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.
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.
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.
Scooter Station reports the Vespa “Quarantasei” concept scooter on display at EICMA last year will be brought to market in 2013. I’m not a huge fan of the design, it looks like the Vespa equivalent of the Harley V-Rod. If/when it comes to America in mid-2015 (that’s 2013 in VespaUSA years), it’ll be homologized beyond recognition and priced out of reach.
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.
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.
Continue reading “MP3, Piaggio Lineup, and Vespa Colors Slashed”
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…
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:
Continue reading “Not So Innocenti…”
Italian police confiscated Kaitong’s knockoff of the Piaggio MP3 at the EICMA show in Milan.
If that’s a thing… that… can be done, it’s surprising it doesn’t happen more at motorcycle trade shows. Surely it wasn’t a good idea to show up on Italian soil during the financial crisis on the week the Prime Minister resigns (incidentally, Berlusconi was slated to speak at EICMA but cancelled), and display a knockoff of one of Italy’s proudest exports. But one would hope authorities would afford the same attention to other imitators, too.
In other MP3-ish news, Vectrix is promising their 3-wheeler for 2012.
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.)
As usual, a high-profile scooter story appears in the local media the day AFTER our rally. This year it was Katrine speaking for us and the Tribune‘s Red Eye managed to avoid the usual scooter cliches and misinformation for a pretty solid general-scootering story.