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Arrivederci, Regis

November 18, 2011

David Letterman gave Regis Philbin a red Vespa LX as a retirement gift last night, and it didn’t go so well. What a Domer. Read more

Not So Innocenti…

November 17, 2011

Our first Britney Spears-inspired headline heralds the (maybe? sorta?) return of famed Lambretta maker Innocenti in a story that hasn’t garnered any media coverage, but once we blow it out of proportion here, it may send a few Austrian IP attorneys into a tizzy.
Jeb (of FIDO fame) spotted an interesting badge on the electric car shown at 4:28 in this video collage of electric vehicle photos from EICMA:
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Vintage Lambrettisti Can Love This New Lambretta Video

November 15, 2011

From the Lambretta Motorcycles Facebook page, here is a video that even the exclusive vintage Lambretta lover could enjoy. Maybe a common enemy can be the tie that binds? Doubtful.

Kaitong Busted at EICMA

November 15, 2011

Italian police confiscated Kaitong’s knockoff of the Piaggio MP3 at the EICMA show in Milan.

If that’s a thing… that… can be done, it’s surprising it doesn’t happen more at motorcycle trade shows. Surely it wasn’t a good idea to show up on Italian soil during the financial crisis on the week the Prime Minister resigns (incidentally, Berlusconi was slated to speak at EICMA but cancelled), and display a knockoff of one of Italy’s proudest exports. But one would hope authorities would afford the same attention to other imitators, too.

In other MP3-ish news, Vectrix is promising their 3-wheeler for 2012.

Via Scooterism.

Honda… Integra?

November 9, 2011

More from EICMA: Honda has dusted off the Integra name for its new 700cc scooter, throwing car fans into a tizzy, despite one commenter pointing out that Honda used the name for the 1984 Honda VT250F Integra MC08 motorcycle a year before unveiling the automobile so beloved by car thieves.

Thanks, Bradford! (I guess a link to Corazzo is still de rigueur?)

Modern PK Automatic at EICMA

November 8, 2011

This is just a short post to beat Bryan and the new cub report, Matt, to the punch.

It appears that rumors are true (but are secrets really lies?). LML has shoehorned an automatic into a PK body. They are showing it off at the big bike show EICMA, in Italy. I noticed the photo posted in Scooter Mercato‘s facebook feed. Thanks, Dave.

Discuss. (Likely more analysis to follow.)

The Last Grand Prix Motorcycle Race & The Ghosts of Lambretta

November 5, 2011

The British rider Danny Webb has put the Mahindra Motors Racing 125cc Grand Prix motorcycle on Pole Position for the final round of the 2011 Championship at Valencia, Spain. This is significant on several levels.

Mahindra Motors acquired the Italian firm Engines Engineering prior to the 2011 season in an effort to go racing. Engines Engineering had be entering machines in Grand Prix racing before, but it was under the Lambretta name in 2010 with Marco Ravailoli and a raft of temporary guest riders. While the young Italian and his teammates made valiant efforts under the Lambretta Reparto Corse banner, the switch to Mahindra racing colors and new riders, Danny Webb and Marcel Schrotter, has resulted in a better points placement this season. German and British hands seem to be able to get old Lambrettas going a bit quicker.

The Lambretta to Mahindra conversion also mirrors an Indian continuation of the Lambretta efforts. Interestingly, Scooters India Limited (SIL), the company that took over producing Lambretta models in the subcontinent, is up for sale. Piaggio, Atul Auto and Mahindra have all thought about acquiring the state-run factory, but have reconsidered in recent months. If they had bought the currently money losing company it would have made for a very tidy story!

The saddest and most important part of this event is that it is the last time two-stroke machines will compete at the top level of World-Class racing. It’s not that four-stroke 125s haven’t raced before and been magnificent. But for the last 40 years two stroke machines have dominated at least one class of Grand Prix racing and now it comes to an end. Not by lack of competitiveness, but by simple rule change. Manufacturer goals have changed and that sweet 2 Stroke Buzz plays no role in these aims. The new class will be single-cylinder four-stroke engines and Mahindra and others including Honda and KTM will field machines. But it certainly won’t be the same. Not the same noise, the same smell, the same simple beauty of the two-stroke steeds.

If you’d like to see the event, you can watch live from MotoGP.com for a price. The race starts at 4:00 AM CST on Sunday (tomorrow) morning. Less than an hour later will be a distinct end of an era.

The Hoffmann Vespa Story: Nazis, Bankers and Another Case of Piaggio Licensing Gone Wrong

November 3, 2011

SIP Scootershop posted a history of the Hoffman Vespa on their community blog. It’s not fluff piece and it’s worth a read. Anyone with a Hoffman GS out there, raise your hand.

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