Tag Archives: LML

A little humor and updates

Happy Weekend Slow Kids!

I thought to myself that I should share this little comic a friend of mine sent me. It’s so great, especially for those of us that live in the Southwest United States.

Stay tuned for my engine rebuild series. I’ve got all the parts I need and I will be attempting to rebuild my LML 5-port engine over the coming weeks. With a little one and a full time job, there’s little time to devote to a new project, but I’m really itching to get the V running again. It’s going to be premier weather in no time.

Anyway, here’s the humor!

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An Automatic Stella?!? Yes, they’re making one.

No, you are not hallucinating: That is an ad touting the all new, 4-stroke AUTOMATIC 125cc LML Star.  This is the same line of bike sold in the US, but under the Genuine Scooter Company ‘Stella’ name.

From the press release, it’s everything you love about the original steel-body scooter clone, but without the manual transmission (and the spare being on the WRONG SIDE OF A P-SERIES!!! But, perhaps that simply bugs me alone).  But, there are some fundamental issues I find with this bike….

The appeal of the Stella (or the “Star” for the rest of the world) is that it isn’t like your everyday scooter.  It’s as close to the original P-series Vespa that you can get without spending the money on the brand-exclusive, hipster-priced original.  And, LML has been making bikes for Vespa and on their own for a VERY long time.  Their quality is typical vintage P-series scooter: Durable, easy to fix and, well, quirky but will always survive whatever you throw at it.  When they made the switch to 4 stroke mills, I accepted it.  It’s the way of the environmental awareness drive in society, and it’s better for the planet and our resources.  So, I’ll be cool with that.  But, now the engine doesn’t even resemble what the original rocked, and that to me is not cool.

You see, there are people who want things the easiest way possible.  They want it to “just work”.  They want everything done at the push of a button.  They want their meat sanitary and packaged in synthetic wraps with a free anti-bacterial wipe to be reminded it doesn’t come from a real animal.  They get offended when there’s dirt and the occasional bug on their produce.  They flip out when their computer needs to reboot once every month for a restart to install free upgrades and updates on their software that will take a whole 5 minutes.  They want it as easy as possible and want it to “look” like it’s easy and cool all at the same time.

This is where the Stella/Star/Vespa P-series doesn’t fit their life. It’s a mechanical, simple and stylish common person’s bike before “retro bohemian chic” was a selling point.  It’s as organic as it gets, as mechanically connected to riding on the road as you can be without dragging bits of yourself along the asphalt.  You are a part of the machine, and every clutch engagement, every gear, every turn and every blip of the throttle is yours for better or worse. You have COMPLETE control.  And people today don’t like control, because it means they need to actually put in effort.

And who wants to actually DO something when you can make an engineer do it for you? Amirite?

So, to me this is NOTHING like a vintage scooter.  It may be in a metal body, but this is not “just like a Vespa P-series”.  It’s a new bike. No better than a Kymco, Modern Vespa or Honda.  It’s boring, bland and designed so any fashionista can ride it and claim she’s “sooooo ‘mod’  “.  And I’m sure it will sell AMAZINGLY well if it hits the US.  And, we will then lose our manual shifter bikes soon after because of poor-sales.

Is it no surprise that Piaggio of Italy also just “leaked” that they are developing a PX-bodied revival scooter with an automatic CVT as well? 


LML releases a torrent of new tech: Automatic Stars, Fuel Injection and even Sidecars!

EICMA 2011 is supposed to be the big time event for motorbike manufacturers, and while Piaggio may of made many go “Meh”, LML (the manufacturer of the Star scooter better known as the “Stella” from Genuine Scooters in the US) has come out swinging!  They released not one new bike but a HALF DOZEN new models with tech that wouldn’t seem possible on a bike based off of the steel Vespa P-series scooter.  They include:

The new “Star Light” 4T with CVT.  Yes, they have released a fuel injected 50cc version of the venerable Star scooter… and it’s an AUTOMATIC?!?!  Say what you will about non-shifty bikes, this is said to be a steel bodied scooter that offers modern convenience with full style.

(Could this be the supposed “smallframe” Star we’ve been hearing about?)

Next are the new Stars in 50cc, 125cc and the inclusion of fuel injection on their bikes.  A cooperation with Polini has also produced a performance kit for the 4T Star/Stella that includes an exhaust, cylinder kit and Mikuni 22mm carb, but it wasn’t mentioned for what displacement of engine.  but, if it’s for the 1504T, the 22mm carb would be a nice upgrade from the 2o currently used.

Also included were several new “special editions”: The Corsa, the Off-Road and the Bicolor (meant to invoke the two tone P’-series scooters of the 80’s)

Lastly, LML released a factory version of a sidecar for their new bikes that actually looks quite stunning.  It’s less on the chrome, but still retains the vintage-esque character.  No word on pricing or availability yet

Of course, most of these innovations will probably NOT make it to the US, since the bike market here is a joke to the rest of the world.  But, there is at least one importer here who is serious about Steel bodied scooters from LML and hopefully they’ll take a chance on a few of these bikes.  We may see some of these as re-branded Stella scooters, but only time will tell.

A special thanks to Eric at ModernBuddy for giving us the scoop on all of the hot new bikes coming out of EICMA 2011!!!