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Chicago International Motorcycle Show 2007

February 11, 2007

Yamaha C3

You’ll hopefully forgive 2strokebuzz if coverage of the 2007 Cycle World International Motorcycle show is a little scaled back this year. The truth is, very little has changed from year to year. Each year there are fewer surprises, less swag, and fewer perks (the bus service to the CTA parking lot was cancelled this year, brrr.), while parking, concessions, and admission (at least seem to) get more expensive. Probably that’s why Triumph didn’t appear for the second year in a row, and why Kymco, CMSI, and Genuine rarely bother with these shows.

On top of that, we had a head start on new 2007 models, thanks to the Milan EIMCA show, and next weekend I’m attending the Indianapolis Dealer Expo (my first trip), which promises to be a bit more exciting. But out of a sense of duty, and because Ryan was driving, I decided to once again trek through the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, to see what there was to see. Which wasn’t much, really.
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Piaggio’s EICMA site

November 17, 2006

I could have saved myself a lot of work if I’d seen this a few days ago: Piaggio Group’s site for Milan motorcycle show visitors. Don’t worry, I’ll still do the Piaggio writeup, but this might give you more detail than my stories, and won’t leave out the motorcycles, some of which are interesting. It’s strange that this site calls the Vespa S the “LXS” wheras the press release avoids making any connection between the LX and S models. (Thanks, Myttrr mA5ty.)

Aprilia and Derbi at EICMA 2006

November 17, 2006

Despite our promise to tackle Piaggio’s Milan show offerings next, it proved too daunting a task for one night, so we’ll finish that up over the weekend. In the meantime, we present Derbi and Aprilia’s new products from the EICMA. It’s clear from just the press releases that Derbi and Aprilia are still not fully integrated into the Piaggio machine. The text is organized differently, less details are given, and the English translation is even more awkward (In Derbi’s case, perhaps a result of translating from Spanish to Italian to English).

Derbi-Boulevard-S

Derbi

Derbi scooters are still unavailable in the U.S, but for what it’s worth, their Atlantis and Senda models will be offered in new colors. The GP 125 and 250i have been modestly updated, note that the 250 has been given electronic fuel injection. The only all-new model is the Boulevard S (pictured above), a nice-looking big-wheeler offered in 125 and 250cc displacements.

Aprilia

Aprilia hyped some new motorcycles in Milan, but didn’t have too much to show as far as scooters, not deeming any of them important enough to include a photo with Piaggio’s press kit.

scarab50opal

Four variations of the Scarabeo line have changed. The 2-stroke Scarabeo 50 Street has been given some minor cosmetic changes, including new wheels and a new front fairing. The Scarabeo 125 Street and 200 Street have been given “a lighter design and form make for perfect access to the Scarabeo range,” whatever that means, and are now available in “Blue Couture,” “Shot Grey,” and “Shine Red.” The 250 has a new fuel-injected engine. No mention is made of the 4-stroke 50, 100, 400, or 500cc models, which are presumably unchanged from 2006. It’s also unclear why the world needs eight versions of the Scarabeo.

The Atlantic 400 boasts a new top-end design, a watercooled one-cylinder with a higher-flow valve that meets A2 licensing and Euro 3 emissions standards. The Atlantic 125, 250, and 500 presumably remain unchanged.

p02597_0157

The venerable SR 50 has been given new replica graphics based on Jorge Lorenzo’s World Championship winning “Spain’s No. 1″ Aprilia RSW 250 .

mojitocust07

The range also includes the Sonic 50, Mojito Custom (pictured above, and rumored to be returning the the U.S. at a lower price in 2007), and the Sportcity 125, 200, and 250.

More photos in EICMA06 Gallery.

Piaggio previews 2007 models

November 2, 2006

Gilera Fire, Vespa GTV, Vespa S

A bit more info on an earlier post (but not much): Tuesday in Rome, Piaggio brass presented their new 2007 vehicles to Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and other government dignitaries, in advance of the official unveiling at the Milan Salone della Moto in two weeks. The lineup featured some Aprilia sportbikes (including a nifty RSW250 race bike to remind us all that Aprilia won the 2007 MotoGP 125 and 250 “Constructor” titles), the Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport, the 60th-anniversary Vespa GTV, and two never-seen-before scooters. The press release still sheds no light on the Vespa S, but I’m sticking to my theory that it’s an LX50-based tribute to the Vespa 50 Special (Note the square headlight, front fender, and horncast cover). I guess Europeans are sentimental about the 50 Special (what with the Lunapop song and all), but they weren’t Vespa’s prettiest bike. Likewise, there’s no info about the new Gilera three-wheeler, other than the name (“Fire”) and displacement (500cc). The next couple weeks and the Milan show will reveal more, but it’s probably safe to assume it’s based on Piaggio MP3 technology and the 4-valve 4-stroke Piaggio MASTER engine found in the Beverly/BV500.

