MadAss – Attack of the Clones

Wed, Feb 15, 2006


(The Xkeleton Trickster, the next wave of MadAss knock-offs?)

Well, well, well… What do we have here? More players in the Tomberlin/Sachs MadAss game. The difference with these guys is their big-budget flash skills. The SoCal based, Xkeleton U.S.A., a “manufacturer of motorcycles” that “operates in the United States” touts “innovative design and engineering” as their focus. Looks like they’ve had this in the works since the end of 2004 and are finally delivering their rendition of this naked newcomer.

Xkeleton is selling the MadAss design as the “Trickster” for $1600 on their website. What do we know about the build quality of this bike versus the Sachs? Nothing yet, but we hope to get a report soon. What does Tomberlin/Sachs think about the Trickster? We don’t know, but we hope to get a report on that soon as well.

I will say that they’ve got the right idea with their marketing. The site is… um… flashy, thanks to Mexican design wunderhaus “”. They are putting together an owners forum. They’ve got a Hi-NRG soundtrack playing in the background. They sell parts and some Performance items directly on their site. They put ads in ScooterWorld Magazine. We might have to give ole Alan Eini a call and find out some more about Xkeleton.

For more information see their site or drop ‘em a line:
Xkeleton Motorcycles
303 H Street, 4th Floor
San Diego, CA 91910

37 Responses to “MadAss – Attack of the Clones”

  1. RC Says:

    Wow, that didn’t take long. That site is really annoying.


  2. Casey Says:

    If that is a knock-off then it’s absolutely the most faithful reproduction I have ever seen. More likely it’s a made under license Sachs or a built to order by Sachs for Xkeleton. They definitely are alot more marketing savvy than Tomb..


  3. Anonymous Says:

    Steve, am I detecting a note of bias here?

    Are you reporting about the Madd Ass or do you have some personal investment in what happens with them? Or is your, what shall I say, disappointment because of the weird timing that you get all excited about the Maddass and a knock off shows up on its heels.

    I loved your report on the Maddass, but I’m wondering why so much praise for Maddass and such sarcasm for this bike? Do you know who knocked off whom? Is the Maddass really an original design? Or have the Madass design elements been floating around for a while, ie the gas tank in the frame?

    I listened to your TV report but couldn’t really get what specific advances the Maddass made except for the looks… and looks get copied all the time.

    Either way, I’m not trying to be critical… I just find the tone of your latest report less than impartial.


  4. Casey Says:

    Why is it that the critical commenters are always “anonymous”?


  5. Anonymous Says:

    Is the comment critical, or inscisive… there’s a difference.


  6. RC Says:

    Well it could very well be the madass was made in China competely. From what I can tell the Chinese manufacturers are notorius for taking a design they build for one person and then just repurpose it for another company. Good for the Chinese company, kinda sucky for the original folks who brought the design to them to build. I don’t think Steve is biased except for the fact the the Tomberline Madass ws supposed to be the only “real” version sold in the US. And now it shows up elsewhere. Probably more of a surprise and bewilderment than bias.


  7. Casey Says:

    Ok, Why are the critical and/or inscisive comments always “anonymous”?


  8. Anonymous Says:

    Comment anonimously because it’s smart?

    Seriously, though… do got copied and who did the knock off? Was the madass first, or just first to this site?

    The two salient design features of the madass were the frame tank and the twin bug eyes… haven’t we seen those before?

    It didn’t seem like there was much else to the madass.


  9. Steve Guzman Says:

    Hello everyone… I’m glad I can finally comment. Blogger was acting up just a few minutes ago.

    First. Casey, you are correct. This IS a MadAss if I’ve ever seen one. More true to the original than any other knock-off I’ve seen before… and, yes RC it didn’t take long, but I did kinda like the site (beauty is in the eye of the surfer).

    As for the “note of bias” as detected by Anonymous; I can see how it can appear so. I was VERY excited to see the MadAss come to America. I had been tracking its progress in Germany for sometime and was really stoked to find that it was arriving here… EVEN IF, and I can agree with this statement, the only thing different is the look.

    I can assure you that I do not have any ties, personal or financial with Tomberlin OR Sachs and believe me, if EVER there is a tie between TheScooterScoop and another company; I vow to disclose it in EVERY post dealing with their products.

