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.
The Maryland MVA has announced a new Motor Scooter Law requiring titles, insurance, and a helmet and eye protection, in addition to existing laws that require a drivers license or moped permit.
Maryland has famously been very liberal regarding scooter operation, this law brings their requirements in line with most other states, but it’s interesting to see the word “Motor Scooter” used by a government license bureau. Most states differentiate between mopeds, motorcycles, and scooters in their laws, but use hazy and arcane terms like “motor-driven cycle” and “motorized pedalcycle.” Perhaps “motor scooter” still leaves room for interpretation (I haven’t seen the exact wording of the law) but it’s nice to see that terminology thrown around for once. Even if Maryland riders are not likely thrilled about the law, they can say “motorscooter” at the MVA and maybe not get a blank stare.
Minnesota House Bill 2685 includes a section about who is allowed to stop traffic for large motorcycle rides. We’ve all been on big rides where there are blockers stopping traffic along the way so that the group can stay together, and I’m always amazed there aren’t more instances of road rage and/or tickets being handed out. I would assume that this is illegal and most police officers look the other way. The new bill requires that those stopping traffic hold a Motorcycle Road Guard Certificate, plus jump through a few more hoops. Granted this is all a good idea to keep the rides safe but I wonder how many will actually go through all the trouble? And will you have to wear a safety vest and carry a fake plastic badge?
House Bill 2685
Section 27 (S.F. No. 1719, Sen. Hoffman) allows a person who meets the
following five requirements to stop vehicles and hold them in place
until it is safe to proceed:
Hold a motorcycle road guard certificate;
Meet safety and equipment standards;
Be escorting a motorcycle group ride;
Notify all cities through which the group will pass; and
Obtain the consent of the chief of police of any city of the first
class through which the group will pass.
The motorcycle road guard may direct motorcycles within a group ride
or other vehicle traffic to act contrary to traffic control signals.
A vehicle stopped by a motorcycle road guard may proceed only when
directed by the flagger or police officer. This section is effective
one year after publication of rules in the State Register.
Saigon Scooter Center has thrown their hat into the electric scooter ring. It’s not another new Lambretta rumor, but a conversion of old to new. Vespa and Lambetta models appear, named VTronic and EBretta respectively. It’s a bit disappointing that they stuff a behemoth of a 13″ wheel in the back. And the custom cowl on the P-series conversion looks a bit off. But hey, they are making options for the people that want their transportation energy to not come from fossil fuels. At least not fossil fuels burned near them while riding.
Brits must have excellent eye sight. Most of their websites rely on the smallest photographs possible to differentiate products or events from smudges on the screen. Brit Ex-pat run SSC sustains the long tradition even overseas. Long live the Queen.
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.