to be back by 5pm Steve and I said goodbye to Judy and hopped on the road through the center of the island back to Honolulu.

hawaii-1-4hawaii9There we saw that scooter theft seems to be as big of a concern as it is in London if the size of the locks we saw on parked scoots is any indication.


hawaii8Last stop before retuning the scooters was Waikiki Beach where renting a surfboard was even easier than renting a scooter.

The Cali might is a whole lot cuter the modern styled Sym but when it comes to performance there was no contest. The little Sym 50cc  would go 45 and even reach 50 on occaison but the only time the Cali even got to 40 was downhill with a tailwind.   Going uphill it wouldn’t even maintain 28mph which was a serious disappointment. If we go back to Hawaii I’ll will try again for at least a 125.

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