We often have to make a big decision on whether or not to go with the ethanol gas offered at the pumps. Most of us aren’t too keen on the idea after hearing many warnings about how the ethanol will eat through your seals and gaskets on our vintage bikes and in many parts of the country you really don’t have much of a choice what fuels are offered to you. It’s a good thing that there is a website like Pure-Gas to help you find a station near you that serves up some ethanol free gas.
It seems that most of the vintage photographs of scootering tend to be from the UK or elsewhere in Europe, rarely do you find classic photos of large groups of scooterists from here in the states. These spectacular photos are from some sort of protest taking place in San Francisco in the early 60’s. It’s also interesting to note how some things never change – there is always the broke down guy, the dorky guy, the cool guy, the lost guy, and broken leg guy. Nice work digging these up Voices of Anglia.
Just updated our Scooter Rally Calendar (down to the right there, see it?) with a few emails and facebook invites we’d recently received. If you have a scooter-related event you’d like to add, just drop us a line (if you did already, we missed it, try again!) or link it up to our facebook page. Thanks!
The 2012 Lambretta Jamboree put on by the Lambretta Club USA will be held in lovely Colorado Springs, Colorado this summer, just one week after Amerivespa. While Amerivespa is open to any type of scooter and has even been sponsored by the likes of Kymco in the past, the Lambretta Jamboree is 100% vintage – 100% Lambretta. You have an all original 1963 Vespa GS160? Well that’s cute but you aren’t getting in the LamJam with it. 2SB will be reporting at both rallies.
17 years ago, when 2strokebuzz was a ‘zine and the Internet was new, I ran across Norman, who publishes the great biker zine, Motorcycho. He’d send regular (far more regular than 2sb) packets with his new zine, always with a stack of stickers and postcards and other ephemera, and it always made my week to get a new issue. The other day, Norman came across 2sb on Facebook and dropped us a note, and I’m thrilled to tell you he’s still at it. Not only does he blog pretty regularly, he’s also still getting a new issue of the magazine out once in a while. He’s also got some patches, shirts, and records available, I have a couple of the old 7″ers and they’re great. Now please excus me while I catch up on several years of blog posts…
Interesting note: Norman hails from Port Roberts, Washington, which is a Wikipedia page worth checking out.
Amerivespa organizers posted on their facebook page that early bird registration has been extended until February 5th, so if you want save a few bucks now is the time to register. This years Amerivespa will be held in lovely resort town of Lake Geneva Wisconsin that should provide for some spectacular rides, that world famous midwestern hospitality, oh and probably beer.
I’m going to shut down our sister shop, Scootmoto for a while and start from scratch, probably integrating it into the 2strokebuzz main site. The shopping cart software was junk to begin with (expensive junk at that) and a couple years later, it’s almost unuseable.
I’ll leave it open for a couple days, so if you’ve been eyeing a 2strokebuzz “Beat Happening” t-shirt or any of our other wares made by scooterists, for scooterists, act fast. I’d offer a storewide discount, if the cart software would allow me to. Sorry. Free scootmoto decals with all orders, how ’bout that? (Yes, we always did that anyway.)
Stock levels are subject to inaccuracy, but I’ll let you know right away if we’re out of something.
I’ve been trying to get 2strokebuzz posting reliably to the 2sb Facebook page for months, is today the day it finally starts working? Let’s see.
While we’re talking site news, I apologize for the lack of posts lately. You may have noticed Brooke and now Matt have been posting occasionally, which is great, and hopefully they’ll keep them coming. Honestly, I haven’t ridden a scooter for months, though I have been working on my Vespa 150 and hope to have it running reliably for Amerivespa in Lake Geneva, WI in June, I’m really looking forward to that. I also recently (finally) finished designing a special issue of American Scooterist celebrating the life of one of America’s most outspoken devotees of the Vespa and scootering in general, John Gerber, who passed away in 2010. It’s on press now and will ship to VCOA members soon.
