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Ask Miss Scoot

Your scootering questions answered!

Dear Miss Scoot,

I have recently purchased a new Scooter and am wanting to dress it up without painting or too much effort. I was hoping to find some mod vinyl decals but have not been able to locate any. Can you direct me to a company that might sell such items.

Thanks, Mod Todd

Mod Todd,

Some quick suggestions on how to add some budget bling are:

ScooterArt: This Australian company makes quality vinyl stickers that you can easily apply to your scooter. They use retro-styled geometric shapes which can be cut to fit your particular scooter. We reviewed them in Scoot! Magazine and showed how easy it was to install them. Josh's scooter has since been crashed a few times and the vinyl took it very well.

Check out Scooter Art's funky designs

Pinstriping: Maybe you're more into the racer look and want some simple and subdued ways to add some punch. Try pinstriping tape! It comes in various widths, colors and even patterns. It takes more finese than the vinyl stickers above because you have to maintain your lines, but it can really add some simple depth to your scooter's color scheme. Check out my scooter at the botom of this page which was re-painted with spray cans and made a little spunkier with silver pinstriping tape.

Magnets: If you ride a scooter that is made of metal, you can use inexspensive magnet material to create your own easy to apply/remove graphics. My blue Vespa VBB has no badging on it, so I used a Vespa script magnet in place of the badge. You can buy sheets of it and draw/paint your own designs and then attach them to your scooter. One drawback is that they may be stolen by others, but they are cheap to make and can be changed as quickly as does your mood.

Accessories: Another cool way to distinguish your scooter from the next one is to add accessories. I added red rubber accessories to my blue VBB to give it some cool color contrast. If you have a spare tire, you can buy patterned tire covers. Also, you can have custom seat covers made. Crystal Waters makes covers for various models in a variety of fabrics. Finally, if you do own a plastic scooter you can custom paint some of your replacable items such as the rear mudguard, or headset cover. With a little spray paint,and some masking tape you could create a whole new look in an afternoon. With plastic scooters, replacement parts are readily available and you can buy an extra part just for customizing and keep your pristine one in your garage for later.

Order a Custom Seat Cover

Dear Miss Scoot-

I am brand spankin' new to the scooter game, having recently purchased my little Honda Metropolitan. But how much insurance do you normally purchase? My current agent has me buying the same figures as I would my car, but that comes in at a hefty $160 a year. Is that reasonable? Or am I just sqawking over nothing??

many thanks- Deb in the Heartland

PS> your website is a Godsend to a newbie!!!

Dear Deb,

Insurance is one of those things that can really get you riled up. My advice first and foremost is to shop around. Recently, Progressive Insurance has raised their rates to an unrealistic amount and I've heard complaints about it from all over the US. My take is that they did it because they aren't that interested in providing motorcycle insurance. Maybe they have written too many policies and need to take a breather. Whatever the reason, they have aised their rates to such an extent that I know about a dozen other scooterists who have gone elsewhere. I have since switched to GEICO and have a slightly better rate than my lowest Progressive premium.

Scooter insurance should cost less than automobile insurance because your ability to create damage with a scooter is much less than in a car. However, when you look into scooter insurance you will see tht uninsured motorist coverage is likely the largest chunk of your premium. Why? because it protects YOU (who is inclined to suffer the most damage, especially to your body) in a collision. I fully believe that it is a necessary component to your insurance policy. if you rear-end a car what damage will you ause to it? Maybe a dent and some paint. But if a uninsued motorists hits you... he could total your scooter and injure or kill you If you end up in the hospital and out of work, you'll be glad to have that coverage.

Here are some tips to getting less expensive insurance:

1) Determine your coverage needs: If you own a scooter that you are financing, you most likely need full coverage to protect your financer's interest. If it is paid in full and you own an inexpensive model you may consider skipping it. My vintage Vespas do not carry full coverage because they are not my main mode of transportation. If I crash one I'll just bite the bullet and pay for fixing it when I can. If I only had a scooter (no additinal scooters, no car) I probably would have full coverage. Also, your limits of liability can vary, so determine which fit your needs.

2) Shop around: and when you do make sure you are getting quotes for the same coverage. Determine what limits of liability you want and other coverages and make sure you get the exact same items in your quote. Some states do not require uninsured motorist coverage, or an agent may quote you lower limits of liability which will affect your price. Likewise, shop around at EVERY renewal. You'll eaither coonfirm you've got the lowest coverage or you'll find somewhere else that does.

Look for discounts: If you have taken a motorcycle riding safety course (YES you should do it to make yourself a better rider!) you may be entitiled to an insurance discount. Also, membership in certain clubs & associations may entitle you to discounts. Finally, some companies that write both homeowner/renter, automobile and motorcycle insurance may give you a multiple policy discount. Always ask your agent about discounts. They may not tell you about them up front.

Pay in full: Save money on finance charges by paying your insurance in full. Also, go for yearly policies instead of semi-annual. You can lock in a good rate and save on finance charges over that time. However, if you have a ticket on your record that will soon be falling off, ou may consider a shorter policy. that way when your ticket goes off your record you won't be stuck with a year-long policy at your old rate.

Check out my pinstripes!
Green is paint, but silver pinstripes make it POP!

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