MSF’s Rider Perception tests

Try these two great on-screen Rider Perception tests from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Then try them again, the obstacles and signs change, and you can adjust the speed.

When you’ve been riding a lot, and you’ve been trained to see obstacles, they start to jump out at you. Critics of MSF (and thankfully, there are few) argue that training does not reduce risk when riding. I agree that it’s important to remember that you’re always at risk, regardless of training. But even simple bits of knowledge like “metal plates and manholes are slippery” give riders an edge, how can anyone argue that it’s not worth learning as much as possible about hazards and two-wheel physics?

Eat Your Heart Out Motocompo

Volkswagen has trotted out a new electric bike to compliment one’s sense of how far one can drive past the “Empty” marking on the gas gauge. Honda had a similar concept back in the 1980s, to go along with their compact cars, called the Motocompo. The VW options seems like a nice design with single sided front suspension, as airplane designers intended. (Someone, please, tell me his wikipedia entry has some errors.)


eHow features some weird/pointless scooter tips, such as How to Compete in a Vespa Rally, which seems like it was written in a couple minutes with no actual insight into scooters or racing. Do eHow writers just crank these things out for an easy paycheck or what? Aside from MotoGiroUSA, which is not specifically for scooters, and a couple one-off events over the years, are there even any European-style Rally road races in the U.S.? I feel bad linking to more of these articles, they don’t deserve the traffic, but there are listings for “How to Restore a Vespa,” “How to Become a Vespa Dealer,” “How to Join a Vespa Club”… all of which basically say “1. Use a little common sense. 2. Look on the internet for more information.” Thanks, eHow!

Rock and Bend Over

Gene Simmons of the rock band Kiss is notorious for licensing the bands’ image to anyone who’ll pay for it, so it comes as no surprise that you can now ride a Kiss scooter. The Crossrunner Kiss Celebrity Collectors Edition scooter appears to be just another Chinese Honda Joker knockoff with Kiss graphics. It was noted on Modern Buddy that the paint job is worth more than the scooter, but we’re betting it’s vinyl wrap graphics, the likes of which we’ve seen on several Chinese scooters at Dealer Expo in recent years. It’s also interesting that the photos on the site are a mirror image of each other (note the engine case is visible in both photos), it’s a Photoshop mockup, not a photo of the real bike. (The rotating image at the end of the video appears to be real, the graphics are slightly different.) If this bike features the glass piston, fake ABS brakes, and other shoddy components seen on many Chinese scooters, you might want to order a Kiss casket, too.

Ride to Amerivespa with Kymco

KymcoUSA (once again) seems to be more excited about Amerivespa than VespaUSA, they had the kinda-neat idea to plan a group ride from their South Carolina HQ down to San Antonio, Texas for Amerivespa (May 27 – 31, 2010). They’re even offering to pay for gas for anyone else that comes along. If you’re a Kymco fan, this sounds like a pretty neat opportunity to get some face time with Kymco. On top of that, it’s good to know Kymco’s sales and marketing folks actually ride scooters occasionally, unlike most other brands. Find more info in this ridiculously long Constant Comment link, because I couldn’t find anything about it on Kymco’s site. VespaUSA, likewise, has nothing about Amerivespa on their site, despite being the title sponsor. Even worse, Vespa has not posted any news on their site since December. I don’t expect these guys to be blogging daily, frankly, no one would read it, but when you take the time and effort to plan an event or promotion, put it on your site, if for no other reason than to make it clear you’re still in business! I take all that back, see below, sorry.

Scootertechniques DVDs

Can’t speak to the quality of these Lambretta and Vespa Maintenance/Rebuild DVDs. but it’s about time someone put together something like this. I’ve written them to beg for review copies, maybe we can sell ’em over at Scootmoto eventually. (I notice they offer free shipping worldwide, that’s extremely generous, considering current shipping rates! Hopefully they’ve taken region encoding and NTSC/PAL into account they have, see below)

Via ScootRS.

Scootmoto Update!

Speaking of 2SB cashing in (stop laughing), we’ve finally updated Scootmoto with about a dozen new items, including:

(Finally!) NEW 2strokebuzz T-shirts, a very limited-edition tribute to one of the greatest albums ever, and because our son Calvin (obviously) needed one, we did a few onesies. We only printed 36 shirts, so if you’re actually twee/old enough to get the reference, order fast!
Continue reading “Scootmoto Update!”

