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Well, It’s Happened

May 8, 2013

In 2003, writing about the CycleWorld motorcycle show, I wrote:

The Ruckus has “personal injury lawsuit” written all over it. (…) What can I say? it was hands-down the most ridiculous, ugly, pointless vehicle on display in the entire arena. And Grace, Vina and I all loved it. It’s basically a 2-wheeled ATV. You can’t look at it without thinking about ways to hurt yourself riding it. It simply inspires jackassery. It’s just begging to be covered in chicken wire and papier mache, or to be ridden “Bad-Route-style” through the woods while tripping, wearing nothing but cutoff shorts and a gorilla mask. Love it. It’s the future of scootering.

Here we are, ten years later, and my prophecy is fulfilled: Are You F*#kin Nuts? Chicago 2013. Actually it was fulfilled last year, when 40 riders attended the mostly-Ruckus-centered event, but as an expert globetrotting scooter journalist who posts once every two months these days if you’re lucky (you’re not), it passed right under my sad-old-man Cushman-polishing radar. We’ve been seeing more and more hot-rodded Ruckii at our own rallies in the past few years, and as far as I’m concerned, everyone’s welcome at most of our rallies, so we’re glad to have ‘em, and more power to ‘em, but obviously it’s not my demographic, I can’t even pretend to understand it, and I’m sure they’ve had their own blogs and tumblrs and sext aggregators and whatever it is that hipper, younger, carefree scooterists do these days to justify their existence. So as 2strokebuzz enters its wane of old age (seriously you guys, I need to pull the plug on this thing and put it out of its misery) cheers to the next generation, you’re just as stupid as we were and if you’re luckier than us, you’ll stay that way.

2013 SIP Customshow Winners Announced.

April 16, 2013

header_011The results for awards at last weekend’s SIP Customshow in Landsberg, Germany are shown here. The show is one of the largest and never fails to have a few examples of custom scooter eye-candy. Some winners have been seen before but are worthy of praise nonetheless. My favorite winner is the Best Smallframe. But the best name for an award is Maximum Respect, and seeing the winner explains it. Very nice.

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

November 8, 2012

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

September 27, 2012

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

September 2, 2012

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’.

Vintage Scooter Racing Photos Flickr On Blogs

April 17, 2012

Often blogs will just be a cyclical affair of reposting items and it seems a bit tired. But that’s really the nature of a weblog isn’t it? Sometimes there’s a real news scoop, an interesting editorial or just some eye candy. This is an example of the later to check out. Flickr user Panoramicpete has a very nice collection of scooter racing photos from days gone by. Da Nguyen from The Scooterist, a site that I’ll have to be sure to revisit, shared a few photos and one was in turn posted by the Ride The Machine blog. I expect that another page may now share the image set after seeing this. Or should we just stop wasting keystrokes and take up Tumblr?

Now Here’s Something You Don’t See Everyday..

March 17, 2012

Not wanting blend in with the crowd? Looking for something that makes a Heinkel look pedestrian? Well check out this scoot.net ad for the rarest of the rare in the scooter world – a Bastert Einspurauto. Compared to the utilitarian offerings from Vespa and Lambretta in 1952, the outrageous German Bastert looks like it came from another world with an amazing attention to detail and unheard of luxury for a two wheeled vehicle. We would love to know who ends up this!

Winter Almost Over; Get Off The Couch And Build (Updated)

February 25, 2012

As our unusual winter winds down here in N. America, it’s getting to be that time of year where thoughts turn to the upcoming prime riding season as well as this summers Amerivespa. There have been shows and build-offs in the US. But I’d like to see some more customs in the class of what SIP Scooter shop has most recently shared on their Flickr and Facebook galleries. Check out the custom show photos and be inspired!

This is as much as a ‘note to self’ as a call to action of Western Atlantic/Eastern Pacific scooterists and scooter shops. Stickers on Stellas and Baskets on Buddies are all fine and good, but I’m talking about top to bottom uniqueness. Who has some plans in the works for something special like those seen at this Ried Custom show? What are the latest jaw-dropping custom or preservation jobs you’ve seen?

Update: That bike won Best Smallframe. Here is a report of the show via SIP.

They Forge The Chains They Wear In Life

February 16, 2012

Forgive me, Charles Dickens. But finding a witty title is a deadly game of one-upsmanship here in the 2StrokeBuzz boiler room.

Motoblog.it shared a video they came across showing some industrious Italians making their Honda SH150 a bit more adherent to the road. That is, at least the rear wheel.

Much of the country has experience a strange winter this season. But I’m sure someone, somewhere, could have used these tidily assembled chains to be a hardcore commuter.

Vespa Sprint Desk

February 15, 2012

Like you, I’ve seen that neato red Vespa Sprint desk all over the web for a couple months now, but unlike you, I just now finally got around to reading the actual blog post. Well done, but not something I’d want to sit on for eight hours a day, ha.

