by Stephen “Hell Cat” Heller
Finally, a scooter that I have seen on foreign websites and drooled over, is actually for sale in the US! The 110cc Rattler 2-stroke arrived at Scooterville at the press deadline, but it needs to be included so I will give my initial impressions.
The front headlight has been upgraded to a halogen. There is still one bulb for the two lenses, but at least it will be a bit brighter. The size of the lenses are now about 3 inches in diameter and kind of stick out instead of being set into the body. It makes it a bit more Zuma-looking than the Rattler 50. Also, there is a new color scheme: black, accented with red. It looks pretty sharp and a bit more visible than the silver and black color scheme.
It still has the cut out on the front disk brake, the yellow shock with the external reservoir on the back, and the motocross style handlebars. But most importantly, it has a 110 cc 2-stroke motor in it. For those that are not 2-stroke fans, this is not a big deal. But I really like 2-strokes.
Because the nature of a 2-stroke engine is different versus a 4-stroke engine, a 2-stroke should have more power. According to the Genuine Reps, the Rattler 110 is very similar to the Buddy 125 4-stroke. I found that the Rattler has more torque initially, but kind of loses steam in the midrange. In the gravel around Scooterville, I got the bike to 45mph. In a quick side-by-side with the Buddy 125, the Buddy was faster all the way through. I was pretty surprised by how the Rattler behaved. It really didn’t feel like a 2-stroke at all, more like a larger capacity 4-stroke.
Stella’s Back! New Buddy Colors
I have held off in reporting every single rumor and Indian news story that has come through in the past year about LML and the Genuine Stella. But it finally looks like we will be seeing Stellas for sale this year, for real. In a story in Scene Newspaper, Philip McCaleb , President of Genuine Scooter Company, revealed that by Labor Day we will have a new Stella to ride. In keeping with his penchant for special edition and limited run scooters, the first Stella will be called “The Revival” and will be army green/ avocado with white walls. Which sounds a lot like the Series Italia Buddy 125.
It also appears that the Series Italia was only the first in the international theme of “The International Colors of Buddy Town.” No joke, reportedly a St. Tropez and a Barcelona themed Buddy are in the works, along with the colors of the Stellas when they were introduced, which were ice mint green, orange, and red.
Genuine’s marketing of the Buddy made it the 2006 scooter of the year so I guess that we’ll just have to wait and see how “The United Colors of Buddy Town” turns out.
Service For All, Gomoto
Scooters have been a growing trend for a few years and it doesn’t look like it is going to slow anytime soon. Which makes throwing out a sign and selling a few scooters like a pretty temping business plan. There are some that are trying to make a legitimate go of it with the off, off scooter brands. I talked to Marty Mataya of Gomoto in Osseo, MN about Baron Scooters, the brand sold at his shop, and other Chinese scooters.
Selling 4-stroke scooters from 50 to 250cc, Mataya doesn’t believe that the reputation of the Chinese scooters fits for Baron, “Mechanically, they have been great.” But that isn’t necessarily true for all Chinese scooters though, and he knows it. He is willing to work on anything with a CVT, including the scooters purchased from the Internet. Mataya says that scooter owners have been very grateful when they find out Gomoto will work on their scooter.
Mataya has seen a problem with the bikes purchased online not being properly set-up by the owners when they are delivered. But added that the lower priced scooters being sold on the Internet tend to have the costlier fixes, like failing magnetos. Gomoto can be reached at 763-315-MOTO or gomotomn.com
Scooterville on the Move
It was inevitable; the University is eating up Scooterville. Situated on the periphery of the new Gopher Football stadium grounds, the Scooterville building was sold and will be razed within the year. According to Bob Hedstrom, owner of Scooterville, the plan is to stay in Minneapolis. A few sites are still being looked at for possible locations. Whatever the location, Hedstrom is focused on being up and running in the new shop by October 1st.
More next month.