August 28, 2007
2strokebuzz is proud to announce our sponsorship of the 2007-08 Merciless Tigers Football Club. The Tigers are the 2strokebuzz of Cincinnati rec-league soccer; they’re getting kinda old and they play a little sloppy, but they’re proud, entertaining and fun to drink with. We’ll feature Tigers news, profiles, match reports, and maybe come up with a few terrace chants, and in turn, they’ll advertise 2strokebuzz to the world, or at least anyone in a public park in the Cincinnati suburbs at 9am Saturdays.
What this means for you is that you can finally buy a 2sb soccer jersey and help not only your favorite scooter site, but also your new favorite amateur football team. We’ve ordered only 50 jerseys, the team will have first dibs, leaving the rest up for sale here. The jerseys are black hi-tech synthetic colorfast fabric with silver trim at the neck and a breathable mesh section under the arms and down the sides. They feature an embroidered Merciless Tigers patch (featuring the Tigers’ mascot “Tuff Gnarl”) on the left chest, the 2strokebuzz logo silkscreened in white on the center, and the number printed in white on the back.
The jerseys will be delivered in mid-September, but we’re offering them for presale now at an earlybird price. For a mere $38, you can be among the first (and very few) to own this fashionable piece of scootering, soccer, and drinking history. We can’t promise any specific numbers (and single-digits are traditionally worn by the team) but we’ll try to accommodate your request. The preorder deadline is September 12, two weeks from today, then the price goes up-up-up. Preorders also get an extra “Tuff Gnarl” patch for your shorts, jacket, or sweatshirt. Order 2 or more jerseys and get free shipping. Remember, only 50 are being made, so only 25-30 jerseys are available to 2sb readers.
SHIRTS ARE SOLD OUT, thanks for your support!
Meet the team!
Thanks for your support!
August 28, 2007
Facing a 15% drop in first-quarter two-wheeler sales after a major demerger and a very public emphasis on the budget automotive market (possibly with Renault), Bajaj Auto announced Thursday that production of their only current scooter model, the Crystal, would move from Bajaj’s main Akurdi plant in Pune to a three-wheeler plant in Waluj. 2SB reader/Bajaj fan Dave McCabe suggests this move is similar to Ford announcing they’re no longer making cars in Flint, MI. (Or Piaggio moving Vespa production out of Pontedera). The work week has been cut to four days in Akurdi, and union leaders and workers fear more layoffs or even the possibility of the historic Akurdi plant closing permanently. Despite several revamped motorcycles and talk of an electric bike, scooters don’t seem to be a priority at Bajaj these days.
August 28, 2007
There is still time to call the travel agent, pack your bags and get to Germany for their annualÂ Scooter-Weekend celebration, sponsored by Scooter-Attack.Â On September 29th theÂ HockenheimringÂ will host hordes of scooterists from across the world in what has become one of Europe’sÂ premier modern scooter events.Â The schedule includes drag racing, custom scooter shows and dyno shoot-outs.Â The event is for scooters and mopeds only.Â Quads, motorcycles and scooters with motorcycle engines are not allowed! 2strokebuzz.comÂ reporters are still open to any offers of sponsorship to attend the event.Â In the case of no live coverage from this correspondent, check back in about two months and there should be a nice link to a gallery of photos detailing the weekends festivities.
Click here for computer friendly flier in German.
August 17, 2007
Photos of the Superman-logo-shaped Yamaha EC-02 electric bike have been circulating since 2005, but InventorSpot reports that it’s finally available (at about US$2000) in Japan. Unlike the Vectrix, it doesn’t come close to the performance of even a 50cc gas-powered scooter. But it has several pluses over the many ho-hum electric cycles on the market: an iPod dock with speakers, an original and distinctive design, the Yamaha name (and dealer network), and some sort of mysterious 3-D glow-in-the-dark coating. (Thanks, Kevan!)
August 17, 2007
Can you believe how fast the summer’s gone by? Can you believe that Chicagoland’s oldest, biggest, and best scooter rally, Slaughterhouse 13, is only two weeks away? Can you believe that Slaughterhouse has been around for 13 years? The rally website was updated last night with the final information, so plan accordingly, and we hope to see you there, there’s some great stuff planned.
UPDATE: Check out Chad’s sweet Grindhouse-style poster for the Thursday night party.
August 16, 2007
Lowrider scooters are cool and all, but a month after picking up his restored and kitted Vespa Rally 200 from POC Scooters, Kyle Rose would probably have preferred not being smashed between two SUVs. Sorry Kyle. Here’s a video of Phil riding the bike, which would be uproariously funny had Phil and Kyle wanted the bike to look that way.
August 15, 2007
Q: How many chicks licking ice-cream cones does it take to get 2strokebuzz to care about the Suzuki Bergman?
A: I still don’t care about the Suzuki Bergman, and what are those Hooters waitresses doing in Italy?
August 15, 2007
My buddy Dawson’s red Buddy was stolen last night. Please keep an eye out for it, Chicagoans and shop owners.
August 14, 2007
IndiaTimes reports that after relaunching international shipments in the last couple months, LML is back in the (Indian) domestic market, with their “Vespa brand” scooters. I’m assuming this is sloppy journalism and not some sort of LML-Piaggio joint venture where the LML NV SPL and Select II (on which the Genuine Stella is based) are actually being sold under the Vespa name, but in the unlikely event that Piaggio is involved, that would likely bring a quick death to the Stella.
August 14, 2007
Alix B. is still plugging along, deep into her P.E.A.C.E ride, and she’s keeping her blog admirably up-to-date and entertaining. I think it’s working, too; Karl Rove jumped ship yesterday.
