Thursday, March 24, 2011

Larry Crowne Film Trailer

The trailer for Larry Crowne holds some excitement for Yamaha Riva fans everywhere! See th trailer here:

And check out Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks scootin' along here:

The film has a July 1st release date. Plan a ride with your local club to see it!

Blog entry soundtrack:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Scooters of DC

As I walk around the city, I am seeing scooters here & there.

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

Friday, March 18, 2011

King Tutt Putt rally- San Diego

I'm flying out to Washington D.C. this weekend, so I can't attend KTP, but if you are in the San Diego, CA area, check it out. -April

MARCH 17-20, 2011
San Diego, CA

Friday March 18th
• Meet up at 9 a.m. at the new Motorsport Scooters shop located at 3955 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92110. Map
• We hit the road at 10 a.m. to RD's Log Cabin located at 26650 San Felipe Road, Warner Springs, CA 92086. Map
• After tent set up, there will be an optional ride out to Agua Caliente and putz around at the springs.
• After the springs and a little R&R back at the campsite, we head out to the Santa Ysabel Casino for $4.95 roast beef dinner special and all the gambling you can stand!
• We finish the day back at the campsite for grab-ass fun and booze by the campfire!

FYI: Ron, the owner of RD’s Log Cabin is allowing the Pharaohs the use of his campground at no charge. In exchange for his generous offer, the Pharaohs ask that you folks attending the King Tutt Putt show your support of Ron by patronizing the bar at the Log Cabin til closing at 1 a.m. The bar offers excellent booze and food at great prices. After the bar closes, we’ll start up a bonfire at the campsite and tap a keg or two for your continued drinking pleasure. Support the Pharaohs and RD’s Log Cabin and don’t be that guy!

Saturday March 19th
• Meet up at 9 a.m. at the new Motorsport Scooters shop located at 3955 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92110.
• We hit the road at 10 a.m. to RD's Log Cabin located at 26650 San Felipe Road, Warner Springs, CA 92086.
• After tent set up, there will be an optional ride out to Borrego Springs for lunch. Map
• After returning to the campsite, there will be an optional off road ride (dangerous... yet fun as hell!) for experienced riders. Dinner at RD's is free with the purchase of a rally pack!
• The Amalgamated and Ottley Mercer will provide Saturday night's entertainment inside RD's Log Cabin!!

Sunday March 20th
• Breakfast at RD's is free with the purchase of a rally pack!
• Pack up make our way back to San Diego
• See you next year!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

AMA Selects Best 15 Roads

Members of the American Motorcyclist Association chose the 15 best motorcycling roads in a recent web poll. Do you live near these roads? Have you ridden them? I added the links below using Google Maps and other web resources, so they routes are approximate. -april

American Motorcyclist Association members select America's 15 best motorcycling roads

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The results are in, and communities nationwide are the winners. Members of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) voted on their favorite roads in America, and the top 15 selections represent scenic highways and byways throughout the country.

"When it comes to the best places in the country to ride motorcycles, no group of riders is more knowledgeable than AMA members," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "No group puts in more miles, samples more asphalt or rides more roads.

"By publicizing our favorite roads in American Motorcyclist magazine, AMA members will seek out these destinations and bring tourism dollars into local communities through the purchase of food, fuel, lodging and more," Dingman said.

The editors of American Motorcyclist magazine used the 230,000-member, non-profit association's website,, to accept nominations and tally votes for members' favorite roads. Nearly 100 roads made the ballot, and the magazine published the top 15 roads in the April issue as well as a list of "honorable mentions."

"Some of these roads are familiar to motorcyclists, and others may not be," said Managing Editor James Holter. "They all have one thing in common: They're the best roads in the country, as chosen by AMA members."

A countdown of the top 15 routes:
15. Washington Route 129 and Oregon Route 3, Clarkston, Wash., to Enterprise, Ore.
14. Ohio Route 170, Calcutta to Poland.
13. California Route 58, McKittrick to Santa Margarita.
12. U.S. Route 33, Harrisonburg, Va., to Seneca Rocks, W.Va.
11. Natchez Trace, from Natchez, Miss., to Nashville, Tenn.
10. Angeles Crest Highway, California Route 2.
9. U.S. Route 12, Lolo Pass, Idaho and Montana.
8. California Route 36.
7. Cherohala Skyway, North Carolina and Tennessee.
6. Going to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana.
5. California Route 1, Pacific Coast Highway.
4. U.S. Route 550, from Ouray to Durango, Colo.
3. U.S. Route 129 -- The Tail of the Dragon -- on the North Carolina-Tennessee border.
2. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina.
1. Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming.

Complete descriptions, as well as the list of honorable mentions, are available in the April issue of American Motorcyclist magazine, starting on page 30. The feature can also be viewed online at Images of the roads nominated by AMA members can be viewed online at > Member Submissions > Great Roads.

American Motorcyclist magazine is exclusively for AMA members, and is not available on newsstands. For information on joining the AMA, go to or call (800) AMA-JOIN (262-5646).

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

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tsunami Causes Japan Manufacturing Plants to Close

In efforts to conserve energy in light of rolling blackouts, Japanese manufacturers Honda and Suzuki have chosen to close their manufacturing plants until further notice.

In a statement, Kevin Saito of American Suzuki Motor Corporation said the company's manufacturing plant in Hamamatsu City would voluntarily close while the dire situation in Japan was assessed. The plant is located 158 miles south of Tokyo and reports no damages to the plant or its employees.

Dealernews reported that Honda will also undergo volunteer closure of its various plants while the nation's status develops.

Lambretta SightingL AT&T Ad

Saw this ad on A Lambretta makes a quick appearance in this ad for AT&T U-verse.

Either I am detail oriented or obsessed with scooters. Don't answer that.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

High Gas Prices May Drive Scooter Purchases, but...

If gas prices stay high, we may experience another scooter buying frenzy like we did in 2008, although the economy may temper the hysteria a bit. TV news crews, local reporters and radio hosts may swarm local dealers for a few sound bites about exceptional gas mileage (100mpg?!?) but once they close their reporter notebooks and pack up the lighting rigs, they will likely have overlooked the total picture of the costs of buying a scooter.

I touched on this in blog posts that I wrote in 2008:
Is Money the Only Reason to Ride a Scooter
$4 Gas is Waking Up America

Truthfully, $4 gas prices suck, but only someone who already owns a scooter will be laughing as s/he passes up the pump. If you park your Prius, but a brand new Vespa and expect to see the money pile up in your bank account, you will be in for a surprise. If you drive an old V8 truck from the 70s 20 miles roundtrip to work each day, and decided to dig your old P200 out of the garage, give it a tune-up and do the commute on the scoot while parking the truck, you're in for a pleasant surprise. Most people are somewhere in between and will need to really crunch the numbers to see if buying a new scooter makes financial sense.

There are lots of other considerations: insurance, scooter maintenance, and how often one will actually forgo the car for the scooter.

Costs to conisder:
  • Purchase price
  • Interest if financing the purchase
  • Scheduled maintenance (differs from cars)
  • Wear & Tear (some scooters require new tires every 2K miles)
  • Insurance (make sure your policy includes uninsured motorist)
  • Riding gear (clothing, helmet, gloves, rain gear etc)
  • Security (locks, parking)
  • Oil (if you are running a 2-stroke, you have to account for the cost of 2T oil)

I realize that I may sound like a negative nan, raining on the "higher gas = buy a scooter" parade, but I want to get above the rote sound bites that the media may be offering now.  Scooters are seriously great fun to ride, but I consider the fuel economy to be a bonus. Already having a scooter (65mpg) in my garage that I bought 14 years ago makes the gas savings apparent when I choose it over my Mini (39mpg), but if I went out today and bought a new $3k scooter, I think it would take me a few years to realize savings.

Benefits above $$ to consider:
  • Riding a scooter is fun!
  • Better parking (scooters fit in smaller places; I park closer to my destination with a scooter)
  • Taking up less space than a car (on the road, in the garage, in my life)
  • Splitting lanes in California *only* (I like being able to move to the front of a long line of cars at a stoplight. I don't splits lanes when traffic is moving)
Whatever the gas pump says, it's a good time to scoot.

Blog entry soundtrack:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Announced

Press release by Suzuki. Checkout the cool presentation on the link @ the bottom:


Whole Vehicle Type Approval Marks Milestone in Zero-Emissions Transportation For Public Use
BREA, Calif. March 10, 2011– Suzuki is pleased to announce that the Burgman Fuel Cell scooter has gained Whole Vehicle Type Approval in the European Union – becoming the world’s first vehicle to gain approval for safe use on public roads without having to be inspected and tested individually. This new approval meets standards for safety and performance, representing a milestone in making environmentally-friendly, zero-emissions transportation commercially available for the public.

The Burgman Fuel-Cell Scooter debuted at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show in October 2009, and has been continually tested in the UK since February 2010, gathering information about the bike’s performance on public roads while it gained the Whole Vehicle Type Approval.

Produced in a joint collaboration between Suzuki Motor Corporation and British company Intelligent Energy, the Burgman Fuel Cell scooter utilizes state-of-the-art eco-friendly fuel cell technology, incorporating a light, compact, air-cooled fuel cell positioned inside the frame that efficiently produces electricity through a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in the air, and discharges only water in the process, providing zero-emissions power.

The new fuel cell-powered scooters are based on Suzuki’s popular city-friendly Burgman model scooters, and boasts the same high build quality, state-of-the-art features and impressive performance as the standard models they are derived from.

Suzuki is pioneering the field of eco-friendly transportation by working toward making the Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter a commercially available vehicle, in line with the establishment of hydrogen-filling stations and other necessary infrastructure.

For more information about the Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter, please visit:

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

California Dreamin'

Dreaming of the days of gas under $2?

Santa Clara, CA
-- Post from my iPhone, out-n-about...

Up, Up, and Away

Gas prices are going up. Hop on that scoot!

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

Monday, March 07, 2011

Brian Jonestown Massacre Member's New Video

Scoot!'s pal Joel Gion, member and ultimate tambourine player for the Brian Jonestown Massacre has a new EP coming out. Check out the video he made for one of the songs. Features his white Bajaj. It's mega-trippy!

If you catch yourself thinking, isn't he the guy from that movie Dig!? You are right.
And, if you wonder, isn't he the guy who was on two episodes of Gilmore Girls. You are right again!

Blog entry soundtrack (one of my fave BJM songs....)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Scooter in Oscar Winner "God of Love"

Last week's lackluster Oscars' ceremony was punctuated by just a few bright spots: seeing Billy Crystal again, some impressive dresses, and the acceptance speech of the seemingly genuine and funny Luke Matheny whose short live action film, "God of Love" won the award in its category. Missed it? Well here it is: [deleted by YouTube].

I was roused awake to see this fine acceptance speech by the montage that included a bit from this film in which a scooter could clearly be seen. Scooters? Well I had to find out more.

The trailer for the film does not show the scooter:

So I tracked down the montage with snippets from all of the films, and indeed, it is a Genuine Stella. I bought the film and thought it was funny, quirky and sweet.
Buy it for the pocket change of $1.99 (or $2.99 for HD) and support a young filmmaker. Would be a good film to show at a scooter film night.

Blog entry soundtrack:

What SF Weather Does to Chrome

My friend's Genuine Buddy is a riding scooter that waits at the curb for its master.

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