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?
6 thoughts on “Genuine 2009 rumors”
Eddy Bullet, who is Britain’s largest LML dealer and is in direct contact with the factory, has made several interesting postings on the Indian scooter forum on his site. On June 5 he states that the four stroke Stella is already in production and being sold in Africa (most likely Egypt). This is probably what we will get as the California model. He says a 125 is definite and a “touring model” 250 a maybe. Costs need to be kept down and a market has to be there for it to go into production. All will be based on the Vespa PX engine, but the wheelbase of the 250 will be two inches longer.
On August 6, Eddy states the ET clone formerly known as the “Clipper” will go into production “next month” (which, of course, has come and gone) and be given a new name. A discussion on whether to produce the 250 will take place at the end of the year (presumeably it’s being tested).
I strongly suspect, though, that the current global crisis of capitalism could throw a lot of this into disarray.
The jump from 125cc to 250cc is fraught with difficulty as other manufacturers have discovered. I could be completely off base here, but I would be surprised if the same basic scooter platform could accomodate such a large range of displacement. Think, for example, of the 150 vs the 250 PGO GMax. There was a good reason why PGO used a different platform for the 250.
On the other hand, the comment about the global economic crisis may be the most important factor of all. My only hopeful thought hinges on the fact that global prosperity helped drive the shift from scooters to small motorcycles. Maybe as the global economy downshifts, scooters will stage a comeback as the economics make more sense. We’ll see…
I’m getting the impression that Genuine is working on a bike outside of whatever LML is doing. I’ve heard from a couple people that Genuine’s “retro 200” would be an automatic with a plastic body, which rules out the PX/Stella AND the ET4/Clipper platforms.
Also, from what I’m hearing, LML is having a hard enough time building decent Stellas, and who knows how well the company is being managed these days. I bet Genuine’s not depending on them for any sort of innovation. It seems like if a 250cc PX-based scooter was viable, be it 4-stroke or 2-stroke, Piaggio or Bajaj would have done it long ago. I’m with Jrsjr, the platform doesn’t seem strong enough to support it. I hate to say it, but vintage scootering is hemorrhaging riders to modern bikes, it gets harder and harder to put up with the Vespa’s idiosyncrasies once you’ve seen what a modern bike can do. I’ll always hang on to a vintage bike or two for fun, but not as a daily driver.
Jrsjr has a very good point, can anyone name a bike that successfully uses the same frame for a 125 and a 250? The only one I can think of is the MP3, and the MP3125 is kind of a joke, right? Maybe the Beverly and a couple other Aprilia and Piaggio models? But it is a big logistical jump.
I think Genuine might actually have something really big/surprising up its sleeve, I just hope it comes out in time to capitalize on what’s left of the scooter boom.
My guess is the reason you can name the MP3 as a bike that supports a 125 and a 250 is because it was designed for the bigger engine from day one, and the smaller engine was offered to bring the platform into a lower price point for the entry level. You would never think of the 125 as the engine they had in mind when they were having a beer and sketched that puppy on the back of napkin.
Maybe Phil will beat everyone to the punch with a 250cc classic styled Lambretta body, but done with a plastic body.
The MP3 250 is slightly underpowered for the weight—a 125? Pshaw.
The Vespa GTS is available as a 125 Europe, though.
I think Genuine is working both sides on this. They’re developing a “retro” plastic-bodied 200cc/300cc with PGO and working on some sort of 50-state Stella. That may be the auto 250cc, may just be a 4-stroke manual with a larger engine… dunno.
The confirmation of the development new retro 200/300 PGO put a lot of old rumors to rest—particularly that the new 200 was a G-Max/Blur.
Comments are closed.