Monday, December 31, 2007

Stolen Scooters in Austin

Just got an email from Adrien in Austin about stolen scooters. Keep an eye out, Texans!

My name is Adrian. I'm from Austin, Texas. On the day of Sunday December 16th 2007 my 1978 P125X was stolen from my apartment complex parking lot. A number of scooters were stolen on the same day in this area as well as some others around town in the past week.

Keep an eye out for people trying to sell stolen scooters. If you have any information, contact Austin PD.

Friday, December 28, 2007

More Scooter Parking in Sarasota, FL

The Bradenton Herald recently posted an article about the city of Sarasota, Florida adding 21 new motorcycle parking spots to their downtown. Florida is a mecca for scooters due to the warm weather and the lack of a helmet law, so it seems natural that they would incorporate two-wheeled vehicle parking into their plans. The city was smart about it and placed the spots in "dead zones" that are too small for cars to park in.

If you are yearning for more motorcycle parking in your area, check out the article I wrote in our August issue (#41) about how my home town (San Jose) and other US cities have gone about getting more motorcycle parking. You can check out San Jose's updated parking map to see what progress we made.

Scooters and Primates

Saw this photo online and thought that it was proof that primates are smart... they like scooters, or at least they'll feign interest for food.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pick it Up

Thanks to my favorite scooter spotters, the Rix family, that sent me this link to a spot from the super-cool kids show Yo! Gabba Gabba! This show has been all th rage as of late, and I can see why it is a hit with both kids and parents. Check out this fun ska song that urges kids to "pick it up!"

You Gabba Gabba video. Spot the scooter for extra points...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

NYPD Goes Electric

An Associated Press story about NYPD police testing Vectrix scooters is blanketing the Web. Lots of press outlets are picking up the story because it shows that the US's most high-profile city is taking economic and environmentally-friendly transportation seriously. The NYPD has a track record of working with scooters. Some may recall their fleet of Lambrettas in the waaay back. As the article points out, they department has over 400 gas-powered scooters right now. So kudos to them for looking to be environmentally conscious while still incorporating scooters. Read the story in the Boston Globe.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Bajaj Longs for Scooter Successes

In a recent article in the Hindustan Times it is said that Indian motorcycle manufacturer, Bajaj, is considering producing scooters once again. The company had decided to put their efforts into motorcycles, but found that the still strong 100cc market was falling to Honda and others. They are losing market share, and may yearn for their scooter business which earned them an 80% market share. Does this mean that the Chetak or Legend will return? Who knows as Bajaj is keeping it secret.

Iraqis Tackle City Traffic with Scooters

I'm on my way out to a Christmas dinner, but here is a NY Times story on how Iraqis are turning to scooters to address traffic and finance concerns. I love the skepticism about the Chinese bikes. Proof that we're very much alike.
happy holidays, folks!
New York Times article here...

Scooter Goodies

It's hard to keep a good scooter collectible away from me. But, this year, my boyfriend did. He presented me with this glass Santa on a scooter that he picked up at Walmart. It's cute, especially Santa's rosy cheeks.
If you read my column you may recall my post from November 10th where I said that a friend said he got an ornament from Walmart. We rushed over there & found nothing. Then, it was reported that the ornament was actually at hallmark. Chalk it up to an honest mistake...Well, my boyfriend kept going back & when he found this one at Walmart, he knew he had me. Since I had already scoured he place, I wouldn't be going back. His present was safe. So, no you know. Head over there for their after-Christmas sale and snap up the rest of them.

While I was out doing some last-minute shopping, yesterday, we stopped at Mai Do, a Japanese stationery store and Jon spotted this set of jelly stickers. I should really rent him out, he's like a scooter collectible bloodhound! There are only 3 scooters in the whole collection, but you may be able to use the other stickers elsewhere, especially the cute rocketship, minis or doulble-decker buses. The set was $3.30.

Here's a detail of one of the scooters:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Paint Your Own Ceramic Scooter

Scoot! reader, Bret Urick sent me this ceramic scooter that he painted. His sister has a paint-your-own pottery shop and he found this there. He said she got it from a supplier's catalog, which was under the "Bambino Collection." If you have access to one of those pottery places, maybe they can order one for you. It would make a fun scooter club activity to have each member paint one. Also cool for those 'lil scooterists in training that you know.

One thing you may notice: the engine on the wrong side. It's amazing how often I see this in the world. People really want that engine on the other side!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Scooter Shirt for Babies

Found this cute scooter shirt online at Polka Dots. It's on sale for $19.95 and only comes in 12 months, so get it before it's gone.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Scoot! Holiday Lights Ride

The local San Jose scooter crew has been holding a holiday lights ride for years. I used to host it at my house. Scooterists would meet there and I'd treat them to snacks and hot cocoa. Then, we'd get on our scooters and brave the cold to ride around and checkout the holiday lights. Once I moved out of that neighborhood, the scooterists across the street took it over, then a local shop, until this year when Scoot! sponsored it with San Jose Vespa.

