Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vespa in Dakar Rally

The Dakar rally is probably the most gruelling and dangerous motor race in the world.  Motorcyclescars, quad bikes and trucks compete, not so much with each other, but with the race itself, to survive each year’s course. Competitors slog through each mile in danger of serious injury and death.
In 1980 a French team of 4 riders, put together by Jean-Francois Piot, decided that this all sounded wonderful and that they would enter the race. On their Vespas.
So on the first of January, 1980, these brave (mad) riders set out with 211 other cars, bikes and trucks. On the 23rd of January M. Simonot and B. Tcherniawsky were amongst the 81 competitors to make it into Dakar and cross the finish line, having ridden their Vespa PX 200s from Paris to Dakar, across 7 countries and 10, 000km of brutal terrain.
Maybe they weren’t so crazy after all. Two out of four Vespas finished the race (50%), while only 79 out of 211 other vehicles crossed the finish line (37%).
So if you are planning on tackling the Dakar rally, do it on a Vespa!
In 1977, Piaggio launched the Vespa PX scooter, which immediately developed a fanatical following as a symbol of Italian style throughout the world.
Today, the air-cooled two-stroke PX remains a cult figure, with the 150cc version still the biggest selling Vespa in history.
In Australia, the PX200 has always been the dominant player, but 31 years of history is now drawing to a close with the last container recently arriving from Italy. It's now last drinks for the classic Vespa with its handlebar-controlled four-speed transmission and a design that has never gone out of style

paris dakar vespa The PX has evolved over time, but has retained a core set of 'selling' points, including a unique design, practicality and ease of use, a pressed steel monocoque frame and space for a spare wheel. A virtually indestructible engine has seen two PX200s reaching the finish line of one of the toughest off-road events in the world, the Paris-Dakar Rally.
Famous actors and actresses have a long history of courting the world's most famous scooter. In photo shoots, films and on the set, the Vespa has been a "travel companion" for names like Raquel Welch, Ursula Andress, Charlton Heston, John Wayne and Henry Fonda. Other famous vespa riders include: Milla Jovovich, Marcello Mastroianni, Gary Cooper, Anthony Perkins, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Nanni Moretti, Sting, Antonio Banderas, Matt Damon, Gérard Depardieu, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

LML Select II - scooter advertisement

This is one of the ads that changed the perception of scooters in India. Made by FCB and Kunal Kapoor for LML Vespa....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

LML NV Television Commercial video (August 2010).VOB

Latest LML NV tvc, august 2010, Dir- Mr. MAHESH AANEY ,Concept & Creative- BRAND CURRY Creative team

Friday, September 24, 2010

LML Star 4 --- Launch & Test Drive @ Vivo Scooters Edinburgh 13th Dec ...

"Discover the new Star 4 stroke, a totally new and innovative scooter with an unrivalled style. Star 4 stroke is the happy association of youth and dynamic reality, which combines emergent countries advancement and the stylistic definition of the best international design.

The scooter is one of the most ecological friendly product in the world, and it unites the best in engineering innovations with an unmistakable style. LML Star creates a new benchmark and design in the frame (chassis), in the engine and other elements creating new standards for safety, reliability and comfort.

Here are some of the innovations that characterize the new Star 4 stroke - a symbol of excellence of its international design.

The 4 stroke Star is totally unique in its frame configuration; innovative structure of welded steel pipes that go to integrate to the sheet metal body configuration, bringing the following innovations:

• Torsion rigidity which is far superior than ever before
• Engine well positioned on the frame for stability
• Adoption of an engine support system with silent-block (Pro Link Mechanism) to connect frame with engine
• Great power brakes
• New suspension system.

This revolutionary structure improves considerably the characteristics of drive, thanks to enhanced stability, absence of vibrations and oscillations, and gives excellent comfort, stability, safety and driving pleasure.
The Star has a revolutionary 4 stroke engine which is, horizonatlly inclined mono cylindrical with single over head cam having two valves, forced air cooling system and a manual 4 gear change with electric starting and also pedal (kick start); these characteristics make the drive very fluid also for the most inexperienced customers thanks to the engine which is bestowed with a good torque also at low speeds .

