In 2003, writing about the CycleWorld motorcycle show, I wrote:
The Ruckus has “personal injury lawsuit” written all over it. (…) What can I say? it was hands-down the most ridiculous, ugly, pointless vehicle on display in the entire arena. And Grace, Vina and I all loved it. It’s basically a 2-wheeled ATV. You can’t look at it without thinking about ways to hurt yourself riding it. It simply inspires jackassery. It’s just begging to be covered in chicken wire and papier mache, or to be ridden “Bad-Route-style” through the woods while tripping, wearing nothing but cutoff shorts and a gorilla mask. Love it. It’s the future of scootering.
Here we are, ten years later, and my prophecy is fulfilled: Are You F*#kin Nuts? Chicago 2013. Actually it was fulfilled last year, when 40 riders attended the mostly-Ruckus-centered event, but as an expert globetrotting scooter journalist who posts once every two months these days if you’re lucky (you’re not), it passed right under my sad-old-man Cushman-polishing radar. We’ve been seeing more and more hot-rodded Ruckii at our own rallies in the past few years, and as far as I’m concerned, everyone’s welcome at most of our rallies, so we’re glad to have ’em, and more power to ’em, but obviously it’s not my demographic, I can’t even pretend to understand it, and I’m sure they’ve had their own blogs and tumblrs and sext aggregators and whatever it is that hipper, younger, carefree scooterists do these days to justify their existence. So as 2strokebuzz enters its wane of old age (seriously you guys, I need to pull the plug on this thing and put it out of its misery) cheers to the next generation, you’re just as stupid as we were and if you’re luckier than us, you’ll stay that way.
More from EICMA: Honda has dusted off the Integra name for its new 700cc scooter, throwing car fans into a tizzy, despite one commenter pointing out that Honda used the name for the 1984 Honda VT250F Integra MC08 motorcycle a year before unveiling the automobile so beloved by car thieves.
You know you watch the Rose Bowl Parade every year and wonder where all the parade marshalls’ Honda Metropolitans end up. Duh, Waukesha, WI of course. Looks like they “debadged” them, though, lame! And it’s not as cool without the jumpsuit.
About a month back I received a call from Phil Waters from Pride of Cleavland Scooters. He had an offer I ultimately couldn’t refuse. GIVI USA offered an opportunity attend the Indianapolis Motorcycle Grand Prix as guest of the LCR Honda MotoGP team, run by Lucio Checchinello. Phil was generous and thoughtful enough to pass this opportunity along to an enormous fan of MotoGP. An impromptu ten hour road trip later I was rewarded with the VIP treatment in the exclusive Grand Prix paddock and the privileged of watching qualifying practice from the LCR Honda pit garage while rider Randy DePuniet put in his best efforts while recovering from a violent crash only weeks before where he broke his leg. We were hosted by team representatives Elisa Pavan and Oscar Haro who lead us out to spend time right on the pit wall during the closing minutes of qualifying when riders were putting in their last ditch efforts for pole position. Our paddock passes allowed us amazing access to spend time rubbing elbows with the greatest motorcycle racers in the world. Sunday we watched the race from the main grandstands and had a wonderful time before heading back on a non-stop drive back to Minnesota.
I just wanted to give special thanks to POC Phil, Givi USA and the LCR Honda Team (links to their Facebook pages). Without this opportunity my next post regarding the Lambretta Racing Team wouldn’t have been possible! Stay tuned.
Also via the Scoop: As we expected last September, Honda has added the new Thailand-made PCX 125 to their USA lineup. The US model is unlikely to feature the innovative (and probably overrated) gas-saving feature that stops and restarts the engine at lights. It looks like a great bike, but will customers be willing to pay a premium price for a 125cc scooter in a country where there’s no 125cc licensing restriction for beginners, especially when some great 150cc and even 200cc scooters with similar features are available?
2SB has learned to not get excited about concept vehicles, so we’ll let Steve and Orin tell you all about Honda’s new futuristic 3-wheeler. We like Apple (and Genuine’s) policy on prototypes and concept vehicles: just make cool products NOW, and announce them when they’re ready.
The whiz-bang new Thailand-made Honda PCX 125 is a pretty good-looking scooter, and features new technology that actually stops the engine at idle to save gas. The story mentions a 2010 U.S. model, but only to say it won’t feature the “stop-and-start” idle technology. It will feature fuel injection and linked brakes.
The venerable Honda Cub is getting a new CV-Matic motor for 2010. It’s sad to see the Cub go full-automatic after 50 years and 60 million units, but here’s hoping that handsome little lump becomes as ubiquitous as Honda’s GY6. (Who knows, maybe it means we’ll see the Cub back in the United States…)
Madness’ awesome TV commercials for the Honda City, The City was a compact hatchback with a matching folding scooter that tucked into the back, a concept that deserves to be revisited with the Fit. The jingle was later reworked as the “In the City” single, and “Honda Honda Honda” was replaced with “Doomba Doomba Doomba.”
Artist Jay Nelson rigged up a custom Honda Spree with a surfboard-bearing roof, a retractable awning, and a wooden storage bin. (An early sketch shows he originally intended it to be a Vespa.)
Funny how stuff like this spreads around… The scooter was exhibited last Fall at Nelson’s “The Autonomous Zone” exhibit at TripleBase gallery in San Francisco. Apparently a current exhibition of Nelson’s work at Gottino, a restaurant in NYC, brought the scooter to the attention of a Portugese-language green design blog, and the image ended up on Notcot, where it was spotted at random by John Park at Makezine. In this case, 2SB reader Sharon spotted it there and sent it our way (Thanks, Sharon! This rant has nothing to do with you), but I’ll probably see the Makezine story later tonight when I’m scanning Google News Alerts, and it’ll be on every scooter blog and newsgroup in America by tomorrow, credited to Makezine. I just point this out because it’s interesting how blogs come across stories then other blogs link to the blog they saw it on rather than the original blog, and what could have been a big bonanza in hits for the person that originated the story ends up bogging down their server with anonymous hot-linked image hits. It’s the internet, whattaya gonna do, but I thought it’d be fun to track down the reason that a year-old art exhibition was suddenly getting a spike in attention. It’d be fun to do a website that pulls stories off Boing Boing and Metafilter and Slashdot and Digg and tracks them back to their original genesis, which is usually by someone that put a lot of effort into the story, and was forgotten in the process of re-writing, simplifying, linking, and forwarding.
Not that I don’t do the same thing, all day every day (though I generally don’t help myself to photos when I don’t know where they came from). I’ve been sort of reluctant to post this sort of sixth-hand story lately, but I guess that’s what what bloggers are supposed to do. Hopefully my occasional hard work on original content makes up for it. Sorry about the weird tangent there, but these things interest me.