I’d been poking around trying to write a decent story about Hammerhead’s La Vita scooter, but Orin beat me to it. He’s certainly right that the bike sparks some conflicting emotions, but he does a nice job of objectively looking at what it is (and isn’t).
So I’ll spare you the 1000-word rant I’ve been working on. For now.
4 thoughts on “Old Skool on La Vita”
Hey Bryan, thanks for the plug. And the viewers.
I actually think the biggest issue with the La Vita could end up being the dealers. The Web site lists two in Portland; one never heard of it, the other couldn’t seem to be bothered with customers. How does one expect to sell any scooters (or, for that matter, anything else) when your store is only open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10 to 5…
Orin’s review was about as fair and balanced as could be expected. I still want to read your rant, Bryan.
The La Vita hasn’t passed CARB so can’t be found in CA yet. This could take a long time. We STILL don’t have the Symba or Fiddle II here. I don’t know what’s up but it’s coming up on a year since they were sent for testing.
Me too! I just wrote up a one page test drive of the LaVita that I did last weekend. In Philly, they are being sold at Philadelphia Scooters and I was offered a test drive. How could I turn it down? The owner wanted to pass on my review to Hammerhead and I agreed so I won’t post it here, but my overall take was it’s a good beginners’ bike and I wanted more top end for the experienced rider….. if you don’t want a shifter, that is. I’m still more into my vintage bikes though.
Yep, that’s the issue with MOST scooters, Orin, is dealer network. They need to learn from Kymco and Genuine that your scooter is only as good as the store selling it, and build a real relationship there.
That brings up something I’ve never been 100% clear on but would be interesting to learn more about. Most importers use independent regional salespeople who (if I understand correctly) are contracted to the importer, but may work for other importers and other products (accessories, etc) as well. I believe Kymco, Genuine, and Piaggio have their own full-time regional sales reps, but most other companies use these contractors. I know a few of these reps personally, and they’re generally a good bunch who care about scooters, but it seems weird to have that extra level of detachment there between customer and manufacturer, and it also seems like there’d be a conflict of interest where a contractor would focus on brands that paid him a higher commission.
That’s probably just how it works in the industry, and I don’t fault these guys for taking on as many customers as they can, it can’t be easy to live on commission. But If I’m right about Genuine and Kymco having dedicated salespeople, that is another step to explain why they seem to have more solid relationships, and can afford to be pickier about the dealers they work with. I know Piaggio just laid off some sales and marketing people, I wonder if they’ll be working with more independent contractors now, too?
It’s another case of making an investment (in this case, in staff) that some importers would say they can’t afford to make, but Genuine and Kymco (again, if I’m correct) would probably argue you can’t afford to NOT make that investment.
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