The Golden Monkey

GoldenMonkeyBike_HeroThe Honda Monkey Bike is an iconic design in its own right. It’s no Lambretta, but the funky monkey is the original funky moped. This one, a Z50JT – is a bit special. It’s a limited “Gold Edition” bike from 1996 and described as being in ‘perfect’ condition.

This bike played a part in the Jamiroquai music video for Seven Days in Sunny June, so if you get it, you’re buying a small part of music history!

On eBay £5,999 here.

Of course, Lambretta fans will know Lambretta produced their own Golden Special, and I’d be remiss in not linking to it 🙂

iPhone dock Scooter Speedo

Electric Scooter iPod dockFirstly, this was my idea… right. Someone has gone into my brain, probably while I was asleep… and nicked it. But mine was built into a Lambretta dashboard, either like the one you get on a Rallymaster to hold the clock and rev counter, or into the top of a legshield toolbox.

This blatant ripoff of my idea (if there are any lawyers reading, this is a pathetic attempt at humour!) is attached to a Japanese electric scooter, which doesn’t come from one of the big four (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki), but a company called Terra Motors. They’ve got a bit of a track record with electric vehicles, launching an electric TukTuk back in March.

Back to the iPod dock… doesn’t do too much really either shows you your speed, or how much charge there is left in the battery. I would be kind of cool to be able to switch to a sat nav mode, or blast some tunes out through some integrated speakers. Rigged up to a traditionally powered scoot you could show stuff like engine temperature, and revs too… all fairly easy to achieve I imagine. In fact, I bet someone’s already done this on a Lammie. If you know of it, let me know, I’d love to do a post on it.

So electric scooters. Cheap to run, less to go wrong, and once they’ve got the performance and range issues sorted out, I think a bit of a no brainer. They’re the future. Although I still prefer mine Lambretta shaped.

via C|Net

Ahh… sweet… The Suzuki Choinori

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I’ll hold my hands up, I’m not a huge fan of modern scooters, I’m much more of a vintage kinda guy. There are, however some exceptions. I really like the Honda Zoomer/Ruckus and also the Yamaha C3, which style aesthetic to the standard, twist and go scoot. I’ll post a bit about each of these when I’ve found out a bit more. Taking a similar approach, and pushing minimalism to the next level, is this cute little scoot from Suzuki. Built from 2003 to 2007, the Choinori was only available in Japan… where they built ten million of the little 49cc scoots. One of the reason they were so popular, was they were extremely inexpensive – something they achieved by innovations like a linerless bore engine, and even the lack of any rear suspension. Although these ‘features’ (or lack of them) are celebrated as a landmark of Japanese automotive history… anyone that knows their Lambretta history will immediately think of the model A – especially the version without the plastic (sorry, resin) legshields (last pic).

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The Choinori (which means “short hop” or “little journey” in Japanese) was discontinued in 2007, when the engine couldn’t meet new emission standards. To me, this looks like an incredible opportunity for Suzuki to steal a march on the rest of the scooter industry, and use the Choinori as a platform for an electric scoot… it’s light weight and simplicity of construction are all plusses here. You wouldn’t want to do too many miles on it anyway… the bum-numbing lack of rear suspension would limit it to the role of a city bike/micro commuter, for all except the most committed enthusiasts/mascochists.

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