A Cheap Electric Scooter?

Wired reports that Austin-TX-based KLD Technologies plan to launch a electric scooter in the price range of a Vespa sometime next year. We’re confused how an all-electric scooter that’s the same price as a high-end gas scooter is a “cheap alternative.” Sure, it’s cheaper than a hybrid Piaggio MP3, but so is a biodiesel-powered school bus. Maybe their “nano-crystaline technology” is something special, and the concept drawing is adorable, but people seem to keep forgetting there are many relatively inexpensive electric scooters and bicycles on the market already,

Bajaj considers new “sport” scooter.

Despite the 2005 demise of the mighty Bajaj Chetak, with Rahul Bajaj stating “Holding on to anything from the past is a sign of weakness,” we were almost certain there’d be a full-on retro Bajaj Chetak out by now. Sadly, Bajaj’s only scooter over the past few years has been the disappointing-selling Krystal, and there are no signs of a return to metal-bodied scooters, even with LML’s marginal success. But Bajaj is finally admitting they bailed out of scooters too soon, and is currently developing a “powerful sport scooter” to regain some scooter market share.

New French Cabinet Minister Shows True Leadership

parisIn some delayed spring cleaning, French president Nicolas Sarkozy has made some changes in his cabinet and the nephew of former president Francois Mitterrand is now the new Minister of Culture and Communication. From what I gather of the French that’s probably a pretty big deal for domestic policy. Relevance here lies in that the Frédéric Mitterrand is a Scooterist. In both the BBC story and this video from Le Parisien the mode of transport is prominently noted. Good for you Mr. Mitterrand. Any Francophone readers are welcome to add any relevant translation from the video.

SYM vs. Lance

This whole thing might have worked out if Lance hadn't NOT EVEN BOTHERED TO TAKE THEIR OWN PHOTO of the damn thing.
Last week, Carter Brothers, SYM’s US importer accused Lance Powersports of buying SYM’s Fiddle II scooters from SYM’s Chinese supplier via a third party with the intention of selling them in the USA as the “Vienna” 50 and 125. (Are there any European-sounding “V” words left to name a scooter? Yes! But that’s another story!) Of course SYM demanded they not sell the scooters here and… well… let’s try something new. Instead of posting snarky commentary in which 2sb takes sides and gets in trouble and has to apologize profusely for being right, let’s just post their dueling press releases, which are far more entertaining than anything we could come up with, anyway. Enjoy:
Continue reading “SYM vs. Lance”

State of the Buzz

Hi all, As you might have figured out, I was out of town for two weeks and it’s been slow around here. We’ve got a lot coming up soon though:

  • NEXX X30 helmet review
  • I’ve actually been riding the Andretti! I might even write a review eventually!
  • Prima Pullman jacket giveaway!
  • Signed Chuck Mead CD giveaways!
  • New products at Scootmoto!
  • Scooter news! Lance vs. SYM, Schwinn’s new distributor, MRP and CPI, SYM accessories, a “Venti” update, and more!
  • Vacation pictures!

Flag Day Run

Chicagoans: Hang out with some Shriners on Sunday and do some good for the community: The Medinah Motor Corps is hosting a Flag Day Open House and Hospital Tour Sunday at the Medinah Shrine Center, 550 Shriners Drive, Addison IL. The ride starts at 10:30, tours start at 11:00.

It’s about TIME…

Chad Schaefer (months ago) passed along five great stories from TIME Magazine’s newly-available-online archives. They were decades-old to begin with, so you’ll forgive the delay. Here are some excerpts, click the title to see the full stories.


TIME, October 17, 1955
…Italian motor-scooter enthusiasts, often harshly criticized for their desire to dominate the road, were still glowing at [79-year-old Pius XII’s] understanding words to a group of Vespa riders: “Those who complain of your noise, do they ever think that your speed may take you to church in time for Mass, or that you may be rushing a sick person to the hospital? Be patient with those who abuse you.”…

Rocks Round the Clock

TIME, August 14, 1964
… Suddenly, the kids began ranging through town in packs, stopping traffic, banging on cars, chanting (“Up the Mods”), looking for trouble. They raided cafes for dishes and glasses to throw, knives and forks to brandish, chased each other up the beaches and down the streets under a hail of rocks and crockery. On the promenade, herds of noisy Rocker motorcycles roared incessantly; buzzing them in hand-to-handlebar combat were enough Mod motor scooters to hold mass Vespa services.…

Fuzz with a Buzz

TIME, January 13, 1967
…the New York police have found a way to let one man cover the ground of five: the motor scooter. Police Commissioner Howard R. Leary has already checked out 575 cops on 80 Vespas and Lambrettas. And he has just asked for funds to buy 300 more. Eventually, he wants all 2,000 patrolmen to mount up…

Drunk astronauts and cosmonauts on scooters in Paris

(no original title) TIME, June 13, 1969
…the next morning [U.S. Astronaut] McDivitt hustled out to the Air Show, where he and fellow Apollo 9 Crewmen David Scott and Russell Schweiclcart showed Cosmonauts Vladimir Shakalov and Alexei Yeliseyev around the American exhibit. The proceedings started somewhat stiffly; then a bottle of bonded bourbon was broken out and things began to loosen up. By the time the revelers reached the Russian exhibit with its plentiful stock of vodka, they were saluting everything from Snoopy to space medicine. Toasted to a light crisp, the space travelers finally piled onto their Vespas and scooted back to the American pavilion—two hours late for their ensuing engagement.…

Victim of Affluence

TIME, February 7, 1972
…In 1970. only 55,000 Lambrettas were sold compared with 180,000 a decade earlier. Faced with the realities of a stronger economy, the late Innocenti’s son and nephew, who now run his company, have stopped production of the Lambretta in Italy but will keep a parts depot. They are arranging a deal with the Indian government and a Bombay company to move Lambretta production to India beginning in 1974…

Benelli in trouble?

According to motoblog.it, Benelli sales have been lower than expected worldwide ((Google machine translation). Qiang Jiang, who bought the marque a few years ago, is threatening to close what’s left of Benelli’s Italian-based production and assembly facilities. American Benelli importer Power Sports Factory gave 2strokebuzz an Andretti 150XT (“Velvet” in Europe) to test, you may remember I crashed it in the snow on its maiden voyage, but I’ve put some miles on it lately and it’s a good bike, look for a review (finally!) soon. Surely a good review on a rinky-dink American scooter blog will immediately turn things around for QJ and Benelli.