by Stephen “Hell Cat” Heller
Scooter companies are announcing their new scooters now. Just in time to make it into dealers as Minnesota’s scooter driving season will be concluding.
Yamaha T-Max, the 500cc super scoot, has gained a big following in the rest of the world and now there are plans to bring the scooter to the US. The parallel 2 cylinder boasts 43-horsepower and has styling right out of Akira. Fuel injected and 4 valves per cylinder, the T-Max has the features to shoot to the top of the Maxi heap.
Vespa Super 300- While not at the same proportions of the Spruce Goose, the GTS 300 Super will be the largest Vespa ever made. Based on the same body as the GT200 and the 250cc GTS, the Super will actually be 278cc. The most apparent new detail is the louvers in the right side panel, alluding to the classic Vespa, the GS150; while not being of any use because the GT line of Vespas are liquid cooled.
Kymco I had a chance to go to South Carolina and check out Kymco’s US facilities last month and test ride their new and updated lineup of scooters. The biggest news is that they will finally be bringing in a fuel-injected scooter. The Xciting 250 and 500 have been tweaked with a white faceplate on the dash, black wheels and fuel injection. They have also lowered the seat height, which had been a concern for many riders. The injected 500 and 250 will be available in late summer and an Xciting equipped with ABS will be available in the fall.
The Super 8, a sporty 4-stroke 50 and 150cc scooter was also unveiled. If you have been looking for a bargain scooter recently, this one might look familiar. Because the design has already been ripped off and is being sold here by Mainland Chinese scooter manufacturers
Another bit of déjà vu, Kymco also is bringing in the Sento; a scooter eerily similar to the Honda Metropolitan and the SYM Mio. Named the Kiwi in Taiwan, the Sento is low to the ground and is aimed at the lovelier scooter riders.
Pinasco Cylinder Kit Italian aftermarket parts manufacturer, Pinasco, has developed a new cylinder kit for the 150cc Vespa PX. It should also fit the Genuine Stella without much fuss. What makes this new product interesting is it does away with the finicky SI carburetor. Instead, fuel is introduced via a carburetor with a reed valve on top of the cylinder itself. A vacuum fuel pump is also incorporated into the carb. Piston Ported cylinders, like this new kit from Pinasco, were found on the sport model Vespas of the 50’s and 60’s, but did not have a reed valve. The “new” technology of the Pinasco cylinder kit will be a boon to people wanting more power out of their scoot, but cannot master the black art of the Dell’orto carburetor. There isn’t much room underneath the side cowl for all of the extra components. I wonder if the scooter will have to be run without it, or if it will be sticking through the panel. I guess I will have to buy one and find out!
Rattle My Bones 2008 The Minneapolis scooter rally will take place August 14th- 17th. The schedule of events has been very successful in the past, so there hasn’t been much need for change. The big ride will be on Saturday morning and will wrap up with a pig roast. To register and for more info go to rattlemybones.com.
Minneapolis Comet Did you know that there was a company that manufactured scooters in Minnesota? The Comet Manufacturing Company built four models of the Comet scooter on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis before WWII.
If you have any more information about these Minnesota made, scooters I would love to hear from you!