The “T-Max Killer?”

Honda is promising to unveil a mind-blowing Silverwing replacement at EICMA that will knock the socks off potential T-Max buyers. Scooter Station thinks it’s based on this concept from a couple years back. I can guarantee it won’t be that crazy-looking, but they’ve piqued my interest. Also: aren’t high-powered touring scooters supposed to have comfy seats and passenger/storage space? I can see a market for big-displacement sports scooters, but it’s not replacing the Silverwing market.

2009 Yamaha TMAX Video

The Yamaha TMax is garnering some serious love from the motorsports press, and the new yellow color livens up the look a little. So leave it up to Yamaha to unleash an ultra- lame marketing campaign. The target market for a $8000 scooter is not sheepish motorcyclists, it’s people who specifically want to AVOID being lumped into the testosterone-fueled image-conscious world of motorcycles, but still want to enjoy 2-wheeled life. No one in that market (including me) will recognize the third-tier motorsports celebrities in the ad, nor will they empathize with their “image” problems (let alone their acting skills). And here’s another tip: get those stupid dated tribal-flame bullshit decals off that yellow T-Max, or I’m going to come to Cypress, CA with a heat gun and do it myself. You’re killing me, Yamaha.

The T-Max (once you take those stickers off) is possibly the most appealing scooter available domestically right now, and Yamaha wants to let America know. I understand that. But what does reinforcing scooter stereotypes do for your other scooter models? Wouldn’t it make more sense to sell it as a great scooter, rather than a passable motorcycle? Is it smart to market TMaxes to the small percentage of Americans that are already motorcyclists, rather than the much larger percentage that aren’t?

[Thanks for the video link, Ryan]

Australian Yamaha scooter TV ad

Via Steve, a nicely-done Australian Yamaha TV commercial showing the economical aspects of their scooters. Genuine and even PiaggioUSA are working on pretty limited budgets, but you have to wonder why Yamaha and Honda, who actually do run national spots on cable TV, haven’t done anything like this here in the U.S. yet. If it wasn’t for the Australian coins shown at the end (and if they added a few models to their lineup), they could even run this one.

AGI on U.S. Boom and Piaggio/Vespa hybrids

I’ve long stopped linking to most stories about the scooter “boom,” gas savings, and supply shortage, every small-town paper in America has covered it to death already, but now we’re making news overseas. Italian news agency AGI posted their story today, with some details about Piaggio’s sales (up over 100% in May!), their plans for U.S. hybrid models, and some glaring errors about U.S. motorcycling laws.

New Yamaha Zuma 125 for 2009

There has been some speculation about a new 125 Zuma model from Yamaha.  But now it’s official as a Yamaha shows the impressive offering in place in it’s 2009 scooter line up along with the T-Max.   The specs/features list a 4  valve, fuel injected 125 four stroke and the photos reveal a very impressive look.  It’s priced at 2999.00 and should give the Genuine Buddy 125 a run for it’s money.  My only problem with the new offering is what appears to be a lack of a kick-start.  Don’t fret 50cc 2 stroke scooter lovers, the 50cc Zuma will still be available for all your Ipone and Motul burning needs. The scooter that started off known as the BW back in 1990 has come a long way.

Yamaha Capitalizes On Racing Efforts With Scooters

As in years past, Yamaha is the official supplier of scooters to the MotoGP paddock.  The scooter that will be transporting MotoGP staff and VIPs around the pits is the Yamaha Jog RR MotoGP edition. The Fiat Yamaha Racing team also has made the Yamaha Giggle, known in the US as the C3 and in Japan as the Vox, as their official team scooter.  Not to waste an opportunity for branding, Valentino Rossi has a Yamaha Aerox replica for the ultimate fan to show off who he or she pulls for on race day.  Not to be outdone, MotoGP rookie sensation Jorge Lorenzo has a Jog RR race replica of his own.  The only thing that outnumbers the Yamaha MotoGP-scooter tie-ins in this post is the number of hyperlinks I’ve inserted.

Yes, I Am A Geek: Yamaha Vino Gadget Overload

What ever your choice of epithet for those who embrace some sort of technical esotericism, get ready to shout it right..about…now!

But in all seriousness, this Yamaha Vino 50 crammed with all kinds of electronic gizmo goodness is pretty cool.  I think it could be done much more cleanly with better physical integration, but that’s what the fellows at get to do when they get it all tightly installed in their cars with much more real estate to work with.

via Gizmodo

Yamaha MPG throwdown

Autobloggreen noticed that Yamaha has added MPG estimates to its website. They claim 124mpg for the Zuma, 110 for the Vino, 115 for the C3, all of which are 50cc models (the Zuma is a 2-stroke). Even their Barcaloungers pull over 50mpg, with the Morphous at 56 and the Majesty at 51. All those numbers seem pretty unrealistic in the real-world, and likely to spark even more exaggerated claims from other makers.

Christian Science Monitor on the scooter craze

It’s always tempting to make fun of The Christian Science Monitor, just because they’re Christian and all, but aside from a handsome-but silly illustration showing a Vespa S leaving a wake of natural goodness*, their obligatory scooter-craze story is pretty decent, rating a mere 12 drinks on the 2sb scale.

* I wish that was the true proportion of a Vespa S to a human being, that would be rad.