Genuine Scooter Co. began as the contrivance of scooter enthusiast Philip McCaleb,
who got his earlier start in 1990 with ScooterWorks. ScooterWorks initially rose to prominence as a mail order seller supporting vintage Vespa’s in a time when no manufacturer support was available.
Early in the new millennium after coming out on the winning side of legal tussle with Piaggio, McCaleb went a step beyond Scooterworks and formed the Genuine Scooter Company. Genuine began by forging a partnership with India based manufacturer LML. Through the 80’s and 90’s, LML had been a licensee and primary builder of the PX scooters for Piaggio. This partnership ended in 1999 with both companies holding the rights to the PX design, which set the stage for an LML collaboration with Genuine. The two companies formed a close relationship and Genuine worked alongside LML in India to spec a version of the PX design for the USA market called the Stella.
Several years later, Genuine would go on to forge a similar partnership with Taiwan based PGO scooters. Like they did with LML, Genuine worked alongside PGO as more than an importer and actually had a say in the design, marketing and equipment elements of these scooters.
2003 - 2005
The first PX derived Genuine Stella’s arrived in showrooms for the 2003 model year. In these first years all Stella’s were powered by a 2-stroke 148cc engine. Unlike the limited edition Vespa PX150’s released around the same time, the Stella’s used a revision of the PX motor with a newer reed valve instead of the older rotary one.
Over the first few years, Stella’s arrived in batches which sometimes differed a bit in spec or quality. Head over to ModernBuddy.com to read more about the Stella and these small tweaks.
USA MODELS: Stella
With a labor strike at LML limiting Stella production in India, Genuine diversified their business by partnering with Taiwan based PGO Scooters and introduced their first modern scooters to sell alongside the Stella.
The first modern scooter to arrive was the Buddy, which was initially offered in 50 and 125 sizes. The Buddy offered solid power, reliable quality and ease of use in a very affordable 4-stroke package. It quickly became a popular all around pick for the practical scooterist.
Genuine also added a pair of “sports” scooters to take on popular scooters like Yamaha’s Zuma and Piaggio’s Typhoon. The Rattler 50 was Genuine’s main sports scooter offering but an extra $300 got you the Black Cat - a limited edition model created in collaboration with Black Cat Fireworks.
Rounding out Genuine’s 2006 line was the Blur 150 - a longer, larger and more comfortable scooter aimed at higher speed travel and longer trips.
USA MODELS: Stella, Rattler 50, Black Cat, Buddy 50, Buddy 125, Blur 150
The Buddy International was the big news for 2007. In their first year, the “International” denoted Buddy’s shared their 125cc motors with the regular Buddy, but they sported white wall tires, a few upscale touches and your choice between three two-tone paint schemes which emulated the colors of France, Italy and Spain.
The Black Cat could still be purchased widely in 2007, but it wasn’t an official 2007 model as the Black Cat was really a one time collaboration that resulted in a few more scooters than Genuine could sell in just 2006.
The 2-stroke Stella didn’t make it to the USA for 2007, but it would return in coming years.
USA MODELS: Rattler 50, Buddy 50, Buddy 125, Buddy International 125, Blur 150
Performance enthusiasts got great news for 2008 when Genuine announced the introduction of the 2-stroke Rattler 110 (aka Rattler Buck Ten). Stella and PX variants aside, the Rattler 110 was the first 2-stroke scooter bigger than 50cc’s to hit the USA since the 1987 Yamaha Riva 80.
Genuine also replaced the Rattler 50 scooter with the Roughhouse R50 for 2008. While sharing a great deal of similarities with the Rattler 50 and 110, the new Roughhouse had more of an off-road slant than its predecessor.
Note the aggressive tires, raised front fender, bold headlights and mud shedding fork booties.
The Buddy series also got some attention for 2008 with the International models enjoying a bump to 150cc. This further separated the premium “International” Buddy’s from the lower cost Buddy 125’s. Genuine also added a 50cc variant to the International line, which was referred to as the “Lil” or little International.
The Blur 150 was not imported for 2008. It would be a few years before it came back. Every scooter in the Genuine line up also benefited from the new “Bad Boy” air horn (139dB). This super horn was added to every 2008 and later scooter as an additional safety measure.
USA MODELS: Stella, Roughhouse, Rattler 110, Buddy 50, Buddy 125, Buddy International 50 / 150
Despite a strong downtown for the entire scooter industry in 2008, the popular Buddy line expanded again for 2009 with the introduction of the Blackjack edition of the Buddy. Receiving the same 150cc motor as the Buddy International, the new Blackjack targeted a different niche with its flat black paint job and high performance exhaust, suspension and brakes.
USA MODELS: Stella, Roughhouse, Rattler 110, Buddy 50, Buddy 125, Buddy International 50 / 150, Buddy Blackjack 150
2009 was the last year for the 2-stroke Stella. Ever tightening emissions regulations led to the switch to a 4-stroke Stella, but import delays meant the 4-stoke machines wouldn’t arrive until 2011.
The Buddy International and Blackjack were last produced for 2009. The massive downturn in the scooter market meant these machines could still be purchased for a couple years, but none were made after 2009.
The best news for 2010 was the return of the Blur to the USA (except Cali) - now referred to as the Blur SS 220i. This time around, the Blur received fuel injection and a bigger 220cc motor to better equip it for the open road.
USA MODELS: Roughhouse, Rattler 110, Buddy 50, Buddy 125, Blur 220
The 4-stroke Stella’s finally arrived in March (2011) and went on sale in the entire USA including California where the 2-stroke Stella had never gained access. The 4-stroke Stella also crept into Canada in summer 2011 under the import guidance of Motoretta. With the cleaner 4-stroke engine, the future looks brighter for the Stella line.
Conversely, the 2-stroke Rattler 110 would come to the end of its run with no 2011 model offered. Its departure marks the end of 2-stroke scooters bigger than 50cc being sold in America.
USA MODELS: Stella, Roughhouse, Buddy 50, Buddy 125, Blur 220
CANADA MODELS: Stella
With supplies of the Buddy International dwindling, Genuine introduced their faster than ever 2012 Buddy 170i in June, 2011. With an extra 18cc, an oil cooler and fuel injection the Buddy 170i became the most advanced Buddy yet.
The spirit of the 2009 Blackjack was also resurrected for 2012 with the limited edition Psycho Buddy. Sharing the flat black paint and boasting additional blacked out components like the headlight bezel, the new Psycho Buddy chopped $500 of the Blackjacks MSRP mostly in exchange for using the smaller 125cc motor.
Just 174 of these Psycho’s were made, so they’re not expected to last long. The foot rack and crash bars are standard which may take the sting out of a gymkhana mishap.
Also enjoying a limited release is the Lemonhead Buddy. Available in just the 50cc size, the 200 individually numbered Lemonheads take their styling cues from the candy of the same name which has long been a favourite treat of the Scooterworks gang.
The Blur 220 finally made it into California during summer 2011 as 2012 models.
USA MODELS: Stella, Roughhouse, Buddy 50 / 125 / 170i, Psycho Buddy, Blur 220
CANADA MODELS: Stella