[VCLG] Rest In Peace, Rolf Soltau
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Drift Unit SC
1 Manual; 1 Auto; none other.
Joined: 20 May 2007
Posts: 1587
Location: SoSanJo CA
Sun May 29, 2016 9:29 am quote
Sorry to let everyone know that Rolf just passed away. He was under hospice care for a while now. His friend Carol and brother Peter are handling arrangements. RIP Rolf. Thanks for the great ride.
#VespaClubLosGatos #VCLG
#SouthBayScooterists
#Vespa #VespaScooter #Scooter
#Piaggio #DontCallItAMoped
#ClassicoMotoItalia #CMI2016
#ThreePeaksChallenge #3PC #RideOfALifetime

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Last edited by ThatBloodyStig on Sun May 29, 2016 1:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
Molto Verboso
Primavera ET3 & PX150 & GTS 300
Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 1317
Location: Berlin
Sun May 29, 2016 10:01 am quote
Ruhe in Frieden
So sorry to hear this. Only two days ago, a friend from SF said, "you have to meet Rolf if ever you get here."
Hooked
2018 GTS 300 Touring Rosso Vignola, 2012 GTV 300 Espresso
Joined: 02 Aug 2012
Posts: 417
Location: Herriman, Utah
Sun May 29, 2016 11:11 am quote
Sorry to hear this news. I have learned so much from the tech workshop videos on YouTube. RIP
Ossessionato
GTV
Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 2781
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Sun May 29, 2016 11:13 am quote
I had the pleasure of spending an entire Saturday with Rolf in his garage when Glasseye (Rich) arranged the Bay Area [Vespa] Tech Class four years ago. Rolf had an interesting life. We captured the tech class on video. Rolf talks about himself, his background and life in general about Vespa in the US in the Bay Area Tech Class, Part 1. Youtube will link to the other segments of this 6 hour day. You'll also "meet" Glasseye (Rich), Jess and a few other MV personalities who spent the day with us. It was quite a fun and pleasant day and lots of learning took place.

Here's a link to the attendees impressions of the class and Rolf. The last post has an written index to the videos.

The short story is that Rolf essentially trained every Vespa mechanic in the US in about 2000 when Vespa reentered the US market. We all owe him a bit of gratitude.

There area number of MV members that are also members of VCLG. Hopefully one of them will write more about Rolf and his adventures.

If there's a public VCLG memorial ride/gathering, I'd love to hear about it and participate.

Thanks Rolf!!

Best
Miguel
Addicted
'14 Piaggio BV 350
Joined: 14 Jul 2014
Posts: 682
Location: Seacoast New Hampshire (USA)
Sun May 29, 2016 1:26 pm quote
Sounds like a great guy, and being of German descent myself, I'd have enjoyed meeting him, very much! We are in his debtů

Ruhe in Frieden...


Last edited by Nautiker on Mon May 30, 2016 6:52 am; edited 1 time in total
Ossessionato
2005 Dragon Red Vespa ET4 Speedster
Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 2103
Location: Rappahannock Co., Virginia
Sun May 29, 2016 4:45 pm quote
So sad to hear. RIP my friend, you will be missed, but will live on on video.
Hooked
2015 Primavera 50
Joined: 07 Sep 2015
Posts: 345
Location: Northwest USA
Sun May 29, 2016 5:11 pm quote
Sad news, RIP Rolf. Gratitude for sharing his talent.
Molto Verboso
2015 Primavera Montebianco "Falcor"
Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 1973
Location: Atlanta
Sun May 29, 2016 9:30 pm quote
Sad news, RIP Rolf. <3
Addicted
2006 GT 200, 2007 BV 500
Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 895
Location: Campbell, California, USA, Earth
Mon May 30, 2016 12:33 am quote
Rolf
Very sad, have known Rolf for many years. I live about 3 miles from him and would always stop in if I drove by his place and saw the garage door open. Spent many an afternoon sitting in the garage with him chatting. More than once he has helped me out with any problem I had with my Vespa. He will be greatly missed. Every time I look at the engine in my Vespa I see "Rolf" signed on a yellow relay he replaced. That always makes me think of him. He will not be forgotten.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
946
Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 5749
Location: Marietta, GA
Mon May 30, 2016 4:32 am quote
Very sad news... The last time I saw him was at the 2015 Classico Moto Italia. I too learned a lot from him at meet ups, the Vespa Tech Day he hosted, etc.

