Columbia Scooters 503-872-8565 Vespa Hillsboro 503-531-8772
Columbia Scooters provides Oregon and Washington with Scooter sales, service, and accessories. All our gear and accessories are now available to not just Oregon and Washington, but all over the United States through our online shopping cart. ENJOY!
The shop was founded in 1998 in Hood River, Oregon.
We did some Kymco rentals there, and worked on vintage VespaTMs. Folks kept asking us where they could buy a scooter, so we decided to sell scooters, too. A year later, we opened a tiny shop in Portland (on E. Burnside) to see if there was potential demand for a real shop in the city. The success of that location inspired us to move to a different location at SE 9th and Madison, which we have since outgrown. Hopefully the move to 205 SE Martin Luther King Blvd will be our last.
Since we first opened, Columbia Scooters has been active in recycling. In fact, we don't even have a garbage service! When we first started, many of the scooters would come packed in wooden crates on wooden pallets. We would haul the wood to a wood-only recycling plant on the Eastside. Now, all of the scooters are shipped in reinforced cardboard boxes, on cardboard bases. Sometimes the pallets are metal and there can be metal reinforcement within the boxes. All the scooters come with a certain amount of packaging, mostly cardboard. We have a cardboard recycling bin supported by Arrow Sanitation. Also, the accessories, jackets, windshields and other supplies are shipping in cardboard boxes that are recycled. Some of the box filler is bubblewrap, but most of it is brown paper or packaging pillows. The bubblewrap and clear or white plastic is taken to the Metro transfer station monthly.
Our service department receives hundreds of gallons of motor oil per year. All of that is recycled locally by SafetyKleen. Also the old gas that we drain out of some bikes is recycled locally at Metro in Portland. Worn and damaged tires are also recycled at Metro every month.
Unfortunately, scooter tires join the automobile and truck tires that are piling up at Metro. Metro also recycles our hard plastic waste, like scooter body panels and fenders. Any metal that we have is also recycled by a local scrapper. Bent kickstands, rims, mufflers, forks and other parts are collected weekly.
From the beginning, we have strived to be a positive member of the community. Most of our activity has been in support of the public school system. For example, we have donated scooters for fund-raising for:
Bridlemile Elementary School Foundation, On March 17th Bridlemile Foundation had its auction. One of our scooters was the biggest bidding item!
Alameda Elementary School,
US Grant High School (via Boosters),
Japanese Language Magnet School (via Oyanokai),
Duniway School, and others.
It has been our pleasure to work with the parents and school staff to help improve the local schools. We also have partnered with Illahee Lecture Series here in Portland. The 2006 series focused on oil and water, two resources that will increasingly impact our future, from agriculture and transportation, to economic and national security.
Over the years, some brands have come and gone, others have appeared, and the apparrel/accessories section expands, and there are some new faces at the shop. Here are the reasons for some of the changes.
CHANGES IN 2008
Added Chrome messenger bags and Scorpion helmets, gloves, and jackets: Some of our customers wanted to carry their gear, not lock it in a topcase, so we added the Chrome bags. Scorpion gear offers a different look and some great gear, and top quality.
CHANGES IN 2007
Standardized rates: We developed standardized blended rates for the common services. This is simplier and more consistent. Expanded Accessories: For riding gear, we now have summer mesh and winter gear, as well as convertible coats and pants. Also have expanded the topcase and windshield selection, and have custom-painted topcase for that perfect look.
CHANGES IN 2005-2006
Schwinn not in the line-up: Quality was not acceptable. GENUINE Stella not in the line-up: We dont carry the Stella anymore because we didnt sell enough of them to satisfy Genuine. And with the lower priced, longer warranty, cleaner Bajaj sitting next to a Stella, some customers went with Bajaj. Our sales approach is the educate the customer and let them choose. DERBI out of the line-up: Derbi makes a good scooter, but we had trouble selling them for higher prices than Kymco scooters. As with all European stuff, the weak dollar against the Euro is raising prices relative to Asian products. TnG out of the line-up: Quality was not acceptable.