Jeremy Clarkson on scooters

British journalist, Top Gear host, and well-known motorcycle-hater Jeremy Clarkson got a lot of stick last week when he was sighted riding a Vespa. The experience left him shaken, and his review of the bike is hilarious, insightful, and a must-read for anyone considering the jump from cars to scooters. (Thanks, Ben!)

An excerpt, that will hopefully convince you to read the whole thing:

However, many people are making the switch because they imagine that having a small motorcycle will be cheap. It isn’t. Sure, the 125cc Vespa I tried can be bought for £3,499, but then you will need a helmet (£300), a jacket (£500), some Freddie Mercury trousers (£100), shoes (£130), a pair of Kevlar gloves (£90), a coffin (£1,000), a headstone (£750), a cremation (£380) and flowers in the church (£200).

The End of the PX?

Every few months, there’s an “End of the Vespa PX” story, even though I’ve read that Piaggio officially ceased production in December, 2006. They’ve offered a few “limited editions” since then, and the standard PX has been available from European shops, so who knows? In any case, this story isn’t winning any awards for implying that manual-transmission scooters are illegal in Europe, or for ignoring the fact that Eddy Bullet and other importers sell a fair number of PX-clone LML Stars in Europe, though perhaps that will come to an end, too. Which may be why LML is perpetually rumored to be working on a 4-stroke automatic helium-powered 8000cc PX-style scooter.

Cackalacka News bits: 4/3/08

A bunch of stories to block out election coverage: