Saturday, December 30, 2006
I am hard at work on the Spring 07 issue which features our Buyer's Guide. It is a TON of work, but I hope that it will all be worth it in the end. Mike will be in layout stages next week.
After all this time in front of the computer and OFF my scooter, I'm looking forward to a weekend away. Josh & I are planning a business trip one weekend in January to Miami to checkout some scooter stuff for the Summer issue. If you live in Miami, let us know maybe we can get together!
I'm also working on some pieces for upcoming issues:
Totally 80s: we're looking for people who were scooterists in the 80s who can send us photos of their old scooters, fashions and the like. With the advent of so many new scooters and scooterists, we'd like to pay hommage to the distinct style of US scootering in the 80s. If you want to contribute or have any ideas, let me know.
Scooter Art: Are you an artist that uses scooters in your art? We want to put together another scooter art issue. Contact me if you are interested or have a tip on a scooter artist. Also great opportunity for those who do custom murals and such on scooters.
Well, back to editing the Spring issue....
Monday, December 11, 2006
See it here Link to desktop
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
We're trying out a new printer. They are located in Southern California and are now running our magazine on a web press instead of the sheet fed process we were using. Let me know if you notice a difference! I can tell the difference in certain aspects, but we're picky that way. :)
I am honored to be this issue's cover girl! I tested the Suzuki Burgman 400 in August and we got some excellent photos from a fancy professional photography team that Suzuki hired. Cool action shots. I had a great time riding the Burgman in the beautiful wine country above San Francisco. If you're curious about riding a big scooter, read the article. You might find the Burgman is for you.
Some other things to check out in this current issue: a guide to group riding, a guide to buying tires, an article on installing air-glide suspension, review of the TGB Laser, lots of rally reports and more.
Just as I've sent off this current issue, I've got to get down to business on the next issue. Deadline for content for the Spring issue is December 12th. If you want to submit a photo of you on your scooter for "Show Us Your Scoots" or make changes to classified ads etc.. do so by Dec. 12th.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Don't ask...Lori & I went to the store to get some Mike's Hard Lemonade and came back to find the tail end of a gymkhana which utilized oddly assembled balloons. Not sure what hapened, but the ladies did provide beer, so we just popped a can and sat to socialize.
Snack stop on our ride
We took aride through some Palm Springs neighborhoods with great Palm Springs mid-century architecture. We stopped at a hotel called the Bungalows which has a few rooms that people can rent. Relaxing with a view of the mountains in the background.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Ornaments @ Cost Plus
I hate that there Christmas items are for sale before Halloween, but I love that I found these 2 inexpensive scooter ornaments. The small one is made of paper and was $1.99. The larger is a Santa on a glitterrific 3-wheel scoot for $6.99. Get them before all your scooterists friends buy them all out.
View the website. There is also a Yahoo! Group where all the discussion and info get's passed around.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
First, let me say: I love Reprodepot!
Next. let me tell you that they are having a sale on their Mod Scooter Girls stock of fabric. I paid about $9 per yard for my blue version. You can get the grey/black version here for under $7 a yard!
Buy it here!
I made a quillow (quilt that folds into a pillow) with mine. What will you make with yours?
Friday, October 06, 2006
Here are some cool cufflinks for the scooter fanatic.
Nice to see something in the Ben Sherman line that actually pertains to vintage style in more than just the name. Oh, I'm being catty. Ben Sherman does have a few cool vintage items, especially their men's hats. Very Cool. But most of the time it's something with mid-range manufacture and high price and only a cool name.
These cufflinks retail for $50, which is a little steep, but you know you'll wear them to every scooter event night show, soul all-nighter and scooter wedding for the next few years!
About 2 months ago, Josh & I started noticing small black pellets in the corners of the office. Turns out they were mouse scat. I bought a humane trap so we could nab them. Lightly salted Kettle chips did the trick and they were banished to a field. We then realized that we had an opening for a Rodent Engineer at the office and hired this little lady. She had yet to be named, but I think our readers may have some apropos suggestions for a scooter-themed name for our newest staff member. If you have a suggestion, leave a comment on this blog.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I found this picture on my phone. Josh & I went to Indianapolis for the Cycle World motorcycle show in February. Our window froze on the inside and I scratched "Scoot!" in the ice. Josh left the hotel room with wet hair and it froze on the way to the car. Our shoes left ice tracks on the carpet of the car which were still intact when we came out of the convention 8 hrs later. Does it surprise you that it was 2-degrees F that day?
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Their route will take them over 12,000 miles. You can check out the map on their site as well as read their various blog entries. A Kinetic Blaze 165cc scooter is on the trip and made it to the "Highest Motorable Road in the World" Leh-Khardungla Road which is said to be 18,430 Ft. There are motorcycles on the trip, but you know us at Scoot! are pulling for the scooters. :)
I am still waiting for news from Kinetic about when they plan to have their bikes in the states. They are remaking the Italjet Dragster and the Velocifero, so I know that many people in the US & UK are interested in hearing more.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
While it's hard to get info on all the riders, there are a few places where you can get updates:
Heather Knight's Blog. Heather is from the Portland area and she & I have corresponded about scooter parking. She's a cool gal and I wish her luck.
