Friday, December 28, 2007

Winter Reminders (again!)

Lady's and Gents!
Keith K here with another message from the folks at Vespa KC, AKA Vespa @ VanWall! It's cold. We've had snow. Heck, I've already hit my head and have gotten a face full of snow while boarding this season! What does this all mean???

That's right, it's Winter!

In the spirit of the season, and from a rider's perspective, I decided that it would be nice to share a few pointers with you and make sure that your scoot is tip-top when the ice thaws and a new season of riding comes peeking around the corner:
  • Keep your fuel fresh! Either use fuel stabilizer or run your bike to operating temps on a regular basis
  • Keep your battery fresh! Do the scoot warm-up trick and/or keep a battery tender attached to your machine to keep the battery level nice and charged. During the Spring, we sell out of batteries due to folks forgetting to keep 'em fresh. That's a $60 to $90 item that otherwise could've been a nice dinner and a movie!
  • A clean scoot is a loved scoot! Don't let dust and dirt settle onto the paint. With your scoot tucked away into a corner in the garage, its easy to forget about it until the temps get warmer, and when it does, unless you take the time to clean off the machine thoroughly, you run the risk of damaging the paint by creating scratches and swirls, simply by handling it. A California Duster or similar tool can be found at most shops for cheapo dollars (Walmart sells them for $10) and will keep your scoot dust free and beautiful. If you don't have time to dust and clean, invest in a scooter cover. We sell the Nelson-Rigg brand, and they're a perfect fit at $40-$60!
  • Watch those tires! It's bound to happen: Amidst all the cold and frigid days of Winter, we'll be blessed with an occassional 60 degree or warmer period. Your first thought it to warm up the scoot and join all the other motorcyclists and scooterists out on the road. NOT SO FAST! Remember that if you let your scoot sit for any extended amount of time, you're gonna lose air pressure in your tires. Not only does that mean a potentially soggy ride, it can lead to potentially life-threatening injuries! If you're not checking your tire pressures on a weekly basis, the Winter months may be a good time to start building on new habits.

There are plenty more tips for you, but I think these cover the issues most folks tend to overlook. If you need other pointers, just give me a ring or shoot me an email.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Vespa Stuff

That's hot right?

I know it's been reported here before, but heck, it's worth writing about again! Inside Bike News apparently just caught wind of the new accessories that are instore for next year! As seen in the pic above, that includes sticker kits (which I can't wait for!!). Hopefully this pic will give you a taste of whats to come. Click here to read more about the story or click here to see our earlier post.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Sticker kits!

I just got this email from Piaggio, and let me tell ya, it's awesome! It's a list of part numbers for new accessories for the yet to be released Vespa S!

Amongst the different seat options and topboxes were the sticker kits! The kits range in price from $50 to *75 and also come with graphics for your helmet to match your scoot. How clever is that?

That kits for now are:
  • Silver "Flowers"
  • Red "Flowers
  • "Flags" Italy
  • "Flags" UK
  • "Sport" Red
  • "Sport" White

The "Sport" kits are pretty much racing stripes whereas the "Flags" kits aren't actually flags, but graphics in the flag of said nation's colors. The real nice thing about these kits are the fact that they look like they'll fit easy on LXs, maybe ETs and even GT/GTS bikes.

Sorry I don't have a pic to share with you at the moment, but if you're interested, send me a shout and I'll send you some pix or put in an order for you . The kits themselves aren't slated for release until Feb/March, but that's right around the corner, right?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Arrived at work this morning to find this in my inbox:

"There will be a Scooter Rally in Eureka Springs, Arkansas on September 17 - 20, 2008.
For more info:

Chet Johnson was kind enough to do the right thing and send the Rally info on early enough that if anyone wants to go, they'd have PLENTY of time to prepare for it. The rally itself is being held in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a mecca of golden roads for anyone on two wheels. Not sure what I'm talking about? Well, where the West Coast guys get to cruise the PCH and the East Coasters get the Dragon, we get Northwestern Arkansas!

Check out the site for more forums and more info.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Vespa for your kitchen.. and bath.. and closets.. Licensing FTW!!

Apparently, 2008 will be the year of the Vespa! It seems that Piaggio is pushing to cross promote and advertise everyone's favorite scooter by widening the brand's recognition. A quote from the article posted in Brandweek last Monday:

""The equities of Vespa—Italian design, highly stylish, modern, colorful, free-spirited and environmentally sensitive—should translate well to a number of product categories," said Michael Stone, Beanstalk president and CEO. Stone said the company is focusing on apparel, accessories and kitchen appliances like possibly an espresso maker first. Products are expected to hit stores in late 2008 and will target mid-tier and higher-end retailers."


For years now, there have been a number of items I'd have loved to see with the Vespa twist applied to it. Howzabout you? If there's anything you like to see, let me know and later I'll post a big list on the blog. Who knows? Maybe someone at Piaggio might take a look-see...

For more on the licensing details, click here.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Gap limited edition LX 50

It's called the crazy stripe...

And it is indeed that: crazy!

