Kymco Downtown 300i

With EICMA 2008 three weeks away, the new scooter announcements are trickling in. Kymco has unveiled their new Downtown 300i, a welcome competitor in the underrated 300cc category. It features a somewhat sportier design than the XCiting (which is actually also available as a 300i in some markets), with fuel injection, front-and-rear discs, and a 4-valve liquid-cooled engine. Optional ABS brakes will be available, and we bet they’re not this kind.

2008 Stella/Buddy/Roughhouse (with photos)

(Updated 11:30pm 11/29/07 with photos and more details.)
2008 Genuine Scooter Co. Stella, Avocado.

The news we’ve all been waiting for, and a couple surprises: The first shipment of Genuine Stellas (reportedly less than 300 scooters) will be delivered in January to top-seller Genuine dealers only, who will get 15 Stellas each (3 of each color per dealer: avocado, powder blue, red, tangerine, and black). As reported earlier, Scooterworks USA and some other dealers are accepting pre-orders. $3399 is the official MSRP.

2008 Genuine Scooter Co. Stella, Milano Red, and production line at LML, November 2006

The second batch is due from India in May. Not much detail is available on improvements, An email sent to Scooterwork customers called the Grimeca front discs “new”, so it’s unclear whether the Indian-market licensed Grimecas on older Stellas have been replaced with “real” Grimecas, or if they’ve just been improved somehow. Engine internals (notably the crank and bearings) have reportedly been upgraded. In the factory photo above, the ignition/CDI appears to have been relocated, though it’s possible it’s simply not mounted yet. Tires have been upgraded to Continental Zippy 1s, with whitewalls standard on the Avocado Stella. We’ve found nothing to indicate that the new Stellas will meet California emissions regulations, but John Gerber (see comments below) reports that LML is likely to develop a manual-transmission 4-stroke engine in 2008 (and may unveil an ET4 clone as early as next month!).

Genuine Scooter Co. Buddy colors for 2008

Other big Genuine news: the 2008 Buddy line will feature three “International” Editions with 150cc engines (yes, 150cc, that’s not a typo) at an MSRP of $2,999. The first is the two-tone green “Series Italia” as seen in 2006, the two new models are “Saint-Tropez” in french blue and dove grey with a navy seat, and the “Pamplona” in Beige and Red with a tan seat. These two models are as distinctive and stunning (if not more so) than the Italia, and the idea of a Buddy with a 150cc engine (and a new Stebel airhorn standard) is nearly frightening. The Series Italia will also be available in a limited-edition 50cc edition at $1999. The 50 and 125cc Buddies remain pretty much the same, but with new colors: seafoam, powder blue, tangerine (looks yellow in photos), red, and black. 50ccs are $1899, 125s are $2599. A limited quantity of pink Buddy 50s and 125s may be available from some of Genuine’s higher-volume dealers.

2008 Genuine Scooter Co. Roughhouse R50The Blur 150 is gone, no surprise there, though 2sb owns and loves it, it hasn’t sold well, dealers are heavily discounting the ’06 orange and charcoal Blur 150s, and there seems to be no shortage of the ’07 black and charcoal model. The Black Cat has also been discontinued, but again, you’ll have no problem finding one. The Rattler 110 is back in red and silver, and it has a surprise new little brother, the MSRP $1850 Roughhouse R50 in green or blue. The R50 appears to be Genuine’s rebranding of the PGO PMX 50 (the Rattler 110 is the PMX 110 “Naked”) and it will likely sell much better than the too-gaudy Black Cat. (and, Genuine hopes, put up some competition for the reborn and newly-popular Yamaha Zuma). It is unclear when the new Buddys and the Roughhouse will arrive on our shores.

Genuine is offering nothing over 150cc, which is interesting because Kymco is really focusing on that market these days. It may hurt Genuine in the short run as Buddy owners look to step up, but a couple dealers have suggested to 2sb that Kymco may have bit off more than they could chew in the maxi-scooter market. Maybe PGO (and thus, Genuine) is wise to focus on what they do best. PGO’s focused on the Asian market where most bikes are under 150, but a 250cc scooter from Genuine would probably keep a lot of their U.S. customers off Kymcos. (Interestingly, the Blur (PGO G-Max) 200 was rumored to be sort of a dud, and PGO appears to have discontinued their 250cc G-Max.)

