Olympique Marseille putts along

March 31, 2010

Marseille’s Piaggio dealer King Moto rigged up Olympique Marseille graphics for pretty much every vehicle in the Piaggio Group lineup. Why do those look so cool, but when you see a Arizona Diamondbacks or Indiana Pacers scooter, you just want to cry?

Another Adidas/Vespa event

March 30, 2010

Johnny at Motoworks let us know there’s another Vespa party at the Adidas Original store (923 N. Rush Street) this Thursday (4-1-10) from 5-9pm. Last year, they had similar parties all over the country, so if your town has an Adidas Original store, you might want to give them a call. They promise “first dibs on new Adidas gear” and a 15% discount at the party.

(Note: Motoworks’ new location at 1710 North Avenue is having a grand opening party on April 17, so save that date, and we’ll post more about that later!)

Now, I’ve been wearing Sambas since Pelé played for the Cosmos (Hmm, “Pelé” is in the Mac spellcheck dictionary, nice!). I love Adidas, I love Vespa, but I gotta say, the party last year was a disappointment. I had the impression that the Adidas Originals boutique threw a party at least once a week (Missy Elliot Line! El Salvador Line! etc…) without much thought into pleasing the specific target market. They had a generic trip-hop DJ, and a few chicken salad sandwiches, but (even after being asked a week early) couldn’t wrangle a scooter parking zone for the evening. A respectable dozen or so scooterists showed up, pretty excited about what we’d seen online, only to discover that a tiny fraction of the line was actually available in-store (two shoe styles, a couple t-shirts, and a “meh” tracksuit). No one wanted to stay long, with meter maids hungrily eyeing the assortment of semi-legally-parked scooters outside, and even though the 15% discount was extended to online orders placed through the store, no one bought much. So it may be worth checking out, but I’m betting the Motoworks store opening party will be a lot more fun.

DDDave’s Pipe Dream

March 30, 2010

This has been all over the web, but in case you missed it: Damn Dirty Dave’s “Pipe Dream” Vespa, in progress. Not sure what the story is, sounds like maybe it was a project for the Vegas build-off that didn’t quite get finished in time, but I’m glad he decided do hang on and do it right rather than rush it together for the show. It’ll certainly be among the most distinctive custom Vespas of all time.

“Live Like an Indy Car Driver” with Kymco

March 28, 2010

KYMCO is sponsoring the IZOD Indy Car Series again this year, so they’re running a Live Like an Indy Car Driver contest. Grand Prize is a KYMCO 4-wheeler, but with luck, you can win the two runner-up prizes: KYMCO Super-8 scooters signed by IRL racer Ryan Hunter-Reay. Pick up an entry coupon at any KYMCO dealer.

Aside from the Memorial Day limelight, would life really be that great to be an Indy Car driver? I’d imagine it’d be a lot of carefully-budgeted interstate travel, groveling for sponsors, and squeezing performance out of an underfunded car and crew, I dunno, it sounds like the pits, no pun intended. I’ll take graphic design over IRL racing any day. Maybe I’m biased from my uniquely shitty experience at Indianapolis Motor Speedway a couple years ago, and IRL would be loads better than NASCAR, that’s for sure.

Feeds fixed!

March 28, 2010

O, Glorious day, we’ve finally got all our feeds sorted out and we’re back into Feedburner and all is good. If you’re following us on RSS, everything should still be working properly, without you having to take any action. If you do notice a problem, please let us know!

You also may notice that the email updates are coming from illnoise(at)2strokebuzz(dot)com now rather than my work address, which I’d been trying to change for a few years. You might wanna add that address to your address book to prevent spam filtering (and also because it’s 2SB’s contact address!).

If you’re not following us via RSS OR getting email updates, you can set up either by clicking the appropriate links in the top-right corner of the site.

BBC4 “Scootermania” and “Run”

March 28, 2010

Two great BBC4 documentaries from the 90s:

A must-watch “Classic Motorcycles” scooter documentary from the early ’90s featuring an amazing array of period photos and footage from the early years of the Vespa and Lambretta.

