Tag Archives: Scooter

Yamaha slams Indian pandemic closure

Yamaha has slammed the Indian Government over the complete closure of industry for the pandemic while also releasing a tribute scooter (above) to the resilience of Italians through the crisis.

The Japanese motorcycle manufacturer, which has three factories in India, says the complete closure should have been reviewed carefully.

Yamaha India boss Motofumi Shitara says India is one of the world’s largest economies and is the world’s largest two-wheeler market.

Complete closure

“Complete closure of economic activities in this market as well as other markets in the world has led to a massive depression, the worst since Great Depression in 1920s. The recovery period from such depression will take a long time,” he says.

Shitara says that with possible second and third wave infections, the world “needs to learn to live with coronavirus” with effective safety precautions.

Roma Edition

Yamaha Roma Edition Xax scooter pandemic shutdownYamaha Roma Edition scooter

This comes as Yamaha Europe has launched the Roma Edition MMXX maxi scooter for the Italian market in recognition of its resilience during the pandemic.

Italy was among the worst-hit countries with more than 233,000 infections and 33,415 deaths.

To pay homage to the resilience of the Italian people, Yamaha’s Europe Design Division in Gerno di Lesmo has spiced up the XMax Roma Edition with graphics of Roman streets on the fairing and silhouettes of the Colosseum on the rear.

It also comes with a sporty windscreen and aluminium.

The XMax is one of the top-selling scooters in Italy.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Piaggio plans first reverse leaning trike

Piaggio has filed a patent for the world’s first reverse leaning three-wheeler with the two wheels at the back rather than the front.

Traditional three-wheelers or trikes have the wheels at the back, but they don’t lean.

In 2006, the Italian company introduced the MP3 scooter which was the world’s first leaning three-wheeler.

It had the wheels at the front and their revolutionary configuration has since been followed by Yamaha with its TriCity scooter and Niken motorcycle.

Yamaha Niken neowing leaningNiken (Image: Yamaha)

AKO also plans a similar electric-powered leaning trike and other companies such as Honda and Kawasaki have filed for similar patents.

AKO leaning electric itrikeAKO leaning electric trike

Advantages

I’ve ridden several leaning three-wheelers and found them much more stable at high speeds than a conventional trike.

The double front tyre contact patch also makes them much safer on entering a corner where low friction from gravel or oil could cause a low-side crash.

Tricity scooterTricity

This configuration provides much greater rider confidence pushing into corners.

However, we wonder if this conventional trike layout with two wheels at the back but also leaning might actually decrease front tyre friction and therefore rider confidence.

Piaggio design

The Piaggio design actually only allows the front end to lean while the rear axle remains parallel to the ground via a car-like Constant Velocity joint.

It would certainly improved traction under power coming out of a corner.

The patent drawing seems to suggest a scooter with the engine in the rear like a Porsche 911.

And like the German Porker, it might be a hoot to ride — or drift — with its pendulum-like handling.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Driver guilty of hit-run scooter crash

A 55-year-old Toyota Hi-Lux driver who hit and injured a woman, 34, riding a Vespa scooter last August before driving off has been found guilty in a Sydney court today.

Paul Andrew Brown faced a hearing in Burwood Local Court today (27 May 2020) on charges of failing to stop and render aid, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, and not exchanging particulars.

The collision occurred at the intersection of Wellbank and Spring streets, in Concord, about 7.45pm on 14 August 2019.

Police told the court the driver of the utility failed to stop to render assistance to the rider and continued to drive north on Spring Street.

The scooter rider, a 34-year-old woman, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Crash Investigation Unit officers found the ute parked in North Strathfield about 2.30pm the next day.

After a short foot pursuit, police arrested Brown and took him to Burwood Police Station were he was charged.

Guilty

Brown has been in and out of court since and was today found guilty. He will front court again on 15 July 2020 for sentencing.

The incident follows a worrying spate of hit-and-run crashes leaving riders injured and dead.

In NSW, the requirement for those involved in a crash to remain at the scene until police arrive was dropped in 2014, even if a tow truck is required.

However, the motorists must report the incident to police and remain at the scene if anyone is injured.

If they don’t, police can charge a motorist with failing to stop at the scene of an accident which is considered a serious offence.

Depending on whether someone is injured or killed in the crash, the motorist responsible could face serious charges with up to 10 years in jail.

Police say motorists leaving an accident scene where someone is injured decrease a victim’s chance of survival.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Piaggio wins Chinese copycat case

Last year Italian motorcycle and scooter company Piaggio lost a landmark case against a Chinese company over a copycat scooter, but now it has won a similar case.