See more photos in the 2strokebuzz Gallery

More news from PiaggioUSA’s dealer meeting

October 4, 2006

Dan Kay of Old Towne Motocycle Shoppe has confirmed, as we reported Monday, that the U.S. version of the Piaggio MP3 three-wheeled scooter will feature Piaggio’s 250cc electronic-fuel-injected QUASAR engine, the same engine found in the Vespa GTS. Kay also confirmed that Piaggio was for some reason unable to use the name “MP3″ in the U.S., and no name has been chosen yet: “Europe wants alpha-numeric, Americans would prefer a name.” The renamed MP3 will arrive at U.S. Vespa dealers in March or April 2007. Kay’s impression:

Very interesting! The integrated trunk with seat pass-through is a nice touch. The front suspension with the electronic stabilizer is trick, [and] the extra front wheel feels a lot less squirrely on grooved pavement and metal grates. Most people won’t steer as agressively to notice that a GTS is a bit more maneuverable.

In other news from the meeting:

  • Piaggio/Vespa MSRP price increases will take effect on November 1.
  • PiaggioUSA will soon announce the 60th anniversary models. Only 250 individually-numbered GT60s will be sold in the U.S. The bikes feature grey paint to match the original Vespa MP6 prototype, with a fender light and a leather seat. Other goodies include a wallet, key fob, book, and custom satin cover. The owner’s initials will be engraved on a silver plate mounted to the scooter. The 60th-anniversary GTV and LXV models will be a darker “Aveo Grey” with brown leather seats and retro-style speedometers. MSRP for the LXV is $5199, so we figure the GT60 is one of those things where, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
  • Kay tells us Piaggio has more new models on the horizon, but he isn’t sharing, as “to not take attention away from the three-wheeler.” Fair enough.
  • Aprilia’s new big-wheeled Sportcity 250 features the same Quasar engine as the MP3 and the GTS. It’ll come to the U.S. halfway through 2007, in the “mid fours.” The Aprilia Mojito 150 will also return to the U.S, at a new lower price in the “mid-threes.”

PiaggioUSA dealer meeting: photos

October 2, 2006

A few photos of the first Piaggio MP3 in America, at the Piaggio Dealer meeting in San Antonio today. Dealers had the chance to see and ride the new MP3. No confirmation from our source yet on which model is coming, or if the name will be changed for the US market (Prior to the meeting, PiaggioUSA had been referring to it as “Piaggio Three Wheeler.” Catchy!) More info to come!

“Monster” designer joins Aprilia design team

September 16, 2006

Rubbermag reports that Miguel Galluzzi, the designer of the Ducati Monster as well as many other Ducati, Cagiva, and Husqvarna motorcycles, has been named the new Manager of the Aprilia Style Centre. Aprilia Brand Manager Leo Francesco Mercanti gushes, “…Aprilia has always stood out for its different and original styling. In this context, Galluzzi, who is not just a creative genius but a passionate motorcyclist, is without a doubt the right man to guide the Aprilia design team to new heights of excellence.” Scooters are likely beneath him, but the Scarabeo line could sure use his help.

Qatar two-fiffy roundup.

August 2, 2006

Four 250cc scooters and the Yamaha Morphous compared for posterity, from Qatar’s Peninsula newspaper. (Note: Turns out this was not from Qatar, but a poorly-credited wire story by Susan Carpenter of the Los Angeles Times, it also ran in the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette with a good photo and better proofreading.)

New Scarabeo 500

April 21, 2006

On the heels of Piaggio’s new model announcements, today Aprilia (who is celebrating their one year anniversary as a subisdary of Piaggio) held a ‘press day’ for their “new” 500cc Scarabeo. I don’t see any raging difference from the old Scarabeo 500 (more fake chrome maybe? Was the one at the Chicago Show, for instance, “old” or “new?”), and I really don’t “get” the Scarabeo anyway. But some people love ‘em, so more power to you, Scarabeo-lovers, there’s a new one.

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