Vegas High Rollers Gallery 2012

Jordan's High Rollers PhotosIf 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!
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Scooter Poetry!

My pal Jamie just came across an epic poem about a 1984 Honda Elite for sale. No idea what the backstory is, and I can’t backtrack on the site to learn more about author Paul Ruby, but I’d like to think it started life as a Craigslist ad. “Max’s Scooter Page” of Scooter Quotations & Poetry dates it to 2005, and features lots more scooter poems and humorous quotes, some from a few familiar names of the Usenet days, and the early ScooterBBS. Crazy!

Winter Almost Over; Get Off The Couch And Build (Updated)

As our unusual winter winds down here in N. America, it’s getting to be that time of year where thoughts turn to the upcoming prime riding season as well as this summers Amerivespa. There have been shows and build-offs in the US. But I’d like to see some more customs in the class of what SIP Scooter shop has most recently shared on their Flickr and Facebook galleries. Check out the custom show photos and be inspired!

This is as much as a ‘note to self’ as a call to action of Western Atlantic/Eastern Pacific scooterists and scooter shops. Stickers on Stellas and Baskets on Buddies are all fine and good, but I’m talking about top to bottom uniqueness. Who has some plans in the works for something special like those seen at this Ried Custom show? What are the latest jaw-dropping custom or preservation jobs you’ve seen?

Update: That bike won Best Smallframe. Here is a report of the show via SIP.

Watch The Evolution Of German Badness

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.

Scooter Examiner at Dealer Expo

Despite Dealer Expo’s best efforts to actually invite 2strokebuzz (after years of sneaking in as “POC employee” “Michelle Rodriguez”) we couldn’t make it this year. If they’re courting us, you know attendance is down, but there are still things to see, and Ron “Detroit Scooter Examiner” Arnold is at the show posting daily roundups. He’s a little disappointed that the indoor electric motorcycle demo area was cancelled, but he did get to see the Genuine Psycho and the new 2-tone Stellas.

They Forge The Chains They Wear In Life

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.

Bamako By Vespa

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

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.

MP3, Piaggio Lineup, and Vespa Colors Slashed

Desaturate 100%
A Piaggio/Vespa dealer has told 2strokebuzz that a new 2Q 2012 dealer order form from PiaggioUSA has eliminated a large share of the Piaggio product line from the U.S. market, most notably the full range of MP3s.

According to our source, The Piaggio MP3 250, 400, and 500cc three-wheelers are no longer available to dealers, and the promised MP3 Yourban 300 will not replace them, let alone the endlessly-hyped hybrid that Jay Leno promised dealers in 2008. It appears Piaggio is totally abandoning the MP3 in the United States.

(UPDATE: Other evidence suggests the MP3 Yourban will be available in the U.S. later this year, probably with 350cc displacement. see comments.)

The BV lineup, previously available in 250, 300, and 500cc displacements, is now limited to the new 350 model in black or silver only.

The Vespa line is being desaturated in a more literal way, with a far smaller color palette. The Vespa GTS/Super 300i is no longer available in red, and the Vespa 150 LX S loses its red, orange, and two-tone versions, it will now be available only in Black or Titanium.
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MP3s Lost In Translation: An Efficient Italian Assembly?

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.