Sunday, January 29, 2012

Scalpel's Scooter Saga

SPOILER: This is the my new scooter
How to sum up in a short blog post the long and depressing saga of my Genuine Blur scooter, and the happy ending that resulted in a new bike in our garage?

Flash back to August, 2010. I had accepted the cold hard fact that my beloved scooter, the Rattler, was just not fast enough for the commute I was asking it to endure. It was a great scooter, but I was asking too much of it, and needed to get something big enough to handle a fast commute way up Highway 99. Wanting to get something right away, I bought a 220cc Genuine Blur from Ducati Seattle. The Blur was fast, acceleration was awesome, and the handling was incredibly sporty. It was like a sports bike in a scooter package. I loved it.

Then the problems started...

I started noticing that sometimes the scooter would gradually lose power, and other times it wouldn't idle properly. This was odd, since unlike most scooters at the time, the Blur was fuel injected, and should be able to automatically adjust the idle and air/fuel mix to any conditions. But it still mostly ran fine, and so I didn't worry about. And then it kept getting worse and worse.

The Genuine Blur. When it was good it was very very good...
[This is the part of the story where we show a musical montage of me taking the scooter in for service, waiting for phone calls that never come, finding out they swapped out yet another random part, getting the scooter back, and then finding out three or four rides later that it's still broken. This montage lasts for more than six months.]

After getting very frustrated with the communication problems of Ducati Seattle, I finally contacted Genuine Scooters directly and explained how pissed off I was. We agreed that I should take the scooter to Kent Kawasaki instead, since they were the people I bought the Rattler from, and I trusted their mechanics implicitly. Unlike a lot of motorcycle dealers that also sell scooters, they actually like scooters a lot and take them seriously, instead of thinking of them as something they're forced to tolerate. I limped the bike the 30 miles to Kent, and waited a few weeks as they tore the thing apart to an extent that no one had before. After much consulting with Massimo, Genuine's top technician, they cautiously declared it in good working order and handed it back. As it turns out, it worked fine for about five rides, and then started showing the same problems again.

At this point Massimo decided two things:
  1. This whole saga had been going on too long and wasn't fair to me. It had been a year of hassles and having to own an unreliable scooter, and part of Genuine's reputation is rock-solid reliability.
  2. He really wanted to take a look at my Blur and experiment with the fuel injection software in person, since he felt that solving the problems with my Blur might end up benefiting all other Blur owners as well, even those not experiencing the same issues.
After a lot of phone conferences between Massimo, his bosses, Kent Kawasaki, and I, we came to an agreement on how to wrap this up. Yesterday I bundled up against the cold, limped the bike to Kent for the last time, and handed it and all its paperwork to Kent Kawasaki. In return they handed me the keys to a new Genuine Stella 4-stroke, a terrific metal-bodied scooter equipped with a modern, 4-stroke engine.

The ride back to Seattle was a little scary due to the road conditions, but the scooter itself ran like a dream, and I suspect that I'm going to fall in love with this bike the same way I fell in love with my Rattler.

If there is a moral or lesson to the story, it's that sometimes mistakes happen, but that some companies care enough to do whatever they can to make things right. Massimo and The Genuine Scooter Company were amazingly patient, and put in long hours trying to get my problem child working right, and Kent Kawasaki and Steve the mechanic stepped into a mess that wasn't theirs to begin with and moved mountains to help out. Both companies earned a very loyal customer out of this, and I'll be singing their praises for a long time to come. If you need a scooter, take the time to go to Kent Kawasaki and they will get you setup with whatever Genuine Scooter your heart desires. They carry every model in every color, so there's no waiting for exact one you want. And if it ever has problems, their service department knows those scooters like no one else in the state.

I regret that the Blur didn't work out, and I'm sure that in a few months Massimo's tweaks to the software will turn that scooter model into a monster on the road. I'm just happy to have a fun, reliable scooter again. Now I just need to name it...

1 comment:

  1. Great to see such a great scooter as it is very attractive as interested to know more on this scooter. I also searches for mini scooter online and now searching for the reviews of people about it. Thanks for the information.

    mini scooter