New garage alarm can send text messages

If you don’t happen to have a webcam in your garage, this might be handy: British company Nobells sells a $550 self-contained, battery-powered GSM Alarm System for garages and motorhomes. If the alarm senses motion, the alarm can send a text message to up to three cellular phones. The alarm runs on AA batteries and doesn’t require a telephone or electric connection.

ScootRS develops new Vespa tubeless rims

ScootRS has introduced their third-generation tubeless rims for 10″-wheel Vespas. The new design improves on earlier designs for Lambretta scooters. As big fans of the convenience of the Vespa split-rim design, 2sb would ask: “Why tubeless?” ScootRS, of course, has an answer:

A rim that requires a tube, as all Vespa rims do, means your tire suddenly and dangerously blows out when punctured. On a tubeless rim, however, you merely have a slow air leak, as on a car. No blowout means no danger.

Super-cheap Michelins

Scott Baxter noticed that Motorcycle Superstore has Michelin scooter tires at ridiculously low prices: Our favorite tires, the S83 and the S1 (usually $40 and $50) are $10 and $12, respectively. Stock up! Nevermind, they’re rejecting orders and saying it was a “pricing error.” Whatever. The truth is that some jerky blog posted about it and they couldn’t keep up with demand.

Scooter lamps

Google News is giving us nothing but a hundred more “Vespa 6oth anniversary” and “Scooters get 60mph” wire stories, so how about some home decor tips? Check out these nifty Lambretta and Vespa lamps by Italian designer Maurizio Lamponi Leopardi. It does not appear they’re for sale, but now you have the idea, you can make one and clear one more milk crate full of spare parts out of your garage.

Deus Ex Machina

Deus Ex MachinaAs the popularity of motorcycles and scooters spreads to well-to-do city-dwellers, there’s been an increase in urban “motorcycle boutiques” (Vespa and Harley each sport a flashy upscale retail location in Chicago) where the machines are a distant afterthought to a line of expensive clothing and accessories. Deus Ex Machina in Camperdown, Australia has taken this trend a step farther by selling a variety of late-model “retro” bikes and dirtbikes in a similar environment. They’ve even produced several custom “Deus” motorcycles and host a gallery with rotating motorcycle exhibits. While Vespa and Harley’s “shoppes” seem like a cheap cash-in, Deus comes off as a more personal, heartfelt venture, though that might just be the utterly amazing graphic design talking. Unlike Vespa’s ho-hum (or plagarized-and-settled-out-of-court) t-shirt designs, Deus’ shirts almost seem worth $50.



A Matthew Diffee cartoon from this week’s New Yorker. Available from The New Yorker Store on T-shirts, framed prints, and anything else New Yorker readers crave… tote bags? latte mugs? Thanks to DC Rob, pretending he’s literate enough to read the New Yorker. I wonder if my “Brew City Beer Run II” flyer, on which Brent misspelled the name of his own club (“Vespardos!”) is worth anything now.

Return of the 5-speed Vespa transmission

The newest Scooterworks mailer offers a 5-Speed Transmission Upgrade for the Vespa P-series and late-70s largeframes. I remember talk of a five-speed kit that was available in the early nineties, but I haven’t seen one for sale in the last ten years. It’s not my bag to tamper with Piaggio’s genius, but if you’re the type who insists his amplifer “goes to eleven,” order now.

L&N Seats

kink-heart tire coverL&N Products in the UK have been re-covering seats since 2001. They specialize in Ancilloti-style seats, but can also re-do just about any other kind of scooter seat, and they make spare tire covers. Aside from the usual mod targets and Union Jacks, they have many music-inspired designs (like the Kinks tire cover at right), and they do custom work. Probably the old-school upholstery shop in your neck of the woods does equally good work, but are they Kinks fans?

TomTom scooter GPS

If you’ve got a $900 tax refund coming and hate getting lost, the TomTom Rider motorcycle/scooter navigation system looks pretty fantastic. Alwaysblog seemed to really like it, from what i can make out (“Rider” in italian is “to laugh,” ha.) It’d be especially fun to use on a old Vespa, where you need four hands as it is for throttling, braking, shifting, signalling, and holding your 30-pack of Old Style in place.