If you are looking for a futuristic classic and if you want to stand out from the normal scooter, you need to get an LML Star Deluxe and enjoy the Star Lifestyle.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Citizen Matters, Bangalore: Young lovers of vintage scooters

Citizen Matters, Bangalore: Young lovers of vintage scooters

You’d expect the members of a group that calls itself the Bangalore Classic Scooter Club to be older, gray-haired, bordering on their 50s perhaps. It therefore comes as a surprise that the founder-members of this group, four in all, are in their 20s and 30s. In fact, as Arun P, one of the founder-members and all of 23 tells me, most of their members are below the age of 35.
If that’s the first of the clichés shattered (vintage scooters would appeal to those who belong to somewhat vintage years) then the next is yet another widely believed one. You’d expect young men to be zooming around on their bikes, not on the Lambrettas and Vespas once used by their dads and passionately restoring these to their former glory. Mention this to them and you would be surprised. They may use bikes from time to time but like the obsession with vintage cars, the passion for classic scooters is an unexplained one, says Arun, a mechanical engineer turned MBA aspirant, who says tinkering with automobiles was his childhood dream.
“For most of us the passion originates from a time when we were 16 or 17 years and it was time to move from a bicycle to a motorised vehicle,” says Siddharth Naidu, IT professional and another founder-member. Naidu used his dad’s Lambretta for six years before it was sold off.  He finally bought one of his own in 2008 from an old gentleman and met fellow enthusiast and collector Arun, who knew the right mechanics for the required repair job. They met up with two other classic scooter enthusiasts Gokul Yumm and Yatish G V in Cubbon Park for a ride in April 2009 and decided to start the Bangalore classic scooter club.
So what could be categorised as a classic scooter? Lambretta, Vespa and Vijay Super are the names that fall about in conversation. “To us any scooter that has hand operated gears and follows the classic design would be one,” says Naidu. “Preferably something manufactured before ’85-’90,” adds Arun, who owns several classic scooters apart from a vintage Morris Minor.
The Bangalore Classic Scooter Club can be found onFacebook. You could also email them at: bcsc2010[at]gmail[dot]com.
The members conduct a rally on the last Sunday of almost every month and as Naidu adds, the number of participants has been increasing steadily with each one. The rally in February this year saw almost 30 classic scooters. And while you ideally need to have a vintage scooter to be a participant, Arun adds that they have never really stopped anyone from joining in or from simply gawking at the line-up of scooters, in steel gray, blue, white and some in cheerful candy colours.
The rallies and word of mouth efforts have increased the club’s members who help each other out, whether it is in finding out about the right mechanics or helping someone to procure a classic scooter. Naidu laments that the popularity of old scooters has led to some people quoting exorbitant rates and trying to make a quick buck. Which is the reason the club is helpful as members can exchange news on repair jobs, availability of spare parts and finding a scooter of the right vintage. And with a motto that says Save Our Scooters (SOS), could you expect any less?   ⊕

Friday, September 10, 2010

Vespa PX to return? : 2strokebuzz

Vespa PX to return? : 2strokebuzz

With rumors swirling that the 4-stroke LML Star/Genuine Stella sales are sparking a P-series competitor from Vespa, our pals at French site Scooter-Station asked Jean-Philippe Dauviau, Marketing Director of Piaggio France “Will the PX be produced again?”

Dauviau answers that several markets have requested it, and it’s likely, though it wouldn’t be a 4-stroke.
Rumors of a 4-stroke P have circulated since the 1980s, so one wonders why Piaggio has been unable to engineer such a bike. If demand was insufficient over the last 30 years, it’s no surprise they wouldn’t bother now. LML managed to build a bike that Piaggio seems to think is impossible, for far less than Piaggio would charge for it. LML sales are good in a few markets, but it’s still a niche product, especially in France and Italy. We’ve been arguing on forums for months now that it’s even LESS likely than ever that Piaggio would put out a 4-stroke P, and this looks like proof that we’re right. If anything, we can look forward to yet another limited edition of mildly more eco-friendly (ironically, probably reed-valved like the original Stellas) 2-stroke PX150s (in white, red, or black!) targeted at the Brits and Germans and ridiculously overpriced here in America (and–hello 1985!– not available in California).
Oddly, we’re starting to agree with Piaggio. They’ve moved on, let LML have that market. As Dauviau points out*, the modern Vespa is superior in every way, aside from simplicity and tradition, and a 4-stroke engine and partial tube frame blows the simplicity/tradition argument anyway. As far as styling, the P-series is no VBB or GS, and the modern Vespa S and GTS are both proof that the design of the modern Vespa can evoke the past AND break new ground in reasonable balance. Sure, we vintage Vespa fans don’t want to see things that way, but the compromises required to manufacture and import scooters these days will never allow our dreams to come true anyway. That’s what vintage Vespas are for in the first place, remember?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New age Vespa to be a lifestyle product meant for the elite | mydigitalfc.com

New age Vespa to be a lifestyle product meant for the elite | mydigitalfc.com
The iconic new age Vespa in its third coming would be positioned as a premiumly priced scooter, after fifteen years of non-existence on the Indian roads.

