2008 Stella/Buddy/Roughhouse (with photos)

(Updated 11:30pm 11/29/07 with photos and more details.)
2008 Genuine Scooter Co. Stella, Avocado.

The news we’ve all been waiting for, and a couple surprises: The first shipment of Genuine Stellas (reportedly less than 300 scooters) will be delivered in January to top-seller Genuine dealers only, who will get 15 Stellas each (3 of each color per dealer: avocado, powder blue, red, tangerine, and black). As reported earlier, Scooterworks USA and some other dealers are accepting pre-orders. $3399 is the official MSRP.

2008 Genuine Scooter Co. Stella, Milano Red, and production line at LML, November 2006

The second batch is due from India in May. Not much detail is available on improvements, An email sent to Scooterwork customers called the Grimeca front discs “new”, so it’s unclear whether the Indian-market licensed Grimecas on older Stellas have been replaced with “real” Grimecas, or if they’ve just been improved somehow. Engine internals (notably the crank and bearings) have reportedly been upgraded. In the factory photo above, the ignition/CDI appears to have been relocated, though it’s possible it’s simply not mounted yet. Tires have been upgraded to Continental Zippy 1s, with whitewalls standard on the Avocado Stella. We’ve found nothing to indicate that the new Stellas will meet California emissions regulations, but John Gerber (see comments below) reports that LML is likely to develop a manual-transmission 4-stroke engine in 2008 (and may unveil an ET4 clone as early as next month!).

Genuine Scooter Co. Buddy colors for 2008

Other big Genuine news: the 2008 Buddy line will feature three “International” Editions with 150cc engines (yes, 150cc, that’s not a typo) at an MSRP of $2,999. The first is the two-tone green “Series Italia” as seen in 2006, the two new models are “Saint-Tropez” in french blue and dove grey with a navy seat, and the “Pamplona” in Beige and Red with a tan seat. These two models are as distinctive and stunning (if not more so) than the Italia, and the idea of a Buddy with a 150cc engine (and a new Stebel airhorn standard) is nearly frightening. The Series Italia will also be available in a limited-edition 50cc edition at $1999. The 50 and 125cc Buddies remain pretty much the same, but with new colors: seafoam, powder blue, tangerine (looks yellow in photos), red, and black. 50ccs are $1899, 125s are $2599. A limited quantity of pink Buddy 50s and 125s may be available from some of Genuine’s higher-volume dealers.

2008 Genuine Scooter Co. Roughhouse R50The Blur 150 is gone, no surprise there, though 2sb owns and loves it, it hasn’t sold well, dealers are heavily discounting the ’06 orange and charcoal Blur 150s, and there seems to be no shortage of the ’07 black and charcoal model. The Black Cat has also been discontinued, but again, you’ll have no problem finding one. The Rattler 110 is back in red and silver, and it has a surprise new little brother, the MSRP $1850 Roughhouse R50 in green or blue. The R50 appears to be Genuine’s rebranding of the PGO PMX 50 (the Rattler 110 is the PMX 110 “Naked”) and it will likely sell much better than the too-gaudy Black Cat. (and, Genuine hopes, put up some competition for the reborn and newly-popular Yamaha Zuma). It is unclear when the new Buddys and the Roughhouse will arrive on our shores.

Genuine is offering nothing over 150cc, which is interesting because Kymco is really focusing on that market these days. It may hurt Genuine in the short run as Buddy owners look to step up, but a couple dealers have suggested to 2sb that Kymco may have bit off more than they could chew in the maxi-scooter market. Maybe PGO (and thus, Genuine) is wise to focus on what they do best. PGO’s focused on the Asian market where most bikes are under 150, but a 250cc scooter from Genuine would probably keep a lot of their U.S. customers off Kymcos. (Interestingly, the Blur (PGO G-Max) 200 was rumored to be sort of a dud, and PGO appears to have discontinued their 250cc G-Max.)

13 thoughts on “2008 Stella/Buddy/Roughhouse (with photos)”

  1. Sorry to see the Blur go, but a Buddy 150… that should be interesting.

  2. Still praying for CA Stellas in May—or whenever. They’ve been holding us at bay for too long!

    No more pink Buddys? Huh!

  3. Several months ago LML announced a couple of things that are likely to radically affect the U.S. scooter market. In December they are supposedly coming out with a four stroke scooter. More than likely it will be a ET clone which they got the tooling for from Piaggio before the breakup. Later in 2008 they are going to be coming out with a couple of other four stroke scooters. In all probabliity, these will be geared scooters which they had announced they were going to produce before the bankruptcy. This seems to be the niche they have decided on. I find it interesting that Scootering magazine is now implying that Piaggio is going to come out with a geared four stroke Vespa to replace the PX. Only a year ago at the factory in Italy Massimo Mirosi, head of European operations and number 3 in the Piaggio hierachy, told me that there probably would not be a geared four stroke Vespa. What a difference a year makes. Clearly they don’t want to be outflanked by LML.

