by Chris Orr
New Italian scooters have invaded our shores (Lake Calhoun) in time for the fall riding season. Imported by BMW New York and made available locally by Trackstar Motorsports, the new line of Italjet scooters offers four new and very different choices to Twin Cities scooterists.
First up are the classy retro look Velocifero and Torpedo models, next is the sleek and modern looking Formula 50, and then there is the Dragster. The Dragster is like Meatloaf opening for the Three Tenors! It sports large front and rear disk brakes, a liquid cooled 2 stroke motor, a horizontal front shock and a single sided swing arm. Very cool stuff for a scooter. As for the styling, well I’d say this is proof positive that Italjet has an American designer held hostage, and he used to work for Buell.
The Italjet prices range from $2,600.00 for the Torpedo, $3,000.00 for the Velocifero and $3,600.00 for the Formula 50 and Dragster.
All four scooters are very well built and a blast to ride. They have electric start, automatic transmissions and 12 volt electric systems. All are delivered stock with 49 cc (moped) 2 stroke engines so you don’t need a motorcycle license to ride them. For first time riders this is no doubt appealing. And If stock performance is just not for enough for you, there are already aftermarket performance kits available. I spoke with a gentleman on the west coast who has installed a number of these kits and he claims the scooters will do an honest 55 m.p.h. after break in.
I’m genuinely excited that these scooters are available locally. They represent a viable option for those interested in the style of Italian scooters but don’t want the commitment that is owning a vintage Vespa.
World wide the scooter scene is very hot. And I’m sure other manufacturers will be monitoring Italjet sales here in the States with an eye towards entering our market if they think there is money to be made. You may have read elsewhere that Moto Guzzi has entered into a deal with Piaggio (manufacturer of the Vespa) to provide engines for its new line of “Urban Motorcycles” i.e. Scooters. Well hey, you can just sign me up for a Guzzi scooter right now! Of course BMW is launching it’s own futuristic looking “safety” scooter in the European market next year. It has a roof and seat belts and costs only $6,000.00! And then there’s the persistent rumor that Vespa will be back in the US by next summer. Let’s hope so.
So with my best Italian accent I say, BRAVO, BRAVO ITALJET
For information about The Regulars Vintage Scooter Club please call (612) 922-7333.