It’s Chicago “Vehicle Sticker” day! If you live in the city, your old car stickers and motorcycle medallions expire on June 30, and must be updated today. All motorcycles and scooters are required to display the tag. Despite commonly being called “parking medallions,” they’re required whether or not you park on the street. Remember that motorcycle tags do allow you to park in any “neighborhood” parking zone. Generally, hardcore enforcement starts at the end of July, so if you haven’t yet, send Miguel Del Valle your $45. This year, the medallion has been redesigned, it’s smaller and looks more like a dog tag, tastefully anodized in orange to match Blurs, Buddys, and Stellas. Good call, Miguel.
A new Florida law takes effect tomorrow: New motorcyclists and scooterists are required to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course before being granted a motorcycle license. Bravo.
In Utah, also starting in July, riders under 19 will need to get a 2-month learners’ permit before getting a full endorsement, and all riders will not be allowed to operate a motorcycle bigger than the one they passed their test. Both these rules are steps in the right direction, though a “tested displacement” limit seems a bit unrealistic even to supporters of stepped displacement licensing.
An editorial from urban planning site Planetizen: “Scooting in a City Built for Cars.” )Thanks, Drew) I’m looking forward to some interesting comments on this one. I’ll start off negative by reiterating my cringing disdain for the word “Scooting,” but I’m sure many new scooterists are finding themselves in a similar situation.
Peugeot has redesigned their Vivacity 50, I’m not in love with it, a little too “executive” for me, but it’s very distinctive and clean-looking. As reporter earlier, Peugeots will be sold in Canada in 2009, I’d expected to hear an announcement (or at least rumors) about the U.S. by now, but sadly, there’s been nothing but crickets. Can’t they see that AMERICA NEEDS SCOOTERS!?
Roadracingworld.com reports that former scooter racing ace Scott Smallwood crashed at Virginia International Raceway and fractured several vertebrae. Apparently he’s doing ok (as he was healthy enough to write to RRW) and wrote that he was, “quite lucky to be alive and not paralyzed”. Smallwood was racing his 125 machine in a U.S. Grand Prix Racers Union event on June 22nd when he was apparently on a hot lap before crashing and ending up into a tire wall. Get well soon, Scott.
Modernmechanix has a nice set of photos from a 1939 Popular Mechanics piece on scooters. It mentions a scooter company in Chicago, parking on sidewalks, over 100 mpg and scooters surviving a fad stage. Some think the ‘scooter boom’ is coming to a close. But I’d suggest just widening ones view. Was there a boom? Is the current buying frenzy just a crest in the sine wave that would look like a steady line from the right perspective? Thanks to The New Cafe Racer Society for the link.
The New York Times’ always-great “Wheels” blog points out that “miles per gallon” perhaps isn’t the best metric, or at least shouldn’t be the only metric, of fuel savings. A higher MPG figure gives the false impression that the savings are proportional to the mileage. Obviously, a higher MPG rating is always better, but as the fuel efficiency increases, the savings start to level off. Their example is that replacing a low-mileage SUV with an average-mileage car makes a much bigger fuel cost difference than trading an average-mileage car for a hybrid car. Let’s do some math and see what that means for scooters.
Continue reading “More MPG math:”
PGO’s new fuel-injected I’ME 125 won a 2008 Taiwan Excellence Award and got some press coverage (videos below) in Taiwan, but there’s a strange lack of information about it on the internet. The Republic of China’s new emissions laws require fuel-injection, so it’s likely all of Genuine’s PGO-built 2009 models will feature EFI, (UPDATE: maybe not,) but PGO claims the I’ME is the first to pass the new “fifth stage” emissions regulations. Aesthetically, it looks like an updated Kymco Agility, sort of the Vespa LX to the Agility’s ET, if that makes any sense, which it doesn’t.
With the current drought of scooters in U.S. showrooms, it’s a safe bet Genuine would love to get their hands on the I’ME, but PGO’s likely focused on development and production of domestic-market fifth-stage-certified bikes. That should give Genuine just enough time to re-brand it, and apply for DOT homologation. In any case, we’re adding the I’ME 125 to our Genuine ’09 wish list, along with the hybrid Buddy and the return of the Blur (hopefully the 4-valve 150 version and the 200 with this cool LCD dashboard).
Today’s question for Dr. Buzz and his panel of experts comes from From Art E. of Fresno, CA:
Please help, I am stuck with a torn apart “Vino!” From what can tell the engine is a Linhai/Yamaha 49.5cc 2-stroke. I checked the engine number to verify it. I ordered an Athena 70cc big-bore kit and the “big-bore” piston has about 2-3mm of clearance in the stock cylinder! Also the Athena cylinder is about a half inch shorter than the stocker. The clutch variator has splines too small to fit on the crankshaft. Primary gears are wrong (the gear on the shaft has a nub on the end where the stocker does not). I have not measured the stock bore yet. What could be wrong? This is the “Minerelli”-style horizontal engine. Please help!
With PVSC’s “Band Camp” rally days away, it’s the perfect time to share this must-see time-lapse video of Alex Tasi constructing the famous “El Coucho” scooter:
(Thanks for the link, Mike Maddox!)
EP Scoot tallied up the responses on the everlasting “Who’s Crashed” thread at Modern Buddy to come up with a Modern Buddy “Hurt Report” of sorts. It’s not entirely scientific, but the results are pretty interesting, especially because they confirm what most of us know but choose to ignore. Also interesting: the long-held suspicion that orange Buddies are more crash-prone holds true, though pink is surprisingly less crash-prone than black. Nice work.
Cassandra at Sportique: “Yes, we have no scooters:”
We are expecting a shipment next week, a shipment of bikes that are, for the most part, already sold. The next shipment after that is rapidly being reserved for presale customers as well. After that… we don’t really know.
(More good posts from Cassandra here.)
In a snafu reminiscent of 2strokebuzz’ disappearance in 2005, the content of Crystal Waters’ Scooterfix (nee Girlbike) was lost in a server switch, hopefully she has an easier time restoring it than we did. (Details here.). Her two new sites, Scoot Green and Scoot Pink, were also down temporarily, but are now up and running, and her current top priority is fulfilling her Scooter Seat Covers orders. Our fingers are crossed that Scooterfix and its years of quality content will be back up soon, but it’s good to see Green and Pink going strong.
That’s right, folks, Donald Rumsfeld has apparently bought himself an LX150. How much longer until the rest of the Bush Cabinet find themselves on the back of an Italian scooter, i just don’t know. Maybe soon we’ll be seeing them show up to PVSC; Condi Rice on a naked ride aboard a VBB, or Ashcroft tearing up the gymkhana course with a tallboy of Old Style in his hand.