The critical words used when Italjet products are discussed have their origin in the frustration felt when their excellent concepts often fail in the execution of delivering the legendary products we hope for. The Velocifero, Dragster and Formula models made it far when reaching for iconic status but fell short in the end due to poor product support and the ultimate demise of the company’s incarnation at the time. Some exciting designs have yet to make it from prototype to production. Examples include the Scooop, Rollercraft and Amarcord. While the Scooop may have been outdone by the Piaggio MP3 in arriving first and the Rollercraft may yet arrive, the motorcycle-with-a-scooter-engine work of art known as the Amarcord seems to have died and it’s name lifted onto a Chinese scooter. Reported by Cyberscooter.it from the EICMA in 2007, the scooter with the Amarcord name appeared as one of Italjet’s new offerings. The scooter doesn’t look all that horrible it is slightly reminiscent of the Velocifero’s retro design with some tell-tale accents of mainland-China construction. Also note the yellow Rollercraft model in the background. What moves me to feel sad and mourn the loss of the of a great design is that the name transfer of the Amarcord label from an incredibly eye-catching and novel design to an homogenized standard scooter signals the death of an idea that’s time is ripe and appears to be lost on most (but not all) manufacturers. R.I.P. Amarcord concept.
Back when people rode new bikes that looked like what people today call a cafe-racer, did they refer to themselves as cafe-racers with pride and machismo? Or was that a jibe that would come from others poking fun at groups of wannabe Grand Prix heroes? I don’t know. But I came across a blog called The New Cafe Racer Society that has some great material. It has many stories about vintage and modern motorcycles and culture as well as an ample amount of digital ink devoted to scooters. It’s good to be reminded that there are people out there with great passion for motorbikes for the sake of art, technology, performance, style and down right sensibility. I have yet to see a comment listed in the posts so I fear it may not be getting the exposure it deserves. Take a spin on over and check it out. It’s now on my daily list of sites to check with new content nearly every day. Alternatively, you could just keep tabs on it over here at 2SB for when I re-post some of the more sweet morsels I find there.
Mark Houghton has opened a new online outlet for Lambretta parts called Jet200 Performance. A quick scan of his online catalog shows he’s selling some tasty-looking bits for improving on the Lambretta experience as well as some work-a-day spares. Lambretta Club USA members qualify for monthly specials. Mark is a nice guy from the Seattle area and has long had a passion for the scooter from Milan. He’s the kind of guy that spares no expense on doing things right so hopefully his customers will be as happy as I’m sure he is with his new venture.
The Kymco Cobra was once the favored clone style second only to the Yamaha Vino. While doing some ‘research’ on what the new offering from Italjet America (a.k.a. LS Motorsports) will look like andÂ I found an Italian site, Motorino.it, showing some photos of the ‘new’ it.50 scooter.
It looks sharp in yellow but it struck a chord of familiarity when I looked at the photos for a few seconds. I compared it to the Kymco Agility and it appears to be nearly identical. Differences appear to include the fender and headlight, but are minor compared to the similarities. The it.50 seat is like the Agility 125 rather than the jump-seat style on the 50cc of the Kymco model. The it.50 does not appear on the Italjet site but has been tipped to be a possible new model shown at the dealer show in Indianapolis in a few weeks.
The Agility is made in mainland China and the price is reflective of that. I wonder how many new Agility clones we’ll see in the coming few years. It’s not a bad choice for something to clone, regardless of what one feels about the state of intellectual property in developing economies.
Motogiro d’Italia is a motorcycle touring rally made famous in the 1950s and revived in 2001. The event, showcasing classic Italian machines, is venturing outside Italy for the first, of what I would imagine will be annual, Motogiro America. The oil leaking event will be held in and around Monterey, CA preceding the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in July 2008. Webbikeworld.com reports that the routes will include a lap around the racetrack at Laguna Seca as well as scenic rides around the picturesque Monterey Bay area. There is a range of entry classes including a “Vespa Class.” Hopefully other vintage Italian scooters will be allowed as it would seem very fitting to have some of the beautiful Lambretta D race machines participating (I’m talking to you, Alex). It sounds like a dream week for any Italian Iron enthusiast.
The Australian website, mcnews.com.au, reports on an association of scooter importers that will represent manufacturers and dealers in an effort to “assist riders to avoid potential pitfalls”. This seems aimed directly at upstart importers of lower quality scooters brought in by the container load for fly-by-night organizations. The Australian Scooter Federation boasts membership from many top flight manufacturers including the marques of the Piaggio group, Honda, Yamaha and Kymco. The article states that the ASF members will conform to a ‘code of conduct’ to ensure high quality and dealer support. Is it time for such an organization in the U.S.A? I think so. I recall a little sticker on the gas tank of many an Allstate scooter that suggested there once was. Discuss.
