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Stella 4T Cvt automatic ?

 
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Len
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:12 am    Post subject: Stella 4T Cvt automatic ? Reply with quote

All you Stella / vintage shifty fans, what are your thoughts on the possibility of a Stella automatic?

does it ruin a great scooter? is it progress? Or is it a better combination- real vintage style plus more modern drive train?

interested in your thoughts.
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ericalm
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not a possibility, it exists. There are actual photos. They went on sale in the UKL last month. It's coming (in some form) to the US; we just don't know when.

It's easy for enthusiasts to say that an automatic is somehow not a Stella or ruins the scooter, is some kind of betrayal, whatever. But manual is not where the market is or where it's going. LML is a global company and they need to make products attractive to more than a small group of enthusiasts.

Isn't it a bit weird for Stella owners to be purists?

I constantly hear new scooterists or first time buyers say that they want something that looks like an old Vespa but is an auto. I don't think they care if it's a 150, 200, EFI, whatever. That's not why they're buying their first scooter.

So I'm all for it. I get that it won't be the same and the experience of riding one will be much different. I don't know what that has to do with any of our shifty Stellas. If selling a ton of auto Stellas helps keeps the shifters alive, well, great. It doesn't help any of us to own scooters from companies that are struggling due to a nostalgic attachment to antiquated transmissions.

It'll just be something different. It'll have an FI engine, and will likely outperform any older stock Stellas, 2T or 4T. They look great. They will get people involved in riding. I could sell a bunch tomorrow to people who've told me they want exactly this. I bet riding one would be a lot of fun.

These are not, as stated elsewhere, officially slated to replace the shifter… yet. The US version of the Stella 4T is still in production. But we need to come to terms with the fact that there may not be enough demand for new shifters in the US regardless of whether or not there's an auto Stella.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear it will be stateside next year. I'd love one!!! Razz
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am going to be sorely tempted.

That is to say...WANT. But do I need two scooters?

The way I could see this being appropriate for me is IF a Vespa350 happens. I'd then trade my 250 for a 350 and a 150.


At the same time, that's ridiculous. In fact, it's the exact opposite of the logical ideal of ONE machine that does all you need it to. Which is exactly what I have right now.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bah!

I want a bv350 for a little more speed, but we'll also have 2 buddies in the stable. I'd lose my butt selling my Kymco 250 for what I put into it, so no point in selling that.....Razz

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:20 pm    Post subject: Automatic Stella Reply with quote

I love how the Stella looks and I would have gotten one but I just don't want to mess around with shifting- done that before with both 2 wheel and 4 wheel vehicles. I understand those who do enjoy shifting and I hope the Stella continues to be made with a manual transmission for them. I would love to have a twist and go version of the Stella in a 150 or 200 cc range.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ericalm wrote:
It's not a possibility, it exists. There are actual photos. They went on sale in the UKL last month. It's coming (in some form) to the US; we just don't know when.

It's easy for enthusiasts to say that an automatic is somehow not a Stella or ruins the scooter, is some kind of betrayal, whatever. But manual is not where the market is or where it's going. LML is a global company and they need to make products attractive to more than a small group of enthusiasts.

Isn't it a bit weird for Stella owners to be purists?

I constantly hear new scooterists or first time buyers say that they want something that looks like an old Vespa but is an auto. I don't think they care if it's a 150, 200, EFI, whatever. That's not why they're buying their first scooter.

So I'm all for it. I get that it won't be the same and the experience of riding one will be much different. I don't know what that has to do with any of our shifty Stellas. If selling a ton of auto Stellas helps keeps the shifters alive, well, great. It doesn't help any of us to own scooters from companies that are struggling due to a nostalgic attachment to antiquated transmissions.

It'll just be something different. It'll have an FI engine, and will likely outperform any older stock Stellas, 2T or 4T. They look great. They will get people involved in riding. I could sell a bunch tomorrow to people who've told me they want exactly this. I bet riding one would be a lot of fun.

These are not, as stated elsewhere, officially slated to replace the shifter… yet. The US version of the Stella 4T is still in production. But we need to come to terms with the fact that there may not be enough demand for new shifters in the US regardless of whether or not there's an auto Stella.


I have a feeling that when the Stella Auto gets here, you can kiss the shifty Stella goodbuy...
I don't know how many times I have had people telling me they love the Stella and want one until they find out it is is a shifty....
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shifting is something that few people want to bother with nowdays. It's not difficult it's just a T n' G is easier. That is what I'll never understand about the so called "purists". Half of them have "upgraded" their vintage bikes in someway anyway....

