The Cold Weather Challenge Returns!

Piston Ported, Factory Tools, and 2Strokebuzz presents the 2012-13 Cold Weather Challenge. There will be a few changes this year, namely it will be open only to vintage and 2 stroke geared scooters (such as 2 stroke Stellas). The Challenge will run from December 1st, 2012 to February 28th, 2013. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers as well as a bonus prize, chosen at random from all entries, which means that even if you live in Hawaii you could still win something. Don’t put the scooters away just yet, stay tuned for more details and complete rules.

The (LML) Stars Aligns: EICMA Teases With Auto-Stella

Jeb, of Fido, passed along this teaser image from EICMA with Italian description. The photo depicts an LML star with an automatic engine. Last year we saw an even more compact PK with the same powerplant wedged inside. Now the Retro Vespa kits to convert a P-series into a VBB-appearing ride may have a new appeal. The holy grail of vintage modern is nearly at hand. It will certainly outdo the La Vita disaster, but will it still look a bit Tranny?

Check It Out: Mopeds Gone Social

1977 Mopeds is a shop at the epicenter of the modern American mopedlar world. They have a new feature on their site that is as much eye-candy as social aggregation for the 50cc bikes with vestigial pedals. It’s called Garage. The concept is a bit like facebook where you register, make a profile put up pictures of your ride and ‘like’ other people’s creations. But it takes it a step further and indexes all the trick bits people compile into their showcased moped builds. So if the member documents their build well enough, you can glean enough info to re-create the machine yourself. The parts are cross-referenced to other bikes which have the part and to the product page where you can buy the part in question. It’s not too pushy on the product placement as it’s the second choice when you click on a part and keeps the feel of a user focused site. Users can add multiple bikes and you can tell some of the better builders have a signature style. It’s not just for the tuners and 30 mph boy racer. Stock and restored builds are also welcome.

Plans for the future include awards for top bikes, manual libraries and tuning indexes to help users along. In the vintage scooter world some efforts like this have popped up in the past but with less homogenization and standard input formats. The great Scoot.net and Scooterhelp.com have been individually priceless assets to the scooter community. 1977 is trying to tie it all together in line with their own site and it looks pretty nicely done. It probably takes an entity with a material interest to pool it all as such.

Take it for a spin and feel free comment below and say how much it’s too much like pinterest and tumblr.

Athena Direct Injection 2-stroke Technology

I came across this video on Youtube showing the death of the 2 stroke engine is greatly exaggerated. Athena, an Italian powersports engine aftermarket parts company shows off their own direct injection system for aftermarket cylinders. The video makes some impressive claims. I think a 4-stroke versus 2-stroke smackdown needs to occur, pitting Hondas 50cc FI scooter engine against this Athena tech.

We’ve seen DI systems from Orbital and subsequently Aprilia, Piaggio and Evinrude in the past. But coming from Athena suggests this could be in place for retrofitting and maybe turning a 5% oil burning piston-ported 150 two stroke generating a mind blowing 5 HP into something clean, efficient and still not ‘stroke-wasting’.

Tiny Photos Showcase Electric Lambretta and Vespa

Saigon Scooter Center has thrown their hat into the electric scooter ring. It’s not another new Lambretta rumor, but a conversion of old to new. Vespa and Lambetta models appear, named VTronic and EBretta respectively. It’s a bit disappointing that they stuff a behemoth of a 13″ wheel in the back. And the custom cowl on the P-series conversion looks a bit off. But hey, they are making options for the people that want their transportation energy to not come from fossil fuels. At least not fossil fuels burned near them while riding.

Brits must have excellent eye sight. Most of their websites rely on the smallest photographs possible to differentiate products or events from smudges on the screen. Brit Ex-pat run SSC sustains the long tradition even overseas. Long live the Queen.

Check out the photos and description here!

Any readers riding electric scooters right this moment? Home brew, conversions or off the shelf?

Amerivespa 2012

Just a few days stand between us and Amerivespa 2012 in Lake Geneva, WI. I’ve heard they already have 500 registrations, which would make it one of the largest rallies in North America, ever. Online registration is available until the 19th, and it’s a MUST to get your money’s worth. We’ll be sharing a vendor booth with Piston Ported (and something called “Factory Tools” that Matty won’t talk about), please stop by and say ‘hi!’

Amerivespa 2012 Schedule

The Amerivespa team has recently updated the schedule. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited about a rally, I am really, REALLY, looking forward to seeing y’all there. Also, looks like we’ll be sharing a mersh table with Piston Ported. (Thanks, Peter!) Remember: it’s just about mandatory to pre-register, to be sure you get all the swag and a seat for the dinner.

That Petrol Emotion

We often have to make a big decision on whether or not to go with the ethanol gas offered at the pumps. Most of us aren’t too keen on the idea after hearing many warnings about how the ethanol will eat through your seals and gaskets on our vintage bikes and in many parts of the country you really don’t have much of a choice what fuels are offered to you. It’s a good thing that there is a website like Pure-Gas to help you find a station near you that serves up some ethanol free gas.

Squabblers Rights

It seems that most of the vintage photographs of scootering tend to be from the UK or elsewhere in Europe, rarely do you find classic photos of large groups of scooterists from here in the states. These spectacular photos are from some sort of protest taking place in San Francisco in the early 60’s. It’s also interesting to note how some things never change – there is always the broke down guy, the dorky guy, the cool guy, the lost guy, and broken leg guy. Nice work digging these up Voices of Anglia.

Even More Lambretta Elitism

The 2012 Lambretta Jamboree put on by the Lambretta Club USA will be held in lovely Colorado Springs, Colorado this summer, just one week after Amerivespa. While Amerivespa is open to any type of scooter and has even been sponsored by the likes of Kymco in the past, the Lambretta Jamboree is 100% vintage – 100% Lambretta. You have an all original 1963 Vespa GS160? Well that’s cute but you aren’t getting in the LamJam with it. 2SB will be reporting at both rallies.