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It’s been more than a year since our last (non-CWC) post, and i’m sick of dumb April Fools’ pranks, so here’s something real, and awesome: Motorliebe, aka Lars, Dani, Blumi, and Mariuz, rode across the U.S.A. last summer on Vespa P200s, and I know a lot of 2SB readers had the pleasure of meeting them along the way, especially at PVSC Band Camp. They were self-sufficient, organized, and ridiculously fun to be around, and I think we were all a bit bummed out to see them go back to Germany. Meeting them was a highlight of my summer and reminded me why I love scootering, and it certainly made a certain Thomas Müller goal a little easier to swallow.
Anyway, point being (when did 2sb ever get to the point quickly?) Motorliebe’s photo book about their trip is coming out soon, and was previewed in a great photo gallery and interview with Dani in German newsmagazine Der Spiegel. It seems to be available for preorder from the publisher and amazon.de but I’m a lame monoglot and can’t figure out shipping. I’ve asked the guys if it will be available in the U.S., I’ll let you know when I hear back.
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.
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.
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.
More from EICMA: Honda has dusted off the Integra name for its new 700cc scooter, throwing car fans into a tizzy, despite one commenter pointing out that Honda used the name for the 1984 Honda VT250F Integra MC08 motorcycle a year before unveiling the automobile so beloved by car thieves.
Between July 1955 and July 1956, Wim Dussel and Manfred Uschold travelled the world on a Maico scooter with sidecar. 36 photos (from 10,000 negatives!) were published in Dussel’s 1957 book De wereld is nog altijd rond : per scooter dwars door Europa, Azië en Noord-Amerika, more than 400 are published in this must-see photo set.
If the Piaggio MP3 wasn’t already “the Gold Wing of Scooters*,” the new MP3 400 LT Touring with old-man windshield, giant top-box, and hard panniers should seal the deal. Rumor has it 2012 will bring a reverse gear and an 8-track player.
*Granted, The Suzuki Burgman is more commonly saddled with that title, and the Honda Silver Wing has the closest etymological connection.
KymcoUSA (once again) seems to be more excited about Amerivespa than VespaUSA, they had the kinda-neat idea to plan a group ride from their South Carolina HQ down to San Antonio, Texas for Amerivespa (May 27 – 31, 2010). They’re even offering to pay for gas for anyone else that comes along. If you’re a Kymco fan, this sounds like a pretty neat opportunity to get some face time with Kymco. On top of that, it’s good to know Kymco’s sales and marketing folks actually ride scooters occasionally, unlike most other brands. Find more info in this ridiculously long Constant Comment link, because I couldn’t find anything about it on Kymco’s site. VespaUSA, likewise, has nothing about Amerivespa on their site, despite being the title sponsor. Even worse, Vespa has not posted any news on their site since December. I don’t expect these guys to be blogging daily, frankly, no one would read it, but when you take the time and effort to plan an event or promotion, put it on your site, if for no other reason than to make it clear you’re still in business! I take all that back, see below, sorry.
Our friend and Corazzo owner Bradford Duval stepped down from the presidency of the VCOA a couple months ago (Mike Bobadilla of Vespa Club Los Gatos took his place, btw) but he’s putting his time into another great two-wheeled organization. The new United States Tourist Trophy Foundation is looking to send Alaskan Jimmy Moore to the Isle of Man TT in May/June. The backers of the USTTF feel Moore is the man destined to be the first American on the podium in the races’ history, and they need your help getting him (and his bikes) there. Read more at RoadRacerX.com.
When that’s done, Bradford, Eric Almendral and I need your help getting Silent Ron to Dakar on a Blur 220EFI next winter. Eric and I have a new years’ resolution to make Ron the first American to not kill himself in the desert of South America on a Taiwanese moped.
2SB reader Mark Neustadt shot and edited a series of road-trip videos on his Yamaha Majesty 400. You’d think nine-minute clips of a dude riding a scooter might get boring, but it’s shot pretty well and his Wisconsin roads sure look like a lot more fun than my Chicago commute. In fact, these might really help us all get through the winter.
Thanks Mark! Now stop fidgeting with the camera and mind the road, we don’t want to watch you lowside on YouTube!
Here’s a video recap of “The Vespa Experiment,” a Pacific-coast tour by three musicians on Vespa scooters. One of the musicans, Amber Rubarth sums it up:
I feel like this whole tour was all about getting to the core of life and purity and innocence. And, just getting back to the musical part and not in the business of it.
Sure, apart from the fact that it was PiaggioUSA marketing scheme, business didn’t enter into it at all, ha. The music’s not my thing (noodly earnest mellow acoustic pop) but they seem like nice kids. As far as PiaggioUSA marketing schemes go, it seemed pretty successful, and if nothing else, three musicians had a good time and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so Vespa FTW!