A true legend!
World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 28049

Mon May 30, 2016 7:50 am quote
RIP my friend. He lived life to the fullest. Always had time for the ladies and a drink. So honored he came over and taught us how to work on our Vespa's. Piaggio lost a great ambassador.

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Ossessionato
GTV
Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 2781
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Mon May 30, 2016 6:52 pm quote
i've been monitoring things to figure out if there's some memorial for Rolf that I might attend (I'm 30 minutes from Los Gatos). I haven't found one yet but thought I'd post this VCLG Facebook link.

Some very nice comments. May we all be eulogized so fondly.

Best
Miguel
Hooked
Joined: 10 Jul 2009
Posts: 285

Mon May 30, 2016 8:32 pm quote
Rolf was one of the most mechanically inclined people I've met. He worked on Porsche racing cars, such as the 917's before becoming involved in training mechanics for Vespa. He continued working on Vespas long into his "retirement."

As far as Vespa's, he seemed to have a mixture of make it better and faster if it can run reliably. His scooters were kept in a manner that an experienced mechanic would keep them. The black GTS he had just before the white one, had a largely stock motor, stock variator, but with Butbo shocks, and adjustable levers, and black powdercoat everywhere, and a custom spare-tire mount likely for the Cannonball.

I remember when Rolf was either helping out or working on a racing scooter, perhaps for some event in San Francisco, when he got a mad scientist gleam in his eye, on the thought of adding a turbo to it.

Rolf was the kind of person who had his own viewpoint, but wouldn't bicker it. In the years I knew him, I don't think we had a single argument. He was the kind of person who would help you in the last few weeks of his life.

Myself and a lot of people knew Rolf from OVC Coffee; we will miss him. My heart goes out to his Brother and his Friends, who I am appreciated of is his later days, for being supportive and attentive.

Thanks.

Last edited by BrendaEM on Tue May 31, 2016 9:20 am; edited 1 time in total
Molto Verboso
Kymco Like 200i (Sold)
Joined: 04 Jun 2012
Posts: 1792
Location: San Jose, CA
Mon May 30, 2016 8:36 pm quote
My condolences to his family and friends.
World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 28049

Tue May 31, 2016 7:42 am quote
Here's a few more pics from the gang over here. MIGUEL i'm glad they did that for you guys. We brought them over (before YouTube) and they taught us many great things about our Vespa's.

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Ossessionato
GTS, LX, VSD, VSX, VNX, LD 125, Chucky, LI125
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Posts: 4175
Location: San Jose CA
Tue May 31, 2016 3:17 pm quote
So I will post up some stuff sometime.
I have lost one of my lifetime friends.
Everyone who finds themselves on this web page owes a bit to Rolfie.
He invested in me, a complement I may not live up to.
We will ride again, Rolfie...
XOXO

R
Ossessionato
GTV
Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 2781
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Tue May 31, 2016 5:46 pm quote
Thanks Rich. I look forward to your post. Do it when he time is right. It was clear from the time at the tech class that you two knew each other quite well. Thanks

Miguel
Ossessionato
2013 Can Am Spyder RSS
Joined: 17 Nov 2005
Posts: 2494
Location: Olympia, WA
Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:44 am quote
He gave me some advice that solved a problem no on else could for my GTS250
Ossessionato
GTS, LX, VSD, VSX, VNX, LD 125, Chucky, LI125
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Posts: 4175
Location: San Jose CA
Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:40 pm quote
A picture of Rolf racing at Watkins Glen in 72 in a Porsche 910.

