I set off on a warm Saturday fall afternoon with the sun and wind at my back. Revelling on the old Waverley Road, I quickly reeled in a touring bike and a couple of Harleys.
With dual disc brakes, steel-braided lines, anti-dive hardware and sport tires, this 50cc fully de-restricted liquid-cooled stock Peugeot Speedfight 2 scooter handles like a sport bike.
Despite having raced at Atlantic Motorsport Park (AMP) for several years, I’ve yet been able to drag anything while so well-leaned over. What a blast.
At AMP, I primarily raced two-strokes. Once you’ve experienced being ‘on the pipe’ of a Yamaha RZ-350 or Honda NS-400, current small four-stroke motorcycles seem boring. My 1986 Honda NS-400 had roughly 40% more horsepower than the current king of lightweight motorcycles, Kawaski’s 2020 Ninja 400.
I saw hundreds of motorcycles on the old Number 2 Highway that autumn day, but only one other scooter, a white mid-sized Vespa near Alton heading back toward Halifax.
I spent several long sections of that ride with the throttle at 7/8, sitting right at the edge of the red zone, or what I assumed was the red zone since the speedometer only registered to 80 km/h. My understanding is that at that point, the CVT ratios are maxed and that you are close to redline.
I felt like I was flying.
I made Truro in 90 minutes, on back roads, from downtown Halifax. It was a beautiful ride on a surprisingly capable small scooter.
Peugeot scooters and cars have only been available here and there in Canada and not sold in North America since 1991. When I saw this older (but mint) performance two-stroke scooter for sale in Halifax, I had to jump on it, despite the sketchy seller*.
The ride back on Monday was in the remnants of a hurricane.
By the time I got back to the city, although I had snowmobile gloves on and six layers of clothes, I was so wet and cold, my core shivers were shaking the handlebars. My fingers were so numb I couldn’t feel the loonie in my pocket for the bridge toll.
My wife had to open the door for me.
*Sketchy Seller: East Coast Tester, Garry Sowerby ?