Javaspeed Scooter Sales

A local scooter sales and repair shop with a side of delicious expresso drinks

About this Property

#Reason for Closure

Opened in 2002-2003, Javaspeed was at its core, a scooter sales and repair shop. Enthusiasts and new buyers made it one of the centers of the scooter universe in New England. The addition of the coffee bar and rotating selection of Pinball games made it a hang out as well. Riders would come by just to see other people in the community and use the parking lot as the meeting spot before rallies and events like the Wednesday night rides.

Javaspeed had a few strong years of sales when gas prices were at their highest — over $3 a gallon for some time in late 2006. The economic downturn that started in 2008, which slumped retail sales across all sectors and depressed gas prices as well, was the beginning of the demise of Javaspeed. Their last day open was October 31, 2010, and they had moved completely out of the space by December.

#Current Events

The four-store retail block along North Main Street which housed Javaspeed is still there. Javaspeed has been replaced by a “Fit Body Bootcamp” business.

If you are a scooter enthusiast looking for repair services, one of the mechanics from Javaspeed started Black Grease Cycles which has a shop located in Pawtucket.

#In the News

Browsing: All revved up at Javaspeed

At the Providence shop, you can get a scooter and a cup of joe to go

by Laura Meade Kirk
Providence Journal | February 26, 2006 (abridged)

Patrick Engeman has an antidote to the high cost of gasoline: He sells scooters that get up to 80 miles per gallon. So they’re perfect for commuting, or just tooling around town.

His customers get to hang out with other scooter enthusiasts at his shop, Javaspeed in Providence, a combination sales room, repair shop and coffee bar.

“I personally think I make the best cappuccino in town,” Engeman says proudly.

Engeman and his partners, Christian Reeve and Greg Woodbury, opened Javaspeed more than three years ago. He said they saw a sales opportunity in selling and repairing scooters, which are steadily growing in popularity, and they figured the coffee bar would help foster camaraderie among scooter owners.

“It’s a marketing tool,” Engeman says of the coffee bar. “It answers the questions of ‘Who else does this?’ and ‘Who can I do this with?’ You can head down to Javaspeed and have a cappuccino.”

The owners of the shop invite scooter owners to join them every Wednesday at 7 p.m. year-round for a group ride around Providence.

He said there’s no way to know how many scooters are in this area: Most are considered mopeds, but they’re registered as motorcycles, even though they’re technically neither. A moped is something that can be powered by a motor and/or pedals, while a motorcycle has a different design and more powerful engine than most scooters.

“The scooter was designed to be a useful form of transportation, taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of the motorcycle,” Engeman said.

For example, the engine is under the rider and under a cover, protecting the rider from heat and grime. Scooters also are generally smaller and weigh less than motorcycles, so they’re easier to operate.

[…] Engeman and his partners report business is steady. More than a dozen types of scooters are on display in their showroom, from entry-level scooters, such as the TNG with a 49 cc engine — about the size of a moped — for $1,695 to a premium Kymco with a 250 cc engine for $4,100.

The smaller scooters go about 30 miles an hour. The larger ones, classified as motorcycles, go up to 60 miles an hour and can be used on small highways. But they’re not meant for interstates, Engeman said. “I tell people it’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight — they’re not equipped.”

Javaspeed also sells clothing and accessories, from helmets and armored jackets to gloves, goggles and locks.

There aren’t nearly as many choices at the coffee bar, where plain coffee is $1.50 and espresso mocha is $4. There also are soft drinks and packaged pastries. But mostly there are just scooter owners and enthusiasts — and more of those than many would think. As Engeman said: “If you got bit by the scooter bug, you would start to notice scooters almost everywhere you look.”

Captured from a copy of the Providence Journal story on Archive.org, December 10, 2020. https://web.archive.org/web/20101205183500/http://www.projo.com/lifebeat/content/projo_20060226_browse26.2ec0bbf.html


Scooting the city

Move aside four-wheelers. On Wednesday nights, it’s scooter time.

by Abigail Crocker
Providence Phoenix | October 14, 2009

The weekly ride, kick-started by Patrick Engeman, owner of North Main’s Javaspeed Scooters, draws about a dozen to two dozen riders. The assembled gear up behind the dealership/repair shop/coffee shop, strapping on helmets, leather, and eye protection. And then they ride.

The rides are meant for show. Engeman hopes to encourage novice riders to practice riding with traffic — but also to create a buzz and revive scooter culture.

And the event has attracted attention. Not all of it approving.

“If there are 10 scooters, people think they’ve seen 50,” said rider Marc Ardizzone.

“We sound like a pack of lawnmowers,” added regular Gary Constantine.

The venture turned from a small sporadic gathering to a once-a-week staple soon after the rides got some notoriety in the fall of 2002, about the same time Engeman opened Javaspeed Scooters.

And the jaunts are not for the feint of heart. On a recent spin, the scooters rode across a Wickenden Street intersection and proceeded onto Benefit Street, gaping potholes shaking drivers’ feet off the pegs meant to sturdy them.

The scooters took a turn onto Westminster Street and rode on the cobblestone. Some drivers darted in and out of formation but, like a school of fish, the group remained more or less intact. As they cut through the residential areas of the East Side, the riders spread out, carving S-turns across the pavement.

Downtown, a woman in a pink dress stopped on a corner next to Tazza to watch the motorists. She flashed a smile. Another man ready to cross the street scowled.

“We get a lot of reaction,” said Engeman.

Engeman recalled the driver of a red Camaro shouting at Wednesday night regular Luigi Ghiasi after the group passed the vehicle idling at a stop sign.

“He said, ‘Swerve at me again, you fat motherfucker,’” Engeman said. “It’s funny that some guy felt assaulted by Luigi swerving near him when he’s in a car. We’re the ones who are vulnerable.”

The squad has faced more than epithets, though. The gang used to make Thayer Street a routine dinner stop. But after neighbors complained of noise, the city enforced parking restrictions making it hard for two-wheelers to stop for long.

The group found alternatives. A couple of Wednesdays ago, the scooters stopped at Rick’s Roadhouse on Richmond Street — a venue with ample parking. The Red Fez on Peck Street is a favorite when the weather gets colder and the squad thins.

And despite the occasional hassle, the riders get away with quite a bit. Though Ardizzone rides his Stella (an Indian-built version of the 1970s Vespa) at 45 mph — about 20 miles per hour over the city’s residential speed limit — the cops don’t stop him. He attributes the lax attitude to his scooter’s nerd factor.

“They chuckle at us and say, ‘What a weenie,’” said Ardizzone. “If I was driving a red sports car, they would pull me over.”

Captured from a copy of the Providence Phoenix story on Archive.org, December 10, 2020. https://web.archive.org/web/20091022131222/http://thephoenix.com/Providence/News/91439-Scooting-the-city