Vivo Stella-to-“GS” Conversion Kit

July 12, 2011

Vivo Scooters in Edinburgh, Scotland is selling parts and kits to convert P-series Vespas and the LML Star (Genuine Stella, 4T or 2T) to a vintage-looking style. A chintzy-looking fiberglass kit was available from another manufacturer a few years ago, but this one features (mostly) metal parts and seems to be better-designed. Vespa purists may scoff that these kits could be used to fool inexperienced consumers, but considering the cost of a Stella plus $1500 for a painted kit, it doesn’t seem cost-effective as a ‘scam.’ I like the Stella the way it is, and I certainly don’t get the point of disguising a vehicle as something it’s not (especially when the real thing is readily available at a lower price) but I can accept Stella owners wanting prettier cowls and maybe ditching the ugly P-series-type horncast, and it’s always nice to see options like this available.

Check out Eric’s Modern Buddy thread for all the pros and cons arguments you’d expect.

Oasis Triumph On The Block. Or Is It?

July 6, 2011


Journallive.co.uk is reporting of a sale of the Triumph Tina scooter used in photos for the Oasis interview CD “Be Somewhere Else Now”. The photo included in the story shows something close, but not quite exactly like one in a photo retrieved from an online sale of the CD in question. There is different letter placement and a horn in the ‘O’ on the bike pictured for auction. Who cares? Maybe someone buying for the purposes of provenance. I was just disappointed to find it wasn’t a Velocifero (see page 18/19).

Update 7/7/11:

The winner of the auction, Mark Watson, contacted us to explain:

I bought the Oasis Triumph at the Boldon auction. It came with various documents, including the certificate of authenticity. The letters on the fairing where put on the cd case using a computer. The actual stickers on the bike were put on later while the bike was displayed as an exhibit.

Ah, that all makes sense (and digital color adjustment would explain the color. Mark also explains the horn in the comments below.

Larry Crowne Electric Scooter, Photo.

July 4, 2011

As you may have noticed around scooter blogs, it’s Larry Crowne mania. You may recall the 2SB post about the Lambretta outfitted by Route 66 Scooters with an electronic conversion kit from Soundspeed Scooters. The person behind that kit is also behind the Fido electric scooter concept also reported on earlier. Now we have photographic evidence of the machine in action. The photo shows the clearly un-two stroke drive train. For some continuity, they even throw in a kick start lever! While I haven’t seen the film yet, I’ll likely check it out while it’s in first run. In the mean time, can anyone chime in with a description of how this scooter plays a role in the film? Is it really passed off as a stink wheel with a sound effect? Or is it embraced for the Lithium Ion powered machine that it is?

(photo from Zimbio)

Chicago Mods vs Rockers 2011

June 21, 2011

©2011 Jordan Cinco
Ton Up Chicago’s 2011 Mods vs. Rockers rally was just one of several big scooter events over Fathers’ Day Weekend. 2SB couldn’t make it but our pal Jordan sent (a couple hundred) pictures, we narrowed his selection down to 60 (admittedly scooter-heavy) favorites. Read more

Vespa Offers Limited-Time Customization

June 17, 2011

Vespa USA is currently offering custom paint at selected dealers. It’s an interesting idea, but of course got us wondering how it’s done. Here’s our train of thought:

  • Wow, really? That would be neat.

  • Why would it be only for a limited time?
  • I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that LML is offering custom color combinations on their new Stars in Europe.
  • Would you have to order it from the factory and wait nine months?
  • They can do patterns and graphics!? Is is a vinyl wrap? There’s no way they are they doing it at the factory, they have factories all over the world now, it would be logistically impossible.
  • Ah, there are limited participating dealers, the dealers have to work with someone locally.
  • That seems like it’d be really hard to manage costs and quality.
  • Hmm, looks like the local painter is obligated to warranty the paintwork.
  • Anyway, I bet it’s expensive as hell.
  • It starts at $4300? isn’t that less than MSRP for an LX150?
  • Yes, a 2011 LX150ie is $4599! Is $4300 JUST FOR PAINT?
  • Ahhhhh, that price is for a 2010 LX150 (not a 2011 LX150ie). with one color.
  • Even so, painting a scooter properly starts at several hundred bucks, how can they be eating that much money, even on a past-date scooter?
  • They must have an awful lot of 2010 LX150s to get rid of.

Scootering has a long tradition of customization and “dealer specials.” In most cases, these dealer specials were pretty rinky-dink, they looked good on the showroom floor and set themselves apart from the competition, but the paint was rarely applied carefully or even professionally, often peeling or chipping on the ride home. Most replicas of vintage “Dealer Specials” you see today were far more professionally done than the originals. The “limited-time” nature of this deal begs the question, “How is this different from any other time you’d go to a dealer and pay them extra to repaint your bike.” We’re guessing the answer to that question is a) Vespa’s trying to find a novel way to unload old bikes, and/or b) There are enough steps for this process to go wrong that Vespa and/or the dealers don’t want to commit to a longer plan.

I admit I don’t know much about painting modern Vespas, but I know you can’t paint an old one well without lots and lots of time and money. Looking at the list of dealers, I don’t see any of the dealers I’m most familiar with, the guys that have a lot of experience with scooter restoration. These guys know it’s not hard to find someone to agree to paint a scooter at a reasonable price, but just about impossible to convince them to paint another one, even at twice the price. We wonder if these local painters are body shops that have done touch-up work for dealers but don’t realize what they’re getting into. It’s an interesting idea and it’d be great if it is marginally affordable and if the work is good. We’ll see.

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