Festivals of Speed!
One of the “perks” I get, since moving to Florida, is working with and enjoying the annual Festivals of Speed that takes place in St. Petersburg Florida every year. This year it will be held on the weekend of March 23rd & 24th. (see the website for details
I’m posting this for a couple reasons. First, because I’ve noticed that many forum posters are into exotic vehicles and secondly, because our company, MetroRider Ltd will be introducing its new American-Engineered line of MotorScooters at the Festival
. (I know scooters are really hot this year! We sold the two I mentioned last month – three days after posting the video
We have donated one of our most popular models (the 125T-2) to the charity auction that is being held at the Friday evening Jet Hop. If you are interested in being part of one of the most unusual parties ever held, you don’t want to miss the Jet Hop! Antique airplanes, special edition Ferrari jets and other unusual airplanes, sharing space with the most exotic cars ever made and their owners. The only problem – get your tickets early, as this event always sells out by the middle of March.
MetroRider will have two of their most popular scooters on display at the Jet Fest, right next to the most expensive Porsche ever made. (Only two were built)
Saturday, MetroRider will have a display where the public will be introduced to this new line of Scooters. If you plan to attend the Festival, be sure to stop by for a test drive.
We are actively building a dealer network throughout the United States. If you are interested in this industry, please contact me. (Our marketing studies predict scooter sales will continue to increase as fuel prices rise)
The Changing Face of Transportation
by Roy Bedard
Since China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001 they have predictably become a manufacturing powerhouse and are now exporting Chinese made goods to all parts of the world. When I was a kid, “Made in China” was synonymous with “cheap junk”. Back then, people bought Chinese made products precisely because they were cheap. Strong trade controls kept China mostly on their side of the red fence and there was little discussion about American standards of quality. Most folks didn’t expect anything that was emblazoned with that insidious stamp to last too long or perform too well even the under the most careful conditions. When it broke, you simply bought another one. The Chinese invented throw away gadgets.
But now, the Chinese have re-entered the USA market place with machines and gadgets that need to be made reliably and should be built to last. Along with the walls of politics, so too have the walls of commerce crumbled and their now exists a China that is ready to learn a new standard that can meet an American consumers expectations. Machines, like motor vehicles that consumers will, at the very moment they saddle up, entrust their most sacred possession – their own life or the life of theirs kids. The demand for affordable and reliable forms of transportation is growing and the face of American modes of transportation is changing as well. There is a perfect storm brewing here in the USA as escalating gas prices, growing urban populations and a demand for emissions control spark a new generation of environmentally conscious young people who are driving the demand to disinherit our dependency upon the careless use of petroleum. SUV’s are under attack, as are other gas guzzling machines. America is looking for new solutions to the growing problem and appears prepared to alter its cultural habits in the name of conservation.
One solution among many is to move from four wheeled vehicles with large low mileage gas combustible engines, to smaller high mileage two wheel vehicles that use tiny, albeit reliable four stroke engines (over two stroke, since emissions matter) to power their short trips to work, to school, or to the local store. Enter, the age of motor scooters.
There is nothing new about motor scooters. They have been around for decades – but the popularity today is driven more than ever by need than by want. With Asia, making up about a third of the population of the world, their needs came early in the twentieth century and they have pioneered, developed, and field tested motor scooters in a way that no other part of the world could have, or would have been able to. So – it is no wonder that when Americans began looking for motor scooter solutions, they looked first to the east to service the growing US marketplace. Surely scooters coming from other parts of the world, like Italy or even some homegrown US scooters have always had their following. But these scooters were mostly fancied by a small but select group of scooter riders who enjoyed the ethereal qualities like the feeling of freedom that a scooter offers over the fact that they were necessarily economical.
A large wave of Scooters from China started a few years ago as the economic tide began to change. At first, the quality and workmanship were predictable. Chinese manufacturers, with little guidance and a world apart had no idea what an “American standard” was. EPA? DOT? These funny letters amounted to nothing more than a foreign alphabet soup for the Chinese manufacturer who preferred to work with characters – rather than letters. So it was no surprise that the original shipments of motor scooters that came to America were, well, cheap junk. The Chinese failed to recognize that not everyone in America is a shade tree mechanic or has the time to repair their various forms of transportation. Where in China, reliability means that you are good with a monkey wrench; in America that just isn’t the case. I have been to China where the use of motor scooters is as popular as eating with sticks. I have seen families of as many as seven people on a single motor scooter (yes, seven) driving happily down the rutted roads of various Chinese towns. I have also seen many a father – with his family gathered around him as he sat with a scooter half apart on the side of those very same rutted roads. He was fixing it – calmly and with a look of confidence on his face. I tried to imagine an American consumer maintaining the same calm when his mode of transportation suddenly stopped working in mid transit. I just couldn’t picture it.
So, there are reforms in place – mostly led by the US Customs Department which is regularly seizing non-compliant Chinese vehicles and sending them back from whence they came. It is an attempt to get the “cheap junk” off of the roadways of America which have created multiple problems for highway safety enforcement in every US State. Does that mean that China is now barred from doing motor scooter business in the USA? Well, no not exactly. Some American companies have recognized the real problem, and are working with the Chinese to overcome problems which stem from a lack of knowledge and understanding about US rules and regulations regarding motor vehicles.
In the case of METRORIDER, an emerging motor scooter company out of New Jersey a co-op between Chinese engineering and American design has resulted in a hybrid product that takes the best of both countries offerings and merges them together in a safe, reliable, fuel efficient motor vehicle that looks like something an American consumer would be proud to ride. Attention to details, like a robust body style and excellent paint quality surround the rugged frame and engine that have been built to stand up to the rutted roads of the far east but do considerably better on finely paved American roadways. Furthermore, the engine has been spec’d and tested to meet the most stringent EPA demands (that usually means California requirements) and is incredibly environmental friendly. VIN numbers, those pesky but necessary identifiers are placed in all of the right areas, and the DOT markings are evident where they are required by law.
In the end, what METRORIDER has done, has prepared a vehicle which is ready to meet the demands of our changing face of transportation. For sure, what comes out of METRORIDER is not what you’ll find off the back of a truck and under the cover of darkness. It is an upfront, fully accountable machine that is soon to be traveling your highways and by ways. Check one out yourself – the price remains affordable, about $2500.00 base price for a 125cc model that zooms along at 55mph and gets 85 mpg. Models are also available in 49cc and 250cc. The company reports that a 150cc, California certified model, will soon be out of testing and ready for American streets.