The Gap and Vespa have combined forces to create this limited edition LX50. It will be on display for all to see in New York, Chicago, San Fran, Las Vegas and of course, Los Angeles. No exact word on the number of bikes being produced but the real crazy part is the price: $6000!

You can check out more on this phenom, here.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Hybrid is GO! posted an article on Wednesday about the Piaggio HyS scooters at the recent Tokyo Motorcycle Show. Sure, we have previously posted about the HyS scooters and the system operations, but it seems that has reconfirmed that production is slated for production in 2008!! With the MP3 400 and MP3 500 joining the 250, by this time next year, there will be an MP3 in every flavor!
Read more by clicking here

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween out there to you loyal readers and your families! Have fun tonight and stay safe! I hope we see some of you scootering candy tossers out tonight!

as for the picture, I was trying to find a scooter + halloween themed image, but couldn't find anything. this is the best I could come up with :D

Monday, October 29, 2007

Better late than never

Obviously, it's going to take some time for the rest of the U.S. to catch up to the existence of scootering as a viable alternate to driving a coffin.., er car. Take San Antonio's for example. The writer of a scootering article posted this past Saturday discovers the many benefits of scootering that we already know. Nonetheless, it's still a pretty nice write-up, especially for the MP3.

Over the summer, there have been many articles like the one written for as more and more cities are being introduced to Vespas, Kymcos, Suzukis and the like. I'm positive this latest one won't be the last, but it's still nice to see the scooter community expanding.

Check out the post for a taste of how other parts of the country feel about scootering.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Vespa S confirmed

After this tasty prototype was unveiled at last years EICMA show, we're finally going to get to see the Vespa S for ourselves early next year as an 2008 production model! The Vespa S is pretty much a minimalist version of the Vespa LX. With a shelf instead of a glovebox, rectangular head and tail lights, a fender crest and an optional single-rider "sport seat," the S is definitely different enough to be considered a seperate model from the LX. Two brand new colors are introduced to go along with new machine: Shiny Black and Optic White with the immortal Dragon Red rounding out the three-color line-up.

Also, a first for modern automatic Vespas, the S will have a number of sticker kits available for the machine upon its introduction. Above is the "Floral Kit" with the "S stripe" shown below.

Friday, October 26, 2007

New Location Update: Part Two

As promised, here are some pics of our new setup for Vespa KC @ VanWall!

It's still a work in progress but it's starting to look good. Even though they are surrounded by ATVs and Victory cruisers, the scoots are definitely giving off a character of their own. If you get a chance, come by and check us out!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New location update

A little FYI for those not in the know, Vespa Kansas City, as previously posted, has moved! We're now located inside of VanWall (on the Eastern frontage road of I-35) at 800 N Rogers Rd in Olathe.

It is farther South, but only by 15 minutes. There are also plenty of ways to get here without taking the road most travelled, you know, if you're looking to scoot here for gear and supplies! When I get the chance, I'll post up some pics of the current setup as well as news about the 2008 models that I have the pleasure of looking at before they come in. Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Farewell Ride Out

Destination: Parkville
12:30 meet at Vespa Kansas City
1:15 leave for
The Sweet Guy in Parkville, MO
3:30 Ride back to Vespa KC

The ride will be about an hour each way but, if you're not up for the ride, the doors will be open at Vespa KC for donuts, coffee & conversation. Hope to see a few of you there.

Seasons change...

We've enjoyed our run as Kansas City's sole Vespa boutique. Since opening our flagship store nearly five years ago, we've met the most diverse, nicest people that our metropolitan has to offfer & got on two-wheels. We can never fully express our gratitude for the opportunity to serve our customers.

Vespa Kansas City will be integrating in to the VanWall store in Olathe Kansas. VKC has been a member of the
VanWall Group for the last two years. Since that acquisition, we have seen exponential improvement in the level of service we have been able to provide. At the Olathe location we plan to continue the personal service we pride ourselves on. We will be closing the doors at 9555 Nall Avenue @ 6pm on Saturday, October 20th.

We hope to see a few of you before then. Stop in for conversation, a discount on parts, or the Sunday ride.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fall is here, wear proper gear

As the title says, it is getting colder outside and what that means to us scooter riders is that we have to dress accordingly. Whereas during the summer, one could get away with a t-shirt all day long, nowadays it is best to lenghten the sleeves and probably wear a jacket.

Here are some tips to help keep you comfortable during the autumn season:

  • Because fall air can go from nice to frigid in seconds, layer your clothing for the best warmth.
  • A full face helmet will not only give you the best in crash protection, it will keep your face and head warm.
  • Your hands are extemely vulnerable to frigid air; buy gauntlet style gloves to keep your fingers toasty and to keep air from entering your sleeves and robbing you of warmth.

