by Jeremy Wilkerscooterlogo2

LOCAL VESPA DEALER
By the time you read this article, the Twin Cities should have its very own official Vespa dealership. Who would have thought even a year ago that we would be blessed by so many high-profile franchises? We’ll have two (count ’em) Krispy Kreme locations, an official Apple Computer store AND a Vespa dealership right here in Minnesota! Zoinks! Next thing you know we’ll also get our own IKEA store and we’ll all have affordable and funky Swedish furniture to sit upon while eating donuts and surfing the web for scooter sites. Or not…

The new store, or “boutique” as Vespa USA calls them, will sell and service Vespa scooters as well as stock parts and accessories for your “Vespa Lifestyle.” Expect a very upscale experience (think designer products) in the stores as Vespa USA has rather strict guidelines about how the stores look and function. The new store is slated to open sometime in March and will be located downtown Minneapolis at 7th and Marquette. I’m sure I speak for many of us in saying that we look forward to visiting the new store once they open and seeing where they go in the future.

Personally, I think this is a good thing as we now have access to several brands in this region besides the little plastic Honda and Yamaha. Piaggio/Vespa and Aprilia are available in town while Kymco can be found over in Wisconsin and the new Bajaj are just south of the border (Iowa, not Mexico). I’m sure we’ll see Malaguti and Gilera and Derbi show up very soon as well. Check out the new Vespa dealer at www.vespamn.com or call information for their store number.

QUADROPHENIA DVD REVISITED
If you’ve got yourself one of those new-fangled digital video disc players and you for some reason have this thing for vintage scooters, you really should pick up a copy of the “Quadrophenia” DVD as it is one of the better all-around discs. Not only does the movie feature great music and tons of scooters zooming around, but the DVD is packed with extras well worth watching. The director’s commentary alone is worth the purchase of the disc and really gives valuable insight into the era. I thought the trivia track was a particularly clever addition–you view it by turning on the subtitles, which point out interesting factoids while the movie plays. The animated aerial map and high-speed video tour of the town and countryside locations is also a nice touch. There are many more treats packed into the features of this disc but you’ll just have to get your own to find out what they are. Look for it on Rhino Home Video.

MORE LOCAL RESOURCES
Need some work done on your scooters? Need a few spare parts? Our local resources are getting better and better all the time. Jeremy Leibig at The Scooter Lab does work by appointment (651-775-9777) as does Derrick Edge at Tonka Bay Scooters (952-470-7803). Scooter-racer Matt DeVries recently bought up the remaining stock of a defunct scooter shop and now has new and used parts available for the Minneapolis area as well (612-331-9494 or www.primoparts.com). Give these guys a call if you need a hired hand or can’t wait for parts to ship across country.

WINTER SCHMINTER
While the seasonal changes certainly do put a serious crimp in our style for several months, by no means are we a hibernating group (remember last year when we made a scooter movie in the winter? Brrrr.) The mild winter weather this year meant several members of the club lived the dream of riding all year ’round (i.e.: at least once per month) and without the assistance of chained tires or snowmobile skis. A few people picked up new (both new and vintage) scooters and a few new people joined the gang. We also had a great time and turnout at The Local prior to the annual Motorcycle Show experience and many of us got a sneak peak at the new Vespa dealership location afterwards. Which reminds me: it is amazing to see what fits under the seat of a new Vespa ET4! I’m also confused as to what it means that the hottest “booth babes” at the Motorcycle Show were the ones in the scooter booth.

OTHER ITEMS
Congratulations are in order for club members Nate and Renee–they were married in January! By all accounts, attendees had a great time at the reception, even with the conspicuous absence of motor scooters and light sabers (Nate is also a member of the Jedi Knights scooter club). Way to go, you two!

SAFETY
Here’s your annual safety reminder: watch out for loose sand and gravel on the roads this spring, always carry spare plugs and cables, and wear that helmet. Speaking of cables, make sure you lube them properly when you replace them by simply coating them with motor oil and then sliding them into the sheath.

As scooters become more popular (gosh, aren’t they in like every commercial and movie now?) you may also want to consider an additional security device (tire lock, chain, etc.) for extra peace of mind.

We’ll see you out on the roads! Ride safe. Ride often.


The Twin Cities’ Vintage Scooter Club, The Regulars, meets on the first and third Sundays of each month at Pizza Luce in Uptown Minneapolis (32nd and Lyndale Ave) at 2:00 pm for socializing and riding — as long as weather permits. Join us! The website is located at http://www.minnescoota.com or send me a message – jeremy@minnescoota.com or meddlinkid@excite.com

 

M.M.M.

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