We met at San Jose Vespa for some snacks and scooter talk. We held a raffle with proceeds o benefit Then we jumped on our scooters and Josh guided us through the surrounding neighborhood. We ended up at a local Starbucks where Scoot! bought the hot drinks. Norbert, Eddie and I decorated our scooters with battery-operated lights. I used the Braketext to broadcast "Happy Holidays from Scoot! Magazine." A man in a car stopped me to ask where I got the Braketext, and wondered if they made it or cars. Dunnno. At any rate, you can see the video that I posted on YouTube. Thankfully iMovie is easy to use.

Interested in a fun event to do in the winter? Try a holiday lights ride in your area!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Scoot Richmond Gives 110%

Scoot Richmond is doing a Christmas promotion where customers who purchase gift cards will receive a card for 110% of payment. Thus, you can pay $100 an receive a $110 card. The sale goes through Friday, Dec. 21. Find out more about the Last Minute Gift Card.

While you and your gift recipient may not live in the Richmond, VA area the Scoot Richmond team does brisk mail order business.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rachael Ray Scooter for Charity

Piaggio is partnering with Rachael Ray to raise money for her "Yum-O" charity. The scooter appeared on the December 11th Rachael Ray show and will be on auction until January 11.

According to the charity's website, "Yum-o! is a nonprofit organization that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking by teaching families to cook, feeding hungry kids and funding cooking education and scholarships."

You can bid on the scooter at the Charity Folks' site.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cute flash homepage

I've been researching parenting & children's sites/blogs for something totally unrelated to 1) my personal life and 2) scooters, but I found this website: Enfant Terrible that has a great flash home page that has a goofy guy riding a scooter. I think I've seen him at several rallies! ha-ha! Check it out!

When you click on a link, the scooter guy appears at the top of the page. So cute! The clothes are simple (and pricey) but the flash is fun.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Scooter Christmas Cards

Whenever I'm in the local mall, I stop by Papyrus, a chain stationery store just to see if they have any scooter-themed cards. This past weekend, I found 2 great cards. The first is of a silhouette of a girl on a fenderlight Vespa with packages on the rear rack. It is cute and retro-flavored. The drawback is that it says, "For You, Sister" on the front and "Special wished of holiday joy to my terrific sis." Those of you who have read my blog before probably remember my previous rants about greeting cards where the card company comes up with greeting for us. I'd rather just have a cool graphic and write the greeting myself. This card could go to many people if it were blank, but since I don't have a sister, this will sit in my collectibles box. $2.95

The second card is, fortunately, blank. It has a colorized and glittered scooter on the front and nothing inside. Perfect for you to write your own, heartfelt and personal greeting, like "Merry Christmas, Steve." Just Kidding! The scooter looks as if it were sculpted or maybe made of tin, like a small toy. This is part of Papyrus' fancy-smancy line, so the card is a whopping $4.95. So, maybe that's what makes it hard to decide where to send it. It's not affordable to send a whole stack of them out. Forget the presents!

Papyrus has reently launched their online store,but it doesn't have these cards. Use the site to find the nearest location and grab them while you can.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Rocketworld Toys and Desktop

If you saw our scooter art issue from last year (issue #40), you may recall a submission from Patrick York Ma that was of a bear riding a scooter. Since then, Patrick has transformed his artwork into limited edition vinyl toys. The toys are called the Combat Mod Squad Titus (Bear) and Combat Mod Squad
Affonso (Rhino) and are limited to 500 pieces per character. According to Patrick, the toys are “part homage to my love of vintage Vespas, part wildlife conservation, and part pop-culture.” A portion of all the toys sales from Rocket World goes to helping non-profit wildlife conservation groups. The toys sell for $64.99, but you’d better get them before they are gone. See more of Patrick’s designs at where you can also download the free desktop art (shown below)Download the desktop at

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

10 % off Personalized Scooter Stationery

My friends at Rock Scissor Paperare in the final day of their personalized stationery sale. Last time they had this sale, I ordered some of their scooter stationery for myself. It would make a great gift for a fellow scooterist and may encourage them to take up the long lost art of letter-writing. I am also pleased to see their other styles which bring to mind gifts for a lot of other non-scooterists who are on my list.

The Sale Ends Today (11/27) so buy now! Don't forget to use COUPON code: thanks07 to save 10%.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Vectrix Superbike? 125mph!

I'm not sure how they are doing it, but Vectrix unveiled an electric "superbike" in Milan this month. While the bike won't be racing any modern four-strokes on the track, it does exceed the expectations of electric vehicles by leaps. Checkout the report by Gizmag who said that Vectrix's three-wheel scooter went almost unnoticed when placed next to the superbike.

Where's my magazine?

I'm wondering the same thing myself!

We've been having printing issues which have not made the staff happy. Due to some confusion with our printer, the current issue which was supposed to be in stores on Nov 15, is now on its way to the Scoot! offices. It's safe to say it is over 3 weeks late. We switched printers 3 issues ago and it seems that with each subsequent issue, a new miscommunication or misunderstanding has cropped up.

At this point I can only say, please be patient. We aim to have these printing issues ironed out by the next issue and will be back on our regular schedule. I am currently working on getting the April issue edited and ready for printing. There's no problems with Scoot!, we're not going out of business or anything like that. We're just learning how to manage a new vendor relationship. Ahem.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Scooterists in Need

You may have read abut in past issues of Scoot!, but I wanted to let you know about the organization and encourage you to do whatever you can to help. According to the website:
In September of 2005, as the sheer magnitude of the Hurricane Katrina disaster became apparent to the world, the Jedi Knights Scooter Club and other scooterists realized we had to do something to help our friends in from New Orleans.

We quickly formed to coordinate relief donations for scooterists from New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast.

Since September of 2005 we raised thousands of dollars with the help of the national scooter community, clubs, individuals and shops. We have distributed these funds in an equitable fashion to all Katrina survivors who have applied for funds.

Scooter-Relief has also responded to the needs of other scooterists--victims of accidents and some facing serious illness.

The group has helped out several scooterists, some who have experienced terrible accidents, others who are facing serious diseases, while others have been the victims of natural disasters. Whatever the case, it's hard to ask for help, but sometimes it is often unavoidable. harnesses the global nature of our community and allows scooterists to help other scooterists.

I just personally donated some of my money for the two needy scooterists for which the website is raising funds. I hope you will consider doing so, also. On the site, you can find a description of the situation of the scooterists in need and imagine how you'd cope with a similar situation.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Gap & Vespa Release Joint Scooter

Vespa USA and clothing chain, The Gap, have announced a new special edition scooter. The "Crazy Stripe" scooter will be available for the holiday season. According to the press release:
This 2007 Limited Edition Vespa LX 50 in the "Crazy Stripe" (which looks more like "Pride Parade" to me) design represents a new spin on the classic Vespa scooter and continues to incorporate the core values of Vespa -- eco-friendly engineering, passion, individualism, and integrity -- in a stylish mode of transportation.

Beginning November 8, details on how to purchase this unique gift will be available exclusively online at The Gap. The 2007 Limited Edition Vespa LX 50 retails for $5,999 and will be available while supplies last or by special order until December 23, 2007.

Holiday shoppers in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Las Vegas will have the opportunity to check out the 2007 Limited Edition Vespa LX 50 on display in select Gap stores from November 15 to December 3, 2007. Customers interested in purchasing this special Vespa LX 50 can visit for purchasing details. To find a local Vespa USA dealer and for complete Vespa LX 50 information, visit

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hallmark Santa Ornament

Each year as we enter November, I begin a little game. Luckily, my boyfriend Jon nd housemate Lori love to play, too. It's "find the scooter ornament." Some years, our prospects are lean, while others are brimming with finds. We're usually tipped off by rumors and chat from other scooterists, but we often have a plan of stores to scour, websites to check out and catalogs to flip through.

This year, Lori heard from another scooterist that Walmart had a Santa ornament. I had already hit Walmart and thought it seemed doubtful. After some web searches, Lori discovered that it was actually "Hallmark" not "Walmart" and off she went to buy out the last 2 "Santa's Scooter" ornaments left in the local store. Score one for Lori. Note: The Halmark site is a bear and you won't find the ornament on the site, so check your local stores for it. I also haven't been able to confirm of 3rd party retailers such as Long's Drugs have this ornament. I'll be checking that out, too.

The ornament has a pull-string at the back of the scooter which plays a version of "Here Comes Santa Claus" with scooter engine sound effects. Cute! Santa's hand waves while the song plays. Double-cute!The ornament retails for $20.

Although I should really be working on my feature article for the next issue, I am going to go out and hit the stores looking for something Lori or Jon haven't found. If you've got any tips to share with me or the blog readers, post a comment!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tough Luck for Mickey Rourke

As we've all heard, Mickey Rourke was arrested for DUI this week while making an illegal U-turn on his Vespa. While drunk driving is a serious issue, I am more intrigued by some of the headlines and tones taken by the journalists that are covering the story. Apparently a DUI is not surprising, but the fact that a "tough guy" like Rourke rides a scooter is! Check out what Josh Hart from The National Ledger had to say about it:
How easy is it to make fun of Mickey Rourke now? While DUIs are no laughing matter it is hard to fathom getting one on a blue Vespa scooter in Florida but somehow the tough guy actor did just that. Is this the same brute from the film "Sin City?" Is this the rugged guy that couldn't handle a gun from Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man?" Ah - so removed from Hollywood.

Isn't there a joke - "What do fat chicks and a moped have in common?" (Punch line - They are both fun to ride but you wouldn't want your friends to see you on one). Here come the e-mails - hey I didn't write it, some guy that is now on strike likely did

It's just another indication of some American's shallow minds to tie someone's virility and "toughness" to their vehicle. I am a fan of Rourke's work. I know nothing about his personal life, so I can't say anything about him as a person. But i can say that he must not think that his Vespa speaks badly of his manliness. It's probably a smart vehicle for him to have, especially on Miami Beach where the traffic *sucks* and scooters are a much better form of transport. can't beat the weather!

Maybe we should embark on a campaign to debunk this myth....

Monday, November 05, 2007

Just Gottta Scoot Interview

This past Friday, I was interviewed by David Harrington of Just Gotta Scoot, an audio podcast that you can get for free from iTunes. We chatted about Scoot! and its history as well as some topic close to my heart such as scooter safety, classic versus vintage and more. If you have a 1/2 hour to listen, download it at: Just Gotta Scoot

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New Charuca Desktop

Charuca, the Spanish artist who appeared in our Scooter Art issue and contributed an illustration for a Scoot! T-shirt, has a new desktop that you can download from Pixel Girl Presents. While it doesn't have a scooter, it does have a couple of mini-cars, which always seem to find a following in the scooter world.

You can find out more about Charuca's retro-inspired artwork at her site, Mondo Trendy. I also recommend that you periodically check out Pixel Girl Presents for fun icons (Mac or PC) and more engaging desktop wallpapers. She even has a section for iPhone wallpapers.

You can also own a piece of Charuca's art when you buy the t-shirt at the
Scoot!Magazine web store.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Alloy Scooter Sweats

Thanks to Jon who told me about a pair of cool sweatpants offered by teen clothing catalog, Alloy.

The Reversible Sweatpant (item#163923) is white with a repeating black line drawing of a girl with a Series III Lambretta. It reverses to a plain background with a singe large image of the girl & scooter. The sweats range in sizes (S-XXXL)and price ($26.50 - $29.50).

Ladies, be sure to bookmark and check it periodically for scooter stuff.Every once in a while, they offer scooter products or use scooters in their catalogs.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Vespa Patches

Sourpuss Clothing carries a few cool Vespa ad-themed patches. This one with three sexy ladies on scooters is a rendition of the famous poster which had the infamous tag line, "The Gay Companions."

This lucky couple is happy to be riding scooters sand helmets but with well-coiffed hair.

You may recognize this cheery Vespa family from ads, too.

Sourpuss has these UK-made patches for just $5. Get them quick before they sell out.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Piaggio to Open Vietnamese Plant

According to reports all over the Internet, Piaggio is set to build a manufacturing plant near Hanoi. The $25-30M investment is a strategic move in order to avoid the costs of transport, duty and other fees on imported scooters. According to the Thanh Nien News Vespas cost around four times that of most motorcycles.

The factory will have a capacity of producing 100,000 models a year, but is said to have a goal of 50,000 annually by its fifth year. With numbers such as that, I wonder how much of Piaggio's manufacturing may be transferred there? According to a press release in 2006, Piaggio reported production numbers for their plant in Pontadera, "production volumes in 2004 were just over 50,000, approximately 87,000 in 2005, and more than 100,000 in 2006." With numbers such as that, the Vietnamese plant could produce enough for multiple countries. The Vietnamese scooters will likely be distributed throughout surrounding Asian countries, but the nagging question remains: Is Italian production of Piaggio doomed?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Girlie ET Stationery

Well, it isn't the cheapest stationery around, but if you want some personalized notecards with a pink/purple Vespa ET on it, then you are in luck. has this watercolor-style card that seems to be on hearty stock. You can get it as a two different styles of folding card (50 for $130) or a gift enclosure (50 for $105).

Friday, September 28, 2007

Toys'R'Us Picks Scooter As Top Toy

Toys'R'Us has come out with their Hot List of toys for the holiday season. The complete list has 36 products, but they also have a "Fabulous 15" which is their most recommended toys. The Daisy Pocket Mod kid scooter from Razor made that list. According to the press release description:

"Pretty in pink, this fashionably fun Razor Pocket Mod is sure to be the talk of the town. This Toys"R"Us exclusive will get kids in gear with the latest and greatest in scooter technology. The trendy "Daisy" model boasts pink and pearl details, 12" tires and over 10 miles of smooth cruising capability at speeds up to 15 mph on a single charge. Riders can even store their gear in a special compartment under the seat. 2 rechargeable "12V Lead Acid" batteries required (included). Ages 12 and up."

