11 August 2011

The Crazy World of Scooters

We could blame LML for where we are at the moment. At the beginning of the 21st century, the Indian company saw a market for the classic P-Series design. They snazzed it up a bit with some funky colours, slashed the price (relatively easily done when the scooters are made in India), tweaked the exhaust (to make it compliant with European emissions laws) and sold thousands of them around the world.

Piaggio soon realised this but before it could do anything in reply, LML came out all guns blazing with a preemptive strike - LML did the impossible. Well, at least in 2-stroke classic scooter terms. In late 2009, the Kanpur-based company launched a 4-stroke version of the classic scooter and by Spring 2010, the 4-stroke machines, for better or for worse, were making headlines in Europe. Emissions issues effectively solved and LML looked set to re-enter countries where 2-stroke machines had been completely banned.

Six months later, the much awaited reply from Pontodera finally came with a re-release of the PX. Disappointingly, other than a few cosmetic changes and the addition of a catalytic converter (to comply with emissions laws), Piaggio didn't add much and were seen as choosing the lazy option. Unfortunately for Piaggio, LML weren't actually done just yet.

As soon as they launched their 125cc and 150cc versions of their 4-stroke engines there were rumours going around that they were planning on coming up with a 200cc version (250cc even if you believe some rumours) of the steel-bodied scooter and last month the rumours proved to be true. In Ireland, orders were already being taken for the 200cc LML.

Not wanting to be outdone by LML once again Piaggio are seemingly looking to get their own 4-stroke version. But only in 125cc and 150cc versions. Whether true or not, this piece of news can only be good for the world of scooters.

Then there's the crazy goings on with the other crowd that's looking to re-launch the Lambretta.

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