In addition to dressing to stay comfortable and thus, becoming a safer rider, keep in mind that with the changing of seasons comes some additonal hazards. Some advice:

  • Be aware of traction. Cooler weather reduces available traction by making tire rubber harder. Braking and cornering are also affected by this change, so be cautious.
  • Fallen leaves can be particularly dangerous. Wet and frost covered leaves can take away traction so avoid any large patches if possible.
  • Motorcycles and scooters can be lost in vehicle drivers’ blind spots in the best driving conditions. But when vehicle windows are fogged or frosted, drivers are even more likely to miss seeing you on your motorcycle or scooter. You need to stay alert and drive defensively in the autumn.

Autumn arguably the best season for riding, but it does bring along a unique set of challenges. To stay safe, ride defensively and keep warm and comfortable to help with focus.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rally this weekend!!!

Sorry about the late notice, but tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday are rally days! Grab your friends and scootin' family and go have some fun (weather permitting)!
It all starts Friday at the Mercy Seat Tattoo parlor for meets and eats.
More info can be found here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Scooters sales pick up — especially among women

For those of you who missed this Sunday's KC Star, I've linked out to an insightful article. Don't be mislead by the headline though; it's not as much about scooter sales as it is about the people who ride them.

Monday, August 20, 2007

HyS? Confirmed!

We haven't put any new info on the blog for a while now; the shop has been pretty busy with customers and there really hasn't been any new news in the scooter world except for all of the varied media catching up on the existance of either:

  • The Piaggio HyS hybrid-scooter prototypes or

  • The existance of Vespas and other scooters in general

Well, today, new info about the HyS has finally come out that we think is worthy of sharing with you: The production date!

It seems that has come across the information somewhow and is claiming that the three-stage hybrid motor will be put into use by the end of 2008. As to when us Yanks will see it is anybody's guess, but with this new rumor, those of us interested in perhaps trading up now have a date on the calender in which to start saving those pennies.

As far how many pennies, stay tuned. As soon as some concrete info is released in regards to that issue, we'll let you know.

Click here for the article.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Italian Job... In Kansas City!

For all of you British Caper film fans!

Our friends at Baron MINI are throwing a "The Italian Job" theme-party tomorrow at the MINI dealership!! Festivities include a MINI meet, the appearance of a classic Italian MINI, Italian soundtrack, door prizes and a prize for the best Michael Caine impersonation!

It seems that quite a few gas-conscious Vespa owners also drive fuel-efficient MINIs so it only seemed natural to have a few Vespa scoots on hand for the party, one of which is on loan from your favorite scoot shop!

The fun starts at 6PM this Saturday (the 4th), so scoot on down, enjoy the hors d'oeuvres, the fine company, and the tasty machinery! For info about Baron MINI, check here.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

More Hybrid Action

Picture, siphoned via posted a piece today about Piaggio's HyS hybrid system. It's a little easier to follow for those of us who enjoy the quick-read than say, the Piaggio press release regarding the engine.

For those who've missed it, Piaggio has announced the development (officially this time) of the HyS hybrid motor for implementation into the Vespa LX and the Piaggio MP3. The new 3-mode parallel hybrid motor is an electric and a combustion engine rolled into one, controlled by drive-by-wire technology (ala German cars and expensive Japanese sportbikes). By varying the use of electric and propulsion systems which simultaneously power the rear wheel, fuel mileage is expected upwards of 170MPG!

To read more, check here!
UPDATE!! also has an article on this. I guess once again, Piaggio is the company to talk about. I wouldn't be surprised if this topic is on every automotive site before the end of the year!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

600 mile ride.. On Vespas!

From the Barre Montepelier Times Argus comes word that Crystal Waters of girlbike fame (not the singer) and three others are planning a 600 mile memorial-ride in August. The trip starts off in Central, MD and ends in Central, VT.

Dubbed, The Last Mile Ride, Waters and crew are raising money for the Gifford Memorial Hospital in Randolph MD.

Crystal Waters is known for her site, Girl Bike, which is definitely a fun place to waste time. For more info on the ride itself, check here.

Piaggio HyS is a go!!

It's no secret that Piaggio Co. has been working on some new revolutionary stuff. Heck, the MP3 is pretty revolutionary in terms of motorcycling practicality and their 850cc V-twin motor for the Gilera marques is the first of its type in a scooter. Piaggio is always ahead of the curve. That said, it should come as no suprise that the fabled HyS motor is actually being tested for production!

The HyS is a HYBRID motor system, not much unlike whats found in the Toyota Prius or Ford Escape Hybrid. It's meant to use less fuel and of course shrink a scooter's already small carbon footprint. It seems that, although miniscule in comparison to cars, some towns still ban scooter use due to emissions. The HyS is a solution to that problem and a step in the right direction towards helping solve the big issue: global warming and pollution.

There have already been a few different prototypes throughout the year as Piaggio has been working on this for a while, but the latest news sounds as if the big blue company has finally figured it out. You can check out the press release and learn more here!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pittsburg PA's Vespa Renaissance

The Pittsburg, PA blog, Pop City, is a nice site about the town, it's communites, culture, and urban development. This week, Margie Romero's post, "The Return of Vespa" may be a little late as far as returns go (7 years late, but who's counting?), but it's well written and covers a lot of ground. From the 60 history and heritage that we're all very familiar with to the profiles of local dealers and owners, as well as a vintage resto shop, you can get a good sense of Pittsburg's scooter scene and how it's taking off in a town that sounds a lot like ours. Check the link and read for yourself!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Nice things come to those who Vespa in NY

An article in the NY Times (7.13.2007) reveals a nice campaign that Piaggio is undertaking in the streets of NYC.