    So, why the “poo-poo” on the Xkeleton Trickster? Only for this reason. The Tomberlin MadAss is the officially licensed Sachs product. They have gone through all the necessary pains to get this bike legally on our shores and THAT takes a lot of guts. I applaud them for working to bring something fresh to America. We are already the stepchild in the world of scooters and mopeds, so I greatly support the companies working to get us some new blood!

    So now I ask you this. If a company works to legally bring a new product to the USA shouldn’t they reap the rewards? Just as RC said, looking at it from a short-sighted consumer’s point of view the answer would be “HECK NO! I just want the product at the cheapest price.” From my point of view, I say “Absolutely. I would pay a bit more to support the company that took the chance on giving us something NEW and in my opinion EXCITING.

    To end I say, thank you for being an aware reader. I come from an advertising background myself and after I left that industry I’ve become brutally jaded at ANYTHING resembling a sales pitch. Granting that almost every one of my posts looks like a pitch, but it’s a pitch for scooters and mopeds in general. If I ever try to sell you something specifically, it will be noted as an advertisement or sponsorship.

    Thanks for all of your comments!


  10. Anonymous Says:


    #1 – The pictures included on recent articles about the Tomberlin and their ‘MadAss’ the ‘Sachs’ label was removed from the unit and replaced by a Tomberlin decal. (hmm….)

    #2 – Yes, Sachs purchases this product (and other stuff they sell in europe too) from a very important factory in China since its last-year inception to the european market. The U.S. based companies do the same. Given that it is the same product from the same factory mean, same quality and reliability, and definitely better support than a europe-based company with no U.S. presence.

    #3 – You (Steve) are using words like ‘legally’…what is the legal difference between Xkeleton, Sachs or Tomberiln (All importers of the same product from the same factory) they do exactly the same thing. Do your research.

    #4 – In the end, its all about us consumers getting the best product-for-the-price. So if a company offers a good product, at a reasonable price and proper warranty and support, why not buy it?

    #5 – Just to level the situation here, I will root for Xkeleton and Sachs and ‘poo-pooh’ Tomberlin for lying to consumers about their blue-bloodiness…funny enough, they were the last to get into what you call ‘war’.


  11. Philip Barrett Says:

    I’m going with the annoying site thing too. I find Flash to be an utter, utter, utter (as Viv would say).


  12. Casey Says:

    Sounds like “anonymous” is working for Xkeleton.


  13. Anonymous Says:

    Here’s a clue.

    There’s definitely more than one “anonymous” in here.

    This is the guy who posted the first “bias” comment. Whoops, there goes another clue.

    Either way, I like the way Steve explains himself, and I think I even surmised in my post that there were several possibilities ranging from bias to surprise.

    If Tomberlin does it right, or whoever does it right — by that meaning they do the bona fide things it takes to support the product, then more power to them.

    Anyone who punt kicks these onto their customers by the side of the road, I mean on Ebay: boo.


  14. dudel Says:

    I don’t like the way Tomberlin but their name on the Sachs. If it’s a Sachs it should say Sachs. Tomberllin didn’t build it they just imported it and painted their name on it. That bugs me.


  15. Casey Says:

    One thing is for sure, The Madass and its clones are proving to be a contraversial subject.


  16. dudel Says:

    …off topic but…

    Can anybody explain why Honda rebadged the Griffon as “GRF-1″ for 2005?

    2005 Milan “GRF-1″

    2003 Tokyo “GRIFFON”



  17. Anonymous Says:



  18. dudel Says:

    …I mean, why go to the trouble to remove “griffon” from a concept-only show bike and then glue “GRF-1″ on… if the bike is never going to be built?


  19. Bryce Says:

    I imagine Sachs designed the Madass, and then chose to have it produced in China. And once that happened, everybody else in China got it too. Knock off or no. There is no such thing as intellectual property there. It’s a Communist country, for goodness sake. And intellectual property is the easiest property to share.


  20. Motocrossed Says:

    While you “kids” are going back and forth here about the origin of the bike, as an older more experienced afficiando with years of experience under by butt, I have one question, why is the knockoff (according to their site) rated at 10.5 hp (with a weight of 186 lbs, thats about 11 pounds to 1 horsepower, quite a power to weight ratio). I am not sure but the Genuine Madd Ass is rated at only 2.9 or thereabout. Is that 10.5 a misprint?, is it really 1.5? These are the questions America is asking. These are the issues that the news media needs to deal with!!