Modern Vespa Forum. Homeboy Rich is on a People 250 that he charmed KYMCO into letting him ride. He's using the Modern Vespa Forum to post his updates.
Thanks to Dennis for turning me onto Owen Medd's Cannonball Blog. Owen is from the Rover SC and is doing a good job of keeping us apprised of the ride.
The Good Ol' Scooter BBS has some info being posted. While Robert isn't on the ride, he's posting updates that he gets. Look around the site for other updates from Robert Volz who is on the ride.
Of course, you can always check the actual Cannonball site for updates although the info is basic at this point.
If you hear of any other sites, please let me know so I can post it. Those of us who wish they could have gone are eager to hear what's happening.
On an unrelated note, tomorrow is the deadline for content submissions for the Winter issue of Scoot!. Contact me if you have anything you'd like to contribute.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
San Jose's Vespa Club Los Gatos has 4 scooterists participating in the Cannonball Run which begins next week in Oregon. Scoot! is sponsoring the event by providing each of the 30 riders with a gas card. They're going to need it as they ride scooters across country for over 3,000 miles to New Jersey. This is the second year of this event and we're proud to have 4 locals involved. Tom "Bagel" Donohue will be writing a report for the magazine.
You can follow the progress of the riders on the
Cannonball Run Website which has some public forums.
Cannonball Run Sendoff
Mike is one of the 4 local Cannonballeers. he has some cool modifications to his bike to make it more comfortable and useful during his 3,000 mile trek. Read about it in the Winter issue of Scoot! Magazine which comes out in November.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
If you are interested in finding out more information or donating towards the mountain of medical bills that James will face
Visit the James Cornell Fund website.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Stop on our ride.
Almost to the end of our test ride. We stopped at a wine tasting place to buy but not taste wine. I'm not really a wine drinker so I chatted outside while some bought wine inside. Incidentally, that night at dinner I did have a glass of red wine which the waiter secretly kept filling up while I was looking the other way.I must have had 3 glasses that night inadvertantly! On the bus ride home I was starting to doze, so I was glad to crash into bed. After a 7-hour scooter tour of the beautiful area north of San Francisco I was pleasantly exhausted. A full review of the Burgman will run in our Winter issue.
Suzuki Burgman launch
Our tour started at Fisherman's Wharf and we stopped for some pics at the famous area under the Golden Gate Bridge. I've always been reticent to ride over the Golden Gate because it is so windy and I think some drivers are looking at the views instead of paying attention to the road. Not sure my 61 Vespa 150 would be up for it. :) But the Burgman was a great ride. Lots of power- it didn't even notice the wind. I wish I had some pics of us riding over it- nearly 2 dozen Suzuki Burgmans. Some people asked, "Are you some scooter gang or something?"
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Live from SF Classic!
I mostly manned the Scoot! booth, so I snapped a pic of my view of the show. I didn't win the fancy scooter. Matter of fact I haven't won anything at a rally for over 2 years. I guess I used up all my luck the time I won a scooter at Vespa Club Los Gatos' rally.
I got to meet & hang out with Dave Wakeling's reformed English Beat when they played in San Jose last week. Bosco and I chatted with Dave and Lynval Golding of the Specials who has joined them for the tour. The band played English Beat and Specials tunes and had the crowd bouncing. Read more about our interview in the Winter issue.
For now the Fall issue just arrived from the printers. You can get an advance copy at this weekend's San Francisco Classic rally. Subscriber issues will be shipped early next week. Shops should also begin to see them next week.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Monday, July 31, 2006
In that issue we rode from The Los Angeles area to our homes in San Jose/San Francsico and back and then back again and then back again! We rode over 8,000 miles on 11 different bikes. At that time, only the Burgman 650 was available. Now, I'll get a chance to review the 400. It's a big bike, but I think I can handle it! :) The review should run in the Winter isssue which comes out in November. As for the Fall issue, it is at the printers and should be ready to ship next week.
Scoot!'s MySpace Profile.
We'll be using the bulletin area to make announcements, and we hope to keep in touch with those we meet on the road. So, add us as your friend!
Friday, July 28, 2006
We received our new shirts from Modified Printing in Portland, OR. The artwork is from Mark Atmos Pilon who created a cute little couple scootin' along. The back has the Scoot! logo so you can represent! It's not yet available, since Josh & Miike are selling them at Amerivespa this weekend in Denver. When they get back, we'll post the shirts to the Scoot! webstore and you can order them. We have both men & women's sizes. As with all new-fangled women's T's the girlie shirts are form-fittting.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Download free videos from iTunes.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
Don't forget, this Wednesday is Ride to Work Day. Drop me a line and let me know if you are a first-time participant and how it went. I'll be putting through the streets of San Jose that day spreading the word with my cool Scoot! License Plate Frame:
Cick the picture to see how you can get one for yourself and friends.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Fuzzy phone pic of mini-motorcycle races at DeAnza college. While these races aren't for scooters exclusively, it's a great place for those who own vehicles that aren't street-legal to get out an tear it up. Jason from Battlescooter.com was able to race a 50cc scooter in some of the races. There were also go-peds, go-carts, mini-bikes and such.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Outside Rev. Horton Heat show
Lori & I parked in a red zone between 2 cars which is a dead space of sorts. When we came out we thought we'd have some explaining to do, but it turned out that the police merely pulled over to arrest a lady who was drunk in public. You might be able to make out some frisking going on in the back of the pic. We rode away with no hassles. Hooray! As an aside, The Reverend was great and Jimbo (his stand-up bass player) was on fire that night. J-I-M-B-O!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
OK, so my phonetic spelling is likely wrong, but I took four years of French instead of Japanese. I found this cool shirt on the Internet and haven't actually ordered one, so I can't say anything about the actual product or the website, but it was too cool to pass up. It is supposed to have the Japanese word for "Scooter" on it. A good way to combine the vintage scooter with a Japanese sensibility. I've emailed the site to get more info before I put it in my printed column, but you get the scoop first. Find any cool items that are worthy of a mention in the blog or column? Email me below.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
While it is only 50cc bigger than the Suzuki Burgman, it brings to mind the questions, "How big can a scooter get?" and "When does a scooter become a motorcycle?" The first question is hard to answer. The Scoot! team has long been wondering when a 1,000cc bike will be available and which manufacturer will make it. It remains to be seen.
The answer to the second question seems a bit easier, but actually isn't. In our next issue we'll review a CPI "scooter" which is more like an automatic motorcycle. I can see that line between scooter and motorcycle blurring. Especially so when many of the bikes we review are loosing their flat center mats to big humps that make it more difficult to carry a 12-pack between your feet on the way home from the store. :)
In other news, we're expecting to get some new Scoot! merchandise this week from Modified Printing. Some more track jackets and some cool white/blue ringer shirts with a cute scooting illustration by artist Mark Atmos Pilon. Mike has begun the layout process and we are doing our best to get the issue available for Amerivespa In Denver next month, which willl be 2 weeks early! Wish us luck!
Saturday, June 24, 2006
In the US there are several "obstacles" to getting people to purchase scooters. While some can be addressed easily ( riding in poor weather, carrying capacity) some can't (long-distance commute for many Americans). One issue that is somewhere in the middle is parking. While most cities are car-centric, with a persistence and hard work scooterists can get the safe parking they need in order to make scootering more practical. Cities such as New York, San Francisco, Portland and even our own campaign in my home town of San Jose are making the effort to make scooter parking readily available.
The Piaggio petition has some interesting points that are not addressed in our campaign such as requesting that there be sidewalk parking along with bicycles and creating a scalable fee structure for scooters. I'm not sure how well cities will go for the sidewalk aspect, but the reduced fees are a real possibility.
Scoot! will be publishing an article on the campaign for more scooter parking. If you are mounting a campaign in your area, let me know about it so we can follow it!
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Although you may not know James, you may have seen him in the Men's' Riding Gear feature we did in the Summer '06 issue. James works at Helimot European Accessories, a company that manufactures leather riding suits and gear. He is a vocal supporter of all riders wearing protective gear and he gave his time and expertise to help us put together our important gear article.
The Isle of Man race is notoriously dangerous. This year, several racers were critically injured. Two were killed. James and his racing partner were very aware of the dangers of the sport but love it and were proud to represent their club and the US in the race.
If you are interested in finding out more information or donating towards the mountain of medical bills that James will face
Visit the James Cornell Fund website.
Monday, June 19, 2006
If you didn't know it, we're one month away from Ride to Work Day- a great time to take advantage of what two-wheel commuting can mean. I am lucky enough to work about 5 miles from my house, so my 10-15 minute commute is easy on city streets. While some may have a bit farther to go, I encourage all of you riders to do it. Even if you think it might be a stretch, give it a try. It may involve planning out an alternate route to avoid freeways. Maybe it means leaving a little earlier.Think of the gas you'lll save. Remember how fun riding can be, especially when you're leaving all the cars in the dust! To get more info on Ride to Work Day, Check out the Site.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Afterwards we meet with the director and he assured us that the ban on motorcycles in the city-managed parking garages was on its way to being reversed. In fact you can now park in the Coty Hall underground garage. He said they were fine-tuning the garage gate sensors and that all the garages would be within compliance shortly. Also, he said the new garage across from City Hall would have specific motorcycle parking spaces in it.
While I was pleased about that, I did tell him how important designated on-street parking for motorcycles is, especially for scooters who are smaller and more apt to be moved by motorists looking for parking, or backed into by oblivious drivers. I told him that I would like to present him with suggestions on places where we think motorcycle parking could be places without removing car spots.
So, I'm asking our fellow scooter/motorcycle riders to keep an eye out and send me an email with locations that you think could be turned into motorcycle parking. The red spot on Devine across from Germania by Trials is a given, but let's see what else we can come up with. How about So. 1st street? How about near the blank club? I want to go out & take photos and annotate a map to present to the DOT.
Thanks & happy scooting,
Monday, June 05, 2006
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
The Scoot! office is located in an old cannery from the 30s. It still has its large watertower and a tall smoke stack from its past life. Now it hosts small industrial businesses downstairs and a bunch of kooky artists upstairs. Guess which floor we're on???
I took this photo with my phone as I left the office after our editorial meeting.
We even have our own building "drunk," a semi-homeless guy named Phil who used to be a punk rock star but now stops by to chat and watches over my scooter when it's parked outside.
It's an entertaining place to be!
I have heard of several people who bought Italjets and have been unable to get parts because the original Italian company went under. UK scooterists still write into "Scootering" magazine about it.
While the Kinetic scooters aren't much on beauty, what is interesting is that if they make parts for the Italjet bikes that can work on the older bikes, it would really help out all of those Dragster and Velocifero owners out there. Additionally, the Dragster was a popular scooter,so it's rebirth may be welcome to those who love to tune and race.
What I did find funny was the suggestion that they could sell 10,000 Blaze scooters per month. However, the Chairman was quoted as saying that the bikes cost between $500-600, so maybe he is hoping to low-ball the competition. I hope that is for manufacturing, because I'm not too sure I would trust a bike that only cost that little at retail. I'll believe it when I see it.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
We're also looking for Cushman Trailster owners. We'd like to do a historical article on the scooter & need bikes to photograph as well as original promo materials.
If you can help with either of these queries email me from my profile which you can access at the right of the blog.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Papyrus stores are now selling a card for graduates. The front has a graduate in gown riding a vintage Vespa with his/her cap blowing off. No head is visible, so you can give it to whomever you choose. The inner greeting says, "You're headed for a bright and happy future!" I picked this up at Papyrus for $2.95. Get yours now before they're gone.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
While I am a huge scooter fanatic, even I am surprised by the results. Maybe it's because after 10 years of hearing "Get a real motorcycle" called from cars and pedestrians I have a biased view of what Americans are inclined to think. Maybe there can be a survey to explain the poularity of Hummers and Escalades. I'm still lost on that one. :)
According to the press release,"The survey found other strong factors motivating consumer's willingness to consider utilizing a scooter, including environmental concerns and overall cost savings. The survey found that 33% of Americans would be likely to use a scooter to reduce emission harmful to the environment, 35% would be likely to use a scooter to save $25.00 a week on gasoline." This is also welcome news. I did an interview with the Buffalo New York News about scooters and I told the reporter to look at the many other factors besides gas; cheap insurance, easy parking, lesser impact on the environment etc. If you want to lessen the impact on your wallet, try a scooter!
Monday, May 22, 2006
These reports are real bummers for those of us who love scootering. While I encourage people to take up scootering as a fun hobby and mode of transportation, I am amazed by how careless some can be. Especiallly those who put so much thought into saving money on their scooters through bargain shopping but give helmets no consideration at all. I would wear a full-face helmet whether or not my state required it, just as I wear a seatbelt in the car.
As a child, I split my lip when a softball hit my face during a game. I can only imagine what would happen to my head if I fell over at 30mph. In 1991, when I did have a crash at about 25-30mph I had no head injury thanks to my helmet. Photos of it were published in the Fall '05 issue of Scoot! A scrape started about where my right cheek would be and continued up to the top of the helmet. The visor was so scratched you would not be able to see through it. That's hard plastic, so imagine what would have happened to the soft flesh of my face...Bleaagth! I landed with most of my weight on my shoulder which had layers of skin scraped off. I now have a pale scar on that shoulder. My freckles were scraped off and they are slowly but surely coming back 4 years later.
I've heard all of the excuses before. How helmets compromise some riders' sense of freedom, how they miss the wind in thier hair, how they won't let the government cramp their style. But I wonder, if you could survey all the helmetless people that died of head trauma in motorcycle crashes last year and ask them one question, "If you could go back and do that ride again, would you wear a helmet?" What do you think their answer would be?
For statistics on motorcycle crashes & head injury, take a look at the National Highway Traffics Safety Administration's site
If you've got a bike you think should be seen in North America and the world, let us know. Here are some tips to help you get your bike in:
1) Submit lots of good photos: include details and keep in mind what's in the background. Look through your viewer for dead plants, garbage, stray body parts ans such tat detract from the bike. Do not submit night photos. Take your time to do a good job or get someone who is a good photographer to help you.
2) We accept prints or digital images. Digital images should be a minimum of 300dpi/ppi at actual size. The larger the file size the better. If we receive great photos, we're 3/4 of the way there!
3) Complete our questionnaire: you can download it from our site [www.scootquarterly.com]. Without the questionnaire we won't run a Reader's Ride.
4) Make sure to include a photo of you: Headshot or one of you on the bike. We want to know who you are so we can congratulate you whe we see you next!
If you have any questions, feel free to email me!
Friday, May 19, 2006
Saw this in the store, today. Rachel Ray knows that scooting, especially on a vintage Vespa GS typifies the free-n-easy feeling of summer. Oddly enough, it is raining in San Jose, today. I hope my BBQ and ride tomorrow isn't ruined by the weather. I've got a rack of ribs & some drumsticks for the BBQ. Better cleanout the oven just in case...
On another note, you may recall the interview or Peter Moore & the review we ran of his book, "Vroom with a View" last year. Peter is in the US making appearances to promote the US printing. He's making a stop at THE book publishing event, the American Booksellers Association convention (I've been to it before and it is FUN) as well as smaller talks throughout the country. Here are his stops (which include some cool scooter shops, too):
Sunday May 21, 2 pm
Vespa DC, Washington DC
Ride/Talk and BBQ!
Monday May 22, 7 pm
McNally Robinson, New York
Saturday May 27, 1 pm
Vespa New Orleans
Tuesday May 30, 6.30 pm
Scooter Originali, Orange New Jersey
Wednesday May 31, 7.00 pm
Scomo, Richmond VA
Thursday June 1, 6.30 pm
Erico Motorsports, Denver Colorado
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Motorcycle rider, Bill B. has created an online petition to get more motorcycle parking in downtown San Jose. At this time there are over 550 people signed on. If that doesn't work, then we'll take to the streets and have a park-in! I'm actually relishing the thought! If you are interested,
View and/or sign the petition here.
Bravo to Bill for getting it going online! I hope we can accomplish this big, yet totally reasonable goal! :)
Are you working on a similar cause in your town? We'll be covering it in an upcoming issue of Scoot! and we'd love to share as many different stories as possible.
While some shops grow out of a thriving community, I am seeing many new shops open that are not owned or helmed by scooterists. While there isn't anything wrong with that, it just means that these shops will need to create a community so that it keeps revolving business going. This is especially true when you get "newbie" scooterists who are buying scooters purely for economic or practical reasons. These scooter owners are usually alone, putting around the town on their own. But, if a shop intoduces them to other sccooterists and hosts scooter-centric events, it can invigorate their appreciation for scooting!
The Dealernews article also talks about catering to the unique needs of scooterists by stocking items that they actually want to carry. I mentioned that most scooter riders don't want to get off their scooters looking like they were going to race. Unortunately, the article makes it sound as if I said that scooterists wouldn't wear Joe Rocket or Alpinestars gear. However,I didn't mention those companies as such and I think that both companies have some clothing that is totally right-on for scooter riders. I wish scoooter riders bought clothing that was made for riding instead of repurposing street clothing for riding. BTW- in our current issue, you can find a nice example of those clothes as we have a men's riding gear spread.
At any rate, I'm glad to get some press for Scoot! to dealers who may not be aware of us. Additionally, if you are a dealer who wants to chat about what I'm talking about feel free to give me a jingle at our San Jose office: 408.294.4292.
Oh, I also forgot to mention: HOW ABOUT THIS WEATHER? AWESOME!
Thursday, May 11, 2006
The piece talks abot the affordability and fuel-effficiency but mentions that you can only haul a few bags off groceries. I've been able to haul 2 people and 4 bags of groceries on my P200 with rear rack. It got me to thinking, why not ask readers to send in photos of their scooters packed with a safe bounty of items on it. In Asia, they haul a kid a wife, a bundle of bananas and a pig, why can't we do something similar? If you've got a good photo of your scooter loaded up with stuff, send it to me.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Saturday, May 06, 2006
If you aren't out on a ride now, go do it. The weather is great and the hills are alive with the smell of two-stroke!
Monday, May 01, 2006
Photo of Josh dyno testing his Vespa GT200 to see what all the additional whatzits we've had installed have done for it. To be seen in a future issue of Scoot!. Thanks to local motorcycle/scooter shop Moto Italiano in San Jose for letting us use their dyno and staff for our testing!
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Like most new vehicles, it's nice to have something new to putt around on, but I do notice a huge difference between pricier models such as Vespa, Aprilia, Honda and the like. Our windshield cracked, the right rear turn signal fell off and we've got a few stress cracks. When we were unloading it, the bottom caught on our ramp and cracked the plastic undercarriage. While I don't expect it to be as keen as a $6k scooter, I do wonder who is buying inexpensive plastic scooters and what they want out of them. I doubt that this will be a collectible scooter, and I think it would be generous to think that someone could get 5 years out of it without replacing lots of parts. Yet, maybe for most of the buyers of these scooters, the short-termness is OK. Not everyone looks to own the same vehicle dozens of years later. (One of my Vespas is 9 years older than I am!).
Keeping that in mind, we'll write our fair and review of the bike. No scooter that I have ridden is without merit. Some are definitely better than others, but scooter riders vary in their expectations, and I need to do away with any preconceptions when reviewing such bikes.
Honestly, before I got involved with Scoot!, I wouldn't have guessed that I would be riding all these different scooters, let alone actually *liking* some of them. You can teach an old dog new tricks!
Mike & josh have both seen the proofs of the Summer issue and we expect to have it delivered on Friday (Cinco de Mayo!). That weekend is the Classico Moto Italia rally, but we'll likely have to work through one of the days stuffing magazines.
The deadline for submissions for the Fall issue (can you believe it?) is June 14. If you want to submit rally reports, Show Us Your Scoots photo or anything else, send it in by that date.
An unrelated note: I just bought a PS2 (I know the PS3 is coming out, but this was only $139 brand new), and I am obsessed with "Getting Up" and all the butt-kicking and graffiti-ing. The soundtrack is awesome! Maybe the best part of the game. I'm looking to get some of those games with scooters on them, although real life scootering is much more fun!
Monday, April 24, 2006
The Scoot! website sells cards from the ladies at Rock Scissor Paper in Southern California. They had a line of cute scooter stuff. While they have sold out of most of their items, they still have a few pieces that may interest you. AND they are having a 25% off sale today through 4/26, so order now! I just ordered some personalized stationery. They also have small gift enclosure cards which are about the same size as the small cards that accompany flowers, except that these fold. So, get thee to your browser and order some stationery before they sell out. After the sale, you can check back with Scoot! as we always sell their products at a discount, just not THAT good. :)
On other news, the Summer issue is at the printer. We expect proofs this week and delivery next week. Some exciting news about this next issue is that we'll have it at every Barnes & Noble bookseller in the US. We're doing a promotion with our distributor where we're on the endcap to test our sales. This means primo placement at every store. Previously, we were in the rack with everyone else and only at certain stores. Very frustrating for those looking for the magazine. If you purchase the magazine at newsstands or have been looking for a place to purchase it, try Barnes & Noble in Mid- to late-May. I think we lose the endcap in June. If enough people buy the magazine, we might be able to get it at all B&Ns in the future.
I just heard that Wallnecks is doing an issue which will focus on scooters. I'll post some more info on it this week.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
If you've never visited Santa Barbara, you should plan to. It is called the "American Riviera" because it resembles the European Riviera in it's topography, climate and flora. The city is old, one of the stops of the Spanish missionaries who built a Mission there, and remarkably, it had a very visionary mandate to keep the city looking like a small Spanish town. The architecture is likely very controlled, which is probably a bane to those who want to be original and modern. But for those of us who appreciate the local flavor, Santa Barbara is a beautiful place. While it is a big city, they have refrained from tall buildings, almost all new commercial construction still reflects the white or terracotta stucco and tile roof look that has been here for over 300 years. They city is on a small bay and faces a channel of islands off the coast.
So, you're probably wondering what this has to do with a scootering blog, right? Well, Santa Barbara is also a great city for riding. I try not to miss the annual "Endless Summer" rally as it let's me combine a visit to Grandma with some fun and beautiful scootering routes. You can ride along the coast and stop to browse the weekend arts fair that lines the beach sidewalk. The hills offer fun curvy roads and beautiful scenery. Downtown has lots of quaint, independent eateries and shops if you want to cruise the long outdoor State Street Mall. There is also a lively arts scene with plays and musical events happening all the time. While Santa Barbara is a wealthy area (I could never afford to live there) it also has a large college student population, so you can find inexpensive places to get a drink and some food while still wearing beach bum clothes.
Unortunately, this trip was mired with rain. Lots of it. I had scheduled to borrow a bike from Bobby at Moto Paradiso (the local Vespa shop) and was set to take a cruise around the city with Janel Holiday (one of the brains behind the All Girl Scooter Rally). I thought it would be a slam-dunk, easy article for the magazine, but then it rained. And rained. So my one day of scootering paradise was turned into mall shopping and mani/pedi relaxation. Sometimes you can get all the plans in place, but a little thing like weather can throw it all off. I hope to get back there when the weather improves and write my article. In the meantime, if you have a chance to get there with scooter in tow, do it. The "Endless SUmmer" rally usually takes place in September, so mark your calendar.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
She has multiple injuries, including a broken left leg, shattered right knee cap, broken left arm, dislocated right elbow
and several facial fractures. She had undergone a 7 hour surgery on one leg and will have another surgery on her leg tommorrow. The facial reconstructive surguries can not begin until swelling has subsided. Details of the injury can be viewed from this link: http://www.katu.com/news/story.asp?ID=84395
Recovery from an accident of this severity will be long, painful, and expensive. We have set up a donation fund through US Bank. Donations can be made at any branch, anywhere in the country in any amount. Just go to a US Bank branch starting *Friday, March 24th* and say you would like to make a donation to the:
*Kalaisha Watrous Donation Fund*
If you can help by donating to Kalaisha's fund please do so. I will post updates on the PayPal account info as soon as I get it. The scootering community is a close one and we all know that an accident such as this could happen to any of us out on the road.
UPDATE 3/25: the PayPal email account to contribute to Kalaisha's recovery fund is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, March 13, 2006
The Summer issue of Scoot! features a men's riding gear spread, which will be a great inspiration for guys to get on some cool looking clothing that actually protects them. We're also reviewing bikes from CPI, Baron and Vento. My Scooter Collector column will have some cool kid's clothing. We're still looking for submissions for the Show Us Your Scoots section. If you aren't familiar it is a place for readers o submit photos of themselves with their bikes: a quick snapshot to show the other reader who you are & what you ride. I think it's fun to see people on their everyday bikes, in cool locations or whatever. Our Reader's Rides section is for in-depth, custom scooters, but the Show Us Your Scoots is the "everyman's" place to show off our pride & joys. :)
I am also working on a campaign to get more scooter/motorcycle parking in my town. I'm dismayed that the city does not allow motorcycle parking in city-owned parking garages. Also, there is a scant amount of motorcycle-only parking spots downtown. This means that motorcycles/scooters need to park in metered spaces & compete with cars. Do you live in a town with a similar situation? I'd love to hear what you are interested in doing about it. I hope to write about our results in a future issue.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
"Open letter to all U.S. mayors concerned with America's oil consumption
To attain the ambitious goal of breaking America's "addiction to oil," the President has recently focused on the need to invest in alternative fuel technologies. However, there is also a behavioral approach that could greatly reduce this nation's energy consumption, while helping to preserve our environment and reduce traffic congestion.
The use of motor scooters - a daily behavior of millions of people across Europe and Asia - is only marginally embraced in the United States. Everyday in this country, millions of individuals drive their cars in locations and situations where motor scooters would be perfectly appropriate and convenient. Instead, if they were to utilize one of the latest eco-friendly motor scooters available in the market today - those compliant with the most stringent European and American regulations on gas emissions - they would, on average, reduce their fuel consumption by 58%, their emissions of carbon monoxide by 90%, and their emissions of carbon dioxide by 80%.
With the launch of the first Vespa in 1946, our company started a movement that has substantively improved transportation in countries around the world. Consistent with the President's energy utilization goals, we believe the time has come to expand the range of transportation solutions also in the United States.
We encourage you to broaden the dialogue about energy self-sufficiency to include both technological solutions and behavioral ones, fostering acceptance of alternative transportation, such as scootering. With your support - as well as that of other federal, state and local government leaders - scootering would bring immediate and substantial economic and environmental benefits to Americans and the communities in which they live.
We remain at your disposal should you wish to discuss this opportunity further.
President and CEO
Piaggio Group Americas"
The idea that scooters are a fun, easy-caring way to move through life is a valid one, but us American's have sometimes simple triggers in our brains, thus at the Indy Dealer show, guys were lining up to get signed posters from girls in tight fitting clothes who were essentially nobodies with pretty faces and slim figures. Thus, saying "scooters will save you money on the gas that you were cursing last year" will hit home.
When Piaggio first came back to the US, I was expecting some TV advertisements. I had the perfect one visulized in my brain:
A gas station attendant leans against a gas pump while a nondescript soccermom or regular joe guy pumps gas into his/her SUV. The pump make that old style click sound which indicated how much gas he is getting. A smartly and appropriately dressed scooterist pulls in to the pump near the SUV and jumps off, uses ATM card, and fills his/her tank. Meanwhile SUV person is still pumping away. The scooterists gets back on the scooter and waves to the attendant and says, "see you next week!" leaving the attendant and the SUV as they were when the commercial started.
The overwhelming message of my commercial idea is stated simply: save time and money and be the envy of the road. I think those ads would make some serious inroads in getting America to wake up to the realities of our gas addiction. They could also back it up with abother commercial containing real testimonials from riders who see the benefits of scootering. Small print ads showing people having fun only go so far. The scootering industry needs to pound the message into the american mind (with a potpourri scented velvet hammer of course!) if they exepect to make soem serious inroads into the transportation market. They are trying, and Piaggio's current step (which includes a similar letter sent to George Dubbya) will benefit the whole industry.
On a a side note, I did spend the whole president's day weekend (and then some) at the Indy Dealer show, but I'll blog that throughout the upcoming week. Stay tuned!
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
All this rigmorale is necessary because we get much better shipping rates from the post office by doing it. AND it ships much faster then regular bulk mail, which was taking up to 5 weeks to get to certain parts of the country. By going with this method were were able to reduce the subscription price by nearly $8, which is something I think our subscribers appreciate! :)
But for now, I'm going to lick my wounds, band-aid my paper cuts, ice my sore shoulder and pack my suitcase for tomorrow's flight to Indianapolis for the Dealer Expo. Hope to see some of you there! OH... and if you're going to Las Vegas for the High Roller weekend, say HI to Mike who is the sole Scoot! representative. Look for the tallest guy wearing a new Scoot! Hoodie or Track Jacket!
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Well, on the International Scooter BBS, Phil Waters from Pride of Cleveland has posted some news which I thought would originally get the board all fired up. See it here But I was surprised that not many comments were logged. Maybe this is because the whole Lambretta scooter thing has been circling around since 2003 and scooterists may be tired of it. Maybe its because most scooter bbs people log on from work! :)
Regardless, the announcement that there will be another brand name for the forthcoming (?) Lambretta-style scooter probably makes scooter fans feel as if the project is even less likely to happen. Although it seems to me that this should have been done from the beginning. Sure, Lambretta fans would have bitched..."Hey, they've stolen the Lambretta look!" but at least the project wouldn't have been hampered by the name ownership. I am no trademark lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but I doubt that the man who owns the Lambretta name also owns the rights to the design elements of the Innocenti Lambrettta scooter. Even so, the realities of changing technology since Lambretta closed its doors decades ago makes it impossible to make a bike like they used to. Thus, a new Piaggio engine, liquid cooling, emissions controls, etc. The bike would need to be changed & updated to work in today's world. And that is where that overpaid & sneaky trademark lawyer comes in. :)
At Scoot!, we've been stonewalled for news about the Lambretta project. CMSI wouldn't give us news, said they weren't ready and then Scootering (bless their hearts) would get coverage of the new English developments. Even as "news" was coming, I felt that most of it (prototypes with blatantly repurposed parts that would never be DOT compliant) was too unreliable to count as real news. My gut feeling is that we weren't seeing something that was going to be a reality. Now, I don't mean that this project would never come to fruition,but what we were seeing seemed too unfinished and up in the air to dedicate our limited space to, especially when I was sure that much of it might be changed by the time our issue hit the stands.
