40% off a Veloce book

Sorry for the late notice, but Veloce Books is offering 40% off any book if you order before Sunday night. Use the code BEBRAVE. They’ve got several great scooter books and loads of vintage car and motorcycle books. They recently sent me their new “Vespa Scooters Essential Buyer’s Guide,” I’m working on a full review, but it’s nothing short of essential for first-time Vespa buyers, if you have a friend that’s looking for a vintage scooter, they need that book. Some of their books are a bit pricey, and they’re based in England, but a whopping 40% discount should bring the prices with shipping down to a reasonable bargain.

I’ve reviewed their Lambretta LI series Scooters and A-Z of Popular Scooters and Microcars here on 2strokebuzz, by the way. Look for the Buyer’s Guide review soon.

A Scooter Culture

This morning I was alerted by Facebook to a collection of photos from a trip to France posted on Flickr by April from Scoot Magazine. One photo in particular of a child on a very realistic modern scooter coin operated ride struck me as a significant demonstration how France has very different take on scooters than America. I found it interesting that while most American kids I’ve come across love scooters, on average they grow up to join a society that loves Harleys and freely uses the term ‘Crotch Rocket’. Maybe if we had a few more coin operated scooters outside Walmart, as a nation, we too could appreciate sensible personal transportation choices or riot in the streets when they cut benefits or raise the retirement age.

Scooter Chavs on Roundabouts

I’ve posted at least one of these before, but fans of scooters, playground equipment, and european emergency rooms will be excited to learn that the “scooter roundabout” video has become something of a meme, with dozens of videos out there. I’ve collected a sampling below. I know 2SB readers are capable of some major stupidity, but hopefully you’re a little brighter than these lads and don’t try this at your local playground.

Roundabout of Death

Another Roundabout of Death

Death Roundabout

Another Scooter Roundabout

Ped on Roundabout

…and Yet Another Chav Roundabout.

Corazzo 2-for-1 closeout

Speaking of Corazzo, they’re offering their closeout “Max” or “Hoody” jackets FREE, with any new jacket order. Just order from their online store and let them know which Max or Hoody style/size/color you want. Obviously the pick’ns will get slim soon, it’s just while supplies last. Also be sure to ask for your signed photo of Bradford wearing nothing but a Corazzo underhoody.

Vintage Vespa(SM)

Steve at The Scooter Scoop was trolling the patent sites again, and learned that our friends at Piaggio & C. S.p.A. are hoping to protect the phrase “Vintage Vespa” as a service mark. Piaggio returned to America a decade ago and alienated their entire customer base with a schload of legal action against the small handful of shops and parts distributors that kept the Vespa brand name alive in their absence. A handful ended up paying big money to be certified as a “Vintage Vespa Restoration Center,” a designation which carried little weight and was soon forgotten. At the same time, Piaggio offered (for sale!) a catalog of vintage parts that they seemed unable to supply to their dealers in any sort of timely fashion. In the ten years since then, most of the few truly successful Vespa dealerships are back in the hands of scooter enthusiasts, including several that Piaggio tried to shut down back in ’99 in favor of snooty luxury car dealerships and boutiques. But many of the best vintage scooter repair shops still want nothing to do with Grande Azzuro.

If the request becomes reality, how can an unsanctioned repair shop (many of which have been in business much longer than PiaggioUSA) attract customers? “We fix postwar Italian monocoque 4-speed rotary-valve steel-bodied 2-stroke motorscooters” just doesn’t flow off the tongue. Our suggestion? Simply offer vintage Piaggio parts and service.”

“Tribute” Vespa for your Superyacht

We don’t throw the word “Yacht” around on 2strokebuzz very often, which is surprising since several maxiscooters could fairly be described as “yachts,” and VespaUSA seems to have been targeting yacht owners since 1999. But they’ve clearly been doing it wrong.

If you have been keeping up on your southern-hemisphere superyacht news, you’ll know that an outfit called Digital Veneer in New Zealand is offering a Limited Edition “Tribute” Vespa designed to max-out the pretentiousness of a regular Vespa LX50 by adding woodgrain-sublimated vinyl and some seafoam-colored upholstery. Like any good yacht, if you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it.

Via the facebook feed of the mighty Vespa Lexington. You probably know this, but @Scooterism and I were just saying the other day, Michael and Whit probably have their online presence nailed down better than just about any shop in the country and you should be copying everything they do, from the attractive and up-to-date website, to the customer photos on the blog, to the great tweets and facebook posts, to sending 2strokebuzz free t-shirts. Especially that last part.

