Check It Out: Mopeds Gone Social

1977 Mopeds is a shop at the epicenter of the modern American mopedlar world. They have a new feature on their site that is as much eye-candy as social aggregation for the 50cc bikes with vestigial pedals. It’s called Garage. The concept is a bit like facebook where you register, make a profile put up pictures of your ride and ‘like’ other people’s creations. But it takes it a step further and indexes all the trick bits people compile into their showcased moped builds. So if the member documents their build well enough, you can glean enough info to re-create the machine yourself. The parts are cross-referenced to other bikes which have the part and to the product page where you can buy the part in question. It’s not too pushy on the product placement as it’s the second choice when you click on a part and keeps the feel of a user focused site. Users can add multiple bikes and you can tell some of the better builders have a signature style. It’s not just for the tuners and 30 mph boy racer. Stock and restored builds are also welcome.

Plans for the future include awards for top bikes, manual libraries and tuning indexes to help users along. In the vintage scooter world some efforts like this have popped up in the past but with less homogenization and standard input formats. The great and have been individually priceless assets to the scooter community. 1977 is trying to tie it all together in line with their own site and it looks pretty nicely done. It probably takes an entity with a material interest to pool it all as such.

Take it for a spin and feel free comment below and say how much it’s too much like pinterest and tumblr.

Chinese traffic accidents

Via Gome, via Jalopnik:

Yes, that’s dozens of low-speed collisions from Chinese security cameras. Car-on-car. Car-on-scooter. Scooter-on-scooter. Scooter-on bicycyle. All of the above-on-pedestrian, and my favorite, Tuk-tuk-in-reverse-on-multiple-pedestrians.

It’s very tragic, yet a little bit funny (just like Gome) At least everyone seems to be moving pretty slowly and no one is hurt, at least not visibly gored. Try not to picture any of those collisions on American streets with SUVs going twice as fast.

Too much racing for one headline

If you’re interested in scooter racing at all, read on! Simply put, there’s a big schload of scooter racing going on this summer, and that is awesome.

Our 2SB Rally Calendar should now be up to date with all events for the following organizations/leagues:

Are we missing anyone? (Probably!) See any errors? (blame Google Calendar!) In either case, please let us know!

You’ll see we’ve added a new series of events, following the success of Twist and Gone in May, the North American Scooter Racing Association is hosting a full season of drag races in Nashville, IN, sponsored by Scooterworks.

One last bad news/good news bit: MWSR’s organizer Seth tells us that the race this weekend at G&J Kartway in Camden, OH has been postponed, but the good news is the track will be open to scooters for only $10.

Kymco racer photo above is courtesy of Alan Spears, MSILSF

Colorado’s new “Low-Power Scooter” Laws

Colorado has cleared up their rules regarding 50cc scooters. “Threar” on Modern Buddy sums up the changes nicely in this post. While the rules still differ from most states, and the terminology is a little weird, the rules seem to give 50cc scooter riders more freedom than most states (no special license needed, very cheap registration) while closing some loopholes exploited by scofflaws and fly-by-night scooter shops. The new law also requires liability insurance, which is only fair (and by most accounts, well under $100 a year.)

The one major complaint is that 50cc scooters are limited to 40mph speed, which is under the capability of many 50cc scooters. That’s a bit of a drag, but it makes sense. That’s an arguably-reasonable speed limit for someone without a motorcycle license, and it makes it easier to weed out people cheating the system. At Amerivespa in Denver a few years ago, I remember seeing more than one Vespa GT 250 with the “2” snapped off, and many other bigger-displacement scooters with homemade “50cc” stickers. I can’t imagine police would issue citations to anyone with a motorcycle license on an insured 50cc scooter riding responsibly, unless they were REALLY speeding.

World’s Largest Scooter Ride

Scooter Therapy, Madison, WI’s Genuine/Kymco dealer is attempting to enter the Guinness Book of World Records on April 17 with “The World’s Largest Scooter Ride.” We heard rumors of this a couple weeks ago, and found it curious: Isle of Wight organizers brag that their 2008 Sunday ride was Guinness-verified as the world’s largest parade of scooters with about 5000. Even though there’s no mention of this record on Guinness’ site, European rallies routinely top 1000 scooters.

It turns out, despite the vague name of the event, Scooter Therapy is trying to break a 2005 Dutch record for Largest Parade of Mopeds (motorcycles Under 50cc), which currently stands at 674. All mopeds and scooters are welcome, but only those under 50cc will count towards the record.

I don’t know what kind of moped population Madison has these days (maybe it’s through the roof, unlike most states, WI law clearly specifies 50cc scooters as mopeds, legal to operate with a regular driver’s license, and Madison is a relatively affluent college town) but that still seems like a lot of bikes, considering that the biggest (and more-publicized) midwestern scooter and moped rallies rarely attract half that many. When you limit it to 50cc bikes, and hold it on the same weekend as a big moped rally in Louisville, that just doesn’t seem possible, but maybe they know something I don’t. In any case, it’s a ride, it’ll be a good time, and they’re giving away a Genuine Roughhouse 50, so if you’re in the area you’ll want to check it out. Here’s hoping they pull it off and steal the title from those stinking Nederlanders!

Don’t Touch My Bikini

Matt and I keep finding videos for old favorite bands and songs that we didn’t even know had videos. And the Halo Benders’ (Calvin from Beat Happening and Doug from Built to Spill) “Don’t Touch my Bikini” even has a moped in it, so I have an excuse to post it here!

I ♥ K, and I ♥ grainy out-of-focus un-color-balanced Super 8. Makes me wanna put out a ‘zine again.

Soviet Scooters

Here’s a good brief rundown of the Soviet-era scooter industry, featuring some good photos of the Tula Turist and T-200, and a 1974 Vyatka “3,” which I’d never seen before. If that’s not enough Warsaw Pact-ion for you, Autosoviet has lots more info and photos of Tula scooters and Vyatka’s better-known Vespa knockoff plus more than you ever wanted to know about Vostok, Dnepr Minsk, Voskhod, CZ, and more.

Polini Cup continues Saturday

Late notice again (sorry!) but check out Polini Cup Moped, Scooter, Pocketbike, Goped and Gokart racing live this Saturday and Sunday on MopedTV. The live coverage from Tom Dash Memorial Speedway, Atwater CA, starts at 1pm local time and features interviews, race coverage, and giveaways from Corazzo. Corazzo’s also offering a free t-shirt with all jacket orders placed on June 6th and 7th, just mention Polini Cup when you order.