LML back in February

It’s Christmas in… um… late December: citing “large export orders for two-wheelers” among other factors, LML announced production of scooters and autorickshaws will restart in 2 months, hopefully ending nearly a year of labor strife, legal wrangling, government meddling, threats of self-immolation, and general whining. Those export-only two-wheelers are presumably the LML Star, Genuine Stella, and New Zealand-model Belladona, making LML the only worldwide manufacturer of Vespa-style steel-bodied manual-transmission scooters. It’s unclear, but possible the autorickshaws are being built under contract for Bajaj. Thanks, M5 for keeping an eye on the BBS for me.

100,000th Vespa of 2006


At 12:30pm on Tuesday, December 19, a red Vespa GTS 250, the 100,000th Vespa of 2006, rolled off the Piaggio assembly line, a production milestone not reached since 1990. Vespa production topped 50,000 in 2004, and reached 87,000 in 2005, so Vespa production has doubled in two years. Piaggio chairman/CEO Roberto Colaninno came down to the line for the celebration, and announced the company will donate one Euro for each Vespa sold in 2006 and 2007 to the Italian multiple sclerosis association AISM. Photo: Piaggio

News bits

Sorry, we’ve still been a bit under the weather and busy with the impending holidays, but here are some stories from the last week to keep you up to date:

Gizmag on the GP800, electric MP3 in works

Gizmag has a look at the new 850cc Gilera GP 800, the first scooter to ever round down its displacement. It reads a bit like a reworded press release, giving the impression they haven’t ridden it either, but it’s fair to predict it’s going to be a pretty exciting ride. To be honest, the thing that excites me most about it is that demand may eventually force Piaggio to bring the Gilera brand to the U.S., which would make the Gilera Runner finally available here.

Earlier last week, Gizmag also reported that Vectrix is developing an electric version of the 3-wheeled MP3under license from Piaggio.

Free “Scooter Babe” pattern from Crafty Planet

Crafty Planet scooter fabrics

Our good friends Matt and Trish at Crafty Planet are offering a special holiday deal for 2strokebuzz readers. Order any fabric (including, but not limited to, the 1 2 3 4 scooter-themed fabrics shown above) and get a free Sublime Stitching “Scooter Babe” Pattern now through the end of 2006. Just put ‘2SB ROCKS’ in the comments field when checking out and the pattern will be yours. Even if you’re not crafty, or not buying for a crafter, the Planet offers loads of great handmade gifts.

Tuk Talk in London

Jo and Ants of Tuk to the Road fame will appear Tuesday (December 12, 2006) at the Royal Geographical Society in London at 7:30pm to talk about their travels and show a short film. The pair traveled 12, 500 miles across Asia and Europe this summer, raising nearly £33,000 to date for Mind, and are currently working on a book.

Colaninno: 4 years in jail for role in scandal

colaninno.jpgPowersports Business online reports today that an Italian court has convicted Piaggio & C. SpA Chairman and CEO Roberto Colaninno for illegal handling of the bankruptcy of a real estate and hotel company. Colannino has been sentenced to more than 4 years of jail time, subject to appeal. Two other Italian bankers were also convicted and sentenced. Colaninno remains in his post at Piaggio. We’ll certainly have more details on this as it becomes more clear.