Monday, March 28, 2011

Kids have the cutest stuff!

Rakuten Ranking Competition - Ladybug Child Helmet (Pink) KID'S HELMET

Is there a reason why they don't make this for adults? Because I can't think of a single one.

There has been quite a few discussions by people on the internets who want their kids to ride with them, and people who believe it is too dangerous.

While I LOVE riding my scooter and would LOVE to bring my little fat dog, Spike along. It is just too hazardous. However, in the case of a Zombie Apocalypse, that would change.

I don't have kids, so the point is moot. I believe it is up to the parents to decide. But if I have to say, they make some of COOLEST gear for kids who ride.

Kids helmets (and I suggest full face), offer a great selection and you can add a bit of personal flair by adding these great pig tails by Hansen Enterprises.

How about some helmet ears from You gotta admit these are uber cute!

There are also plenty of fully armored riding suits for kids, leather and kevlar armor from The Iron Horseman.

Since none of us adults will ever look "cute" ever again, the best we can do might be this SpongeBob SquarePants Pavillon helmet made with a carbon fibre shell and lined with nappa lambskin. Alas, only 200 units of this Ruby Pavillon would be available and that even only in Europe and US. Oh, don't forget the price...around $1,200.00, at LEAST! You gotta pay BUCKs to dress like a KID when you are an adult.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

MODDING YOUR RIDE - Japanese Style

TRANSLOGIC 8.3: Japan (Part 1 - Modding) from AOL Autos on Vimeo.

I am a HUGE FAN of Japanese scooters and I was so happy to find this little video with a bit more information. I am worried for the people of Japan and I admire their creativity when it comes to their vehicles. If I could rock out my Blue Dragon Japanese style I would...but $31,000.00 is a bit steep for me!

For more photos of hot, Hot HOT Japanese scooters, visit Pink Tentacle. Also see these Hub Pages for some detailed information about what is UNDER all those mods.

Interested in PURCHASING one? See for photos and details. I see a nice blue beauty for about 1.2 Million Yen! It roughly comes out to $14,825.760...well... it's a thought! Finally check out Alfa Auto Custom Pro Shop for more deals!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Motorcycle Gear and the Movies

From The Wild One to Wild Hogs, cinemas portrayal of the motorcycle world has been varied. Many of these movies have managed to spawn iconic images that have influenced american and world culture.

Take a look at these stills for example:

Marlon Brando - The Wild One

Steve McQueen - The Great Escape

Peter Fonda - Easy Rider

Dennis Hopper - Easy Rider

Phil Daniels - Quadrophenia

Tron Light Cycle - Tron Legacy

and now, we give you Tom Hank as Larry Crowne, future scooter icon.

Not exactly setting the world on fire, are we.

In Larry Crowne, Tom Hanks is portraying the "everyman on a journey through life" and just because his togs are dull it doesn't mean his spirit is.

Remember, this is a movie and no matter what the characters are wearing, or how plain they seem to look, they are carefully costumed by designers.

In some movies, characters undergo a transformation and that is made evident in their clothing. Based on the Larry Crowne clip, Larry seems to upgrade his rather pedestrian look to a black leather jacket and dark jeans. Making him look more youthful, tougher, leaner and more appropriately attired for the road.

I am wondering how "authentic" the scooter gear is for this movie. I am almost positive NONE of it is armored, based on the fact that movies are often style over substance.

I can't say I am thrilled about the films helmet choices as well. Fulmer helmets? Not sure, need to see more. Not the safest way to really ride, but heck, the actors sure look cool. Just wait till someone gets hit by a ladybug in the lip...DAMN! that stings.

Until the movie comes out, we can only speculate if the Larry Crowne character will truly impact scooter culture in America. Tom Hanks is one of the most likable actors in our time, and I am sure he will do for scooters what he did for Shrimpin' Boats.

Actually, I am being sarcastic. I do think this movie may have an impact on scooter culture.

Who knows, beside creating Forest Gump, Tom Hanks as Larry Crowne could join the ranks of the motorcycle pantheon of demi-gods, right up there with Marlon, Steve, Peter, Phil and Dennis.

Things that Grate my Cheese

really? really?

Sigh... an ad from Scoot Magazine, which I guess is foregoing print and going digital. But based on their content and advertising choices... I am thinking uh, no thanks.

I like a good joke or clever witty advertisement. But some things push the bounds. So what can a gal say but, "ack!"

Since when is the orange spray-tanned crack of some chicks A$$ a selling point for a helmet? Oh yeah, since the beginning of time. Clever these advertisers. Ya got me! Send me one of every style...STAT!