Jet Blue Vespa Giveaway

What’s up with these contests lately that give away Vespas (in the case of the Jet Blue One Thing Thats Green Sweepstakes, a lot of Vespas) as a runner-up prize, with “top” prizes that no one would want (in this case, flights to the third world, or the “opportunity” to listen to Deepak Chopra’s mullarkey in person? Admittedly, the washer and dryer look nice, but we’ve got that covered.

(Via P.Z. Meyers)

Chicago’s Improved Adhesive Meter Receipts:

The Expired Meter posted about Chicago’s new motorcycle-friendly meter receipts, with a closing quote from some negative creep scooterist.

I actually checked them out after talking to The Expired Meter, they are a big improvement over the old adhesive receipts, and definitely better than the cheapo thermofax paper. We appreciate the effort from the city and LAZ, though my concern about theft still stands (not to mention the hundreds of other complaints people have about the whole parking meter operation in general.)

All that said, most meters have a very limited parking window anyway, so they’re not an option for commuters or overnight parking. And even though Chicago’s metered spaces seem to be growing exponentially, a Chicago Road Use Tax medallion allows you to park on a wealth of (unmetered) residential side streets without a neighborhood permit. Eventually, those will probably be metered as well, but for now, parking in the city is about as clear and hassle-free as it’s ever been.

Soundspeed Scooters Outfits Electric Lambretta For Upcoming Tom Hanks Film

I was recently made aware of the handiwork of Jeb from Soundspeed Scooters that will be featured in an upcoming Hollywood film. April from Scoot! Magazine posted a story about a new film starring Hanks and Julia Roberts that features Hanks riding scooters during a midlife crisis. Further intelligence from the horses mouth revealed the handy electric conversion kit to change a classic Lambretta to a zero-emissions-near-you vehicle that will be used in the movie. The Lambretta in the photo was used as a template and the kit was shipped off to the local shop that outfitted a different Lambretta. Maybe you could talk Jeb into making another kit for your Innocenti that hasn’t seen the road in a while or to use while you build up that MB Race-Tour 200 engine.

You can read more about the film in April’s post and links in the comment section of their blog. It sounds like a familiar tale. I’m fairly certain scooter fans will discuss the film on several levels from now until well after release. The question I’m most interested in is what 4-stroke engine recording will they use in the film to represent the running Lambretta?

New Lambretta Oddly Like Old Lambretta

The 2010 Motorcycle Grand Prix season kicked off this afternoon at high noon CST (20:00 local time in Qatar). In Grand Prix racing the competition begins with the lights in front of the riders going from red to off. There were 25 riders lined up for the start of the race. When the lights flicked off, 24 125cc motorcycles pushed off from their starting position to begin the race. Toward the back of the field, history repeats itself. As the case with many scooter rides with your pals, there was a Lambretta that couldn’t quite get started and was being frantically pushed to one side pleading for assistance. Just like any large group ride where the front can’t see the back, the rest moved on and the lonely rider was left behind. All the hard work of the team and rider had gone for not. Poor Louis Salom, a former Red Bull Rookie league front runner, had been left in the lurch by a mechanical problem. Lets just hope that by the next round in Japan they sort out their mechanical gremlins and are rewarded with better luck for their efforts.

(Note: A Piaggio product won the race)

Farewell, Nev Frost

Neville Frost
David Hardy from commented a few days ago on the Team S Equipe 2SB post:

It is with great sadness that I have to announce the passing of the greatest all round scooterist, of all time, Nev Frost.

Nev passed away last Friday, unfortunately I do not know the circumstances as yet.
From the mid sixties Nev was the one you had to beat, whether it be on the track, grass track, rallies or navigation trials he would be there at the top or there about.
Just a fantastic competitor.

I hope he gets the send off he deserves, a truly great man & scootering legend.

Sadly, while Frost’s Lambretta-racing legacy looms large on the web, word of his passing doesn’t seem to have spread through the scooter community, and a week later, I’m unable to find a proper obituary. If anyone has more details, or memories to share, we’d love to hear them.

PSRA Cup kicks off on Sunday, MASR’s first race on the 24th, and Twist and Gone‘s drag event in Indiana is on May 1, perhaps racers at those events can keep Nev in their hearts and find a way to honor his memory.