The first case against Zhejiang Zhongneng began in 2014 over a copy of their Vespa LX scooter which has been around since the end of World War II. 

But it wasn’t China that made the decision.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) ruled that the designs were significantly different and Zhejiang had not stolen any intellectual property.

Click here to read the ruling

Piaggio loses Chinese copycat casePiaggio left and Chinese copy right

Second copycat case

This time the EUIPO has ruled against Chinese scooter companies Motolux and Dayi Motor for their copycat design of the Vespa Primavera, registered in 2013.

The ruling says the EUIPO was “unable to elicit a general impression different from the registered design” of the Primavera. 

2018 Vespa Primavera 50 4T moped mopedsVespa Primavera

It’s a strategically important case, given the current trade wars with both the USA and Australia and political rhetoric over China.

The Communist Party of China has imposed hefty tariffs and threatened other measures on some Australian exports after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus outbreak.

Other Chinese copycats

There are many other cases where the Chinese have quite blatantly ripped off the designs of other models.

Check out some of our articles on this topic at the end of this article.

As an example, how about this BMW G 310 GS knockoff from Chinese company Everest.

Everest Kaiyue 400X knockoffEverest Kaiyue 400X

The Vietnamese are also in on the knockoff act with “Ducati” Monsters made by Quang Phuong Motor.

Trademark action

We are surprised that companies such as BMW and Ducati have not filed intellectual copyright breaches.

Honda and Yamaha have tried to fight Chinese manufacturers in the courts over breach of copyright.

However, it is a long process as there are hundreds of knockoff manufacturers.

Italian company Lambretta has also taken “strict” action against several companies for “free riding on the repute of Lambretta”.

They claim the global market is flooded with replicas of their classic scooters from China, India and Thailand.

The Chinese seem immune to international trade laws that bind other countries and their latest blatant ripoff is an electric Honda Goldwing.

We all know the Chinese make cheap copies of well-known brands and many of us probably have a Gucci belt made of plastic in a sweatshop in China.

However, they have also made a lot of copies of bigger and more expensive products such as cars.

Some of the cars these manufacturers have copied include the Range Rover Evoque, Smart ForTwo, Hummer, Porsche Cayman, Audi A6, Jeep Cherokee, BMW X1, Rolls-Royce Phantom and MINI Cooper.

Land Wind knockoff of the land Rover EvoqueLand Wind knockoff of the land Rover Evoque

Some car manufacturers tried to stop them copying their cars, but failed in an obstructive and partisan legal system, so they formed alliances with Chinese companies to make their products for the local market.

Like the car makers, Honda has formed an allegiance with one of the knockoff companies in China to make their bikes for the local market.

The pandemic has caused a severe setback to globalised manufacturers because of the al-pervasive Chinese element in their supply chain.

We wonder how many manufacturers will now source components from other countries other than China.

Japan is even given tax breaks to companies that remove Chinese components from their supply chain.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Can you identify this scooter thief?

Can you identify this scooter thief from the inset image of the man while riding in the back of a taxi?

Sunshine Coast detectives want to speak to him about the theft of a Suzuki UK110 scooter from outside a surf club at Coolum last week.

Just after 4pm last Saturday (9 May 2020), the man attended the surf club on David Low Way where he stole a silver 2015 Suzuki UK110 bearing Queensland registration 095QU.

Prior to this, the man attempted to steal a car from a house on First Avenue at Coolum Beach, just after 3.30pm.

The man was confronted by the residents and ran from the area.

He is described as Caucasian in appearance, of a solid build with short dark hair. He is also described as having New Zealand accent and wearing a black shirt and shorts at the time.

Anyone with information that could identify the man, or the whereabouts of the scooter, is urged to contact police.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP2000959139 within the online suspicious activity form.

Motorcycle and scooter theft rose more than any other category of vehicle last year with South East Queensland a hotspot for thieves.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Two drivers charged after rider fatals

Two drivers have been charged after separate Sydney crashes in the past couple of days that cost the lives of two riders.

A 24-year-old male motorcycle rider died at the scene of a crash with a Toyota Camry about noon yesterday (9 May 2020) on Soldiers Parade, outside Edmondson Park Railway Station.

The driver, a 37-year-old man, was taken to Liverpool Hospital for mandatory testing.

He was then taken to Liverpool Police Station where he  was charged with negligent driving occasioning death, and not give way at lights to oncoming vehicle (right turn).

The Edmondson Park man was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Liverpool Local Court on Monday 13 July 2020.

Investigations are continuing.