While I wonder about letting a kid on a battery-powered vehicle that can go up to 15mph, I am still pleased to see that scooter toys are still being made for the kids. I would have relentlessly bugged by parents about this had it been available when I was a youngster.

While Razor has been producing these type of scooters for a couple of years, but this specific model is a TRU exclusive. The list is just a marketing ploy to generate interest in items you can only get at TRU. This model does sell on the Toys 'R'Us website for $199 while the original Razor scooter sells for $229.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Shout Out Louds Scooter Video

Sweden's Shout Out Louds have a recent video which has lead singer, Adam Olenius, riding a beat-up old Vespa. If you follow indie music, you may recall "The Comeback" from the Shout Out's first album. I hear it frequently on Indie Pop Rocks. The new song, off their album Our Ill Wills is called "Impossible." I'm researching to see if there is a deeper connection between scooters and the Shout Out Louds. But for now, enjoy the video!

Missing your magazine?

Well, you're not the only one. As of this morning, we were missing all of our current issue magazines. Due to some issues with our printers, the magazine that we sent to print during the first few days of September still hadn't arrived at our warehouse. This puts us seriously behind as the magazines are supposed to be in the stores on Sept 15. You do the math and imagine how the delay exponentially increases my pissed-offness by the day.

So, if you are looking into your mailbox and wondering where the October issue is, rest assured that you are not alone. We should get it this week and send it right out. We're also looking to work on correcting whatever communication errors are happening with our new printer. I am not pleased to have delays and want to do whatever it takes to rectify it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Lemax "Red Moped"

Lemax makes inexpensive holiday resin/plastic items. Its Halloween and Christmas village items are available at Michael's craft stores. Nikki & Susan told me about a "Red Moped" figurine which is stocked in the Christmas area. It is approximately 2.5-inches high and 2 inches long. Michaels has it for $3.99. Each year I rummage through the Lemax items and I'm finally glad to find a scooter in them! Thanks Nikki & Susan for the heads up!

It's not a moped, but a cute Vespa copy.It must be a special GS as it has 2 cowl doors and the ultra-rare body box which is behind the seat. Score! Just another lesson for collectors..don't be afraid to search under the term "moped" as you might find a cool collectible names by a clueless person. :)

The photo is from the "Lemax Fan Pages" which catalogs all the Lemax products out there. A good resource to bookmark for future searching.

PEACE Scooter rolls into town

On Thursday, I met up with Alix of the P.E.A.C.E.Scooter Ride. She has been on the road since July, bringing her examination of peace to the US. Alix has a great attitude (and would have to, in order to do this ride)as she has her own ideas, but is very respectful of others. Sure she is idealistic and very ambitious with her project, but she is trying to wake up and make up for those of us who are lulled into complacency by the government, the media and our own mundane lives.

We chatted over dinner for about 2-3 hours and she talked of how she was motivated to take on this trip. She actually took out a loan for it, so if you've got some spare dollars to send her, you can do so at her site through PayPal. Her Buddy scooter was generously donated by Genuine Scooters, and she has received great service and assistance from shops all along the way. Wherever she goes, people open up to her and talk about what peace means to them. I admire her ability to give up her home comforts for a road trip with a mission. Check out The PEACE Scooter site for her upcoming itinerary and read her adventures. Perhaps you can ride-out with her if she comes through your town. She's ending up at Crawford, Texas. We'll see what happens....

Alix in Santa Cruz.

Friday, September 21, 2007

News from Piaggio Dealer Meeting...

The Vespa LXS in Action.

Piaggio USA just had their dealer meeting and here are some highlights:

The LXS is finally on its way. It will have an MSRP of $4,099, it will be available in black, white or red. Unfortunately, the US version will not have a "touring" seat rather than the unusual and cool solo seat on European models. Luckily, the solo seat will be an accessory option.

The MP3 will now be available in 400- and the 500cc version (which is a rebadged Gilera Fuoco 500). Preliminary pricing places them at $8,200 and $8,600, respectively. The most obvious difference between the 400 and the original 250 (besides the engine) is the reduced storage under the seat. The concession is that the 400 now gets an accessory plug. Our sources that test rode both bikes say, "the 400 is marginally faster off the line with just a tad more power towards the top of the throttle. The 500 is significantly faster and stronger."

