Tiny Photos Showcase Electric Lambretta and Vespa

Saigon Scooter Center has thrown their hat into the electric scooter ring. It’s not another new Lambretta rumor, but a conversion of old to new. Vespa and Lambetta models appear, named VTronic and EBretta respectively. It’s a bit disappointing that they stuff a behemoth of a 13″ wheel in the back. And the custom cowl on the P-series conversion looks a bit off. But hey, they are making options for the people that want their transportation energy to not come from fossil fuels. At least not fossil fuels burned near them while riding.

Brits must have excellent eye sight. Most of their websites rely on the smallest photographs possible to differentiate products or events from smudges on the screen. Brit Ex-pat run SSC sustains the long tradition even overseas. Long live the Queen.

Check out the photos and description here!

Any readers riding electric scooters right this moment? Home brew, conversions or off the shelf?

Vintagelectric: A Split Mind For A Modern World

Good design is timeless. Even though some talentless hacks think that the creator of the Fido electric scooter is a bit ‘hung up on vintage scooters’, I think this electric conversion kit for Vespa Smallframe scooters is the best choice for someone wanting an scooter that doesn’t have a carbon footprint (at least not anywhere near your back yard!).

Jeb has put together a kit that has all the speed with less of the range. Now it’s not cost effective in terms of being all inclusive or as cheap as a competitive performing scooter. But there isn’t design on the market that can rival a PK in terms of ergonomics or a Primavera in terms of aesthetic. None.

Wanting a retro design isn’t something that’s dated in itself. The drive for anything NEW is what fuels our disposable society. There is no shame in saying someone got it right 40 years ago and no one has done better since. You’re likely not in that contest so don’t worry about looking bad.

MP3s Lost In Translation: An Efficient Italian Assembly?

SIP Scooter Shop shared a video on their Facebook page today. It is a National Geographic program clip about the Piaggio factory in Pontedera. The video has a few shots of vintage machines in their museum. But one of the views that appealed to me was the factory building tucked in the Tuscan hills shown in the background of the test ride shots. I don’t know if the buildings are the same, but it was reminiscent of those old aerial photos of the factory from the 1950s. Other parts show the processes involved in the building of their larger engines (What are they doing tossing crankshaft halves into big vats of rocks?!) and the assembly of the MP3 hybrid scooter. Not a 2-stroke in sight. I wonder where they build those? I focus on the visual aspects of the video because it’s all in Italian, a language I do not understand. If anyone wants to translate any remarkable points of what looks to be a standard factory tour for the kind of shows that used to make the Discovery Channel great before they jumped the shark, feel free to post below.

Not So Innocenti…

Jeb (of FIDO fame) spotted an interesting badge on the electric car shown at 4:28 in this video collage of electric vehicle photos from EICMA…

Our first Britney Spears-inspired headline heralds the (maybe? sorta?) return of famed Lambretta maker Innocenti in a story that hasn’t garnered any media coverage, but once we blow it out of proportion here, it may send a few Austrian IP attorneys into a tizzy.
Jeb (of FIDO fame) spotted an interesting badge on the electric car shown at 4:28 in this video collage of electric vehicle photos from EICMA:
Continue reading “Not So Innocenti…”

Larry Crowne Electric Scooter, Photo.

As you may have noticed around scooter blogs, it’s Larry Crowne mania. You may recall the 2SB post about the Lambretta outfitted by Route 66 Scooters with an electronic conversion kit from Soundspeed Scooters. The person behind that kit is also behind the Fido electric scooter concept also reported on earlier. Now we have photographic evidence of the machine in action. The photo shows the clearly un-two stroke drive train. For some continuity, they even throw in a kick start lever! While I haven’t seen the film yet, I’ll likely check it out while it’s in first run. In the mean time, can anyone chime in with a description of how this scooter plays a role in the film? Is it really passed off as a stink wheel with a sound effect? Or is it embraced for the Lithium Ion powered machine that it is?

(photo from Zimbio)

Brooklyn Motorized’s Electric “Cafe Racer”

I know I’m supposed to support stuff like this, and it’s probably as well-intentioned as the FIDO, which I like (more on that from Brooke soon), and café racers are all the rage (OMG POCPhil’s podcast is amazing, more on that later, too) but this Brooklyn Motorized electric café racer thingy just looks like a Portlandia punchline. It’s like vegetarian “bacon,” I don’t have anything against alternative proteins at all, but why disguise them as bacon? it doesn’t look like bacon, it doesn’t taste like bacon, nobody’s going to be fooled, and it just makes you look like you’re desperate for validation from the mainstream carnivores. Make an attractive alternative to meat and sell it on its own strengths, and I’m there, shoving it in my bulgur hole.

I’m probably being too harsh, the performance (60mph) is compelling, and there are some neat engineering decisions going on (the briefcase powerpacks are nice). And other cafe-racer fans like Scooterism like it, so maybe I’m wrong. If the price was right it could be a winner, but I’m betting on premium hipster pricing.

I’m really interested to hear what you guys think about this, and I can’t wait until it comes up on Cleveland Moto.

Update: Brooklyn Motorized’s Wes Cox sent a worthy response:

I was searching “Brooklyn Motorized” to see what people thought, since today’s NYT wheels post was the first bit of press that we’ve released. I stumbled onto your post.

I completely get what you’re saying, it has been a weird trip designing this thing. Your write-up sounded like our team playing devil’s advocate with each other- You say vegan bacon, but for two years now I’ve been thinking of it as: “sugar free ice cream.” My first machine was a P200E, and last year, after a year on the electric motorcycle project, I had to buy a ’74 RD350. I take deep sniffs of the two stroke smoke, as do most of the team here- most all they guys are either into 2 stroke mopeds, and some of the guys are into bigger 4 strokes, SV’s and stuff like that. Well, we are entering an amazing era: The performance and range of electric motorcycles is going to increase at a pace many people are not expecting.

We thought our bike should draw on old street bike looks, but it definitely should not be too retro or too cafe- this was the first prototype, built a year ago.

I think once we get to production we’ll find the sweet spot. And we’ll all have to decide what the hell these machines should look like. We just dont want ours to look like an electronic transportation appliance.

It comes down to the ride too- the torque on these things is plain fun- the future is full of fun small electric bikes, and 2 stroke smoke will be a precious and rare smell.

Oh, and the price for our machine will be $5999, $5399 after the tax rebate. We priced it to land in Vespa price range, and it has been tough to keep the price down like that. It looks like we’ll be able to deliver at that price point.

A Swiss-tastic e-Bike

I usually avoid posting about trendy e-Bike prototypes, but this nifty-looking folding e-bike is apparently available in Switzerland. You may note it’s quite evocative of another famous Swiss product (not cheese) and might be a better candidate for your car’s trunk than the Motocampo concept posted the other day. Voltitude is taking pre-orders for international delivery in late 2011.

2011 Gas-Price Scooter Frenzy Begins

POCPhil launches the 2011 gas price scooter media blitz. Fine, even Phil’s doing it*, I’m not gonna begrudge dealers for milking the gas mileage argument, scooter shops that lasted through 2010 really need the business, and I hope 2011 rivals 2008 for scooter sales. But if consumers do some research, they’ll see fuel prices are an excuse to buy a scooter, not a true justification.
Continue reading “2011 Gas-Price Scooter Frenzy Begins”

Fremont Motors Electric Scooter Concept Show In Seattle

In the past I have posted a few items on the electric conversion offerings from Soundspeed Scooters in Seattle. Now the man behind those efforts, Jeb Gast, has designed a new electric scooter to be unveiled this Friday, March 4th at Motore Coffee in Seattle, WA. The party begins at 5:30 and the designer/builder will be on hand to show off his work and talk about the process and plans for the future.

The new venture is called Fremont Motors and the scooter has been named “Fido”. The goal was to make a new, clean design that would allow user access for maintenance, but simple enough to minimize the need. Jeb has shared some preliminary ideas and specifications that sound exciting. He’s promised to send photos of the event but if anyone from the gray, damp city can attend, please take some snaps and send them to brookespeed at that google email service.

Fido Release Party
Friday, March 4th, 5:30pm
Motore Coffee
1904 9th Ave, Seattle