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.
Former Piaggio Americas CEO Paolo Timoni has written an editorial speculating on the future for Dealernews. If we ever seemed less-than-confident in Timoni’s guidance, this editorial piece should make our case nicely. Timoni’s hopes for the future in many ways are parallel those of 2strokebuzz, but we’d never in a million years imply that our dreams are realistic. Granted, he admits it’s all a bit of a fantasy, but one can’t help wondering if Piaggio’s U.S. growth plan was hitched on the same fantasy.
Let’s take a quick look at his predictions:
Continue reading “Timoni’s Travels through Time”
Ron Arnold (Detroit Scooter Examiner) has shared some Blur220i photos from DealerExpo on ModernBuddy. The two color schemes are “Gunmetal and White” and “White.” Branding is limited to small plastichrome badges, similar to the earlier Charcoal/Black 150 model.
All in all, pretty much what we expected, and great news, though I have a few minor quibbles. As a fan of the distinctive charcoal/orange early Blurs, the colors and branding are a bit boring, but I suppose this is not the time to be brave with colors. The horncovers are fake carbon fiber, which looks good, but I just hate fake carbon fiber. The saddest part is the new DOT front turn signals, which were apparently necessary after all.
Both colors featured gold wheels, which is a strange decision, but they look pretty good. Arnold points out that the front brake caliper was gold on both bikes, and the rear caliper was red, which is also strange, though these are probably preproduction examples. The bikes’ seats were different, one appears the same as the earlier models, the other looks similar but shaved-down a bit. Arnold says they plan to use the lower seat on both versions.
The Stella 4-stroke apparently will not be branded differently than its predecessor, but will feature some new colors. “Creme,” “Dijon Yellow,” and “Slate Blue” will be available in addition to the old “Avocado,” White, and Red. MSRP remains the same as the 2-stroke version, $3599, which is great news. Of course, the big story is that it’s rated at 140 MPG, (though you know how we feel about that.)
Sadly (very sadly, in our opinion) the 2-stroke version will no longer be available once current inventory sells out.
Which is faster? White is 4T, Purple is 2T (these are UK-market LMLs from Eddy Bullet):
As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve decided not to go to Dealer Expo this year. Part of the decision was simply practical and personal: I’m (sorry) not a fan of Indianapolis, the weather’s likely to be terrible, I waited too long to sort out accommodations, I have an infant son, and it’s just not a good time to spend money on hotels, food, and booze.
Continue reading “Skipping Dealer Expo”
At 2strokebuzz, we pride ourselves on our many ‘scoops,’ stories we covered before the professional powersports media and other blogs. But we still get plenty of our news through the usual channels, and over the past couple years, one professional powersports journalist has really impressed us by often going beyond the usual re-hashed press releases and digging up some interesting stories. In just the past couple days, Guido Ebert of Powersports Daily has:
- been first to confirm that UM has closed, with many insightful details about their suppliers and dealer network,
- looked beyond Vectrix’ press release to learn more about their real new owners.
- Suggested dealers skip Dealer Expo this year, which perhaps isn’t so brave considering the show is run by a competitor, but it’s the first article I’ve seen publicly stating what most of my contacts in the industry have been saying in private, and
- revealed that Jay Leno plans to videoblog about the Genuine Buddy on February 12.
Ebert, like any modern journalist, rehashes his fair share of press releases and does favors for friends, but we’re all surely guilty of that, right? If you’re looking for more in-depth and professional motorcycle industry information than 2strokebuzz can provide, you should be reading blog.guidoebert.com or following him on Facebook or Twitter.
Modern Buddy moderator Eric Almedral has posted the California Air Resources Board approval certificate for the Genuine Stella 150 4T, and confirms that it’ll be available in the U.S. in 2010. My bet is that it’ll be here sooner than later, and probably the Stella and it’s claimed 130MPG will be one of the few bright spots for the scooter industry at DealerExpo in a few weeks.
Genuine Scooter company has confirmed the Blur is back, they’ll be importing their version of the PGO G-Max 220 EFI for 2010. MSRP is expected to be $3899. As a fan and owner of the original Blur and one of a few Americans to have ridden the 220 EFI, I’d say this is great news . As expected, the new 4-stroke Stella is also officially set for 2010 availability. Both should be on display at DealerExpo in February, but hopefully we’ll get a peek before then.
Note: That’s the Taiwan model pictured, we’re hearing the Blur will be available in Gunmetal and White.
Phil Waters from POC Scooters had the chance to take a road trip on SYM’s Wolf 150, here’s his report:
Ever since we first spotted the SYM Wolf 150 at DealerExpo in Indianapolis in February, we’ve been pretty well enamored with it. Some of us readily admit that our love of scooters goes hand in hand with our love of motorbikes so seeing the resurgence of the small displacement motorcycle is pretty important to us.
Continue reading “’Tween Wolf”
As you might have guessed, Carter Brothers and Cobra Powersports aren’t in love with 2strokebuzz right now. I had a cordial and enlightening talk with Bill Pierce at Cobra this morning, and rumor has it there’s an email on the way from Carter Brothers. More tonight
I recently learned from a third party that my friend and colleague Steve Guzmán of The Scooter Scoop was let go by SYM distributor Carter Brothers shortly after DealerExpo. When I asked Steve about it, he was modest and polite as usual, and I don’t pretend to know what happened behind the scenes, but it’s a real disappointment.
Continue reading “SYMpathy for the scooter industry”
“Public Enemy” “welcome to the terrordome” rap song lyrics
Lots more to cover, but here’s a little ditty while you’re waiting:
I got so much scooter on my mind
“Michelle Rodriguez” on my ticket
Hear Phil Waters get wicked
My crew is few, we hype the Black Jack
Attack then we drank
and yacked, Then slapped the iMac
Now Im ready to post it
(you know I made up most of it)
Hear my favoritism roll, oh
OMG, is that Mattheu Solo?
TGB Lasers, scooters like Razors
Hallways to blaze, with brain and foot pain
The way Im livin, forgiven
What Im givin up
Ron on the Nikon, shoot this now
Where’s the party at later?
As for now I’m grillin at the Chinese pavillion
Man Ive had it up to here
CF Moto logos appear
Kymco’s a no-show,
saw P-town just a bit ago
Adjust the white balance.
Work to keep from gettin jerked
Changin’ some ways
To way back in the 2-stroke days
Chinese hockey mask molds,
never mind the highway codes
Still thousands sold.
Never question what I am, Who knows?
Cause I’m comin from the bar
What I got better get some
(soft pretzels) master of scooter culture
Been splashed in the face
But the helmet keeps fittin’
Eating nothing healthy, ranting with Chelsea
Seth and Dave and everyone elsee
Check the spec sheets
ripped a hole in my jeans knees
rolling on the ground, looking for a VIN please
Walked the halls, took the falls
Broke the laws
my Sambas are fallin
more or less square
Getting up there in years
Still. I growl at the plastic cowls
Thanking Christ Indiana’s not my home
So welcome to the Hooiserdome.
In Part I of our Dealer Expo coverage, we mentioned there really wasn’t much new to see at DealerExpo, and fewer importers and distributors than usual. In Part II (you are here), we’ll look at a few of the more popular distributors, and a few newer importers looking to make a a bigger impact.
Continue reading “Dealer Expo 2009, Part II: The Bikes”
Every February, powersports dealers from around the nation descend on grey, shivery, boring Indianapolis to see what’s new in the industry. It’s a chance for manufacturers, importers, and distributors to wine and dine their dealers and hopefully round up some orders for the upcoming riding season. This was our third year at DealerExpo, though it was our first with actual 2strokebuzz press passes. Continue reading “Dealer Expo 2009, Part I: Overview”
My photos from Dealer Expo 2009 are up, over in the Gallery. Silent Ron posted his, too, but his photo site is down at the moment. I’m still writing furiously, but i’m done for tonight, have a gander at the photos and post any questions in the comments so I can make sure I cover them in this never-ending story.