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Larry Crowne, Scooterist

June 29, 2011


The motorscooter has appeared in countless films, whether as a star player or as a background prop, and many an internet thread or 2am campfire conversation has been dedicated to cataloging the history of scooters in movies. Only a handful of films, and even fewer major-release commercial ones, have given as much attention to our favorite mode of transportation as the new Tom Hanks film Larry Crowne. Seeing that the marketing team made an effort to target the movie to scooterists, through a marketing partnership with Genuine Scooters and outreach to scooter clubs and websites (including this one) around America, hopefully it’s worth reviewing Larry Crowne from the perspective of a longtime scooterist.
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1947 Mohs Scooter

June 28, 2011

Referring to our post about the scooter show at L.A.’s Petersen Automotive Museum, Pete in Wisconsin sent us a related story about Bruce Baldwin Mohs’ 1947 13-foot-long motorscooter, which is featured at the Petersen show.

Mohs is an 87-year old Madison inventor/eccentric, he built the four-passenger scooter after hours at his school’s metal shop as a teenager. It’s not as elegant as the Vespa, introduced a year earlier, but the machine got some attention at the time, and Mohs rode it as far as Kentucky.

“Has This Ever Happened to You?”

June 28, 2011

Eric catches video of NoHo Scooters’ Mike Frankovich helping Tom Hanks start his Riva at the L.A. Larry Crowne premiere last night. Despite what the uptight publicist in the foreground is thinking, this fragment of cinéma vérité will almost surely be Larry Crowne’s most memorable contribution to scootering legend, and will endear Tom Hanks to all scooterists forever. And I’m not being snarky for once.

Tonight is the Chicago premiere, see you there! The movie opens Friday nationwide, our Larry Crowne contest runs through Saturday.

Win a Larry Crowne prize package
from 2strokebuzz!

June 23, 2011

Tom Hanks’ film Larry Crowne opens nationwide on July 1, with earlier premieres in some cities (contact your local Genuine dealer for info). What with Hanks being a scooterist, and scooters being prominently featured in the flick, Universal was kind enough to offer a prize package for one lucky 2strokebuzz reader, including a Larry Crowne notebook, a t-shirt and a $25 gasoline gift card. To enter, all you have to do is post a comment below answering the following question: Read more

PVSC Band Camp 2011

June 21, 2011


Lucky for us, Heather was snapping away at Pittsburgh Vintage Scooter Club’s long-running “Band Camp.” We had a great time last year and were sad to miss it, but it looks like El Coucho and the usual jackassery were back in full force, with the nifty addition of a zipline and a wedding! Read more

Scooter Exhibit Opens in Los Angeles

June 21, 2011

The New York Times previewed the “Scooters: Size Doesn’t Always Matter” exhibit at Los Angeles’ Peterson Automotive Museum. Mmmm, chrome Rumi! Aside from the sorta-cringe-inducing name, it looks like a fantastic and well-researched exhibit and a rare chance to see a lot of really oddball scooters.

Thanks for the link, Alex Pelzel!

Chicago Mods vs Rockers 2011

June 21, 2011

©2011 Jordan Cinco
Ton Up Chicago’s 2011 Mods vs. Rockers rally was just one of several big scooter events over Fathers’ Day Weekend. 2SB couldn’t make it but our pal Jordan sent (a couple hundred) pictures, we narrowed his selection down to 60 (admittedly scooter-heavy) favorites. Read more

100,000 MP3s

June 20, 2011

Piaggio built their 100,000th MP3 on June 17, 2011 That’s 100 units of each different MP3 model! But seriously, the MP3 has been a big success for Piaggio (though not so much here in the U.S.A.), that’s an average of 20,000 a year since its introduction in 2006. Impressive, but not a transportation revolution, sales of the Vespa from its introduction in 1946 to the millionth unit in 1956 averaged 100,000 units a year!

Get To Know “Larry Crowne”

June 17, 2011

If you haven’t heard the name “Larry Crowne” thrown around yet, you will soon. The Tom Hanks film comes out released July 1 (how many times will we see “…scoots into theaters?”) and features motorscooters more prominently than just about any film since Quadrophenia. I know 2strokebuzz readers consider themselves pretty “avant garde” and this is a big-budget mainstream film, but I’m willing to bet a good number of hipster scoooterists will make an exception to their “Julia Roberts rule” for this one.
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Vespa Offers Limited-Time Customization

June 17, 2011

Vespa USA is currently offering custom paint at selected dealers. It’s an interesting idea, but of course got us wondering how it’s done. Here’s our train of thought:

  • Wow, really? That would be neat.

