Showdown at Booth 3711

Proof that bloggers live a few days ahead of everyone else: today LS Motorsports officially named our buddy Steve Guzman of The Scooter Scoop as National Sales and Marketing Manager for Italjet products, and went on to say (in a press release):

The full US Italjet product line can be viewed at DealerExpo at booth number 3711. The vehicles present will include the Dragster, the Roller Craft, and the Torpedo. Also present in the booth will be Diamo’s new 4X4 UTV and ATV (500cc and 700cc), a new Diamo 50cc scooter, and the Fischer motorcycle.

As we mentioned before, it’s going to be a long weekend for Steve if those bikes get “stuck in customs.” Sometimes I’m jealous when friends get jobs in the scooter industry. All I have to show for my 12 years writing about scooters was one crumby quote in a Genuine Blur ad, and I didn’t even get paid-off for that. (I had to actually pay for my Blur, oh, the horror!) But I guess when it comes down to it, I’d never quit my day job refereeing tennis matches.

11 thoughts on “Showdown at Booth 3711”

  1. I always wonder why no Velocifero? The darling of the 90’s is now the bastard of the 2000’s

  2. It doesn’t matter what they have in the booth. Buying a rollercraft and shipping it to the US to build a false sense of security in your product and trotting out a modified 5 year old Dragster and Chinese Torpedo doesn’t tell me ANYTHING about the reliability of a company. We’ve been seeing prototypes of a Lambretta 250 automatic for 4 years now and that’s from a company that actually is selling product in the US. So far it looks like Italjet USA has been only able to re-distribute a chinese made big wheeled scooter ala LambrettaUSA. I like Guzman, I hope it turns out that he’s something other than a Puppet for LS motorsports. A company who’s shown me on more than one occasion that they’re only interested in distributing Chinese garbage and not standing behind their product when it fails. I’d love to be wrong on this.

  3. In response to what Phil said, I should point out that in the cases of both CMSI and LS/Diamo, I suppose I slag on them and say negative things, but the truth is, nothing would make me happier to see both companies succeed. I’m actually an optimist for even giving them any coverage here at all, because from my perspective, neither company has done much over the past few years to inspire much dealer or customer confidence. I say that not to be an asshole, but because I’m just so regularly disappointed by both companies when they make promises they can’t keep. The scooters they do sell might be worth talking about, but we’d never know because both of their marketing departments seem to be investing all their resources into vaporware. I’m perfectly happy to jump on any bandwagon, but I can only write about a bandwagon so long before I finally have to admit that there was never a band, nor a wagon, and I start to feel both foolish and disappointed.

    If LS can get their act together enough to show me any sort of concrete, indisputable evidence that they’re anywhere closer to selling any sort of facsimile of an Italjet scooter in the United States by the time Dealer Expo comes around, then it’s newsworthy progress and I look forward to writing about it, especially considering Steve will be happy to talk about it and he might buy me dinner or drinks or something, ha. If I get to Indianapolis and see a 2002 Dragster 50 on that podium, I’m going to rip them apart, not because I take joy in smack-talking a scooter company, but because that would be yet more physical proof that they’re either hopeless or fraudulent, and by that point, the distinction between the two would be pretty meaningless.

  4. The Rollercraft will be the first novel scooter design since the Dragster. So someone better get some down-and-dirty, close-up and hi res shots of it at Indy. I predict nothing or a styrofoam sculpture. I think many of us would love to be wrong, Phil. (is this the feeling similar to that of art dorks in The Village right before the New Wave? Malaise, detachment.)

  5. What’s more likely is that the Rollercraft WILL be there, at the Italjet booth (MSRP $3600) and also with uglier decals at three or four booths in the Chinese pavilion at 1/3 the price.

  6. Whew. Is it gettin’ hot in here or what? No respect, not even from a POC Phil.
    (that was my bad Rodney Dangerfield for those of you too young to know).

    No surprises from me. Though I’m told they will be on the plane this week, I won’t be completely dumbfounded if they don’t make it to the show. I’m not be a naysayer, just a realist. Truly ANYTHING could happen.

    The Roller Craft could be made of dried Ramen noodles… The Dragster could be pony wearing a trellis frame saddle. I’m just hoping all of that happens in an alternate dimensional reality. If it happens in THIS reality, I hope it’s followed up shortly after by a huge Cloverfield monster to put me out of my misery.

    Bosco. Never say “never”… Ok, you can say “never”, but only in 2008.

    POC Phil, I already know that you’ll be the hardest man to please. Given your history with Diamo a couple of years ago and your outspoken nature, this will be the toughest hatchet to bury. You might see the actual Roller Craft. You won’t see “old red” the Dragster 50. You will see the Torpedo (which really is a bit more than just a “redistributed Chinese big wheel”) and possibly the as well as the notorious Dragster 250. We’ll know for sure in 3 weeks. One thing I do know NOW is for every outspoken POC Phil, there are a dozen not-so-outspoken shop owners who actually enjoy their relationship with LS Motorsports today. I’ve may have agreed with Phil a couple of years ago, but if I didn’t think Mathu Solo was trying to turn things around this year, I wouldn’t have gotten on board… and I really do think he is. Diamo is still a Chinese product, but it’s not of the old Gas Station / Pawn Shop / Used Car Lot variety we’ve grown to know and loath. All I know is I’d also “love for you to be wrong on this”. We’ll see, eh?

    As for “newsworthy progress”, Illnoise. You’re correct… You’ll be the first one I take to dinner AND buy drinks for. Who knows… maybe a little wine, hrm? A movie even? (a man’s gotta get in good with the press, right?) BTW… If our Roller Craft does INDEED turn out to be made of dried ramen, will you still rip us apart? Just curious.

    Brooke! You with your “down and dirty high res close ups”. You make me feel so… exploited… and I LIKE it. ;)

    Oh, and update on Roller Craft MSRP? $2995 and it BETTER not show up at another booth in the pavilion… especially with that crappy, smoker’s-lung / faux marble body panel. *steve gets the gibblies*

    Like I said guys/gals, anything could happen. Let’s hope for “no Cloverfield monster”.

  7. And I didn’t know you were a Tennis Ref!? I thought you told me your day job was lab technician in charge of developing the flavors at an edible undies plant… at least that’s what I remember from last year’s Expo.

  8. Steve, I hope you understand that many of us would like to see it work out if only for the reason that you’ve gotten involved. We don’t like to see scooter people get the run around on either side of the transaction. The Rollercraft looks cool because it’s unique. But no kind of unique on an air cooled 50 is worth 3K. Novelty didn’t work as a business model in the past for Italjet or Malaguti in the USA. And now with the 800lb gorilla of sales, the buddy, in the market it will be an even harder push.  

  9. Steve,

    Please give us an idea of what is is really going on with LS and Italjet. Post a short blog, send an email. I would like to see things go well. Let us know, whatever it is…..


  10. My focus isn’t at all anti-Steve…I think Steve is one of the best “consumers” in this market who have taken their own time and energy (not to mention $$$) to spread info to enthusiasts and do it in a non-biased fashion. We need way more of this and way less empty promises from “importers” who call themselves “manufacturers”. My gripe is when a company who imports nothing but Chinese bikes (which have been identified as the biggest problem in this industry) buys a high profile, respected guy to be their front-man. It doesn’t matter who they put in front of the booth, they’re still chinese made copies of Italian scooters that weren’t trouble free to begin with. When I think of all the problems I had with both of my dragsters and the shoddy workmanship we’ve seen on Italian built torpedos it’s hard to imagine building it in China will make it better (safer). Lets see someone bringing in Peugeot or more of the euro / asian only Honda models. We’ve got enough Chinese crap in this country…how about some quality?

  11. Is Steve still the National Sales Manager? I heard a rumor yesterday that there is a new National Sales Manager based in the south somewhere that will be attending the Expo show with their product?

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