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That being said, I'm not afraid of shifting, but since I already have a reliable daily rider, adding in the Stella seemed foolish for me (though I lust after one).

Still, if I can get a newer one in auto, with fuel injection, in either solid black or white, that's gonna be tough to resist, esp if they get toward 200cc! a 150 is probably still going to be a great performer.

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ericalm
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I think it's clear that the shifty's days are numbered. Someone elsewhere said something along the lines of, "If you want one, you better get one now!" I don't think scarcity will be a concern for at least a year or more. There are plenty out there and more coming for those who want them.

I think we were lucky to get another shot at buying Stellas when LML restarted production. For those who don't know, the Stella was Genuine's one and only model until a strike closed the factory down. That's when Genuine found the Buddy and other PGOs. That was probably a huge stroke of luck, as it brought in a much more viable product line. When the LML strike ended, the company poured a lot into creating next-generation versions of the scooter.

I've no room or need for another 125-150cc scooter right now, but if the Stella came out in a 250cc FI with CVT (aka, "The Flying Unicorn"), I'd be thinking of what to trade in for one.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To pre-qualify my thoughts on the auto Stella, these observations are coming from a guy who doesn't own a scooter over 200cc and works on his own bikes. I ride vintage and modern bikes and enjoy both equally. I haven't bought a Genuine new yet, but I've worked on several of their models and own a few used Stellas. I am looking to buy a 4T manual Stella within the next year and I've studied the model a fair bit through literature (parts and service manuals; sales slicks don't mean much to me) and physical inspection of showroom bikes and friend's rides. I'm not the sort of consumer who would buy something new just because "looks cool". That said...

I guess my chief beef with the auto Stella is that the engine's just a GY6 hung in the rear end at a rather extreme angle. Piaggio had developed an automatic Vespa a long time ago which was a variated 2T that fit into the chassis like a shifty motor did. It worked, but it wasn't officially sold in the US. Look up the Vespa Automatica if you're interested. I presume it wasn't cost-effective to carry it forward. The GY6 engine is available off-the-shelf, cheap and common. All that needed was a set of motor mounts and a wiring harness. The duocoque frame introduced with the 4T manual Stella solved a fair bit of the problem of making a different engine fit in a vintage body.

In order to make the GY6 work in the Stella chassis, it has been installed at a steep angle, with the cylinder head jutting well into the Stella bodywork. My two rational concerns with this are cooling and lubrication.

I have seen from the photos of the Star automatic that an array of snorkels have been fitted to the motor and bodywork to bring cool air in and expel warm air. Not sure how effective they are, but it sure makes an otherwise simple forced-air cooling system more complex.

Secondly, the GY6 engine was designed to work in a horizontal orientation. While the oiling system isn't complicated on these machines, I suspect that the motor's orientation can affect oil scavenging and oiling of assemblies farther from the oil pump (ie. camshaft and rockers). I would expect that the engineers have looked into this, as orientation can affect other variables for engine operation, such as carburetor position for fuelling (EFI can solve this one) and fuel tank design (depends on how far the motor sticks up into the bodywork and if a 4T shifty tank would work).

My far-less-rational concern is that it looks like a phoned-in, cheaped-out solution to me. Most modern CVT bike chassis are designed around the engine. In this case, the engine was stuffed into a semi-modified frame in order to please a demographic...and that strikes me as compromised engineering. Time may prove my impression wrong, but I'm holding a wait and see approach for now.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd rather have a shifty FI Stella but I'll probably see a unicorn riding a unicycle before they ever came here...
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been waiting since Phil told me at the Genuine ride in Atlanta that one was on it's way.

I wanted a Stella the first time but my local shop said if I haven't driven a stick on 4 wheels before, don't get started with a manual scoot. So shame on me for that.

If they set the date to release the auto Stella, I'll get my pennies socked away in anticipation of going to pick it up. I like the look and I don't care if someone thinks I'm less of a scooterist because mine is a twisty. If that was the case, doesn't my Buddy make me a fraud already?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uncle Groucho wrote:
I've been waiting since Phil told me at the Genuine ride in Atlanta that one was on it's way.

I wanted a Stella the first time but my local shop said if I haven't driven a stick on 4 wheels before, don't get started with a manual scoot. So shame on me for that.

If they set the date to release the auto Stella, I'll get my pennies socked away in anticipation of going to pick it up. I like the look and I don't care if someone thinks I'm less of a scooterist because mine is a twisty. If that was the case, doesn't my Buddy make me a fraud already?


