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gatling 04-03-2011 04:05 PM

California Scooter Article
Trevor Summons, a local correspondent, had an article about California Scooter Company in five newspapers today. The article is included here in its entirety.

Zoom to La Verne, home of California Scooters

Trevor Summons, Correspondent

Posted: 04/02/2011 06:50:50 PM PDT

I was fortunate to spend the first 10 years of my working life visiting factories, where things were actually produced. I saw automobiles, glass bottles, cookies, wire and even perfume made. Mostly the places were noisy, dirty and sometimes dangerous. Then I changed course and went into the computer industry where the vista never changed. It was artificially lit, hummed with air-conditioning and the only surroundings were usually large, pale blue boxes.

I’ve often missed the days where people worked to make things, and so it was a pleasure going along to visit California Scooters where I could combine another love, that of motorcycles.

“Back in the days when motorcycles were really just beginning, they were always called `Scooters,”‘ said Joe Berk, in charge of PR for the firm. “Perhaps today we might call the company something different, as it can cause some confusion.”

Scooters in fact are now becoming popular and the two-wheeled machines this company produces are not to be confused with the step-through, sometimes automatic little commuter bikes that are coming into the country.

“But if you line up our machine with say a Vespa (one of Europe’s most popular scooter models) you will see that there is a similarity in size,” he said.

But that’s where the comparison ends, as these are very much motorcycles.

Granted they are small, and single-engined, but one glance will tell you immediately that these would grace any motorcycle enthusiast’s garage.

The factory is located at Brackett Airfield, La Verne, which is right opposite the Pomona Fairgrounds and everything is assembled there.

“We love people to come visit us, when we’re open during the week from eight to five,” said Steve Seidner, the CEO and founder. His original company, Pro One, built street bikes and accessories, but he turned his attention toward making a replacement for the famous Mustang motorcycle built in Glendale from 1947 until the 1960s.

One of these older bikes is in a corner of the showroom and you can see the similarity. However, Seidner has taken his newer machines to a much higher level. They have a kick start as well as an electric start. “People love to kick them over,” he said. “They mostly have no experience of that, so they like to do it.”

With big sprung saddles like the bikes of old, they are very comfortable and, of course, lightweight. Joe Berk led a group of riders on these adaptable little machines all the way down the Baja Peninsula to Cabo San Lucas and back last September; a distance of 2,200 miles completely without mechanical failure. (For more information on this ride, please see California Scooters Conquer Baja!.

On display is a bright emerald green and black machine. “We call it the LSR bike,” Berk said. “That stands for land speed record.” The record was set for a 150 cc machine at 78 miles per hour. “But a lot of the course was uphill,” he added.

Privately the company would like to have another go and see if they could go as fast as 98 mph – ninety-eight being a rather special number in their minds. Berk explained: “It costs $98 a month to buy one, Geico insures them for $98 a year, and they will give you 98 miles to the gallon.”

Being small, the machines appeal very much to women, who find them a lot easier to move around, and they are a joy to make U-turns on. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the cost, as you can buy one of these great little rides for $4,295. I have to say I am very tempted.

To hear Trevor Summons discuss this and other columns visit Trevor's Travels - San Bernardino County Sun. Check out his blog at Trevor's Tracks (in So Cal). And visit his website, Trevor Summons: Writer & Columnist.

Read more: Zoom to La Verne, home of California Scooters -

You can see more about California Scooter Company at California Scooter Company | Genuine Quality Scooters.

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