Velocifero goes MAD with surfy electric fat scooter

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Velocifero MAD on display

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Italian designer Alessandro Tartarini is all about experimenting with rugged, big-tired, SUV-inspired two-wheelers. We recently looked at his Moto Parilla Carbon, the "SUV of e-bikes," and in the past we saw the aptly named Brutus, the "SUV of motorcycles." Unless we missed it, Tartarini hasn't dubbed the Velocifero MAD the "SUV of electric scooters," but we're doing it for him. This burly, fat-tired electric scooter is itching madly to kick up dirt and spit out gravel while carrying you from A to B.

Italian motorcycle fans will probably recognize the name Tartarini. Alessandro's father Leopoldo founded Italjet back in 1959, which is where Alessandro cut his design teeth, working on models like the Dragster and ... Velocifero. He moved on to found his own design company in 2001 and decided his latest project right for reviving the Velocifero name.

We caught a glimpse of the Velocifero MAD on Moto Parilla's Kickstarter campaign and immediately had to know what the heck it was. Its oversized 145/70-6 tires and wavy wooden deck make for a very distinct, memorable look.

Tartarini sums up his inspiration, "In a market that is extremely competitive and is constantly evolving, we need to create products that are stylish and have a strong personality."

The MAD certainly has style and personality. It's also highly customizable, offering five individual motor options between 500 and 1600 watts, along with lead-acid and lithium-ion battery options. Range is between 19 and 25 miles (30 and 40 km) with the 48V/12Ah lead-acid battery, rising up to around 35 miles (56 km) with the lithium option. Speed tops out at 28 mph (45 km/h) on the 1300- and 1600-watt versions. Front/rear disc brakes bring the high-tensile steel-framed, 97- to 106-lb (44- to 48-kg, depending on spec) scooter to a stop.

Much more so than the average stand-up kick or electric scooter, the MAD flirts with the eye and invites even inexperienced riders to jump on and twist their way forward. We're not sure if it's as fun as it looks, but something about the surfy deck and big, stable tires makes us want to hop on and find out.

That said, the MAD is designed for more than just good fun, it's also a versatile commuter for the right type of rider. It includes a removable seat and folding handlebars to meet various riding, transport and storage needs, and accessories like the double headlight and handlebar and saddle bags increase its versatility.

The MAD hit the market in Italy in December 2015. Manufacturing is handled by China's Maiway Industry Co, Ltd, and prices start at €1,000 (approx. US$1,115).

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