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

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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:

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Sofia Vergara on a Vespa

    I haven't seen this new issue of SELF magazine, but saw it posted on HollywoodLife.comSelf styled a la dolce vita look and posted a video.  Check out the scooter in the video and the finished product below. Talk about a photoshop job!

    You may recognize Vergara as Ed O'Neill's wife on the TV show, Modern Family.

    This photo may not be in the magazine.

    update: saw this in the store today & this photo was not in it. Too bad for the person who did all the bike photoshopping!

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Scooter Invasion: Des Moines

    Perhaps the last place that you would expect to see a flock of scooters would be Des Moines, Iowa, but this week's issue of Juice (supplement to the Des Moines Register) covers The Corporation, a local scooter club that is hosting hosted its first scooter rally this last weekend, the Hostile Takeover.

    NOTE: I had set this up to post last week, but somehow it never moved from my draft folder. Doh! So I had to revise the post. What is cool is that my friend Norbert just came back from Iowa and brought me a copy of this exact issue. Cool!

    Check out the club's website for more info.

    blog entry soundtrack:

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Cannonball Run Highlights

    A bit of a round-up of Cannonball Run news culled from various bloggers on the ride. Links go to thir original posts. 
    Mechanical problems!
    It can't be a Cannonball Run without endless post-ride maintenance. David Bednarski deals with a disintegrating exhaust.  Starr Markham's Lambretta seized a piston,

    Stolen Truck!
     Bill Luinetti's support truck was stolen in Grand Forks, BC, Canada. Bummer. So much for those friendly Canadians! [jk] not only was it his vehicle, and a support truck for him and Starr Markham, it was how his son followed the trip. A sh*tty situation all around. Best of luck recovering the truck!

    Jim topples over in tough road conditions.

     David Bednarski


    Oz and Aaron's journey on 50cc scoots isn't about speed. GPS tells the test of patience that is a C3 going uphill.


    Some great photos from the road. It isn't all bad, tough riding!

     Kickstart Karen

     David Bednarski
     Kickstart Karen

    Got some time to read the blogs yourself? Grab a cup of coffee and read on:

    David's 2010 Cannonball Run Blog
    Life @ Slo Mo (Oz & Aaron)
    Brian's Scooter Cannonball Blog
    Kickstart Karen
    Lambretta Odysseys

    More updates to come!

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Doodle Bugs are Back!

    Quiz: What is a Doodle Bug?




    If you guessed B, you are right, If you guessed A, you mistakenly chose a Hasbro Cootie.

    Doodle Bugs were American-made scooters that, while only manufactured for a few years in the 1940s, must have been quite popular since so many exist today. Like Cushmans and Salsburys, many of the bikes have low horse-power Briggs & Stratton engines. Powerful enough to propel a youngster around the neighborhood, but not so much as to get him in trouble (or so was the thinking). These early, simple scooters provided a great sense of freedom for their young owners. Many of those original Doodle Bug riders have returned to the fold and bought new (to them) scooters and hold rallies to share their enthusiasm and knowledge.

    The Daily Freeman-Journal just ran an article on the upcoming Doodle Bug Reunion which happens this weekend in Webster City, IA.

    Bitten by the bug? Find out more about the Doodle Bug:

    Blog entry soundtrack:

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Secret Scoot! Stuff

    Recording at KQED. More info to come.

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

    Thursday, September 09, 2010

    Look Who's in American Motorcyclist...

    In June, Grant Parsons from the American Motorcyclist Association asked me to write a piece for the back-of-the-book guest column in the association's magazine, American Motorcyclist. The subject was up to me, which left me with a lot of possibility. Should I write about the practicality of riding a scooter? Should I extol the virtues of a small parking footprint and gas economy? Should I talk about Roman Holiday and Quadrophenia? I was a bit stumped on how to say something fresh and new that didn't sound as if I assumed that the AMA readers didn't know anything about scooters. I also didn't want to sound apologetic. Many scooterists take that sort of tone, as if they are lesser riders because they ride scooters. I struggled with the concept of the article and was unable to decide before I took off for my week away at Comic-Con.

    When I returned, I had to close the next issue of Scoot! and every spare moment of writing was dedicated to the issue. However, while I was editing the events calendar, I noticed something unusual. There were several Mods vs Rockers events happening this summer/fall. While Mods/Rockers events are nothing new, it was the amount of such events, spread out over the country, which impressed me. It meant that in pockets of the US, there were groups of scooterists and motorcyclists getting together to have fun, with no attitude...actually thumbing their noses at the notion that the two groups don't get along. Cool! I found the inspiration for my column.

    Once I figured on a theme, it went quickly. As much as I think Quadrophenia is a tired source to cite, it actually was pertinent to the point, so I evoked it once (I promise to leave it alone for a while!) to illustrate the old view of scooters versus motorcycles. The point that I wanted to make was that scooterists and motorcyclists aren't that different. We want the same things, we find pleasure in two-wheeled transport, so we should offer each other respect.

    The issue just hit mailboxes this week, and I have received some great feedback. If you are an AMA member, I hope you check it out. If you aren't an AMA member, why not join?
    Photo by Jen Good @

    Blog entry Soundtrack: Electricity by OMD and The Promise by When in Rome.

    Wednesday, September 08, 2010

    The Benefits of Parking a Scooter

    Try this in a smart car! ;-)

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

    More Cannoball Run...

    This article on Cannonball Run participant David Bednarski discusses this year's trip which he will do to raise awareness for Cold Nose Lodge, a canine daycare/boarding/rescue center.
    This is David's second Cannonball. He finished the 2008 Run.

    You can see a Flikr slideshow of his ride preparation here.
    Keep up on the Cannonball at David's blog.

    Tuesday, September 07, 2010

    Starting Today: Cannonball Run

    The 2010 Scooter Cannonball begins on September 9th! Pistol Pete, who freelances for Scoot!, is participating. Check out his blog and look for some great pics in a future issue. The route goes from Vancouver B.C. to Portland, Maine, and should be a great route along the upper part of the U.S.

    Our pal, Bagel (a funny story on how he got that name. Ask me sometime!) is posting updates on his blog: Bagel's Scooter Blog. So, follow on the fun!

    Good luck to the riders on their fantastic 10-day journey!

    Monday, September 06, 2010

    Win a Vespa LX 50 or Smell Great Trying...

    Still haven't won a Vespa LX 50? I'm surprised since it seems to be the go-to model for contests, lately. This newest contest is with Crabtree & Evelyn, which wants to celebrate its new Iris fragrance with a purple scooter giveaway. Enter now. Contest ends at 11:59:59 PM EST on September 30, 2010.

    Saturday, September 04, 2010

    Baron Von Shock

    Spotted in local comic book shop: "Whatever Happened to Baron Von Shock?" Comic by Rob Zombie by Image Comics. Scooter is only on cover and 2 panels inside.

    Wednesday, September 01, 2010

    Upcoming Event: So Far So Good

    The SF Scooter Girls know how to an organized and responsible way. Go ladies! That sounds funny but I love a fun, organized rally, and these ladies can bring it.  :)

    The San Francisco Scooter Girls Present:
    So Far So Good IV – I Left My Heart in San Francisco

    An all rides no raffle rally.

    Friday Sept 10:
    Meetup: 5:00 PM
    • San Francisco Scooter Centre - 127 Tenth Street (at Mission), San Francisco
    • Leave: 6:00 PM (led by Rachele)
    • Arrive: 7:00 PM
    • Broken Record Bar and Grille - 1166 Geneva (at Edinburgh), San Francisco

    Saturday Sept 11:
    Breakfast: 9:00 - 11:00 AM
    • Green Bar – 101 Clay Street - Embarcadero 3 – 2nd Level, San Francisco
    • Kick-ass breakfast provided by SF Scooter Girls at Green Bar
    • Scooter parking provided by SFSG on Drumm Street at Clay
    • SFSG breakfast, back by popular demand is as follows:
      • Scrambled eggs, bacon & potatoes
      • French toast w syurp/butter
      • Italian sausage w assorted peppers
      • Down home grits w sharp cheddar cheese *new edition by request*
      • Breakfast breads: carrot, marble, lemon poppy, orange cake and bagels
      • Coffee, tea, assorted juice
    * There will be bottles of water and cookies to grab for the ride*

    Breakfast begins at 9:00 a.m, we'll serve 'till 11 or so---see you there!

    • Leave: 11:00 AM (led by Lauren)
    • Arrive: 2:00 PM Park Chalet – 1000 Great Highway (at Ocean Beach), San Francisco
    • Meetup: 7:00 PM Silver Crest Donut Shop - 340 Bayshore Blvd., San Francisco
    • Leave: 7:30 PM
    • Arrive: 8:30 PM Serra Bowl - 3301 Junipero Serra Blvd, Daly City

    Sunday Sept 12:
    • Meetup: 10:00 AM Philz Coffee - 201 Berry St (at 4th Street, near King)
    • Leave: 10:30 AM
    • EB Meetup: 11:00 AM
    • Doyle St. CafĂ© - 5515 Doyle Street, Emeryville
    • Leave: 11:30 AM
    • Arrive: 2:30 PM New Zealander – 1400 Webster Street, Alameda