“Don’t Bother Learning How to Ride Properly,
You Will Die Anyway”

That’s the basic gist of a new report by insurance-industry group IIHS. It’s a ridiculous statement from a group that’s come under fire from motorcyclist rights groups before, but that didn’t stop the (usually-right-on) New York TImes “Wheels” blog from regurgitating it verbatim and trying to pass it off as journalism. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation quote at the end can be translated as, “We’re so shocked and appalled, we don’t even know where to start with our rebuttal.”

Here’s Eric Almendral’s response at Modern Buddy which is pretty much right along the lines of what I’m thinking. I hope scooterists and motorcyclists will both attack bloggers and journalists who reprint this ‘study’ as science, and hype the f**k out of the MSF rebuttal, when it comes.

Mag7 ride Saturday

If you’re not in Cincinnati this weekend, the Magnificent 7 SC is hosting a Chicago-area ride on Saturday (April 10 2010, rain date April 17).

Meet at Cafe Cappuccino, 3800 Harlem (next to Bakers Square) at 9:30am Ride departs at 10:30am. Return to city eta 5:00 pm for free pizza and $3 Blue Moon pints at The Playroom on Belmont.

This is a long ride; 100+ miles with two planned stops along the way. Please, only larger scooters capable of cruising at 50mph.

World’s Largest Scooter Ride

Scooter Therapy, Madison, WI’s Genuine/Kymco dealer is attempting to enter the Guinness Book of World Records on April 17 with “The World’s Largest Scooter Ride.” We heard rumors of this a couple weeks ago, and found it curious: Isle of Wight organizers brag that their 2008 Sunday ride was Guinness-verified as the world’s largest parade of scooters with about 5000. Even though there’s no mention of this record on Guinness’ site, European rallies routinely top 1000 scooters.

It turns out, despite the vague name of the event, Scooter Therapy is trying to break a 2005 Dutch record for Largest Parade of Mopeds (motorcycles Under 50cc), which currently stands at 674. All mopeds and scooters are welcome, but only those under 50cc will count towards the record.

I don’t know what kind of moped population Madison has these days (maybe it’s through the roof, unlike most states, WI law clearly specifies 50cc scooters as mopeds, legal to operate with a regular driver’s license, and Madison is a relatively affluent college town) but that still seems like a lot of bikes, considering that the biggest (and more-publicized) midwestern scooter and moped rallies rarely attract half that many. When you limit it to 50cc bikes, and hold it on the same weekend as a big moped rally in Louisville, that just doesn’t seem possible, but maybe they know something I don’t. In any case, it’s a ride, it’ll be a good time, and they’re giving away a Genuine Roughhouse 50, so if you’re in the area you’ll want to check it out. Here’s hoping they pull it off and steal the title from those stinking Nederlanders!

What about “Flyover Country?”

Comparing powersports journalist Guido Ebert to 2strokebuzz is like comparing Roger Ebert to an anonymous YouTube comment. So you’d think Piaggio would jump at the chance to get him on their bandwagon, right? If Piaggio’s going to set up every lawnmower repair shop in the midwest as dealers, you’d think they’d give them a little marketing support. I honestly wondered if this was an April Fools joke, but I don’t think it is.

Testing your Loyalty?

I know Vespa rudely scheduled their dealer meeting in California the same weekend as Genuine’s dealer retreat in Wisconsin a couple years ago, but it doesn’t seem sporting to schedule the grand opening of the redesigned Scooterworks Chicago space the same day as Motowork’s North Avenue shop opening. I’m not sure who called dibs on the date first, but if I can’t go to both, I’m not going to either. Even if one of them books Jay Leno.

“Schoolgirl hit by scooter slams rogue riders”

Aside from the headline, which sounds kinda like a porn video, this story reminds us that as indignant as we get about events like last week’s incident in Arizona, scooterists and motorcyclists can be a threat to pedestrians and cyclists and we’re not always as careful or responsible as we could be. I’m sure the sort of british chavs responsible for this specific incident don’t read this blog (or care about anything but themselves,) but I know plenty of people that read 2strokebuzz have no problem riding after a few drinks, and/or like to show off, and ALL of us get distracted from time to time and make bad decisions. Most of us also drive cars a good share of the time, and fiddle with Pandora, and have screaming kids in the back seat. So (rightfully) say what you will about the driver of that sanitation truck, but never forget that no matter what you ride and how careful you are, you’re capable of inflicting harm on others, too.