Monday, April 23, 2007

Classico Moto Italia May 4-6, San Jose

I used to be a member of Vespa Club Los Gatos one of the oldest continuing scooter clubs in the US. But with work, a magazine and other obligations, I figured I had better bow out rather than be a slacker member. Next month, they will host their Classico Moto Italia rally which is an appreciation of vintage Vespas. While many of the members ride newer scooters, the event is a time to bring out the old show bikes and have a good time. It is a traditional rally with the rides and day show as the main events. If you have a sweet restoration or a classy custom this is the place to show it.

Club founder, Rolf Soltau is a US scootering legend. After years of scootering, he was picked by Piaggio USA to be their training mechanic. Scooterists from all over the USA kow him from his touring for Piaggio. Also, you may have seen his numerous appearances in Scoot! sinc ehe was once the owner of the oldest known Vespa in the USA and also probably the oldest person to complete the scooter Canonball Run (2007). He's a real firecracker, and can party with scoterist 1/3 his age. If you're in the area and can make it to the rally, be sure to meet him as you won't find another scooterist like him.

will be at the rally and I'm looking forward to meeting up with old friends. If you're there, stop by to say hello!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Scooter Girl Kicks Ass

I was rolling with laughter when I read the story about the 18-year old South African scooterist who helped capture 2 robbers by chasing them on her scooter. Extra points for bashing one of them with her helmet! She was probably foolish, over-confident and lacking self-preservation skills, since they could have had guns or knives or machetes (GTA: Vice City taught me that!) but in hindsight I can say, "You Go Girl!" Read about it on the News24 web site.

Art Vespa...Cool Idea

I hapened upon this news item. Vespa South Africa had a contest where design professionials were asked to create an artistic treatment for an LX. The winners each won an LX bearing his/her design. I think that is a great idea. It gets the design community involved with customizing the scooters, which is a big draw to scooterists, and provides some interesting news about the company. I'd love it if a manufacturer in the US would do the same.
Check out the
Vespa South Africa site for other winners and a downloadable computer wallpaper of the entries.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A scooter collector's dream!

I have to give a shout-out to reader Brian who sent me a link to a cool scooter memorabilia site called Punks on Parkas that has a great scooter toy section containing potos and infromation on mouthwatering vintage scooter toys. Any collector will get a serious case of toy envy when looking at the photos on the site. It also has sections for postcards, magazines/ads, misc. memorabilia and brochures. I've seen items from my collectionin there, but it's only a small percentage of the great stuff contained within. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Smart Baby Bibs

Modified Clothing's new baby bbs are very cute. Just what the budding scooterist-to-be needs! This would make a great shower gift for the expectant parents. It's 100% cotton and comes in two colors. Since Modified is brand neutral, the bib comes in a Lambretta and a Vespa version. Perfect for those "mixed" households. :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Vietnamese Scooter Rally

I came accross this news item about a Vietnmese scooter rally happening at the end of the month. The Thanh Nien News says that it is the first such festival in Vietnam. I like their idea of decorating the scooters in flowers. What a beautiful parade that would make! I'm sending out my feelers to see if anyone in the area can submit a report. Although I'd love to jet off to Vietnam, I'll have to stay here. :)

Also, it would be great to see what the actual Vietnamese ride. Maybe they keep the good stuff for themselves and send the cobbled ones to other countries.

A news article that might shed some light on that appears on VietNamNet which says that Vietnamese may have to pay up to $600 (gasp!) for a vintage scooter. Maybe all the people that are so desperate for a vintage scooter, that they will ship one from Vietnam should take a trip there and pick out their own $600 scooter and ship it back. What an idea for a tourist service! =patent pending!= Just kidding!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Vectrix Scooter Looking for Financing

The manufacturer of the first electric maxi-scooter is looking to expand its capabilities by examining new financial options. According to the UK's Telegraph newspaper, "Vectrix, founded by inventor Andrew MacGowan, has appointed the investment bank to look at the best option for taking the business forward financially." Vectrix scooters are not yet available in the US, but are available in some European countries. For more information on the development of the Vectrix, check out their website.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Win a Kymco Super 9 is hosting a contest where registrants can win a Kymco Super 9 scooter. The webiste's "My Garage" is an area that "brings together motorcycle enthusiasts in the world's biggest motorcycle clubhouse. It's a place to post pictures of your bike and share your moto exploits through your own blog." The contest ends August 1st. Enter atMotorcycleUSA's site.

