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Old 12-14-2012, 10:15 AM   #31
Brooktown Geezer
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By going to their tech training center and getting certified.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:40 AM   #32
hugemoth
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For Vespa my dad went to Pontedera Italy for a couple weeks to get certified. I was certified in San Francisco by Plauto Magnioli, an engineer from Piaggio, so I didn't get to go to Italy. :-(
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:41 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
For Vespa my dad went to Pontedera Italy for a couple weeks to get certified. I was certified in San Francisco by Plauto Magnioli, an engineer from Piaggio, so I didn't get to go to Italy. :-(
Thanks. Were you already a certified mechanic?
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:13 PM   #34
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Wasn't certified before that but had a ton of experience having grown up in the business.

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Thanks. Were you already a certified mechanic?
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:31 PM   #35
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My brother in law started out designing websites as a hobby, several years he opened a business and is making a lot more money than I am turning wrenches, and he does most of it from home.

I am ASE certified in a bunch of things (just so you know, that doesn't actually mean much, Pep Boys "mechanics" are ASE certified in what they do), but I have to continuously attend training classes put on by vehicle and equipment manufacturers like Ford, GM, Chrysler, John Deere, etc. to stay current on their latest developments. It is an ongoing thing, not a one time thing. My fleet dept. is government, and they are not allowed to buy non American brands of anything if an American brand is available. The mayor and council made that decision. Then the mayor turned right around and had us buy him a new Toyota Camry as his "official" vehicle. We offered him an '87 Caprice that a former mayor had driven, but he turned it down.

It is very true that what works well as a hobby does not always work as a business. I got a job as a mechanic (or maybe I should say I worked my way into it) because it was and still is my hobby. But I do not like my job. I like doing things right, and our time schedule does not allow for that. You have to throw it together and move on. There is an endless list of things to do.

But as I said, I plan on retiring in just over a year, at 55, and hope to get into something that is both a hobby and a way to make some money, working on vintage cars. I already have experience in that field. I would be able to work on the type of cars I love, and not be rushed, because I could turn down or put off anything I wanted. But then I would not be totally depending on this as a means of making a living either.

I still would not sell Chinese scooters, though if you are going ton rent scooters, Chinese scooters might work well for that. Most scooter rental places use Chinese scooters. You are taking a big risk by renting someone a brand new Vespa, what if they crash it? To cover the cost of proper insurance for rentals, you would have to charge a fortune, and that would put people off. Harley is a good example of that. It costs a fortune to rent a Harley, because in addition to making a profit, the dealer has to have enough insurance to protect themselves. That costs more than the profit they make.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:56 AM   #36
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http://youtu.be/UcE1DyynZVQ
Something you may find interesting
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:42 AM   #37
cdwise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Moore View Post
Quick question. How does one become a certified Kymco mechanic? Or a ertified Vespa Mechanic?
Can't speak about Kymco but for Vespa you need to complete the course at the Vespa Technical Center in Orange County, CA.

JerryH Good to hear that your brother-in-law succeeded in going from a hobbyist to a professional. Few do, at least well enough to make a living at it. It is possible but the odds are against it. Your plan to pick up extra retirement money from your hobby of restoring vintage cars is one that may also succeed. You've got the skills and experience to pull it off.

That constant training and education on new technology is something that a lot of people don't understand. BTW, hopefully that Camry was built in one of the US plants. Most of them in the US are built here.

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Old 12-15-2012, 01:56 PM   #38
Motovista
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Originally Posted by redhandmoto View Post
Renting. Mmmm. What are the liability insuance burdens like for that? Reasonable? Have rented scoots on vacation before and often wondered.
It costs about $35 a month for insurance for each scooter you are renting out. The insurance company provides the rental agreement, for the most part.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #39
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Hi Moped, CD, Hacksaw, Jerry, Hugemoth, Jim, and Brooktown. Thanks!
I enjoy the amount of interaction these posts are creating.
And I move forward...
Thanks again!
Ken
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:49 PM   #40
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I stopped by a local Vespa Dealer today (Vespa of Downers Grove). Obviously, they are beautiful bikes...
But unless I had a ton of money, I wouldn't buy one. There average bike costs over $4,000. That is a lot of money for a scooter. Again, beautiful, but are they worth it? I don't know, and could see why they would be struggling...
If I were a buyer today who wanted that retro "Vespa" look, I would look at a Lance Cali Classic over a Vespa...
My thoughts...
Thanks again!
Ken