It has been claimed that the Lambretta motorscooter was a pioneering machine by having been the first production two-wheeled vehicle to have a disc brake. While I believe the Lambretta model C to be the distilled essence of what a scooter is all about, the typical Lambrettista has very high smugness-to-running-scooter ratio. It is possible that Lambretta’s reputation for pushing boundaries lends some fuel to this imbalanced view of the vintage small displacement world.Â So to help bring balance to the world, we present evidence to refute this oft-repeated claim to a technological first. Continue reading “Disc bragging rights: Laverda 1, Lambretta 0”
The final round of the 2007 Mid-America Scooter Racing Association was filled with the action and excitement one would expect of the premier scooter racing league in the region. The Iowa International Raceway was once again the venue for 10-inch-wheel-to-10-inch-wheel action. The weather was mild and track conditions declared dry for the race start. With several bikes testing their mettle on the track it came down to Team Brookespeed scooter racing veteran “Crafty Matt” DeVries versus the Canadian upstart, Dayn “Sparks” Longlade. North American bragging rights were at stake and the competitors were up to the challenge. For the first time in nearly a year, Team Brookespeed did not field two machines on the grid so there was no chance of team orders coming into play during the track clash. Continue reading “Champion crowned at MASRA season finale”
There is still time to call the travel agent, pack your bags and get to Germany for their annualÂ Scooter-Weekend celebration, sponsored by Scooter-Attack.Â On September 29th theÂ HockenheimringÂ will host hordes of scooterists from across the world in what has become one of Europe’sÂ premier modern scooter events.Â The schedule includes drag racing, custom scooter shows and dyno shoot-outs.Â The event is for scooters and mopeds only.Â Quads, motorcycles and scooters with motorcycle engines are not allowed! 2strokebuzz.comÂ reporters are still open to any offers of sponsorship to attend the event.Â In the case of no live coverage from this correspondent, check back in about two months and there should be a nice link to a gallery of photos detailing the weekends festivities.
Click here for computer friendly flier in German.
Now that the Galewood rally has gone the way of the dinosaur and two stroke twins, there was little to remind us of what I like to call Beebmas.Â Today we celebrate the birth of the man at the helm of 2StrokeBuzz.Â All of us here at the corporate office would like to wishÂ Bryan a happy birthday.Â Cake will be in the breakroom at 2:00.Â Bring your own plates and forks.
The folks over at Gizmodo reported on some ‘scientists’ in the UK thatÂ have come up with an equation for the perfect bacon sandwich. Further research revealed that my lab rat brethren at Leeds University have defined what is the perfect “Bacon Butty”. I’ve been eating bacon sandwiches with pleasure for the last thirty plus years, but these little pleasures are more akin to what Americans would call a fried ham sandwich (Here is where I give a shout out to my pals in Seattle, Joe and Euan, for introducing me to the bacon butty at a bar down the street from Soundspeed Scooters in the Fremont neighborhood). Being that 2strokebuzz is primarily a scooter ‘blog’, I’ll apologize for going off topic but I know that the subject is close the heart of many of it’s loyal readers. Read on and decide for yourself and let the derision of ‘merican bacon commence (p.s. I like both kinds, but not too crispy).
Kymco USA has bumped up their motorsports profile by sponsoring the “No Factory Support” AMA Superbike team.Â The team will be running CBR1000RR sport bikes with very experienced pilots in the seats.Â Motorcycle legend Doug Chandler and experienced former MotoGP rider Kurtis Roberts are going to have a shot at taking on the full factory supported AMA superbike teams.Â Â Kymco Super9 scooters will be used by the team in the pits as well as by the crew of a reality show on the SPEED Channel network.Â (In other related news, Kymco is sponsoring a NASCAR team as well).Â Hopefully this mainstream injection of scooters into the public arena will reduce the likelihood of Roman Holiday references in craptastic newspaper pieces by at least a small amount.Â Thanks to the good folks at Road Racing World Magazine for passing along this Kymco PR information.
Yamaha has been supplying the FIM Grand Prix paddock with BW scooters (a.k.a. old-style zumas to us in the USA) for several years now.Â This year they’ll be the official paddock scooter for MotoGP.Â The scooter model has changed to the Yamaha Jog RR (a.k.a. a cool scooter that will never grace our shores to us in the USA).Â Yamaha will also offer an exclusiveÂ special edition replica model at dealers across EuropeÂ with MotoGP logos and track maps of each of the Grand Prix stops in the 2007 season.Â The Season kicks off in one week at Losail for the Grand Prix of Qatar.
It has become apparent that DNA testing is now among “classic methods” for tracking down Booster boosters in France.Â BBC News reports of the controversy over the investigation of the theft of a scooter belonging to the son of French Interior Minister and Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy.Â Critics claim Mr. Sarkozy may have invoked special treatment of the case of the theft after DNA tests were used to narrow the suspect pool.Â This scooterist wonders if these techniques will become standard methods in the US as well.
This weekend, Macau (a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China) plays host to the 53rd annual Macau Grand Prix.Â Â The Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, run on the Guia Circuit made up of the streets of Macau, is part of a dieing breed of Real Road Racing.Â The notoriously dangerous race is favored by racers who normally take part in the celebrated Isle of Mann TT.Â Also being held is the 4th annual MGPC Scooter cup.Â The race is open to Macau residents and follows the 40th annual Motorcycle Grand Prix on Saturday November 18th.Â The race includes 50cc or 70cc two stroke scooters and 125cc 4 stroke scooters, each with their own class.Â PGO entered a G-Max 125 (aka Genuine Blur) in 2004 and won the 125cc class by placing 14th overall. This years entry list does not show a PGO taking part but there are plenty of Yamahas and a smattering of SYM scooters making up the race grid. 2005 podium residents Kin Fei Lai, Mou Heng Tou and Kin Fai Chan (finishing in that order) return for this years challenge. The Scooter Cup, run on the same circuit, has got to be the coolest scooter race on earth. The Macau Grand Prix Committee website offers live audio of the race.