Wednesday, January 14, 2009

the beginning post

my fondness for mopeds began in october of 2007 when i traveled down from grand rapids, mi to louisville, ky to spend a weekend with my friend, and bourbon bandit, jason wadowski. i remember when i called him up months earlier to hear that he had sold his car to what i believe was a scrap metal yard for a couple hundred bucks and found himself a yellow jcpenney pinto on craigslist.

this was the beginning of his love of mopeds and later would be how i would come to love them as well. In the spring of 2008, and after much debate and saving of money, i traveled down to louisville another time to work on piecing together a vespa grande. we rebuilt the engine and a few weeks later the ghost riders helped me get it started and i was on my way. hooked i suppose.
in june of 2008 i acquired my next grande, a rare oil injection model that had all the covers and turn signal box. this one i found on craigslist in detroit and was in really good condition. soon after i had my setup from the first grande on the second one, a week later i rode it in get stuffed, the grand rapids moped rally, and then have it stop running. i began working on an organic farm and had zero time to fix it.

both grandes sat in my garage for months until mid november when the farm season ended and i finally had time to work on them, but not the weather to ride them. eventually i took both grandes completely apart in my basement and cleaned them all up. soon after christmas i found a vespa ciao on craigslist that was also in good condition, although not running. a few hours of work and it was zipping around the frigid but dry streets of grand rapids.

last week i traded my first moped, the red grande, for a collection of vespa parts, kinetic engine w/CDI, another collection of malossi performance parts, and two beat up ciao frames.


the start of these two ciao projects has prompted me to begin this blog to document my progress on them, as well as the rest of my "piaggio family." eight months ago i never would have thought that i would own 4 mopeds. i'm so blessed, and lucky. jason is also building a ciao this winter and has said the he wants to start a blog as well. i will post the link when it becomes available.

EDIT: it's now it's available, Running to Stay Free


  1. i dont know if owning 4 vespas is blessed...

    cursed, maybe.

  2. When i got into mopeds, all i could think about was how awesome it would be if you were in Louisville, because I knew that you would become obsessed as much as I was. I'm glad to get you started on your way and am stoked that we can document our vespa builds simultaneously. Good luck on your projects.