Self Inflating Tires: Shorcut To Safety or Green Innovation?

March 31, 2008

Imagine it’s springtime and you haven’t done anything to your scooter all winter (I know, it’s a far fetched idea).  It kicks over on the first few tries.  It’s a beautiful day and you want to go for a ride and burn off some of that Stabil tainted gasoline.  It’s time for a safety check.  Brakes work, at least one mirror still attached, license tabs only a month or so expired, it’s time to hit the road.  But within one block you realize that your trusty scoot handles like you are driving through mud.  It soon becomes obvious that you skipped the tire pressure check.  The Self Inflating Tire, SIT for short, by Coda Development aims to make that last snag a thing of the past.  Their system claims to be able to keep the tire pressure up after a short drive using a peristaltic pump system integrated with the tire or wheel.  Check out their video for an explanation.  It’s worth the time if you like to see computer generated machines in action.  This seems to be in the early stages of development and will likely appear on high-end automobiles first, but I imagine it will be only a matter of time before new scooters come with this technology.  Speaking of that, it won’t work on the old split rims of your classic ride.  Besides keeping you up on two wheels rather than skidding across the road, properly inflated tires can help save the planet.  From Jalopnik, via Gizmodo.

Chilean MadAss Anatomic Advertisment Art

March 29, 2008

The Sachs MadAss has gotten a bit of a bump in interest lately with the new importer, Peirspeed, showing off the new 125cc MadAss at the Indianapolis dealers showThe New Cafe Racer Society has reported on some artwork done for the Chilean MadAss importer Apumanque.  I’m not sure if they are importing the real deal or a clone (or if it matters).  But their artwork for their advertisements is very eye catching.

GTS 250ie Super… and a 300?

March 28, 2008

This somehow slipped past us a couple weeks ago: Piaggio’s been showing a TS 250ie Super with black wheels and 2-tone gloss white/matte white paint. Word is, a 300cc version is also on the way. Handsome! (Thanks, Ericcalm)

Indian makers explore natural gas models

March 27, 2008

RedOrbit reports that LML, Bajaj, Honda, and Kinetic are all working on natural-gas powered concept bikes, possibly including dual-fuel options. Just thought we’d throw that in there with all the 210cc nuclear-powered rotary-engine automatic time-travelling Stella rumors floating around.

Armadillo Scooter Wear

March 27, 2008

Some cool riding gear from UK manufacturer Armadillo Scooter Wear, including a nice-looking armored parka.

EPA crackdown?

March 27, 2008

The EPA has ordered Go-Ped manufacturers Patmont Motor Works of Minden Nevada to comply with federal Clean Water Act requirements. The company has been given until the end of April to meet wastewater disposal regulations. (Yep, we expected something related to engine exhaust, too, but no, just the water thing.)

SE Cushman club celebrates 25 years

March 27, 2008

The Southeastern Cushman Club are
celebrating their 25th anniversary this week in Cochran Georgia. Seeing Cushman guys still at it allows us Vespa guys to pretend we’re still somehow young, hip, and relevant. Keep at it, guys!

Automobile Family Tree

March 27, 2008

From Jalopnik: Car Company Family Tree. Someone with a month of free time should try that for scooters.

The Dragster Scoop?

March 27, 2008

Steve Guzmán spills all the beans he can on the Dragster over at the Scooter Scoop. He’s working for ItaljetUSA, of course, but it seems like a pretty honest piece, he answers a few questions, and includes a couple photos of a prototype that’s newer than the one on display at Dealer Expo that I haven’t bothered to write about yet. Hopefully, bringing Steve on board wasn’t the only thing LS Motorsports is going to get right.

WKRP, and merciless demolition with 2SB

March 25, 2008

This weekend, of course, is the WKRP Rally in Cincinnati, and 2SB will be there, as always, probably with stomach flu. Here are two non-sanctioned events that 2SB fans might want to check out (we’ll be at both):

  • Saturday evening, early enough that you can still make it to the Comet in plenty of time for the raffle, there’s a Demolition Derby out in Hamilton, OH. We went last year, too, and it was great.
  • Sunday at 1:00, the 2SB-sponsored Merciless Tigers FC are playing their first outdoor-league match somewhere in the vicinity of Winton Woods. They accidentally got put in an over-40 league (they have only one player over 40) and their center-back “Number 2” tells us “‘Over 40’ means we’ll be playing guys that have probably been playing together for 20 years and can pass circles around us.” It’ll be a bigger bloodbath than the Demolition Derby. The Tigers need a good cheering section, and if you’re headed back to Chicago or Indy, it’s sort of on your way home. I’ll try to get the exact address ASAP, or ask me about it at the rally. Bring a mug of “coffee” and your MT replica jersey.

The rally itself has become the official kickoff to the Midwest rally season, it’s always huge and always great, see you there.

Aprilia expands Scarabeo line, offers vacation

March 25, 2008

ApriliaUSA has added two new displacements to its Scarabeo line, which is now available in 50cc, 90cc, 100cc, 125cc, 150cc, 175cc, 200cc, 250cc, 290cc, 310cc, 355cc, 400cc, 401cc, 500cc, 600cc, 883cc, 1000cc, 1200cc, and 1500cc models. (to be fair, a couple of those are discontinued, and not all models are available in the U.S.). Meanwhile, in Italy, Aprilia is offering a free seaside vacation or a €500 travel credit with purchase of selected scooters. That should cover all the Aprilia news for the next year.

The Ultimate Scooter Alarm

March 25, 2008

Oh, man, I need this for the Blur.

MSNBC nails it

March 25, 2008

Just as I start mocking the rehashed press releases that pop up every spring, MSBNBC posts what just might be the most honest and realistic mass-media scooter story ever written, or at least one of the few to feature real-world advice along with real experience and research, some culled from the ScooterBBS. Bravo! This is the one to send to your scooter-curious friends.

Dainese airbag suit

March 25, 2008

Dainese is testing motorcycle leathers with a built-in airbag and expects to release them commercially in 2010, to coincide with the 12th anniversary of Radiohead’s Airbag EP. OK, I made that last part up, but how awesome would it be to be a motorcycle airbag tester?

Media frenzy starts

March 25, 2008

Like clockwork, with spring comes a wave of boilerplate “Born to be Mild: Scooters get 100mpg and you can park anywhere” stories. Yesterday was “Scooter Commuter Day” in Atlanta, and there’s a scooter craze going on in Rome, Georgia and Kennewick, WA.

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