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Starring parts
Mar. 6, 2010, 9:51 AM

As you might have noticed, there is a “Starred star” parts menu item now.

Basically we redid our bookmarks feature to make it more in keeping with systems people are familiar with from Gmail and Firefox and such. If you want to save certain parts for later just click the empty star star and you can then see them all together on the Starred parts page each visit.


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More emails
Feb. 8, 2010, 10:39 AM

A couple recent emails, the first a quick update that Tony O'Brien's gorgeous new website is almost done - love the logo - which details his SS90 Green Hornet BSSO racing efforts. We are a proud sponsor of Tony's scooter.

Here's a nice email from Javier in Spain:

Hi ScootRS.

First of all, thanks for your work at ScootRS, I like it very much. Good service indeed!!

Much appreciated, glad you think so.

And finally, an opinion about forums and why intelligent and civil discussion has pretty much been destroyed everywhere:

I think the main problem on the forums are the so called “internet Gods”, always happy to take a new product apart and pick faults and openly criticize anyone who doesn't share their views.

I do share your unpopular view that the rules are different for faulty parts coming out of England, I remember a post about a big English dealer (...) That one was proved but was quietly brushed under the carpet!

The problems usually start with someone who hasn't bothered to contact the supplier about a supposed fault and goes straight onto the web to vent any frustrations, the internet gods jump on the bandwagon and everything snowballs from there. The supplier sees the posts by chance a few days later and the damage has mostly been done.

I wouldn't lose any sleep over it, it's only a few people banging out the same dribble... It doesn't matter how you reply to something like that, none of the internet gods will back down.

We always thought that there could be some reserve for intelligent and civil discussion in scootering, as in other fields of life, and enjoyed helping people with questions. But it seems that most forums are slowly taken over by double standards and a search-and-destroy gang mentality.

Being in Asia it is particularly noticeable. Western companies can reply half a year after many posted safety incidents and say they know nothing about it, have not contacted posters, and will just wait for any direct reports to send replacements each time and that is applauded. An Asian company with only 1 or 2 posted incidents over many years quickly replies and discusses their matter if raised, yet is attacked endlessly as a dangerous, uncaring menace. If they disagree with any extreme conclusions or bizarre rumors they are savaged as liars - and when they don't reply they are condemned as deceptive and worse. By the exact same people applauding the Western companies.

Even a Western journalist one would assume had been trained to be unbiased will say nothing against Western products while campaigning daily on forums against Asian products with far fewer incidents, or write an article strongly warning people against buying an item from Asia labeled for “show”, saying it will violate your insurance, then turn around 180 degrees on a forum and applaud a Western company as responsible for doing the exact same thing.

If you dare point out that a double standard and a scorched-earth approach is not helpful to anyone, well, good god, you'd think a state enemy had walked into the room with a lit fuse.

That is basically how all forums are ruined. A small group given free rein or even encouraged by the admin starts to shout down anyone who doesn't bow to a certain orthodoxy, everyone reasonable slowly leaves as things get worse and worse, shops can no longer participate unless blessed by the loudest group, the quality of information degrades and finally few turn there anymore in their search for good unbiased help. (The once popular ISBBS is a perfect example, and lucky to get a few posts a day now.) All quite sad really when everyone started out wanting to help.


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Orders and borders: Project South America
Feb. 1, 2010, 7:24 PM

It's always fun checking the parts orders to see where they come from. Currently sitting in the inbox from today are orders from Italy, Israel, England, The Philippines, Austria, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, etc.

We even created an image that gets updated regularly with the countries we have shipped to:

The ScootRS world map

French Polynesia? Who'd a thunk it?

OK, we'll probably never ship to most of Africa, and not many Vespas in the Middle East, but what we'd really like to see soon is South America filled in. OK, Guyana and Suriname, we understand, we'll give you some time to put together an order, but Bolivia and Venezuela? You guys are causing very big holes in our map.

So, if you are the first person to order from any country in South America we haven't shipped to before, we'll give you a 20% discount on your parts! Just mention this blog post in your comment and we'll refund 20% of the parts cost afterward for you!

Surely Hugo has a nephew with a scooter, no? Maybe he'll put it on his TV show. (Seriously, go watch that documentary.)


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Philippines scooterist email
Jan. 23, 2010, 4:40 PM

Nice email from the Philippines today:

Thanks for the update. Just got the stuff today and really pleased with you guys!

Thanks a lot :) Will order more in the future.

Great! Glad you like the scooter parts.


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Exceptional?
Jan. 20, 2010, 2:39 PM

Nice comment we came across:

Don't ever buy a vintage scooter (especially online) without it being checked out by a reputable scooter mechanic - there are a lot of vintage Vespa or Lambretta scooters that are refurbished in Vietnam that look great, but are very dangerous to ride and will breakdown quickly.

There is one online refurb company based in Vietnam (Scootrs.com) that is the exception - they do a great job and are great for parts or bikes.

Read more about local Vietnam scooters and see some photos of what he's talking about.


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The Green Monster Vespa VLB Sprint
Jan. 12, 2010, 9:46 AM

The Green MonsterWell, maybe the little green monster?

Either way, here are a couple photos from the shop of a Vespa VLB Sprint scooter we're just finishing. It has a tuned exhaust, 24mm PWK carb, reed-valve, race seat, and pretty damn awesome looking paint. (A request to use a custom color from before.)

The stripes are our inhouse Vespa legshield race stripes which you can add to your classic or modern Vespa and come in various colors. Nice, huh?

Use the links to build your own little monster at home.


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See the advert that Scootering Magazine doesn't want you to see
Jan. 7, 2010, 10:16 PM

What do you think about censorship and important scooter consumer information being hidden from you?

Martin Round, aka “Sticky”, is a reporter at Scootering who often posts on forums about his safety concerns. Here are a few questions for him:

Sticky, do you find it troublesome that your magazine Scootering and its parent, Morton's, are refusing adverts that enhance public scooter safety knowledge?

Why is your magazine refusing to run simple comparison adverts that show side-by-side photos of unpainted disc brakes for sale: our high pressure cast ones compared to sand cast brakes (inboard/outboard/Vespa/Lambretta)?

The advert ran in Scooterist Scene, but apparently some advertisers didn't like the public having that information presented so clearly. Hmmm. But now your magazine and Scene won't run it.

Suddenly it was claimed that naming competitors is not allowed in the ASA advert guidelines, which we found was not true when we looked it up. In actual fact, it is highly encouraged:

18 Comparisons with identified competitors and or their products

18.1 Comparative claims are permitted in the interests of vigorous competition and public information. They should neither mislead nor be likely to mislead.

18.2 They should compare products meeting the same needs or intended for the same purpose.

18.3 They should objectively compare one or more material, relevant, verifiable and representative features of those products, which may include price.

Then after taking weeks to come up with “truthfulness” (everything checked out) and “denigration”, they finally told us they had to find a solution "with the least commercial problems". They refused to run the advert again unless we did NOT name competitors.

The advert Scootering Magazine doesn't want you to seeOK, we weren't happy but we went along and censored it but then - even after we covered up all competitor names and instead invited people to our site to "uncover" them -, they still refused to run it except they now completely refuse to say why not naming competitors is no longer enough, or even to explain their policies in general, or what graphics we can use, or anything about it. Literally, they will NOT explain why with even one sentence, as though it were a secret.

(If you dare, click the thumbnail above to see the full advert you're not supposed to see. Then find out what is being covered up by clicking this thumbnail.)

Sticky, why is your magazine, Scootering, and its parent refusing adverts that enhance public scooter safety knowledge, refusing to say why, and worrying about “commercial problems” instead of the public interest?

How do you feel about that given your connection to the magazine and safety concerns?

Can you or anyone explain what your company policies are?

At Scootering, does commercial interest come first or public interest?

Does Scootering often censor stories or adverts? On what basis?

