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Scooterists Wanted at AMA Vintage Days

May 17, 2012

POC Phil has extolled the virtue of the AMA’s Vintage Motorcycle Days in Lexington, OH, as long as I can remember, he always comes back with some great bikes and great stories. This year, he asked us to let everyone know that the AMA is basically begging scooter shops and scooterists to participate this year, with a new Mods vs. Rockers event, and even free admission/vending for selected scooter shops. Here’s Phil’s spiel:

It’s not your average Mods Vs. Rockers – Here’s why:

  • The largest vintage motorcycle swap meet in the country. Last year I bought a Lambretta Li150 Special for $250…It’s not uncommon to find $400 Honda CB350′s with Titles!
  • Vintage Motorcycle Racing all weekend long. Watch guys on 1920′s Harleys and Indians slug it out on machines none of us are qualified to ride.
  • Infield Events like the Wall Of Death http://www.facebook.com/Wall.of.Death.ThrillShow If you haven’t seen it, you should…’nuff said.
  • Vintage Motorcross and Trials
  • They’re giving us a 40′ x 120′ tent for Vendors (FREE VENDING!!! Get in touch with Phil for more details)
  • Friday night Punk Rock Karaoke and DJ, Live Bands on Saturday.
  • Did I mention the LARGEST vintage motorcycle swap meet in the country?
  • This is a camping rally, there are proper toilets and showers. If you don’t want to bring your own food there are plenty of Vendors on location.
  • Downtown Lexington is a beautiful 10 minute ride from the racetrack/campground.
  • Oh, and did I mention they’re giving us a LAP OF THE TRACK!?!?!?!?
  • Bonfire, Camping, Riding Scoots around checking out cool old bikes and scrounging for that diamond in the rough, it’s a MUST DO!

How to Register: Don’t call me, don’t email me (unless you want to be a vendor) simply go here. As you can see they’ve set the pricing structure up so there’s a definite advantage to being an AMA Member.

Lastly – if you are an expert on Mod and you’re thinking about attending (I use the term “expert” loosely) get in touch with me – AMA is asking for a 40 minute seminar on “what is Mod?”.

Resistance Is Futile: Endurance Racing In Spain

May 9, 2012

This weekend is the annual international endurance classic scooter race in Aragon, Spain known as Vespa The Resistance. It looks like a top notch group of people that organize a fun weekend. Several scooter shops send teams and someday I hope to see an American entry! Check them out on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.

Taking It To New Heights

April 30, 2012

So you were following the Cannonball and got to thinking that, though fun, it wouldn’t be enough of a challenge for you. Well here is your chance to climb the Himalayas with no GPS, no support truck, and no rules! The Wobbly Wheels Rally sounds pretty incredible for the incredibly crazy. Looking forward to hearing more about this event.

Coast to Coast and Anything Goes!

April 25, 2012

Well probably not anything, since each rider has to start and finish each day at a designated location and I have a feeling that neither Dom Deluise or Sammy Davis Jr. are participating this year. The 2012 Cannonball kicked off on Sunday at Vespa Savannah and will take 50 riders from the East to the West Coast in 7 days. This year a new handicap system was implemented that was intended to even the playing field between vintage and modern scoots, but in turn created a loophole for someone with a 1946 Salsbury body and Ninja 250 motorcycle engine to blow away the competition. Also new this year is a neat way to follow the riders through the Follow Ride website that shows each riders approximate location throughout the day. The race will end at Motorsport Scooters in San Diego on Sunday. Good luck to all, especially to the guy on a 1983 Honda Passport.

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?

Continuing Cold Weather Coverage

February 7, 2012

Since there is no Cold Weather Challenge this year we’ll try to overcompensate with lots of winter riding stories. What could be more fun than riding in the winter? Why, ice racing of course! Check out these great pictures from an ice race in Germany via BlechBild

Bamako By Vespa

January 22, 2012

Three Norwegians are taking part in an overland rally event called Budapest-Bamako on Vespa scooters. The rally is described as a poor-man’s Dakar and is not unlike the early days of the most famous desert rally, now run in South America for security reasons. The trio are just taking part in the African leg of the journey ending in Guinea Bissau (Yes, I just linked to the CIA World FactBook. Just want to remind people that there is information on the interwebs other than on Wikipedia!), but still no easy task as it appears to be the most challenging part. Their web site and their facebook page detail their progress and challenges. When you think making a trip across a few States in the US for Amerivespa is going to be too difficult, read up here an get motivated to put your big boy pants on and ride.

