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.
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.
The results for awards at last weekend’s SIP Customshow in Landsberg, Germany are shown here. The show is one of the largest and never fails to have a few examples of custom scooter eye-candy. Some winners have been seen before but are worthy of praise nonetheless. My favorite winner is the Best Smallframe. But the best name for an award is Maximum Respect, and seeing the winner explains it. Very nice.
The rock band Tool’s new album of Jam covers was heroically thwarted by sentient Vespas. (Note: I probably didn’t read Eric’s story as carefully as I shoulda.)
You’ll probably never win one of the New Yorker‘s cartoon caption contests, but you might want to give it a shot this week. Here it is, please share your caption here in the comments or on our Facebook page and we’ll send someone a 2strokebuzz t-shirt. Thanks Mad Man Maddox for the link!
Hodgespeed let us know that SIP is currently in the process of making tooling to produce Vespa smallframe PK-style engine cases. Great news in itself, as they’d gone out of production, but to me, the interesting part of the post is the CAD drawings of the mold for one side of the case. You hear a lot of people saying “Why don’t they just make….” Here’s the answer, look at the complexity and SIZE of that mold, and that’s just for one case-half (engine cases having two halves, you see.) So knowing that SIP has invested tens of thousands of Euros already, with all the machining and production costs to come, and testing, and the concern that the demand might be less than anticipated, or any tiny mistake in engineering or quality control could be disastrous, it’s a wonder they’ve taken on the project, though I’d wager most scooterists are certainly glad they did.
Now, a note, because everytime I post something like this, I get emails once a month forever from non-english speakers: 2strokebuzz does not sell this or any scooter parts. If you are interested in this product, please contact SIP in Germany.
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?
1977 Mopeds is a shop at the epicenter of the modern American mopedlar world. They have a new feature on their site that is as much eye-candy as social aggregation for the 50cc bikes with vestigial pedals. It’s called Garage. The concept is a bit like facebook where you register, make a profile put up pictures of your ride and ‘like’ other people’s creations. But it takes it a step further and indexes all the trick bits people compile into their showcased moped builds. So if the member documents their build well enough, you can glean enough info to re-create the machine yourself. The parts are cross-referenced to other bikes which have the part and to the product page where you can buy the part in question. It’s not too pushy on the product placement as it’s the second choice when you click on a part and keeps the feel of a user focused site. Users can add multiple bikes and you can tell some of the better builders have a signature style. It’s not just for the tuners and 30 mph boy racer. Stock and restored builds are also welcome.
Plans for the future include awards for top bikes, manual libraries and tuning indexes to help users along. In the vintage scooter world some efforts like this have popped up in the past but with less homogenization and standard input formats. The great Scoot.net and Scooterhelp.com have been individually priceless assets to the scooter community. 1977 is trying to tie it all together in line with their own site and it looks pretty nicely done. It probably takes an entity with a material interest to pool it all as such.
Take it for a spin and feel free comment below and say how much it’s too much like pinterest and tumblr.
I came across this video on Youtube showing the death of the 2 stroke engine is greatly exaggerated. Athena, an Italian powersports engine aftermarket parts company shows off their own direct injection system for aftermarket cylinders. The video makes some impressive claims. I think a 4-stroke versus 2-stroke smackdown needs to occur, pitting Hondas 50cc FI scooter engine against this Athena tech.
We’ve seen DI systems from Orbital and subsequently Aprilia, Piaggio and Evinrude in the past. But coming from Athena suggests this could be in place for retrofitting and maybe turning a 5% oil burning piston-ported 150 two stroke generating a mind blowing 5 HP into something clean, efficient and still not ‘stroke-wasting’.