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View Results: Scoot.
Big Ruckus 8 18.60%
Stella 13 30.23%
Vespa (not Fizz) 5 11.63%
Something Else 7 16.28%
Fuck Loaded 10 23.26%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-20-2005, 07:21 PM   #1
Marc OP
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Stella. Stella!! STELLLLLLAAAAAAAA!!!!!

Get this - I read this in today's Wall Street Journal!
Quote:
Scooters' Popularity Offers a Chance for Growth
Small Chicago Company
Expands Its Line, Seeking
A Diversity of Customers

By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
September 20, 2005; Page B3

Zipping through the streets of Athens on an old Vespa some 20 years ago, Philip McCaleb would smile as he maneuvered through the urban chaos. As a sales manager for a U.S. company overseas, the scooter provided him with a certain freedom, an ease of movement, and ultimately led him down a different path.

Two decades later, he has yet to shake the scooter bug. Today, he's riding a scooter of his own creation -- called the Stella -- from a line that made its debut in 2002. And his company, Genuine Scooter Co., of Chicago, is expected to put 2,000 bikes on the street this year, while posting sales of $4.5 million to $5 million.

Scooters -- pop-culture icons of the '50s and '60s -- are popular again, with overall sales in the U.S. more than doubling to 86,000 last year from 42,000 in 2000, says the Motorcycle Industry Council, a membership trade organization. And, as gasoline prices take a bigger bite out of budgets, they're becoming an ever-more tempting mode of transportation.

Mr. McCaleb, 50 years old, is determined to be a part of that growth, and he predicts Genuine Scooter's sales will reach $8 million in 2006, with the introduction of three new models in February.

"I always want to grow and compete," says Mr. McCaleb, "but there is no way we can compete, or want to compete, with the Hondas or the Yamahas. We carefully look to compete on a scale that focuses on niche, on service, and quality."

His own business began more like a junkyard, when he began collecting the rusty remains of vintage scooters 15 years ago. That effort, born in his basement evolved into a scooter parts, accessories and restoration business, returning old Vespas back to their original glory. Although he still maintains that company, Scooterworks, he formed his second firm, Genuine Scooter, to begin marketing a line of scooters in 2002, manufactured by a company in India.

In building his business, Mr. McCaleb has had to acknowledge his own limitations -- he's an idea guy -- and called on a business consultant to help put together a two-year plan that would support the kind of growth he wants.

"I crave the opportunity to put concepts on the street," he says. "I'm a horrible bureaucrat and lousy operations guy. I called in the consultant because ... I don't think that way. I think in terms of, 'Let's begin with the end product in mind here, what it should look, feel or taste like, put it on the street and sell, sell, sell.' "

So that's become his focus. Mr. McCaleb will continue to concentrate on creating products and ideas for growth -- the company introduced a side-car that retails for $1,695, and he hopes to launch a scooter trailer by Christmas, inspired by the shiny aluminum Airstream trailers of the '50s.

The next round of scooters will be a bit more modern, competing in mainstream, pre-established markets, Mr. McCaleb says. Stella, which has a 150cc, single-cylinder, two-stroke engine and a top speed of 55-to-60 miles per hour, retails for $2,895, less than its Vespa competitor, the PX 150. Stella's price, coupled with its styling, is attracting a wide range of buyers, from urban hipsters and professional commuters, to bikers and retirees.

But many have something in common: "A large portion of my market are delayed adolescents, or those looking to return to adolescence," says Mr. McCaleb. "There is a grin associated with riding this product. And because it has a manual transmission they actually drive this product as opposed to riding it. It's part of its panache and what attracts people to this bike."

Nicholas Mendizabal, of Brooklynbretta Inc., a dealer in Brooklyn, N.Y., says the Stella is also a product that's right for the market. "For the first time, we are able to get as a product, a new, vintage bike," Mr. Mendizabal says. "It's vintage-styled, but very new and reliable," he says, pointing to the hydraulic disc front brakes and advanced shocks.

The new scooters, however, are an attempt to improve upon what's already on the market: well-built machines with increasingly attractive warranties and stronger guarantee components. And they will be aimed at different buyers, Mr. McCaleb says. One scooter will target commuters, another off-and-on road riders, while the third will appeal to high-performance speedsters.