There is a memorial ride on the 18th to the beach, details will follow.

R

Rolf 72.JPG

WHOoligan
1985 PX200E Arcobaleno : 2010/14 GTS300 S: RIP GTS250 @ 40K
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
Posts: 6695
Location: Los Angeles Kings, Stanley Cup Champions X2
Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:24 pm quote
Scooter Rage 24
Rest in Peace


Ossessionato
Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 3161
Location: pacifica,ca.
Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:01 am quote
rip Rolf. he will be missed by many
Addicted
C650GT BV350 GTS300 PX150E
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
Posts: 529
Location: Fremont, CA
Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:15 am quote
November 2014
Opening and setting up his last GTS, a 2015 model
A small example of how well respected he was in the community: he ordered the bike and said he
wanted to prep it himself and the dealer said 'sure'. I don't imagine that happens very often.

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Molto Verboso
Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1926
Location: So Cal
Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:34 pm quote
so very sorry to read this

condolences, love and hugs to his many friends and clubmates

Godspeed, Rolf
Drift Unit SC
1 Manual; 1 Auto; none other.
Joined: 20 May 2007
Posts: 1587
Location: SoSanJo CA
Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:49 pm quote
Ladies, Gentlemen, Scooterists, Mods, Riders, and Beloved Friends...

The time has come to lay our friend and mentor to rest. The date has been set for Saturday June 18th, and we will do this as Vespa Club Los Gatos does best : together as a family.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1542184932754860/

We will hold a ride-only event open strictly to RSVPs early in the day, but this will be an open memorial for any who cannot attend the ride or are only able to drive a car/vehicle/4-wheels. Parking will be plentiful and we will share our stories and memories of our departed Rolf in the back garden.

Alpine Inn
3915 Alpine Rd
Portola Valley, CA 94028
(650) 854-4004

If you are unable to make this date, we have our annual Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday August 6th. Thanks to Rolf, we have this annual tradition that has become a favorite among scooterists and motorcyclists alike. Visit the 3PC 2016 page at https://www.facebook.com/events/288202324850638/ for details.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates as they happen.

www.VespaClubLosGatos.com
www.Facebook.com/VespaClubLosGatos
Instagram : @vespaclublosgatos
Twitter : @ VCLG_Events
VespaClubLosGatos@yahoo.com
VespaClubLosGatos@gmail.com
The Host with the Toast
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 7197
Location: SoCal
Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:40 pm quote
sad news indeed,
Veni, Vidi, Posti
946
Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 5749
Location: Marietta, GA
Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:27 am quote
I'll be there in spirit...
Ossessionato
BV 350 (16) , Spint 150 (2015)
Joined: 07 Jun 2009
Posts: 2882
Location: mtl / vt / fla
Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:47 am quote
Very sad. I never had the chance to meet Rolf but he made a huge impression on me when i watched the home made video's i found on MV.

Rest in Peace Rolf.
World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 28049

Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:00 am quote
I wish i could be there but like Masala i'll be there in spirit. I'm just glad i was fortunate to meet him. He's one of a kind. He's irreplaceable. Wherever he is in the great beyond you can be sure he still riding and giving his expert advice.
Hooked
2017 GTS Super 300ie 'Sofia'
Joined: 08 Oct 2013
Posts: 385
Location: Berlin, Germany
Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:26 pm quote
Rest in Peace
I know him only from the videos, but took an instant liking to his kind manner and obvious pleasure in teaching others about their bikes.

Someone said it earlier, and it is certainly true; Vespa has lost a great ambassador.
Drift Unit SC
1 Manual; 1 Auto; none other.
Joined: 20 May 2007
Posts: 1587
Location: SoSanJo CA
Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:53 am quote
There has been some confusion regarding the date and events.

