Ciao, all. Have been reading the various posts on this site and others about site-seeing by gas scooter abroad. As a scooter rider for the past year in a major metropolitan area (Chicago), I would certainly say that transport by scooter can be fun (exciting, even), convenient, AND affordable. At the same time, having just experienced my first (and, God willing, ONLY) collision yesterday afternoon--bruised ego, bruised Piaggio Fly, and one broken toe, along with some scrapes and bruises--I would offer this hard-earned counsel if you decide to go by scooter:
-Don't let your first time riding be away, on unfamiliar roads. Just don't.
-Repress the perfectly normal desire to rush, to get somewhere on time. Take a "I get there whenever I get there, stop and smell the roses" mentality. The physical risks to you are simply too great to do otherwise.
-Don't ride in bad weather; have another latte and relax.
-Always check your tires and brakes and lights before embarking.
-Complete every turn in traffic in the most telegraphed and deliberate manner possible; every turn. Discipline yourself to do this.
-Accidents with cars that are fender benders can be fatal with a scooter and a car; focus, and forget about things like radios and Ipods and cell phones.
Again, don't mean to preach, and I think scooters are great--and plan to continue riding--but offer this friendly advice. Glad to be here today to post this. (: