Scooter Station reports the Vespa “Quarantasei” concept scooter on display at EICMA last year will be brought to market in 2013. I’m not a huge fan of the design, it looks like the Vespa equivalent of the Harley V-Rod. If/when it comes to America in mid-2015 (that’s 2013 in VespaUSA years), it’ll be homologized beyond recognition and priced out of reach.
Vespa World Days 2012
MotoBlog.it reports Vespa World Days 2012 in London ended today with record numbers: over 3,000 scooters, 780 clubs represented, and 2000 members at the gala dinner. Vespa Club Sirmione won the “Trophy Club Race” with over 1,600 of the 1,752 checkpoints scattered across Europe. This, of course, makes Amerivespa seem puny in comparison, but that’s not gonna ruin my fun this weekend.
Too bad our DOT-approved flip-flops t-shirts are sold out. Thanks for the link, Big Rye.
François Hollande, Scooterist No More
Scooter-Infos reports new French President François Hollande (who is incidentally about a mile and a half away from me at the moment) has been forced to leave his scooter behind for the sake of security. We all know the only thing more dangerous than BMW-riding assassins in black leather is moms in minivans pulling out of the Starbucks drive-thru on their way to soccer practice.
Resistance Is Futile: Endurance Racing In Spain
This weekend is the annual international endurance classic scooter race in Aragon, Spain known as Vespa The Resistance. It looks like a top notch group of people that organize a fun weekend. Several scooter shops send teams and someday I hope to see an American entry! Check them out on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.
They Forge The Chains They Wear In Life
Forgive me, Charles Dickens. But finding a witty title is a deadly game of one-upsmanship here in the 2StrokeBuzz boiler room.
Motoblog.it shared a video they came across showing some industrious Italians making their Honda SH150 a bit more adherent to the road. That is, at least the rear wheel.
Much of the country has experience a strange winter this season. But I’m sure someone, somewhere, could have used these tidily assembled chains to be a hardcore commuter.
“The Lambretta is back…”
…so says lambrettaweb.com (via scooter-infos.) Sorry to get your hopes up, ha. I’ve stopped guessing (and caring) which of the dozen fighting parties is behind which models or which hype, or if any of it will ever see the light of day, but maybe you’re still holding out hope that something good will come of all this.
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.
BMW Scooters: Lost in America?
I haven’t talked about the new BMW scooters much here, mainly because I’ve always felt once you hit 350cc or so, there’s not much difference between a scooter and a motorcycle, aside from an automatic transmission.
Continue reading “BMW Scooters: Lost in America?”
Modern PK Automatic at EICMA
This is just a short post to beat Bryan and the new cub report, Matt, to the punch.
It appears that rumors are true (but are secrets really lies?). LML has shoehorned an automatic into a PK body. They are showing it off at the big bike show EICMA, in Italy. I noticed the photo posted in Scooter Mercato‘s facebook feed. Thanks, Dave.
Discuss. (Likely more analysis to follow.)
The Last Grand Prix Motorcycle Race & The Ghosts of Lambretta
The British rider Danny Webb has put the Mahindra Motors Racing 125cc Grand Prix motorcycle on Pole Position for the final round of the 2011 Championship at Valencia, Spain. This is significant on several levels.
Mahindra Motors acquired the Italian firm Engines Engineering prior to the 2011 season in an effort to go racing. Engines Engineering had be entering machines in Grand Prix racing before, but it was under the Lambretta name in 2010 with Marco Ravailoli and a raft of temporary guest riders. While the young Italian and his teammates made valiant efforts under the Lambretta Reparto Corse banner, the switch to Mahindra racing colors and new riders, Danny Webb and Marcel Schrotter, has resulted in a better points placement this season. German and British hands seem to be able to get old Lambrettas going a bit quicker.
The Lambretta to Mahindra conversion also mirrors an Indian continuation of the Lambretta efforts. Interestingly, Scooters India Limited (SIL), the company that took over producing Lambretta models in the subcontinent, is up for sale. Piaggio, Atul Auto and Mahindra have all thought about acquiring the state-run factory, but have reconsidered in recent months. If they had bought the currently money losing company it would have made for a very tidy story!
The saddest and most important part of this event is that it is the last time two-stroke machines will compete at the top level of World-Class racing. It’s not that four-stroke 125s haven’t raced before and been magnificent. But for the last 40 years two stroke machines have dominated at least one class of Grand Prix racing and now it comes to an end. Not by lack of competitiveness, but by simple rule change. Manufacturer goals have changed and that sweet 2 Stroke Buzz plays no role in these aims. The new class will be single-cylinder four-stroke engines and Mahindra and others including Honda and KTM will field machines. But it certainly won’t be the same. Not the same noise, the same smell, the same simple beauty of the two-stroke steeds.
If you’d like to see the event, you can watch live from MotoGP.com for a price. The race starts at 4:00 AM CST on Sunday (tomorrow) morning. Less than an hour later will be a distinct end of an era.
Lingotto Special Follow-Up
Just what Brooke was hoping for: Motoblog’s report (and great photos) from the Lingotto Special event from Motoblog. I didn’t realize how unique the Lingotto test track is, that must have been an incredible experience!
Red Bull Lingotto Special
If you happen to be in Turin Sunday, you won’t want to miss the Red Bull Lingotto Special, a vintage Vespa/Lambretta race at Fiat’s Lingotto test track. I especially dig the creepy neofuturist poster.
Malaguti: Little Hope for a Future
Charles-Emmanuel at Scooter-Infos puts it best:
Maigre consolation : le célèbre logo éviterait ainsi d’être apposé à la va-vite sur d’obscures productions extrême-orientales.
Heinkelfest may not be the biggest rally of the year, even if all 350 of the Heinkel Tourists sold in the U.S. were still running. But any rally so carefully targeted deserves a shout, right? Organizer Michael McWilliams (who–you might have guessed–is also behind HeinkelTourist.com and the North American Heinkel Registry is a past-president of the Vespa Club of America and one of the nicest guys in scootering. Even if you find yourself Heinkel-less, or can’t make it to Colorado Springs later this month, you might want to print the handsome event poster for your garage.