Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Say goodbye to 2008... a list

As 2008 comes to a close, I am reflecting back on the year and want to create a couple of lists. I'll start with the Things I Hope Stay in 2008. A kinda funny list of things that are tired, passe, played-out, and have worn out their welcome. Hope you get a chuckle and feel free to add any comments with suggestions on things you're hoping go away. The "Things I Hope happen in 2009" is to come! :-)

Things I Hope Stay in 2008

1) Scooters with matching helmets.
2) People asking me about my "moped."
3) Motorcyclists that don't "wave" back when I pass
4) Short term memory loss that is directly tied to the gas-pump, i.e. people who will go back to gas-guzzling cars since gas prices have gone down.
5) Fixing responsibility on others rather than accepting one's own culpability
6) Spinner wheels (yes, they neglected to stay in 2006 or 2007)
7) Women's "motorcycle clothing" lines that focus on t-shirts, sweatshirts and bandannas.
8) Short-lived scooter clubs with no purpose or drive (this is probably just a dream!)
9) Closed-mindedness
10) Calling people in cars "cagers."
11) Smugness (see #11)
12) New scooter riders who think scooters are fancy bicycles and don't respect them as powerful machines capable of injury or death.
13) Ill-planned, shoddily constructed, cheap Asian scooter brands (quit spoiling the fun for everyone else!)
14) Typos (I really need to get a good proofreader!)
15) Lack of funds... (who isn't with me on this one???)

Blog entry soundtrack: "We Want the Airwaves" by the Ramones.
"...We want the world and we want it now..."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Calling all scooter clubs! Get in your classified ads!

If you want to add an upcoming event to our free Scooter Rally & Event Calendar, or to add/modify a free scooter club listing in the next issue of Scoot! send me your info by Friday January 2nd. Send it to: [4th month of the year] @ scootmagazine PERIOD com. Sorry about the crypticness of the address, but I've got a serious aversion to e-spam.

Blog entry soundrack: "Hard Rain" by Shout Out Louds.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Mods vs. Rockers bag

Found this bag on etsy.
Hand sewn bag with original embroidery design. Size approx. 9x12 inches with long shoulder strap, four extra pockets. Strap bag and pockets have colored thread detail to match embroidery design.

Looks fun and original.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Show Us Your Scoot: Blog-style!

I occasionally get photos of readers' scooters that are not of high enough resolution for print in the magazine. These usually languish in my email box, so I decided to start posting them on the blog instead. Duh! I've only been doing this for 2 years and I just figured it out? Oh well...

This bike belongs to Mike McGrath who writes:


I wanted to send you a photo of my scooter. After years of riding Harleys and street bikes your magazine has really turned me on to the scooting world. After buying the scooter which was real plain jane, I decided to give it a more aggressive look to fit my tattooed lifestyle. So this is what we came up with. I am going to send a few more pics and with any luck you could publish them and open up the eyes of a different crowd. You can scoot and still have a bad boy image. Thank for your time.

I'm all for custom muraled bikes. I wish the US had more. Thanks for sharing, Mike.

And if you want your bike featured in the print version of Scoot! send digital images that are in either .jpg or .tif format at a minimum of 300dpi.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Scooter movie: Yes Man

The new Jim Carrey movie co-stars Zooey Deschanel who rides a scooter. Looks like a Honda Mojito/Habana type scooter.

You can also download a desktop with Zooey on the scooter at the film's website.

Added 1/19/08:

In response to the comment about the Aprilia Mojito. Yes! I spaced that one out. My feeble brain meant to type "Joker/Mojito/Habana" and I left Honda as a placeholder until I could confirm whether the right name was a Shadow or Joker. Both bikes are similar. See below:
Honda Joker/ Shadow

I originally saw the Habana in England in 2004 and *loved* it, but when they brought it here and we could only get the 50cc with a classic headset, I was bummed out. Me no likey the open headset. I really wanted a 150 with an enclosed headset. If I had a bazillion dollars and could create my own scooter...

(No subject header)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas from the UK

Mau at Classic Scooterist Scene and Twist & Go sent us this fab e-card. Enjoy!

NSR: Mr. Hankey Cookies

My housemate has been making Mr. Hankey cookies for years, with constant refinements along the way. Last year I video taped the process & then promptly deleted the footage on accident. Doh! So, this year I took better care to do a better job.

