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<  General Scootering  ~  Why no more vintage looking scooters?!?!?!?
Matty
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:48 pm  Reply with quote
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Benny G wrote:
but it seems that almost everyone I talk to about it is looking for a metal-bodied, manual-shift (like an older Vesp-style).


Key word 'looking' Bob has Chetaks and can get as many as you want, tell them to put their money where their mouth is and buy them.

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GP Kevo
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:24 pm  Reply with quote
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The LML Star Classic (what Genuine imports and re-badges as a"Stella") is back in production and doesn't appear to be going away just yet. The market in the US is minimal for this scooter, as it is for the Vespa PX. The home market in India (for the LML), and the UK market and the rest of Europe for the PX is where most of these scooters are going. Sales of these are up. What is threatening and has all but succeeded in stopping production of these scooters is EU emissions regulations. The EU regulations are effectively banning the production of 2 stroke engines, and in a short time they will succeed. It banned the PX200 when that scooter accounted for a sizable chunk of Piaggio's Euro sales. The ban is just working down the cc range. The 4 stroke Bajaj isn't endangered by this ban, but it is by its clunky styling and lackluster performance. Still, there is a market for it and it sells well enough here in Madison.

It doesn't matter what most customers think they want. Ad departments can always steer them away toward something else. You can flog off just about anything with an automatic engine and a plastic covered step through frame to just about anyone if the moped is cheap enough. It's an easier sell 'cause the customer doesn't really have to "learn to ride it" like they would a PX150. And most people won't notice that the PX, and later the Stella, are no longer sold. The US market will have moved onto something else, just like in 1983-1985, when most Vespa or Lambretta dealers became Yamaha Riva or Honda dealerships.

So if you want something vintage, then do what we did back in the day: look for a used vintage scooter. Educate yourself so you can maintain it. From the early 80's - late '90s, that's what we did and it's what the real scooter shops (the ones snubbed by Piaggio on their re-entry into the US market) in the US did, serving a customer base of dedicated scooterists who rode, restored, tuned and/or raced vintage Vespas and Lambrettas.

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Brad
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:44 pm  Reply with quote
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GP Kevo wrote:
The 4 stroke Bajaj isn't endangered by this ban, but it is by its clunky styling and lackluster performance.


A stock Bajaj will run with a stock Stella any day of the week (and has a better front end and run faster up hill). I know, because I've run with a bunch of Stellas, some are faster and some are slower. A Bajaj ran fine in the Cannonball. And frankly, it's long established that all of the P's and P clones are clunky. We love them like you'd like an ugly puppy.

I wish Bajaj would sell the motor to LML so they could keep at least one shifter in production. Not everyone has the time or inclination to keep vintage bikes up.

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Benny G
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:33 pm  Reply with quote
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Brad wrote:

And frankly, it's long established that all of the P's and P clones are clunky. We love them like you'd like an ugly puppy.


I hear you, and to be completely honest with you, I think all the Vespa, Lambretta, Bajaj stuff looks 10 times better than the newer, sporty looking stuff with no apologies. To me, the whole idea of a scooter is that you're not going for the maximum racing speed of a top motorcycle - you're going for efficiency and practicality (and fun). Therefore, the super-sporty styling has always seemed out of place to me on scooters. I much prefer the boxy, tractor, work-horse look of the Vespas, Stellas, and especially the Bajaj's. To me, they're not trying to appear to be something they're not.
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chris
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:36 pm  Reply with quote
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Brad wrote:
We love them like you'd like an ugly puppy.


That's the exact way I love Kevins mom.

Love,
Chris

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GP Kevo
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:05 pm  Reply with quote
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Brad wrote:


A stock Bajaj will run with a stock Stella any day of the week (and has a better front end and run faster up hill). I know, because I've run with a bunch of Stellas, some are faster and some are slower. A Bajaj ran fine in the Cannonball. And frankly, it's long established that all of the P's and P clones are clunky. We love them like you'd like an ugly puppy.

I wish Bajaj would sell the motor to LML so they could keep at least one shifter in production. Not everyone has the time or inclination to keep vintage bikes up.


Well, both these are well slower than a P200E/PX200E. There has been a downward trend in performance for new vintage type scooters. A stock P200E will top out at 65 mph. I know, here in the USA some were slower, but some will top out at 70 mph. I rode a P200E for years. There were clones for sale back then, but most of us chose to look for a used P200, buy it, ride it, and maintain it. And really, they didn't take much to maintain, which is not the case for Lambrettas, although that is part of the appeal.

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Derrick
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:57 am  Reply with quote
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GP Kevo wrote:


And really, they didn't take much to maintain, which is not the case for Lambrettas, although that is part of the appeal.


I don't see why a Lambretta would be more maintenance then a P200. If upgraded with a modern electronic ignition, the mechanical components are very similar except for a chain. Perhaps even simpler without the oil injection system and battery system of a P200.

Of course, it is harder to correctly rebuild a Lambretta and that may be your point. But once done right, the maintance would be the same or less IMO.
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GP Kevo
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:40 am  Reply with quote
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I agree with you Derrick, that a properly built Lambretta can be more reliable than P200. But, I was referring more to tuned Lambrettas and the fun in keeping them on the road and reliable when putting more stresses on components, and the dire quality of many of the spares. For instance, I couldn't correctly adjust the kickstart lever on my GP and now I know why as it's a ScootRS pattern one: another crappy part to replace.

That said, my tuned Vespa had more failures than any of my tuned Lambrettas.

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