August 10, 2007
Amazing vintage scooter videos continue to surface on YouTube. This time, scootr99 deserves the credit for unleashing two English-dubbed films released by Innocenti in the sixties. The first is a complete Lambretta Li150 Series III stripdown (parts 1, 2, 3, and 4). The second is even more interesting, a guide to opening and setting up an offical Lambretta sales and service facility (parts 1, 2, and 3). Most scooter dealers could learn a thing or two from both videos. (Thanks for the links, ajuda.scooterpt.com)
August 9, 2007
The Knuckledragger SC’s “Barrel of Monkeys” rally in the Quad Cities (Moline and Rock Island, IL; Davenport, IA; and some other city we managed to avoid) had a lot going for it: good location (a short drive or reasonable ride from Chicago), a big, organized club that has been around a while, and novelty: this was the KDSC’s first rally, and first rallies are always good.
Turnout was maybe about 60 scooters, which is a great size for a rally. Even better, the pack was pretty much entirely experienced riders on mostly-vintage bikes in the 125-250cc range. More than half were from the QC and other Iowan towns, with a dozen or so from Chicago, and a handful from Wisconsin and Minnesota (and surprise guests from D.C. and Cleveland). Unlike most Midwest rallies, there were a good number of folks who rode out. After toying with the idea, I trailer-ed it, luring Vina and Milena with the promise of a waterpark, and dragging along Alfredo, my very first scooter buddy who hadn’t been to a rally in ten years. We got in a bit late and had problems getting the Primavera started (“problems”=”no gas”) so we finally rode 2-up to the Friday night party in Rock Island just as everyone was packing up. We had a beer and managed to avoid the temptation of the “Jolly Roger” strip club across the street (“Roger” being a verb, we figured), and got back to the motel.
Ah, the Economy Inn. We found a broken piece of crackpipe in our room. A bruised, toothless girl borrowed my phone to call her friends, then asked me “Can you help me find room 222?” If you’re familiar with the Mountain Goats’ “Palmcorder Yajna,” you’ve got a perfect mental picture. Let’s just say it was not the most savory motel. Which was rad. Some of the KDSC folks seemed a little defensive when we were knocking the Econo, citing it’s former glory as the “Stardust,” but it really was the perfect rally motel, eclipsing even the mighty Alpine Inn in Rockford, and anything the Wisconsin Dells could throw at you. At 2:30am, as we drank and hollered in the parking lot, the night manager came out to offer us coffee.
Saturday started off with registration and breakfast, a quick stop at an antique shop, and then a ride to a state park. The ride, despite a little bit of rain, was fantastic, as was the BBQ. Alfredo was beaming all day just being back in the saddle, and I was ecstatic, too, having the rare chance to ride outside city traffic, on roads with actual curves and hills. We switched bikes back and forth, so we each could enjoy both the revvy, light, brakeless vintage Primavera and the sporty and responsive Blur. The ride was amazingly organized, despite not having blockers, everyone stayed in tight formation and kept together. After a quick dip in the pool, we headed back to the Bierstube for a fantastic dinner and four fantastic bands (my favorite being Thee Allmighty Handclaps). The bike judging eventually came up, and somehow the Primavera, which I’ve been taking to rallies for five years without ever getting a second glance, won “Best Vespa.” Upon reflection, the sea of beautiful bikes I rode with all day all belonged to ineligible club members, so I guess a good dusting and a new Ancillotti Seat from Scoot Richmond edged her to the top. Egan from Minneapolis won “Best Lambretta” with his Series II, Jimmy from St. Paul won the coveted “Ladies Choice” award for his Series III Lambretta. We reckon the ladies loved his ScootRS phallic seat. I made out pretty well in the raffle, too, with a few local music CDs and LPs, a couple bottles of Royal Purple oil, and a sweet pair of handmade Vespa pillowcases.
Back at the hotel, a rally-virgin siren who will remain nameless lured a few rallygoers to jump the fence into the motel pool, while others headed back to Rock Island for a Jolly Rogering. The swimmers were surprised to find themselves getting screamed at by the previously laissez faire night manager at 1:30, putting a quick end to that party.
We had a lot to do Sunday and bad weather was looming, so we packed quickly and skipped town before breakfast. Back in Chicago, I pulled my armored jacket out of the trunk, forgetting that my trophy was inside. It ended up as smashed as Lindsay Lohan, with just as little chance of ever being restored to normal. I guess I could maybe pry the plaque off the glass and mount it to another glass, but I might just put it in the china cabinet the way it is. Easy come, easy go.
Thanks to the KDSC, their sponsors, and all the great people we met this weekend, we hope to see you all at Slaughterhouse.
August 8, 2007
If I’d ever bothered to write about Amerivespa in Seattle, I’d have told you about Quang Nguyen’s Vespa GTS. Engadget beat me to it with a post about Nguyen’s “Best Modern Vespa”-winning scooter with a touchscreen Wi-Fi PC built into the glovebox. (ViaThe Scooter Scoop.) Another modern Vespista pitched an assfit about losing the award to Nguyen’s cool-but-gimmicky (and to be honest, somewhat sloppy) bike, but the more that dude got worked up over not winning a $6 skirt-bike trophy, the more I was happy Nguyen won, his bike certainly did stand out. (More scooter trophy surprises and disappointments in my upcoming review of the Quad Cities rally, ha.)
August 8, 2007
Being a semi-respectable adult with too many expensive hobbies as it is (scooters, children), I’ve been avoiding the comics/anime/collectable action figure scenes for many years, but Combat Mod Squad Septimius and Pandji (which like all vinyl figures are less-than-utilitarian, surely expensive, and sold out anyway) are just the kind of knickknacks that make me wonder if there’s more to this world than financial security, unquestioning love, and home ownership. (Thanks for taunting me, YoFatTim.)
August 6, 2007
German scooter racer Ronny Mengel on a bad day. (Thanks, Rye)