Italjet SX1 (and another Dragster rant)
April 2, 2008
Italjet has launched another model in Europe, the 2-stroke 50cc SX1. Brooke recognized the engine as a CPI design, though the body appears to be unique in its generic-osity. Italjet’s European site has been “under construction” for some time, so details are thin on all their bikes, but so far, they’re marketing what appears to be a CF Moto Torpedo clone, this generic 50cc CPI-powered snoozer, a Kymco Agility with custom bodywork, and a Chinese 400cc cruiser that six other companies are selling, while continuing to hype an overpriced 650cc Hyosung sportbike (the Grifon) and a Piaggio engine (likely Chinese-made) that may someday be wedged into something resembling a 10-year-old Dragster frame. The Roller Craft is at least distinctive, but expensive for a 50cc Chinese-made scooter, and it’s not available yet, either. Even if you consider any or all of their bikes exciting, there’s no parts/service consistency to the lineup at all.
U.S. importer LS Motorsports is planning to import the Torpedo, 50.it, Roller Craft, and Dragster (of which only the Torpedo is currently available). Italjet’s strength back in the turn of the millenium was innovative design, yet they sold the tooling for many distinctive models to Kinetic in India. Their success is arguably dependent on the promise of an updated and well-built Dragster, yet they keep wasting time and money developing these thinly-disguised and indistinct Asian bikes. Sure, it’s important to have a full line, the Dragster’s not for everyone, but the Dragster will be what brings customers into the dealership and builds their brand recognition. There’s little evidence of progress on the Dragster front for the last two years, and at best, a new Dragster is likely still a year away. If we do see a Dragster in 2009, it had better be worth the wait, which is to say it must be better than the original (let’s be honest, even the original had flaws). Nothing Italjet has done since they resurfaced is providing much evidence that it will be.