Piaggio India, a wholly owned subsidiary of Italy’s Piaggio SpA, will start building the Vespa LX 125 scooter starting early 2012 at a new greenfield factory in Baramati. In the first year, the new plant will be able to build over 100,000 Vespa scooters.

“A Vespa is a Vespa, its not a scooter..the Vespa (to be produced in India) will be designed for the Indian consumers’ tastes, something that offers them iconic value. It is a lifestyle product meant for the elite, for people who like to be distinctly known to possess something unique in nature,” chairman and managing director Piaggio India Ravi Chopra told Financial Chronicle.

Piaggio is working on ensuring that the gearless scooter suits the average short height of the Indian rider, so that their feet can reach the ground easily. It is also meant to suit women wearing floor-length Saris sitting at the rear seat of the scooter. Chopra said it would be too early to talk about the price of the LX 125.

The Vespa is made of a steel frame and sold in major continents Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia. “Vespa was first built in 1947 with a steel frame and the Indian one will be no different,” Chopra said when asked how would the company compete with other domestic scooters whose bodies are moulded from plastics and are hence less costly.

Chopra said the scooter market would witness a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent in the next three years, and about 2.5 million scooters would be required in the market by 2013. India’s scooter sales surged 22 per cent to 1.46 million units in 2009-10, according to SIAM.

Piaggio India already has a facility in Baramati in Maharashtra to manufacture 150,000 petrol and diesel engines for commercial vehicles as well as its Ape range of three and four-wheeled vehicles. Chopra declined to give investment required in the new factory.

The board of Piaggio Spa had in June said it would invest 30 million Euros at establishing a new factory for its Indian unit over the next two years.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group said it has granted a loan worth 45 million Euros to allow Piaggio SpA to bring out a variety of new products with improved fuel efficiencies to the Indian market as well as expand its existing factory in Vietnam.

Vespa first entered India in the 1960s through a license manufacturing agreement with the Firodias. Firodias were a part of the Bajaj group at that time. The joint venture agreement expired in 1971 and Bajaj came out with its own Chetak scooter range.

The Vespa made a comeback in India again through a joint venture with LML in 1983 till 1999, when LML bought back Piaggio’s stake in the joint venture company.

Though Bajaj Auto has walked away from the scooter market, Hero Honda, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, TVS Motor Co. and Suzuki Motorcycle India all sell scooters.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

PCAS! - Vespa 150 Restoration

By:Bijoy Kumar Y

Prevention of cruelty against scooters? Well, call it whatever you want to call it, I do have a soft corner for old Vespas and Vespas made in India under license from Piaggio. Whoa, that includes scores of Bajaj 150’s/Supers/Chetaks/Cubs; Priya 150’s and even LML Vespas and the odd Vespa PL 170’s. But primarily I am concentrating on rescuing Bajaj 150’s and Priya 150’s that has the look and feel of the original from the 1950-60’s complete with the curvaceous Wasp-ish rear-end that gave it the Vespa tag. What makes me love them – the simplicity of design, the classic origins, the numerous movies and lore and all of the above. Actually, more than anything else a Vespa 150 or a clone is a piece of art in itself. And me, I think of unloved, abandoned examples as blank pieces of canvass that can be used to express my mind. I know, psychedelic scooters are done to death already but what the heck, I have just started!

The process is simple as it happened with Roxanne and Alice – a Bajaj 150 and a Priya 150 that came my way. Identify the scooter, pay a maximum of Rs 4000 for it, then do the essential repair and body work and paint it for another Rs 6000 and you get a piece of art that can do the milk-run.

Roxanne was supposed to be a Lamborghini edition but I couldn’t get the right stickers and hence decided to settle for a checkered-tape that lend the scooter a degree of sportiness. But when Alice was given the matt black and red paint job that was inspired by the black and red that makes up Ferraris I was also determined to get the livery right. So one flank of the scooter pays homage to the Formula One car (F2009) while the other apes the road-going supercar. Painstakingly cut and paste Italian tricolore and a prancing horse (ok, that was a bit blatant but what the heck!) later we had a scooter that, in my eyes, looked just perfect. Cost? Rs 10,000 only including the donor scooter.

