Those of us who like accessories have our favorites. On my Series 2 TV175, it's the floorboard extensions. On my Starstream it's the rear rack/spare carrier. For my Series 3 Li Special it's that goofy little headlight stone guard.
But, to me and many people who have seen one, the ultimate scooter accessory for just about any bike is the PAV trailer. Made in the former Czechoslovakia, the PAV is that quirky little teardrop shaped, single wheel trailer you see once in a blue moon being towed behind a scooter or motorcycle, usually of the vintage variety.
Originally developed for the Czech-built Jawa motorcycle, the PAV trailer made a quick transition to scooters. It was only natural. Scooterists wanted space to haul gear on long trips and the PAV is a tidy and relatively lightweight package that fits neatly behind just about any scooter. Have a friend with some welding skills fabricate a hitch, adapt the wiring of your tail light and you've added a surprising amount of storage capacity.
Granted, the typical scooter can only tow so much extra weight! And that is why I pull my PAV with my Li Special. My Special has a Rapido225 kitted engine with a modest expansion chamber and carburetor to match, giving it plenty of grunt to pull a load.
Earliest examples of the PAV date back to the mid 1950s. The PAV40 style trailer debuted in 1958, which was then replaced by the PAV41, which was produced into the '70s. PAV trailers feature a tiny, 4-inch wheel on which a chubby tire is mounted.
The PAV40 is the trailer of choice, to be sure. It's tail light looks more rounded and "vintage," whereas the PAV41's tail light looks like it came off of a Stella scooter. Of course, it didn't, but you get the point. The PAV40 has double spring and pushrod suspension, sort of like our Lambretta forks. The PAV41 has a big rubber bumper, which is not nearly as effective.
PAV trailers are hard to find. While you will see more in Europe, they aren't everywhere. Even a worldwide search on Ebay results in nothing most weeks. I bought my PAV40 from a Portland man who imports hard-to-find motorcycles and accessories from eastern Europe. He brings over a couple of containers a year and one of those containers usually has one or two PAVs.
How much did I pay, you ask? $900 cash from a Craig's List ad. Nope, it isn't cheap. But what did you expect for the ultimate scooter accessory?
Originally published August, 2009.