Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Sims 3 Scooter

The Sims 3 video game now has a scooter that you can purchase for in-game use, outside of the World Adventures expansion pack.

The Scooter-a-Glow-Glow comes in a garish pink color combo, but can be customized in-game. It is available in the Sims3 Store for 350 SimPoints.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Excited about the BMW concept electric scooter?

It has the stories "center rail" which will also be in the Mini Countryman.
Charming video has me all excited about getting one of these. But will it go over 30 mph?

Blog Entry Soundrack:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Whole Foods in San Jose

Has designated motorcycle parking. Cool.

-- Post from my iPhone, out-n-about...

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Early Christmas Present

Got this early Xmas present from Scoot! Co-publisher Josh. Limited edition (10,000) sold only at Toys R Us.


-- Post from my iPhone, out-n-about...

Monday, December 06, 2010

Stocking Stuffers

Looking for some inexpensive gift items? Checkout these options:


In addition to carrying parts, Scooterworks also has a good selection of lifestyle items:


Alex an his team have been making scooters fun for decades. I highly suggest cruising the ScooterWest site for cool, unique gift items, and a great selection of parts.

Vespa Mudflap keychain, $7 (comes in other colors)

Michelin Man scooter fob, $15, meant for cell phones, but could work on keychain, too.

Blog entry soundtrack:
El Gatillo (Trigger Revisited)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Free Shipping:

According to the company,  "All orders in the continental U.S. will receive FREE UPS Ground Shipping from" They specialize in parts for newer Asian scooters.

Looking for some holiday gift ideas?

I periodically post cool scooter-themed items that make for great gifts. These posts are tagged "Scooter Collector." You can click on the tag at the bottom of the post, or just follow this link to a grouping of those past posts. 

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Holiday Decorating? Don't Forget Your Scoot!

A few weeks ago, Lori & I were on a trip to Target when we discovered a whole new group of battery-operated holiday lights. Sweet!

The local scooterists have been holding an annual holiday lights ride where we all meet on one evening, decorate our scooters with lights and ride around the neighborhoods that have lots of holiday cheer. We have been doing it for over a decade, but in the past few years, Scoot! has hosted the event and started it at a local Starbucks where we treat participants to warm drinks before we shove off.

Lori and I bought various light sets. One is a big single snowflake with a suction cup that should stick nicely to the front of my P200. The smaller lights are LEDs so they should last a long time and not get hot. They are all made by Phillips and were in the $5-9 range. The snowflake came with batteries, but the others did not.

Are you having a holiday lights ride in your area? Perhaps you are coupling it with a toy drive? Leave a comment and share your plans with us all.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Financing Option for Piaggio/Vespa Scooters

From Piaggio USA:

New partnership offers zero down payment, low rates and up to 60 month terms on all new Piaggio and Vespa motor scooters.

November 23, 2010—Piaggio Group Americas and FreedomRoad Financial are pleased to announce an official partnership that will provide retail financing for Piaggio and Vespa scooters in the United States.

“We are looking forward to partnering with a well respected company like FreedomRoad Financial to offer our customers great finance rates so they can more easily afford the Vespa or Piaggio scooter they have been wanting” said Rick Panettieri, Piaggio Group Americas director of product management. “We have been working with Freedom Road Financial for many months now and are expanding the number of brands and models that can be financed with them. We have been pleased with our relationship so far with Moto Guzzi and are looking forward to expanding that to cover the Vespa and Piaggio brands. The longer term loans will provide our customers with good credit the opportunity to have even lower monthly payments.”

FreedomRoad Financial is focused on providing powersports financing nationwide through its network and is known for its commonsense approach to retail lending and high personal service.

“Vespa and Piaggio are iconic brands with economical environmentally friendly products, passionate customers and dealers, and we are thrilled that they have chosen us as their retail financing partner,” stated Tom Collins, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of FreedomRoad Financial, “We look forward to establishing solid relationships with their dealers and being a contributor in helping them grow their sales in this country.”

For more information about Piaggio please visit and for more information about Vespa please visit

About The Piaggio Group:
Established in 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio and based in Pontedera in Pisa, Italy, the Piaggio Group is one of the world’s top manufacturers of two-wheel motor vehicles. With more than 7,000 employees, an annual production of more than 610,000 vehicles in 2009, five R&D centers, seven production facilities in Europe and Asia and operations in more than 50 countries – the Piaggio Group has a consolidated leadership in the European two-wheeler market. The company produces scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in the 50cc to 1,200cc displacement range, marketed under the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia, Scarabeo and Moto Guzzi brands. The Group also manufactures three- and four-wheel light transportation vehicles for the Ape, Porter and Quargo ranges.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Motorsport Scooter Moving Sale

Wonder what kind of deals will be had at this sale?

Join us on Saturday December 11th, as we celebrate a move to our new location by having a monumental rummage sale. This one's so big, we've called it our “Estate Sale.”

Compared to our last garage-sale, this one's going to be filled up with even more badassery, including continental breakfast, great sales, free stuff, and even some haggling! We may even get the coffee maker ready for double-drip-duty to get you guys pumped.

On sale we'll have all kinds of hard-to-find and rare goodies, pretty much whatever the mice have been squirrelling away like ferrets under the warehouse shelves over the last decade! There could be all sorts of awesome stuff in there: beer, fingernails, windshields, even random and rare hardware and rubber bits! Who knows?!

We'll know soon enough and so will you when you see it for sale at our EXTREME ESTATE SALE. Come wake us up on: we'll be sleeping on the asphalt at the shop on December 11th, waiting for our friends to arrive and begin estate sale-ing!

Vespa Motorsport is located at 4225 30th St., San Diego,CA 92104-1234

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scoot! Magazine Annual Board Meeting

Chatting scooters, business, and more scooters.
Left to right, April, Josh, and Paul.

-- Post from my iPhone, out-n-about...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Paul Frank Kids & Small Paul on Sale

I don't have any kids, but I do have a serious scooter collectible problem, and Paul Frank Industries is often after my heart with their scooter-bearing merchandise. Just got word that the Paul Frank Kids and Small Paul lines are on sale, and select items can be had for 30% off. Offer goes from 11/11-11/18 and you must use PAUL30 at checkout. Snap up this cool biker onesie (reg. $28) for your little mod:

Monday, November 08, 2010

Holiday Gift: Knit Scooter Gal

Ladies and gentlemen, start your needles! 
If you have a gift for knitting, have some time, and want to give a handmade gift to a scooterist on your list, consider this knitting pattern for a girl and her scooter. I don't knit, and I can't vouch for how easy/hard this may be, but the finished result looks pretty cute!

Pattern available from etsy for $4.50. You can also check out other views of the project.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Testing & Photographing the new Honda PCX

Moving PCX around for a photoshoot. 

We usually just barge in somewhere unannounced, so I have to keep my gear on in case security shows up to give us the heave-ho. About 10 minutes after this pic was taken, security did show up, so we went onto the next location.  :)

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Holiday Gift: Department 56 Village Scooters

Every time I go by the Department 56 displays in stores I wonder why they don't have scooters. Well, it seems that they introduced scooters in 2008, but I never saw them, or my local stockists just didn't order them. Too bad for them-- they could have taken me for some serious money.

The Village Scooters are still available from Department 56 retailers. Two scooters for $20. If you have one in your ton, ask them to order them for you. or you can go to the website and be directed to online retailers that sell them.

One of the online retailers is Bronners who also sells this modern scooter ornament (but calls it a moped in the description, dernit). 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

New Armadillo Scooter Wear

The UK's Armadillo Wear is launching two new jackets for Fall: the Women's Betsy and Men's Alex jackets can be seen in this sneak-peek video. The jackets will be launched at the SEMA show this week, with more info to come.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Need UM Parts? MRP Can Help

This week, MRP announced that it acquired the assets of United Motors, which distributed Hyosung scooters in the USA. UM closed earlier this year and many owners (and dealers) had a tough time locating parts. While MRP does not sell directly to consumers, dealers can get OEM and accessories from MRP, which also carries parts for Malaguti, TNG – CMSI Scooters, Diamo – LS Motorsports, Italjet America, CPI Scooters and ATVs.

If you have a scooter which is under any of these marques, you can find an MRP dealer through the company's website, or direct your local repair shop to get parts directly from MRP.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Holiday Gift: Hello Lucky Letterpress Cards

I guess it's time to start the scooterist holiday gift guide. Some say that Nov. 2 is too early, but many of my picks may need to be ordered for delivery, so it's never to early to start! Today's suggested gift are stationery items from Hello Lucky! The company is run by two sisters who are based in San Francisco. While they previously had some other items with scooters on them, they currently sell:
While the cards can be useful for friends, I think the wrapping paper is the most useful. Order now for the holidays!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Super-Cool Gift: Scoot! Track Jacket

With the gift-giving season coming up quick, let me suggest a cool gift for the fashionable scooterist: The Scoot! Track Jacket. These aren't some stock jackets that we just had our logo embroidered on, We had these made specifically for us, and for you!  A handful of U.S. scooter shops carry these, but we have the full range of sizes: unisex S-2XL.  A super-steal for just $40.