  4. An ET4 clone, huh? Can you say “Stella II,” boys and girls? “Award-winning Italian design and easy twist-and-go operation.” I’ve told people since the LX replaced the ET something like this would happen, and nobody believed me…

  5. Wow, the rumors are true. Stella’s back! Now where’s Elvis?

  6. The “Sunset” is also being discontinued being replaced with the “happier” looking Tangerine. I’ve got to say, the colors available are fantastic. I can’t wait to see them in my showroom. I’m pretty impressed with what the Genuine Scooter Company has done to meet the demands of the market. They’re the only company offering any sort of a Vintage Shifter, the only ones offering a twist n’ go smallframe that doesn’t reek of China or hurt my eyes (buddy 125/150) and they actually respond to what the customers and dealers ask for. Dealers as a group demanded Kymco bring in the Yup 250 over 5 years ago. Despite a whole lot of promises and many actual NEW bikes from Kymco they still haven’t given us a bike they already have in their inventory.

    Oh, btw…Are there ANY Italjet dealers yet?

  7. I’ve seen the Italjet Torpedo (which seems an aweful lot like the CFmoto Charm series) on craigslist over the last few months. But last night I noticed that P-Town scooters in Portland is carrying them. That’s the first reputable scooter shop that I’ve heard of doing so. Any others? Where’s that rollercraft!? ha ha ha

  8. Let me know when dealers are dumping the last of the blurs just to get rid of them. Then I’ll think about getting one.

    But I am interested in this news of a possible ET4 clone. Hey Phil, there’s a dealer down here I think should try to become the local Genuine dealer. Let me know who he should talk to in order to negotiate this.

  9. It is bad enough that they knock off the Vespa PX series now they want to knock off the ET4. This obviously shows the companies lack of imagination to develop something new. I guess if you can’t beat the Italians in design/function you might as well rip them off and chase after their coattails in the market place. At least they mention they are installing better cranks and bearings then the previous Stella’s. I wonder if they are going to be limited to the production numbers in this market (USA) since it is a 2 stroke. I think with most 2 strokes it is a limited number. I think it is 500 unit per year. I wonder what the year to date sales are on the Buddy and Stella’s? Does Genuine even report their numbers?


  10. Scott:

    LML’s Stellas/Stars and presumably (if it’s true) ET4s are made with tooling they acquired from Piaggio, there’s a difference between a chinese “knock off” and what they’re doing. Also, Genuine is very involved in the production process, and has a fantastic dealer network, unlike a lot of the “knockoffs” you see out there. There’s a place in the market for innovation, and there’s a place for reasonably-priced third-world versions of classic scooters, especially since Piaggio, by their own choice, abandoned that market. I don’t know of any US. importer that releases exact sales figures to the public (even Honda, as far as I can tell, releases only one grand total for worldwide motorcycle sales annually, though Bajaj, for instance, is very public with their numbers). I’d bet money that Genuines outsold Piaggios and Vespas last year (at least in markets served by both dealers, and if they didn’t, it was because of the Stella shortage), and for that matter, I’d bet (at least in markets with Genuine dealers) that the Buddy outsold the Vino and Metropolitan last year. (at least 1 out of 3 scooters I see on the street in Chicago is a Buddy, and there’s a good chance one of the other two is a Stella.)

    Piaggio’s innovation is great and all, and they’re the model for all scooter manufacturers internationally, but thanks to the devaluation of the dollar and the bloat and disorganization of PiaggioUSA, in the US, they’re selling overpriced scooters, and they’re dumping scooters on dealers with low margins, so their relationship with dealers is on thin ice. Genuine has faults, but they deserve their success, and with the Stella coming back, they’ll do even better. Good for them, they know the American market and have forged better relationships with dealers (and customers!) than PiaggioUSA. Costantino Sambuy laughed at the prospect of bringing over the PX, then ate crow when Stellas and Bajajs were outselling “modern” Vespas, and pretended he was doing us a favor by bringing over $5000 PX150s, which sort-of flopped. Sure the Vespas were arguably higher-quality than the Stellas, but they weren’t $2000 better.

    I think you may be right about the limited number of 2-strokes, but a lot of companies seem to be working around that, not sure what Genuine’s plan is there.

  11. Scott,
    Piaggio sold their Et4 Tooling to LML – There was nothing sneaky or underhanded about it. LML has been making parts and complete scooters for Piaggio since the Late 70’s / early 80’s. Despite many squabbles, they have always been manufacturing partners. There never has been a “rip-off” between PIaggio and LML or Bajaj. Believe me, if there was, Piaggio could have shut either company down in a week. Piaggio is more of a juggernaut than any of us can possibly grasp.

    There does not appear to be any sort of number limitation on 2 stroke scooters. Yamaha has just re-released the Zuma as a 2 stroke and I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have done that without being able to sell at least 3000 units / year.


  12. I did hear (fifth-hand) that the January Stellas are being classified as 2007 models, as they were an older batch that was expected to ship during the strike. Not sure if that’s true, or if any other mods can be expected for the later batches…

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