"On Wednesday, an American importer of Vespa, the Italian maker of probably the best-known brand of motor scooter, said it had paid for almost two months’ worth of parking at 48 spaces in lots and garages in Chinatown, TriBeCa, Midtown and the theater district.
Anyone with a Vespa can leave it in one of those spaces for hours. (But not overnight; the lots don’t allow overnight parking.)
The promotion, done in conjunction with Edison ParkFast garages, ends Sept. 30."

The idea is to see if scooterists would use the parking spaces. They claim that 6 to 7 scoots can fit in the same space a car occupies and at $10 an hour for a car, garages and space lots could charge $2 and hour for scoots and make a larger profit. If garages decide to designate space for scoots, then it could obviously drive up sales of Vespas and bring the city closer to the Mayor's goal of loosening up it's congested streets, shrink the city's carbon footprint, and create a plethora of happier roadgoers.

For more info so you can inform your NY Vespa friends, check the link, here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ride Announcement!!

Looks like the VCKC crew is having themselves a ride this month! On the 22nd of July, the crew is getting together at the Roasterie coffee shop in Brookside at 1:00pm and leaving shortly afterwards to ride through the scenery-packed Briarcliffe area.

If you've never been on a group ride, it's a great way to get a handle on your skills and become comfortable riding someplace other than around the block in your neighborhood! With more experienced riders on hand to offer advice to lesser experienced scooteristas, it's a safe and enjoyable learning experience!
More info can be found on the Vespa Club of Kansas City's forum, here. If you haven't joined the forum yet, you should definitely do so, and keep from missing the action!

Friday, July 06, 2007

More Vespa'd movies to come

The summer blockbuster that is Transformers isn't the only new movie to feature a Vespa. More is to come with these up-coming films and tv shows:

Lakeview Terrace - with Samuel L. Jackson and Aston Kutcher
Liberty Mutual - TV commercial
"Ghost Whisperer" - TV series on CBS
"My Boys" - TV series on CBS
"Dr. Doolittle" - first epidsode of Canadian series
Get Smart - with Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway
Synecdoche - with Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Make sure you get your drive belts serviced!

We recently had a bike come into the shop that was in need of a new drive belt. Normally, a belt will wear out after extended use, but this case was a little different. Not only did it wear out, when it finally broke, it disentegrated and then wrapped itself around all the internals on the clutch side of the case!!
Check out these scary photos!

In the above pic, you can see what is left of the rubber belt. Trust me, its not supposed to look like that. In the pic above that, you can see the remants of what the belt USED to look like, sitting at the bottom of the engine casing. Wows!

This belt failure may have been a fluke, but either way its smart to keep your bike happy by getting it serviced when you are supposed to! It's the best way to keep the above from happening to you when you least expect it!

More than meets the eye..

The Transformers/Vespa Open House may be over, but that doesn't mean folks should stop enjoying the robotic mayhem that can only ensue when the forces of good go up against the minions of evil... And happen to be 20+ feet tall.

Below is a video of what looks to be another Cosplay convention in Japan. But unlike traditional costumes that you simply wear, these actually transform. Pretty ingenious considering that these folks made them by hand! Check out the video and be awed by the sheer amount of nerdiness and dedication!

Friday, June 08, 2007

This Saturday: Scoot For A Cure

Why not spend your saturday on your scooter surrounded by fellow enthusiasts while helping the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation?
The charitable members of ScootKC have put together a benefit ride that includes breakfast lunch for a mere $20. All proceeds will benefit the JDRF.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Transportation Transformers


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The guys behind the Pirates of the Carribean, Jaws, and Star Wars toys have made a movie that, for guys my age anyway, could be the greatest thing since donuts, pizza, and that invention known as the blender.

Whilst Transformers the Movie hits theaters on the 7th of June, the accompanying open house is a little later during the 14th-27th of June. In that time, there's going to be a bunch of great things going on, including a chance to win tickets to see the summer action blockbuster, Transformers! Stay tuned for more at a later date for more info!

Or, go to Vespa USA for a taste of whats to come!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Two new financing options available from Vespa USA

Normally, we would avoid posting financing options for scoots on the Vespa KC blog because we're sure you'd rather be reading about about Paris Hilton starving in jail or folks skipping quarantine suggestions... But these new promotions for June are really nice!

As posted on the Vespa USA site here, you now can choose between:
  • $39 a month for 2 years for purchases < $4500
  • $69 a month for 2 years for purchases < $8000

Of course, these are introductory rates, after the two year period you'll have to find a second job, but before that time, you can enjoy your new ride and spend the money you saved on things like:

  • accessories
  • performance upgrades
  • gifts for your favorite blogger...

