“The Vespa Experiment” results

Here’s a video recap of “The Vespa Experiment,” a Pacific-coast tour by three musicians on Vespa scooters. One of the musicans, Amber Rubarth sums it up:

I feel like this whole tour was all about getting to the core of life and purity and innocence. And, just getting back to the musical part and not in the business of it.

Sure, apart from the fact that it was PiaggioUSA marketing scheme, business didn’t enter into it at all, ha. The music’s not my thing (noodly earnest mellow acoustic pop) but they seem like nice kids. As far as PiaggioUSA marketing schemes go, it seemed pretty successful, and if nothing else, three musicians had a good time and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so Vespa FTW!

Kymco Yager GT200i: POCphil’s review

POC Phil from Pride Of Cleveland Scooters test rode the new Kymco Yager GT 200i, here’s his report…

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way first.

“Yager GT200i?” Who names these things? Didn’t Vespa recently have a GT200? They should have chosen RT or ST… GT is a Vespa call sign. “Yager?” Spellcheck please: “Jäger,” yep, that’s what I thought, the German word for “Hunter.” Not an entirely bad name for a scooter. The downside: as an homage to the Sym-Phony 125, they printed the word Yager on the side but they stylized the Letter “A” as to include the left arm of the “Y,” so now it looks like it’s an “Ager GT200i.” I’m aging fast enough on my own, no help needed thanks.
Continue reading “Kymco Yager GT200i: POCphil’s review”

CBP seizes 1400 scooters at Texas border

Another Chinese scooter grey-marketer busted, this time by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. CBP’s press release doesn’t name the importer, but the scooter in the photo appears to be a CF Moto “E-Charm” CF150. It seems unlikely that CF Moto would risk importing illegal scooters, chances are this was another company buying CF-Moto scooters (or knockoffs) from a third party behind CF Moto’s back, possibly similar to the Lance/SYM controversy last month, (Though Lance presumably would have ensured their bikes were at least EPA-legal.)
(Thanks, bermshot!)

UPDATE: About 400 of the scooters were CF Motos, according to this story. Lev Mirman of CPI insists the bikes meet specs, and the government “grasping at straws to halt any shipment from China.” Also in our comments below, POCphil reports the seizure also included Aprilia Sport City 250s.

The Scooter Continental Circus

As Two-Stroke Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing descends on Indianapolis this weekend, major scooter events are on the horizon for those in Europe. First up, if you don’t have plans for this weekend and happen to be in Deutschland you should check out the big Scooter Weekend celebration at the Lausitzring (aka Eurospeedway). I recently returned from the German Grand Prix and can say visiting the region was a lot of fun. I hope to make this Scooter Weekend one of these years and giving a live report to 2SB readers. Check out the site and photos of past years events. Truly a remarkable event.

Also, JR from Retro Racing pointed out a more vintage scooter-oriented version of the Continental Circus taking place on September 19th. He directs us to the upcoming Fourth Annual Scootentole at Magny-cours. The vintage scooter racing looks to take place on the kart track at the famed race circuit in the heart of France. We will await a report on the competition at the end of September.

These events would be analogous to having North American scooter rallies at locations like Laguna Seca and Daytona. Congratulations to the participants and organizers!

“Demystifying the Piaggio MP3”

Scooter in the Sticks borrowed a Piaggio MP3 for the weekend.

From the first time I read about the Piaggio MP3 I began collecting a series of misperceptions. Until I finally had a chance to take it for a long ride last weekend I didn’t realize how completely I misunderstood this machine. I was wrong about how it worked, about why someone might choose one, and most of all about the stability of the MP3.

I’d argue that most of his misperceptions were stoked by Piaggio’s marketing of the scooter, where they constantly implied it was somehow easier to ride (and safer) than a regular scooter. I concur with Steve’s conclusion that it’s an amazing bike that’s fun to ride, but absolutely not a good bike for first-time riders.

As always, the writing and photos are great. It must be foggy in Pennsylvania about 80% of the time.

Cash for Small Clunkers

Genuine Scooter Co. has repackaged NoHo Mike’s obvious-but-good idea, and unleashed their own “Cash for Small Clunkers” video and trade-in plan:

Participating dealers will offer $300 credit towards a Genuine scooter for any titled scooter (or, if the video is to believed, even vintage mopeds without titles).

As far as the video, it’s clearly supposed to be “laugh-with” funny but it veers towards “laugh-at” funny, which is allright, too. Modern Buddy members have already pointed out the porn-quality acting/editing, the needless repetition, the logical fallacies, and the gawkers at 3:20, but I’m still wondering how a German tech inspector ended up at a Chicago company selling Taiwanese and Indian scooters with Italian, Spanish, and French affectations. I guess they’re a truly international company, after all.

As far as Chicago-area porn-quality scooter commercials go, it’s not bad…

Retro Racing En Francaise

The New Cafe Racer Society once again posted an interesting photo of some vintage scooter action. This time it was of some ancient GS150 racers and originated at the French vintage machine racing blog, Retro Racing. The site has a distinctive streamlined scooter slant and well worthy of a notation for future reading. A scan down the left side of the page reveals a treasure trove of links, some of which may seem familiar from your own list of bookmarked sites. I immediately felt like there was a long lost frere out there. If you start getting all misty-eyed with nostalgia of a bygone era, keep your grip on your MODern sensibilities with a visit to the other Franco-Scooter blog, Scooter Station. Vive la France.

Saigon Scooter Centre Going Out Of Business Sale?

I received an email advertisement from Saigon Scooter Centre that notified of a 20% off, “Closing Down” sale. I thought that maybe the export business had dried up and the folks at SSC had decided to move on to greener pastures. When checking the website I only noticed the small mention of the sale but the no other explanation or signs that they were shutting shop. They still have some interesting new products out like the PX long-range seat/tank combo and their automatic Lambretta which looks to have a Buddy 125 motor in it. Anyone with other news on the topic feel free to chime in (note: “news” does not include general Vietnam bashing. I’m indifferent but it just gets tiring). I’ll update if I hear anything back from SSC directly.

Scooter Wallpapers

Scooter Wallpapers Collection features 1600 x 1200 photos of scooters, mostly high-quality press photos with a white background. The selection is a little strange (no Vespas, lots of Derbi and several defunct brands) and the blog format maybe isn’t the best way to organize the photos, but it’s a neat resource.

Team S Equipe

Neville Frost

(Isle of Man) regulations stated that “works” teams weren’t allowed, so the guys formed their own team christened “Team S Equipe.” Unknown at the time was the fact that “Equipe” in French means “Team…”

A must-read account of the Arthur Francis S-Type Lambrettas and the men who raced them, with loads of truly awesome photos and memorabilia.
Continue reading “Team S Equipe”

Dumba Dumba Dumba: Madness’ “City”

Madness’ awesome TV commercials for the Honda City, The City was a compact hatchback with a matching folding scooter that tucked into the back, a concept that deserves to be revisited with the Fit. The jingle was later reworked as the “In the City” single, and “Honda Honda Honda” was replaced with “Doomba Doomba Doomba.”

(Thanks, Heather, awesome find!)