Monday, October 30, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Thats right ladies and gentleman, if you're not already in the know, we get an entire weekend of great riding weather. Rumor has it that we may see some temps in the 70s tomorrow. The way the weather has been the last few weeks, 70 degrees may feel like 90, so that'll be interesting. A word of caution, however: Watch out for other drivers when the temps change like they are doing this weekend. Kansas Citians seem to forget their on-road ettiquette whenever the temps change, thus more accidents and silly fender benders caused by people driving with their eyes closed or singing Kelly Clarkson songs with the windows rolled down.
See you on the road!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
If you're like me, you probably woke up (reluctantly) and looked out the window to see dark skies and rain. I saw this and immediately though, "darn, I have to take the car to work now." Most unfortunate. However, when I walked out to the garage, I noticed that it really was only a slight drizzle, and no where near what I figure is to be too cold to jump on the scoot.
Long story short, I almost suckered myself into driving the car to work. The Weather Channel.com says its supposed to be in the mid 50s all day today, and seriously, I'm quite used to the "colder" weather of fall, and whereas a month ago I would have frozen to death, nowadays 40 degrees or warmer is like summer-heat on the bike. So, for those who did ride, call your non-riding friends who might have suckered themselves out of a enjoyable trip to work and... Give em grief :)
I think, because of KC's history of being really weather-awkward, I will start posting the next day's riding weather forecast. So, if you're at work, and want to have an idea if you can ride the next day and plan accordingly, at least you'll know what to expect. Of course, if I start doing this, I don't want to be blamed as the guy who keeps getting the weather wrong; I have no dreams of being a meteorologist.
Also, if you want to check the weather yourself, but happen to be away from a PC or TV, you can use your cellphone. Google SMS is a genius way to find info on anything via TXT Messaging! Its been around for a little bit, but nowadays its really, really easy to use! Just type in weather and then your zipcode. Send the txt msg to GOOGL or 46645 and wait a few seconds. For instance, right now, GOOGL SMS says:
Overland Park, KS
Wind: E 5mph
F:38-56F, Chance of
An entire 3-day forcast in the palm of your hand. Check out that site for more info, such as how to find the closest Chinese food joint or movie times. Its GENIUS!
Edit: Upon reading this post later, it occured to me that it looks like an advert for the Google SMS. This wasn't and advert, I just happen to really like using the SMS for stuff so I thought I'd share. Comes in handy when you're on the bike and in the middle of no where. Anyway, stay dry!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Whether in Japanese or Italian, 'more rain' is not the type of weather that us riders enjoy. Especially when it's cold outside.
The wet doesn't stop the die-hards from donning their rain gear and riding anyway, and for those of you out there be careful and ride with some distance between the cagers, err.. cars. For the rest of us this Saturday, we're left with other options to keep us light and carefree. Movies anyone?
If you're going to out and see a movie, Chris and Vera give Infamous two thumbs up. Personally, I was a big fan of Capote, but I do plan on hitting the cinema sometime soon and giving it a taste. The other flick on my must see list is The Prestige. If you'd like to share a movie review, send and email my way.
If you're going to stay home and watch a movie, my favorites on a rainy day include Bullit, Faster, and Long Way Round. All are motorhead flicks, but the latter two are documentaries. Steve Mcqueen and the sinister blank-grilled mustang in Bullit should need no introduction, but if you're looking for one, just go out and buy it. Its an exciting classic! Another classic great, the original Italian Job , ranks up there along with Bullit as one of my favorite classic car films. Very funny, very well shot, and very much worth its price in popcorn and black tea.
Of course, I couldn't write about movies and not mention Quadrophenia. I haven't seen this scooter Mod-inspiring flick but Christopher owns a copy. He says its the "best thing since body augmentation," so go out there and find it!
Enjoy your day, dry or wet!
Friday, October 20, 2006
We have a few new brochures available for ya: Pirelli Tires, Vespa Limited Collection, and the latest Scooter World issue. If you want any of of these fine printed, and free, items, stop by the shop.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Apparently some smart guy thought it would be wise to try and steal a scooter from a police station. A station that has a locked gate that can only be opened via remote control. And has cameras throughout. Read it, its great!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Looks like Chicagoland residents have had enough. The CHIscooterlist YahooGroup planned a scooter 'park-in' to bring attention to the lack of parking for scooters and the issue it creates. According to them, it is illegal to park more than one vehicle in any given space. So what was the plan?
To park exactly one scoot in every consecutive space and shoot photos to illustrate the antiquated law. Hopefully the right people see the emotion behind this and get some paperwork shuffled in the right direction. If Chicago decides to move on something like this, that would be great for us Kansas City cousins down the road!
Gleaned from 2strokebuzz.com
Not really. Unless you're in Canada.
MTV Canada is auctioning off a bunch of swag for HIV/AIDS research.
"MTV is auctioning off all kinds of sweet swag, exclusive trips and celebrity memorabilia to raise money to fund its Staying Alive Foundation, which funds HIV/AIDs research.
Trips include the chance to hope a jet to Copenhagen to take in the MTV Europe Music Awards, a trip to New York to be in the TRL audience, a visit to the Laguna Beach set and a trip to the World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler. If autographed garb is more your bag, you can bid on a signed Beastie Boys skateboard deck, a guitar signed by Carmon Elektra castoff Dave Navarro or an autographed John Mayer poster and CD catalogue. There is also a prize pack that includes a set of Vespa scooters signed by some 60 celebrities, including Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lopez, Morgan Freeman and Zach Braff during the Toronto International Film Festival.
Currently 40 million people around the world have HIV and AIDS, and an estimated 90 per cent of those infected don’t know they have the disease. Every six seconds, someone becomes infected with the deadly illness. Visit http://www.mtvauctions.ca/ to bid on an item or make a donation." Gleaned from Dose.Ca
Unfortunately, this is more for the Canadian bacon folks vs us American cheese folks. Oh well. If you still want to bid for a good cause, click here. The Vespa is signed by J.Lo Zach Braff, Christian Bale, Lance Bass, James Blunt, Emilio Estevez, Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover, Jeff Goldblum, and a LOT of others. The auction itself gives a nice summary of the Vespa scooter, and its definitely worth a read.
One thing I learned from reading the above is.. well, I'll just cut and paste:
"Driving a Vespa in and around the city is an ideal way of beating traffic congestion as well. The City of Toronto passed a by-law last year allowing for scooters and motorcycles to park for free on city streets where they are Green P ticket machines. Other cities are expected to follow, but the by-law underscores the fact that Toronto, is indeed trying to promote scootering as a way of getting around town. Moreover, Vespa's are incredibly fuel efficient. While it varies from model to model, you can fill a Vespa up at the pump for approximately $8.00 and that will take you approximately 220/KM. "
Free parking eh? I should call my congressman. Toronto's initiative to help out their motorcyclists and scooterists sounds a lot like the Vespatition for parking that started this summer. Which, by the way, if you haven't done it yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!
Obviously yesterday was a nice riding day, but today requires a return to the baclava and gloves. However, days like this do make you appreciate the warmer days eh? And, understandably, everyone can't be like Christopher or Jason and ride regardless of the climate. So.. Based upon the possibility that we may see more days like today versus sunny days like yesterday, we at the store have been brainstorming a little about what we can do to keep everyone riding, even when you're not riding.
One of those ideas is a Vespa Riders Bowling Night. As is stands a few of us go bowling every Monday night and have a great time. So much fun, in fact, that we thought about starting a team and doing competitive sport-league bowling.
Then I realized that we're kinda lazy.
However, as I marinate on the idea a little more, things will get worked out and I'll post details here on the blog about what when and where. If you're already a part of our email list, you'll get inside info too!
And, as always, if you guys have any suggestions for the blog or even the store, let me know!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
A customer sent an email asking about how to combat the sudden 'heaviness' that occurs when making a low speed turn.
