Monthly Archives: January 2012

It’s the helmets that make us special

I found this video while searching for interesting Vespa news. I find it hilarious for a number of reasons:

1) allowing a totally unprepared newscaster to ride a scooter with absolutely no training or experience

2) on live television

3) with pedestrians walking nearby

4) on the sidewalk

5) in a huge metropolitan city

and my favorite thing about this video: the news anchors in the studio mentioning that at least she was wearing a helmet.

Happy Saturday from the Slow Kids Scooter Gang!

Vespa jousting?

Metrojoust is apparently a new game set to launch early this year for mobile devices such as the iphone & androids, as well as good old Facebook.

In the game you get to joust your friends in various settings, for what everyone’s guessing, points or some trivial accolades.

I think it seems like a fun little time waster, what do you think?

Finally, credit where credit is due in the scooter design world.

NYT Article

Museo Piaggio has opened a new and sadly, temporary exhibit about the revolutionary designer of the Vespa. It’s only going to be showing until the end of this month, so if you just-so-happen to be in the Pisa/ Florence area of Italy, you should go there. I would, but I’ve got stuff to do…

Anyway, the point of the post aside from giving credit to the writers that told us in America about the exhibit, but also the curators of the Museo for finally looking to their roots and giving real credit to one of the innovators of, in my humble opinion, one of the most interesting and beautiful machines to grace the road.

I also think it’s really cool that the Italian postal system is issuing a stamp in commemoration. But I can’t manage to find out what it looks like… Oh well. It’s still really cool. 🙂


The Bajaj RE60: It’s like a Chetak had an affair with a Nano and didn’t reveal the Tuk-Tuk in the family

OK, while the headline may make NO sense to anyone in America, this is readily understandable in Southeast Asia, and particularly in India.  And, it’s been part of an even bigger joke with nothing but punchlines for the Indian auto market.

You see, India is one of the largest growing economies in the world.  They are spurring on a new and ever-expanding middle class along with an ever expanding population.  Transportation you can imagine is obviously a logistical nightmare for everyone from the Prime Minister to the street market worker.  Tata, owners of Jaguar, Rover and a highly successful heavy truck industry tried to introduce a solution to cheap but effective transportation, the Nano.  Billed as the cheapest new car you can buy in India, it didn’t exactly fly off the showroom floors.  Labour problems, supply issues and a little thing about the engines spontaneously CATCHING FIRE has sort of brought them down.

Well, Bajaj, makers of the famous “Tuk Tuk” 3 wheeled taxis seen everywhere have decided that they can do better.  Originally known for being a supplier of Vespa parts, bodies and entire bikes and then later as a manufacturer of Steel-bodied scooters that now cover the land in that part of the world, they have lent their not-so-small industrial might to a very small car.  The RE60 features a water-cooled 200cc engine that produces around 20Hp with a top speed of just over 43Mph. A barnstormer it’s not, but at 880lbs weight and fuel drives in either Gasoline, Liquid Propane or CNG, this could be a hit in regions where the Nano is more picky about it’s fuel.

And, small is the name of the game: Specs state that it will seat either 4 adults, or 14.1 Cubic Feet of cargo with the rear seats folded flat.  No word on how small the price is either, but many industry analysts expect Bajaj to aggressively undercut the Nano.  So… ready for a real compact?  (And no, there’s probably no way in HELL we’d see this in the US sadly)

2012: Off with a fighting chance, and a wheezing bike…

Well, I know there hasn’t been much activity on the ol’ club page here.  That’s because there’s been a bit of a snag:

None of the bikes of the whole two riders on here are legal. 

The biggest downfall is honestly, myself.  I bought a bike which I was TOLD was in perfect nick, and from the few hundred miles I was able to log on it, it seems *ok*.  Turns out… not so much.  After taking the head off the engine to see what was what during a carb rebuild by a local shop, my concerns were confirmed:  The piston and cylinder are shot!  This means that the bike does NOT have “less than 4k miles” on it like the previous owner said.  Then again, one must assume every Craigslist seller lies.  This is the one mantra I have for everyone buying a bike.  But, I should’ve adhered to my own words better.

But, the chassis is still fine, and it’s hardly dead.  But, with grant money being tight it won’t be until next month until we’re back on the road proper.  But, I promise that this rebuild will be well documented, especially this will be the first time I will have rebuilt a top-end on a P2o0e!  Also, new suspension, rubber and some bearing work will also be top on the agenda.

Others of us have been put off by a poorly timed car accident totaling the “cage” of another one of our riders, and her now consuming drive to find a new set of wheels in order to get her scoot legal and on the road as well.  2011 just fought us all the way down, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

Sadly this also means that Amerivespa is in question for us.  With the costs of replacements, it will be difficult at best.  But, only time will tell

So, once again, hang in there kids!  I know, that line starts to sound like a broken record but there will be a solution. Trust me, you’ll dig it.