Yamaha’s EC-02 hits Japanese market

Photos of the Superman-logo-shaped Yamaha EC-02 electric bike have been circulating since 2005, but InventorSpot reports that it’s finally available (at about US$2000) in Japan. Unlike the Vectrix, it doesn’t come close to the performance of even a 50cc gas-powered scooter. But it has several pluses over the many ho-hum electric cycles on the market: an iPod dock with speakers, an original and distinctive design, the Yamaha name (and dealer network), and some sort of mysterious 3-D glow-in-the-dark coating. (Thanks, Kevan!)

Honda, Yamaha, and Piaggio prepare for Vietnam war

In the last week, both Honda and Yamaha have announced new factories in Vietnam. The Japanese marques are targeting a booming Vietnamese market for scooters and small motorcycles, Honda will build mainly scooters at their new facility, and Yamaha will increase capacity for their bestselling “Nuovo” and Sirius” big-wheeled scooter models. Even if the Vietnamese market growth continues, Piaggio will find plenty of competition when their Vietnamese plant opens in 2010, though analysts suggest the higher-end Vespas will find their own niche.

Yamaha to supply offical scooters for MotoGP in 2007 campaign

Yamaha has been supplying the FIM Grand Prix paddock with BW scooters (a.k.a. old-style zumas to us in the USA) for several years now.  This year they’ll be the official paddock scooter for MotoGP.  The scooter model has changed to the Yamaha Jog RR (a.k.a. a cool scooter that will never grace our shores to us in the USA).  Yamaha will also offer an exclusive special edition replica model at dealers across Europe with MotoGP logos and track maps of each of the Grand Prix stops in the 2007 season.  The Season kicks off in one week at Losail for the Grand Prix of Qatar.

C3 on ScooterScoop

Steve got a better look at the Yamaha C3 than we did. Apparently it’s not a Vino engine, Yamaha has engineered it to be even slower and more fuel efficient than a Vino. I also forgot to mention that the legshield turns with the wheel, which is weird. Steve points out that it has a bit in common with the Honda Ruckus. I’m not sure where Steve got his 117mpg figure, but if that’s true, I dub thee, C3, “the Yamaha Ruckelshaus” in honor of the first head of the EPA.

Chicago International Motorcycle Show 2007


You’ll hopefully forgive 2strokebuzz if coverage of the 2007 Cycle World International Motorcycle show is a little scaled back this year. The truth is, very little has changed from year to year. Each year there are fewer surprises, less swag, and fewer perks (the bus service to the CTA parking lot was cancelled this year, brrr.), while parking, concessions, and admission (at least seem to) get more expensive. Probably that’s why Triumph didn’t appear for the second year in a row, and why Kymco, CMSI, and Genuine rarely bother with these shows.

On top of that, we had a head start on new 2007 models, thanks to the Milan EIMCA show, and next weekend I’m attending the Indianapolis Dealer Expo (my first trip), which promises to be a bit more exciting. But out of a sense of duty, and because Ryan was driving, I decided to once again trek through the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, to see what there was to see. Which wasn’t much, really.
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Yamaha Maxam news (or not)

Today’s story from Gizmag teased us once again with Yamaha’s ultra-cool-looking Maxam3000 scooter, before going on to say that the popular Japan-market-only Maxam 250 will make an international debut soon at an Australian motor show, with the rest of the world to follow. Not so exciting as the futuristic “3000” (that’s 3000mm — almost ten feet — long) version, but new scooters are always good news, right? Unfortunately, Gizmag (who knew they were Australian?) is apparently unaware we’ve had the Morphous250 (the same scooter) here in America since early this year.

News briefs