To answer that question, I must ask another question: "What in the stars are you talking about?!?" I'm not sure of this sudden heaviness, but I have had many a conversation with scooterists and motorcyclists about low speed manuevers. Most of the time it seems to be a confidence thing, ie: not sure you can get your bike to make that u-turn in that itsy bitsy little space.
I must say, if these chaps can do it... You can do it!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Yeah, I think so.
Being next door to Sushi Gin, I get the opportunity to practice my knowledge of Japanese language every so often. I'll run into Gohan-san, thow out a "ohio gozaimasu" and he'll just wave as he walks into work. If I'm lucky, I get to say "konbanwa" as they leave for the evening and spark up a rather poorly spoken conversation. However, sometimes, I get a response in english, not because they're tired of my poor speaking skills, but because it creates emphasis and a feeling of "!"
Today, that feeling of "!" was , "Summer is gone already!!"
Being outside in just a t-shirt, shivering, I just nodded my head. Its getting colder folks, thus we gotta dress warmer, since the riding season is far from over! That said, I thought I'd share a few tips with you on how to keep your wits about you as you ride during the cool fall season.
- Thermal Layer or Fleece underwear. It keeps you toasty and creates a pocket of warm air between your skin and the enviornment.
- A windblocker or windbreaker. Weather underneath your jacket or outside of your clothing, it'll keep the cold air from robbing you of your warmth.
- Gauntlet style gloves. Sure, your summer gloves may work sorta-ok, but gauntlet style gloves keep not only your fingers from numbing out, but keep your wrists warm and protect your arms from air that would otherwise sneak in underneath your sleeves.
- Full face helmet. It'll keep you warmer than the 3/4 or shorty your using for summer riding, and when coupled with a bandana or balaclava, it'll keep the cold of your neck and chin as well.
- Windshields. May be dorky to some, but man do they work during the fall and winter months! Big enough to deflect the cold away from your chest, but small enough to look over, these optional treats can really extend your riding season!
- Chemical heat. Those heat-packs are nice portable and disposable ways to keep yourself cush and feeling oh-so-lux while riding to work. Some of them can generate heat up to 150 degrees, so you should keep them off your skin and place them in a vest/jacket pocket or if your gloves have heat pack zippers, in there.
- Hydration. The colder you are, the harder it is to realize that you may be dehydrated, but you can still sweat out there. Caffiene and alcohol won't help, but sweet-tasting drinks will charge up the body with good carbs to help with warmth.
If you folks out there have any other tips to add, send me an email and I'll be sure to let everyone else know. Till then..
Stay warm and keep riding!
Sunday, October 08, 2006
or.. How I defined the difference between the terms Moped and Scooter at First Fridays.
For those who weren't able to swing by this last weekend, the event at First Fridays was a great time. With two DJs at Habitat, tasty cookies at Pidgeon, penguin shaped olive cheese tasties at "Surface Deep" (Patrick Adams photo gallery exhibit), and a parking lot full of scoots.... What a blast!
Here are some pics from the weekend.
Special thanks to Habitat, Darling Room, Pidgeon and Aptrick Photo.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Patrick Adams Photography opening "Surface Deep".
Your Itinerary for the evening:
- The riders will meet at Latte' Land on State Line and Somerset @ 4:30pm
- Leave full of caffiene and cookies @ 5pm*
- Arrive at the Crossroads around 6pm.
The show should last until 10pm, plenty of time to take in all the flavors of First Fridays. While there is no official ride back to Overland Park afterwards, it can be arranged if needed.
*Expect to travel though city traffic. Wear bright clothing and if you are unexperienced, and have extra requirements, let one of us know.
Hope to see you on Friday!
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
- Reflective Phoslite strips for increased rider visibility at night (notice photo above)
- Light weight shoulder, elbow & back armor
- Zip-out satin quilted vest type liners (full zip-out liners are available for year round riding)
- Water resistant outer shell
- Adjustable waist straps for a perfect fit
- Ram air venting system
Monday, October 02, 2006
Keith was just a little ahead of the game today with his posts of the new Vespas. These new models are indeed coming to Vespa KC (meaning stateside) in the near future.
