|2001 Australian Motorcycle Expo|
|31st August - 2nd September 2001, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Victoria|
|Australian Motorcycle Expo, held at the historic Royal Exhibition Building, the site of the first meeting of parliament , federation. Juxtaposed the modern Melbourne Museum accentuates the buildings grandiose Victorian architecture. ->||Inside, you are directed upstairs to the broad balconies holding motorcycle and motor scooter manufacturer displays. Areas where comfortably spaced with plenty of room to stand back and admire the machinery.|
|VESPA / GILERA / PIAGGIO|
The Motor Scooter Australia sign was erected at the VESPA stand to mark the start of this tour.
Frank Tonon (Vespa House) with family and handful of seasoned scooterist set the display with the new PX200 on centre stage; 60's 'Piaggio' badging, plenty of chrome trim, neutral coloured indicator lens, clear headlight glass, retro tail light and low profile seat adds prestige and glamour. The instrument panel blends a speedo facia similar to Vespas' from the 50's. Frank noted the engine and gear change felt smoother.
Australia favourite scooter, the ET4 was presented in various colours and levels of fitted accessories showed practicality and personality. Available with 125 and 150cc, 4 stroke engines and the ET2 with a more economical 50cc 2 stroke engine.
PIAGGIO X9 250cc maxi scooter welcomed those looking for sophistication and creature car comforts; linked braking system wtih 3 disc brakes, plenty of storage compartments, on board computer and CVT automatic transmission turns riding into driving. The X9 500cc is not far away.
The bright yellow Zip 50cc looked sharp and its height adjustable seat was a popular topic. Furturistic styling matches the advanced componentry to get you places cheaply with style.
Liberty 125/150cc tall-wheeled scooter with eco friendly 4 stroke engines and curvaceous styling provides stabilty, economy and will turn heads.
GILERA Runner 180cc sports scooter has the power and handling to prove its racing pedigree; 21hp @ 8000 rpm, front and rear disc brakes and performance suspension will give you a rush. More Gilera models are on the way including 4 stroke 125 and 180cc Runners' and a wild looking 50cc Ice.
Not surprisingly, three Vespa personalities stirred the imagination and had adventurous spirits rising; Vince Molinaro's immaculate silver GS 150 gleamed nostalgia and style and Giorgio Bettinelli's PX which has traveled the globe from Terre Del Feugo in 1997, to finish in Tasmania earlier this year, along side, Frank Christ's fully equipped 'Great Escape' PX which has just finished a 5 month journey through Australia . More on the Frank Christ's story soon.