by Stephen Heller
Genuine Big Deal
Some exciting news from Chicago is the announcement and first photos of the 4-stroke Stella. The Stella 4t is not set to arrive in dealers until the 1st quarter of 2010, but the details about the scooter are plentiful. The engine was wholly designed by LML, the manufacturer of the Stella. This engine is not the same one in the Bajaj 4-strokes. Genuine is making it markedly clear that although it will have more power and torque than the 2-stroke Stella, their focus with this scooter is on practicality, high gas mileage and being clean. Although it will look the same, it will be a completely different machine due impart to the engine, but also the frame. The 4 stroke Stella is not a unibody frame; the back half is tubular over a steel body, yet without taking off the side panels no one would know. The upside of the tubular frame is that the engine and its vibration are isolated from the rest of the frame.
The next question is, invariably, what about the 2-stroke Stella? The 2-stroke Stella is still approved through 2010. After that Genuine hasn’t made up its mind. Clearly they will be putting most of their efforts behind the new “Greener” Stella.
Honda has announced two new scooters to fill out their American line-up. The SH150i and a new Elite. The SH150i is the slightly bigger brother of the top selling scooter in Europe, the SH125i. The SH150i sports a 153cc liquid cooled, fuel injected motor. It has the combined braking system stopping 16-inch wheels front and rear. The style of the scooter is similar to the Italian Piaggio BV250. It has a price tag to match the other Italian brand, Vespa. Look for the SH150i in dealerships now.
Honda is reviving the Elite name, but the funktastic angular design that Lou Reed shilled in the 80’s is still retired. Being marketed as the economy scooter, the new Elite is powered by a 108cc liquid cooled, fuel injected 4-stroke motor. This is a big improvement over the carbureted, air-cooled 80cc machine. Maybe taking inspiration from Italy’s Piaggio, the new Elite looks similar to the Fly. Los Vesparados Art of the Scooter
Local artists and scooter enthusiasts, Sean Tubridy and Todd Thyberg, have organized an art show around the theme of scooters. Inviting local and national artists to contribute to the show they promise works varying from sculpture to jewelry to posters. Think more of a scooter rally than a stuffy art show; a DJ will be spinning records, food and drinks will be provided and they are even giving away a Genuine Buddy. When you are finished looking at the art, go out and see art of the drivable kind in the “impromptu scooter show”.
June 13th in the Northrup King Building 6pm through the rest of the weekend. More info: losvesparados.com