  21. Casey Says:

    Yeah, Good point. I chalked that up to overzelous marketing hype.10hp from a 50cc 4s?! maybe from a 125.


  22. Motocrossed Says:

    Steve – please check out the horsepower issue, it is haunting me. I have wanted a MadAss for at least 2 years since I saw it on the European sites but, if I can get 10.5 hp for same of less $$, well what would you do!
    This old geezer is ready to plunk down $$ to add to the garage collection. Clear the air, give us the facts, do the investigative reporting.
    Geez…I love this site


  23. RC Says:

    Um, I think the clone folks are full ot it trying to say you get 10 hp out of that 50cc motor. Maybe after you hop it up to a 133 hp. This coming from someone who owned and worked with the lil Honda 50cc motors these guys based theirs off of.


  24. Anonymous Says:

    Where did I already see a madass copy but 110 cc? for sale here in the US.


  25. Anonymous Says:

    Can anyone get in touch with this company?

    I’ve tried to reach Xkeleton for a couple months now and no luck. I think they must be in the process of going bankrupt or something. No one ever answers the phone there. I had talked with Alan Eini a while back, but he seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. Plus their website is broken all over the place.

    I’d be afraid if I bought an Xkeleton product and had any problems, I’d never hear from them again.


  26. Steve Guzman Says:

    Yeah, in hindsight it looks like Xkeleton and Tomberlin would have made a good team. Take Tomberlin’s existing market pervasion and Alan’s vision for promoting the product… the MadAss could have made a much bigger impact here in North America.

    At this point, Alan’s Xkeleton is MIA. Could there be a comeback? Time will tell.

    And as for Mike and the Tomberlin Group, they have one more chance with the 125cc version of the MadAss. If they plan on it being a success, they should take some tips from Xkeleton and PROMOTE it, not ignore it. Again, time will tell.


  27. Anonymous Says:

    Whatever you guys say, the Xkeleton can be a darned bargain. I bid on one on Ebay (twice) and the seller (out of Texas) will legitimately and almost automatically second-chance-offer you for as low as $525 plus $125/150 shipping. I had a second chance offer at $710 the first time I lost an auction on one, and passed when I saw previous winners as low as $500.

    Leads me to think that the trickster isn’t selling, or Xkeleton is bankrupt and they are dumping inventory.



  28. Ryan D Says:

    My neighbor just won one on ebay. He was outbid and they immediately gave him a second chance offer. So the seller is likely shilling. If you are going to bid on one of these, bid low.

    He turned down the 2nd chance, but another one was ending and he bid at the last second and actually won one for about 650.


  29. mike Says:

    i just got one off of ebay. its JUNK, i went to urban moto in Austin tx (dealers of the Madass) and did my own side by side. the bike came with no title, broken parts, scratches, and is far less of a bike over all. It was cheap but i don’t think it will last. every part that can be substituted for a cheaper version is i.e. mirrors horses paint lights all the electronics. don’t buy one.
    love mike


  30. Buildingamadass Says:

    Mike- When you did the “side by side” were you comparing the sachs/tomberlin with the tricster/xkeleton??

    I want to know what bike you actually looked at…thnx


  31. Anonymous Says:

    The MadAss is like the unicorn of the scooter world!
    There are sooo many dealers but when you call they don’t even know that they are a dealer!
    Noone can agree on the price!
    Some smaller dealers don’t even know what an MSO is!
    I got a kicker 5150 HARDKNOCK Chopper to go to welding school from Kelley,in N.CA. who by the way was quite the jerk to me when I called asking for my money back & at that point could have offered me an MSO instead said,
    “You’ll never get your money back” and hung up on me.
    Can’t register it ,So thats $1600 bucks out the door.
    I’m an out of work student. It took me 6 months of yard sales,dog walking,mowing lawns ang tree trimming to buy a brand new bike for myself that is gathering dust in my garage.
    The Xkeleton Guys in San Diego seem a little “JANKEY” for lack of a better word.
    I called someone picked up said hello & hung up. I called back & got the machine.
    Earth scooters has then on their site, but no phone pick-up either.
    Dealers selling bike without MSO’s are subject to a $5000 fine per bike sold!
    Which means if your a so called dealer selling knock-off bikes, DON’T GET CAUGHT check with the EPA if you think I’m kidding.
    Plus Burning a welder is not a smart idea.
    I’m blueprinting the frame as a school project before I sell it.
    A 250 4-speed is gonna fit nice. Any takers?
    If anyone has a line on a decent dealer who keeps his nose & and his business clean I’m in San Diego.
    (619)-302-8303 press 0 to leave message.
    Thanks, ride safe & God Bless.