Honda Further Blurs the Line

If space aliens had motorscooters, they might look like the Honda E4-01 concept "motorcycle" which a high tech marriage of scooter and motorcycle.

The concept vehicle debuted at the 2005 Tokyo motorcycle show. But announced that Honda has applied for patents on the bike, which makes its release seem likely.

The E4-01 has a 900+cc three-cylinder engine which seems all-motorcycle until one finds that it has a CVT transmission. The photos show popular scooter features such as a 2-helmet underseat storage compartment, a very sculptural body that has very organic curves. I love the rear lights, which are reminiscent of vintage-style, sculptural car lights. While the mid section requires more leg lifting than a typical scooters, models like the Suzuki Burgman and Piaggio X9 aren't that much lower. MPN promises to have more news on the bike in the next few days.

If you'd like to see a slideshow of the bike when it debuted, check out the Honda website for more info.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Summer issue in production

Our Summer issue, due out May 15th, is in production. It's going to be a fun issue. We're spotlighting Scooter Art with a range of artists that use scooters as their inspiration or as their canvas. We even have two artfully exectued scooters for our Readers Ride to go along with the theme. We're also focusing on women's scooter clubs. I interviewed folks from several clubs and included some great advice on starting your own all-female club.

Also, this issue features reviews of the Piaggio MP3 and Argo AR150. Josh and Mike had a blast on the MP3 and have lots to say about it!

If you haven't heard (since we haven't really publicized it)we're planning on publishing 5 issues this year, with further plans to go 6 issues next year. Those with current subscriptions will get the additional issue. It's very exciting and will give us a chance to get out more news in a timely manner and to whittle down the time between issues. I often hear from readers that can't get enough and dislike the long gaps between our quarterly issues.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Protect your health care coverage

Bills in the House and Senate were introduced to close a loophole which allowed heath insurance providers to deny coverage to those who were injured during legal recreation activities such as motorcycling and ATV riding. The bills, H.R. 1076(Congress) and S. 616 (Senate)aim to fix the loophole which allows companies to deny coverage to those injured in such activities.

If you are interested in protecting your rights to enjoy legal ecreation, then contact your Congressperson or Senator to let them know how you feel. Not sure who your rep is? Then go to:
Find your Senator
Find your Congressional Representative

I'm Back!

Sorry for the big hiatus. Our website was not able to be updated since February and our webmaster was on a sailing boat off the coast of Italy. Considering that I am kinda dumb when it comes to maintaining a server, I'm glad he's back and able to help.

So much has been happening that I am not sure where to start. Well, the next issue will be out in May. We're in the layout phase right now. We're featuring Scooter Art and All-Girl Scooter Clubs. We've also got some great custom scooters that embody their owners' artistic abilities. Look for reviews of the Piaggio MP3 and the Argo AR150-18. I'm pleased that we're introducing two new recurring sections: Budget Bling, which gives you the scoop on customizing your scooter inexpensively; and Josh's Tattoo Corner which will feature scooter-themed tattoos. If you've got any ideas on future columns for these sections, let me know.

Upcoming features include an article on creating more scooter parking in your town; a "Totally 80s" feature reminiscing about the scooter resurgence in the 1980s; Scooter collections: individuals with mind-blowing scooter collections that inspire envy. If you want to contribute to any of these stories, let me know.

Another cool development is that we've got a new t-shirt in the works, designed by one of our contributors to this next issue. We're hammering out the printing particulars, but let me just say that the shirt is super-cute! It's a fitting replacement for the blue ringer shirt with the scooter couple on it.

There's more to say, but I'll save that for another post. It's good to be back!