2011 Gas-Price Scooter Frenzy Begins

POCPhil launches the 2011 gas price scooter media blitz. Fine, even Phil’s doing it*, I’m not gonna begrudge dealers for milking the gas mileage argument, scooter shops that lasted through 2010 really need the business, and I hope 2011 rivals 2008 for scooter sales. But if consumers do some research, they’ll see fuel prices are an excuse to buy a scooter, not a true justification.
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Cold Weather Challenge 2010-11

The 2010-11 Cold Weather Challenge is still underway, though you wouldn’t know it from our total lack of hype. See the current entries below, including very impressive entries from Alan, Luigi, and Gavin, and be sure to track and post your 10-mile-plus scooter rides at or below freezing temperatures. We recommend staying off snowy/icy roads, but when the roads and the sky are clear, get out there and ride! We’ll have this all a bit more organized ASAP. Thanks!

Lance, SYM, and the Cali Classic

UPDATE: As of early January 2011, Lance has allegedly notified dealers they’ll be taking over the western U.S. from Carter Brothers.

Mike Hickman, National Sales Manager of Lance Powersports, contacted us regarding the rumors that Lance will replace Carter Brothers as SYM’s U.S. importer.
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Genuine Buddy 170 for 2011,
Electric IDEP coming to Europe


Bosco on Modern Buddy beats us to the scoop: 161cc fuel-injected Genuine Buddy in three new colors for 2011. If they can keep the price reasonably close to the carbureted models, these will rule the scooter market.

In other PGO Buddy news, PGO’s promisingly redesigned eBuBu is called “IDEP”, it’s a “Buddy” with electric motors mounted within both wheels, It’s due in Europe soon.

2011 Vespa PX 125, 150 for Europe


As predicted a couple months ago, Vespa has taken note of LML’s success in the metal-bodied manual-transmission market. Scooter Station, Scooter-Infos, Hell for Leather, and Motoblog.it are reporting that Piaggio is dusting off the Vespa PX 125 and 150, which will be available in the first quarter of 2011 with some minor cosmetic changes and a catalyzed 2-stroke engine that (somehow) meets Euro3 specs.
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Vinashin Motor’s Diamond Blue 125

There’s already a long trail of modern Vespa knockoff attempts. Chinese manufacturers and importers have adorned their trade show booths and spam emails with primitive Fiberglas approximations and photoshopped mockups of Pontedera pretenders for years. The SYM Fiddle began life as a computer rendering of a Vespa LX in a Dealer Expo brochure. Even LML is allegedly developing the “Clipper,” an Indian ET4 clone.

But our new (unpaid, sorry!) Dutch correspondent David V. discovered a Vietnam-market scooter that takes the cake, the Vinashin Motor Diamond Blue 125 copies the Vespa LX right down to the hexagon badge cutout on the legshield. Amazingly, this design plagiarism isn’t even the most controversial aspect of the scooter.
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SIL to be Sold,
Lambretta Future Unclear as Ever

The Indian government is looking to sell their majority share of Scooters India Limited, who manufactured Lambrettas until 1998, and currently manufacture the Vikram three-wheeler. Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Motors have both expressed interest and at least one story suggests that on top of a promised $30 million relaunch of Vespa production in India, Piaggio (gasp!) is also interested in SIL.

SIL’s greatest asset may be their “world right (to) the trade name Lambretta/Lambro,” but according to the in.com story linked above, SIL’s ownership of the name is currently in dispute with the Swiss/Italian Lambretta Consortium, who appears better-equipped to win the fight.
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Lambretta Future Unclear as Ever”

Fuji X-100 (Not a Scooter)

As a scooterist/reader of this site, you’ll surely know the feeling of consumerist love at first sight. I’ve become obsessed with countless vehicles at countless rallies and motorcycle trade shows, and I’m sure you have too. Once in a while, you get to the point where you see an early prototype and know you will eventually own that bike, as long as the manufacturer doesn’t screw up between the concept and manufacturing stages (sadly they usually do!)

Well, this week Fuji Co. (The film/camera concern, totally unrelated to Fuji Heavy Industries of Fuji Rabbit scooter and Subaru fame) unveiled the camera of my dreams, and gave me a lot of insight about the scooter market and the difference between what consumers want, what they think they want, and what they get. On top of that, I know of at least two other scooterist designer/photographers that are counting the days and saving pennies until it’s released, so maybe it’s of interest to scooterists in general.
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World Meet 2010 Micro/Minicar Show


2SB visited the World Meet 2010 Microcar and Minicar show in Crystal Lake today. Ever since reviewing the book A-Z of Popular Scooters and Minicars a while back, we’ve been keen on checking out a microcar show, so we’ve been looking forward to this show in our backyard (well, our distant suburbs) for more than a year. We weren’t disappointed, there was a good turnout with some great vehicles. I don’t know much about these beasts, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but to keep it scooter-related, look out for the several Vespa 400s, an Innocenti-made Mini, and an Isle-of-Man-built Peel Trident with its original DKW motor replaced with a Vespa engine. (You can’t see the engine, but the dashboard gives it away!)
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Scooter Superstore
and the Beginning of the End

On July 27, Scooter Superstore of America, a Ft. Lauderdale-based chain with several dealerships in Florida and Georgia, filed for bankruptcy. While many shops have closed their doors lately, and individual importers have faced some unique problems, SSTAM’s trouble could be–pardon the tired idiom–the straw that breaks the industry’s back.
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and the Beginning of the End”

Piaggio MP3 “Light” will come to U.S.


French site scooter-infos.com recently published some early information about the Piaggio MP3 300 Light. With a ever-growing variety of MP3 displacements and versions on the market, including LT, Sport, and Hybrid versions, Piaggio is looking to create a smaller, more city-friendly version for 2011. The new machine is said to be based on the newly-designed 2010 Beverly (the “BV” in the U.S., though the new design didn’t make it here yet). Scooter-infos.com created the photo illustration above based on that description.

Charles from scooter-infos also emailed 2strokebuzz to let us know that Stefano Sterpone, sales director at Piaggio, reiterated Piaggio’s commitment to the U.S. market, and told him the MP3 Light has been designated a “global product” and will be introduced in the U.S. shortly after its introduction in Europe.

Thanks, Charles!, hopefully I translated your information correctly!

UPDATE commenter “Blue Mark” suggested an MP3 Sea-Doo hybrid:


That was just silly, and I wanted to put an end to the nonsense, so I bribed a worker at a taverna in Pontedera for this actual photo: