The Old Weather Challenge?

Jeffraham Prestonian posted a rebuttal and alternate challenge (in the NOHO thread since we’d blocked the CWC thread from anything but entries). Jeff’s a good dude, and he makes some good points, so I thought we should link it up in a fresh post (open to comments!) and take the chance to spiel a little…

First off, as you’ve surely noticed, 2SB has slowed down and is going through some changes. I started it as a zine in 1995, and it’s been online (mostly) since 2000. I’m pretty much ready to retire, and since Matt (with support from our pal Peter from Piston Ported) took the initiative to run the CWC this year, I told him he could do it however he wanted.

But I support his decision to restrict the Cold Weather Challenge to vintage(-ish) bikes, and here’s why:

Over the years, I’ve gone way out of my way to write about modern scooters and try to make new scooterists and modern scooterists feel like part of 2strokebuzz. I tried to look outside the ska/mod/skin thing, and show how diverse scootering was, even then.

In 1995, the main means of communication among scooterists was photocopied flyers and phone calls, followed distantly by Usenet (already with a rift between alt.scooter, and alt.scooter/classic, I haunted the former.) There were only a handful of worthwhile scooter shops nationwide. The only ‘modern’ scooters available were from Honda and Yamaha, and both were selling crusty models introduced in the mid-80s (the same models that contributed to Vespa’s demise in the U.S.). A big city would have a club or two, but if you didn’t live in L.A. or Chicago, it was hard to find anyone to ride with. There was a rally SOMEWHERE in North America any given weekend, but it may be a 14-hour drive to meet the same small group of regulars that would show up at all of them. Most of us were young, unmarried, childless, and underemployed.

In the late 90s when Vespa came back, and a few other marques showed up in the U.S., the rift grew, and I didn’t like it, and I spoke out about it. I felt like all scooterists needed to band together and be supportive to grow the ‘scene’ or ‘hobby’ or whatever it was and any scooter on the road was a good scooter.

Today, there are still a lot of reasons for scooterists to band together, and they do, and I like that. But things are easier now, just about any decent-sized city has a shop, and a couple clubs, and a weekly ride, and a couple rallies every year. Thanks to the internet, you can find infinite people with your same interests, either in your town, or around the world.

At the same time, after years of writing about modern scooters and trying to keep track of some truly shitty importers and too many importers that were nice enough but just didn’t know what the fuck they were doing, and dealing with legal threats and shady people and sifting through Google News looking for stories to repost, I’ve realized that even though I ride a modern scooter (far more than I ride vintage scooters these days), and I’m very satisfied with it, I just don’t get the same throb inside as I do when I see an old Vespa. It’s still fun to ride, and it’s fun to hang out with modern scooterists and go to big rallies where everyone’s welcome, but it’s also good to realize that there’s a lot of events going on, and more people with scooters than I’ll ever meet, so it’s great to have the option to spend a weekend with people I’ve known for 17 years, riding the unreliable bikes that got me interested in this whole mess. If I go to a car show, even a car show where anyone’s welcome, it’s gonna be the vintage cars that are gonna make me drool, and I’m gonna walk right past the ’95 Thunderbirds and Low Riders and custom vans and NASCAR replicas and customized modern Minis. No dis, it’s just not my thing, and I’m too old and WAY too busy to feel obligated to pay attention to stuff that doesn’t interest me much.

So hey, Jeff, I’m not offended at all that you’re offended, and I’m glad you’re picking up the event for the modernistas. Between the mild winter and the slow death of the commitment to 2strokebuzz, we only have one entry to date, so maybe yours’ll be more successful, and I’m cool with that. But to Matt (and me, too), there’s something special about dragging an unreliable, decades-old decomposing scooter (or a shiny restoration that you should really be more careful with) out of the garage in the dead of winter and sticking it to Mother Nature. Doing the same thing on a modern bike, even a warrantied, factory-fresh bike with electronic ignition, is still quite an accomplishment, and it’s absolutely cool to celebrate that, too. The Stella ‘loophole’ isn’t perfect, but it makes the line simpler to draw, and our sponsor probably asked to include Stellas simply because he supplies parts and accessories for Stellas.

So no hard feelings, it’s all good, the more people on scooters the better, the more scooter blogs and shops and clubs and rallies and winter challenges the better, I hope it all keeps growing so we can celebrate our differences as much as we celebrate our similarities, with the option to do both as the mood strikes.

2012/13 Cold Weather Challenge

Welcome to the 2012-13 Cold Weather Challenge brought to you by Piston Ported, Factory Tools, and 2Strokebuzz! Piston Ported is having a special during the CWC, check details below.

Below you will notice a few rule changes this year but also note there are actual prizes this year!

1st place receives a $50 gift certificate to Piston Ported and 2 shirts and shop rag from Factory Tools.
2nd place receives a $25 gift certificate to Piston Ported and 2 shirts and shop rag from Factory Tools.
3rd place receives a $25 gift certificate to Piston Ported and 1 shirt and shop rag from Factory Tools.
Bonus random drawing from all entrants 1 Piston Ported shirt and 1 shirt from Factory Tools.
Continue reading “2012/13 Cold Weather Challenge”

The Cold Weather Challenge Returns!

Piston Ported, Factory Tools, and 2Strokebuzz presents the 2012-13 Cold Weather Challenge. There will be a few changes this year, namely it will be open only to vintage and 2 stroke geared scooters (such as 2 stroke Stellas). The Challenge will run from December 1st, 2012 to February 28th, 2013. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers as well as a bonus prize, chosen at random from all entries, which means that even if you live in Hawaii you could still win something. Don’t put the scooters away just yet, stay tuned for more details and complete rules.

Chicago Mods vs Rockers 2012 Photos


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!
Continue reading “Chicago Mods vs Rockers 2012 Photos”

Vespa World Days 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

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!’

2 Symbas, 1 Couple, No Sense

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.

Amerivespa 2012 Schedule

The Amerivespa team has recently updated the schedule. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited about a rally, I am really, REALLY, looking forward to seeing y’all there. Also, looks like we’ll be sharing a mersh table with Piston Ported. (Thanks, Peter!) Remember: it’s just about mandatory to pre-register, to be sure you get all the swag and a seat for the dinner.

Scooterists Wanted at AMA Vintage Days

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?”.