#22: Bit by the Vintage Bug

August 5, 2010

Today’s question for Dr. Buzz (the “panel of experts” is still M.I.A.) comes from Katy D. in California. Katy owned a Honda Metropolitan in the past but…

…I always wanted a vintage Vespa but the price was not right. Now I can afford one, but am leery of venturing into unknown territory…

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June 24, 2010 is a newish site focused on GY6 and Minarelli engine tuning and maintenance, with forums, videos, and more. If you’re looking for tips to hop up or fix your Chinese bike, this looks like a good place to visit to get an honest, reasonable answer without the snooty attitude you get from sites like, um, say, 2strokebuzz.

Via Jason Davis on Modern Buddy

#21: Parts is Parts

May 12, 2010

Today’s question for Dr. Buzz (his “panel of experts” has become more trouble than it’s worth) comes from Joe W. in Philly:

Does anybody there know how to contact ******** or whatever their corporate identity is this month? Their website lists a “dealer” in Westchester PA who had never sold one, never worked on one. I took my scooter there and unfortunately it needs parts. The dealer is unable to get anybody to sell him parts. The phone number is a secret so nobody can call, I get a grumpy response from some of the other dealers on their list – maybe it’s the same situation…

(updated 5/14 with more details)
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Scootertechniques DVDs

April 26, 2010

Can’t speak to the quality of these Lambretta and Vespa Maintenance/Rebuild DVDs. but it’s about time someone put together something like this. I’ve written them to beg for review copies, maybe we can sell ’em over at Scootmoto eventually. (I notice they offer free shipping worldwide, that’s extremely generous, considering current shipping rates! Hopefully they’ve taken region encoding and NTSC/PAL into account they have, see below)

Via ScootRS.

Plastic Scooter Disasters

January 27, 2010

Steve Elliot, of BBS and Bigass Motors infamy, collects image of modern scooter tech nightmares.

Thanks to jrsjr, who posted it on Modern Buddy.

Knuckledragger Dean on American Pickers

January 26, 2010

Rumor has it Dean from the Knuckledraggers SC (Quad Cities IL/IA) appears in the second episode of the new History Channel show American Pickers, featuring a Vespa Ape. The episode, “Super Scooter,” should eventually be available for streaming here.

UPDATE: it’s up now on Thanks again, Scrambler.

Via Scrambler17 on ChiScooterList, thanks!

IKEA camera dolly

January 15, 2010

Make a $30 camera dolly from an IKEA “Ivar” shelving unit.
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#18: Indoor winter scooter storage?

December 21, 2009

Today’s question for Dr. Buzz comes from From Phil T. from Chicago, IL:

I have a scooter that I plan to keep in storage for this winter. My plan is to keep it in the basement of our 9-unit building, but I want to be sure that I do everything necessary to both 1, avoid the scooter becoming a fire hazard and 2, ensure that the scooter operates well for the spring unveiling.
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Cub’s new CV-Matic

September 10, 2009

The venerable Honda Cub is getting a new CV-Matic motor for 2010. It’s sad to see the Cub go full-automatic after 50 years and 60 million units, but here’s hoping that handsome little lump becomes as ubiquitous as Honda’s GY6. (Who knows, maybe it means we’ll see the Cub back in the United States…)

Update: More, in English from The Scooter Scoop.

Short people got… no reason to scoot

August 28, 2009

Shellee at ScooterDiva has compiled a great list of tips for the inseam-challenged including lists of scooters with low seats in different displacements.

Team S Equipe

August 21, 2009

Neville Frost

(Isle of Man) regulations stated that “works” teams weren’t allowed, so the guys formed their own team christened “Team S Equipe.” Unknown at the time was the fact that “Equipe” in French means “Team…”

A must-read account of the Arthur Francis S-Type Lambrettas and the men who raced them, with loads of truly awesome photos and memorabilia.
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Vespa Factory on “How It’s Made”

July 24, 2009

If you’re as big a nerd as me, your Tivo would catch this anyway, but tonight is the debut of The Science Channel’s “How It’s Made” episode about the Vespa. Get a rare inside look at the Piaggio assembly line in Vietnam China Pontedera, Italy!
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Dispatch from the Hodge Republic

July 1, 2009

Just got an email from Rob Hodge. If you don’t know Rob, you’ve never really experienced scootering. Rob’s sort of a scootering mad scientist, with emphasis on the “mad,” and comically tactless, and we sort of miss having him around the Midwest, though we’re not necessarily asking him to come back. He’s worked at some of the best scooter shops around, and generally knows his stuff, but sometimes when he’s pouring half a gallon of Marvel Mystery Oil into your open cylinder, you start to wonder. Anyway, here’s what he’s got to say, translated from Hodgespeak:

I’ve created a new Yahoogroup to spread information regarding
Hodgespeed Tuning’s ongoing projects. […] If you only want to receive product updates and bulletin-style notices, these will be sent as “special notices.” if you
want all the info, sign up to “receive all e-mails.”

in other news, it’s short notice but i’m having an “open house/garage night” tonight, (July 1, 2009) at 5:00 at my location at 2314 Thorndyke in Seattle. The main project for the night is a 4-speed upgrade and complete re-wire of a smallframe with one of the new Parmakit ignitions. Feel free to bring your project over for some wrench time or to get an opinion. My father in also in town and he’s extremly competent in electricals, as am I.

See, at least he’s modest. His dad is entertaining, too.

Yes, he’ll uprgade a transmission and rewire an entire bike in one night. And it will work. But it won’t be pretty. Worth checking out if you’re in Seattleland, but have an excuse ready (“I need to pick up my girlfriend at night school!”) or you’ll be there all night.

Note: no, he didn’t include the Yahoogroup address, and yes, I have been looking for an excuse to throw that art up for ages.

Piaggio recalls X9 500, BV500

July 1, 2009

Piaggio has officially recalled 2,428 2006-08 BV500 and 2005-07 X9 500 scooters to repair a fuel pump hose issue:
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Dealer Prep

June 6, 2009

Lots of people buying a new scooter complain about “Dealer Prep” charges that (along with transportation fees, taxes and title fees, insurance, and gear) usually end up costing them more than they expected to pay for their scooter. Genuine Scooter Co. produced these videos about dealer prep. The videos are intended for dealers, not consumers, but they’re worth watching to see that dealer prep is much more than rolling a scooter off a truck and filling it up with gas. (Thanks, Ericalm!)

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