Hey, "Nexx" Helmets, you are also marketing to women as well right. How about equal time for the ladies? How about the same ad with a dudes butt with a tramp stamp? Hmmm... Right, that probably wouldn't make me buy one of your crappy helmets anyway.

I call this last bit of this blog post, 'The Icing on the Crap Cupcake".
So don't read on if you are easily offended.

"BTW Tramps stamps are such a tired form of expression. If I ever got one. I'm going to base it on McDonalds, " One Billion Served".

Theo Jansen's Strandbeests

Not scooters, but moving machines created by a kinetic artist.
Found on Scooter Diva and posted by NickyMcNichols.
From Wallace and Grommits World of Invention

Makes me think of Ray Bradbury's, Martian Chronicles and Frank Herbert's, Dune. Got me wondering about alternative means of motion.

Give this guy some pencils and some rubber bands and LOOK OUT!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Larry Crowne New Clip Available

This movie is causing a major buzz on many scooter forums and blogs. Some have mentioned a Genuine Scooter sponsored scooter rally for the movie premier (visions of Tom and Julia pulling up the red carpet on scooters have inflamed my crazy little brain) and other "scooter" related promotions.

I am hoping that scooterist and various scooter clubs in my neck 'o' the woods will endeavor to also have some sort of rally for the premier. This is a perfect opportunity for scooter to be taken more seriously.

Why do I think this movie will help. Take a look at the wee clip available on www.tomhanks-online.

Hanks rolls out his driveway, beeps at the "CHEERING" kids on the bus! (how awesome is that!) rolls by his neighbor, singing the praises of his scooter.

Too many teenagers in my neighborhood for beeps and waves. But maybe I should slow down and give it a try by the middle school. Don't want to look, "creepy" tho.

So we are waiting to see if any of the scooter dealers in the area are going to organize any rallys or tie-ins to the movie premier. It would be pretty awesome to pull up to a local theater in a cadre of scooters. Park them strategically by the theater and wait for the admiring throngs to gather....

Well, Hollywood isn't the only place built on dreams...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Here! Larry Crowne Movie Trailer

Meet Cute or a Meet Scoot?

And I love how he crashes the scooter as soon as he gets on it... CLASSIC!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Aprilia Mana 850 GT-Things I can't have – Part infinity

Aprilia Mana 850 GT ... sigh

how I long to test ride thee

Versatile and multiform, the Aprilia Mana 850 gt is the most complete motorcycle on the market. Intelligent, innovative, comfortable blah, blah, blah....

This hot bike is the so far, one of the closest things to a reasonable automatic motorcycle. And you can argue about that statement all you want, (CF Moto..etc...)I am staying out of that one nit pickers.

As seen on the demo videos found on youtube, (see bottom of post) it can function as a twist and go. According to the interwebs, the engine is right out of the Gilera GP 800 with a CTV transmission, continously variable. The 7 speed option selects 7 “virtual rations”.

What ever the heck that means. Twist... and GO! right? That’s how it works with my scooter or in my car... Gas=Go!

So of course I want one.

I have a BV500 and that is pretty great. But when it comes to the highways and touring, not big enough, not enough power and not comfortable for long stretches of time. Can I have an Aprilia Mana 800 GT in CHICAGO?... so far NO!

But the HUNT is ON! Much to my boyfriend’s agitation.

Here are some of the Aprilia Mana GT 850’s special features:

• Half-fairing with adjustable windshield. (This thing just slides up and down. Awesome!)

• Sportgear transmission: electronically controlled sequential gearshift with two shift modes: seven speed manual or Autodrive with three different mappings: Sport/Touring/Rain. (this is the “automatic” part)

• Helmet compartment with non-scratch lining for a full-face helmet, with mobile phone holder, toolkit/glove-box and 12V-power socket. (This is located in the space where the you might think the gas tank is, up in front)

• New latest generation 2-channel Continental ABS system as standard. (of course, duh)

• Lateral shock absorber easily adjustable with the hand grip in preload and extension. (huh?)

• 90° V engine with four valves per cylinder, Euro 3 homologated. (huh?)

• Brakes with radial calipers. (huh?)

• 43- mm upside down fork. (huh?)

• Steel trellis frame with single piece aluminium swingarm. (wuh?)

• Under-seat fuel tank. (see NOT in the big storage space in front, it is under ur butt!)

With these characteristics, the Mana 850 GT is the most functional and complete bike on the market.

