Yesterday afternoon when I was grocery shopping at the local Carrefour, I came out to discover this:
I bought the scooter in September 2011 and have replaced the batteries several times over the years, though never due to theft. The scooter totally changed my life. We've always had a car, but I hate driving it (there are now five million cars in Beijing) so it just sits in the garage collecting dust. With the scooter I'm truly free.
The scooter the day I bought it ... cost 4000 yuan (US$640) all-in ... it looks considerably worse for wear now and is carried as a fully depreciated asset in my mind. Yes, I really do think like that.
Four 12-volt batteries (20 amp) cost 750 yuan (~US$120). If you have your old batteries their trade-in value is 200 yuan (US$32). My scooter repair boy said he'd fashion a lock for these new ones and I'll update the post once he does that and I get a photo of it (assuming the batteries are not stolen again in the meantime).
Update: My scooter repair boy can't weld, so he just installed a conventional motion-activated alarm.