Sadly, the scooter is not going to be mine and I felt the tug in my pump when it was time to let her go. Alice will ferry my friend Vishal to the starting points of various half-marathons and training sessions as I embark on the next project that revolves around a theme of WWII aircraft, nose-art (semi-naked women, of course) and overall a riveted look. After that I will start considering an installation art exhibition on Indian Vesp-art!

I am loving it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Vespa to begin third innings in India by 2012 | Automobile World

Vespa to begin third innings in India by 2012 | Automobile World

Vespa’s Indian re-entry.

The Board of Piaggio has approved a proposal to invest around 30 million euros (Rs 170 crores) over two years to set up a manufacturing plant with an annual capacity of 1.5 lakh units in India. The Italian manufacturer wants to take advantage of the lucrative Indian scooter market, the Indian two-wheeler market being the second largest in the world.
Piaggio also plans to establish boutique showrooms for selling the range of Vespa scooters. Piaggio would first roll out the Vespa LX 125 scooter by the end of 2012. Then would gradually bring in more powerful scooters.
Piaggio is bullish about the Indian scooter market and is hoping to sell around 1.1 lakh units in the first three years and estimating revenues from the scooter business to touch Rs 400 crores in these three years.
Piaggio Vehicles India Pvt Ltd, which is currently manufacturing three- and four-wheeled small LCV’s, is the segment leader in leader in three-wheeled LCV’s. The company’s plant is located in Baramati, Maharashtra and the future Vespa scooters could also be manufactured here in addition to the proposed new factory.
Vespa is about to make its re-entry into the Indian two-wheeler market and its the LX 125 which has been given thevespa_lx_125charge of leading Vespa’s attack on the Indian scooter market. The LX 125 is a 125 cc gearless, automatic scooter similar to the Honda Activa, whose engine produces 7.65 kW of max power and 9.6 Nm of max torque.
The Vespa LX 125 will be loaded with features such as a front disc brake and an electric starter. The scooter will be one of the more powerful scooters in the Indian market and hence fuel efficiency will be on the slightly lower side.
The Vespa LX 125 faces a tough job of re-establishing the Vespa brand name in the Indian two-wheeler space and with the presence of established rivals such as the Honda Activa, Honda Aviator, Hero Honda Pleasure and the Suzuki Access. It is not going to be an easy ride for Vespa in the Indian market.
Vespa LX 125 Technical Specifications
Engine and Transmission
Engine: Single-cylinder LEADER 4 stroke with electronic injection
Capacity: 124cc
Power: 7.65 Kw / 8250 rpm
Max Torque: 9.6 Nm / 7250 rpm
Cooling: Forced Air Cooling
Starter: Electric and kick starter
Transmission: Automatic
Suspension, Brakes and Tyres
Front Suspension: Single sided trailing link with hydraulic shock absorber
Rear Suspension: Hydraulic shock absorbers with preload adjuster
Front Brake: 200mm disc brake
Rear Brake: 110mm drum brake
Front Tyre: Tubeless 110/70 – 11?
Rear Tyre: Tubeless 120/70 – 10?
Dimensions and Weight
Length: 1770 mm
Width: 740 mm
Height: 1140 mm
Weight 114kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 8.5 litres

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Viru Sehwag would ride a LML VESPA !! - Interview Excerpts

I have already lost half my hair; I don’t want to lose the rest contemplating who is saying what about my technique.”

It is this simplicity which defines Virender Sehwag on and off the field. After a gruelling practice session at the new look Ferozeshah Kotla before the IPL semi final, we found Viru, as he is affectionately called, in a reflective mood.

Going back in time, his partner in the Kotla journey used to be Ashish Nehra.
“After the first Ranji season I bought an LML Vespa. Whoever rode pillion had to handle the heavy kits.”

Viru, who still lugs his own kit bag, says it surprises him how young players ask others to carry their kits.
"You have to respect your equipment. It is this equipment which makes your sporting life."

Today Viru drives a BMW. “I could have bought it three or four seasons back but I believed I didn’t deserve it then. So I continued driving my Santro. I firmly believe in living a life you deserve notwithstanding your bank-balance. This helps in concentrating on the career.”

