I can never remember exactly when or why I started coveting Vespas, but it might have something to do with Dave Gahan’s Isetta breakdown in the Italian countryside. Luckily, Anton Corbijn happened to be there to catch it all on film. I forgot how much I used to like this song before the “Route 66” remix ruined it for me.
Canadian TV host Rick Mercer has driven a lot of different vehicles while interviewing celebrities and officials, but nothing could be better than riding a Vespa following Neil Peart of Rush to the band’s “Batcave” for a drum lesson. Peart, aside from being an amazing drummer, has written two books about motorcycle touring, and another about “road music.”
Bad techno music, shirtless rider, shaky camera workâ€¦ all the hallmarks of the Gilera Runner wheelie video genre. It’s sort of like porn: no plot, but plenty of hot wheelie action. (Via Moto-Blog.)
Chad dug up Baron Von Scooter’s long-lost television commercial, featuring several Chicago scooterists shilling the tupperware. This and another version, with a Harley dude suiting up then riding off on a scooter, were regular fixtures on late-night basic cable for a few months circa 2002.
From Scooter Diva: The MSF has produced a Group Riding Safety Video (right-click to download, it streams poorly). It’s definitely worth watching for some good tips (hand signals!) and Lindsay Buckingham-esque guitar riffs.
The mighty Spacehopper Quadrophenia, endorsed by no other than Pete Townshend, who describes the original, “â€¦it’s just a boy getting on a train, and going to fucking Brighton.” (Thanks, Cha-cha)
Denver CBS Channel 4’s coverage of Amerivespa. I’d concur, I saw more scooters around Denver than in any other American city I’ve visited, and the local turnout for the rally was astounding.
Chad comes through for us again: Les Nessman’s scooter crash from WKRP in Cincinnati. They don’t show the crash (that would have been expensive to shoot), but Les vividly describes it. I think another episode shows him riding over one of Cincinnati’s many bridges on a Vespa, maybe that will turn up someday.
Does this look incredibly cool or incredibly stupid? I can’t tell anymore, especially when Nick Cage is involved.
I heard about this when it happened a couple years ago, and never thought I’d get the chance to see it, but thanks to the dual magic of Tivo and Youtube, here it is: With mere seconds of instruction and an unbuckled half-helmet, WLS Channel 7 meteorologist Tracy Butler crashes a Vespa, during a PR piece with Vespa of Chicago’s Sam Tomaino. God bless you, Vespaway. Now if only I could find Les Nessman’s Vespa crash on WKRPâ€¦
Here’s the “scooter rally” bit from “Scrubs”, posted last night on YouTube by “bazookamsb,”
I assume there’s more, I’ll keep an eye out for it. (forgot to watch/Tivo last night). (Becky points out in comments that that was all of it. Short and sweet.)
Rossi is allright, but he’s no Phil Waters, who sent us his tips for scooter sidecar jackassery, in this case featuring a Bajaj/Scooterworks sidecar combo:
- 3-wheel-skid: “With a 120 lb. rider we achieved full 3 wheel drift with a reasonable amount of control. Note the tire stripes on the entire parking lot.”
- Stoppie: “We completely “Stoppied” a sidecar rig (with the back tire a foot off the ground).” [no video of this one-2sb]
- Wheelie: “More dangerous than you’d think– If you try it from a dead stop or anything other than a left-skid it pulls too strong to the right causing you to simply ‘drive around’ the sidecar and nothing goes airborneâ€¦ but you do end up running into whatever is to the right of you.”
Video from POC’s
Avon Lake Ohio City testing ground: clip 1, clip 2, clip 3. (right-click to download)
Video of MotoGP heartthrob/champion Valentino Rossi wheelie-ing his custom Yamaha BW (Zuma), helmetless, before last Junes’ GP race in Assen, Belgium. Rossi, needless to say, won that week. I guess if anyone is allowed to wheelie helmetless, it’s Valentino Rossi. Thanks for the link, Brooke!
Podcasts, for all their hype, are generally pretty dissapointing, but Scoot 2 Go has a lot in common with 2strokebuzz: Rob, the Australian host, doesn’t have the world’s best speaking voice, his two-year-old regularly distracts him, and what he lacks in scooter-specific knowlege is balanced by, well, the fact that he was bright enough to be the first person to do it. After 7 quality episodes (well, the first is a bit shaky, ha) Rob has become the self-effacing champion of scooter podcasting, and good for him. He covers the same broad range of scooterdom you’ll find here. Newish scooterists will find the show informative and valuable, and oldtimer know-it-alls will just be happy to know that no one expects them to make a podcast now (whew). In any case, the show’s a must for long drives to rallies. Note that the show can be downloaded directly from the Scoot 2 Go site (where Rob helpfully posts links to everything he mentions on the show), from Apple Music Store (it’s free), or many other podcast directories.