Saturday, July 26, 2008

Two wheels - better than four

Fuelproof Your Summer

Two wheels - better than four

With his black-and-red armored jacket and rally buttons across his chest, Bart Weitzman, 51, could be mistaken for a typical biker. He does own a vintage Honda motorcycle, but it's his white 1973 Vespa Sprint 150 that has stolen his heart.

"I get my ya-yas off going 30 to 60 miles per hour - Yee-haw!" Weitzman said by phone from his home in Rydal, Montgomery County .

Weitzman is a member of the Hostile City Scooter Club, a group of local scooter enthusiasts.

His Vespa gets 55 miles per gallon, he said. Compared to his Toyota Sienna, which takes $75 to fill up, it costs Weitzman only a few bucks to fill his scooter's 2.1-gallon gas tank, he said.

That fuel efficiency, scooter-sellers say, is bringing more people through the doors.

Larry Wang, 43, owner of Philadelphia Scooters in South Philly, said business has increased at least 150 percent this year. Wang is having trouble keeping the store's most popular brand, the Genuine Buddy, in stock, he said.

Scooters average between 65 and 75 miles per gallon, Wang said, but he claims that the KYMCO Agility was once recorded to get 114 miles per gallon on a trip.

Vespa Philadelphia is also experiencing a major boost in sales, said general manager Ginger Knight. The store has been on Spring Garden Street since June of 2007, Knight, 30, said. Knight, who used to work at the Washington, D.C. , store, said that Vespa has experienced a 200 percent increase in sales since last year.

"Anybody who walks in could be a buyer, where before you could tell who would buy," she said.

Knight said she asks customers why they need the bike and what roads they plan to take, because not all scooters can go on highways.

Most motor-driven cycles come with certificates stating whether they meet highway guidelines, but each state has its own laws. In Pennsylvania, for example, you don't need a motorcycle license if your scooter engine is under 50 cubic centimeters, meaning it exceede 40 mph. You do have to have a driver's license, though. But New Jersey requires a motorcycle license no matter what.

One major headache for scooter riders has been parking. According to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, scooters must be parked next to bicycle racks or within the property line of a building, which normally means right beside the wall. They also can be parked in parking spaces, but they cannot be chained to parking meters.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Philadelphia Scooters is proud to sponsor the 8th Annual Philadelphia Independence Day Scooter Rally, July 3-6, 2008!

For more info and registration please go to


Thursday 7/03

Location: Curt and Jeff's lovely home in Fishtown map.
Geiger’s Punk rock DJ Night at Lickety Splits on 4th and South Streets

Friday 7/04

11 am-1:30 pm
Free pizza lunch and snacks. Sponsored by the Royal Bastards SC and Philadelphia Scooters Inc.
Location: Fountain at Passyunk Ave and Tasker St in South Philly map.
2 rides depart
  • Tedford's City Ride to Fort Mifflin
  • Heather and Jaime's Annual Scavenger Hunt Ride
Karaoke That Doesn't Suck with Sara Sherr!
Registration and fun!
Drink Specials
Location: 12 Steps Down map
Late night ride

Saturday 7/05

10:30 am -1pm
Free breakfast
Location: Vespa Philadelphia map
2 rides leave
  • Sarah and Sean's Long-ish Adventure Ride
  • Shopping Ride around town
3:30 pm
Meet back at Vespa for free lunch!
Dance Party at the Barbary map
The Ten Commandments: 60's Soul, Reggae and Ska.
Free admission with rally wristband
Late night ride

Sunday Morning 7/06

10 am
Breakfast: $10 for all you can eat buffet
Hugs and Kisses
Location: Cousin's Coffee Shop in South Philly map

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