If you want to do this yourself, here are a couple of tips:
* Use pre-made gingerbread dough.
* Create your cookie cutter with plumber's tape. It's flexible and cheap. YOu can make a new one each year.
* Keep an actual Mr. Hankey handy. I've seen some other cookies online that look like the person had never seen Mr. Hankey. :)

Have a great holiday, folks!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

AMA Fighting Proposed Tariffs Against Euro Motos

Not sure why the Bush Administration is doing anything a month before it is booted out of office. Can't they just stand in the center of the room with hands on noses so they don't mess anything else up? This might give the Chinese another advantage in the scooter price wars....

Here is a news item from the American Motorcycle Association on it:

AMA fights possible 100 percent tariffs on certain European motorcycles

The AMA announced today (12/5) that it has written to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative opposing a plan that could double the cost of some European motorcycles imported into the United States.

The plan being considered by U.S. trade officials would impose a 100 percent import duty on more than 100 European goods -- including two engine displacement categories of motorcycles, 51cc to 250cc, and 251cc to 500cc.

The federal measure is designed as retaliation to the 27-member European Union's continuing import ban on American beef treated with growth hormones. EU officials haven't lifted that 20-year-old ban, despite a World Trade Organization (WTO) order to end it.

If U.S. officials impose the retaliatory tariff, it would double the price of a host of under-500cc on- and off-highway machines from brands such as Aprilia, Beta, BMW, Fantic, Gas Gas, Husaberg, Husqvarna, KTM, Montesa, Piaggio, Scorpa, Sherco, TM and Vespa.

"There is no logical link between European motorcycles and the dispute over beef," said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations, in his comments submitted to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. "Imposing these stiff tariffs on motorcycles would do nothing to resolve the trade dispute, but would punish American buyers of European motorcycles."

The AMA's comments make a strong argument that motorcycles have no business being used as a lever in a dispute over beef.

Read more about it here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

J.D. Power: Record High Motorcycle Customer Satisfaction

A press release from J.D. Power and Associates.
If you bought a new scooter this year, how satisfied are you with your bike?

Customer Satisfaction with the Motorcycle Ownership Experience Reaches Record-High Levels

Despite Higher Owner-Reported Motorcycle Prices, Satisfaction with Perceived Value Increases in 2008

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 17 December 2008 — Overall satisfaction with the motorcycle ownership experience has increased for a sixth consecutive year to a record-high level, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Motorcycle Competitive Information StudySM released today.

Now in its 11th year, the study measures owner satisfaction with new motorcycles by examining five major components of the overall ownership experience: product; quality; cost of ownership; sales; and service.

Overall motorcycle ownership satisfaction averages 814 (based on a 1,000-point scale) in 2008, up 5 points from 2007. While all five components driving satisfaction improve in 2008, the most notable increases occur in the areas of cost of ownership and product quality.

Overall, satisfaction with cost of ownership has increased steadily over time. In 2008, satisfaction with cost of ownership improves by 11 points from 2007 to an average of 707. In addition, 18 percent of owners in 2008 report that the cost of owning their motorcycles is “outstanding” (a rating of 10 on a 10-point scale), compared with only 10 percent of customers in 2005 who indicated the same. Furthermore, 30 percent of motorcycle owners in 2008 indicate that the value they received for the price paid is “outstanding,” compared with 21 percent in 2005.

The study finds that product quality has improved in 2008, compared with 2007, primarily due to a decrease in owner-reported problems. The overall number of problems reported averages 152 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100)—down 8 PP100 from 2007. In addition, the number of owners who report having a problem-free experience with their motorcycle averages 42 percent in 2008, an improvement of 3 percentage points, compared with 2007.

“Despite the fact that owners report paying 14 percent more for their motorcycles this year, they are also more satisfied with the value received for the money spent,” said Tim Fox, research manager of the powersports practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “There are several motorcycle models with a higher price point that owners have indicated are a particularly good value for the money. This demonstrates that if you make a superior product, consumers are willing to pay a higher price for it because they believe it to be an excellent value.”

The study also finds that the industry continues to struggle with attracting younger, first-time motorcycle buyers.

