One of the things most MP3 owners like least about their scooters is the saddle and Red Dog's was no different, after 50 miles I was ready for a new butt.
If you visit the Modern Vespa forum - http://www.modernvespa.com/forum/index.html and select MP3 Discussion you’ll find a number of threads addressing that issue. Piaggio, Red Dog’s maker, doesn’t seem to take into account there’s more than a few riders who have less than a 32” inseam or butts not made of cast iron. As a result shorter riders with regular butts find the stock saddle less than pleasant, not to mention being unable to reach the ground with their feet.
For some that last part isn’t a big issue as they’ve learned how to lock the front wheels in place when stopping for lights, etc. For others who have experience riding two-wheelers, particularly dirt bikes and dual-sport bikes they’ve adapted to being on tippy-toes when stopped and are able to deal with it. I sort of fall (no pun intended) into that category although I wouldn’t mind being able to stand flat-footed if possible.
My main issue with the stock saddle wasn't that so much as was the short distance it placed me relevant to the handlebars, way closer than what my ape-like arms are comfortable with. I’ve spent a lifetime riding bikes that allowed me to scoot back a ways and thus extend my arms to a relaxed position.
Red Dog’s design was such that I ended up feeling cramped and it had to be fixed; this meant restructuring the entire configuration of the saddle. At the same time I wanted a more comfortable choice of material – leather - plus I’d always lusted for a back rest and this seemed like the time to do it.
We arrived at his shop a day early so we hooked up the RV and settled in for the afternoon. Rich was on hand and hooked up the cable TV feed so we wouldn't have telly withdrawals. Man it's hard having to rough it but we managed.
Nice shades of pink...manly colors. Think he'll notice?
This looks like it will solve the ring of fire issue. Soft squishy orange stuff. Probably illegal.
Time to cover up all the creative stuff with a nice layer of foam, sort of like a blanket. Should hold lots of water. Wow, this is cool. Is this your Sharpie or mine? I think mine's black so maybe this one is your's. Mine now, eh? That's Canadian, eh?
Mom told me to be a dentist. So much for my attention span. I love my job though, get to meet lots of old dudes. Like LarryLarrySeventyFive. How weird is that?
You ever wonder where that old shower curtain went after you were done with it? Now you know. Truth is everything. Sort of. Some times. Eh?
Hey Boss, can we go home soon? Like, the ferry leaves in 15 minutes and if I miss it I have to wait around for another hour. Maybe all night. Please?
Hey pardner you're not falling asleep on me are you? It's not that late you know, just slightly past my normal dinner time. But don't let that bother you.
See this little slot here? Never, never put your finger in it, OK? Not if you want to get it back. You remember those cute little Chinese finger puzzles they used to give out at the county fair? Same thing only this one's made out of steel.
So waddaya think old timer, feel good on your creaky old subframe? You wanted it heated? Too late now Dude, but maybe we could install shoulder harness tomorrow...
So here it is tomorrow already and Rich has one of his guys give Red Dog a bath in anticipation of a photo shoot.
What a slick dog, all dressed up to kill...Mmmm...mmmm!
Time to load up and head home, the rain's let up for the moment and we need to take advantage of it. We'll stop in Portland to see the kids and grandkids, then head south to Bandon.
You never know what the real price of something will be until you get where you're going. Confusion as to which road to take resulted in backing up during which time a minor distraction enabled me to jackknife the trailer. Duh... At least it was the quarter panel that had already been pranged. Still tasted like crap though.
Home at last and except for the mangy quarter panel all is well. Red Dog was a filthy pig due to the constant rain storm but she cleaned up well and looks fit for more photos. Her new saddle feels good on my toosh and I expect I'll enjoy rides a lot more with it.
Final approval from Chance, our collie. He seems satisfied with whatever Red Dog brought home on her tires... It's always good to be home.