Well, what do you think about all of this? I'd love to hear what readers think. Do vintage scooterists care about a new scooter "in the spirit of" Lambreta? Do new scooterists (the fastest growing segment of scootering) even care? If you were CMSI what would you do?
Friday, February 10, 2006
Apparently the magazine will now be delivered on Monday, which is kind of a bummer as we could have used all weekend to pack & ship the magazine. Ah well! It's not the first time one of us has hung around the office waiting for the delivery, and it probably won't be the last. SInce we all work other day jobs, these deliveries are inconvenient since we rarely get more than a few hours notice and there is no real delivery window. As much as I want to go to 6 issues a year, I can honestly say that the delivery & packing of the magazine makes me dread doing it more frequently! :) BUT that doesn't stop me from trying to get us on track for 6 issues.
Next weekend, we'll be in Indianapolis for the motorcycle dealer show. If any of you are there, please stop by our corner of the KYMCO boooth to say hi! We've got some great new promotional options for dealers, which I think will make Scoot! an integral part of any dealer's comprehensive scooter sales/service plan.
In our upcoming issue we advise scooter buyers to build good relationships with local shops in order to keep them in business and serving the consumer's needs, but I also think that shops need to put the capital "S" in Service and show customers how mush they appreciate their business. One cool idea I heard of the dealer hosting an occasional "customer appreciation" events such as a wine/cheese tasting or a barbecue. Invite past customers to come & meet other scooterists and feel part of a larger group. I think the customers will love it & it will go a long way towards firming the dealer/customer relationship. Also, it will generate excitement that is contagioius. Perhaps that customer brings along a friend and that experience earns the dealer a new customer. Maybe you end up selling a bunch of lifestyle products during the event. Or, maybe the customers meet other scooterists who invite them to rides and get them on their scooters more. Whatever the reason, dealer events such as that can go along way in garnering loyal and long-term customers.
Enough of my preaching. It's almost 70-degrees here in San Jose. I should go for a ride!
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Our warehouse is located at 190 Martha Street, San Josed, CA 95112. The event will be held in the parkinglot/courtyard. I suggest that buyers park on the street & come in. Vendors can bring in their vehicles and pull up a piece of pavement. No tables/chairs will be provided to bring your own. Also, the coourtyard can get warm, so consider a tent or cover.
Scoot!'s new ofice willbe open for visitors. A great time to stock up on back issues!
See you @ the swap!
Thursday, February 02, 2006
This new issue features our Buyer's Guide, highlighting the new scooters available in the US. We review the Piaggio BV 500 and the TnG Baja. This issue was challenging as there are 99 new bikes in the Guide! We had to cut some content because the guide was large. The situation renews my interest in going to 6 issues a year. However, we'll need to grow our revenue more before we can do that: it will require us to quit our day jobs and re-structure our advertising program which is a lot of work. I am hopefull that 2006 will position us for that in 2007.
Other highlights of the Spring issue include our results for our "Rust or Restore" contest, which asked readers to submit photos of their project bikes which needed help; a beautiful Lambretta LD Reader's Ride; a great Scooter Collector column, tips on how to buy a new scooter; several rally reports; Mike's report on his trip to Taiwan for a tour of the KYMCO factory; and loads more.
The good thing about the Spring issue being stuffed to the gills, is that I'll have ready-to-go content for the Summer issue! We'll have a men's riding fashion spread; an article debunking scooter misconceptions; more bike reviews. I'm working hard on the issue as we speak.
As far as scooters go, bothof mine are throwing tantrums. The P200 electrical system is kaput. The VBB now has a flivkering headlight and idles very high. I think that my neglect over the winter is causing them to act out! :) Well, winter is for projects isn't it? Time to get back into the cold garage I suspect.
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
The Spring issue is at the printer adn we should have proofs available on Wednesday. Looking forward to seeing them as this issue is jammed packed with photos of new scoots. Since we'rean 80 page magazine, we ran out of space and had to remove a bunch of content. So, in the Summer issue we'll have to move a men's riding gear photo spread and a few reader's rides. I'd love to take Scoot! to bi-monthly, but we'll need to build more ad revenue and subscribers so I can quit my day job and devota all my time to the mag. Encourage your friends to subscribe so I can make the move! :)
Over President's Day weekend, Josh & I will be in Indianapolis for the Motorcycle Dealer Expo. We'll be meeting scooter dealers and spreading the word about Scoot! KYMCO has been kind enough to give us some booth space again this year. They are awesome! If you're there look us up!
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
One of my long-nagging goals has been to start a blog. Since Scoot! is a quarterly magazine (for now) it makes it hard to be timely with news, so I am starting this blog to make more timely news available. Also, to do a little gossiping, share some cool stuff and just keep in touch with Scoot!'s readers & friends. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions (other than random spam and lewd jokes!) and look forward to creating a kick-butt blog. For now, back to proofreading the Spring issue!