“Since 2001, the average age of motorcycle owners has increased from 40 to 47 years,” said Fox. “This indicates that the current population of motorcycle buyers is aging, and a large proportion of these owners are likely to soon exit the market. Because first-time motorcycle buyers comprise 22 percent of all new motorcycle purchases—a figure has remained relatively flat since 2001—it is critical for manufacturers to focus on attracting first-time and younger buyers—primarily those in the Gen X and Y demographics—in order to ensure continued growth in this market.”

The study also includes the following findings:
Among motorcycle owners who visit a dealer for repair work, 79 percent report that the repair was performed correctly the first time—an increase of four percentage points from 2007.

The two problems that have the greatest negative impact on overall product satisfaction are rough paint and engines that overheat. Other problems that have a particularly strong impact on satisfaction include gearshift issues, lacking power, and the ride being too stiff or too soft.

During the past seven years, satisfaction with the engine and transmission has shown the greatest improvement among product-related aspects.

The 2008 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study includes responses from 7,334 owners who purchased new on-road or dual-sport motorcycles between September 2007 and May 2008. Owners were surveyed in September and October 2008.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2007 were $6.8 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Scoot! at International Motorcycle Show

See us at Cycle World International Motorcycle Show and Volunteer!

** The Scoot! team will be at the San Mateo, CA stop of this popular motorcycle show. If you are there, stop by to say hello. We’ll be in the Scooter Pavilion.

** 2008 Scoot! Buyer's Guides will be given away at the show.

** I'll be giving a presentation with Jeff Biafore from San Jose Vespa on Saturday.

** If you are interested in sharing your love of scootering and want to get into the show free, then volunteer at the show nearest you. Below, I’ll include information that I received from the Cycle World team. It’s fun!

Be a Scooter Ambassador and your weekend to the Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows presented by Toyota is free!

The Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows presented by Toyota has created a Scooter Pavilion new for this year where Scooterists can see all of the new scooters in one area. We are seeking ambassadors to hang out in the Pavilion and talk to show attendees about all things Scooter and if you volunteer for any shift, we’ll give you a free pass for the whole weekend!

Featured at the Scooter Pavilion:

- All the new 2009 scooter models
- Scooter History Exhibit
- Great deals on scoot fashion & gear
- Scooter Giveaways!
- Geico’s “Caveman Crib”

Scooterists, this new feature is just for you, and we want your help!

Find the show closest to you and come participate as a volunteer, find more details at motorcycleshows.com:

San Mateo, CA - Dec. 19-21, 2008
Novi, MI - Jan. 2-4, 2009
Washington, DC - Jan. 9-11, 2009
New York, NY - Jan. 16-18, 2009
Cleveland, OH - Jan. 30 - Feb. 1, 2009
Chicago, IL - Feb. 6-8, 2009
Minneapolis, MN - Feb. 13-15, 2009
Greenville, SC - Feb. 20-22, 2009

The volunteer shift schedule looks like this:

Friday Hours: 4:00p.m. - 9:00p.m.
Saturday Hours: 9:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.; 12:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.; 4:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.
Sunday Hours: 9:00a.m. - 1:00p.m.; 1:00p.m. - 5:00p.m.

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer please contact Kurt Whittington at 714-513-8457 or kwhittingtonATadvanstarDOTcom.

See you at the show! www.motorcycleshows.com

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New SHAG artwork...

SHAG has some new items out that will be great gifts for scooterists.

First, a very affordable laptop skin featuring a guy and girl on scooter passing a herd of kitties goes for $29 and comes in 12", 13", 14" 15" and 17" sizes. Fits both MAC and PCs. Get it at Infectious.

SHAG is also releasing a new print which is super-cute. Called Il Ballatoio, it should sell for just under $200. Get more info at Shagmart.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Vespa Onesie

Thanks to Karrie for letting me know about this onesie offered on etsy. $22.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cool Paul Frank items

I was just cruisin' the Paul Frank Industries site and found a few items that have scooters. First was a cartoon that you can watch online called , Going Twice where Julius rides a scooter. Access it at the Paul Frank site, under characters ->cartoons.

For purchasable merchandise, you can get a pair of girls undies with Worry Bear on them.

And a boy's tee with a scooter drawing.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Santa on a Scooter?

Josh's mom found this image on the ABC News website. Funny! See that bag on the back of the scooter? Based on past photos of heavily loaded scooters, that thing must be full of livestock or bananas.