As for Aprilia, they are releasing a Scarabeo 200. Its MSRP will be around $3,800 and it has an appealing, re-designed headset. Otherwise, the bike retains its unique Scarabeo shape. It is reportedly, "a really nice ride."

The more rugged, rear end of the MP3 (a rebadged Fuoco)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

R. Nichols Scooter Shirt

You may recall the R. Nichols scooter stationery that I included in a past installment of the Scooter Collector. He makes cute little paper cut-out-style illustrations which have a few scooters in them. Now, he has a t-shirt that features one of those illustrations. It is obviously girlie-girl, but totally cute. I expect to see some of these out on the rally circuit! You can buy it for $20.

Browse his site out for stationery items such as this scooter card. Look under the "Teeny Tinies" and "Riviera' categories.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Vectrix Not Meeting Sales Goals?

According to a small bit of news by Thompson Financial Services carried on Vectrix sales aren't meeting forecasted expectations. The article cites "quality issues in MAXI scooter production ramp-up and reworking of previously shipped bikes."

Since I haven't gotten the chance to ride a Vectrix, yet...anyone out there have one and want to report any issues with the bikes? We're getting a loaner, soon, and I'm eager to give it a thorough examination. I'd love to see the bike live up to the hype.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Old Timey Flashback: The Doodlebug

You don't hear about Doodle Bugs much, nowadays. The bikes were produced in the late 40s. But, people still own them, and collect them, and restore them, as evidenced by a recent gathering of Doodle Bug enthusiasts in Iowa. The Fort Dodge Messenger carries an article about the event.

The Doodle Bug looks like the typical early American scooter with the thin handlebars and barely-there front end. In contrast, the popular Vespa and Lambrettas that most people are accustomed to seeing have a solid front leg shield with provides some stability and protection. (I know, the early Lammy A-F models and the U model Vespa were short on front end action, too....)But the Doodle Bug does have some style flourishes at the back end.

Interested in finding more? Check out Don Jackson's site (where the photo above is from) for information on replacement parts and restoration of the Doodle Bug.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Old versus New

I've been struggling with the idea of old versus new scooters all year. I love my vintage scooters, but enjoy riding some of the new bikes I test. I can see how much pleasurable it is to ride 100 miles on a speedy, fast and reliable twist-n-go, but I am very aware of how they lack the feel the smell and beauty of vintage scooters. Yes, I Do like the smell of scooter exhaust...

So, this article that appears in the Other Paper from Columbus, Ohio brings it to head. Like any good reporter that looks past the obvious and trite, Richard Ades cuts to the chase and finds the underlying wound that is tearing at the scooter community. How do we reconcile old and new scooters?

Well, I don't quite have the answer, but I want you folks to read the article and let me know how you feel about the whole situation. I'm going to mull it over in my mind for the next few days and post something about it this weekend.

It's very troubling.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

New Issue Preview

Now that our October issue is at the printers, I can give you a sneak peek at the what is on deck:
80s Flashback: a snapshot of the 80s US scootering scene complete with lots of cool photos.
10th Anniversary, Pt. 2: we wrap up our anniversary coverage with a Then & Now section and a revisit to our cover scoooterist from issue #1.
80s music: Catch up with the English Beat and Untouchables
Ask Hot Rod Al: The debut of our new Q & A column on scooter performance!
50cc Shoot Out: we put a handful of small bikes to a big test
don't forget our rally reports, product reviews, and other regular features!

The issue is set to be in the stores on September 15, a little longer for subscribers.
The photo above is a peek at the cover photo shoot. You'll love the cover and centerfold that we have!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Beautiful Italian Scooter Lamps

These lamps surely bring a leap to the heart of Vintage scooter enthusiasts. Made in Italy by Maurizio Lamponi Leopardi, they bring together some of the iconic elements of Vespas and Lambrettas and refashion them into useful household items. I know quite a few people who would have a pleasant heart attack (if that were possible)upon finding one under the Christmas tree. No word as of yet on how much one of these would set you back, but with the sad state of the US Dollar versus the Euro, we're already down at the starting gate. I'll keep you posted in what I find out.

New Gwen Stefani Video with Scooters

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All-around likable performer, Gwen Stefani, had included some scooters in her new video, "Now That You Got It" which features Damian Marley. The Jamaican theme has Stefani and her crew racing around the island on scooters. It makes me think about the olden days when No Doubt was playing scooter rallies.

Friday, August 03, 2007

New International Vespa Lifestyle Store

Piaggio has launched an online shopping destination for the Vespa brand. Vespa Shopping is a one-stop shop for Vespa fans, offering the lifestyle items that one sees in boutiques. Clothing, accessories, die-cast models, Vespa Technica books, and crazy-cool stuff such as the clock that looks light a fenderlight and a thermometer that is shaped like a speedo.

