Things seem to have been pretty quiet in Kennesaw, GA lately, maybe this will shake things up.
The Scooter Scoop reports that the MadAss 125 is finally available at dealers. We first reported on the MadAss more than six years ago, and a 125 version was announced shortly later. The Xkeleton Trickster, a knockoff version, beat the MadAss 50 to the U.S. market, and original MadAss importer Tomberlin (who now runs Schwinn’s scooter business) apparently never got the MadAss 50 off the ground here. Since then, Pierspeed became Sachs’ U.S. importer, and displayed the 50cc and 125cc versions at DealerExpo in early 2008. The 50cc finally became widely available in spring 2008, but supply problems held back the 125 for another year and a half. A sweet-looking MadAss 500 prototype was the darling of the internet last summer, hopefully that becomes reality, and the seemingly-forgotten X-Road 125 (and a rumored 250 version) would also be nice additions to the lineup.
I’m not sure how long this notice has appeared on TGB’s Taiwan website, but it’s been up for the last few days at least:
[Cobra] Powersports is no longer the exclusive distributor for TGB products in the US. We will be manufacturing some of their scooters brand[ed] as Peirspeed. Please look for TGB to bring in new products under the TGB brand to the US in late March!
Over the past week or so, I’ve heard from several parties related to both TGB and Cobra, including George Lin, the President of TGB. I feel that especially considering what I’ve learned since my apology, it’s absolutely fair to say that my original interpretation of the facts was correct. What Cobra’s rep at the show told me was technically true, and Cobra maybe didn’t see it coming, but as of last week, TGB gave Cobra notice that they’ll be breaking their contract, and will be importing TGB bikes themselves. I’ve offered Cobra and TGB a chance to fully clarify the situation, more to come.
In my 2009 Dealer Expo new scooter roundup, and again in my rant about SYM and Steve Guzmán, I reported that TGB had apparently ended their relationship with U.S. importer Cobra Powersports. As it turns out, this is not true at all. In short, Cobra is only one year into a five-year contract with TGB and their relationship is solid. I’d like to apologize for not clarifying the situation sooner, and (at great length) try to explain what happened.
Continue reading “TGB & Cobra: A clarification and apology”
As you might have guessed, Carter Brothers and Cobra Powersports aren’t in love with 2strokebuzz right now. I had a cordial and enlightening talk with Bill Pierce at Cobra this morning, and rumor has it there’s an email on the way from Carter Brothers. More tonight
I recently learned from a third party that my friend and colleague Steve Guzmán of The Scooter Scoop was let go by SYM distributor Carter Brothers shortly after DealerExpo. When I asked Steve about it, he was modest and polite as usual, and I don’t pretend to know what happened behind the scenes, but it’s a real disappointment.
Continue reading “SYMpathy for the scooter industry”
Scooter-Station notes that Haynes has released one of their famous service manuals targeted to Chinese/Taiwanese/Korean scooters. Probably handy, but it can’t be too specific, even though half the scooters made in Asia are Yamaha Vino knockoffs, there’s a lot of variety there, too, and surely a wide variety of tolerances and torques and such, which is where the Haynes manuals usually shine. Still, knowledge is power, and even if it just covers GY6-style engines in depth, it’d be useful.
In Part I of our Dealer Expo coverage, we mentioned there really wasn’t much new to see at DealerExpo, and fewer importers and distributors than usual. In Part II (you are here), we’ll look at a few of the more popular distributors, and a few newer importers looking to make a a bigger impact.
Continue reading “Dealer Expo 2009, Part II: The Bikes”
Every February, powersports dealers from around the nation descend on grey, shivery, boring Indianapolis to see what’s new in the industry. It’s a chance for manufacturers, importers, and distributors to wine and dine their dealers and hopefully round up some orders for the upcoming riding season. This was our third year at DealerExpo, though it was our first with actual 2strokebuzz press passes. Continue reading “Dealer Expo 2009, Part I: Overview”
My photos from Dealer Expo 2009 are up, over in the Gallery. Silent Ron posted his, too, but his photo site is down at the moment. I’m still writing furiously, but i’m done for tonight, have a gander at the photos and post any questions in the comments so I can make sure I cover them in this never-ending story.
For weekend reading: Taiwan news/PR site CENS issues their traditional Pre-EICMA “state-of-the-Taiwanese-Scooter-Industry” report.
Brooke mentioned the Sachs MadAss 500 a while back, but I’d never seen a photo. Craaaaazeee. Peirspeed (who import the 50cc and 125cc versions) must have given away 300 t-shirts at Amerivespa. I should probably write something about Amerivespa one of these days, but I’m still waiting for Jordan to send the photos from the pool party.
(Thanks for the photo, Mr. Madddox!)
Not to exacerbate this scooter-buying frenzy, but U.S. scooter reserves appear to be running low. Here are some things I’ve heard lately, from various sources:
Continue reading “Scooter shortage?”
Here’s a nice PR roundup of Taiwan’s offerings at the EICMA show in Milan. If you think I’m taking a long time to write up DealerExpo reports, remember that EICMA was last November, and these dudes are presumably getting paid to write this stuff.