The caption:
Holiday Window Displays
People look into the window of Selfridges as the store unveils its new Christmas display, Oct. 29, 2008, in London. The annual festive display has been a part of London Christmas retailing for nearly 100 years.
(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Blog entry soundtrack: "Leilani" by Hoodoo Gurus

Monday, December 01, 2008

2009 Vectrix Announced

Vectrix has made some changes to its electric scooters for the '09 model year. The Vx-1 will be available in 4 color combos: white/burgundy red, white/metallic silver, white/sapphire blue and white/acid green. It also gets some new accessories including a lower seat for those who have shorter legs, new windscreen options and a redesigned center stand. The 2009 Vx-1 will be available in dealerships by January 2009 with an MSRP of $10,495.

Further more, the company plans two additional models:

Vectrix plans to introduce two additional models in Spring/Summer 2009, the Vx-1e and Vx-2. The Vx-1e uses the same platform and drive train as the Vx-1, but features a lower price point, a more urban commuter driver profile with slightly less acceleration and top speed. The Vx-2 will be a smaller and more compact electric equivalent of a 50cc internal combustion engine (ICE) bike and use both U.S. and European designs. The Company expects to add additional power profiles to this product up to the electric equivalent of a 150cc ICE motorbike.

It looks very police-like to me, but I applaud them for trying something new with the bike. I'm anxious to see the new models.

Blog entry soundtrack: The new album by Point Juncture, WA.

Holiday Gift Idea: Personalized Scooter Stationery

I am a fan of Rock Scissor Paper from way back. They are having a short but tasty sale on their personalized stationery today and tomorrow. You can save 10% on your personalized stationery order by entering the code: thanks8 at checkout. I ordered their scooter stationery and love it, although I admit that I am choosy about who gets this special stationery. Order some for yourself and some or a friend!

The record theme is cute, too.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Vespas make cameo in Adidas Commercial

Man, would I have loved to go to that party! Checkout the scooters in the beginning. And, don't you just love the Song, "Beggin'"? It's one of my all-time faves! Brilliant commercial.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Chrome Ruckus

Seen at Battlescooter in Sunnyvale,Ca.

M&M Scooter ornament

Remember those commercials with the Green M&M acting all sexy & reducing the boy M&Ms to puddles? Well, here's another reason why Green M&M is so appealing.

Thanks to Norbert for alerting me to this fun ornament which you can get on the M&M site for $10.

Her flirty riding style, sexy boots and saucy scarf make this a great gift ornament. If only I looked so smashing when I rode! Love her custom pink Vespa. Blue M&M seems to be having fun on his motorcycle, but isn't nearly as stylish as Green. ;)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cost Plus Scooter Ornaments

Cost Plus World Market has a blown glass scooter ornament in blue or red. $14.99. They appear to be ET4s.

I heard a rumor that this weekend there would be a 2 for 1 ornament sale.

Miss Vespa USA? Discuss...

When the brainstorm came for Amerivespa 2009, I had a few suggestions including starting a Miss Vespa USA contest. When I suggested it, lots of people laughed thinking I was making a joke, but I was totally serious. I wasn't saying that we needed some beauty pageant with a bathing suit and talent competition. I was thinking that it could be a way to highlight women in scootering and to recognize women who were great examples of people who scoot and what scootering can do for someone.

I envisioned a component where the contestants could submit an essay about what role scootering plays in their respective lives. Have they met new friends? Has scooter club membership brought out new leadership capabilities that they never exercised? Has the freedom of scootering affected their parts of their lives?

Since this is really AmeriVespa, I figure that perhaps there should be some Vespa trivia.

But other than that I am a bit stumped. I don't want it to be a hard, exclusionary thing. But, I also want it to be meaningful and inspirational. So after much mulling over, I thought that I would put it to the readers for suggestions.

What components would you like to see added to the contest to make is relevant and inspirational to other women riders? Feel free to leave a comment under this entry.

Blog entry soundtrack: Utah Saints- "New Gold Dream" Love what they did with Simple Minds!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Target Online: Bamboo Bay Scooter items

You can get these scooter items via Target's website only. If you go to the site search under "Bamboo Bay." Bath rug is $24.99. Tumbler is $6.99. Order yours now while they are on sale!