Weird Chicago Ride

We’ve seen a good number of Halloween rides over the years, but Scooterworks Chicago has taken things a step farther and organized a spooky ride curated and hosted by the experts at Weird Chicago on November 7 2010. The Weird Chicago Scooter Ride leaves at noon from Scooterworks after a 10am brunch at Fireside Restaurant (down the street). Brunch is a steal at $10, and the tour is $15, half-price from Weird Chicago’s usual tours (they won’t have to gas up the bus for this one). The ride runs until 8:30pm and visits “various sites where famous killings and crimes took place in the mob era of old Chicago.” Lots of people dress up for the ride, I love when people wear their silver vampire grillz its a great touch on any costume.

LML Must Pay Tariff on “Engineering Drawings”

To your average Economic Times of India reader, it’s a boring Indian tariff law ruling. To a scooterist, it’s a gateway into a world of mystique and speculation. Where is LML importing engineering drawings from? Are they related to LML’s long-delayed plans to manufacture their Clipper/Vespa ET4? Is it an 8-stroke 1200cc Stella? WHEN WILL WE GET IT!?

(Thanks, Rob!)

SIP Scooter Shop Photos And Hints Of Another New Lambretta

SIP Scootershop has a great collection of photos on flickr from INTERMOT in Germany. Among the photos were several interesting snaps of new offerings. First, one that caught my eye as a novel design for an electric scooter. I’m not sure of the origin. Please, if anyone recognizes it chime in. According the the INTERMOT booth chart the company next to Hyosung-Germany is “SUZHOU HANDE ELECTRIC BICYCLE CO.”. I think it’s just a good use of long, horizontal, flat floorboards and the raised channels space as well as other ergonomically sensible configuration aspects.

But most interesting was the appearance of the Lambretta name in one of the photos. Sadly, no machine. While several entities vie for the Lambretta name and image, the teaser image on the web-site is attractive if even just the tail end. This group is apparently Irish, spreading the claim to yet another nation. Hopefully we’ll have even more to write about this and other new Lambretta efforts soon.

#23: Scooter Weights and Measures

Today’s question for Dr. Buzz comes from Ryan B. in Chicago, following a thread on CHIscooterList about protecting your cylinder while working on your engine:

……So a 12 oz can of beer fits perfectly in the cylinder of a P200, a shot glass filled with 2 stroke is the perfect mix ratio for a gallon of gas, are these coincidences or is there something going on here?

Continue reading “#23: Scooter Weights and Measures”

More Bad Luck For British Lambretta Riders

British up-and-coming 125cc Grand Prix racer Danny Kent was riding the Lambretta Reparto Corse machine to one of the team’s best results of the 2010 season when his luck ran out at the Japanese Twin-Ring Motegi Circuit. The young man from Chippenham was progressing well before having a ‘moment’ which forced him to give up a few positions before his crash, suggesting some mechanical malfunction that he tried to ride through. Dorna Sports are quite protective of their video properties but there wasn’t much caught on screen to share. Thus we are forced to substitute our best guess as to what must have happened.

Mr. Kent appeared to walk away mostly unharmed but holding his arm. Best wishes for a quick recovery.

(More to come regarding Lambretta Reparto Corse in the coming days)

It’s Time to GIVI Thanks

About a month back I received a call from Phil Waters from Pride of Cleavland Scooters. He had an offer I ultimately couldn’t refuse. GIVI USA offered an opportunity attend the Indianapolis Motorcycle Grand Prix as guest of the LCR Honda MotoGP team, run by Lucio Checchinello. Phil was generous and thoughtful enough to pass this opportunity along to an enormous fan of MotoGP. An impromptu ten hour road trip later I was rewarded with the VIP treatment in the exclusive Grand Prix paddock and the privileged of watching qualifying practice from the LCR Honda pit garage while rider Randy DePuniet put in his best efforts while recovering from a violent crash only weeks before where he broke his leg. We were hosted by team representatives Elisa Pavan and Oscar Haro who lead us out to spend time right on the pit wall during the closing minutes of qualifying when riders were putting in their last ditch efforts for pole position. Our paddock passes allowed us amazing access to spend time rubbing elbows with the greatest motorcycle racers in the world. Sunday we watched the race from the main grandstands and had a wonderful time before heading back on a non-stop drive back to Minnesota.

I just wanted to give special thanks to POC Phil, Givi USA and the LCR Honda Team (links to their Facebook pages). Without this opportunity my next post regarding the Lambretta Racing Team wouldn’t have been possible! Stay tuned.