When you buy a scooter there's no telling where your new set of wheels may end up taking you. For a lot of people, a twist-and-go 50cc model is all they want for the daily commute and buzzing around town, with the occasional foray into the country at weekends. But for others, the extra power of a 125cc can suggest more distant horizons are waiting to be explored. That's certainly what happened when Londoner Matt decided to set off on the road trip of a lifetime on his tried and trusted Tommy 125cc, covering over 11,000 miles on mainly minor roads, from the historic Italian city of Florence all the way to London.
By any standards, this is taking scootering to a whole new level, but unfazed by the challenges that lay ahead and the potential strain on both man and machine, Matt started out with as much stuff as he could pack away in the under seat storage space as well as in the added top box. With a full tank of petrol, a rough idea of the route he was going to take to get there and most of all, a real sense of adventure, Matt began his epic journey. And as anyone who's ever set off on a scooter trip, even if it's just a day out to the coast on Sunday, there's nothing to beat that feeling of accelerating away to freedom!
Once he'd negotiated his way through the narrow streets and heavy traffic of Florence, Matt would try and stick to quieter roads as much as possible for the next two and a half weeks the journey would take to complete. It wasn't long before he faced his first big obstacle, however, in the form of the high mountain passes of the Alps, including the frozen terrain around Europe's highest peak, Mont Blanc. With a top speed of 60mph, his Tommy 125cc was perfect for cruising along, but how would it handle steep climbs on narrow, winding roads bordered with snow on both sides?
"No problem," says Matt, "the scooter flies up hills and was a joy to ride going downhill. It may have been unscooterlike territory, but it was a lot of fun to ride." While his scooter took the Alps in its stride, Matt himself admits to finding it tough going at times at these kind of altitudes, and even with the added protection of a screen fitted to his Tommy. "It's quite easy to say that it's the coldest I've ever been in my life. Some days, I was wearing two pairs of trousers, two layers of thermal trousers, every single t-shirt I had with me, my jumpers, plus the sweaters people gave me!" Overall, Matt couldn't have been more pleased with the way his scooter performed, day after day, as he crossed the Italian border into France and charted a more leisurely course north to the Channel crossing. "The bike was fantastic to ride and perfectly reliable. I didn't have one problem with it whatsoever, not one! Basically, I could sit on the scooter pretty much the whole day, observing the scenery, without spending more than £10 on petrol."
Cost is certainly one of the reasons why touring on a scooter makes a lot of sense and it's hard to argue with a day's travelling for as little as £10 worth of petrol. Other reasons include the amount of storage space on a scooter, the ease of the ride thanks to being fully automatic with a variable gear system that adjusts to the terrain so you're never caught powerless, and the comfortable riding position. As Matt says, scooters are ideal for "sitting back and observing the scenery". Florence to London is unlikely to be his last road trip. All of us at Direct Bikes congratulate him on his amazing journey.
Matt's choice of scooter
For his road trip, Matt rode a four stroke Tommy 125cc scooter from the Direct Bikes range. This vintage inspired model is fully automatic and has an electric push button start and kick start. A great all round scooter, with lockable under seat storage as standard, and top box and screen available as optional added features. Top speed is 60mph and fuel tank capacity is 4.8 litre.