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yahoo article on scoots

 
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peabody99
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:42 pm    Post subject: yahoo article on scoots Reply with quote

this was on Yahoo this morning. If you have time leave a comment on the site- a lot of cagers trashin scoots which makes me MAAAAAAD. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060904/ts_alt_afp/afplifestyleusauto_060904230354

US drivers hop on scooters to dodge rising gas prices

by Virginie Montet Mon Sep 4, 7:03 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - With rising gas prices an increasing number of US drivers have hopped on scooters, long a favorite in parts of the world familiar with pricey gasoline.
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Karl Levithan, retired at 55, tools around the Washington suburbs on his silver Vespa from April to November while the weather is agreeable.

"Sometimes, less is more," he said, noting that fuel is often more than three dollars per gallon (3.8 liter) now. "Americans should think about more efficient means of transportation."

Scooters get a whopping 60 to 80 miles (97 to 129 kilometers) per gallon of gas compared to fuel hungry cars which average 20 miles (32 kilometers).

This year is set to mark a record in scooter sales although the streets are far from resembling traffic in Milan.

"The big markets are urban markets, vacation destinations and college towns," said Mike Mount, spokesman for the Motorcycle Industry Council.

According to the industry group, 113,000 scooters were sold in 2005, up 18 percent from the year before.

The market is led by Japanese makers Honda and Yamaha, but storied Italian brand Vespa from Piaggio, which was pulled from the market in 1985 because of pollution problems, made a big splash went it was reintroduced in 2000 with retro looking models.

The maker has 180 stores around the country with the most sales in the cities of New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle on the Pacific coast, and Dallas, Texas, according to Piaggio Americas spokeswoman Kathleen Reynolds.

Randy Campbell opened a shop in Dallas three years ago and will open a second in a few weeks in near-by Fort Worth, Texas.

"The more you see them riding the more they are gaining popularity," he said. He said his clients are mostly between the ages of 35 and 55 and that 40 percent or more are women. Half are buying the scooters, which sell for between 3,000 and 4,000 dollars, for pleasure, a quarter for economy and "some for the hip-cool."

Suburban rider Levithan agreed that the look helped.

"The more retro it is, the better it is," he said. He added that scooters are "more socially accepted" than motorcycles. "People smile at it."

The service manager at Campbell's university-town store, Rian Sumner, also noted that riders skew older.

"More professors are riding them than students who get big cars with air conditioning," he said.

But in Washington, where gasoline is more expensive than in Texas, prices are driving scooters' popularity, according to Gerry Helfgott, an Italian who opened a Vespa store in the nation's capital.

However, two wheels cannot replace four and Campbell said few of his customers use scooters as their only mode of transport.

But, he said, "a few customers replace their second car with a scooter."

The northwest city of Boise, Idaho, has only 200,000 residents but Valery Aker sells about 20 scooters per month at her two-year-old shop.

"The more people see them, the more they like the idea," she said. "And they are fun."

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Icelander
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's one problem with the people riding in the picture: NO HELMETS.
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bwilms
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:07 pm    Post subject: Re: yahoo article on scoots Reply with quote

peabody99 wrote:
If you have time leave a comment on the site- a lot of cagers trashin scoots which makes me MAAAAAAD.


I would if I thought it would do any good. But, I have a feeling that the people "discussing" this article on Yahoo! (making enlightening comments like "grow a sack and buy a real bike. ") won't be swayed by the truth Wink
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MrNatural
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed. Waste of time.
I read a posting topic somewhere yesterday that had a link to a scooter site and the poster asked..."if scooters like these were available in the USA, would you consider buying one??" HELLO!!!!!!
Lots of responses like "no, too much traffic where I live", or "totally unsafe vehicle". As if a bicycle or motorcycle provide more "protection".

