March 14, 2012
If you’re like me, you hate the idea of the city of Las Vegas on principle, but it’s worth the trip every few years to remind yourself, “anywhere is incredibly fun, with enough scooterists.” I skipped the rally this year, but our pal Jordan from the Mayday SC was there with the mob of British and U.S. scooterists, and brought back a bunch of great photos. Thanks, Jordan!
February 7, 2012
Jen points out that Heritage Helmets now offers Trojan Records helmets to go along with their Consortium-approved Lambretta helmets. They even offer one with both Trojan and Lambretta logos, which is kind of surreal. Beautiful stuff, but, once again, they totally forgot the part that covers your chin and face. If you can afford an extra helmet for parades and photo shoots, pony up!
January 12, 2012
SIP Scooter Shop shared a video on their Facebook page today. It is a National Geographic program clip about the Piaggio factory in Pontedera. The video has a few shots of vintage machines in their museum. But one of the views that appealed to me was the factory building tucked in the Tuscan hills shown in the background of the test ride shots. I don’t know if the buildings are the same, but it was reminiscent of those old aerial photos of the factory from the 1950s. Other parts show the processes involved in the building of their larger engines (What are they doing tossing crankshaft halves into big vats of rocks?!) and the assembly of the MP3 hybrid scooter. Not a 2-stroke in sight. I wonder where they build those? I focus on the visual aspects of the video because it’s all in Italian, a language I do not understand. If anyone wants to translate any remarkable points of what looks to be a standard factory tour for the kind of shows that used to make the Discovery Channel great before they jumped the shark, feel free to post below.
November 18, 2011
November 17, 2011
Our first Britney Spears-inspired headline heralds the (maybe? sorta?) return of famed Lambretta maker Innocenti in a story that hasn’t garnered any media coverage, but once we blow it out of proportion here, it may send a few Austrian IP attorneys into a tizzy.
Jeb (of FIDO fame) spotted an interesting badge on the electric car shown at 4:28 in this video collage of electric vehicle photos from EICMA:
November 15, 2011
From the Lambretta Motorcycles Facebook page, here is a video that even the exclusive vintage Lambretta lover could enjoy. Maybe a common enemy can be the tie that binds? Doubtful.
October 25, 2011
A few years back, Lambretta Clothing teamed up with The Who to reissue some of the band’s Mod-est attire, including the famous parka from the cover of Quadrophenia, pre-stenciled for your convenience. Apparently Lambretta marketing contracts aren’t worth much these days, so with a new Quadrophenia CD/DVD “Directors Cut” box set coming out, they’ve switched alliances to Vespa. Mancunian twit Liam Gallagher will display a new PX125-based Quadrophenia scooter, film memorabilia, and Who-insipired fashions–including (again) the Quadroparka–at his Pretty Green clothing store on (where else?) Carnaby Street.
In other news, Noel Gallagher has installed turnstiles at Easington Colliery, charging punters £5 to urinate on a lump of concrete.
Quadrophenia, aside from its obvious charms to scooterists (and I admit a compulsion to watch it occasionally), isn’t much of a film and is even less of an album, so it’s interesting to see it repackaged yet again. Confusingly, (“Director’s Cut?”) this new 6-disc set doesn’t include the film at all (the DVD is surround mixes of the album), and omits all the great music (by the Who and other R&B greats) that appeared on the original soundtrack, which was re-released in 1993 and 2000.
The album (as opposed to the soundtrack) isn’t horrible, it’s just neither the Mod music that’s the subject of the film, nor the Mod revival music that sparked its release. It’s exactly the noodly late-’70s stadium rock that Revival Mods and Punks were rebelling against at the time. It may be sacrilege (and completely against the point), but I’ve always felt, aside from a couple tracks, the film would have been better off with all music from the mod era. The book included in the box set is the most compelling component, I’d be far more interested in the backstory and Townshend’s memories than hearing demos and gimmicky 5.1 mixes. Townshend calls it “…the best album that I will ever write,” but it says a lot that the album was blocked from #1 on the charts by Pin Ups, David Bowie’s great ’60s cover album… containing two early Who songs.
Via Scooterism, of course.
September 28, 2011
Just what Brooke was hoping for: Motoblog’s report (and great photos) from the Lingotto Special event from Motoblog. I didn’t realize how unique the Lingotto test track is, that must have been an incredible experience!
September 16, 2011
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.
Thanks a million, Scooterism!
September 6, 2011
Italian tenor (and Ducati ambassador) Salvatore Licitra was seriously injured in a Vespa accident on August 27, and died Monday after two weeks in a coma. Doctors suggested it was likely that Licitra lost control of the scooter after a brain hemorrhage.
Via Silent Ron
July 20, 2011
July 20, 2011
It’s been a while since Vespa Video Vednesday, unless you count last week, and let’s not. Here’s another good one from David Smith’s big list:
Generally I like to go on at great length about these, but it’s five minutes to Thursday and I have a lot of American Scooterist work to do still. More importantly, I don’t know jack about these guys aside from what I see on their Myspace page. They’re English, they’ve been plugging away at it since 2005, and this video is from circa 2008. The video’s got a good chunk of joyful P-series Vespa riding footage shot with a secret prototype Holga Super-8 camera and cross-processed for a nice vintage look.
July 12, 2011
This video just couldn’t wait for Vespa Video Vednesday. Via one of our new Des Moines Facebook homies, Matt Baker.
And it’s popular enough to have a remix:
July 12, 2011
Speaking of the Stella/LML Star, at least one Indian blog is suggesting that the LML Star 200 4T (allegedly available in Europe this month) might be a hit in India. Despite scooters’ raving popularity in India just a decade ago, India has become more affluent and motorcycles dominate the current scene. Bajaj discontinued their Vespa-like Chetak in 2005, and abandoned scooters entirely in 2009. LML currently manufactures the Star only for the export market. But that’s due to change by the end of the year, when they’ll re-introduce it in its homeland.
July 6, 2011
Journallive.co.uk is reporting of a sale of the Triumph Tina scooter used in photos for the Oasis interview CD “Be Somewhere Else Now”. The photo included in the story shows something close, but not quite exactly like one in a photo retrieved from an online sale of the CD in question. There is different letter placement and a horn in the ‘O’ on the bike pictured for auction. Who cares? Maybe someone buying for the purposes of provenance. I was just disappointed to find it wasn’t a Velocifero (see page 18/19).
The winner of the auction, Mark Watson, contacted us to explain:
I bought the Oasis Triumph at the Boldon auction. It came with various documents, including the certificate of authenticity. The letters on the fairing where put on the cd case using a computer. The actual stickers on the bike were put on later while the bike was displayed as an exhibit.
Ah, that all makes sense (and digital color adjustment would explain the color. Mark also explains the horn in the comments below.