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November 18th, 2009
Despite the economic recession, over 450,000 people packed the halls at the 67th International Motorcycle & Scooter Show in Milan. This year there was no Honda, Yamaha or Italjet yet there was still much to see, evidence of which can be seen in our photos:
Here’s a brief run down of what we saw:
DOPPLER / TUN’R
BOOSTER-DRAG RX: Sporting more tuning and styling components than you can shake a stick at, Doppler in collaboration with BCD went the whole hog and transformed what was a humble MBK Booster into a work of art – this machine looks it’d be more at home in the Guggenheim museum than on a drag strip. That said, the engine appears built for speed and the lengthening and lowering suggests this scooter is designed for sprinting. Bolted on to a painted NRG Extreme crankcase is a polished Doppler S7R 70cc cylinder kit, Doppler crank, Doppler S3R inlet, Dell’Orto VHSH 30mm carb, Doppler white internal rotor system. Transmission has been beefed up with a Malossi Over Range variator, Doppler clutch, Malossi wing clutch bell. Doppler S3R chrome exhaust plus Doppler Evolution white silencer. And there’s more… Polished and painted MBK Nitro rims utilising Kiesler’s Piaggio/MBK rear wheel adaptor + Kiesler rear brake disc (Doppler 230mm front brake disc at the front). Painted Doppler forks, Doppler white racing handlebar and stem (polished) + prototype Doppler white/black grips, Tommaselli quick action throttle. Kiesler fuel tank, transparent cooling hoses, Tun’R twin headlights, BCD Limited Edition bodywork kit RX / Evolution. All very trick indeed.
BLACK & WHITE AEROX: In keeping with Doppler’s apparent mono theme is their ‘Black & White’ Yamaha Aerox which again showcases a whole host of Doppler and Tun’R goodies. Instantly recognisable are the forks, the Doppler white shock absorber and the S3R Evolution exhaust which has been varnised and fitted with a black silencer. The bodywork is predominantly Tun’R stuff, in fact it all is including the front mudguard and transparent black Lexus style brake light. The funky mirror, brake levers and alloy white kick starter are again made by Tun’R. The handlebar and stem are both from Doppler.
Italian brand Garelli presented the XO E hybrid scooter which features a more environmentally friendly electric/hybrid engine that could potentially be equipped to other scooters in the Garelli range. The display model showed electrical components hidden away under the footboards which means there’s still some storage space under the seat. The XO E hybrid features a Brushless DC motor (BLDC) fitted in the original crankshaft casing with a modified crankcase / drive pulley, and Lithium-Ion Polymer (Li-poly) batteries (which apparently lasts four hours) located under the foot boards behind the front leg shield. Garelli’s solution to the short battery range is a mini petrol-powered generator which can extend journey time by a further 58 miles before refuelling. While the use of fossil fuel kind of defeats the point of this being an eco-friendly scooter it’s certainly better than being left stranded without any power.
If maxi-scooters and tuned four-strokes are your thing, then Gilera’s Trofeo 839cc GP800 should be of interest… Spec as follows: Ported engine, larger intake/exhaust valves and a larger throttle body. Improved air flow, K&N air filter. Rapid Bike II remapped ECU. Transmission mods include a lightened and tuned variator, lightened and tuned clutch, lightened drum clutch, D.I.D ERV3 520 size final drive chain, a 49-tooth ergal rear sprocket and an OEM front sprocket modified to 520 size. The exhaust system is made from steel and carbon and dyno tuned and flowed by FF FRESCO. To match the performance of the bike, the handling of the GP800 has been improved with an adjustable front fork made by Alex Racing Suspension and an adjustable MUPO rear shocker again by Alex Racing. Stopping power has been improved with PT evo II oversize master cylinders front and rear and sintered brake pads. Finally, the seat has been modified for racing and is the work of Gabriele Musco. We’d love to see the bike in action.
The Lambretta Pato 125N mock-up that was on display at EICMA looked more retro than other so-called ‘retro’ scooters out there on the streets. This new Pato is apparently due to arrive on the Italian market by May 2010. If Motom hadn’t won the legal battle which allowed them to put a Lambretta badge on the Pato then I wonder if we’d show as much interest in this scooter? Well we think it looks pretty sleek even though the mock-up may appear to be nothing more than a Chinese engine/frame with plastic bodywork.
Piaggio may have a contender on their hands with Peugeot’s electric three-wheeled concept ‘Hybrid3 Evolution’, “evolution” seemingly being the latest buzz word in the scooter scene. It’s a 300cc machine utilising what appears to be Peugeot’s existing supercharger. Zero emissions too. The model (and the machine) certainly seemed to get a lot of interest at the show. Also on display at the Peugeot stand was the e-Vivacity concept scooter, another ‘greener’ scooter equipped with Lithium-Ion batteries.
Piaggio presented a gas-electric concept scooter at EICMA – the ‘USB’ (Urban Sport Bike). Designed by Marco Lambri at Piaggio’s Pontedera Style Centre, the USB has a distinct futuristic look about it with its flowing lines and Persil white cleanness. But like many concept bikes, you just know the machine won’t ever hit the streets, however the design ideas and the styling may eventually filter down into production models. As it turns out the technology inside the USB has already been incorporated by Piaggio in the MP3 Hybrid which was also on display at EICMA. The USB runs on a gas-electric hybrid system which utilises lithium polymer batteries to power an electric motor attached to the rear wheel. The electric power is mated with an internal combustion engine. Surprisingly the USB’s gas engine is a direct-injection two-stroke as opposed to the MP3 Hybrid’s four-stroke engine. Performance claims aren’t much to shout about with a top speed of 62mph. Eco-friendliness and fuel economy are the main selling points for the machine, Piaggio claim you can get 155mpg out of the bike and running on battery power alone the USB can be ridden at an average speed of 37mph for 31 miles.
Polini displayed their latest ‘evolutionary’ exhaust to complement their new 94cc Big Evolution cylinder kit evidence of which could be seen fitted to the Team Zocchi sprinter they had on display at the show. Our friends at Polini tell us that the new Big Evolution setup is capable of a massive 33bhp, that’s three more than the Malossi rival. Speed capabilities weren’t available even with reference to the sprinter, but everyone was smiling so we think there might be more surprises to come. Big Evolution products will be available from July 2010 we’re told, we think it’ll be worth it.
For lovers of traditional scooters the most notable scooter on display from Vespa at EICMA 2009 was the GTS 300 SuperSport. Fashionistas will be interested to know that a 300cc Vespa GTV “Via Montenapoleone” version is due in 2010. This version is named after the street in Milan made famous for its fashion boutiques. Distinguishing features on this model apart from the Via Montenapoleone badge are the five-spoke wheels which have been chrome-plated, ‘naked’ handlebars, two-seater saddle and the headlight on the front mudguard.
Words, Photos & Video: Paul Robinson