If you've been thinking about your first Vespa or Piaggio, or just want another one (who doesn't), check here for the full details.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Gas prices, around the world

File this under: I thought this was interesting!

Just in case you were interested in what everyone else was spending on fuel, check out the link from CNN Money.

Price for a gallon of gas (look at Italy in third place)
Netherlands, Amsterdam........................... $6.48
Norway, Oslo.............................................$6.27
Italy, Milan................................................$5.96
Denmark, Copenhagen.............................. $5.93
Belgium, Brussels...................................... $5.91
Sweden, Stockholm................................... $5.80
United, Kingdom London............................ $5.79
Germany, Frankfurt.................................... $5.57
France, Paris............................................. $5.54
Portugal, Lisbon......................................... $5.35
Hungary, Budapest..................................... $4.94
Luxembourg............................................... $4.82
Croatia, Zagreb............................................ $4.81
Ireland, Dublin............................................ $4.78
Switzerland, Geneva.................................. $4.74
Spain, Madrid.............................................. $4.55
Japan, Tokyo.............................................. $4.24
Czech Republic, Prague............................. $4.19
Romania, Bucharest.................................. $4.09
Andorra....................................................... $4.08
Estonia, Tallinn........................................... $3.62
Bulgaria, Sofia............................................. $3.52
Brazil, Brasilia............................................. $3.12
Cuba, Havana............................................. $3.03
Taiwan, Taipei............................................ $2.84
Lebanon, Beirut.......................................... $2.63
South Africa, Johannesburg...................... $2.62
Nicaragua, Managua................................... $2.61
Panama, Panama City................................ $2.19
Russia, Moscow........................................... $2.10
Puerto Rico, San Juan................................ $1.74
Saudi Arabia, Riyadh................................. $0.91
Kuwait, Kuwait City................................... $0.78
Egypt, Cairo................................................ $0.65
Nigeria, Lagos............................................. $0.38
Venezuela, Caracas.................................... $0.12

Crazy eh? Apparently, these prices include taxes, thats why the UK is so high on the list, but my question is about why Puerto Rico; why do they get fuel so cheap? Either way, I'll remember this list the next time I'm at the pump. I may still gripe about the $3+ a gallon, but at least I won't cry all day about it anymore.

Things to Do: HoAME Rally

No, this picture has nothing to do with the rally. I just thought it was funny.

This Sunday, June 10th, from 9am to 5pm, the Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts are having a little rally at the KC Speedway! The 2007 HoAME rally is of the vintage taste, with awards for various classes such as best Ducati, Guzzi, Comp Racers and even best scooter!! Attendance is expected to be in the thousands and takes place in the infield of the speedway. For more info, click here!

Saturday, May 26, 2007


For those of you who don't have one to call your own just yet or just want another, VKC & Habitat Shoes have colluded to give away yet another Vespa. Up for grabs is a Vespa LX50. You may complete an entry form @ the shop or Habitat. The drawing for the LX will occur during the Habitat Parking Lot Concert @ The Crossroads on June 1st (First Friday). You must enter by 6pm on Friday, June 1st & be present during the drawing to win.

The ACB's are headlining &, as always, there will be a plethora of art & people to ogle. We hope to see you out!!

The VCKC will be riding out from Bella Napoli as well. Check their site.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Be seen! From invisible to visible!

Imagine this was YOU in traffic.. notice that nothing stands out in this picture except for the reflective materials on the helmet, vest and jacket; the bikes, REGARDLESS of color all blend into the background! Make yourself VISIBLE!

If you've had the fortune to buy a scooter from me personally, more likely than not, you've been perplexed at the statement that "the color of your scooter isn't going to save your life." I'm not sure why, but it seems that folks have it in their head that a brighter colored scoot is going to have more visibility than one of a darker tint. I've called foul on it before, but now there's a study that's been recently released that examines the correlation between rider conspicuity and crash related injuries.

It's a six page long study, but it's worth the time so if you're a current rider, or someone thinking of riding you should definitely read the results.. Here are a few of the highlights:

When looking at "crash related injuries occuring mainly in urban zones with a 50 km/h speed limit, during the day, and in fine weather":

  • Wearing any reflective or fluorescent clothing had a 37% lower risk of injury

  • Use of a white helmet was associated with a 24% lower risk than a over the use of a black helmet

  • NO associated risk when operating a vehicle of a certain color

When looking at those stats, it may seem as if may not mean a lot considering how many scooters and motorcycles you see on the road, but if you figure in that, according to the study, 3000 people die and about 30,000 people are seriously injured on the world's roads DAILY, you may have second thoughts.

Check out the study here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I expect to see all of you old school rudies, mods, skins & scooterboys who came up back in the day to dust off those tonics & come out for this one.

Westbound Train @ Record Bar
1020 Westport Road
KC, MO 64111

Saturday, May 19, 2007

New Scoot & '07 Buyer's Guide Just In!