Vespa is announcing two new vintage styled scooters for 2007, the LXV 150 and the GTV 250. Based on the LX 150 and GTS 250 respectively, these scooters come in a vintage grey color with brown split seat and other vintage styling cues. These scooters will show up some time in late 2006 as 2007 model year units. MSRP of $5799 and $6799.
There is also a very limited edition version of the GTV 250 called the GT 60 (honoring Vespa's 60th anniversary). Only 999 GT 60 scooters are being built, and only 250 of those are coming stateside. So if you want the ultimate in a modern era collectible Vespa, this is it. With only 250 coming (meaning about one per dealer), you might want to get your name on one now. By the time they show up at dealers, they will no doubt already be spoken for. It won't come cheap, but it comes with all sorts of great extras including:
- Numbered limited edition number plate
- Silver plate with customer's initials
- Specail edition of the book "Vespa, Italian Style for the World"
- Leather key fob
- Leather document wallet
- Satin vehicle cover
- Original sketch of the Vespa GT 60
Here are some pics first of the LXV then of the GTV. Notice the unique color (called Gray 725) reportedly the same color as the original Vespa prototype. And contrary to Jason's opinion, I happen to think these are some very cool looking scooters.
Call it cool, call it unique, but don't call it an MP3. At least not on U.S. soil anyway. The Piaggio scooter known worldwide as the MP3 will be coming to the U.S., but it won't be called the MP3 stateside. The not yet named in the U.S. Piaggio "three wheeled scooter" was the talk of the show. Current estimates are for this unit to be available in the first quarter of 2007. The initial model offering will use the 250cc fuel-injected engine also found in the GTS and BV250. MSRP will be around $6999 when it does show up stateside.
Some unique features (besides the two wheels up front) are a separate park brake with its own two piston caliper, and an electronic stability switch that allows the three wheeler to hold itself upright at a stop light or when parked.
Here are some up close and personal pictures of this unique machine.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
The Limited GT60
As you can see, it's a fenderlight version of the GT series of Vespa. Instead of the cyclops headlamp on the handlebar, you have an BV-type flyshield; a little 1948 action with the headlamp on the fender. It is a bespoke version of the Vespa Vintage collection that seems to be U.K. and EURO only and is limited to 999 peices.
The LX V
This may look just like the LX we've all come to know and hold close to our hearts, but a careful inspection will reveal an uncovered handlebar and split seat configuration, via the 1940s. Europeans get to see this in both the 50cc and 125cc range.
The GT V
The design that inspired the GT60, but with split seats. The engines available are the 125cc L.E.A.D.E.R. and the newest GTS derived 250cc fuel injected Quasar. Jason, the shop mechanicca thinks its ugly. What do you think?
Again, these are EURO only models produced in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the creation of the Vespa. And if you don't know, us fine folk at Vespa KC are doing a little celebratin' as well. Check it out this Friday.
It seems that Piaggio group (they make the Vespa that you can't live without) has hired on former Honda and Ducati designer Miguel Galluzzi, as head of the Aprilia design house, the Style Center.
No while all this motorcycle talk may not seem to have anyting to do with us Vespatisi, it always seems that once a design is implemented that captures the hearts of enthusiasts, other similar products follow suit. I imagine that the creator of this....
might be able to further low minds in the future with some seriously inspired scoots for Piaggio. This is really new news, but if any scooter designs or sketches show up, expect so see them here! For more info on Mr. Galluzzi, click here . For the lazy, Mr. Galluzzi is responsible for one half of the designs that have won numerous awards for the 'worlds most beautiful motorcycle'. The other half, Mr. Tamburini, is not only also Italian, but also worked for Ducati. Let see:
2 guys design a stable of bikes that are considered by the world as the most beautiful, and one of them gets hired on as lead designer for the company that makes the stuff you love.. Now, can you see why I'm so excited??
Wow, KC whuupped on the 49s! I don't know what to say except that I feeel almost sorry for the Californians. Poor chaps!
Check Espn for the deets.