While Stella was initially designed in Italy and is produced in India by LML, a manufacturer and former Piaggio group partner, Mr. McCaleb will say only that the new scooters will be produced in Asia.

In addition to rolling out the new bikes, he hopes to increase the number of Genuine Scooter dealers to 100 next year, up from the 70 currently in 35 states, and establish a presence in Canada. And, all 2006 models will meet California's stricter emission standards.

He also continues to stay connected; he visits, calls and drops his dealers postcards, and participates in many scooter events, which includes rallies and rides like "Mile High Mayhem" in Denver, and "Skooter Du" in Minneapolis.

"Our biggest marketing [tool] is that we're involved," says Mr. McCaleb. "We are passionate scooterists ourselves and we participate in the hobby as well as the selling process with our dealers."
A new Stella this coming February. I'm thinking 4-stroke Bajaj Chetak clone.

The amazing thing is that more and more people are starting to buy these things - including the mainstream consumer. Guess it's now only a matter of time 'till ADVrider gives this phenomena the space its' proponents have been so long demanding.
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Old 09-20-2005, 07:23 PM   #2
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Stella!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 09-20-2005, 07:25 PM   #3
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A Big Ruckus for a big man ...


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Old 09-20-2005, 07:37 PM   #4
BUBB
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bubb's excellent suggestion

Make it an open poll and make it where you can pick more than one scooter.


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Old 09-20-2005, 07:39 PM   #5
Sgt.Floyd
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I'm goin for the cheapest option and banking on my wrenchin skillz yo-

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Old 09-20-2005, 08:04 PM   #6
Caribou Aqua Buddha
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Atlantic 200, or PX 180/Stella.
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Old 09-20-2005, 08:14 PM   #7
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I bought a new Yamaha Zuma, pick it up Friday.
I figured what the hell it will be fun to ride to work and be a neighborhood menace at the same time.

a good winter hop up project too.
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Old 09-20-2005, 08:17 PM   #8
Caribou Aqua Buddha
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Saw a Zuma and a Ruckus in town today. They are popping up all over. I think we are approaching gas prices that are causing a further review of commuting methods.
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Old 09-20-2005, 08:23 PM   #9
Sgt.Floyd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentspoke
Saw a Zuma and a Ruckus in town today. They are popping up all over. I think we are approaching gas prices that are causing a further review of commuting methods.

Gas prices and rethinking commuting options is what landed me w/ mine.

I left one I was selling at the commuter rail parking lot w/ a sign on it for an hour after work and had someone call on it.....



change is comin.
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Old 09-20-2005, 08:24 PM   #10
KTMRyder
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I like the Ruckus but the Zuma being a two stroke will be much easier to hop up.

55+ mph looks like a big bore kit and a pipe away.
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Old 09-20-2005, 08:29 PM   #11
Caribou Aqua Buddha
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The Aprilia has lot's of room for guns in the underseat storage. In Oregon if you ride a Scooter you should be heavily armed.
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Old 09-20-2005, 08:38 PM   #12
Bueller
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I'm waaaayyyyy happy with the Stella. I'm getting 65 mph indicated consistently and easily on flat ground. I should get 70+ when its done breaking in. I've checked the speedo for accuracy and it isn't very far off.

It keeps running better and better with each passing day. The only thing that has gone wrong (that I can blame on the manufacturer) is the fuel gauge sending unit is only working intermittently. A new one is on order.

A big Ruckus would be cool to own also, but I would be a road pancake around here if I tried to commute on the baby Ruckus. It just isn't fast enough, even with mods.
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Old 09-20-2005, 09:01 PM   #13
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I have a short commute with only 35 mph speed limits so the 50cc will be fine for my use.
but a 70cc kit can't hurt either.
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Old 09-20-2005, 09:29 PM   #14
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it's all good

It's all good. Photog would not lead you astray.

















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Old 10-02-2005, 08:12 PM   #15
FriedDuck
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http://atlanta.craigslist.org/mcy/95312455.html

Stella.

Business 2.0 had a great article on Stella. Though I've always been a vespa fan after reading it I'm sold on the idea of getting one. Motobravo in Atlanta buys container-loads of vespas and ships 'em over and restore em if you haveta have the real thing.

What's more, they'll do engine-swaps so you can have your very own sleeper. I understand they're pricey but I've seen their work and it's the bees knees.

Ruckuses (Ruckii?) are the orthopedic shoe of scootery


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