Scoot #40 just arrived @ our stoop with the 2007 Buyer's Guide.
This issue highlights some ace scooter art
(including a pullout poster),
a review of the Piaggio MP3, as well as the usual rally reviews,
product features & tech tips.

Friday, May 18, 2007


We're sponsoring the Mad Toto TORNADO RALLY III which starts today, and goes on through Saturday and Sunday. It's happening all over Kansas City this weekend and the details can be found at the Mad Toto Scooter Club site.

Looks like it'll be a lot of food, prizes, riding and outright fun!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Betta Getta Vespa!!

This was in San Fran last Wednesday.. Just a little foreshadowing of whats to come. Thank goodness your vehicle get 60+ MPG, right!?!

Click on the link for the story behind the pic.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More Commuters Turn To Motor Scooters as Gas Prices Rise

What? Again?

Owning a scoot, reading headlines like that make me giggle a bit. But working at a scoot shop, reading those same headlines brings out the guffaws, hoots AND hollars! However, this article, published today at has some tasty tidbits of info from the CEO of Piaggio himself, Paolo Timoli.

You can check out the post here.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Stuff to do: Brookside art fair!

May 4th through the 6th, the Brookside community is having their annual art fair! If you're looking for something to do this weekend, besides Spider-Man 3, this could be it! Always a lot of fun and great scootering destination as well, check out the information here.

London loves scooters? Who knew?!

I'm assuming that there's not much available terrorist news stories at the London branch of Reuters for I've found a story regarding Vespas. Not that a story covering Vespa scoots isn't worthy of news, but the story itself isn't much of anything that hasn't been covered before. Regardless, it is a quick read, involves scoots, Vespa fanatics, and, well... Scoots!

Some interesting data from the article:
  • "London scooter sales have risen 16-fold to 8,000 in 2005 from 500 in 1993, especially after the introduction of the congestion charge in 2003 from which two-wheelers are exempt."
  • "In 2006, three of the Vespa models were listed among the top five favourites of the 133,077 scooters and mopeds registered, the British Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) said."
  • "More than 16 million Vespa scooters have been sold worldwide and selling a scooter valued at 2,500 pounds has been easy, [London shop owner] says. Five to eight leave his shop every week."

Click here to check out the article.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

VCKC ride this Sunday!!!

Hey all,

The VCKC has a ride posted to their new board.

Check it here:

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Piaggio BV500 review via Road Runner

The mag previously known as Road Runner Motorcycle: Cruising and Touring has a new name! Road Runner Motorcycle: Touring and Travel Magazine (still a long name, eh?) has a scooter test in the June 2007 issue featuring our little rocket, the Piaggio BV500. Although I don't exactly agree the writer on a LOT of the test, it is well written and a good read, especially for those interested in the big BV. Now I feel I have to do my own BV500 machine test to share my opinions, but until then, pick up your copy of the RRMTTM at your local bookstore.

MP3 at work

Check out this nice video of the MP3's front suspension in action. It is a superb illustration of how the parallelogram trickery works in the real world versus just on paper.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Over the last few days, we've had a repeat visitor to the shop...

It may not be the same duck, but it looks just like the other two i've seen this week hanging around at the shop and being a jerk-face. At first, she was waddling around the back of the shop, refusing to move when I needed to move my car. Yesterday, she was in back again, this time quacking up a fit when I was trying to unload my car for the open house. Obviously upset, she refused to be shooed and eventually dissapeared.

I had considered asking the guys at the shop if they've seen this out of water fowl, but I assumed they wouldn't believe me. But now...

Now I have proof. This morning as I was getting the floor ready for business, there she was. Standing in front of the door, quacking her approval of the scoots and the MP3.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Beware the cheap deal!

Anyone who considers themselves an intermediate scooter fanatic knows that although the prices seem nice, buying a Vespa from Vietnam can be quite the gamble. It's one thing to hear it from a bunch of blokes that sell new scoots, but to hear it from someone who bought one only to run into problems first hand is something else all together...

Apparently someone in Australia bought a '64 VBB for a "good deal" only to find out that the motor was complete crap and that the body was actually welded together from five different scooters!!! Scary!

Check it out here and watch the drama unfold!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Machine Review: Piaggio MP3

I would have normally began this machine review with describing the looks of the machine, but to be honest, its appearance is so polarizing that I would be forcing rather impassioned opinions on you instead of straight and honest facts. So, with that said, I’ll leave the looks of this three-wheeler to be judged by you readers; use the videos and pics and leave a comment and tell us what you think. Then come down on April 19th during our Open House and see it in person!

I recently stole a day and a half to play with the new Piaggio MP3 in an effort to discover what made this bike sell-out in Italy and nearly sell-out in the United Kingdom. Afterall, those unexpected successes delayed this bike by more than a couple months for us in North America, and I was anxious to see why.

