News Bits, Jan 8, 2007

We’re still catching up on news reports from our holiday break. This should bring us up to date:

  • Authorities have banned the Segway from public streets and sidewalks in the Netherlands, citing their lack of a mechanical brake as a safety hazard. It’s easy to make jokes, and we should, because Segways are ridiculously stupid, but this does pose an interesting question about how governments will react to the many alternate-fuel vehicles coming to market, especially those that don’t conform to standard vehicle categories. Few companies can afford the luxury of developing and marketing a product that may likely be banned on streets, just one more reason why huge companies already armed with lobbyists and lawyers will probably continue to dominate the market. In other words, good luck getting licence plates for your new Vectrix electric motorscooter (what’s the displacement, sonny?), and welcome to 2007.
  • New Honda Metropolitan rider tells the Arizona Daily Star how much she loves her scooter.
  • “At one point I was going to lease a BMW to try to meet women,” Jeff Schultz tells the Louisville Courier-Journal. Luckily, he came to his senses and bought a Kymco People 250. We assert that scooters’ environmental impact is notable, yet generally overstated, so we found both comments pretty funny.
  • Kymco has expanded its relationship with ARI to improve customer relations by streamlining warranty claims and product registration.
  • Following up the results of an earlier report, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries confirms that scooter sales are kicking ass in Australia. While several Australian companies, notably Bolwell, have been importing rebadged scooters from Asian makers, Vmoto has gone a step farther and bought their Chinese supplier, Freedmoto, outright. (That’s ONE way to ensure decent quality control from a Chinese company.)
  • reports on a 112-horsepower Italian racing scooter built by Team Cristofolini Racing. The custom-made aluminium 4-cylinder 350cc engine is mounted in what used to be a Malaguti F12 frame.

One thought on “News Bits, Jan 8, 2007”

  1. I read an article about the Toyota Prius last year. The first thing the article mentioned is that when they first came out, they were illegal in many states because the engine shut off automatically when the car was stopped.

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