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.