It sounds like propagating old world values, but this is the way the Nawab of Najafgarh has become what he is. “I came from a joint family and my father was a grain merchant. My father gave me a free hand till I completed my graduation. After that he expected me to join his business. But before completing graduation, I was playing international cricket. From the beginning I knew that if I continue playing well nobody can stop me. Money would come my way automatically if I excelled at cricket. A semi-urban background or lack of English speaking skills never gave me any complex because these things don’t matter on the ground.” 

Source - http://www.4jat.com/jat_community_article.asp?jat_community=510

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

400+ Yellow Vespas ! - http://whoridesavespa.com/2006/10/25/400-yellow-vespas/


400+ Yellow Vespas!

by Abet Rana
The first time I saw the first branch of Yellow Cab Pizza in Makati Ave. back in 2001, my wife & I agreed that we have got to try the place. It just had that interesting appeal. When we went in, I’ve instantly assumed that it was a local franchise of a New York-based pizza place. The ‘feel’ of the store is just not local. The unpainted concrete façade, the b&w New York photographs, the big box & big slices and those ‘cute’ yellow delivery scoots. Bearing a name with the word ‘cab’ in a country that calls it a ‘taxi’ also doesn’t help.
It was only recently, while having a chat with our friends from Yabang Pinoy, when I learned that Yellow Cab Pizza is a 100% Filipino-owned company. The assumptions I had about the store is a product of a good market positioning and a great understanding of the Filipino psyche. I hate being swayed by any marketing gimmicks but their’s just hit me where I least expected it (subconscious) and I didn’t know that I already fell for it the moment I decided to my first visit. I have to say, it’s just pure marketing genius!
Delivery with pizzazz

by: Aida Sevilla Mendoza | Inq7.net Roadtrip
The following is a business success story in which motor vehicles, two-wheeled as well as four-wheeled, played-and continue to play-a starring role.
It is about a pizza parlor that was established in 2001 by Mr. E.P., a Filipino entrepreneur. Today, Yellow Cab Pizza has 54 stores across the country, as far north in Baguio City and as far south as Davao. Not bad for an all-Filipino enterprise that was opened only five years ago in competition with famous, well-established global brands such as Shakey’s, Pizza Hut and Wendy’s.
What makes Yellow Cab Pizza different from other pizza chains, both local and international, is the pizzazz of its delivery system. When you order pizza from Yellow Cab, it is delivered to you via a 150 cc Vespa, the prestigious Italian motor scooter. Other pizza brands use less glamorous transportation, usually Japanese motorcycles such as the Kawasaki 100 cc.
Yellow Cab has 400 Vespas-all painted yellow, of course-across the country to deliver its products on time. Aside from 400 Vespas, Yellow Cab has a 2002 model Chrysler PT Cruiser, painted in the same bright yellow color, that is used for special occasions such as at the grand opening of a store, motorcades, car shows and sponsorship events.
Image builder
Mr. E.P. acquired the PT Cruiser for P1.5 million in 2004 from Kevin Limjoco, C! Magazine’s editor-at-large. “The PT Cruiser is meant to build the image of Yellow Cab,” Mr E.P. said in an interview. “The character of the car is what I wanted to portray-young, hip, retro, very much like the Vespa design.” It helps that the PT Cruiser is not sold in the Philippines and is rarely seen on Philippine roads, thus contributing to the eye-catching mystique of the Yellow Cab brand. Only young people-students and models-get to drive the PT Cruiser, Mr. E.P. revealed. He himself does not drive it.
It is actually logical for Yellow Cab Pizza to own and parade a yellow automobile from America, since the pizza business was named after the ubiquitous yellow taxicabs in New York City. But while the cabs in New York are big, full-size, 6 or 8-cylinder passenger sedans, the PT Cruiser is a compact hatchback with a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder twin cam engine producing 150 peak horsepower.Boost sales
Together with the Chrysler 300 C executive sedan, the PT Cruiser is credited with boosting sales of the Chrysler division of DaimlerChrysler in the first five years of the 2000s. The PT Cruiser has been consistently recommended by Consumer Reports for four years now mainly because of its reliability and versatile interior. The rear seats can be removed and the front passenger seat folded flat to increase cargo space.
With 400 Vespas at hand, Yellow Cab may well be the company with the largest number of Vespas in the world. Ninety percent of the Vespa fleet was purchased brand-new with the remaining 10 percent acquired secondhand. Mr. E.P. said that the average price of a new Vespa is P80,000 (compared to the P60,000 retail price of a 100 cc Kawasaki) while a used Vespa costs around P50,000. Mr. E.P. sources the Vespas from Italy, where the original Piaggio Vespa is manufactured and from India, where the scooter is produced by LML. There is a Vespa distributor in Metro Manila that sells both. Seventy percent of the Yellow Cab fleet are Piaggio Vespas and the rest, LML Vespas.
Mr. E.P. says that the Vespa has been a part of his life since he was a child. His father rode a Vespa in the 1950s and 1960s and when the Vespa returned to Manila in the 1990s, Mr. E.P. bought one and rode it to work in Makati almost daily. At one time, he even rode his Vespa all the way to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.
Rolling stock
When he was organizing Yellow Cab Pizza, Mr. E.P. saw that the Vespa has a lot of paintable surfaces for advertisements. Perhaps this is one reason he chose the Vespa for Yellow Cab’s rolling stock. Another reason could be the Vespa’s durability. Mr. E.P. says that the Vespa is less prone to break down since the spindle coming from the transmission is attached to the wheel and motion is not transferred by a chain.
In any case, choosing the Vespa and the PT Cruiser to distinguish the Yellow Cab brand was a stroke of marketing genius. Now the question is: When will CATS Motors Inc., the Philippine distributor of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep, make the PT Cruiser available here?

