April 21, 2012

Electric moped that emits advertisements instead of engine sounds

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 4:11 pm

A delivery moped for Domino’s Pizza is cruising the streets of Amsterdam with its traditional engine sound replaced by a man’s voice that goes “Mmmmm… Lekker, lekker … D-d-d-d-d-omino’s” (“Hmmmm … Yummy, yummy … D-d-d-d-d-omino’s”).

The ad campaign was conceived by Indie Amsterdam. I am not sure if actual delivery mopeds have been equipped with this sound, or if the video is plenty guerilla marketing by itself.

Although the idea is quite brilliant, I could do with less permeable advertising in my life. The plague of reverse graffiti is bad enough.

(Link: The Pop-Up City. Video: Amsterdam Ad Blog.)

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September 18, 2011

Illegally fast mopeds sold everywhere

Filed under: Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 10:32 am

Last week consumer watchdog show Kassa sent reporters with hidden cameras to 10 moped shops, and found out that all of them sell mopeds with illegally tuned up engines. Some of the sales people even volunteered to tune up the engines.

The Dutch traffic code defines two different types of mopeds, the bromfietsen which may go as fast as 45 kilometres per hour in built up areas, and the snorfietsen, which can only go 25. Bromfietsen are not considered cool though, because their drivers are obliged to wear helmets and must mix it with the cars.

Besides the maximum speed there is no technical difference between a bromfiets and a snorfiets. The speed is limited by a chip that either the shop attendant or the owners can swap out.

Although moped riders only make up one to two percent of road users, they are responsible for 10 to 20 percent of all accidents in the Netherlands. According to cyclists union Fietsersbond, 2,000 cyclists had to visit the emergency room after a collision with a moped last year. Snorfietsen are allowed to use bike paths, where some of them terrorize cyclists.

Dealer association BOVAG played a nifty game of pass the buck during the show, claiming that if shop keepers do not volunteer to swap out speed limiters, customers will take their business elsewhere. The association feels the ball is in the politicians’ court now.

(Photo by the inestimable Facemepls, some rights reserved)


September 6, 2010

Holland moped chic

Filed under: General,Photography by Branko Collin @ 8:28 am

In June of this year there were 1,000,000 mopeds on the Dutch roads for the first time, according to NOS.

That is 300,000 up from 2007, and even 600,000 up from 1995. In an article about bicycle manufacturer Batavus, Wikipedia claims that there were more than 2 million mopeds in the Netherlands in 1977, but I could not find anything to back that up.

I wanted to celebrate this millionth moped by creating a sort of “Holland moped chic” set on Flickr, analogous to Copenhagen Cycle Chic and Amsterdamize. Unfortunately, as you can see below, my photography skills were not up to the task and riders came out mostly blurred.

So I did the next best thing, and created a gallery of the best Flickr photos of Dutch men and women riding mopeds.

Dutch road laws make a distinction between bromfietsen (‘buzz bikes’) and snorfietsen (‘purr bikes’). The latter can only legally go 25 km/h, and are considered to be closer to regular bicycles in intent and use. Snorfietsen have also become very popular lately because they can look as good as regular scooter mopeds, yet you do not have to wear a helmet while riding them.

(Top photo by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved. Bottom photo by me, available under a permissive license soon from our Flickr account.)

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November 6, 2008

Teenager’s business gets him out of school

Filed under: Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 8:25 am

Last year the government raised the age limit for compulsory education from 16 to 18 years, but 16 year old Robbin Robijn probably could care less. He no longer has to go to school, because the government has just given him an exemption. Reason: the success of his company. Robijn, living in a village called De Kiel in Drenthe, turned 16 last month, and for the past year has been selling microcars of a type known as brommobiel—a car that’s legally a moped, and that’s not allowed to go faster than 45 kph.

The teenager discovered a market for microcars when he bought one off the internet last year, fixed it, and sold it for a handy profit. “Selling is in my blood,” he told Z24, “I’ve been doing it since I was ten. First chickens and rabbits, and now microcars.”

Photo: a Grecav Eke pick-up microcar, by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved.

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January 30, 2008

18th edition of Puch moped tour

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 4:37 pm

Last Sunday the 18th edition was held of Kâhwe Klâhwe (The Hague dialect, lit. cold claws), the gasoline and pea soup fueled Puch tour through Scheveningen and The Hague. Haags Allerlei’s Gera Nieland was there to take photos. You can enjoy them all at Flickr.

Puch was a legendary moped brand and very popular in the Netherlands. This popularity could not prevent the closing down of the two-wheeler production line though. The company still produces four-wheelers.

(Via De Telegravin. Photo by Gera Nieland.)

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