Another great BBC documentary from a bit later, focusing more on the mid-90s U.K. rally scene.

(Thanks, Steve, via the CHIscooterList.)

Scoota Flamethrowa

March 28, 2010

English plumber Colin Furze has rigged up his commuter scooter to shoot an adjustable 12-foot flame backwards at encroaching drivers. “I’ve been told that if I fire the flames while riding on the road it’s equivalent to using a firearm and I could be in a lot of trouble,” Furze says.

Read more:

(Thanks, Kathy!)

Sweet SS50 Firefox Theme Available

March 25, 2010

The other day when my Firefox browser automatically updated I was given the option to select a ‘persona‘ for the browser. I did some searching using terms of my areas of interest and found this neat Super Sport 50 theme by someone going by the name 214_PC. It’s pretty much just a nice clean white background with the SS50 logo. Searching for ‘vespa’ comes up with a few other hits, but I thought this was the coolest.

Old Skool on La Vita

March 25, 2010

I’d been poking around trying to write a decent story about Hammerhead’s La Vita scooter, but Orin beat me to it. He’s certainly right that the bike sparks some conflicting emotions, but he does a nice job of objectively looking at what it is (and isn’t).

So I’ll spare you the 1000-word rant I’ve been working on. For now.

Ocean Colour Scene makes room for snowblower

March 15, 2010

Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Craddock is unloading two custom Lambrettas. Craddock claims he’s just too busy to ride, but anyone with a Lambretta fixation can tell you, you don’t sell a Lambretta unless you need the cash. Especially a surprisingly tastefully done Lambretta, that’s been on the cover of Scootering magazine twice (your editor looks in his wallet, a moth flies out.)

Ducati/Piaggio merger rumors

March 15, 2010

Businessweek and others are reporting that “McKinsey & Co Inc. is studying a possible merger
between Ducati Motor Holding SpA and Piaggio.” Before you get too excited, note that McKinsey & Co Inc. are regarded as occasionally-dangerous hypemongers. One commenter following up Autoblog’s story notes:

You may recall that McKinsey created the corporate strategy for Enron. Much of their work, which is often highly touted and quoted, is about suggesting mergers and consolidations, both internal and external to companies.

Still, it’s interesting to think about, in the greater scheme of Italian motorsports musical chairs. On one hand, homogenization strips brands of their individuality. On the other hand, Ducati’s credibility (with half of Piaggio’s revenues) couldn’t hurt Piaggio/Vespa/Guzzi/Aprilia in the U.S. market. And we’d all be invited to Ducati Island.

2009-10 Cold Weather Challenge Wrap-Up

March 7, 2010

Mad Man Maddox sent another ski-scooter link, which reminds us that our Cold Weather Challenge officially ended at midnight on Feb. 28. So here are the final standings: Third Place is Luigi G at 2.5°F; Second Place is Alan Van Tol at 0°F, and first place is Colin Doyle at -13°. Colin led the CWC for a month last year, so we’re glad to see him seal the deal this year. Last year’s winner, Scootervillan Bob didn’t enter, probably because we never sent him his Malört. (Mailing liquor is tricky!) So now we owe two bottles of Malört to Minnesota, and it’s nice to see two New Englanders on the podium, too! Good work everyone! If you entered the CWC and would like a sticker, send your snail-mail address to (Luigi, I’ve got yours!)

Honda 3R-C

March 3, 2010

2SB has learned to not get excited about concept vehicles, so we’ll let Steve and Orin tell you all about Honda’s new futuristic 3-wheeler. We like Apple (and Genuine’s) policy on prototypes and concept vehicles: just make cool products NOW, and announce them when they’re ready.

WKRP Pre-Reg Closes Today

March 1, 2010

The WKRP Cincinnati rally preregistration closes today, pay $20 now or $30 day-of-event. We’ll be there!

When scooter news breaks, we put it under a tarp in the garage. Coudal Partners WordPress Hecho en Apple Hecho en Chicago Vespa Club of America