Blog entry soundtrack: "She Got Sex" by the JoBoxers

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Shopping: Target

Looking for some cool scooter items for the kids? Target has lots of affordable items:

Our Generation Doll Scooter sells for $26.99 and comes in lilac or a peach color and fits the Our Generation 18" dolls. Probably will fit other dolls like Elmo or Cabbage Patch dolls (do they make those anymore?).

Pink and Green Motor Scooter Framed Art by Miriam Bedia is a little spendy at $89.99, but this 14x14" print may be the thing for you or a friend.

The wee ones may enjoy the Big Bobby Scooter which is for ages 1 yr. and up and sells for $74.99. Thick rugged plastic stand up to a toddler's abuse and drool. Measures 15Hx14Wx23D".

While it isn't 100% scooter, The CarePlay Squirrel is a more affordable scooter-style ride-on toy at $44.99. It is rated for ages 1-3 and can hold an amazing 200lbs. That's one big baby!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friends & Family: Chronicle Books 35% off

Another installment in the Friends & Family category:

Chronicle Books is offering 35% off + free shipping until Dec. 5th. They produce books and gift products. For scooter lovers, they have the Miso Pretty line of stationery including a journal, stationery sets, and notecards. To get the deal, enter FRIENDS at checkout. They also carry Paul Frank items!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friends & Family: NapaStyle 25% off

Now's time for the ubiquitous Friends and Family Discount sales! And with this economy, I say we all could use some help for the holidays.

First up is NapaStyle which I blogged about earlier this month. In-store they carry some Vespa items such as the headlight clock, and pen set. They do not have the items online. So, if you are in NorCal and want to score some Vespa lifestyle merch at 25% off, print out the email and take it with you to the store December 1st-3rd.

Blog entry soundtrack: "Mystery Achievement" by The Pretenders

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Andrea Bocelli Represents

Jeff Kassel tipped me off to this CD from Andrea Bocelli which has a Vespa on the cover. Jeff throws down a challenge for blog readers to guess the model on the cover. Anyone want to venture a guess? How about year & model#? GS? VBA?

Blog entry soundtrack: "Bella Donna" by Doe Maar

Monday, November 17, 2008

Splenda Contest: Vespa LX50 Prize

Splenda is running a spy-themed contest ala Get Smart, called Operation Get Sweet.

How To Enter: Visit www.operationgetsweet.com ("Site") during the Game Period and create an account by providing all required registration information. To find out if you are an instant winner, follow the instructions provided to log in and enter the 6- or 10-digit UPC (Universal Product Code) from a product featuring the 'Sweetened with SPLENDA® Brand' logo. You may enter up to three UPCs per day. If you have won an instant win prize, you will be notified on-screen as to the prize you have won and when you will automatically receive your prize or affidavit package, depending on prize level. You may play the Game three (3) times each day during the Game Period. For purposes of this Game, a "day" begins at 12:00:00 a.m. ET and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. ET.

Blog entry soundtrack: "Since You're Gone" by The Cars

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Vespa USA website relaunch...finally!

VespaUSA has launched a new website which offers more community and fan features such as a screensaver (which won't work on my Mac!) wallpapers, a community section, Vespa history, options for connecting with other Vespa fans and more.
One of my fave sections is their history area where you can explore a timeline and use images from it as walllpapers on your desktop. My choice for now is the 1960 VBA.
Check it out at VespaUSA.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Jimmy's Quadrophenia Lammy for sale

Josh found this post on the uber-cool blog Retro To Go about the bike used as Jimmy's bike in the Who's film Quadrophenia.

A piece of movie history is going through Bonham's auction room later this month - the scooter rode by Jimmy Cooper in the cult mod flick Quadrophenia, complete with its original KRU 251F number plate.

It's a Lambretta Li 150 Series 3 scooter, originally dating from 1967 and being sold by current owners Allstyles in Portsmouth. The bike is on its third owner since the movie finished, but has been overhauled to a high standard fairly recently - although this does mean some of the original parts have been replaced by modern spares. Its recent used has been mainly confined to shows and press events of late - a possible money spinner should you want to invest in it.

And it might need to earn its keep, with a hefty estimate being quoted by Bonham's, between £20,000 and £25,000. Check over the page for a picture of the bike in the movie or check out the Bonham's site for more on the bike. The auction is being hosted at the Knightsbridge branch on 25th November 2008.

