Remember back when our friend Matthew’s 2002 Bajaj Chetak was somehow titled as a “Yacht Club” by the Illinois DMV? Well guess what, itshappeningronpaul.gif because Vespa just commandeered (commodoredeered?) that very same name for a limited edition Primavera and GTS. Glad to see Vespa has backed off their elitist suburban leisure marketing and got back to making efficient, affordable scooters for the proletariat.
The Lambretta Club USA is famously (and justifiably) snobbish about their national rally, only Lambrettas and their attendant Lambrettisti are welcome, so I was flattered to be invited (my scooter of choice be damned) to serve as official photographer of this years’ Lambretta Jamboree in Duluth, Minnesota.
It was an amazingly well-organized and fun event, and hopefully any lapses in the quality of my photography were balanced by the quantity, I took an awful lot of photos, and you can see them all here. Thanks to Matt, Peter, Patrick, and all the other Minnesotans and LCUSA brass for all the work you put into an event I’ll never forget.
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.
Be sure to check out their great video!
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.
Veloce books, the British motorsports publisher responsible for at least half of the decent scooter books available out there, has published a Vespa Buyer’s Guide mobile app. The last thing I need is more vintage scooters so I’m too cheap to drop $2.50 on it, but if it’s anything like their books, it’s probably useful, worth the money, comfortingly Anglocentric, and
<snark>not as well-designed as it could be.
Canadian Gordon Bowman is proposing to publish a book detailing his fathers romantic mid-century journey across the Americas. The Kickstarter page details the project and levels of financial participation. The manuscript is complete and a publisher is sought; with this being the goal of the project. Head over and take a peak at some of the cool photos. The masked bandit photo is what caught my eye. Just about the coolest scooter snapshot I’ve seen in a while.
(Note: Facebook hasn’t killed 2SB yet, but you can also check out the facebook page on the Scooter Diaries effort)
Two big changes in the U.S. scooter world this week:
Arguably the most influential player in the growth of scootering in America in the past two decades, Philip McCaleb, has stepped down from day-to-day operations at Genuine Scooter Company , to be replaced by Dorothy Hanley.
After five years as president of the Vespa Club of America, Mike Bobadilla has stepped down and passed the reins on to John ‘Jac’ Carolan of New Orleans, and Amerivespa will return to the Crescent City for 2014.
In 2003, writing about the CycleWorld motorcycle show, I wrote:
The Ruckus has “personal injury lawsuit” written all over it. (…) What can I say? it was hands-down the most ridiculous, ugly, pointless vehicle on display in the entire arena. And Grace, Vina and I all loved it. It’s basically a 2-wheeled ATV. You can’t look at it without thinking about ways to hurt yourself riding it. It simply inspires jackassery. It’s just begging to be covered in chicken wire and papier mache, or to be ridden “Bad-Route-style” through the woods while tripping, wearing nothing but cutoff shorts and a gorilla mask. Love it. It’s the future of scootering.
Here we are, ten years later, and my prophecy is fulfilled: Are You F*#kin Nuts? Chicago 2013. Actually it was fulfilled last year, when 40 riders attended the mostly-Ruckus-centered event, but as an expert globetrotting scooter journalist who posts once every two months these days if you’re lucky (you’re not), it passed right under my sad-old-man Cushman-polishing radar. We’ve been seeing more and more hot-rodded Ruckii at our own rallies in the past few years, and as far as I’m concerned, everyone’s welcome at most of our rallies, so we’re glad to have ’em, and more power to ’em, but obviously it’s not my demographic, I can’t even pretend to understand it, and I’m sure they’ve had their own blogs and tumblrs and sext aggregators and whatever it is that hipper, younger, carefree scooterists do these days to justify their existence. So as 2strokebuzz enters its wane of old age (seriously you guys, I need to pull the plug on this thing and put it out of its misery) cheers to the next generation, you’re just as stupid as we were and if you’re luckier than us, you’ll stay that way.
Amerivespa 2013 registration is now open! The Vespa Club of America’s national rally returns to San Diego on June 27-30, with all the usual good stuff, plus a Friday night performance by the English Beat!
As promised earlier, the radically re-designed Vespa will be brought to market. The latest news from EICMA, as reported by Motoblog.it, shows a promotional photo where the new Quarantasei is decked out in commercialized trim. The controls, center stand, mirrors and turn signals are all aspects missing from the prototype that now appear on this pre-launch offering.
So it’s real, it’s arriving within the next year, and the question remains: Is it as interesting to throw a leg over as it is to look at? And will YOU be buying?
Jeb, of Fido, passed along this teaser image from EICMA with Italian description. The photo depicts an LML star with an automatic engine. Last year we saw an even more compact PK with the same powerplant wedged inside. Now the Retro Vespa kits to convert a P-series into a VBB-appearing ride may have a new appeal. The holy grail of vintage modern is nearly at hand. It will certainly outdo the La Vita disaster, but will it still look a bit Tranny?
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.
Scooter Station reports the Vespa “Quarantasei” concept scooter on display at EICMA last year will be brought to market in 2013. I’m not a huge fan of the design, it looks like the Vespa equivalent of the Harley V-Rod. If/when it comes to America in mid-2015 (that’s 2013 in VespaUSA years), it’ll be homologized beyond recognition and priced out of reach.
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!’