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Old 12-16-2012, 07:32 AM   #41
Bar None
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"Also, I plan on getting one of Bintelli's bikes as a tester soon. I agree I should learn a bit about the product before diving in, and what better way than owning one. I look forward to it!"
KennyT,
Good plan. Please report on the test results here.
Did you contact the US SYM importer? Very good scooters at a reasonable price.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyT View Post
I stopped by a local Vespa Dealer today (Vespa of Downers Grove). Obviously, they are beautiful bikes...
But unless I had a ton of money, I wouldn't buy one. There average bike costs over $4,000. That is a lot of money for a scooter. Again, beautiful, but are they worth it? I don't know, and could see why they would be struggling...
If I were a buyer today who wanted that retro "Vespa" look, I would look at a Lance Cali Classic over a Vespa...
My thoughts...
Thanks again!
Ken

Theres an ass for every seat, Kenny. Just make sure the asses you're planning on catering to have wallets next to them with some dough in them and you should be fine.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:34 PM   #43
cdwise
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You are comparing a 125cc Lance to a Vespa GTS 300. Not the same class of scooter there at all. My GTS is quite comfortable on the freeway and for long distance touring of 300+ miles per day at 70mph if you choose. Our Buddy 125 or the Vespa ET 4 150 we used to own are good urban scoots but not the best for touring nor are they good on the freeway.

FWIW, I'd have no interest in purchasing a Lance Cali for "vintage style". I'll take our Buddy 125 over it any day of the week. Completely reliable and has stood up to one teenage boy who rode it daily to school and his younger brother will be doing the same starting next fall. I bought the Buddy as my first scoot because I wanted vintage styling and a reliable scooter at a fair price. I've been happy with it for the last 6 years even though I rarely ride it. I never even considered a Lance, okay at that time they were all made on the mainland and were not using Sym engines but its reputation was not good. I'm still reserving judgment on the Cali.

BTW, if a salesman approached me with the attitude that my preferred scooter was "overpriced" and tried to tell me I'd be better off with a knock off I'd walk out the door and not come back. Bashing others is never a good marketing plan since scooter groups share their opinion of various dealers between themselves and can be quite vocal about it.

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Old 12-16-2012, 09:26 PM   #44
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Hi CD, Billigan, GoGordy, and Barnone. Thanks!
I wasn't comparing a Lance to a 300cc bike. I just used this picture because it was nice. This bike is actually $6,000...
I have heard very good things about SYM. Similar to what I know of Kymco...
Thanks again!
Ken
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:10 PM   #45
cdwise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyT View Post
Hi CD, Billigan, GoGordy, and Barnone. Thanks!
I wasn't comparing a Lance to a 300cc bike. I just used this picture because it was nice. This bike is actually $6,000...
I think you were when you said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyT
If I were a buyer today who wanted that retro "Vespa" look, I would look at a Lance Cali Classic over a Vespa...
People who want a Vespa don't just want the "look" they want the quality and resale. First Vespa I bought was a used ET 4. I sold it 3 years later for $200 less than I paid for it. That same scooter now 8 years old is still worth almost 2/3rds of its original price. I know the current owner and what she has been offered by someone who wants to buy it. I could sell my GTS tomorrow for about $2,000 less than what I paid for it out the door from the Vespa dealership including title, tax and license five years ago.

I see 6 month old off brand scooters regularly on craigs list that they are trying to sell and when they do go it is for less than half what the new purchase price was if the scoot is running well and hasn't been dropped.

You seriously need to do more market research into scooter riders and who exactly is your target market along with the demographics of the area you intend to open a shop. If your target market really is people with incomes over $100,000k they will demand quality. If you are going to target students and others where low entry price is paramount make sure that you can do enough volume and make enough income from maintenance to pay your mechanic and make a living.
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