Place your bid now...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Adam & Eve Sweepstakes: Win a Vespa

"Adult" product retailer Adam & Eve have announced a "$25,000 Holiday Sextravaganza Sweepstakes" in which one of the prizes is a Vespa LX50.

Prizes include a dream vacation to a destination of the winner's choice, $1,000 cash, $300 shopping sprees at adameve.com, a Vespa scooter, a Nintendo Wii, dinner and a movie, and a date with Adam & Eve exclusive contract star Bree Olson at the 2009 Adult Entertainment Expo (plus tickets to the 2009 AVN Awards Show!).

Amongst the various prizes during Week 4 (November 30-December 6) someone will win a Vespa LX50.

There's no purchase necessary to enter, but customers are entered automatically with every order (limit one entry per day). Visit adameve.com for more information. [FYI- sexual products]

If you ride an old, rattly 2-stroke scooter, you may understand why I chuckled at the appropriateness of the prize!

Blog entry soundtrack: "White China" by Blancmange

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rise Against Scoots on Tour

Rolling Stone published an update on the band Rise Against and mentioned that they took scooters on their tour.
After midnight, the band boards the bus for a late-night trip to Philadelphia to play two nights at Electric Factory. "It's such a cool club," [Tim]McIlrath says. "The best shows happen in seedy neighborhoods built out of old warehouses." For this tour, they brought a fleet of scooters, which they use to track down some pre-show vegan cheese steaks. "Now, instead of being cooped up in a venue all day, we can just cruise around town," says McIlrath. "It keeps us sane."

You may recall that we have published articles on musician scooterists in the past. Poison's Rikki Rockett would tuck his Vespa smallframe in his tour bus' understorage and ride all over town during his stops. Audio Adrenaline did a co-tour with Mercy Me and both bands took Honda Ruckuses (plural?) on tour and had a blast tearing it up.

Rise Against is on tour and will do some last US dates, onto Canada and them to Austria and Germany. Assuming they are on 4-strokes (my money is on the Ruckus...) they should hook up with some of the German tuners or SIP. That will blow their minds!

Rickki Rockett cover

Vespa Items at Napastyle stores

Celeb chef Michael Chiarello has his own catalog and retail store called Napastyle. I walked through his store this weekend and saw that it carries some Vespa items such as the fenderlight clock, pen set, notebooks and even a two wallhangings. I didn't have my iPhone with me, so I couldn't take pictures. I checked the store's website & didn't find them there either. So, if you live near one of his few California stores stop by and check them out.

Blog entry soundtrack: "Message of Love" from the Pretenders

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Got it!: The Lammy ornament from Sur la Table

I previously posted about this new Lambretta scooter ornament from Sur la Table. Today, I went to one of their retail locations and bought one. $24 is steep. Perhaps it may go on sale after Christmas, but I didn't want to chance it.

It's a nice quality ornament. A couple things to look out for if you plan to buy one:
1) It is made of 2 separate pieces that are glued together, so look for one with minimal bond marks.
2) The retail locations have them in a bin, so examine the one you purchase to make sure it isn't scratched, chipped or faded. The earlier you go in the more you'll have to choose from.

All in all, it is a nice ornament and a rarity as it is a Lammy versus a Vespa.

Blog entry soundtrack: stream from Radio Paradise.

Scooter Collector Alert: Movie Posters

Recently I was doing some work on a new book of movie poster art called, "Art of the Modern Movie Poster" which collects 1,500 post-WWII film posters from 15 different countries/regions. It is a gorgeous book and a great gift for film buffs and collectors. The posters come from the collection of Posteritati, a shop in New York City. I spoke with the shop' owner and asked (of course) if he had any film posters with scooter on them. Coincidentally, he said that their website has a search tool where you can look up by subject and "vespas and scooters" is one of them. Tuns out that they have a few on sale there and I just had to buy one for my boyfriend for x-mas. Don't tell him. He won't find out here because he never reads my blog :( so for now it works.

If you are looking for a cool gift or just want to further add to your scooter items collection, check out Posteritati and bookmark it for future searches.

BTW- the book has a cool Quadrophenia poster that I'd love to get my hands on!