The Last Grand Prix Motorcycle Race & The Ghosts of Lambretta

November 5, 2011

The British rider Danny Webb has put the Mahindra Motors Racing 125cc Grand Prix motorcycle on Pole Position for the final round of the 2011 Championship at Valencia, Spain. This is significant on several levels.

Mahindra Motors acquired the Italian firm Engines Engineering prior to the 2011 season in an effort to go racing. Engines Engineering had be entering machines in Grand Prix racing before, but it was under the Lambretta name in 2010 with Marco Ravailoli and a raft of temporary guest riders. While the young Italian and his teammates made valiant efforts under the Lambretta Reparto Corse banner, the switch to Mahindra racing colors and new riders, Danny Webb and Marcel Schrotter, has resulted in a better points placement this season. German and British hands seem to be able to get old Lambrettas going a bit quicker.

The Lambretta to Mahindra conversion also mirrors an Indian continuation of the Lambretta efforts. Interestingly, Scooters India Limited (SIL), the company that took over producing Lambretta models in the subcontinent, is up for sale. Piaggio, Atul Auto and Mahindra have all thought about acquiring the state-run factory, but have reconsidered in recent months. If they had bought the currently money losing company it would have made for a very tidy story!

The saddest and most important part of this event is that it is the last time two-stroke machines will compete at the top level of World-Class racing. It’s not that four-stroke 125s haven’t raced before and been magnificent. But for the last 40 years two stroke machines have dominated at least one class of Grand Prix racing and now it comes to an end. Not by lack of competitiveness, but by simple rule change. Manufacturer goals have changed and that sweet 2 Stroke Buzz plays no role in these aims. The new class will be single-cylinder four-stroke engines and Mahindra and others including Honda and KTM will field machines. But it certainly won’t be the same. Not the same noise, the same smell, the same simple beauty of the two-stroke steeds.

If you’d like to see the event, you can watch live from MotoGP.com for a price. The race starts at 4:00 AM CST on Sunday (tomorrow) morning. Less than an hour later will be a distinct end of an era.

Burn Like Fire in Cairo

October 26, 2011

Two Italians are participating in the Pharaons International Cross Country Rally taking place across Egypt on two specially prepared P200′s. Check out their bikes and short video here and lets hope not everyday is like this.

Lingotto Special Follow-Up

September 28, 2011

Just what Brooke was hoping for: Motoblog’s report (and great photos) from the Lingotto Special event from Motoblog. I didn’t realize how unique the Lingotto test track is, that must have been an incredible experience!

Red Bull Lingotto Special

September 23, 2011

If you happen to be in Turin Sunday, you won’t want to miss the Red Bull Lingotto Special, a vintage Vespa/Lambretta race at Fiat’s Lingotto test track. I especially dig the creepy neofuturist poster.

Busiest Weekend Ever?

June 17, 2011

Well, there’s no shortage of scooter fun this weekend across America. Amerivespa is already underway in New Orleans, PVSC Band Camp is on near Pittsburgh, The Secret Society’s Scooter Rage 25 (Did he say TWENTY FIVE?) is running in San Francisco, and there’s a NASRA Scootercross race in Indiana. Closer to our home, Chicago’s annual Mods and Rockers event gets bigger and better every year, and don’t miss the Mayday SC allnighter. Chicago’s Hell’s Fairies’ Spring Roll(er Derby) is Saturday, too.

Have fun, be safe, and if you’re in the Midwest, stay dry!

Scooter Drag Racing: Italy and Indiana

May 6, 2011

These photos of vintage scooter drag racing in Italy should get you nice and excited for the Twist & Gone drag races in Indiana next weekend.

Update: A more comprehensive Twist and Gone website here.

Yamaha Aerox SP55

May 6, 2011

If your 50cc race-replica dreams were shattered when Yamaha presented their electric MotoGP paddock scooter, fear not, Yamaha didn’t forget you. The Aerox SP55 isn’t a replica per-se, but a tribute to the founding of Yamaha in 1955, without any hint of nostalgia.

MotoGP Yamaha EC-03

May 2, 2011

Yamaha’s annual unveiling of the MotoGP paddock scooter is a bit of a surprise this year, it’s the electric Yamaha EC-03.

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