Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A New Mini Bike Engine

There is a brand new mini bike engine in a heavy shipping box next to my desk. Of course Monster Scooter Parts sells a good selection of replacement scooter and mini bike engines from its veritable smorgasbord of interesting stuff, so the big box labeled "Engine for Mini Bike" temporarily makes an excellent table for me to drop my hat and backpack upon.

But this is not just any garden variety mini bike engine. A little research into mini bike engines confirms this is the "97cc Engine for Baja Blitz, Dirt Bug, Doodle Bug, & Racer Mini Bike" and is probably destined to be mounted on someone's Baja Motor Sports recreational scooter. Opening up the box and taking a look, I see this "Engine for Mini Bike" would no doubt work well on any number of applications and garage projects. Mini bike engines, like other small gasoline-powered engines have come a long way in the past few years. It doesn't seem like that long ago when 49cc engines were the standard on street scooters, and a lot of mini bikes and such were home-built projects slung with an engine recycled from a push lawnmower.

This box will soon be gone; the new mini bike engine shipped out to someone with a Doodle Bug perhaps. Maybe it will find its calling in a custom-made, one of a kind, king of the dirt-track, mechanical masterpiece that is slowly taking shape in somebody's shop. I will just have to find my backpack and old fedora a new spot to rest.

That has me thinking about backpacks and how we carry our necessities around with us. My grandfather was a coal miner and each day he left home for the pits carrying his lunch pail. My dad carried a briefcase and today I carry my daily needs around, my lunch, iPod, CDs to upload onto my work computer, etc., in a small green and grey backpack. When I formerly worked in Washington DC, everyday I saw hundreds of people, from lawyers and receptionists to interns and petty bureaucrats pulling along those little suitcases with the tiny plastic wheels as if their trip to the office was an epic journey like a night flight to Buenos Aires and points beyond.

With these thoughts in mind, I have to wonder if our lives in the early 21st Century is really better than that of or parents and grandparents. Hmmm... comfy chair in an air-conditioned office at Monster Scooter Parts or a deep, dark mine-shaft? Brand new 97cc Engine for Baja Blitz, Dirt Bug, Doodle Bug, & Racer Mini Bike... or some rusted and greasy old lawnmower engine spared from the landfill?

A no brainer.


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