Sunday, February 22, 2009

2nd step

The Indy Dealer Expo turned out to be very fruitful for myself, I fulfilled all my expectations and then some this year. If last year was an opportunity to experience and learn what this event is all about then this year was my opportunity to act on what I'd learned last year and of course learn more. As always, My main purpose was to be a second set of eyes and ears for Steve and The Scooter Scoop, A duty I feel fortunate to be able to perform.
As for my carbon fiber parts, I was able to produce a mold and a prototype part that I took with me and showed to a few people that seemed interested. I got back some interesting and useful criticisms, some of which I found very useful. Some new ideas were spawned during this trip as well.
In the mad rush to make something I could take with me to the show, I learned a lot about working with composites. I made a few mistakes that caused me to think harder about what this process needs to be successful and this week I'm committed to remaking a higher quality set of molds than what I had. I also learned about a neat little trick to achieve a better surface finish with epoxy. All in all, making these parts is going to be a lot more work than what I had imagined but I believe in making nothing but the best parts I can possibly produce otherwise I just don't want to do it. time will tell if I can support myself doing this but till then I am giving it my best shot.

After getting back to Austin I stopped by a friend's house and installed this prototype on his scooter for long term testing. The fit was excellent and the weight reduction from the stock part is amazing. I'll be making a few more for testing this week and start putting together my game plan for a legal business. I can't wait to make replacements of larger parts on the Vespa P-range to see how far I can push the envelope of weight reduction. The notion of making a full carbon fiber P frame is very attractive.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

At the Expo

Well, I'm here at the expo and thoroughly enjoying myself. I've seen quite a few new products that are very interesting like a 12" carbon fiber wheel by BST Blackstone that isn't currently imported to the U.S. Of course it's hard to get more info from the guy manning the both on account that he is being mobbed by tens of gawkers buggin' out on the GP wheels but I did managed to get from him that they are something made for the mini-Gp bikes that are raced in Japan like NSR50's and the like... Very interesting indeed, I can easily see these being adapted to any number of scooters, you know, if someone just happens to have the cash to $pend on these items.
I've been very fortuneate this year to have Steve from The Scooter Scoop introducing me to people in the scooter industry and letting me tag along to after parties and what-not, I'm doing my best to listen and learn from what these people have to say. It's entertaining to listen to stories of drunken scooter rally debauchery as well!
All in all this has been totally worth the time,money and trouble. I'm getting all that I hoped and more out of this trip.