After a little bit of tuning and the replacement of the temporary mirror the Troll sailed through the vehicle inspection. I'd taken the day off work and Ivo and Roberto bought the Troll around to my house - great service! I rode the bike to the licensing centre and after the usual long wait I finally registered the Troll in my name and was handed the license plates. I then took the Beast for a cruise around the neighbourhood to get a feel for her.
Firstly I'll repeat my earlier observation - she's very hard to start. This is certainly a frustration. The Troll is just so big and heavy that it is difficult to hold her steady (and leaning away from you) while reaching over to hold down the throttle AND putting sufficient grunt into the kick. As if the exhaustion of repeatedly trying to kickstart it wasn't enough, I almost dropped the bike several times into the bargin. That said, once the engine was warmed up, it started first time each time.
Once running however, the Troll handles quite well. It is a BIG scooter and you can feel it. The seating position is very comfortable. The steering feels very direct and because you are sitting up and well forward it does feel that bike is pivoting around you and makes for a surprisingly tight turning circle, given the size of the bike.
I found the 'heel and toe' gear changing very smooth, once I'd got the hang of it. It helps to wear appropriate shoes - my fashionable work shoes with their long toe really didn't foot that particular bill. I haven't really had to use the brakes in anger but I suspect the old drum brakes might be a weak point, but this is what you get with a forty year old scooter.
Although 149cc's is not a particularly big engine (hell, the VBB has a 150cc!) it feels like it has power. On a flat straight run it reached 70km per hour without any difficulty. The only thing stopping me pushing it further (apart from the traffic) was vibration in the front wheel. Surprisingly the Troll does get buffeted about by the wind. James in the UK also observed this. It seems strange that such a big and heavy scooter can be affected by wind, but I guess those big flat barn door sides do act a bit like sails.
I've only ridden the Troll for about an hour and she performed very well. I am looking forward to 'debuting' her on this Sunday's scooter run from Fremantle to Bibra Lake. It's not a big trip but it's being filmed for an "On Two Wheels" scooter special so that should be fun.
The Troll and Vespa side by side. The Troll is almost half a metre longer and has substantially more 'body'