Is this sensitive information Scootering doesn't want mentioned in your magazine? For your big expose on poor quality copy parts, we provided a UK shop contact with direct experience of serious incidents with the sand cast copy brakes. Seemed a perfect fit, but no mention of it appeared. (You did manage an entire article promoting a UK disc brake vis-a-vis an Asian one earlier.)

Why exactly does your magazine think that this information must be hidden from the public? Do you agree?

Finally, does your magazine and parent company punish people like us who publicly ask a question just so we can find out what the heck is going on? ;-)


So far Sticky is refusing to answer any questions or offer any help saying he doesn't “directly” work at the magazine, though he is paid by them and has appeared in the magazine every month for years. We'll update if we receive any help from him or the magazine.


Excerpted words from the race track today:

ScootRS external disc brakes are the main “benchmark” external disc in the BSSO race series, between myself and race team colleague Dave Crampton we have three ScootRS discs fitted to our race and road scooters and have always found them to be great quality.

With regard to things like brakes, you have to make a careful choice! It's pretty easy to see from the pictures on the ScootRS “censored” advert that there can be big differences in the castings of different brands. But I guess it's just difficult to make that point without showing pictures of different products!


Update: This issue was resolved and a modified version of our quality comparison advert was printed showing our high-pressure cast brake kits side-by-side with weaker sand cast units for sale.


Note that a fake story has now been posted by Martin Round, aka “Sticky”, a reporter at Scootering, claiming that, to make them safe, we have had to redo our tubeless rims. The story is completely false (as were his recent scary predictions of “bad batches” of dangerous “Asian” parts showing up in our disc kits). The next batch will be ready shortly with no noteworthy design changes at all so as to continue the impressive safety record they've proven over 4 years on both the road and race track.

[SRP Racetech race team, BSSO:] I finished the season by winning the Group 6 Championship. Ralph & I also won the Group 8 & Overall Sidecar Championship. There has been much interest in your tubeless rims, of which I cannot sing their praises enough.

It is an unfortunate that, when asked simple questions and for help getting safety information into his magazine, “Sticky”, the answer-demanding journalist and forum safety-warrior, refused to answer any questions or offer any help. He has, however, lashed out with petty personal attacks and increasing vehemence at repeated evidence that he employs a double-standard against Asian products, complaining that it is unfair, rather than take it constructively and improve his “product”. Apparently journalists aren't very happy when the tables are turned.


Update: We were later asked by Scootering Magazine if we could hide this post from the public.


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2010 Scooter Calendar
Dec. 29, 2009, 8:50 AM

2010 Scooter Calendar We just got word that our 2010 Scooter Calendar is printed and will be delivered today! We always leave it to the last minute.

Our 2010 Scooter Calendar is one of the nicest classic scooter calendars you'll see! It pairs two of the top fashion models in all of Vietnam with beautiful Vespa and Lambretta restored scooters in four locations.

This year's calendar is a 12 page desktop calendar on high quality glossy paper. It's actually a 14 month calendar, so you can use it into Jan. of the next year.

It's the hottest thing in scootering after the sparkplug! And only $1/month!

(Of course, like always, orders over $100 will get a free calendar.)


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We're getting boring
Dec. 28, 2009, 11:54 AM

Customer email today from Italy about our service:

Thanks, you are great... so good it starts to be boooooring!!!

Ciao

That's what we're aiming for on the service side, boredom: Click, pay, send, “Hey, look my scooter parts arrived.”

Right after the above email we got another, this one from someone who extensively restored his own Vespa VBB Sportique from top to bottom:

Before and after Vespa Sportique Hi, I just want to let you know that I have finished my Vespa Sportique and would like to thank you and all the staff for making it possible.

Please visit my blog @ vbb-vespa.blogspot.com, you can use any thing off the site if you want.

Thanks again

Be sure to check out all the photos there. Impressive work, including welding in a new floorboard!


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Santa scoots
Dec. 25, 2009, 5:36 AM

Santa Vespa


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