Intelligent transmission

The primary drive is the focal point of the entire Mana range. The Sportgear transmission offers the rider a choice of different driving modes:

Sequential mode:

The rider decides when to change gear by using the conventional control on the pedal or by pressing a switch on the handlebars as desired. An electronically-controlled servo mechanism acts on the main pulley which changes the gearshift mode with seven gear ratios amazingly quickly. Only during deceleration, if the rider does not manually change gear, the engine automatically changes down gear using the Semi-Sequential function and preventing the minimum RPM threshold from going below the set limit. Another valuable aid to safe riding.

Fully automatic mode (Autodrive):

The sophisticated electronics control everything and the CVT transmission keeps the engine running at maximum torque speed for optimum pick-up and acceleration. The rider can choose from three different mappings:

1.Touring: for those who want a softer power delivery and minimum fuel consumption.

2.Sport: for maximum performance and quick acceleration.

3.Rain: on wet or slippery roads in maximum safety; Semi-Autodrive mode only allows the rider to change down gear. This is useful for overtaking at maximum torque revs or when riding down a hill when engine braking is required.

You can switch from Autodrive to Sequential mode and vice versa at any time and in any riding conditions. The handlebar gearshift control can be disabled from the dashboard.

With this technical solution, the Mana GT 850 adapts perfectly to any type of road and offers relaxed cruising or exhilarating sports riding depending on the rider’s needs or wishes.

So.. yeah, I am piqued... Where can I get one or ride one... What?! ... I CAN’T!!!! Not available in Chicago!


Well, the search goes on.. : P

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The sad legality of Pink Headlights

oh ebay, why do you tempt me with your forbidden fruit!
Sorry, I already have a pair.

Yep - don't act like you don't want these. Every guy wants a set of his own pink headlights.

Anyway, there is no way pink lights are going on my Blue Dragon. Blue, maybe, but Pink? No can do. And don't forget - these tinted headlights lights are considered illegal....but AWESOME!

Anyway, the talk on the MV forum is that you can install these as a secondary light that can be turned on and off with a switch. So that would be a pretty awesome modification. Too bad BV500s are the least modify-able scooters out there.

Damn you Scooter Gods! (Shakes fist at sky).

found on

(625 ILCS 5/Ch. 12 Art. II heading)

(625 ILCS 5/12‑201) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12‑201)
Sec. 12‑201. When lighted lamps are required.

(b) All other motor vehicles shall exhibit at least 2 lighted head lamps, with at least one on each side of the front of the vehicle, which satisfy United States Department of Transportation requirements,showing white lights, including that emitted by high intensity discharge (HID) lamps, or lights of a yellow or amber tint, during the period from sunset to sunrise, at times when rain, snow, fog, or other atmospheric conditions require the use of windshield wipers, and at any other times when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 1000 feet. Parking lamps may be used in addition to but not in lieu of such head lamps. Every motor vehicle, trailer, or semi‑trailer shall also exhibit at least 2 lighted lamps, commonly known as tail lamps, which shall be mounted on the left rear and right rear of the vehicle so as to throw a red light visible for at least 500 feet in the reverse direction, except that a truck tractor or road tractor manufactured before January 1, 1968 and all motorcycles need be equipped with only one such tail lamp.

(625 ILCS 5/12‑212) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12‑212)
Sec. 12‑212. Special restrictions on lamps. (a) No person shall drive or move any vehicle or equipment upon any highway with any lamp or device on the vehicle or equipment displaying a red light visible from directly in front of the vehicle or equipment except as otherwise provided in this Act.
(b) Subject to the restrictions of this Act, flashing lights are prohibited on motor vehicles except as a means for indicating a right or left turn as provided in Section 12‑208 or the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring unusual care as expressly provided in Sections 11‑804 or 12‑215.
(c) Unless otherwise expressly authorized by this Code, all other lighting or combination of lighting on any vehicle shall be prohibited.

and also found on the same forum:

I'm Illinois, and in the Chicago muni code, it specifically states that lights can be white or a tint of yellow or amber. Note that iy does NOT say your headlights can BE yellow or amber - only that they can have a tint to the color. I interpret this to mean that the BULBS may have a SLIGHT yellowish or amber hue to them, but the bulbs cannot be yellow or amber - or any other color. The law states that a motor vehicle (except motorcycles) must have two (2) functioning headlamps that emit a white light at least 1000feet. If you install yellow or amber bulbs or LENSES, you are violating the law. If you install any other color you are in violation of the law. Now, if your lenses are painted with the black tint paint, but when on can still emit a white light visible at least to 1000feet, I'd say you would be OK.

Again, as far as tailights, they must be red and visible at 500feet at well. Black tinted lenses are OK, so long as when activated - as TAILIGHTS, not brake lights - they are visible from 500 feet.