First, there is a RSVP ONLY RIDE to lay Rolfie to rest. No cages.
https://www.facebook.com/events/201631453564461/

We ask for your RSVP by this Friday June 10th (to VCLG.EVENTS@GMAIL.COM), as we are trying to arrange for motorcycle escorts to assist in keeping our group together. They will need a more solid number to ensure they provide us with enough riders.

Former VCLG Members are encouraged to wear your jackets and fly your banners. If you are part of another club, we welcome you to fly your colors/banners as Rolf's influenced went beyond Vespa Club Los Gatos.

Second there will be an OPEN memorial celebration AFTER the ride, cars/CanAms/etc allowed at the Alpine Inn.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1542184932754860/
Drift Unit SC
1 Manual; 1 Auto; none other.
Joined: 20 May 2007
Posts: 1587
Location: SoSanJo CA
Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:34 am quote
#VespaClubLosGatos

A reminder to all our friends : we request your RSVP by tomorrow (Friday June 10th) for next Saturday's Memorial Ride to lay #VCLG Founder, Rolf Soltau, to rest. Two or three wheels ONLY. Send RSVPs to VCLG.EVENTS@GMAIL.COM as soon as possible. We ride Saturday June 18th 2016, deets for where/when to be provided to those we receive e-mails from, and will have moto escorts to provide ride support.

If you are unable to ride, we welcome you to meet us at the Alpine Inn (Portola Valley) for the reception after 1PM, no RSVP necessary.

VCLG Members (current and former) are encouraged to fly your club banners and sport your VCLG jackets. We also welcome all other clubs' jackets/banners/colors to be worn during this day of celebration to Rolf.

#SouthBayScooterists #Vespa #VespaScooter #Scooter #Piaggio #DontCallItAMoped #ClassicoMotoItalia #CMI2016 #ThreePeaksChallenge #3PC #RideOfALifetime

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Ossessionato
2 X 74 Rallys, 66 Bluebadge, 76 ET3, 80 ET3, 80 P200, 65 Li225 Silver Special, 2015 HD Road Glide Special
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 2567
Location: Oceanside/ SF
Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:32 am quote
Sorry I'm joining the thread late but Rolf was pretty awesome at Amerivespa in San Diego. He and I chatted for about 10 minutes and I could have kept listening for longer. I managed to snap this pic before we parted ways. RIP dude.

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Molto Verboso
Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1926
Location: So Cal
Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:11 pm quote
bump for no good reason, really
I'm just not ready to let this slip off the front page yet
Veni, Vidi, Posti
946
Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 5749
Location: Marietta, GA
Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:33 pm quote
ks7877 wrote:
bump for no good reason, really
I'm just not ready to let this slip off the front page yet
Agreed.

"Motion to make this thread a 'Sticky'?"
Ossessionato
GTS, LX, VSD, VSX, VNX, LD 125, Chucky, LI125
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Posts: 4175
Location: San Jose CA
Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:01 pm quote
Loved Rolf.
He was a giver.
I am a better man to have known him.

R
World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 28049

Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:19 am quote
Wish i could do the ride tomorrow. I'll have him in my thoughts over here. He was one of a kind and they don't make them like that anymore. He's missed. I will say that he lived life to the fullest. Don't think he had any regrets.
Hooked
2015 Honda Forza 125
Joined: 05 Aug 2012
Posts: 488
Location: Somerset England
Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:15 am quote
Having read this thread yesterday evening I watched 5 of his tutorial videos referenced in earlier posts.

What a truly great man Rolfie appears to have been. Talk about Mr Vespa/Piaggio.

I was awestruck by his knowledge and obvious love of the brand and for his enthusiasm for teaching others including many here.

It must have been a pleasure to have known him.

I am sure that his Memorial Ride today will be a fitting tribute to him.

May he rest in peace.

somerset
Team Scooter Trash for Petfinder Foundation   Vespa Wasp Neck Scarves   Scooter Parts Company
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