Piaggio Scooter Sales, Repairs, and Discussions ScooterChimp – Part 2

19 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Piaggio Scooter Sales, Repairs, and Discussions ScooterChimp – Part 2
Piaggio Typhoon Base

Honda Chopper, Electric Scooters Highlight Motorcycle Show

Monday – January 26, 2009

The Cycle World International Motorcycle Show stopped at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan earlier this month. The traveling show carries a load of new models across the country, making weekend-long stops in major cities, so the New York edition had only a handful of unique touches to offer:

• Honda officially unveiled its new Fury, the company’s latest effort to sell custom-bike looks to riders who might be wary about the reliability, safety or cost of a custom machine. The Fury, which Honda said has the longest wheelbase of any motorcycle the company has produced, does look very clean, and it showcases a classic — if slightly generic — chopper look, with a 38-degree rake.

At a glance, the bike could be mistaken for something built in a garage, but a second look makes it clear that it’s a factory product. It seems clear that the point is not to win over the editors of Easyriders, but to attract bikers who want a look that’s more extreme than a Shadow cruiser, with about the same risk of being stuck on the side of the road.

The unveiling was accompanied by a 90-second video teaser and a blaring metal soundtrack in which the bike’s features were revealed at a striptease pace. (Thrill to the Fury’s, um, bullet-shaped headlight.) A skeptic might point out that the Fury embodies the spirit of rebellion to the same extent as Mountain Dew and Axe body spray, but it’s a bit childish to deride the bike for its big-company origin. Depending on the base price, which Honda has not announced, the Fury could find its niche in a market in which sales of large motorcycles have been consistently down.

• The most striking bike at the show had to be the Victory Core concept:

Victory said the bike is intended to show what a performance cruiser of the future might look like. While it shares much of its architecture with the Victory Vision, the Core concept carries no visible bodywork on its cast-aluminum frame, with the fuel tank, battery box and electrical system tucked out of sight inside. In case you’re wondering, the seat is made of mahogany.

• Piaggio showed the Vespa GTS 300 Super:

The company said it’s the fastest Vespa in its American lineup. The GTS 300 Super is the bigger brother of the company’s GTS 250, with a slightly larger engine and some racier styling. Paolo Timoni, the chief executive of Piaggio Group Americas, said he expected Vespa’s American sales to improve in 2009, even after a year of substantial growth in the United States.

Through the first three quarters of 2008, American sales of Piaggio’s scooters (which include Vespas as well as Piaggio-branded models) were up 61 percent, Mr. Timoni said. The GTS 300 Super will go on sale in March at a suggested price of $6,199.

• Vectrix Electrics, which has been selling its VX-1 electric scooter for a while, unveiled two new models: the VX-1E, which is a cheaper, trimmed-down version of the VX-1, and the VX-2, which is cheaper and less powerful, with a lower top speed.

Cutting the price is a big deal: the top-of-the line VX-1 tops $10,000, with the VX-1E coming in at $8,495 when it arrives in April. The VX-2 will cost $5,195 when it arrives in June. The company said the range of each of the vehicles is 40-50 miles, depending on conditions and riding style.

They recharge with a standard household outlet.

The company’s spokesmen said that Vectrix isn’t pitching its scooters as a solution for all kinds of driving, but they seemed confident that the new models will expand the company’s customer base. About 1,000 VX-1 models are on the road, they said, and there are 84 dealers, including Gold Coast Motorsports on Long Island.

The motorcycle show will stop in Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis and Greenville, S.C. in February.

Piaggio Typhoon Base
Piaggio Typhoon Base

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