Harley invades China, ignores Harley riders.

Today, Harley opened their first dealership in China (per-capita income: US$1,200). From the BusinessWeek story:

A handful of Hogs have been on Chinese highways for the better part of a decade, piloted by the likes of Qin Huan. He is a longtime Harley owner, and founder of the Beijing Chrome Horse Motor Club. His group today provides service for Harleys, but Foley says the club won’t be an authorized repair shop.

That treatment has angered Qin, who thinks the company is being narrow-minded when it comes to loyal customers. “I believe Harley is more about culture than business,” he says. “Without the culture it stands for, Harley loses its meaning.”

Sound familiar to any US scooter shops that were around in 1998? (Thanks, Lu$ for the link, and Brooke for the analysis.)

RetroThing Hybrid Vespa GTS prank

2sb may not be the brightest or most knowlegeable scooter blog out there, but we like to think that with our Google News subscriptions and unhealthy amount of scooter site surfing, we more or less have our finger on the pulse of scootering. So imagine my surprise when i noticed out of the corner of my eye a tiny blurb in the corner of Finkbuilt (of all places) that Vespa had announced a hybrid Diesel/Electric GTS for 2007. The link took me to the Vespa GTS site in italian, on which I couldn’t make out anything about a hybrid model. I excitedly drooled all over my keyboard looking for info, but sadly eventually figured out it was a cruel April Fools’ joke from RetroThing that many other blogs had picked up. Reading the actual story, it’s clear it’s a joke (3-stroke!?) but that link sure had me going for a while.

Piaggio/Agip deal signed

Piaggio Group has agreed on a worldwide four-year “technical, commercial, sport, and communication cooperation agreement a technical, commercial, sport and communication co-operation deal with ENI, manufacturers of Agip oils. In short, Agip products will be recommended and sold by Piaggio (and Aprilia, Gilera, Derbi, and Moto Guzzi) dealers worldwide, and and Agip will supply specialty fuels and lubricants for Aprilia, Gilera and Derbi race teams. Thanks to Ryetronics for the story.

Win a Vespa signed by Corey Hart!

CTV (with the technological help of ABC, because Canadian TV is apparently broadcast in black and white) is giving away a Vespa PX150 as part of their Juno awards shenanigans. If you think it’s worth sitting through any music awards show, let alone one with performances by The Guess Who and 54/40, to win a Vespa, go for it. Note: Events Halifax, one of the sponsors, has an awesome logo.

PX150/Stella compared!

Adding fuel to the fire (which is how he broke my chiminea) Rob Hodge points out that The Scooter Lounge has posted a history of LML’s relationship with Piaggio and a comparison chart of the two scooters. According to the chart, the only plus of the PX is the larger brake disc, but then again, they (and Hodge) sell Stellas. The PXes are on the street now, so I’m sure some more hands-on comparisons will start springing up.