Since this is an international site, the prices are in Euros, which puts US buyers at a disadvantage because of the poor exchange rate. Yet, the site gives a good starting point for collectors. I'd suggest looking at it for ideas and then contacting your local Vespa dealer to see if they can get you the item at a better price.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Scooter Ceramic Tile

This ceramic tile from Chicago-based Circa Ceramics has a real retro feel with its chartreuse, polka-dotted background and P-Series Vespa graphic. At $25 it is a little pricey to use to tile your bathroom, but makes for a nice trivet or a coffee cup coaster for your desk. A cool gift for yourself or for a friend.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vectrix Electric Scooter Arrives in US

At Scoot!, we have been talking about the Vectrix electric scooter for a couple of years. It's great to finally see it come to fruition with its release this week.

For those who ride scooters for their environmental benefits and low operating costs, the Vectrix is right up their alley. Its NiMH battery pack is said to last up to 10 years with an annual mileage of 5,000. It also has an on board charger that can plug into standard 110/220V outlets and charge in two hours. The bike retails for $11,000 which means the it will take quite some time to offset the price of gas. But, with it's peppy acceleration (0-50 in 6.8 seconds) and a range of 40-60 miles per charge it may prove to be fun enough to put way more than the estimated 5K on it each year.

Scoot! co-publisher Mike Zorn got a chance to ride a Vectrix in Italy at the Milan show and was impressed. We look forward to giving it a thorough review in an upcoming issue.

Upcoming Vectrix events and appearances include:
July 28-29: Concours d’Elegance, Newport Mansions in Newport, R.I.
August 9: Vectrix Test Ride Event with British Motor Car Distributors LTD (BMC) in San Francisco.
August 11-12: Vectrix Test Ride Event with The Green Car Company in Seattle.
August 18: Vectrix Store Grand Opening in Newport, R.I.
August 25: 35th Annual Electric Car Rally & Show in Palo Alto, Calif.
September 28-29: AltWheels Alternative Transportation & Energy Festival in Boston

Friday, July 20, 2007

Scooterboys Terrorize Londoners

And Americans thought US scooter rally rides were annoying....

Dreaded scooter riders take over Selsdon

This article from is interesting in that I wonder how much of their complaints come from genuine Scooter Boy bad behavior and how much comes from misunderstanding.
"Only last week I was driving my car and they surrounded me, I was afraid of knocking one of them over. Then, one drove in front, took his hands off the bars and pulled down his trousers and showed me his bottom. I never knew how disturbed and shocked you can be by these gangs of scooter riders, I was very frightened by the whole experience."

If I was a motorist presented with a crowd of scooter boys, I'd let them pass and get on their way rather than stress myself out trying to drive along with them. As for a mooning from a goofy scooterist, I wouldn't be frightened, more grossed-out.

Maybe the Scooter Boys of Seldon should try a PR campaign to ease some of the resident's fears. Some basic education and some common courtesy ground rules could go a long way.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Motorscooters a "new menace"

Australia's Yahoo!Xtra is carrying a story about how Australian drivers consider motorscooter drivers to be a "new menace" on city streets. Australian insurance company AAMI reports that scooters have sold 20% higher this year than last and motorcycle sales have increased 36%. That likely means lots of new riders. According to the news story:
"The research also showed 78 per cent of NSW car drivers in the survey said they had seen motorcyclists breaking the law and taking unnecessary risks on the roads."

and we can guess where most of the problems occur:
"Quoting figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, AAMI said almost half of the 120,827 scooters and motorcycles registered in NSW last year are located in Sydney."

I'm inclined to believe the reports. I've been to some scooter rallies where newbie riders and their inability to keep a straight line, nonexistent turn signals and general lack of etiquette have almost ruined my rally experience.

We all know that in a car vs. scooter altercation, the scooter always comes out worse. So, how can Sydney work to create a more amicable balance between scooter riders and cars? Since I have never been to Australia, let alone ridden there I can speak definitively, but it is likely due to education. In the US, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's "Scooter School" is a good start. It is only offered in a few locations and doesn't qualify for insurance discounts, but it makes a difference in getting scooter riders in road-worthy shape.