Didn't bother informing they're heeeeeere!!!!!
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GatsbyGirl
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my favorite negative reactions to scooters. Ericalm was pulling into a parking lot last fall, and this 60something man sputtered at him, "We drive cars in this country, not BUBBLES."
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NarMeowZippy
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GatsbyGirl wrote:
One of my favorite negative reactions to scooters. Ericalm was pulling into a parking lot last fall, and this 60something man sputtered at him, "We drive cars in this country, not BUBBLES."


That's two-wheel racism! I'll bet he'd never had said a word if it was a motorcycle. I don't understand the hostility. Our driving "bubbles" keeps his car full of gas.

A lot of people I work with have the read the article on Yahoo and even commented that it makes them want to get a scooter too. However, I think scooters weren't represented well enough.

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dru_
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To a certain degree, it requires grass roots acitvism to change the mindset of people.

The thing that I like is that to most people, 'Motorcycles are dangerous'. The 'Crotch Rockets' are viewed as idiots who spend all the time going to fast and playing fast an loose with the lane laws. Meanwhile, the Cruiser's are all lumped into 'Harley' crowd as being too loud, and the Hell's Angel's image remains, which is a turn off to most people. To make matters worse, SportBike riders and Cruiser's don't like each other as a rule, thinking the other gives them a bad name.

Scooters however have a different image, one that is much easier to get people to accept.

The way you address this is through marketing, both viral, and public. Oddly enough, the most important thing is to be seen. The more scooter's on the roads, the higher the mindshare, the easier the acceptance. We, as riders, have to work to get the visibility out there, and that means not just in town and in urban areas.

It also means that some of the Rallies would need to be redone to try and get people that wouldn't normally attend to come. Recognize that everytime you are out on a scooter, you are a rolling advertisement for a different way of life, one that doesn't make $300 grocery trips that require an SUV to haul home, but one that buys a days worth of groceries as needed, and hauls them home after work.

I can't tell you how man strange looks I get when I walk into the grocery after work wearing my dress pants and high ankle dress shoes, with my helmet and leather riding jacket on, grab a bottle of wine, a couple of steaks a loaf of bread, salad and some fresh veggies for dinner that night, load those into the scooter and head home.

That, in and of itself, is worth it. I get questions all the time of other people wondering aloud if it's uncomfortable or dangerous. My answer is simple, living is dangerous, driving is dangerous, this is dangerous, but no more so than a dozen other things we all do every single day. It's also liberating, fun, and in my opinion, more flexible. In short, scootering isn't like buying a new car, it's like changing a way of life. (Cheesy, I know, but tell me it's not true?)
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NarMeowZippy
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dru_ wrote:
That, in and of itself, is worth it. I get questions all the time of other people wondering aloud if it's uncomfortable or dangerous. My answer is simple, living is dangerous, driving is dangerous, this is dangerous, but no more so than a dozen other things we all do every single day. It's also liberating, fun, and in my opinion, more flexible. In short, scootering isn't like buying a new car, it's like changing a way of life. (Cheesy, I know, but tell me it's not true?)


Well said and very true!

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macgawd
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's true that there's much nose-turning by cagers against scooters, but in all fairness, there's plenty of snobbery within the scooter community against other scooter riders. Within scooterdom you've got the groups of elitist Mod scooterists who only ride vintage all steel Vespas, who consider anyone who does not subscribe to their lifestyle and choice of ride as a "poser". They ride because it's cool (or whatever the mod-equivalent adjective may be), not because it's fun or economical, and will be sure to inform you that they were doing it long before anyone else.

You can bet that they won't be inviting you and your plastic scooter to any of their rallies.

I don't care for these people very much.

Michael
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James Tate
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 4:29 am    Post subject: XYL Reply with quote

Our scooter club in Cincinnati, the Ten Year Lates, has a good mix of vintage scooterists and new arrivals. The all steel Vespa (and Stella) folks have been quick to take any and all new riders under their wing. They have been a great source of information and advice. The club is also open to all geographic origins if anyone is passing through town and wants to ride. I don't know anything about scooter clubs in the rest of the country, but the XYLs are a hell of good group.

http://www.tenyearlates.com/ver2/
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