Order one, now!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cute Scoot-n-Pooch 25% off!

I'm in love with this Boogie on a Scooter calendar by Lili Chin. It is her art of her Boston Terrier on a a variety of scooters. Readers of my blog may recall that one of my wishes is to have my own dog who rides on my scooter, so you know I am totally into this calendar. Chin uses a variety of vintage scooters like a Fuji Rabbit, Maicomobile, Salsbury and more. This would make a great holiday gift for the vintage scooterist on your list!

Get it from Zazzle for 25% off now.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tips for Riding in the Rain

Some tips from Scoot! Magazine's Josh Rogers:

The rainy season is upon us and I know that some people are hesitant to ride in the rain or when the ground is wet. So I decided to list some tips on riding in adverse weather conditions. The bottom line really is, make sure your actions are smooth. Don't brake too fast don't accelerate too fast and you will be fine. There are very few differences between wet and dry but you do need to exercise extra caution.

  1. Stay out of the middle of the lane. The middle of the lane is where cars drip all their oil and stuff making it very slippery. Especially 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, manhole covers and painted lines 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.
  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: you may slip off the bars.
  8. Make sure all of your lights work, especially your taillight and brake light. Rain means that people have reduced visibility.
  9. A full-face helmet will keep you drier than a 3/4 or 1/2 helmet.
  10. If you have a full-face helmet, use an anti fog treatment or liner in the visor to keep good visibility.
  11. Stay warmer and drier with a scooter skirt.  

I hope this helps everyone I have been riding for a while and have done my fair share of riding in the rain. Remember that riding in the rain is easier than you think. Once you have done it a couple of times you will have built your confidence and become a better rider, wet or dry.

Appropriate blog entry soundtrack:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Photos from France

I uploaded some of my photos from my France trip to Flikr. Feel free to browse through them. Story to come in the Decmber issue of Scoot! Magazine.

Monday, October 11, 2010

April on PRI's Marketplace radio show

A few weeks ago I taped a segment for PRI's Marketplace show. I listen to it each night on my journey home from work. I never thought that I would find a business radio show interesting, but for the past few years I have found it to be both entertaining and engaging, and the interstitial music is pretty good, too. :-)

So when I heard a spot called Road Warriors, which gives a peek at what type of music folks listen to while traveling for business, I thought I'd submit my own suggestion. I had two choices, first something from the Smiths, but I ultimately chose a song that is, in my mind,  totally connected to scooter rallies: Twenty Five Miles by Edwin Starr. The song is a popular mainstay on the playlists at rallies and all-nighters, and it has a great marching beat. It is about a man who has been walking for "three long days and two lonely nights" to see his woman. Once he gets to 25-miles away he's rejuvenated and bursts into the song.

Listen/See the transcript here

I've driven fairly far to get to some scooter rallies, and I've ridden in lots of rally events where that 25-mile road marker comes up and it brings this song to mind. I actually sing it to myself a lot when I'm riding. Luckily, I wear a full-face helmet! The song is irresistible! A few years ago, Harold Ray Live in Concert did a great cover of it. 

It was fun to hear the segment and the editor cut-in the song nicely. Made me want to hear it all over again!

Another cool Road Warriors segment is Joshua Smith's submission. Listen to it here.
Blog entry soundtrack (of course!):

Saturday, October 09, 2010

About to leave Grasse

We are just about to head to the bus which will return us from Grasse to Nice. It has been a great week here in the French Riviera. Lots of great riding. We logged about 650km over 5 riding days. I took over 400 photos and some video. We went the beach, to the mountains, saw huge canyons carved by a river, rode through rain, fog, and lots of sun. It has been a fantastic time, for sure!
We go back to Nice today and then fly home tomorrow at 7:30am. Looking forward to writing a a about the trip & sharing it with Scoot! readers.

-- Post from my iPhone, out-n-about...

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Wish You Were Here!

Some snaps from my trip. Still two days to go!

-- Post from my iPhone, out-n-about...

Monday, October 04, 2010

Day 1 Begins

Today is our first day of riding in the South of France. From our hotel high above a hill we can see out to the sea, except that there is a lot of fog and likely rain. We didn't bring rain gear but I am willing to risk it.
There are only 6 Americans on our trip (3 couples) and our guide. Jens from Germany. It is a small group so we can be flexible.

-- Post from my iPhone, out-n-about...

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Paul Frank Scooter Swag

If you read the print version of Scoot! you may recall seeing an ad for Paul Frank stationery items. I interviewed the actual Paul Frank (before his namesake company dismissed him) waaay back in Scoot! issue # 19 (we're on 58, now!) and he was pleasant and charming. He said that while he had never owned a scooter, he admired the SoCal kids that rode them and he used the motif in his artwork. Paul Frank Industries continues to periodically use scooters. Here are some current offerings.

Sheriff Julius T-Shirt (Toddler)

Julius is a cool motocop on his P series-style scooter. Thanks to Gretchen & Desmond for alerting me to this cool shirt they got at Target. Just $8.99. You can buy two for that price, so when your kids stains it, you have another.

Julius Scooters Knit Boxer Brief

While some guys may prefer crisp, broadcloth boxers, these soft knit Y-front style boxers may change their minds when they see the cool Julius scooter on them. $18 at the Official Paul Frank store, alas they only have Small. 

Scooter Love Women's T-Shirt
Available at the Official Paul Frank Store for $22 in sizes XS-L.

Blog entry soundtrack:

Friday, October 01, 2010

Goin' on Scooter Vacation!

I'm going to be offline for a while as I'll be on vacation. And this isn't just a long weekend driving to a far away scooter rally. I'm heading to France for a scooter tour organized by Edelweiss Travel. While the company has been leading motorcycle tours for abut 30 years, it just began offering tours by scooter. I'll be taking their Cote d'Azur by Scooter tour.

The 7-day trip itinerary:

5 Day Riding Route
DAY 1 Arrival in Grasse
DAY 2 Principality of Monaco
DAY 3 Grand Canyon du Verdon
DAY 4 Beaches of St. Tropez
DAY 5 Fragrances of Provence
DAY 6 The rich and beautiful of Cannes
DAY 7 Departure from Grasse 

We have opted for 250cc bikes. Not sure of the make. Perhaps we'll get a Peugeot! The total riding distance is about 470 miles with our daily rides--50-130 miles. We'll have a guide but can go at ou own pace. The other 8 people on the trip are also Americans, so there won't be a language barrier there.

I took 4 years of French in high school, but that was 20+ years quite some time ago! Since we'll be in the south of France we won't be able to attend the Paris auto show, where the new Mini and Smart scooters will be on  display. So close!

I'll try to update Twitter and post to the blog whenever possible, but I'm wary of using the iPhone too much. I'll be taking lots of trip will make a great article in the next issue!

I'm excited!

I'll be curious to see what my garden looks like when I return. My housemate will water it while I am gone, but I'm sure my carrots and broccoli will be much bigger when I next see them. 

See you in mid-October!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Motorcycle Noise Law in CA

This press release was issued by the AMA. Wonder what this will do for small exhaust manufacturers like 226 Vintage?-April

 + + + + + + +
California has new statewide law governing motorcycle sound

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- A new California law requires street motorcycles registered in the state and built on or after Jan. 1, 2013, to have an exhaust system label certifying the motorcycles meet federal sound limits, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

On Sept. 28, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Senate Bill 435, sponsored by Sen. Fran Pavey (D-Agoura Hills). While motorcycle manufacturers have been complying with the federal law since it was effective in 1983, the new law now makes it a state crime to operate any motorcycle registered in the state that was built on or after Jan. 1, 2013, that doesn't have a federal Environmental Protection Agency exhaust system sound emissions label.

In addition, the law requires aftermarket exhaust systems made on or after Jan. 1, 2013, to display the EPA sound emissions label, and therefore applies to individuals who seek to replace the exhaust system on affected streetbikes.

View the legislation

Thousands of motorcyclists utilized the AMA website at first to oppose the bill, and then to urge Schwarzenegger to reject it.

AMA Western States Representative Nick Haris expressed major concerns about the new law.

"Many EPA labels are very difficult to locate on motorcycles," Haris said. "This law could lead to a flurry of tickets for motorcyclists who have legal exhaust systems with EPA labels on their machines that can't be easily seen. It's unreasonable to expect a law enforcement officer to easily locate an EPA label, and it's simply unfair to expect a motorcycle owner to partially dismantle an exhaust system along the roadside to prove the label exists."