Another point that I think helps in traffic is (and I know I'll hear arguments about this) allowing lane splitting. I think lane splitting enables motorcycles and scooters that ability to improve traffic flow by allowing them to get through traffic quicker. That being said, I only lane split when traffic is at a stop or 5mph or less. I think it is too dangerous at higher speeds, and it can actually cause problems for car drivers who get surprised by a motorcycle zooming past them. But, when done right, lane splitting can lets riders take advantage of space between cars that is not used and allows them to bypass traffic. I have no idea what Australia's rules are on lane splitting, but if it is allowed, and cars/scooter drivers are given education about how it works then traffic and compliance could improve.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ride to Work Day

Did you ride to work today? I did. Although my 5-mile commute isn't an endurance test, it did rain today (in California?!?) but I managed to miss it. Not only is it more fun to ride to work, it is a great way to conserve fuel, reduce emissions and take up less space overall. I even did some grocery shopping and loaded up a big canvas tote bag with goodies from Whole Foods for the week ahead. The oil change indicator on the SYM I am using is about to tell me that an oil change is imminent. I also need to learn how to add coolant as I am not used to new-fangled things such as water-cooling, disc brakes and gas gauges on a scooter! :)

I enjoyed the ride so much that instead of calling my chiropractor for an appointment, I just dropped by to say hello. If I had been in a car, I probably would have just called him from my cell.

Well, I'm rabling about things that aren't that significant, so let me just say that I am glad I rode to work today and hope you did, too.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Amerivespa: Seattle Here We Come!

The Scoot! crew is on the move! Josh is now in Taiwan and will be touring the SYM factory this week. Tomorrow I leave for a meandering trip to Seattle with a stop in Portland.On Thursday, Mike leaves with a bunch of Scoot! stuff in tow.

If you're going to be in Seattle for Amerivespa, please stop by our booth and introduce yourself. All 3 of us will be there and we'll have Scoot! swag for sale. But mostly we want to meet scooterists and chat scooters. We're donating a Qlink scooter for the raffle. Maybe you'll win it!

Since we'll be in Seattle this week, the Scoot! office is closed. All phone calls will be returned next week and orders processed once we get back.

Not sure what Amerivespa is? Well, checkout theAmerivespa website.

Friday, July 06, 2007

S.I.P's New Video Podcasts

S.I.P is one of the largest mail order sources for modern and vintage Vespa parts. They are also in the middle of the big scooter tuning movement in Germany. I just got word from Ralf at S.I.P that they have launched two new video podcasts that you can get for free over iTunes. For Vintage Vespa fans, there is a Vespa podcast and for modern scooter fans a Scooter podcast.

Subscribe via iTunes to get updates. Check out S.I.P for cool products.

New MotoKitty Skirt

For some, the Vespa GS is the epitome of Vespa style and beauty. Now, MotoKitty of Portland, OR has designed a skirt that pays tribute to it. According to MotoKitty owner, Cari Carter, "It's a nice a-line style skirt, with a little bit of swing to it."
The 95% cotton, 5% spandex "GS Skirt" comes in sizes S-XXL (0-16) and sells at her shop for $28. Shipping is $5.
Get it at MotoKitty...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rock Your Scooter Trips

When I saw Lifepop's cool audio accessory bags for iPod and other MP3 players the first thing I thought was, "Cool! Perfect for scooter picnics and events!" The next thing I thought was, "How do I get one?" That being said I think these bags would be great for weekend scooter jaunts when you want some tunes at your destination, but you don't have a built-in stereo. They have several models which are both baggage and stereos at the same time.

The Groovemaster ($75)is a messenger bag with speakers and an MP3 player interface. It runs on 4 AA batteries. The Rocksteady Gym Bag ($130) is a bit steeper but a funky retro Adidas cool and comes in some flashy colors, but the black is my favorite.

The ChillOut ($50)is a combo cooler/AM&FM radio with aux hookups. This would be perfect for strapping to a rear rack/carrier and taking to the beach or park.

The auxiliary jacks for these bags work with iPods, Zunes and even PSP systems. So go forth and rock your scoot!

Scooter Gifts

Looking for some inexpensive gifts for a scooterist friend? Here two items that may fit the bill:

Some would call this a "whimsical" stamp since the scooter is a fanciful doodle of a scooter. It is available through Just Johnna an online rubber stamp company.

This money bank is a cool idea for a teen who is saving for her own scooter. With that red hair, it could have been me in high school! The site offers personalization, so you can get her name put on it. There is also a boy version, so no one needs to be left out. Both banks are from Kidoodles by Kim and sell for $14.95.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Scooter Atitude for Kids

Now, here's a shirt that I wish came in my size! This camo shirt for kids has a big, busy scooter graphic on it of a sassy lady on a Vespa. The shirt has shoulder snaps for easier on/off for the little ones. It is a product of ArmyKid a London children's boutique clothing company. ArmyKid's site has it in sizes from 0-11 years, but I doubt that the snaps come on the larger sizes. :) You can also order it in a long- and short-sleeve version. The ArmyKid website but I also found a les expensive, yet likely more limited variety version at Not on the High Street website. Either way, they are both in the UK and shipping charges may be cost-prohibitive. But, check it out for yourself.

You can also get the shirt in another style, although the photo doesn't make it look comfortable.