Friday, April 28, 2006

New Kymco Xciting 250 is here!

We just received our shipment of 250cc scooters from Kymco, including the B&W 250, Grand Vista 250, People 250 and the NEW Xciting 250!

Built for luxury cruising/touring, the Xciting 250 offers a liquid cooled 250cc engine, automatic CVT transmisson for smooth acceleration, riding on 15" front and 14" rear tires, mounted on sporty alloy rims. Braking duties are handled by twin front and rear hydraulic disc brakes. With the adjustable backrest, 4 position adjustable brake levers the XCiting 250 will fit all size riders, and there's plenty of room for two - with a view!

Perfect for those of you looking to commute to work, the proven 250cc liquied cooled Kymco engine is very capable of highway speeds, and gets 65+ miles per gallon. All the capabilities of a highway motorcycle, in a lighter more nimble package, with ample storage space.

We're XCITED about this scoot! At over $600 less than the the Honda Reflex, the Xciting 250 doubles Honda's warranty with a 2 year limited warranty. Compare the scoots, read over the specs, we think the new Kymco XCiting 250 should give the Reflex a run for it's money.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

High Gas Prices Got You Down?

Ride a Scooter! With most scooters getting upwards of 65 miles per gallon, a scooter will more than pay for itself in gas savings in 1-2 years.

The 4 speed manual transmission Bajaj Chetak advertises up to 100 miles per gallon! While most SUV owners are putting out $50-$70 to fill up their tanks once a week, most scooterists are filling up for $5-$7 a week.

Still stuck with your SUV? Here are the stations with the lowest gas prices in or near Philadelphia.

Check out this nifty Gas Budget Calculator, buy a scooter and figure how much $$$ you can save.

...and don't forget the scooter fun factor. Priceless.

Why we don't sell "EBAY" drop-shipped scooters!

We sell name brand scooters that we have ridden, tested and serviced. We are always evaluating new scooters to sell, and have found that the quality of many no-name scooters manufactured in mainland China, sold on "Ebay" and "drop-shipped" to your door are of poor quality.

Cheap scooters are exactly that - cheap. When comparing no-name "Ebay" scooters side by side with a Kymco, Genuine or TGB for instance, every single part, from the hose clamps and screws holding the body panels, to the metallurgy of the engine cylinder and cases are of inferior quality.

This picture is of a 4 stroke 250cc liquid cooled engine from a scooter we tested, and that many internet dealers are now selling. The exhaust valve broke off inside the engine, clanked all around resulting in what you see in the picture. The cylinder itself is also cracked. This one blew up on us on US Rte. 95 near Philly. Needless to say, we do not sell this scooter even though the price is low and the margins high.

The quality of Chinese scooters will definitely get better, but our opinion is that they're just not there yet. The current problem is simply that many factories are hastily put up with no manufacturing experience, the workers poorly trained, and they have no concept of quality control. Many internet dealers are simply ordering scooters from these factories at the lowest possible price.

Many "Ebay" scooter sellers are unlicensed and inexperienced, simply working out of their garages or cheap warehouses looking to "cash in" on the scooter upswing. Parts are unavailable, there is no tech help, and many of these scooters cannot be legally registered or insured. This business model is definitely more profitable than the brick and mortar shops like ourselves.

That being said, many of the major motorcycle/scooter manufacturers are outsourcing to mainland China, to take advantage of the lower labor costs. Yes, we do sell on Ebay (usually pick up only), and a few "Made in China" scooters, but only from licensed, reputable distributors with good support and part availability. From you local dealer, you get a fully prepped and tested scooter, and not a scooter in a big box without the front wheel on, that doesn't start or run.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Brands We Sell

So what brands do we sell?

Our main line is Kymco, who have been manufacturing scooters in Taiwan since 1963. Up until 1995, Kymco was a Honda joint venture, and still share some engineering collaboration. Kymco manufactures modern automatic transmission scooters from 49cc to 500cc. Kymco scooters come with a 2 year warranty, and parts are readily available. In the 4 years we've been selling them, we've only had 3 or 4 minor warranty claims.

The Kymco People 150 is one of our favorite scooters. Fantastic power to weight ratio, sharp handling, fast and bulletproof reliable. Kymco scooters are priced usually about $1000 less than a comparable Vespa, and we feel they are the best value for the money in the scooter market today. The scooters are well designed and have a fun factor that can only come from a well built and well engineered scooter. We like to say the Kymco is the Honda/Acura of the scooter world.

Bajaj is India's second largest scooter/motorcycle manufacturer and was a Piaggio licensee, producing Vespas for the Indian market. The Bajaj Chetak is a steel bodied scooter, based on the Vespa Rally/Sprint models of the late 60's, that comes with a 4 speed manual transmission and an updated 4 stroke engine, Having been manufactured for over 30 years, the proven design offers a solid, reliable scooter. Indian families have been known to ride the same Chetak for well over 20 years!

TGB, or Taiwan Golden Bee, was also a Vespa licensee (Vespa is "wasp" in Italian) that produced Vespa parts in Taiwan. TGB still makes most of the CVT automatic transmission for the new Piaggio and Vespa scooters. The Key West, is a 49cc with fat knobby tires, much like the Yamaha Zuma. The Laser series comes in 49cc and 151cc versions with 13" wheels and is a modern sporty looking scoot. The 151cc is a light nimble scoot, and our friends at Javaspeed are racing it this season. We just started carrying this line, and we've been very pleased so far. Prices are a few hundred less than Kymco. The Brits call TGBs "Terribly Good Bikes".

GENUINE SCOOTERS STELLA, America's favorite new Classic. Almost identical to the Vespa PX150, the Stella comes with upgrades like a reed valve induction, Grimeca front disc brake and gas charged Bitubo shocks. How similar are the PX 150 and Stella? Check out our friends at Provoscooter who provide a side by side comparison: Genuine Stella vs. Vespa PX150 . Watch for the new Genuine Scooters My Buddy and Black Cat, coming soon!

Genuine Scooters are sold at our NEW LOCATION!- HADDONFIELD SCOOTERS, located at 134 N. Haddon Ave., Haddonfield, NJ 08033.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

"Do You Sell Vespa?"

"Do you sell Vespa?". A very common question when people visit us at the shop. The answer is yes and no. We do sell and service used and vintage Vespas, but we mostly sell new scooters from just about every other major scooter brand other than Vespa. Many of the name brands we do sell were once Piaggio (Vespa) joint ventures - LML that produces the Stella, still makes many Vespa parts, Bajaj was also once a Piaggio partner, and TGB (Taiwan Golden Bee - Vespa is "wasp" in Italian). Kymco was part of Honda for over 30 years.

Turning 60 this year, Vespa was created in 1946 by Enrico Piaggio, an aircraft manufacturer looking for new postwar markets. Since then Vespa has manufactured scooters in over 180 countries in the world, and became a cultural icon of the 60's "Mod" movement in Great Britain. La dolce vita for Vespa at 60

Vespa was first sold in the US through Sears, and badged as an "Allstate" in the 1950's. Vespa continued sales until the 80's when California's pollution control laws forced Piaggio to cease sales in the US.

In 1999 with a great marketing push, Vespa returned to the US with the "boutique concept" touting the "Vespa Lifestyle" and positioning the brand as the high end scooter. Piaggio's latest push is aimed at selling Vespas (and Piaggio owned Aprilia and Moto Guzzi) through large multi-line European motorcycle dealerships. We'll see if these larger Motorcycle dealerships can offer the care and service Vespa scooter enthusiasts expect.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


With gas prices rising, and all the scooter related web sites on the internet, it's time to start our own blog to share our experiences at Philadelphia Scooters.

This is our shop's 4th season, and we hope to share our ideas and information about new scooters, the latest products and gadgets, random scooter related stuff, and a bit about what it's like to run a scooter shop in South Philly.

We've ridden, tested, sold and serviced all brands of scooters, from Kymco, Vespa, Bajaj, Stella, TGB, TNG, Yamaha and Honda, to cheap "Chinese" scooters and Vietnam/Indonesian/Indian Vespa restorations. We'll tell you what we've seen and what we've learned, so scooterists make informed decisions when purchasing a new scooter.

So stay tuned for our regular posts, or stop by the shop. We're located at 1737 E. Passyunk Avenue, (between 12th & 13th Sts.) about 5-6 blocks south of Pat & Geno's Steaks, across from Marra's Italian restuarant.

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