Yamaha Vox: C3 to US in 07

Yamaha has announced that their Japanese-market VOX scooter will come to the United States in 2007, renamed as the Yamaha C3. That, I believe, makes it two better than the BMW C1, but D3 worse than the Pontiac G6 and W(-2) worse than a BMW Z1. (via TheScooterScoop) Update: Something was bugging me about the “C3” logo and I just realized it’s a total ripoff of the Hummer “H2” logo. Now I hate this scooter.

“The perfect scooter for a mandolin player,
or a coroner for small children”


(Photos showing the under-seat storage better explain the Ryan’s description.)

As we suspected the other day, the Yamaha VOX scooter is actually on the market in Japan, with a fun flash site to promote it (if you read Japanese). Now Japanese mods (don’t laugh, you wouldn’t believe how many Japanese mods there are) are surely torn between vintage scooters and a spiffy retro scooter bearing a brand name synonymous with the British Invasion. (I suspect they’ll stick with vintage).

The story of Japanese musical instruments roughly follows the development of their motorcycles: Japanese products that started life as cheap knockoffs (are you listening, China?) eventually surpassed many Western instruments in quality and features, at a much lower price, and eventually dominated the market and put the original makers out of business (are you listening, corporations?). So it’s a bit funny to learn Vox’s parent company, Korg, is owned in part by Yamaha, and they’re leveraging the brand name to sell scooters.

Big Ass, Yamaha Vox featured in Moto-Champ

Click for larger imageRyetronics Ryan stopped by yesterday to show me his copy of Moto Champ Magazine, which he picked up at Mitsuwa. (They never have it when I go there, dangit). The “Mini Bike in America” section features a story about ScooterBBS admin “SE” and his shop Big Ass Motors. (click on picture for larger image), and the cover features a Japanese hoochie girl posing with the Yamaha VOX. Being completely unable to read Japanese, I can’t tell you anything about Big Ass Motors, or if the VOX pictured was the prototype or if it’s actually in production, but I can tell you they have a lot of cool bikes in Japan we’ll never see here.

Yamaha wins “copycat” suit

Speaking of Asian copycats (Via the BBS):

Yamaha Motor Company, U.S.A., Cypress, Calif., has obtained a Consent Judgment in its lawsuit against Yamoto Motor Corporation, Union City, Calif. Yamoto has agreed to stop the import and sale of Yamoto products into the United States which Yamaha claimed were copycats of its products.

The lawsuit, filed October 12, 2005 in Los Angeles Federal Court against Yamoto Motor Corporation and Patriot Motorcycles Corporation (Pink Sheets: PMCY), alleged trademark infringement and copyright infringement, among other claims.

Read the full story at Powersports Business

Schwinn Motor Scooters

While we’d like to thank Schwinn Motor Scooters for linking to 2strokebuzz, we’d also like to make it clear that 2strokebuzz in no way endorses Schwinn motorscooters. I don’t think i’ve ever mentioned them before, simply because they appear to be Chinese Yamaha knockoffs with a big Schwinn sticker on the front. Maybe they’re allright, try it out and let us know what you think, but in the meantime, we’d spend the extra few hundred bucks for a real Yamaha Vino. (UPDATE: 4-18-06: It turns out there’s much more to the story.)