by Stephen Heller
At the Cabin Fever indoor rally and swap meet on January 21st, scooterists got together to discuss their winter projects and trade some of their vintage scooter parts. The swap meet and rally was also a kick-off for the big summer rally. This year it is being taken over by some new blood. They announced the new name for the rally, No Direction Home: Deja Du and showed off a new poster to promote it. As things change they also stay the same. The rally will be held on the second weekend in August, which this year is the 11,12 and 13th. More information about the rally can be found at nodirectionhomerally.com, including how you can volunteer!
Anyone that has been holding his or her breath for the new Lambretta, breathe. Not because it is finally here, but because you may die waiting. The series 3 styled “new” Lambretta with a 4-stroke Piaggio engine has hit another snag. According to a press release by CMSI the company producing the new Lambretta, there are some branding issues outside of the United States. So the Lambretta will be known as the SCOMADI project. Your guess is as good as mine in regards to the new name. The plan according to CMSI Inc. is to release the SCOMADI in the UK this year and in the US, late 2006 or 2007.
Despite strong growth in scooter sales for the end of the year, Bajaj Auto has announced that they will be stopping production of the Chetak scooter after 2006. The Chetak is a 4-stroke 150cc manual shift scooter similar to the Vespa PX150 and the Genuine Stella. The Indian market, which makes up the great majority of sales for Bajaj is shifting to small capacity motorcycles and is moving away from scooters.
On a related note Bajaj USA has changed their name to ArgoUSA. You know, like Jason and the Argonauts? They will still support the Bajaj 2 and 3-wheelers, and currently have plans for selling an automatic scooter from another manufacturer.
Genuine Scooter Company has announced three new models to go along with their extremely popular Stella. The three models are the 50cc Black Cat and the 50cc and 125cc Buddy. The Black Cat is a themed scooter like the Special Edition Fireball Stella from 2005. The Black Cat has a red, yellow and black paint scheme with the Black Cat logo on the front along with exploding firecrackers. The bike itself is an off-road styled automatic with big knobby tires. The Buddy has more of an urban/ retro look with a large round headlight, sloping seat and chrome accents on the front. Both the 50cc and the 125cc Buddy are automatics.
All three of the scooters are manufactured by PGO a Taiwanese company. Pretty much unknown in the United States, PGO has been producing scooters for 25 years including a partnership with Piaggio from 1972 until 1982. The Black Cat is sold by PGO as the PMX without the poppin’ paint job of course. The Buddy is marketed elsewhere with the unfortunate name “BuBu”.
If you received the latest Scooterworks sales flyer you may have discovered a new performance exhaust available for the Vespa PX/ Stella scooters. The Prima exhaust is the first in a new line of performance parts being developed by Scooterworks itself. The chromed stainless steel exhaust is a similar design to the popular JL and S.I.P. pipe, but is laser cut and welded to reduce the amount of weld marks. It comes in at about 25% less than the JL, but it still remains to be seen how well it performs.