The Genuine dealer meeting/rodeo in Wisconsin has come and gone, and our usual spies didn’t come through with much info, luckily a few people on Modern Buddy have been doing detective work. Sadly, unless Genuine is keeping some big secrets, there’s no 4-valve Blur 200 (or mayonnaise-cooled Stella 250 2-stroke 5-speed) to report, but there are a few interesting new twists.
The Eco Buddy is rumored to be a 125cc Buddy in sort of a chartreuse color, with various modifications to improve fuel efficiency. It’s unclear exactly what these modifications are, but it could be fuel injection (like new Taiwan-market BuBus), or modified carburetor jetting, or possibly even some sort of restriction or governor. It does NOT appear to be an electric or hybrid Buddy. The photo of the logo above is all we’ve got, other than some distant shots in the Modern Buddy thread. Our bet is that it was somewhat inspired by Alix Bryan’s P.E.A.C.E. rides, and the marketing will probably tie into that. We’re all for fuel economy, peace, and vegetable rights, and the color’s great, but a slower 125 doesn’t sound too attractive to us, especially when you consider that gas savings per mile really doesn’t vary much once you’re topping 70mpg. Saving a cent or two per mile doesn’t seem worth a performance reduction, but people love to spend money to feel more green, so we’ll see. Of course, we don’t have real numbers, and if it is fuel-injected, that’s really good news, though we bet it’d help reliability more than ecology.
Another custom model, the Blackjack Buddy 150, is based on a concept designed by Metro Scooter, a (great) Genuine dealer in Cincinnati, OH. The photo above is apparently Metro’s one-off scooter and not the production model. A prototype spotted at Genuine was somewhat different, including red trim on the seat, but still featuring the cards on the fender and the black-on-black paint. The Blackjack will be sold pre-upgraded in several ways, likely with a Prima pipe, a re-jetted carb, and an upgraded variator and rollers, though that’s all unclear.
We’re hearing the MSRP of the 150cc Buddy International models will rise up approx $100, and all International schemes will also be available as 50cc models (only the Italia was available as a 50cc this year.) We’ve heard nothing about any incremental upgrades to the Buddy (such as the improved lighting or horns of years past) and Phil McCaleb suggested in an interview a few months ago that there would be no changes. That much dashed our hopes of fuel injection across the standard Buddy line, but our fingers are still crossed that the EcoBuddy has it.
As far as totally new models, this thread purports that Genuine has passed CARB (California emissions) testing on several PGO models not currently sold here (including their T-Rex-based trike), though it appears most of those models use engines already available in Genuine products, and our sources don’t have any evidence that those models are under development for the U.S., aside from that document. As for the 200cc scooter McCaleb promised a few months ago, nothing seems to have materialized, though Genuine told dealers to expect a 200cc “retro” scooter for 2010. Could this bike (allegedly a retro 4-stroke automatic with a plastic body, designed by Genuine) be the 200cc ‘automatic Stella” we’ve been hearing about?