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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’.

Slaughterhouse 18

August 29, 2012

*Clunk* is this thing on? Don’t forget this (Labor Day) weekend is the 18th annual Slaughterhouse Rally here in Chicago, hope to see you there!

New Maryland “Motor Scooter Law”

August 22, 2012

The Maryland MVA has announced a new Motor Scooter Law requiring titles, insurance, and a helmet and eye protection, in addition to existing laws that require a drivers license or moped permit.

Maryland has famously been very liberal regarding scooter operation, this law brings their requirements in line with most other states, but it’s interesting to see the word “Motor Scooter” used by a government license bureau. Most states differentiate between mopeds, motorcycles, and scooters in their laws, but use hazy and arcane terms like “motor-driven cycle” and “motorized pedalcycle.” Perhaps “motor scooter” still leaves room for interpretation (I haven’t seen the exact wording of the law) but it’s nice to see that terminology thrown around for once. Even if Maryland riders are not likely thrilled about the law, they can say “motorscooter” at the MVA and maybe not get a blank stare.

Thanks for the link, Alex Tasi (via facebook).

Motorcycle Crossing Guards?

July 25, 2012

Minnesota House Bill 2685 includes a section about who is allowed to stop traffic for large motorcycle rides. We’ve all been on big rides where there are blockers stopping traffic along the way so that the group can stay together, and I’m always amazed there aren’t more instances of road rage and/or tickets being handed out. I would assume that this is illegal and most police officers look the other way. The new bill requires that those stopping traffic hold a Motorcycle Road Guard Certificate, plus jump through a few more hoops. Granted this is all a good idea to keep the rides safe but I wonder how many will actually go through all the trouble? And will you have to wear a safety vest and carry a fake plastic badge?

House Bill 2685

Section 27 (S.F. No. 1719, Sen. Hoffman) allows a person who meets the
following five requirements to stop vehicles and hold them in place
until it is safe to proceed:

Hold a motorcycle road guard certificate;
Meet safety and equipment standards;
Be escorting a motorcycle group ride;
Notify all cities through which the group will pass; and
Obtain the consent of the chief of police of any city of the first
class through which the group will pass.
The motorcycle road guard may direct motorcycles within a group ride
or other vehicle traffic to act contrary to traffic control signals.
A vehicle stopped by a motorcycle road guard may proceed only when
directed by the flagger or police officer. This section is effective
one year after publication of rules in the State Register.

Lambretta Jamboree Postponed

June 26, 2012

The Lambretta Club USA posted on their forum and Facebook that this weekend’s Lambretta Jamboree 2012 has been postponed because of the Colorado wildfires.

Chicago Mods vs Rockers 2012 Photos

June 19, 2012


The 2012 2012 Mods vs. Rockers rally was Father’s Day Weekend, we made it out to the Mayday SC Friday night party at Late Bar, but once again we couldn’t make it to the main event on Saturday, so Jordan sent loads of great photos. Thanks, Jordan!
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Amerivespa Google Map

June 19, 2012

ScootLemont from Modern Buddy made this handy Amerivespa Events Google Map, thought I’d share it here, so I could find it quickly later. Thanks, ScootLemont!

Vespa World Days 2012

June 18, 2012

MotoBlog.it reports Vespa World Days 2012 in London ended today with record numbers: over 3,000 scooters, 780 clubs represented, and 2000 members at the gala dinner. Vespa Club Sirmione won the “Trophy Club Race” with over 1,600 of the 1,752 checkpoints scattered across Europe. This, of course, makes Amerivespa seem puny in comparison, but that’s not gonna ruin my fun this weekend.

Amerivespa 2012

June 17, 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!’

Mods Vs Rockers Allnighter

June 15, 2012

Local reminder: Mods and Rockers 2012 Chicago begins tonight with a 6pm “rumble” at ACE and a 10pm ride to Mayday SC’s Mods Vs Rockers Allnighter at Late Bar. Saturday is packed with events including English Breakfast, the always-amazing rides and concours, and a Lee Rocker show at Bottom Lounge.

Ciao Jackassery

June 5, 2012

Too bad our DOT-approved flip-flops t-shirts are sold out. Thanks for the link, Big Rye.

#25 Factors Affecting Top Speed and Mileage

May 29, 2012

As with our last installment, I’m not addressing a specific question, but a lot of questions or conversations I’ve heard about motorcycle or scooter top speed and mileage:

Why do other scooterists report better mileage or a higher top speed than I seem to get from my scooter?

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2 Symbas, 1 Couple, No Sense

May 27, 2012

Obviously I am not spending enough time on the scooterweb, I’ve missed this 64-page, nearly ten-month long AVRider.com thread by a couple circumnavigating the globe on Symbas. There goes my Memorial Day, it’s going to take the whole day to catch up with their adventures. (Spoiler Alert from page 64, it sounds like the trip is close to its end, they’re in Malaysia, trying to organize return shipping to America for the bikes.)

Thanks to velobuff on Modern Buddy for the link. Amazing.

François Hollande, Scooterist No More

May 21, 2012

Scooter-Infos reports new French President François Hollande (who is incidentally about a mile and a half away from me at the moment) has been forced to leave his scooter behind for the sake of security. We all know the only thing more dangerous than BMW-riding assassins in black leather is moms in minivans pulling out of the Starbucks drive-thru on their way to soccer practice.

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