Here's the Ferry Across the Mercy poster that I bought. Apparently, in Argentina they prefer All are Well or Everything is Great:

Friday, November 07, 2008

New Scooter Book: Enrico's Vespa

When I interviewed Robin Davy, author of "Vespa Forever", he mentioned that he was working on a scooter book for kids which would be illustrated by Elena Pongiglione who was an illustrator for Piaggio from 1956-1964. The book is finally available from SIP in Germany for 23 Euros.

According to the description that Ralf at SIP sent me,
Professor Elena Pongiglione designed all the advertisements for Piaggio between 1956 and 1964. What is especially remarkable is that she was only 22 years old when she received her first commission in 1956. The young artist came to the attention of Piaggio after winning several of Italy´s most prestigious art awards (such as the “Diomira”, Milan, 1955 – 1956). In the fifties Elena Pongiglione´s appointment as chief graphic artist was a sensation: not only was she young, but also a woman! For some of the “weathered” males within Piaggio´s advertisement department this was an unacceptable situation – so afterwards her signature simply “disappeared” from some of her artwork!
In 1969 she published the book “La Vespa nel Cinema”, together with her husband, the renowned Italian Journalist Dr. Claudio G. Fava.
We are greatly honoured that Elena Pongiglione has drawed Enrico’s Vespa. Our book also gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to her outstanding designs. To this day there is no graphic artist that has created more for Piaggio. Elena Pongiglione has received numerous international art awards, her work has been exhibited all over the world.

I haven't had a chance to see it yet, but look forward to adding it to my collection!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Upcoming Event: Tucson-Nogales Rally 11/7 - 11/9

I have never been to the Tucson-Nogales ride, but past Scoot! owners Barry & Casey went and had nothing but great things to say about this event. It's a long ride through beautiful country which ends at a big BBQ & campout. This is the 21st year, so I guess people can now have beer at the campout, eh?

From the site:
Saturday morning, the rally departs from the Hotel Congress for a 125-mile ride through the beautiful scenic landscape of southwestern Arizona. We will have a mid-way stop in the rustic town of Patagonia, Arizona for gas, drinks and to stretch our legs. From Patagonia, we will continue on through Nogales, Arizona to the Calabassas Group Campsite a 5-acre, isolated, and reserved campsite in the Coronado National Forest.

At the Calabasas campsite, we will be greeted by a catered BBQ, multiple kegs of beer, music and a bonfire. Several campsites, firepits, firewood and a restroom are available. It can get cold at the campsite, so don't forget tents, sleeping bags and other camping gear.

If you can make it, pour a beer for me who will be working away on the next issue from my home...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Rain, winter weather can be dangerous to scooters

This past weekend a scooterist in my area lost his life in a crash. Recent rain on a slick mountain road was to blame. Safety in riding is one of my main concerns when gong out in less-than-ideal weather. Often, I just skip riding if it is raining. I'm a notorious slowpoke, so you don't have to tell me twice to slow down. I've got nothing to prove; I just want to have fun getting to my destination.
Each year, Josh sends out a list of rainy weather riding tips. I'll reprint them here with some notes of my own.

Stay safe out there fellow scooterists!

1: Stay out of the middle of the lane as it is where cars drip oil and fluids making it very slippery.Very important during the first few rains.

2: As much fun as it is, try not to drive through puddles. It reduces your ability to brake and makes everything more slippery. Besides you never know how deep a hole may be under the puddle

3: Show extra caution when turning

4: Be extremely careful when riding over metal grates/plates and manhole covers they become very slippery. if you can avoid them, do so. Whatever you do don't slam on the brakes while you are going over one. Also avoid leaves as they can be slick and plentiful during fall/winter.

5: Make sure you have the proper tire pressure

6: Get a riding suit even if its one of those plastic rain slick things. The worst part about riding in the rain is getting wet.

7: Do not put your hands/gloves in plastic bags or the like as you will compromise your grip and may slip off of the bars.

8: Make sure all of your lights work, especially your taillight and brake light. Rain reduces visibility.

9: A fullface helmet will keep you dry and keep rain and road gunk from getting on your face or in your eyes.

10: An anti-fog liner in side your visor will keep your visor clear. You can also get antifog solution for eyeglasses.

