Friday, December 21, 2007

Have a Merry Vespa Christmas

To all of our two wheel friends from HeinznFrenchie.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Frenchie is Now Purring like a Cat Instead of Squeaking Like a Mouse

After more than two months of dealing with this awful squeaking, we finally found a solution. We went on the Internet to research the problem and discovered a wonderful message board for Vespa owners, . We also found out that there are lots of squeaking LX 150 Vespas out there and lots of people looking for solutions. So we posted to the message board and got an email from a Vespa dealer in San Jose, CA that told us how he fixed the problem. He did not want to put the instructions on the message board because the fix that he created was not sanctioned by Vespa.

Our Vespa dealer went directly to the USA tech representative out in California and discussed the problem with them. Replacing the swing arm will resolve the problem if you get a swing arm that was manufactured recently. If you are receiving swing arms that were manufactured prior to them discovering the problem, then you are replacing a bad swing arm with another bad swing arm. That is what was happening with us. However there is a way to fix the old swing arms without having to replace them. That is what the dealer in San Jose did, “some creative mechanics”. Let us know if you need some help with that. Joe, our service rep will be happy to help you too.

We are looking forward to hitting the road this weekend and enjoying a smoother quieter ride.

For fun here is a photo of an iguana sunning by the canal. He is really not too big; there are some big mamas here in SoFla. And they are soooooooo fast.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More than 30,000 Santas on bikes take part in annual Christmas Toys in the Sun Run

This is the 20th annual Motorcycle Ride for Toys here in Fort Lauderdale. I 95 is closed to auto traffic for several miles on a Sunday in December. This article appeared in the South Florida Sun Sentinel and was written by Sallie James.


When Mark Hull rumbled down Interstate 595 on his Harley- Davidson during Sunday's Christmas Toys in the Sun Run, it wasn't his bike that drew stares. It was his goofy black-and-white cow suit, complete with a rubber udder, combined with bright red Christmas stockings pulled over his biker boots. "I did it for the kids," said Hull, a plumber from Coconut Creek. "I'm a Christmas cow."

More than 30,000 toy-bearing motorcyclists riding on everything from wildly stretched choppers to traditional touring bikes took to the road, where they were greeted by waving spectators who had pulled up lawn chairs to watch the parade. The traffic-stopping procession from Pompano Harness Track to Markham Park started shortly after 10 a.m. and lasted about three hours.

The toys are distributed to needy families across Broward County. Most of the money raised through the run benefits Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, a Hollywood facility known for successfully treating pediatric cancer patients.

Hailey Plunkett, 3, of Hollywood, is one of the bikers' inspirations. Diagnosed with leukemia in October 2006, Hailey is enduring chemotherapy through February 2009. She is thriving, and her hair recently grew back. "It's extremely scary, and it's very difficult," said her father, Brian Plunkett, 47. "We worry all the time." Plunkett was immensely impressed with Sunday's gigantic fundraiser. "It's unbelievable. I can't say enough about the bikers," Plunkett said as he cuddled his sandy-haired daughter.

Since its inception 20 years ago, the run has collected more than 20 million toys and $6 million in donations. The event draws riders from as far away as New York, Detroit and California.

Paul Azore, 40, of Davie, said money raised from the run has meant life for his son Randy, 4, who was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in November 2006. Randy, whose hair fell out twice, just completed a year's chemotherapy. His future is filled with hope, his father said.
"How can you explain a child's suffering?" Paul Azore said, surrounded by bikers in black leather as he stood behind the main concert stage at Markham Park. "This is awesome. I want to take my son around to meet the bikers so they can see why they are doing this."

Organized by the South Florida President's Council, an umbrella organization for motorcycle clubs and associations, the event attracted about 60,000 people, including celebrities such as singer Vince Neil of Motley Crue.

Neil's daughter died of cancer when she was 4, so the fundraiser spoke to his heart.
"Anytime I can do something for the charities, I do it," said Neil, who rode in the motorcycle procession on a tricked-out, custom chopper. The "Girls, Girls, Girls" bike, as he calls it, will eventually be displayed in his new Dr. Feelgood's Rock Bar in West Palm Beach.

"It all comes down to one thing, the children," said Dave Amchir, director of the South Florida President's Council and one of the event's coordinators.

Amchir's father, Robert, was the driving force behind the toy run until he died unexpectedly only days before last year's event. He was 67.

At Pompano Harness Track, Lynette Marconi, 50, of Hollywood, a member of the Alternative Motorcycle Club, passed out "In memory of Bob Amchir" stickers that bikers affixed to their headlights.

"I think people want to keep his memory alive because he was such a huge part of this," Marconi said. "This event is just going to keep getting bigger and bigger each year."

Friday, December 7, 2007

Frenchie is Still a Chirping Yellow Vespa

We just picked up Frenchie from Varsity Cycles for the weekend, he's been there all week and they changed out parts and tested him and after 5 days and 40+ miles of road test, he still chirps and squeaks. We live just a few miles from the Vespa shop and by the time we got home he was chirping loudly again.

Frenchie has had a new swing arm, a new motor mount, & a variety of replaced pieces. Can this yellow Vespa be a "lemon"? The motor runs good and the ride is good, just very noisy with a high pitched squeak.

Does anyone out there have any idea what is going on with the new yellow LX150 Vespas? Heinz, our red LX150, runs like a Swiss clock and almost as quiet. But you hear Frenchie coming down the road before he arrives. He is beautiful but Bad!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Lauderdale Yacht Club

The Lauderdale Yacht Club dates as far back at 1938 and is on the Intracoastal in Rio Vista, another beautiful neighborhood in our city. They were having the 2007 First Annual LYC Murcury Invitational Regatta and we watched the younger sailors from banks of the Intracoastal.

You can see how small the sailboats are and also how small the kids are. You can also see the 17th Street Causeway bridge open for boats. A lovely sunny afternoon with just enough of a breeze to make sailing enjoyable.

If you are into bridges that open, check out the website about the building of the 17th St Causeway Bridge. They have some nice photos there as well as stats about the bridge. It is the newest and largest bridge that we have in Fort Lauderdale.

This week both Heinz and Frenchie were in the shop. The piece that we have been waiting for, (a swing arm) came in for Frenchie, and Heinz had to have the starter replaced. One day Heinz was running great and the next he would not start, so Varsity Cycle had to come and get him. They called back a little later and told us he needed a new starter. Now they are both home and looking forward to some fun on the roads again.

We have to say that the service department at Varsity Cycles is really top notch! They are so nice and accommodating. We are also lucky in that we have a 3 year warranty.