Monday, May 3, 2010

LML / vespa - polini - Chamber(TuningExhaust)

LML VESPA with POLINI CHAMBER - Tuning Exhaust....

Friday, April 30, 2010

How to Compete in a Vespa Rally | eHow.com

How to Compete in a Vespa Rally | eHow.com

A Vespa rally is possibly one of the stranger things you'll ever see. The premise is similar to any other rally race; the competitors race through a course, around obstacles and sometimes the course itself is the obstacle. There are several Vespa rally races held each year in the United States. Races are held in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Seattle. Of the Vespa rally races mentioned, only the race in Las Vegas has an off-road ride.


Things You'll Need:

  • A Vespa, though some rally races will allow other makes of scooter
  • A valid motorcycle license and insurance
  • Standard safety gear like a helmet and goggles
  • A copy of your registration paperwork
  • Entry fee
  • Time off from work
  • A means of transporting your Vespa to the site of the rally race

  1. Step 1
    Choose which Vespa rally race you'll be attending. Most information can be found online at the organizer's website.

  2. Step 2
    Preregister as soon as you can. Many of the rally races fill up quickly, so get your registration in quickly. Most organizer's will allow you to pay your registration fee with a credit card online.

  3. Step 3
    Check the state laws concerning Vespas and other scooters. Doing this will make sure you're in compliance with the law and have all the required safety gear and paperwork. Most of the time this can also be found on the organizer's website.

  4. Step 4
    Arrange a way to get your Vespa or scooter to the race. You may have to rent a truck, though if you own a pick up truck you'll have nothing to worry about. You may be able to ride with another competitor who has room to spare for you and your Vespa.

  5. Step 5
    Tune up your Vespa. If your scooter's not road-worthy, don't compete until it is. Sitting on the side of the road, waiting for a ride is no way to compete in a rally race.

  6. Step 6
    Allow for drive time and potential set backs. Build in extra time just to be safe.

  7. Step 7
    Go to the meet and greet. In addition to handing out goodies, there is usually free food and important information about the race.

  8. Step 8
    Compete in the rally race. Follow the map or directions you're given and have fun.

  9. Tips &Warnings

    • Remember that the rally's sponsor and organizers are not responsible for any injury you sustain. You are on your own, and you are responsible for your own actions.

    • Follow the instructions of the race organizers; these are designed for all Vespa drivers to have as much fun as possible.

Vespa - it still has that buzz

Vespa - it still has that buzz

Italy’s scooter classic can cut the mustard almost 60 years on, say Janie Omorogbe and Nicholas Rufford

How does Jamie Oliver carry his groceries from the supermarket? By Vespa of course. How did Gregory Peck woo Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday? By taking her on a romantic ride through the streets of Rome on a Vespa.