I suited up grabbed my helmet and began to head out. Before so, I gave the bike a nice once-over and immediately fell in love with the instrument panel; it’s extremely easy to read. With all the intuitive yet advanced techno-wizardry they threw into the MP3, I would have not been surprised to see an all-digital dash on this machine. Instead, you’re treated to an easy to read LCD panel, bright and concise indicator lights and-in my opinion may be the BEST thing about the bike-extremely large analogue tach and speedometer gauges. Chrome trimmed with large numbers and needles, the gauges take all the squinting and guesswork out of finding information while on the road. As a long-time rider, I sometimes take that for granted, but the MP3 really gives you accessible information which can be frustrating to quickly gather on other bikes, especially if you’re a novice rider.

The bike has a few operational features that set it apart from traditional two-wheeled machines: an emergency brake lever and a suspension brace system. The emergency brake, although placed differently, works just like it would in a car or truck; once activated, the rear wheel is mechanically locked in place and prevents the MP3 from rolling down hill under the power of gravity. While picturing a runaway machine coming to rest in a neighbor’s yard is sorta amusing, it’s a very real threat, and one should get used to using either the center stand or the emergency brake whenever away from the bike.

The suspension bracing system is a cluster of electronically powered servos located in the front suspension arms that “lock” those shocks in place at the touch of a button. One can pull up to a stop sign or traffic signal, and when slowing to below 3 MPH, an indicator on the dash will flash, letting you know the suspension is ready for bracing. Hit the button and with a confirming beep, the MP3 is locked in an upright position and you can skip the whole balancing act that normally comes with stopping a two-wheeled motorcycle or scooter. Honestly! Stoplight to stoplight, I just keep my feet on the floorboard and laugh to myself about how cool a feature it is. Its really, really handy, but unlike the rest of the features of the MP3, the suspension brace system requires quite a bit of practice to use it proficiently. Other reviewers of the MP3 have written this before, but its not until you actually hop on the machine that you fully understand this warning. If used improperly, the bike can and will fall over. The suspension brace also keeps the bike from being throttled in an upright position if no one is sitting on the seat. It’s a built in safety feature that is simply genius.

My review consisted of multiple trips, two to the Country Club Plaza, two to the “Brookwood” office park and another on Ward Parkway. The first trip to the Plaza was a solo trip to see how the bike handled traffic and to practice the suspension brace system in the wild. I left north on Nall and took an immediate right down 95th street. Almost instantly, I noticed how nice the power delivery was. Because the bike was brand new and under break-in, I wasn’t allowed to really juice it, but the power was so addictive, I had to fight the temptation quite a few times. Pulling my 180 lb weight utop its hefty 450 lb frame was no problem whatsoever and going uphill on the small detour thru Roe Blvd was easy. Really easy. I’ll happily admit that I can’t wait till the break-in period is over!

When I finally arrived on the Plaza, I took the long loop around to get to Balsano’s, soaking up the sun and all the stares as I did so. Speaking of stares, the MP3 grabbed the attention of everyone it approached and didn’t let go. From gray-hairs in Corvettes, wannabe-thugs in Monte Carlos, and even high-heeled ladies walking their pedicured poochies on the sidewalk, everyone rubbernecked at the site of the three-wheeler. It was a little nerve-racking to be commanding so much attention, and it didn’t prove to be an absolutely positive thing as one group of pedestrians walked out in front of me on purpose to ask me about the bike. Since I was making a right hand turn into flowing traffic, I assumed they were just waiting for the light to change, but they actually stopped me to ask what I was riding, nearly knocking me over.

I grabbed lunch at Balsano’s only to be delayed on my trip back to Vespa KC by half an hour due to all the inquisitive locals. The biggest question I recieved was “Why the two wheels up front?” I would explain to them that the two wheels up front provide easier and faster turning and stability in corners, not to mention superior braking and feedback for a ride that only an MP3 can deliver.

Every time, my explanation would be met with blank stares.

It quickly dawned on me that if you were to just look at the MP3, it looks like if you to try and lean it over, it would just fall the other way, so after wasting my breath, learned to answer the question about two front wheels by turning off the suspension brace and leaning the bike side to side.

“Oh, I get it!”

On the handling portion of the test, I visited the “Brookwood” Office Park. Brookwood isn’t the actual name of this campus, but I don’t want to get anyone into trouble by inviting them to test their abilities in the park’s switchbacks and varied corners. As mentioned in the X9 review, sport bike riders and Mini Cooper owners alike fly through that place to see how well they can hang in the corners, and I’m not foreign to it’s pleasures/dangers either. I felt the MP3 would perform well there, so I traveled to the Overland Park side of town to find out.

The first two runs through were traffic free so I was able to really get the bike leaned over as I negotiated apex after apex. Although speed is limited to 25 MPH, the MP3 ran through most corners at 45 to 50 MPH indicated, and that was with reservations on the new machine. A few things were immediately apparent in the way the bike handled the turns at higher speeds however: On my motorcycle, entering a corner with a hand full of throttle is a sure way to get yourself killed as the bike would over power the turn and run toward the outside, potentially sending you flying over the curb and into the trees. On my Vespa 150, riding in “hot” is easier to correct, but it is still a slow way through the corner as one should do any braking or slowing before entering said corner, then after reaching the apex of the turn, throttle smoothly out and prepare for the next obstacle.

