Tag Archives: Motorscooter

Vespa World Days and more!

Wrapping up just a couple weeks ago was the 12th Annual Vespa World Days. This year was held in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Thousands of riders and spectators attended the event from all over the world.

Here’s a link with some of the details and delightful photos.

Vespa Wrap up

And in other Vespa news, we are inching ever closer to a fully electric model.

The Vespa Elettrica is set to be released later this year, boasting 80-160 miles per charge, depending on which model you have. The Elettrica X has double the distance of the base model, says Piaggio designers. It is supposed to maintain brand design, but offer some of the bells and whistles you’d expect from such a hi-tech machine. This will be an interesting addition to the Vespa family.


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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Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all the Slow Kids out there!!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that 2015 was kind to you. I’ve got some really great things lined up in the coming months for all of you, so please stay tuned! 

In the meantime, check out this little Vespa I caught in the parking lot at my office yesterday in the rain. 

  
Have a great day, and if you’re still out riding this winter, show us your ride in the comments! We’d love to see what you’re rolling. 


Scooter Pic of the Day

OK… let’s try this AGAIN!!!

Up above you see a nifty little discovery: Another Kymco Agility 125!! This one was brand new with the temp plate still on the back of the bike.

It seems word is getting out that these bikes rock, although the new owner needs to learn to lock their steering column!

As for the lack of postings as of late, I do apologize.  I recently made the upgrade to Windows 8, and while I’m loving the faster layout and the improved performance (went from a 1 minute 18 second boot up time to 16 seconds cold!), it seems developers are keen on seeing this platform die by making the CRAPPIEST apps in the world!! C’mon WordPress!!!  Your web based publisher sucks horribly, and what passes for a Windows 8 desktop app is so limited, I can create more in depth posts on my PHONE!  You can’t even edit from the new Windows 8 app, only post.  And, the formatting options aren’t worth a damn either.

Very Disappoint, WordPress…. very.  Guess the most widely used OS in the world isn’t hipster enough for you guys to actually make a decent app, huh?

(The opinions herein do not express the overall opinion of the Slow Kids Scooter Gang and are an editorial by the author.  But, wordpress is sucking pretty hard right now, so there!)


Scooter Pic of the Day:

I know, I know… it’s been quite a few days since the last “of the day” pic.  I’m sorry!! I had this pesky thing called “work” and a bunch of plays needed lighting and sound built for ‘em.  But, to make up for it, here’s a pristine example of a “modded” Lambretta in the 60’s style.  About as much farkle as your brain can take before it implodes…


Scooter Pic of the Day:

The best post wedding transport ever!  I wish I could of done this, but when me and the Mrs. Trotsky (would that make her Frida Kahlo? Nevermind… art/history nerd joke) got married, we were so broke that I didn’t even have a scooter.

It was a happy but sad time to be sure… Happy to marry, but sad there was no kickass Stella like this to ferry us home. 

(It’s ok: We actually got Jack-In-The-Box on the way home since we didn’t even get to enjoy the wedding food we were so busy. Fast food is always tricky on a scooter)


And, for a REAL modern scoot: The new Piaggio Fly

While some makers of original retro bikes are giving up and caving to the modern demands of everything for zero effort, Piaggio is introducing a bike made specifically for the modern scooter rider, the Fly. 

Now I’ve always liked the Fly’s basic approach.  I’m not a fan of the dealership tactics in the US that pretty much cost you 30 to 40 % on top of the MSRP just to buy one of their bikes. But the Fly is a bulletproof reliable automatic that I would encourage EVERYONE who is looking for a dead-stop reliable commuter bike to look into. 

And, with the Fly being one of Piggaio’s top sellers, this new one should do well.  So , what do you think of the new direction in styling. It’s a subtle difference, but definitely in the vein that Yamaha and Honda have started in Italy’s market. 


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? 


Kymco Agility Carry… I WANT!!!!

All I can say is that I want this front rack setup for my scooter!!!

It’s a 50, but there’s no reason why I couldn’t just find a way to order the front shield and put it on my 125.  It’s a front rack…for a Kymco!  Yes it’s ugly, but I might as well embrace the ultility aspect of the bike.  What’s even cooler is the legshield inner rack.  It comes with a messenger bag that snaps on.  THIS would be perfect not only for my commute to work but for upcoming long distance trips.

Want.

Now, how the hell to get it…


Slow Kids Field Trip ‘13, Part 2: From daily life to preparation

For most of us, our scooter is a daily mode of transport.  It’s the workhorse of the transportation world and as such is ridiculed by many other motorcycle riders as not being a “real” bike.  As someone who’s ridden everything from Triumphs to Harleys to Vespas, I of course would disagree. 

But, that’s not to deny that they are made for a particular environment.  It’s why I myself chose the Kymco Agility 125.  It’s a durable, reliable if not boring looking scooter.  It does the job of commuter better than nearly anything on the road for it’s price and it doesn’t look like a Chinese POS (which is very important in the scooter world ). And it does the daily chores expected of such a scooter with ease (such as the weekly bottled water runs seen below)

Or even grabbing a pizza:

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But, when you talk about cross country trips, THEN people really start looking at you like you’re nuts, and perhaps you may be just a little.  But, that’s half of the joy: Taking something designed for one purpose on an adventure doing something completely out of the ordinary.  When we think about Amerivespa, it means taking our daily riders and subjecting them to several THOUSAND miles of asphalt, gravel, dirt roads and NO roads in two different countries.  That means that both the bikes and the riders are going to have to prepare for things they never had to do before (for most). 

In the following entries, I’ll highlight my experiences with cross country riding, and how it’s going to be far different on a scooter.  I may do it with this Agility I have.  And why not? It’s known for being bulletproof reliable, simple to work on and made to be abused.  I also may do it on a Stella or a vintage P-series that has the same reputation from 30 years ago.  Either way, the choice of bikes is critical.  Also, there is the physical training of taking your body and wrestling a single cylinder small bike across Northern Mexico and the Southwest US.  It will be anything but easy, and probably more physically grueling on the rider than doing it on a fancy BMW or Kawasaki Adventure bike with 1200cc’s of power and custom made off road suspension.  Then of course there is the financial and mental preparation.  Any motorcycle adventure succeeds or fails on proper planning when it comes to logistics and financing.  Do we need carnes? What about Passports? What is the exchange rate? What if we break down and needs parts? What if we need a tow? HOW do we tow it home if needed? All of these are critical. 

So, stay tuned and you will see how we as city commuters start to attack the daunting task this next summer.  I think the difference in perspectives will shed some light on an awesome subgroup of riders most motorcyclist overlook… even when they are your own kind!