Scooter tent!

Lambretta tentAgain, sorry we’ve been kinda slow here, it’s been a nutty couple of weeks. I’m taking the Blur camping this weekend, and while I’m not nearly as stylin’ as these two fine ladies and their Series I Lambretta tent (so simple even a woman can assemble it!), I’m looking forward to a nice long ride on the Blur. I’m really enjoying the Blur, and I have a lot to say about it, when I get time to organize my thoughts. (Thanks to Aimee for the link, the video is from the amazing British Pathe Archive.)

US MP3 due in early 2007, more “tilters” in the works.

Good news and bad news for American fans of the Piaggio MP3: Despite promises to deliver the three-wheeler by December, and reports that the American version will be unveiled to dealers at Piaggio’s October dearler meeting, CNN reports the scooter won’t arrive until first-quarter 2007. Worse news; it will sell for a somewhat-ridiculous $7000. The good news is the model described by CNN is the 4-stroke, 4-valve 250cc Quasar engine with electronic fuel injection (earlier reports suggested we’d get the 125cc LEADER version).

Piaggio really seems to be marketing this thing to — as CNN says — “those who are simply afraid of falling over.” I continue to suspect that while the MP3 is likely somewhat better-handling than most two-wheelers, anyone afraid to ride a motorcycle or scooter is going to feel just as terrified on an MP3 the moment the wheels are unlocked from parking position. We also wonder whether the MP3’s size and weight will further intimidate such people, or inspire car-like confidence.

Thanks for the link from Mad Man Maddox, who also points us to some other exciting three-wheeled vehicles in the works.

News Briefs

I’m falling behind again, it must be the beginning of hockey season (and the launch of the Galewood Cookshack, more on that later).

“Monster” designer joins Aprilia design team

Rubbermag reports that Miguel Galluzzi, the designer of the Ducati Monster as well as many other Ducati, Cagiva, and Husqvarna motorcycles, has been named the new Manager of the Aprilia Style Centre. Aprilia Brand Manager Leo Francesco Mercanti gushes, “…Aprilia has always stood out for its different and original styling. In this context, Galluzzi, who is not just a creative genius but a passionate motorcyclist, is without a doubt the right man to guide the Aprilia design team to new heights of excellence.” Scooters are likely beneath him, but the Scarabeo line could sure use his help.

LML: “One Italian, one Chinese and two Indian”

This slipped past me last week in one of the several stories about LML declaring itself “sick:”

LML is believed to be in talks with one Italian, one Chinese and two Indian companies and the talks will continue as the revival of the company is still sought after.

Genuine is surely sick of hearing LML conspiracy stories, but it’s just so much fun to come up with them. This story is as close to “Tom Cruise’s Baby” as scooter news gets, because anything could happen. Is Piaggio looking at LML? Is Genuine? Is Genuine working with PGO to take over LML? Is Bajaj considering LML (see the last story)? Hero Honda? Will the government rescue LML? Will LML employees set themselves on fire? Sure, the most likely outcome is that nothing will ever happen, but it’s fun to think about, and it kills any vintage scooterist to think that that assembly line could be sold for scrap metal tomorrow. (Thanks, John, for pointing out that important detail!)

Bajaj plans 2007 return to scooter market

Bajaj is returning to the scooter market with 75 and 125cc automatic scooters next year, followed by an automatic 150cc model. The company abandoned scooter production last year — including the historic Chetak line of Vespa-like metal geared scooters — as small-displacement motorcycles gained popularity in India. Now they’ve been caught in the middle of a worldwide scooter boom with no scooters in production and only one scooter model, the Wave, at dealers. Can a new Chetak be far behind? Will the new 150cc automatic bear the Chetak name?