On the MP3, that basic rule still applies, but you could almost ignore it if you choose to! Enter the corner hot and just LEAAAAAAAN with minimal effort and viola! You’re back on your racing line and out of harms way and still out of the corner quick. Throwing the MP3 through the park was so effortless and exciting that I wouldn’t be surprised if an Piaggio MP3 racing league started up next year at the KCI motorsports park. The bike is really confidence inspiring and makes everyone who gets the chance to sit behind the handlebars feel like a hero!

My third run through wasn’t exactly traffic free, and I had to brake hard, mid corner, sending the bike from it’s easy lean angle into a straight, sit-up and beg position. This effect of braking in corners happens on motorcycles and scooters, and that is why experts advise to do your braking BEFORE you enter a corner, but the effect of throwing the bike up right is much more exxagerated on the MP3. I don’t think it’s because of the two front wheels, but because the two front Brembo brakes do such a good job. When needing to brake hard, there is NO lever vibration and it is absolutely SMOOTH. In fact, when practicing emergency stops by locking up the front wheel, I felt so confident that I didn’t have that instance of freaking out like I would have had on any other machine. Locking up the rear wheel is transparent and easy to ride out, and the rear brake is just as smooth as the front two. It’s truly amazing how nice the feel of stopping is on this bike.

The rest of the run went okay, but because I was getting used to the bike, I started to feel as if the suspension, under load, was giving off signals of vagueness. I would be switching from one deep left-hander to a deep right-hander, and I’d get no feedback above a certain speed. The fix? The suspension! The MP3 comes with a preload adjustable rear suspension system. There are four levels, 1 and 2 for solo riding, 3 for two-up, and 4 for a passenger and luggage. In seconds I had dialed in the suspension to level 2 and my fifth run through the park was instantly improved and my top speed increased. I was carving butter with a hot knife at that point and decided that it was time for the next test.

The next portion involved torturing my GF by making her hold on for dear life as a passenger. I wanted to see if the bike still pulled through traffic and turned quickly with more weight on it. The GF happily agreed and I immediately scared her by leaning the bike way over at parking-lot speeds to negotiate a turn. On any other bike, leaning as far as we did at sub 5MPH speeds would have had us both in bandages, but the MP3 is an evil tool of mischief. We made our way up the long hill on Shawnee Mission Parkway towards Antioch with no problems, and braking at stop lights was still easy breezy. Emergency braking was easy and I slid the rear wheel out in a braking drift at 25 MPH with no loss of control. I don’t think she approved of that manuever, though. She had plenty of seating room and said it was very comfortable although I noticed that her legs were bowed out a little bit since the passenger foot boards were not exactly as wide as they could be. In fact, the whole bike is a lot narrower than it looks, and traffic-busting was a blast, two-up.

We dismounted in the Target parking lot on Johnson drive and Metcalf and I dialed in the suspension to it’s next level since we were riding two-up. Sure enough, our trip to the Plaza was very comfortable and like everything else about the bike, easy. By this time, it was getting dark and those large gauges I love so much were brightly illuminated making viewing even easier! I had to ask myself if it got any better than this! After dinner with my dad at Uno’s on Jefferson, we walked to the bike only to be greeted by more stares from kids in souped up imports and guys on sport bikes. Double-takes followed us whenever we made a turn, which I admit to showing off by leaning it as far as I could to illustrate the MP3's wonderful parallelogram suspension. The ride home was as brisk as I wanted it to be and a well lit one thanks to the powerful halogen headlights. The lights were so bright in fact, that I had no use for the hi beams, a first for me on any type of motorcycle!

I don’t have many complaints about the MP3. A lot of folks on the internet are already asking for more power, but most those folks have yet to ride the machine. I felt the power was enough for city duty, with the inclusion of a larger motor only being appropriate if someone needed highway travel capabilities. I never took the bike to its supposed 75 MPH topspeed, but we definitely weren’t going the speed limit either. I did, at first, think that the seating position was a little too cramped for my 6 foot frame, but it ended up feeling just right. I could foresee problems for anyone above 6'3" as the saddle on the MP3 doesn’t allow for much change in seating position. You’re kinda stuck exactly between the front wheels and the rear one.

This turned out to be a little long winded (and I have much more to say!) but you should come out to the Open House on April 19th and experience the MP3 for yourself. It’s an amazing machine and even if you’ve never ridden before, you’ll feel like a champ after trying it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007


This is it!! I know it has been a long wait (for some of us, we've been drooling since October of last year..), but your chance to see the three-wheeled mythical slayer of beasts has arrived! Between April 19th and April 29th, we're celebrating the arrival of the Piaggio MP3 by having an open house event!

The party kicks off on Thursday, April 19th at our shop with.. Well, a party! Fun for everyone and a chance to take home an MP3 (player) of your own! Then, from the following Friday until the 29th, mi bici es tu bici as you can test ride the machine and see why it sold out in both Italy AND the UK!

Call the shop for more deets and info!