Kinetic details 2007 plans, and Dragster

Following the success of the Blaze, Kinetic announced more specific 2007 plans today. As previously announced, the Indian company will release three scooters this year. The new details:

  • The first scooter (due “as soon as April”) will be called the Euro, with a 125-135 cc engine and targeted towards whatever passes as a “luxury” market in India. It will be based on the design of one of the seven designs licensed from Italjet, though it’s not clear which the Italjet Jet Set.
  • The second scooter will be a four-stroke, sub-100cc, SYM-designed scooterette to be launched in May (SYM–based in Taiwan–owns 11.1% of Kinetic).
  • The third scooter (India never ceases to amaze us) will be the Dragster. The Business Standard describes the Dragster as “co-owned by Italjet and KMCL…the only brand that [was] not completely bought out by the two-wheeler manufacturer.” The Kinetic/Italjet Dragster is due out by the end of the year. Feel free to speculate away on whether this will be the same Dragster touted by Italjet and DiamoUSA.

Chinese scooters: made in Connecticut!

The Hartford Courant reports that Chinese/Greek company Eugro (“The leader in Telecommunications, Transportation & Home Confort Airconditioning”) has plans to manufacture Eurospeed scooters in Connecticut. The novelty and excitement of a Chinese company manufacturing in the U.S. is tempered a bit by the fact that up until today, the nominal “scooter experts” at 2SB had never heard of Eugro, or Eurospeed scooters, and the US division is run by a suburban Ford dealer. But we’ll keep an eye out for them at Dealer Expo.

French Scooter Thieves Beware!

It has become apparent that DNA testing is now among “classic methods” for tracking down Booster boosters in France.  BBC News reports of the controversy over the investigation of the theft of a scooter belonging to the son of French Interior Minister and Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy.  Critics claim Mr. Sarkozy may have invoked special treatment of the case of the theft after DNA tests were used to narrow the suspect pool.  This scooterist wonders if these techniques will become standard methods in the US as well.


It occurred to us today that this is Chicago summer cicada invasion year. Kathy pointed out this useful fact:

If a cicada lands on you, it is only because it finds you to be a convenient place to land — unless you happen to be using a lawnmower or weed-whacker, in which case it might be attracted by the sound!”

Great, I’m really looking forward to a whole month of 2″ long crunchy insects trying to mate with my scooter.

Piaggio MP3 on YouTube

POCPhil found the Piaggio MP3 promo film on YouTube. It’s pretty low quality (possibly re-filmed off a TV screen), so I hunted down another, clearer version with different (better) music,including David Bowie’s “Cat People” and Joey Ramone’s version of “What a Wonderful World.” Whether this was an official Piaggio trade-show edit, or something some maniac on the web put together is unclear. In any case, it’s cheesy, but the fact that Piaggio could be arsed to promote one of their vehicles is hope for the future. There’s a lot more MP3 video on YouTube, including a funny MP3 clip from British TV show Fifth Gear featuring some difficult lane-splitting and an MP3 time trial versus a Vespa P200. If that’s not boring you yet, check out this MP3-400 footage from EIMCA, a MP3 test ride in Cy’s hometown, and more.

MSF scooter booklet

Motorcycle Safety Foundation brochure

Among the many great publications available for free download at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s website, you’ll find “You and Your Scooter” (Download PDF), a 70-page booklet with great illustrations by Glen Reid. Covering basic safety, riding technique, laws, and maintenance, it’s an absolute must-read for any scooterist, and should be cable-tied to the throttle of every scooter sold in America. Obviously, it’s not terribly specific, all scooters are different and laws vary around the country, but it’s a great starting point for new (and old) riders. (Thanks to Larry on the CHIscooterList!)

Scooter Swag

I don’t mention Scooter Swag nearly enough, it’s a definite must-check-weekly and saves me the trouble of posting every…scooter…thing I see, because I’ll never keep up with them. Tracy Ball has added Cassie Maringer to the ScooterSwag team, and Cassie’s recent burst of activity is astounding. There’s so much scooter stuff out there it makes you wonder if it’s not time to find a new, less hip hobby.

Rahul dances as sons face realities of business

As his sons deal with embezzlers, environmental regulation, and the Chinese, Rahul Bajaj danced the night away in Switzerland:

The Cabana Night Club in this Swiss ski resort, which boasts of the highest CEO density this time of the year, last night saw the cream of India, Inc. jostle for space on the dance floor and groove to Bollywood numbers.
Sunil Mittal, Rahul Bajaj and Nandan Nilekani let their guard down at the ‘Bollywood Night’ hosted by Azim Premji, as DJ Aqueel from Cairo belted out groovy numbers from movies like Omkara and Bunti Aur Babli. While the seniors matched step to step, sometimes even better than the choreographed sequences in the movies, young business leaders, including Aditya Mittal, heir to L. N. Mittal’s steel empire, were content to stand in the wings and see others swing around with their spouses.

2sb would pay good money for video of Rahul’s Bollywood moves. You know where to find me, McCabe.

BBC America goes mod

BBC America

BBC America unveiled a new identity this week, designed by mOcean. The new logo is a modified “mod target,” aka “Royal Air Force rondel,” let’s hope they have better luck with that than Lambretta Clothing. A new series of channel IDs include this one, featuring a euro-spec Vespa P200E (right-click to download) parked at a biker bar. (Thanks, Steve. Video and still: mOcean.)