Timoni’s Travels through Time

Former Piaggio Americas CEO Paolo Timoni has written an editorial speculating on the future for Dealernews. If we ever seemed less-than-confident in Timoni’s guidance, this editorial piece should make our case nicely. Timoni’s hopes for the future in many ways are parallel those of 2strokebuzz, but we’d never in a million years imply that our dreams are realistic. Granted, he admits it’s all a bit of a fantasy, but one can’t help wondering if Piaggio’s U.S. growth plan was hitched on the same fantasy.
Let’s take a quick look at his predictions:
Continue reading “Timoni’s Travels through Time”

Major Lambretta Parts Distro Merger

Besides the hot topic in the Facebook world asking Lambretta owners where they buy their goods, there was an announcement today of a merger between two of the major Lambretta outlets in America. Jet200.com and Casa Lambretta USA have merged and will soon be operating under the Jet200 name. The same services of both companies will continue as before. So don’t fret, DCD. The shop will still be serving you at it’s Mile High location, though it will now be a purely Innocenti snob shop, excluding Vespa work for the benefit of focusing on, to put it politely, those who need the most help. (My words, not theirs!) Hopefully this will benefit all involved and make owning a beautiful scooter all the more tolerable.

New NHTSA Helmet Decals

The New York Times reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced new safety labels for motorcycle helmets. The current “D.O.T.” Decal will be replaced with a new sticker reading “D.O.T. F.M.V.S.S. No. 218 Certified” The new design is intended to prevent counterfeit decals on non-compliant “novelty” helmets.

It’s worth noting that, as we understand it, the NHTSA does not test helmets or issue decals, manufacturers are responsible for meeting the D.O.T. F.M.V.S.S. No. 218 specifications, testing, and labeling their helmets on the honor system, though the government can prosecute manufacturers selling helmets that aren’t up to code. Unless the new law specifies some sort of government-produced holographic RFID-chip label, there is no “official” decal, so the use of the word “counterfeit” is strange, it’s a matter of illegally labeling helmets, not a matter of illegally duplicating stickers. A new sticker specification would seem to be a minor inconvenience (at best) to a manufacturer knowingly marketing non-compliant helmets.

It’s also worth noting that there are a variety of helmet tests out there, F.M.V.S.S. No. 218 is one of the less-stringent, though it is the standard minimum requirement for sale/use in the U.S.A. There’s much debate on helmet testing, especially since a 2005 article in Motorcyclist that implied D.O.T. helmets were safer than the highly-regarded Snell standard. While the article made valid points about testing procedures and helmet composition, it also sparked a generation of squids arguing their D.O.T.-approved cheapo half-shell is universally and indubitably safer than a full-face.

When choosing a helmet, there are many factors and safety standards to consider, and any motorcyclist should read articles from a variety of sources and make an informed decision.

Ace’s Bomber Jacket

Inspired by a newbie thread about patches on Modern Buddy, I finally tracked down the source of a particularly awesome JPEG I came across a few weeks ago. Turns out the JPEG was just the tip of the iceberg of Ace’s Jacket Cosplay Breakdown. Anyone stuck home watching Dr. Who on PBS in the late 80s, I bet you’re with me on this one. I wanted a scooter in 1986, but I wanted a Honda, thanks to Adam Ant and Lou Reed. I didn’t know anything about scooter culture back then, but man, did I want a bomber jacket with a bunch of random patches.

Lambretta Helmets

It’s Lambretta day here at 2strokebuzz… Heritage Helmets in the UK are offering a handsome new range of vintage-inspired three-quarter Lambretta helmets in the anglo-italo-mod vein. The St. George Cross version (pictured left) is our fave. The lineup also features goggles and several more modern designs with a shorter profile (shall we call them “three-fifths helmets?”). The casques are manufactured in Italy by Project. We recommend and wear full-face helmets here at 2sb, and rarely even mention anything else, but these might be irresistible to a certain subset of our readers. I of course nagged the nice PR lady about the scooters themselves, she tells us there will be an unveiling next month, which matches the timeline in our earlier story.

Ciao, Paris. Avec une Primavera

SIP-Scootershop posted this video on Facebook that makes vintage scootering en Paris look almost as cool as Bryan’s photos. It’s an advert for a scooter rental shop in Paris, called Ciao Paris. Modern Vespas are offered but the option of the tried and true smallframe makes this a unique opportunity. If only the Bedells had known, some clutch repair tips could have been forthcoming.

Genuine Scooters’ Financial Boost

Investment firm Chicago Associates and financial advisors Livingstone Partners announced a Scooterworks/Genuine Scooters recapitalization deal today, the press release is typical self-congratulatory business blather with not much real information, but after two very difficult years for the scooter industry in general, Genuine apparently has some investment cash, the 4T Stella and Buddy 170i (shipping now), and a promising summer ahead of them.

Scooter Art of Takashi Harako

I came across an image on the Ride The Machine blog that caught my eye. A Japanese scooterist and apparent Lambretta rider had made some wonderful commercial art for a place in Tokyo called Jungle Scooters. It looks like a neat shop and what’s more is that I’d really like to see where the Harako artwork ended up. Scroll down and check out a few examples. And someone email him and beg him to do more!