  • Why would it be only for a limited time?
  • I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that LML is offering custom color combinations on their new Stars in Europe.
  • Would you have to order it from the factory and wait nine months?
  • They can do patterns and graphics!? Is is a vinyl wrap? There’s no way they are they doing it at the factory, they have factories all over the world now, it would be logistically impossible.
  • Ah, there are limited participating dealers, the dealers have to work with someone locally.
  • That seems like it’d be really hard to manage costs and quality.
  • Hmm, looks like the local painter is obligated to warranty the paintwork.
  • Anyway, I bet it’s expensive as hell.
  • It starts at $4300? isn’t that less than MSRP for an LX150?
  • Yes, a 2011 LX150ie is $4599! Is $4300 JUST FOR PAINT?
  • Ahhhhh, that price is for a 2010 LX150 (not a 2011 LX150ie). with one color.
  • Even so, painting a scooter properly starts at several hundred bucks, how can they be eating that much money, even on a past-date scooter?
  • They must have an awful lot of 2010 LX150s to get rid of.

Scootering has a long tradition of customization and “dealer specials.” In most cases, these dealer specials were pretty rinky-dink, they looked good on the showroom floor and set themselves apart from the competition, but the paint was rarely applied carefully or even professionally, often peeling or chipping on the ride home. Most replicas of vintage “Dealer Specials” you see today were far more professionally done than the originals. The “limited-time” nature of this deal begs the question, “How is this different from any other time you’d go to a dealer and pay them extra to repaint your bike.” We’re guessing the answer to that question is a) Vespa’s trying to find a novel way to unload old bikes, and/or b) There are enough steps for this process to go wrong that Vespa and/or the dealers don’t want to commit to a longer plan.

I admit I don’t know much about painting modern Vespas, but I know you can’t paint an old one well without lots and lots of time and money. Looking at the list of dealers, I don’t see any of the dealers I’m most familiar with, the guys that have a lot of experience with scooter restoration. These guys know it’s not hard to find someone to agree to paint a scooter at a reasonable price, but just about impossible to convince them to paint another one, even at twice the price. We wonder if these local painters are body shops that have done touch-up work for dealers but don’t realize what they’re getting into. It’s an interesting idea and it’d be great if it is marginally affordable and if the work is good. We’ll see.

Busiest Weekend Ever?

June 17, 2011

Well, there’s no shortage of scooter fun this weekend across America. Amerivespa is already underway in New Orleans, PVSC Band Camp is on near Pittsburgh, The Secret Society’s Scooter Rage 25 (Did he say TWENTY FIVE?) is running in San Francisco, and there’s a NASRA Scootercross race in Indiana. Closer to our home, Chicago’s annual Mods and Rockers event gets bigger and better every year, and don’t miss the Mayday SC allnighter. Chicago’s Hell’s Fairies’ Spring Roll(er Derby) is Saturday, too.

Have fun, be safe, and if you’re in the Midwest, stay dry!

Malaguti : c’est fini?

June 16, 2011

Charles at Scooter-infos.com reports

Malaguti is nearly dead

. It’s disappointing to see a marque with such promise (and a legitimate-but-exaggerated history) go, but hardly surprising, ‘disappointing’ is a word commonly associated with Malaguti.

POC Stella 4T pipe

June 11, 2011

Speaking of the 4-stroke Stella, POC is developing a pipe. I’m not a fan of the loud, but I know i’m in the minority there.

200cc LML Star at Italian dealers in July

June 8, 2011

Motoblog reports Italian dealers will get the 4-stroke 200cc LML Star in July. Three versions and 20 colors are in the works. Anyone disappointed, as we were, by the discontinuation of the 2-stroke Genuine Stella 150 model will surely concede that it was the right decision if it means a 200cc manual-transmission metal-bodied classic scooter is on the way.

Vespa’s Worst Co-Promotion Ever

June 6, 2011

If you need more proof that VespaUSA is very nearly criminally clueless: co-promotion with Havaianas flip-flops.

I know, people ride in flip-flops all the time. But to PROMOTE that? To ENDORSE it? That’s just plain irresponsible. I’d love to see a flood of tweets to @Havaianas and @VespaUSA from safe scooterists. And as @scooterism points out: “Aside from safety, this is why drivers don’t take us seriously.” (thanks, Eric, for leading the charge!)

And don’t give me “Havaianas makes other shoes” and “You don’t have to wear them on your scooter,” Havaianas is famous for flip-flops, the ad shows flip-flops and a Vespa, their “Make your own” system only offers flip-flops, and the “other shoes” they make are also totally scooter-inappropriate anyway. On top of that, the copy says “You can stay in-style in your Make Your Own Havaianas and be eco chic on a brand new Vespa!” which certainly implies that you’d do both at the same time.

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