11. A scooter skirt will keep your pants dry and your lower body warmer.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NSR: Songs I Love No Matter What

I have been listening to lots of Internet radio while working on the magazine. My fave stations are Radio Nigel for 80s, KINK-FM for 80s-modern alternative from the Netherlands, Radio Paradise for mellow eclectic, and Memories 89 KCEA-FM for 30s and 40s music.

Often some song comes on that I am so excited to hear, a song from my past that I never tire of Thought I'd list a few of them. It's not in order of importance, nor is it complete, just an off-the-top list:
1) Rock Lobster- B-52s: an epic song with drama, nonsense, sound effects, cowbell, and a narwhal!

2) Bedsitter- Soft Cell: a honest song where so many people can see themselves. I am no music theory student, but there is something about the notes that are used in that song that are melancholy.

3) Tears (full arrangement)- Chameleons UK: One of the best concerts I have been to; "And the days were long and slow, But were we wiser then? I couldn't say, I wouldn't know..."

4) Well I Wonder- The Smiths: Morrissey is never afraid to reveal vulnerability. Chicks dig it. ;)

5) Radio Clash- The Clash: Smokin'

5) Sweet Soul Music- Arthur Conley: Yeah-yeah!

6) 25 Miles- Edwin Starr: "I, I, I, I, I'm so tired but I just can't lose my stride"

7) I Love You Honey- Patsy Cline: twangy with a fiddle

8) Groove is in the Heart- Dee-Lite: Irresistible

9) Sleepwalk- Johnny & Santo: Perfect.

10) Reggae in Your Jeggae- Fun to sing along, even with my terrible singing voice

11) Peace Frog- The Doors: Get's them dancing at a party, really. Try it.

Got any to share?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sale Alert: PBTeen Speaker Messenger Bag

While rally season may be winding down, there's no reason why you can't start planning for next year. Pottery Barn's Teen store has their Quilted Speaker Messenger Bag on sale for a cheap $14.99. It comes in gray or pink. Add your iPod and 2 AA batteries and you've got a portable boom box. A fun way to menace cars as you sit at a stop light playing "Baby Got Back", "Immigrant Song" or "Pum-Pum". And when you get to your destination, you can enjoy some tunes, too. Get it now for x-mas and pay less than $7 for personalization.

Blog entry soundtrack: "Belly of a Whale" by Burning Sensations

Monday, October 27, 2008

Upper Playground Ape Shirt

Upper Playground, who produces the Scooter Geek shirt listed earlier also sells a shirt with a pig riding a Vespa Ape (pronounced "ah-pay" FYI). The design incorporates the stinger end of a wasp, the top jaw of the skeleton looks like the front fender. Cool! Not sure what the pig is doing on top, but he's cute nonetheless.

The made a cute little video to go along with it, too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jay Leno Appears at Piaggio Dealer meeting

This just in from the Piaggio PR team:
Leno surprised an appreciative audience at the 2009 national Piaggio Group Americas dealer meeting in Palm Springs, CA, introducing dealers to 11 of the latest Vespa, Piaggio, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi products, including the all-new Vespa S 50 and Aprilia SMV 750 Dorsoduro. A long-time and outspoken ambassador of motorcycling and a fan of the Piaggio brands, Leno also personally evaluated the Aprilia Mana 850 and the three-wheel Piaggio MP3 250 scooter for JayLenosGarage.com.

Just callin' 'em like they see 'em...

Biz partner Mike forwarded this link to a funny shirt that some may find offensive, others may wear it with self-effacing pride. When I was in high school we used to sneak up to University of Santa Cruz and "geek" on their UNIX system. We used geek as a verb, you know geeking, geeked etc... SO being a scooter geek should be no skin off my nose. A fun gift for the hopeless scooter geeks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cool Tool: Magnetic Tool Tray

I love magnetic stuff and this tray is super-cool. If you don't have one, go out and get one. It is super-valuable when working on your scoot. No lost hardware. I have had one for years, but saw this hanging in Sears and it reminded me to post abut it.

It came in oddly handy once when my housemate and I had a clothes dryer that wouldn't stay closed. We out the magnet over the door, straddling the door and dryer body. It kept it closed no matter how much laundry was in there. ;)

But for keeping things tidy in the garage, it works great. Makes a good holiday gift for scooterists who do their own work, even plastic scooter owners.