December 18, 2006
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:
- Seinfeld star (and model for illnoise’s current hairstyle) Jason Alexander is getting around Australia on a Vespa.
- Autoblog makes a corny joke about AMCA’s bazooka Vespa with the inevitable comment that, being French, the gun should point backwards.
- There are hundreds of online shops selling electric bikes and scooters, but finally one man, Rich Sathoff of Raleigh, NC, had the idea to actually learn to repair them.
- Despite being indicted in a huge financial scandal last week and facing more than four years in prison, Piaggio boss Roberto Colaninno met with Italy’s prime minister yesterday, and is expected to bid for control of Italian airline Alitalia in January. Only in Italy. (Note: we could be totally misinterpreting that poorly-translated press release).
- Rumors of the death of the Indian scooter market have been exaggerated. Honda’s Indian subsidary is raising scooter production 20% after reports that Bajaj is developing new scooters. Analysts predict Indian makers will introduce as many as 60 new two-wheeler models in 2007, despite the indroduction of Tata Motors well-hyped Rs 1-lakh (US$2,250) automobile. Bajaj, meanwhile, has raised prices on all models other than the Pulsar by a whopping Rs500 (US$11).
- Speaking of the Pulsar, the Bajaj motorcycle was reported to be the first motorcycle to complete the Carrerra Pan Americana, a seven-day, 3000km race across Mexico. This was the first year motorcycles were invited to participate, though the English-language site for the event lists no rules or results for motorcycles.
- Back to India, motoring magazine Top Gear has named the 165cc Kinetic Blaze “‘Two-wheeler design of the year.” Never mind that Italjet designed it several years ago–to be fair, Kinetic has made some improvements to the original.