Genuine Scooter Company
Of course, the big classic scooter news at Dealer Expo 2012 was the debut of Genuine Scooter Company’s Stella in her new paint – yes, two tone colors are now on the way to the U.S. In addition to the reintroduction of classic single color black back into the Stella line-up, two new two-tone paint treatments will grace the classic line of Stella. At the show was the fetching avocado and creme treatment, and on the way is a stunning slate blue and creme version as well. On future developments of the Stella for the U.S., Genuine president Philip McCaleb told me that “anything can happen in the future, but we are interested in the new colors now” for the 150cc, four-stroke, gasoline-powered Stellas. Philip is a master of deception as well as one of the most recognized scooter company presidents in the U.S. When I asked him about Stella’s future developments (the LML Star, on which Stella is based, offers a 200cc version in Europe and India, where it is made), he pointed at the Buddy “Psycho” and began to tell me about that sinister scooter. He didn’t answer further questions on Stella, but said that if a business case is to be made for any future scooter line changes, he’ll “be in touch”.
Meanwhile, the Psycho (number 50 of the 174 unit run, as evidenced on the limited edition number plate) attracted a lot of potential dealers to the Genuine/Scooterworks booth at the show, leaving some nonplussed at its unavailability. Trey Durran, national sales manager for Genuine said that “we had a number of potential dealers come by the booth and upon seeing the Psycho,” (a blacked out and tweaked Buddy 125), “were a little disappointed that the entire run of Psycho has been spoken for by our current dealers.” He continued, “But we got a lot of interest in the way that we are doing things, and there’s always a few surprises with Genuine, so you never know what’s going to happen.” He’s right, and past experience with Genuine’s scooters and their well-timed variations on them is one of the bright spots in U.S. scooting over the past few years. So, Genuine loyalists, keep your eyes and ears open for more news from the “smallest scooter company in America.” You never know what will happen.
Alliance Powersports is the new national distributor of Taiwan’s SYM scooter and motorcycle line in the U.S. I spoke with Alliance’s national account manager Mike Hickman about the turbulent recent past and it was no surprise that he preferred to concentrate on the present, and even the near-term future of the brand. “It’s not a question of quality, we’ve got that,” he said, “but distribution of the vehicles and of parts and service items is a large part of the success of any brand in any country around the globe.” He said, “SYM, through no fault of their own, has had a tough time distributing in the U.S. and has made a change to make their distribution as good as their products are.” He’s absolutely confident that Alliance Powersports can do the job… and then we talked product. He directed my attention to the sparkling Wolf Classic 150 in the booth, which looked absolutely amazing and faithfully revisits a classic motorcycle, the Honda CB. Also in the booth was a 2013 RV200 Evo, a 171cc-engined, dynamic-looking, big-wheeled scooter coming to dealerships this summer.
More products on show at Alliance were the sharp RV200 and the timeless Symba. Later in the year the 2013 T2 Fighter 250i motorcycle arrives alongside the 2013 version of the Citycom 300i. Welcome Alliance, and welcome back SYM.
Puma Cycles Corporation
Perhaps the other big news on the almost classic scooter front at Dealer Expo was the no-show of the anticipated “Valentine” classically styled automatic scooter from Puma Cycles Corporation. I spoke with Marshall Lynch of Puma and he told me that the Valentine is expected in the U.S. “in a matter of weeks.” He said that it’s going to fill a category that’s currently unaddressed in the U.S. scooter market – a price-friendly classically styled scooter equipped with a CVT transmission. When pressed on the price, Marshall said that we would be surprised, and later hinted at an MSRP of under $2000.
Despite the missing Valentine, the scoots in the booth represented a great deal of choice in the Puma line-up. From a brace of 50cc scoots (some featuring notable quality in fit and finish) to a tiny, scooterish, electric bicycle (Fox), Puma looks to have all bases covered. They also offer an assortment of larger scooters ranging from a Ruckus 250 clone (the “Forever” in 150cc form) to what looks like a pizza delivery scoot (Roadstar), a modern Vespa look-alike (Free Bird), two Joker clones (Juliet and Romeo), and a small maxi (Apollo). Marshall pointed out ever more scooters coming to their line-up this year. In addition to the Valentine, the new “Speedo”, a sporty-looking 150cc and the new “Jakester” look to continue the affordable quality goals of Puma. Puma Cycles Corporation is aggressively pursuing a policy of having something for every potential scooterist out there. Keep ’em coming, Puma.
What’s next: More from Dealer Expo