If things are useful they last and if they last long enough they become icons. In 1946 the first Vespa — the word means wasp in Italian — married practicality with styling. It was soon as synonymous with scooters as Hoover and Biro are with vacuum cleaners and ballpoint pens.
Originally intended for the masses in post-war Italy, it was the answer to a crippled economy. Affordable and robust, it meant men and women could get to work despite the state of the bombed roads.
Corradino D’Ascanio, an aeronautical engineer, designed it with the non-motorcycling customer in mind. He intended to offer a sleek means of transport with some of the practicalities of a car and the fun of a motorcycle. He produced a winning design, including the “step through” configuration of seat and frame that lets a woman in a dress ride one.
Old Vespas had the rear brake pedal in the footwell and you changed gear by pulling in the clutch and twisting the left-hand grip in steps. These days things are even simpler, hence the phrase “twist and go”. By the mid-1950s Vespas were being made not just in Italy, but in Britain, Belgium, Spain, France and Germany, with India and Indonesia following soon afterwards.
They have subtly evolved with each decade in both design and image. After Roman Holiday in 1953, sales soared for Piaggio, the Italian manufacturer. They were further boosted by films such as Quadrophenia that helped ingrain an image of a young carefree lifestyle.
If you’ve driven in Italy you’ll know they’re everywhere. They pop like champagne corks out of side turnings and bounce over the potholed roads. In cafes there are pictures of 1960s starlets astride leather saddles wearing hot pants. Now the chic state of undress is diluted by laws requiring crash helmets, but Vespas remain the coolest thing to be seen on.
It’s been almost 60 years since the first Vespa. The styling has matured with age while remaining true to its roots and popularity has continued to increase. Evidence of that can be seen in motorcycle parking bays across London. Commuting doesn’t have to be a frazzled combination of the Tube, buses or jostling through crowds. Just jump on your Vespa, pop a lid on and you’re off.
At first glance the new Vespa LX looks like a hybrid of the Vespa Granturismo (GT) which was launched late in 2003, and the more compact ET series that this scooter will replace. From the front it’s as curvaceous as the GT but smaller. The styled fairing protects against the weather. There’s ample legroom and a small glove compartment. The seat is comfortable, too. It’s big enough for passengers and it has a “curry hook” that slides out from the seat unit, giving you somewhere to hang your handbag — or bag of curry.
The seat unit houses enough space for a helmet to be locked away. Vespa wheels have traditionally been solid, making it impossible to lock them with a chain to a lamppost. The LX, however, has 11in spoked wheels that are smart and practical.
The bike’s slender proportions will be a godsend for women, although it can take loads disproportionate to its size — there are plenty of Vespas in Asia that carry families and animals. The steel body is tough and surprisingly light, making it easy to manoeuvre.
For commuters, two wheels seem an obvious solution. Big bikes are a blast on the open road, but this 4.3bhp two-stroke scooter is decidedly more suitable for stop-start London traffic.
It’s slim enough for filtering and nimble enough to nip between taxis and buses. The brakes are more than adequate. The only drawback is that the restricted engine tops out at a law-abiding 30mph, which can be slightly unnerving as soon as the traffic begins to flow.
Adopting a defensive stance in the middle of the lane causes a 30mph blockage, yet moving to the nearside to allow traffic to pass encourages car drivers to overtake far too close. A bit more power would have meant the bike could zip away from unexpected hazards.
That said, it is still a handy runabout that oozes Italian style by the bucketload. It comes in six colours (dragon red, black, grey, white, blue and plum) and there’s a choice of four engines from the nimble 50cc two-stroke that we rode to 50, 125 and 150cc four strokes, all of which are Euro 2 compatible.
So whether you’re looking for your first set of wheels, something to commute on or simply a fashion accessory, the LX may do the trick.
Vital statistics
Model Vespa LX
Engine type 50cc two-stroke
Power 4.3bhp
Fuel 110mpg
Performance 0-30mph: 5.9sec
Top speed 30mph
Price £1,799
Verdict Good fun and a great fashion accessory, but the 125cc version would be better

Monday, February 8, 2010

Barbie Pink Vespa Doll - Mattel - Toys "R" Us

Barbie Pink Vespa Doll - Mattel - Toys "R" Us

Barbie zips around town on her sporty and stylish Vespa scooter in the perfect shade of pink. Doll is posable and wears fashionable city sportswear and accessories. 