SIP Scooter Shop shared a video on their Facebook page today. It is a National Geographic program clip about the Piaggio factory in Pontedera. The video has a few shots of vintage machines in their museum. But one of the views that appealed to me was the factory building tucked in the Tuscan hills shown in the background of the test ride shots. I don’t know if the buildings are the same, but it was reminiscent of those old aerial photos of the factory from the 1950s. Other parts show the processes involved in the building of their larger engines (What are they doing tossing crankshaft halves into big vats of rocks?!) and the assembly of the MP3 hybrid scooter. Not a 2-stroke in sight. I wonder where they build those? I focus on the visual aspects of the video because it’s all in Italian, a language I do not understand. If anyone wants to translate any remarkable points of what looks to be a standard factory tour for the kind of shows that used to make the Discovery Channel great before they jumped the shark, feel free to post below.
The New York Times Wheels Blog offers a report on the man behind the original design of the Vespa. The most interesting note for those immersed in all things Piaggio, is that he was left to design trade show displays instead of the helicopters that he really wanted to work on. He was a great designer because he started with the user and moved out from there. Today most things start with an industrial designers screen and are forced around a user, with poor results. Step away from the CAD software and Illustrator, dudes. Just because it makes a pretty picture does mean that it will make a useful object. D’Ascanio knew this. Lets be thankful that he didn’t have the tools that modern designers have.
Thanks to Scooterville in Minneapolis for sharing the post on facebook. The owner, Bob, once designed sets and trade show displays and now sells Vespas. Full circle.
From the Lambretta Motorcycles Facebook page, here is a video that even the exclusive vintage Lambretta lover could enjoy. Maybe a common enemy can be the tie that binds? Doubtful.
It appears that rumors are true (but are secrets really lies?). LML has shoehorned an automatic into a PK body. They are showing it off at the big bike show EICMA, in Italy. I noticed the photo posted in Scooter Mercato‘s facebook feed. Thanks, Dave.
Discuss. (Likely more analysis to follow.)
The British rider Danny Webb has put the Mahindra Motors Racing 125cc Grand Prix motorcycle on Pole Position for the final round of the 2011 Championship at Valencia, Spain. This is significant on several levels.
Mahindra Motors acquired the Italian firm Engines Engineering prior to the 2011 season in an effort to go racing. Engines Engineering had be entering machines in Grand Prix racing before, but it was under the Lambretta name in 2010 with Marco Ravailoli and a raft of temporary guest riders. While the young Italian and his teammates made valiant efforts under the Lambretta Reparto Corse banner, the switch to Mahindra racing colors and new riders, Danny Webb and Marcel Schrotter, has resulted in a better points placement this season. German and British hands seem to be able to get old Lambrettas going a bit quicker.
The Lambretta to Mahindra conversion also mirrors an Indian continuation of the Lambretta efforts. Interestingly, Scooters India Limited (SIL), the company that took over producing Lambretta models in the subcontinent, is up for sale. Piaggio, Atul Auto and Mahindra have all thought about acquiring the state-run factory, but have reconsidered in recent months. If they had bought the currently money losing company it would have made for a very tidy story!
The saddest and most important part of this event is that it is the last time two-stroke machines will compete at the top level of World-Class racing. It’s not that four-stroke 125s haven’t raced before and been magnificent. But for the last 40 years two stroke machines have dominated at least one class of Grand Prix racing and now it comes to an end. Not by lack of competitiveness, but by simple rule change. Manufacturer goals have changed and that sweet 2 Stroke Buzz plays no role in these aims. The new class will be single-cylinder four-stroke engines and Mahindra and others including Honda and KTM will field machines. But it certainly won’t be the same. Not the same noise, the same smell, the same simple beauty of the two-stroke steeds.
If you’d like to see the event, you can watch live from MotoGP.com for a price. The race starts at 4:00 AM CST on Sunday (tomorrow) morning. Less than an hour later will be a distinct end of an era.
SIP Scootershop posted a history of the Hoffman Vespa on their community blog. It’s not fluff piece and it’s worth a read. Anyone with a Hoffman GS out there, raise your hand.