“Spec Racing” = “Test Ride”

Brooke points out that Kymco’s press release announcing their participation in this years’ International Motorcycle Shows features a pretty misleading headline (even with a “satire” disclaimer that was tacked on later). Still, it got us to post about Kymco’s participation in this years’ International Motorcycle Shows, which is pretty un-news-worthy otherwise. Kymco, you cunning bastards.

Kymco MyRoad 700 press photos

Lots of official press photos of the Kymco MyRoad 700 on Like I said the other day, it’s no Gilera GP 800 in the looks department, but way more likely to come to the U.S., and if the price is right, I could see it doing very well here. Scooterists know Kymco makes a great product, but this bike might finally get them some attention outside the scooter/ATV ghetto. In 20 years. when Kymco’s outselling Suzuki and Yamaha, historians may cite this bike as the catalyst for that growth. Which is why they really need a much better name for it, ha.

Kymco MyRoad 700

Kymco’s long-rumored 700cc maxiscooter is unveiled and given an appropriately Kymcoesque name. Is it almost EICMA again already? Where did this year go? Anyway, it’s not bad-looking for a maxiscooter, and Kymcos are generally awesome, so start saving your pennies, it’s hella more likely to come to the US than that Gilera GP 800 and it’s surely half the price, if only three-quarters as cool.

Kymco Backs Experienced Duo With “No Factory Support”

Kymco USA has bumped up their motorsports profile by sponsoring the “No Factory Support” AMA Superbike team.  The team will be running CBR1000RR sport bikes with very experienced pilots in the seats.  Motorcycle legend Doug Chandler and experienced former MotoGP rider Kurtis Roberts are going to have a shot at taking on the full factory supported AMA superbike teams.  Kymco Super9 scooters will be used by the team in the pits as well as by the crew of a reality show on the SPEED Channel network.  (In other related news, Kymco is sponsoring a NASCAR team as well).  Hopefully this mainstream injection of scooters into the public arena will reduce the likelihood of Roman Holiday references in craptastic newspaper pieces by at least a small amount.  Thanks to the good folks at Road Racing World Magazine for passing along this Kymco PR information.

2007 Dealer Expo: POCphil’s review


Since a week has passed and I still haven’t been able to collect my thoughts on the ginormous mindblowing extravaganza in Indianapolis, here’s POCphil‘s writeup. I’ll add my comments in italics where appropriate. -2SB

We were so excited to get to the Indianapolis Dealer Expo this year, we were running about 2 hours early. We took that time to go visit Speed City Cycles in Indianapolis, only a few minutes from the Show. Mike and Marybeth Tockey have created a fantastic shop with an ingenious use of space and rural/industrial feel that leaves room for a snack bar, lounge and a ton of scooters and accessories. Mike also builds award winning metric cruisers. Just hanging around his IWL Berliner is a treat. After a great tour and some bench racing we were back on our mission to deliver two scooters to the Scoot! Magazine/ Corazzo booth and still arrive early enough at the hotel for some hottubbing before showing up in time for the open bar at 4PM, whew!
Continue reading “2007 Dealer Expo: POCphil’s review”

News particles, February 10, 2007

More news from the past week:

  • Kymco Canada is teaming up with Motoress to attract more Canadian women to scootering. Both parties seem to think the way to attract women to scootering is to glam it up, which is their prerogative, but that tack seems a little superficial and patronizing to me.
  • A few stories covering Italy’s soccer ban cited the famous May, 2001 incident where Atalanta supporters snuck a Lambretta into the San Siro and dropped it off the balcony onto AC Milan fans. Yeah, that’s not very good security.
  • Scooter backlash and vandalism is out of control at the University of Florida, scooterists blame the lack of scooter-specific parking.
  • Speaking of Florida and smashed scooters, even Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy aren’t safe, their bike was smashed up while they ate (and copiously made out) in a Miami restaurant.

The Chicago Cycle World International Motorcycle Show is this weekend, stories and photos coming soon.