Second driver charged

A 22-year-old male driver has been charged after a fatal crash involving his Mitsubishi Challenger SUV and a Yamaha scooter in Sydney’s east on Friday (8 May 2020).

The crash occurred about 2pm at the intersection of Fitzgerald Ave and Bunnerong Rd, Eastgardens.

The scooter rider, a 29-year-old man, was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics, before being taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in a critical condition.

The Mitsubishi driver, a 22-year-old man, was arrested and taken to Prince of Wales Hospital for mandatory testing.

Officers from Eastern Beaches Police Area Command established a crime scene, which was examined by specialist police from the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit.

Investigators were later notified the rider had died in hospital.

The driver was taken to Maroubra Police Station and charged with negligent driving occasioning death.

He was granted conditional bail to appear before Waverley Local Court on Wednesday 29 July 2020.

Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

Our sincere condolences to the riders’ families and friends.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycling Mayor loses cancer battle

French-born Bertrand Cadart, 71, the scooter-riding Mayor who played Clunk in the first Mad Max movie and registered the first motorcycle-friendly municipality in Australia has sadly died in Queensland after a long fight with cancer.

Peter “The Bear” Thoeming wrote this article for us in May 2018 after he handed over his Honda SilverWing scooter, riding gear and the boots we wore as “Clunk” to the Swansea local history museum in Tasmania:

Since rolling ashore in Australia in 1972 aboard a BMW R 69 S, bought from the Gendarmes in New Caledonia, Le Frog (as he became affectionately known) has had a major impact on motorcycling in Australia. He worked as an on-air presenter for Radio Australia’s French-language programs for some years, but in 1976 he decided it was time to make it his life’s work to improve Australia’s motorcycling experience.

To sell the clever, effective fairings he had designed he launched his company La Parisienne. Its frog logo became well-known quickly, and his fairings found themselves fitted to a wide range of bikes. Keep in mind that few motorcycles came from the factory with fairings then, and there were few aftermarket options available. La Parisienne’s products made it more comfortable for many long-distance riders, including the author.

Bertrand didn’t stop there. He contacted Jean-Pierre Fournales in Toulouse, back in his native France, and arranged for the Australian distributorship of the oleopneumatic Fournales shock absorbers, which offer superior compliance and won’t bottom out. Does that sound like an advertisement? Well, we’ve tried them, and we would not go back to any other shocks. Harley-Davidson Softail riders especially have reason to be grateful to Jean-Pierre for adapting his original design fitted to the revolutionary Concorde supersonic aircraft. Bertrand imports the shocks to this day.

One of his many, and typically quirky, contributions to the Australian motorcycle scene was the introduction of the Lost Balls Rallies. Instead of the usual rally activities, these centered on a game of golf – but you could only bring three clubs, and you had to carry them on your bike. If you didn’t know one end of a club from the other, you could… throw the ball instead.

Motorcycle legend Bertrand Cadart hangs up his gearBertrand and author, The Bear

Director George Miller came to see Bertrand while he was trying to put together a low-budget film to be called “Mad Max”. He needed help with all sorts of bits and pieces, including the appearance of the bikes ridden by the Toecutter bikie gang which was a central part of the movie. Bertrand obliged with his iconic fairings and a lot more; in the end he even took a part in the film as bikie Clunk.

At the turn of the Century in a classic example of ‘cherchez la femme’, Bertrand followed a woman to Bicheno in Tasmania, and found his spiritual home. With a climate similar to France and an opportunity to become involved in civic life, he found Tasmania very much to his liking. He stood for the local council, was duly elected and not long afterwards, in 2007, became Mayor.

He also became a local, national and even international legend. For the locals he created a botanic garden and a boules pitch among many other innovations. Nationally, he turned Glamorgan Spring Bay into Australia’s first motorcycle friendly municipality. Internationally, he starred in European TV programs about Tasmania, and fostered close relations with New Caledonia, where he had served as a French Marine. It’s probably fair to say that he turned Glamorgan Spring Bay into the most famous Australian municipality in the entire world.

An expatriate Taswegian and personal friend, Stuart Strickland from Honda MPE Australia, saw the opportunity to do a good deed and get some publicity for one of the company’s models at the same time. He lent Bertrand that 600cc SilverWing scooter. Bertrand liked it so much that the municipality bought it. It became his mayoral transport and also internationally famous. Bertrand put 65,000 kilometres on the scooter and says “I’ve never enjoyed a ‘motorcycle’ more!” He even bought it from the municipality when his term as mayor ended. It’s probably best not to dwell on the speeds with which he visited meetings and other mayoral events.

Bertrand Cadart moved to Queensland three years ago to be closer to his family and continue his battle against leukaemia. He passed away on Good Friday.

Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Suzuki UK110 scooter horn recall

Suzuki Australia is recalling its more than 2000 UK110 scooters over an issue that could cause the horn to fail.

The official recall notice, issued through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, says the improper plating on the moveable contacts on the horn and starter switch, if continuously used, can allow dust or water to enter the switch block.

This could lead to corrosion on the contact surface of the terminals and cause the horn to stop operating correctly.

“The unit may not start, increasing the risk of an accident or injury to the rider and other road users,” it says.

Consumers will be contacted by Suzuki Australia in writing. Consumers with affected Scooters should contact their nearest authorised Suzuki dealer service department to arrange to have the recall carried out.

Consumers can visit http://www.suzukimotorcycles.com.au/dealers to find their nearest authorised Suzuki dealership.

Vehicle identification umbers of the affected 2014-19 scooters are from MH8DE111300100004 to MH8DE111300102403

Even though manufacturers and importers usually contact owners when a recall is issued, the bike may have been sold privately to a rider unknown to the company.

Therefore, Motorbike Writer publishes all motorcycle and scooter recalls as a service to all riders.

If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites:

• Australia

• USA

• New Zealand

• Canada

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson goes small in 2020

The world’s most iconic big-bike manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, is thinking small for 2020 with the launch of a small-capacity motorbike in China, electric bicycles and an electric scooter.

Baby Hog

Harley-Davidson HD350Harley-Davidson HD350

Last June Harley-Davidson announced plans for a joint venture with China’s Qianjiang to produce a motorcycle under their HD350 project, indicating a 350cc engine.

However, it could be even smaller as they now call it the HD338, presumably powered by the Benelli 338cc twin-cylinder engine from the Benelli 302S as Qianjiang also owns and makes the former Italian brand of motorcycle.

The baby Hog will hit the showrooms in China in June and India by the end of the year.

There is no word on whether it will be exported to any other markets, but we suspect it will be sold throughout Asia.

Harley-Davidson Australia says they won’t be coming here.

They aren’t the only mainstream motorcycle manufacturer with small designs on China.

A month after Harley announced its HD350 plan, Italian manufacturer MV Agusta confirmed they would make 350-500cc bikes and Ducati signed away its naming rights to Chinese scooters.

Electric bicycles

Harley electric bicycles sharing subHarley electric bicycle

Electric balance bikes for kids are already available in US stores.

They will soon be joined by pedal-assisted electric bicycles for bigger kids.

rude boy bicyclesHarley e-bikes

There is no word on these products coming to Australia yet.

Electric scooter

Harley electric LiveWire ID specsHarley electric scooter concept

We saw their electric scooter concept in Portland, Oregon, last year when we attended the world launch of their LiveWire electric motorcycle.

It was the same as the concept images from last January.

However, a new image (top of page) and patent plans have emerged showing a much more developed scooter with upside down forks and a removable battery.Harley-Davidson Scooter small

A removable battery is a smart move as many electric motorcycles and scooters are now considering them for either battery-swap vending machines or so riders can take them into thier home or office to charge inside.

Comment

We applaud Harley for branching out.

However, we wonder about the economic sustainability of low-margin smaller bikes.

They would need to sell these in very high volume.

If not, then it is just draining research and development funding from their core product.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Balancing scooter comes when you call

This balancing act will amaze your friends when you call your motorbike or scooter and it automatically comes to you from its parking space.

That’s a vision of the future from Indian company Liger Mobility who have developed a prototype self-balancing scooter that comes when you call it.

It basically uses voice activation like Siri and it self-balances via gyroscopes controlled by microprocessors.

Self-balancing prototypes

It’s not dissimilar to self-balancing prototypes already developed by Honda, BMW and Yamaha.

Honda's self-balancing motorcycle - short season damon last
Honda’s self-balancing motorcycle

However, this scooter goes further with the ability to come when called.

Apart from the carpark scenario, we can also see that this could be convenient for ageing riders or women riding in high heels who don’t want to get them dirty.Balancing scooter Liger Mobility

However, the Bombay start-up’s claims that it will somehow be safer seem spurious.

We’re not sure of the statistics, but we couldn’t imagine too many deaths from parking incidents or falling over when coming to a stop.

The balancing act a novel display and makes a great video, but surely the extra weight and expense of gyroscopes won’t make these self-balancing scooters and motorcycles commercially viable.

Liger Mobility think it will and say it will only increase the cost of an electric or petrol-powered scooter by 10%.

That’s 10% many might prefer to spend on protective clothing!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com