Authenticity is overrated. The Buddy is it's own thing and has been wildly successful in that respect.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The appeal of the Stella is that it's EXACTLY what an old shifter scooter is. It's not the smoothest, fastest or easiest but it is a distinct scooter. That and there are plenty who want a toy and not a commuter bike or a bike that fits part of a culture.

Myself? I won't buy one. It fits into the same vein as Porsche making a Sedan and an SUV. Pointless to what the brand originally was. If you want an automatic, buy a new Vespa, Kymco, Buddy... plenty of awesome choices. If LML want to make an automatic and water down the brand, that's their business. As long as they make a shifter bike I will still consider them for my next bike. The moment they drop manual bikes, I no longer have an interest.

What gets me are all those whining and insisting that LML MUST make an automatic bike because they can't be bothered to learn how to shift, but want the trendy-euro-inspired-vintage-scooter look. Vespa has the fashionista market well cornered if you want an overpriced accessory. Don't go complaining when a motorbike company doesn't make *exactly* what you may want when they've been known for making the other thing.

Again, that is my opinion. I'm sure plenty will buy the LML automatic, and I hope they're happy if they do. I'm just saying I won't.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neotrotsky wrote:
The appeal of the Stella is that it's EXACTLY what an old shifter scooter is. It's not the smoothest, fastest or easiest but it is a distinct scooter. That and there are plenty who want a toy and not a commuter bike or a bike that fits part of a culture.

Myself? I won't buy one. It fits into the same vein as Porsche making a Sedan and an SUV. Pointless to what the brand originally was. If you want an automatic, buy a new Vespa, Kymco, Buddy... plenty of awesome choices. If LML want to make an automatic and water down the brand, that's their business. As long as they make a shifter bike I will still consider them for my next bike. The moment they drop manual bikes, I no longer have an interest.

What gets me are all those whining and insisting that LML MUST make an automatic bike because they can't be bothered to learn how to shift, but want the trendy-euro-inspired-vintage-scooter look. Vespa has the fashionista market well cornered if you want an overpriced accessory. Don't go complaining when a motorbike company doesn't make *exactly* what you may want when they've been known for making the other thing.

Again, that is my opinion. I'm sure plenty will buy the LML automatic, and I hope they're happy if they do. I'm just saying I won't.


I would revise your statement to say "An appeal..." Plenty of people like the looks of a vintage scooter and there's nothing wrong with that. Plenty of those same people have never driven a manual car, scooter, or motorcycle, and the idea of a vintage-looking scooter without a learning curve appeals to them. I see nothing wrong with that and it seems like you're awfully angry at such people for very little reason.

(by the way, I have no interest in a Stella, automatic or manual. I just don't think there's anything wrong with people who do)
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anthony wrote:
neotrotsky wrote:
The appeal of the Stella is that it's EXACTLY what an old shifter scooter is. It's not the smoothest, fastest or easiest but it is a distinct scooter. That and there are plenty who want a toy and not a commuter bike or a bike that fits part of a culture.

Myself? I won't buy one. It fits into the same vein as Porsche making a Sedan and an SUV. Pointless to what the brand originally was. If you want an automatic, buy a new Vespa, Kymco, Buddy... plenty of awesome choices. If LML want to make an automatic and water down the brand, that's their business. As long as they make a shifter bike I will still consider them for my next bike. The moment they drop manual bikes, I no longer have an interest.

What gets me are all those whining and insisting that LML MUST make an automatic bike because they can't be bothered to learn how to shift, but want the trendy-euro-inspired-vintage-scooter look. Vespa has the fashionista market well cornered if you want an overpriced accessory. Don't go complaining when a motorbike company doesn't make *exactly* what you may want when they've been known for making the other thing.

Again, that is my opinion. I'm sure plenty will buy the LML automatic, and I hope they're happy if they do. I'm just saying I won't.


I would revise your statement to say "An appeal..." Plenty of people like the looks of a vintage scooter and there's nothing wrong with that. Plenty of those same people have never driven a manual car, scooter, or motorcycle, and the idea of a vintage-looking scooter without a learning curve appeals to them. I see nothing wrong with that and it seems like you're awfully angry at such people for very little reason.

(by the way, I have no interest in a Stella, automatic or manual. I just don't think there's anything wrong with people who do)


I'm not angry... it's just people who want the image and the style without the effort. They want it quick, easy and for someone else to make it work for them. That's great if that's how they want to roll, but I find more respect for those who ride the original bikes who take the effort to keep them maintained and who keep up the parts and support community to keep those old shifter bikes on the road.