  32. Paul Says:

    I AM a real Tomberlin MadAss dealer. I can be reached by telephone, email me and I will send you directions and phone contact info. That being said… the Trickster is a mystery to me as well, I saw one on eBay last night and now the auction is gone.. pulled or just dissapeared, not ended. I agree with the theory that someone is dumping inventory from xkeleton.

    Anyone have any further info? Thanks

    Scooda Moto


  33. Anonymous Says:

    hahaha you are all idiots…

    what is the point of capitalism?

    “to bring the best product with the highest quality with the lowest cost”-henry ford

    nothing is original – these guys basically took the design of a mountain bike with a motor kit addon, right?

    so they included ripping off people in the motorcycle industry by using the tube as a reservoir, which is just a rip off of the off road community using tubes as air reservoirs.

    why is there a pissing match going on here? oh yeah that’s right because these are all the same people who harvest up all the cheap mopeds and then try and sell them for 2 to 4 times their worth, and now when a company is using your marketing tactics you whine.

    oh-is there another group of would be elitist, an “animal farm” oligarchy, giving you a run for you “johnny moped” money? how many million of people are there in this world? stop hording the rides and be appreciative that money is being put into the genre…

    what are you, the skull and mopeds?

    bo f-in ho.

    it either works or doesn’t and stop copying my idea for breathing air!


  34. ScooterScoop Says:

    Can’t believe I’m gonna let a troll lure me into responding… so I’ll just respond to a couple of points:

    “hahaha you are all idiots…
    what is the point of capitalism?

    ‘to bring the best product with the highest quality with the lowest cost’-henry ford”

    The key there is HIGHEST quality. Most of these “me too” companies don’t make an effort to ensure the Chinese manufacturer isn’t just slapping things together. For me High quality outweighs Low price. I’m not trying to live in a disposable Wal-World here.

    “nothing is original – these guys basically took the design of a mountain bike with a motor kit addon, right?”

    Haha. No. While I can agree almost nothing is completely original (except for my electric Fazomeiter zog peeler), it is NOT just a mountain bike with an engine. When the MadAss first came out you could not find another design exactly like it in motorbike world.

    “so they included ripping off people in the motorcycle industry by using the tube as a reservoir, which is just a rip off of the off road community using tubes as air reservoirs.”

    Um… Lewzer. The Xkeleton is top to bottom design copy of the MadAss. It didn’t borrow a piece from this and an idea from that… It is a cheap duplicate of the MadAss.

    “…how many million of people are there in this world? stop hording the rides and be appreciative that money is being put into the genre…”

    I, for one, do not appreciate it and will not reward someone simply meeting a market need with a cheap piece of crap. They can keep it! If I have to choose between a market full of crap or nothing, I’d, to quote the great emcee Zev Love X, “Rather be pimp struttin’ on hot black TAR!” Oh and stop stealing my ellipses.

    “it either works or doesn’t and stop copying my idea for breathing air!”

    What? No, they BOTH work… I just that wouldn’t trust this knock-off to take me to work everyday. The day I see a 25 year old Chinese scooter in good shape with 25,000+ miles on it (not uncommon for a Honda or an old Vespa) is the day my attitude changes on this topic.

    Good day Anonymous.


  35. Anonymous Says:



  36. RodG. Says:

    Check out the AMG Nitro, marketed in Canada. Looks like a Madass. Only sold in the 50cc version with the Sachs motor, $2200-2700 cdn.


  37. AdamB Says:

    I just have a question i have just bought one of these off a friend and need to kno where to get parts if anyone can help please do thanx.


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