Dealer Expo: New Blurs and Stellas

Ron Arnold (Detroit Scooter Examiner) has shared some Blur220i photos from DealerExpo on ModernBuddy. The two color schemes are “Gunmetal and White” and “White.” Branding is limited to small plastichrome badges, similar to the earlier Charcoal/Black 150 model.

All in all, pretty much what we expected, and great news, though I have a few minor quibbles. As a fan of the distinctive charcoal/orange early Blurs, the colors and branding are a bit boring, but I suppose this is not the time to be brave with colors. The horncovers are fake carbon fiber, which looks good, but I just hate fake carbon fiber. The saddest part is the new DOT front turn signals, which were apparently necessary after all.

Both colors featured gold wheels, which is a strange decision, but they look pretty good. Arnold points out that the front brake caliper was gold on both bikes, and the rear caliper was red, which is also strange, though these are probably preproduction examples. The bikes’ seats were different, one appears the same as the earlier models, the other looks similar but shaved-down a bit. Arnold says they plan to use the lower seat on both versions.

The Stella 4-stroke apparently will not be branded differently than its predecessor, but will feature some new colors. “Creme,” “Dijon Yellow,” and “Slate Blue” will be available in addition to the old “Avocado,” White, and Red. MSRP remains the same as the 2-stroke version, $3599, which is great news. Of course, the big story is that it’s rated at 140 MPG, (though you know how we feel about that.)

Sadly (very sadly, in our opinion) the 2-stroke version will no longer be available once current inventory sells out.

Which is faster? White is 4T, Purple is 2T (these are UK-market LMLs from Eddy Bullet):

Genuine’s “Studly” ICE Race

You may remember our trip to watch some ICE Speedway motorcycle racing last year (a long story loosely centered around “Doc” from the Love Boat. Our main takeaway from that adventure was that anyone who shows up a couple hours early with durable boots, a box of tire studs, and a few hundred bucks will get a chance on the ice.

Genuine Scooter Company and/or Scooterworks apparently saw an excuse for a fun night out/cheap marketing stunt and grabbed it by the horns, staging a race between three 50cc Genuine Buddies and a Roughhouse at the recent ICE races in Danville IL. Hard to say who’s who out there, but we’re betting it’s Ryan Jeffries tearing it up on the Roughhouse. Sadly, the video ends before the race does, but we think the Roughhouse had it sealed up.

Sure looks like fun, and it sounds like the crowd enjoyed it… Plus, if they did enough laps, they may be winning the Cold Weather Challenge.

Here’s another video from a different angle:

Thanks (Which may be Ryan?)

A Buddy in Jay Leno’s Garage

I haven’t watched a late-night talk show since Adult Swim’s been on the air, but if I did, Jay Leno would be third on my list behind Conan O’Brien and David Letterman. Maybe eighth if you threw in Craig Ferguson and Chelsea Handler and a few others. I’ve always thought his Tonight Show was about as bland as a show can be, a pale imitation of the already-bland Johnny Carson years.

But, the weird thing is, I like Jay Leno. How can you not? He’s by all accounts an affable guy, and he loves motorcycles. We might all be jealous of his collection, but motorcycle and scooter blogs are full of “Jay sighting” stories, always reporting that he couldn’t be more friendly and down-to-earth. And further proof: he allegedly turned down hosting an American version of Top Gear, admitting that the show would be worthless without Jeremy Clarkson.

Leno’s motoring blog Jay Leno’s Garage will feature a video report on the Genuine Buddy tomorrow (February 12, 2010). I’m really looking forward to it.

You’d think Jay’d be a Vespa guy, it’s a fact he’s got at least one vintage GS in his collection, and he spoke at PiaggioUSA’s 2008 dealer meeting (ah, 2008, those were the days! Rumor has it he was paid with a truckful of bikes, hopefully not recalled RSVs!.)

So it’ll be interesting to hear what he’s got to say about the Buddy, and surely legions of Buddy fans are waiting with bated breath. I agree an Americanized Top Gear would be horrible, but I bet we’d all love to see a Jay Leno motorsport show.

Even the Conan fans.

Thanks, Guido.

Skipping Dealer Expo

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve decided not to go to Dealer Expo this year. Part of the decision was simply practical and personal: I’m (sorry) not a fan of Indianapolis, the weather’s likely to be terrible, I waited too long to sort out accommodations, I have an infant son, and it’s just not a good time to spend money on hotels, food, and booze.
Continue reading “Skipping Dealer Expo”

Our Favorite Pro Journo

At 2strokebuzz, we pride ourselves on our many ‘scoops,’ stories we covered before the professional powersports media and other blogs. But we still get plenty of our news through the usual channels, and over the past couple years, one professional powersports journalist has really impressed us by often going beyond the usual re-hashed press releases and digging up some interesting stories. In just the past couple days, Guido Ebert of Powersports Daily has:

Ebert, like any modern journalist, rehashes his fair share of press releases and does favors for friends, but we’re all surely guilty of that, right? If you’re looking for more in-depth and professional motorcycle industry information than 2strokebuzz can provide, you should be reading or following him on Facebook or Twitter.

Is Taiwan a U.S. Protectorate?

I’ve decided to skip DealerExpo this year, but it’s almost worth going to ask Carter Bros. about their “Made in the U.S.A.” SYM scooters. (Or so reads their ad in the current Dealernews).

Again, I really like most of SYM’s lineup of scooters, I’ve had the opportunity to test-ride the Symba, the CityCom300i and the Wolf motorcycle (boldly renamed the “Classic 150” for the U.S.) and I loved all three of them and wouldn’t hesitate a second in recommending them all. But I can tell you with all certainty that none of them are “Made in the U.S.A.”

Carter’s website is more honest, reading “Carter karts, buggies, side by sides and minibikes are proudly MADE IN THE USA!,” though I’d argue potential dealers could easily misconstrue “Minibikes” as including the SYM lineup.

Top Gear Scooters Join Museum Exhibit

If you’re like many American scooterists, you fell in love with BBC’s Top Gear after watching the “Vietnam Special” on the YouTubes. Since then, the series has started running on BBC America, getting sillier and more popular. Well, the show’s been a hit in the UK for ages, and Britain’s National Motor Museum features an impressive “World of Top Gear” exhibit, which happily now features Jeremy Clarkson’s Vespa Super (and that Red-White-and-Blue abomination)..

Via ScooterDiva

MBK Booster X

We thought it was strange that Scooter-Station’s trial of the new MBK Booster X ignored the startling resemblance to the Yamaha VOX (the “C3” to Americans), until we looked it up and saw that MBK (formerly Motobecane) is actually affiliated with Yamaha. You learn something every day. Anyway, the point is, we’ve always loved the C3, despite its puny size and top speed of eight miles per hour, and it looks even better with MBK’s colors and graphics.