Violators face fines of up to $100 for a first offense and up to $250 for subsequent offenses. Judges have the discretion to dismiss the fine for first-time offenders if the violation is corrected.

Also, a violation is considered a secondary offense, meaning a police officer can't stop a motorcyclist solely because the officer believes the motorcyclist is breaking the sound emissions label law.

"Requiring that a motorcycle display a readily visible EPA label isn't the appropriate way to address concerns about excessive motorcycle sound, which the AMA has pointed out repeatedly," Haris said. "The only objective way to determine whether a motorcycle complies with sound laws is for properly trained personnel to conduct sound level tests using calibrated meters and an agreed-upon testing procedure."

In 1972, Congress passed the federal Noise Control Act, which required the EPA to set sound standards for a number of products. It took several years, but the EPA eventually wrote rules affecting all new motorcycles sold in the U.S. beginning in 1983.

Those regulations, which still stand today, required that all street-legal motorcycles be limited to 83 decibels at that time, with a stricter, 80-decibel limit imposed beginning in 1986.

The AMA has long maintained a position of strong opposition to excessive motorcycle sound. In September 2009, the AMA developed model legislation for use by cities and states seeking a simple, consistent and economical way to deal with sound complaints related to on-highway motorcycles within the larger context of excessive sound from all sources.

The model legislation offers an objective method to evaluate motorcycle sound based on the Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE) J2825 standard, "Measurement of Exhaust Sound Pressure Levels of Stationary On-Highway Motorcycles." For more information, click here:

About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its support of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More Electric Scooter Buzz

Even the New York Times feels that this is a story! See this NYT article by Phil Patton. As info leaks out about the scooters that Mini and Smart are proposing, one thing makes me pause:
"Smart claims a top speed of 28 miles per hour and a 62-mile range for its Escooter."

If Vectrix could make a scooter that could go a speed that could keep up with realistic traffic speeds, why can't other manufacturers? Cool only gets you so far (and these concepts are freaking cool) but 28mph puts it in the retirement community user's realm.

They must be serious to spend the $$ to get Agyness Deyn to pose!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Loaded Up & Ready to Go

My scooter will be used in a photoshoot for a book. Sweet!

-- Post from my iPhone, out-n-about...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Scooting in Hollister

-- Post from my iPhone, out-n-about...

More treasures

Looks like lunch will have to wait....

-- Post from my iPhone, out-n-about...

Made it to the farm!

-- Post from my iPhone, out-n-about...

Goin' Camping

Jon & I are joining some friends on a ranch in Hollister. I'm looking forward to it because we get to ride Hwy 25 which we haven't ridden since our epic maxi-scooter test in 2004. It's a fun, curvy ride through farmland and dry wilderness. I'll post pics as we go.

Loaded up & ready to go. I am trying a mounted camera.

Jonnie on his mount.

A coffee stop.

-- Post from my iPhone, out-n-about...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pretty in Pink Scooter Bank

Save up for your next scooter (what will that make it...three scooters? Five?) in this sweet piggy bank. Or should I call it a Scooty Bank? Available at Sourpuss Clothing for $16.

Blog entry soundtrack:

My Next Mini?

Some of you may already know that I own a Mini Clubman car (39MPG, baby!) so perhaps my next Mini purchase will be this Mini electric scooter. Check out the video for the concept, below

While these electric scooters look pretty awesome, we should be reminded that these are just concepts that will be presented at the Paris Auto Show next month. But wouldn't it be awesome to have a scooter with ipod integration so that you can use your Google Maps?My Mini car has some really cool features, so hopefully this scooter will make it into production without the distinctive features stripped.

Find out more and see an image gallery at the MINI Space.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NSR: Mopeding Monster

Saw this on the Urban Outfitters site & thought it was cute. At first I thought it was a fish, but seriously...those arms? No fish.

Moped Pro by Pat Perry
Art Print / SMALL - 17" X 21" ($25.00)


Tuk Tuk/ Scooter Taxi Dress - So Cute!

Summer may be waning, but you can keep the spirit of a far east holiday with this super-cute Asian Expedition dress from eShakti.

    The dress sells for $65 and has:
    • Cotton cambric; hand wash
    • Back exposed metal clip closure
    • Front scoop neck, back v-neck
    • Banded waist
    • Above knee length
    • Lined in cotton voile

    The company allows you to customize their products for a nominal fee. This was for sale a few months ago, disappeared from the site before I could blog it and has since returned. Get it now!

    Detail of block printing

    Blog Entry Soundtrack: