Find a job you love & you'll never work a day in your life!

A wise woman once said to me,

'Find a job you love doing and you'll never have to work a day in your life'.

How very true!

Enter......SCOOTISIMO :)

About 3 and a half years ago I decided to start a new business venture, one that I would enjoy working in and maybe earn me some moolah along the way. I decided my business vision needed to be simple, to provide other scooter riders with parts at a much cheaper price than they were currently paying. To me, it felt like people were being punished for having an interest in old scooters, in that the parts were as dear as poison, if in fact you could find them! It also occurred to me that this might be keeping people off scooters, classic ones anyway. I knew a couple of people with old scoots in their shed that couldn't do anything to them because of the lack of decent parts or they just couldn't afford them anyway. A very counter productive industry in my opinion.

I had bought an old VBC and was finding it hard to find parts for, well, parts in my budget range. I started ringing around the scooter shops to feel my way a little. I discovered that parts were available and mostly aftermarket stuff as Piaggio stopped making the genuine stuff many many years ago. There are a handful of manufacturers in Italy and Europe, cranking out good quality stuff but I just couldn't afford their parts so went looking elsewhere. I emailed many shops and dealers all over the world, slowly compiling a list of the better known and trusted parts suppliers. I rang the international suppliers and during long winded passionate conversations about old scooters managed to glean a bit more info here and there before discovering one final fact. It started to dawn on me that many roads in the scooter parts world lead to India. I jumped on the net and started some investigations. I bought parts initially from a manufacturer in New Delhi, and even though they suited the budget they turned out to be pretty damn average but we live and learn.

Side Note- it's here that I apologise to some of my earlier customers for some of the inferior products I had in won't happen again folks- I guarantee that!

The next supplier I went to was a bit more expensive but parts were getting better, and to cut a very long and tedious story short, after 3 years of searching and climbing I made it to the top of the pile.

I now buy my parts from one of the very same companies stocking the shelves of shops like:

Beedspeed in the UK, Seventies Scooters in France, Thai Charoen in Bangkok, Lambretta Teile in Germany, Eddy Bullet & Lambretta Cottage in the UK, just to name a few. I will be offering new stock in about 4 weeks and will be adding an order form to the website so stay tuned and thanks for your support.

Asian Scooter Restorations. The BIG Picture!

When I was searching online for my first scooter a few years back, it became very apparent to me that beautiful classic old Vespas and Lambrettas were being ripped apart and 'modernised' for convenience in all corners of Asia to feed the ever burgeoning appetite for classic scooters in the western world.

I've talked about this before on this blog, it's a big part of my life as I get so many emails from people needing help with parts for their scooters. They've spent upwards of $4000 by the time they get it here from god knows where in Asia and don't really want to spend much more but need to get it running. It's Catch 22 alright! "Do I suck it up and live with the fact that I just spent $4000 on a shiny useless paperweight with wheels or, do I spend more hard earned cash on replacement parts and try and get it registered?

Nicnamed Vietbodges, Vietscoots and Frankenscoots, they are classics hacked to death for a few thousand dollars.

But what burns me is, if you stop for a minute and think about the big picture here, it's heartbreaking and extremely scary. Think about all of the consequences of 'restoring' a classic scooter in Asia.

Old Vespas, many of which have been ridden around Asia for the last 40 years have all of a sudden become hip and trendy in the western world. We see them, we fall in love with them and for whatever other reason, we go in search of our dream. Maybe its for the cheaper fuel, to relive the Mod days or, damn it... just for fun! :)

The Asian chop shop owners see their prey and pounce. They're pulling the classics off the road to flog to us at an alarming rate. They rip all the genuine parts off to 'modernise' them and after covering them in shiny badly chromed after market parts, they flip them to unsuspecting westerners online who've fallen in love with 8 or so pictures of a shiny piece of poo they'll never be able to get registered.
So have you ever wondered what happens to the original parts? If not binned or able to be restored they are sold on. I know a dealer in India who buys entire vintage engines for scrap, or he'll send 100 of the 'better' engines to Thailand to be patched and bodged for the next Ebay sale. A tragic ending for a classic old scooter.

When the scooters are stripped in Asia, they are also often welded and bogged up to cover 40 years of dents and dings, sometimes even to disguise them as a rarer model.

Get a load of these pieces of faked poo

This first one from a dealer in Melbourne, a car dealer trying to make more cash it seems! the other pic from scooterbbs.

People with no idea are sucked in every day to the tune of thousands of dollars. As you'd expect, life in Asia can be rough for an old scooter. You can also imagine some of the patch up welds and bog that are found on Asian 'restored' scooters. I will always use that term very very loosely, I prefer to call it "restored to death". Some of these old scooters are bastardised so much during the process they can never be registered for road use in the countries they are destined for. Buyers of these scooters from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ to name a few, find it extremely difficult to get them on the road as the registration specifications for road use in some of these countries are quite stringent. This is of no concern to Mr. Hu Flung Dung of course, the Asian scooter chop shop owner with the big smile on this face. They get paid and are laughing all the way to the bank. They might be lucky enough to repeat the whole process a few times before having to pack up and move shop when things get a bit heated. How hard would it be to find a particular dealer in Ho Chi Minh City when you've been sucked in and bought a dodgey scooter from the other side of the world. I often wonder how many times this scenario has played out all over the world? It's probably not that appropriate but I become more angry at the loss of the old scooters than I do feeling sorry for the people who lost money.

There has to be hundreds, if not thousands of old scooters lying in sheds all over the planet, unable to be ridden or registered, they are gone forever, restored to death.

The saga continues...

I haven't been spending much time in the shed due to the weather and STILL waiting for the 'handyman' to fix the potbelly stove chimney so I can stoke it up and stay warm out there. I am an eternal optimist and when he said he'd be here 3 weeks ago, I believed him :)

This week I've had new guttering on 2 sides of the house installed and 2 rather large trees in my front yard lopped off to keep them away from the power lines so that's enough excitement and money out of the piggy bank for now! **gulp**

Hopefully this project doesn't get any bigger than it looks at the moment because after the recent steady stream of workman through this place, there's not much left in the piggy!

{I will be adding pics here of latest finds...stay tuned!}