To me, I relate the whole thing to those rich old guys who still take Plymouth Prowlers to custom and vintage car shows here in Phoenix. They think they're "Just like" the guys with the original duce coupes and the like and they just come off as posers. I hesitate to put modern Vespa riders in that category because they've pretty much become their own thing, which is fine (I had a Vespa GTS250ie for a while, so I get it). That, and Vespa was one of the originals in the scooter game, so like Harley Davidson they have a cult following for anything they do.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You do realize that some think the manual Stella is a sell-out. It's not like the original cannot be had.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

siobhan wrote:
You do realize that some think the manual Stella is a sell-out. It's not like the original cannot be had.


Ironically, the LML chassis was pressed out using the same tools used to make the originals. At the risk of sounding like a purist, I do think the Vespa chassis is stamped out of thicker steel than the monocoque Stellas are. Of course, that feeling is amplified when stopping on a cable-operated front drum. Shocked

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

az_slynch wrote:
siobhan wrote:
You do realize that some think the manual Stella is a sell-out. It's not like the original cannot be had.


Ironically, the LML chassis was pressed out using the same tools used to make the originals. At the risk of sounding like a purist, I do think the Vespa chassis is stamped out of thicker steel than the monocoque Stellas are. Of course, that feeling is amplified when stopping on a cable-operated front drum. Shocked


Well, I'm not that hardcore of a purist since my daily rider is a Kymco (great bike btw), but the front disc is a necessary evil if you're going to ride a scooter like the Stella somewhat regularly. I had a P200 and the front brake, while serviceable, was not something you were 100% down with in an emergency Shocked

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ride what you like and like what you ride!

To me...they are kind of like a kit car...nuf said Mr. Green

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I , for one, think it is a great idea. If it gets more people riding scooters, and sells more scooters for Genuine...It is a WIN WIN...will I buy one? No, but I don't own a car with an auto trans either, but I freely admit I am not everyone.
I think an auto Stella would be a good selling tool for genuine dealers and riders just getting started. We, "enthusiasts" can always go buy a vintage Lambretta or salsbury if we feel the need, someone has to keep the old girls running Wink. I've been looking for a cheap clean Mitsubishi myself for vintage days.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will definitely buy one when they arrive in the States.

I love the look but don't want to shift. One of the local scooter groups here in KC had an old small frame Vespa at their rally last year. It was converted into a twist-n-go.... very nice!

I almost won it.... they just didn't pull my ticket!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

az_slynch wrote:
siobhan wrote:
You do realize that some think the manual Stella is a sell-out. It's not like the original cannot be had.


Ironically, the LML chassis was pressed out using the same tools used to make the originals. At the risk of sounding like a purist, I do think the Vespa chassis is stamped out of thicker steel than the monocoque Stellas are. Of course, that feeling is amplified when stopping on a cable-operated front drum. Shocked

Nothing ironic about it. These tools were used to build Vespas.

LML undoubtably turned to cheaper materials for their version.

But this is what I meant when I said, "Isn't it a bit weird for Stella owners to be purists?" above.

And by "weird," I mean just a little hypocritical. Smile

Personally, I don't give a crap what's stamped on the outside. Is it a decent scooter? Is the experience of riding it fun and/or interesting? Is it good for the World of Scooters in general? Bring it on!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's a good deal and bring more people in. I think a lot of people got burned on cheap Chinese junk and think all plastic body scooters are the same. Vespa cost a lot just for a toy to ride around the hood on a nice Saturday that's the way some people think and that's what a scooter/motorcycle is a toy to them.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually the Stella body is pressed thicker because it's cheaper steel.

Also the automatic Stella is going to sell a lot in Europe. I've just spent the last week riding around the streets of Milan and it is honestly the only to e I have ever wished I wasn't on a manual bike. Commuters are gonna love the chance of getting a Stella with a CVT.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A CVT Stella would be the smartest move Genuine could make. A vintage style twist-n-go is a no-brainer in general and it wouldn't surprise me if it became their best selling scooter. If I ran the company, I'd be chomping at the bit to do it to based on Vespa's obvious price point vulnerability alone.
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'04 Honda Met "Archie" [Had to trade it :cry: ] '08 St. Tropez 'Simon'

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it happens, it happens......
I'm half in agreement with 'Rusty' good move.

Let the 'purists' fight it out amongst themselves.
The reason I didn't get a Stella was the shifting, I just didn't want to.

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Aging is mandatory, growing up is optional.
My kids call me 'crazy', I prefer 'Eccentric'.
Nullius in verba
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