Some more Toys here

Thursday, January 21, 2010


ESPA PX 80 with a 200ccm Engine built in 1984
It runs with a modified 208ccm Polini Cylinder, Longstroke Crankshaft, 28 PHBL Carb and Stainless steel Exhaust
It has a SKR fork, a Drop Bar and a few more changes on the frame... All modifications done by myself.
Backing soundtrack " THE BOVVER BOYS - A.G.G.R.O"
released on UK TORPEDO ( TOR 22 ) 1970

Thursday, January 14, 2010

End of the Road for Bajaj Scooters - http://www.financialexpress.com/news/how-marketing-myopia-can-spell-trouble-for-business/564148/1

Bajaj Auto announced that it was discontinuing the production of scooters. As quoted in a newspaper, the managing director reportedly said, “one day, God willing, we will be the largest motorcycle company in the world. If we have to be a motorcycle specialist, we have to make a sacrifice in the scooter segment—where we are not selling according to expectations.”
Consider the facts. According to Siam, Bajaj’s cumulative domestic scooter sales during April to November 2009 was 3,356 units, a decline from a similar period the previous year. The Indian scooter market, currently at 1.2 million, is growing at 15%. From 12% of two wheelers in 2008, scooters are expected to contribute 20% to two-wheeler sales in 2010. The scooter market has grown at double digits in the last fiscal compared to the motorcycle market, which grew only at 2.6%. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India has just started a third assembly line at its plant to meet growing demand for scooters.
It would appear that the venerable Bajaj brand is falling into a classic trap of marketing myopia. Almost 50 years ago, the late Ted Levitt coined the term ‘marketing myopia’ for a firm or manager’s approach and thinking that is product-focused. He suggested that the reason railroad companies in the US declined in the early- and mid-20th century was that they thought they were in the railroad business—not the transportation business; they thought that customers were buying ‘railroad’ services from them—not the benefit of being transported from point A to point B in a convenient, inexpensive way. The railroads got into trouble not because the need for passenger and freight transportation declined. That grew. However, that need was filled by others (cars, trucks, airplanes, even telephones); it was not filled by the railroads themselves.

In a similar fashion, Hollywood barely escaped being totally ravished by television. Actually, all the established film companies went through drastic reorganisations. Some simply disappeared. All of them got into trouble not because TV’s inroads hurt but because of their own myopia. As with the railroads, Hollywood defined its business incorrectly. Studios thought they were in the movie business when they were actually in the entertainment business. ‘Movies’ implied a specific, limited product. This produced a fatuous contentment which from the beginning led producers to view TV as a threat. Hollywood scorned and rejected TV when it should have welcomed it as an opportunity—an opportunity to expand the entertainment business. TV grew into a bigger business than the old narrowly defined movie business ever was. Had Hollywood been customer-oriented (providing entertainment), rather than product-oriented (making movies), it would not have gone through the financial, market and emotional purgatory that it did.

In both railroads and Hollywood, the efforts focused on improving the efficiency of making the product and on making a better product—not really on understanding what the customer was looking for and in developing and executing a good product and marketing plan. Moreover, the firms in the industry defined their products in the narrowest possible terms—just as Bajaj Auto today appears to be defining itself as being in the motorcycle business and becoming a motorcycle specialist.
It would appear that Bajaj Auto is falling into a similar trap that railroad firms and Hollywood studios fell into in the early 20th century. Mahindra & Mahindra had launched two scooter models, Rodeo and Duro, in September 2009, which are reportedly selling at more than 7,000 scooters a month. And Bajaj Auto cannot sell even 200 scooters a month? Looks like one or more of the following is true. Someone there is simply not looking at the data from the market. Or the company or at least many influential people in the company think that it is in the motorcycle business.
Let us be very clear. Bajaj Auto is ‘not’ in the motorcycle business. Bajaj Auto (and Hero Honda, TVS, HMSI, Suzuki Motors, Hyundai etc) is actually in the business of providing commuting services to office goers; it is in the business of providing a thrill and ego boost to young males; it is in the business of providing (young) family transportation; it is in the business of providing stage and contract carriage; it is in the business of providing status and transportation to college going teenagers etc. The motorcycle simply happens to be one current form of a product that satisfies some of the above enumerated needs.

As an Indian, I am enormously proud of the fact that Bajaj Auto today has morphed into an Indian company that has some of the best two wheeler technology in the world, that it has developed on its own—its DTSi engines give more than any other comparable engines and are the best in the class. It is sad to see a company that has such a business-savvy lineage making marketing decisions that leave so much money on the table for competitors. At the very least, it appears that a company that was the leader in the market across segments is now on its way to confining itself to the higher-end segments—a sure shot way of becoming a niche player or of long-term decline.
The author is a professor at IIM, Ahmedabad. These are his personal views...