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Watch The Evolution Of German Badness

February 21, 2012

No, I will not be recapitulating Godwin’s Law. But instead I will offer forth this pictorial display of complete bad-ass-a-licious-ness that is the process of turning a raw smallframe project into a sweet custom ‘racer’.

For Scooter Center’s 20th anniversary, GP One Tuning has participated in the build of a celebratory machine. You may know this Austrian tuning house for their CNC engine cases. Look them up on Facebook and they have plenty of eye candy in their galleries (as well as being where I picked up the main link).

I would criticize the use of the larger than 10″ wheels. That’s normally a deal-breaker for me. But overall this is shaping up to be a scoot that’s jam packed with goodies. Check back on the GP One or SCK sites for updates. They already have progress from that first raw material page.

They Forge The Chains They Wear In Life

February 16, 2012

Forgive me, Charles Dickens. But finding a witty title is a deadly game of one-upsmanship here in the 2StrokeBuzz boiler room.

Motoblog.it shared a video they came across showing some industrious Italians making their Honda SH150 a bit more adherent to the road. That is, at least the rear wheel.

Much of the country has experience a strange winter this season. But I’m sure someone, somewhere, could have used these tidily assembled chains to be a hardcore commuter.

Continuing Cold Weather Coverage

February 7, 2012

Since there is no Cold Weather Challenge this year we’ll try to overcompensate with lots of winter riding stories. What could be more fun than riding in the winter? Why, ice racing of course! Check out these great pictures from an ice race in Germany via BlechBild

“The Lambretta is back…”

February 1, 2012

…so says lambrettaweb.com (via scooter-infos.) Sorry to get your hopes up, ha. I’ve stopped guessing (and caring) which of the dozen fighting parties is behind which models or which hype, or if any of it will ever see the light of day, but maybe you’re still holding out hope that something good will come of all this.

Bamako By Vespa

January 22, 2012

Three Norwegians are taking part in an overland rally event called Budapest-Bamako on Vespa scooters. The rally is described as a poor-man’s Dakar and is not unlike the early days of the most famous desert rally, now run in South America for security reasons. The trio are just taking part in the African leg of the journey ending in Guinea Bissau (Yes, I just linked to the CIA World FactBook. Just want to remind people that there is information on the interwebs other than on Wikipedia!), but still no easy task as it appears to be the most challenging part. Their web site and their facebook page detail their progress and challenges. When you think making a trip across a few States in the US for Amerivespa is going to be too difficult, read up here an get motivated to put your big boy pants on and ride.

New Series I-esqe Lambretta Design

January 21, 2012

Scootermercato shared an Italian language article about a new Lambretta design. I like the color and the headlight has been moved to the front of the leg-shield. The angle of the headset and light position likely taunt those passionate Lambrettisti who adore the the first series of LI model scooters that followed the LD with enclosed bodywork. The photo looks great because the scale would be perfect if those would be 10″ wheels. But they are 12″ and if placed alongside other models it’s lack of proper proportion would be more apparent.

If you are interested in the Lambretta Saga, check out the Lambretta.com site. It is now mostly a posting of legal actions the supposed true copyright holders are taking against everyone involved in anything tangentially related. Tartarini the younger designed this new bike. They should have just done these bikes under a name of a different Lombardy river or maybe just the Italjet founder surname.

MP3s Lost In Translation: An Efficient Italian Assembly?

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.

Vespa ET4 “Life Destroyer” Limited Edition

January 4, 2012

Can’t believe none of us have woken up to this on a rally Sunday morning: Vespa covered in abusive graffiti by vengeful lover. Ouch!

Via Vespa Lexington (a month ago, sorry).

BMW Scooters: Lost in America?

December 19, 2011

I haven’t talked about the new BMW scooters much here, mainly because I’ve always felt once you hit 350cc or so, there’s not much difference between a scooter and a motorcycle, aside from an automatic transmission.
Read more

Modern PK Automatic at EICMA

November 8, 2011

This is just a short post to beat Bryan and the new cub report, Matt, to the punch.

It appears that rumors are true (but are secrets really lies?). LML has shoehorned an automatic into a PK body. They are showing it off at the big bike show EICMA, in Italy. I noticed the photo posted in Scooter Mercato‘s facebook feed. Thanks, Dave.

Discuss. (Likely more analysis to follow.)

The Last Grand Prix Motorcycle Race & The Ghosts of Lambretta

November 5, 2011

The British rider Danny Webb has put the Mahindra Motors Racing 125cc Grand Prix motorcycle on Pole Position for the final round of the 2011 Championship at Valencia, Spain. This is significant on several levels.

Mahindra Motors acquired the Italian firm Engines Engineering prior to the 2011 season in an effort to go racing. Engines Engineering had be entering machines in Grand Prix racing before, but it was under the Lambretta name in 2010 with Marco Ravailoli and a raft of temporary guest riders. While the young Italian and his teammates made valiant efforts under the Lambretta Reparto Corse banner, the switch to Mahindra racing colors and new riders, Danny Webb and Marcel Schrotter, has resulted in a better points placement this season. German and British hands seem to be able to get old Lambrettas going a bit quicker.

The Lambretta to Mahindra conversion also mirrors an Indian continuation of the Lambretta efforts. Interestingly, Scooters India Limited (SIL), the company that took over producing Lambretta models in the subcontinent, is up for sale. Piaggio, Atul Auto and Mahindra have all thought about acquiring the state-run factory, but have reconsidered in recent months. If they had bought the currently money losing company it would have made for a very tidy story!

The saddest and most important part of this event is that it is the last time two-stroke machines will compete at the top level of World-Class racing. It’s not that four-stroke 125s haven’t raced before and been magnificent. But for the last 40 years two stroke machines have dominated at least one class of Grand Prix racing and now it comes to an end. Not by lack of competitiveness, but by simple rule change. Manufacturer goals have changed and that sweet 2 Stroke Buzz plays no role in these aims. The new class will be single-cylinder four-stroke engines and Mahindra and others including Honda and KTM will field machines. But it certainly won’t be the same. Not the same noise, the same smell, the same simple beauty of the two-stroke steeds.

If you’d like to see the event, you can watch live from MotoGP.com for a price. The race starts at 4:00 AM CST on Sunday (tomorrow) morning. Less than an hour later will be a distinct end of an era.

The Hoffmann Vespa Story: Nazis, Bankers and Another Case of Piaggio Licensing Gone Wrong

November 3, 2011

SIP Scootershop posted a history of the Hoffman Vespa on their community blog. It’s not fluff piece and it’s worth a read. Anyone with a Hoffman GS out there, raise your hand.

Burn Like Fire in Cairo

October 26, 2011

Two Italians are participating in the Pharaons International Cross Country Rally taking place across Egypt on two specially prepared P200′s. Check out their bikes and short video here and lets hope not everyday is like this.

MAOdern World

October 24, 2011


Our old friend David Smith reports on Beijing’s first Mod all-nighter. Awesome!

Lingotto Special Follow-Up

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!

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