Get them young.

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I think it is the Jesuits who say ““Give me the child, and I will mould the man.” With this in mind, and trying to keep the “Way of the Lambretta” alive for future generations… when my kids came home from school with the following note “We are doing a project on transport. If any parents or grandparents have any interesting vehicles and would like to bring them in, we would be very grateful” … well, I had to respond. So I turned up, on the day, with a couple of other dads (well, actually they were Grandads) to show off our vehicles. As well as my 1960 Series 2, there was a 1962 Singer Gazelle, and a proper Al Capone style Chevrolet from 1932.

Two classes of six year olds (split into  groups of ten), meant 60 kids clambering all over my scoot, but it was worth it to see the excitement in there faces. And I’m officially the coolest dad in the year (this week, anyway). I made a little bit of Lambretta propoganda / colouring page to ensure the next generation of Lambrettisti. 

 

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London Wasps SC Ride of Rememberance 2011

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What a great day I had yesterday on the Wasps SC Ride of Remembrance… one of the highlights of my scootering year… no scrub that, one of the highlights of my year fullstop. A beautiful autumn day, with the sun shining through the misty light, London has never looked better. I’m told it was a lot better than last years weather where it was persisting down… well, when I got there, about 8.30 am, after a lovely ride up through Richmond Park and west London, there were four other scooters. When we left, I reckon it was closer to four hundred. Probably more.
After observing the two minutes silence at the Inner Circle of Regents Park, a run down Baker Street, onto Oxford Street and onto Marble arch, tourists and londoners alike stopping to smile, wave, take pictures and videos and smile…

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 After a quick regroup on Park Lane… and it was scoots as far as you could see forwards and backwards… it was onto the main event, the laying of wreaths at the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner. Sweeping round HPC, we were waved at by the troops who’s been on parade, and that was a moment of real pride. After a while it was onto the Southern Cross pub on the Kings Road for libations, I skipped that as family matters need my attendance at home… and the queue for the bar and toilets was enormous. This is the third year Wasps SC have organised this event, last year it raised over £1,500 for The British Legion. And I’d be amazed if this year it wasn’t much more. What a day, thanks Wasps, I was honoured to attend and I’ll see you all next year.

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Wasps SC Facebook page.

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Latest Lambretta shots from Milan show

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A couple of images from the EICMA show in Milan… these red ones look like the “LS” model previously announced (I’ve heard that maybe LS stands for “Little Sister” although this migh just be a nickname), all one colour, and also a variant with the headlight on the horncast, as in the original LC’s, LD’s and LI Series 1’s. Seems a bit odd to be incorporating a design feature Lambretta abandoned in 1959, but that’s fashion for you… and there are plenty of modern scooters with the headlight in this position. True, it removes the problem of that big ugly headlight on the LN, but I don’t think it’s wholey successful design wise. 

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The final shot, below is back to ‘big brother’ the LN… but this time finished in silver and blue. I think this colourway might be for the 150cc model only, which is rumoured to be “for Italy only”. If the LN is going to be popular in the UK, I can see us wanting 150’s, 200’s, 250’s and even 300’s over here to thank you!

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Lambretta LS news… and a new set of initials the Lambretta LJ…

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Right, hope I haven’t got my wires crossed here, as I’m getting my news, in the original Italian, hot from the 2011 EICMA show in Milan. It looks like the 50cc Lambretta LS is due for an “early 2012” launch, (alongside larger 125 and 150cc versions) These will be sold alongside the LN 125 and 150. There is also talk of another model the LJ… although this may just be one of the variants of the LS with a 2-stroke 50cc engine (J for junior – Lambretta Junior? Just a guess).

The other news is that Lambretta have an electric LN in development… no specs yet but a 7kw engine and an estimated range of 100km… interesting… I wonder if they read this post about the electric model D conversion!

As ever, stay tuned, and when I know, you’ll know! 

Info via motorino.it 

Vespa 46

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I know, I know, this is a Lambretta blog, but sometimes you just can’t ignore what the ‘old enemy’ are up to. And there’s no arguing with the success of a company that have sold over 17 million scooters in their 65 year history. And at their best, I’ll make no apologies for saying they’ve made a couple of the best looking scooters ever. Even the most ardent Lambrettista would find it hard to pick fault with the beautiful organic lines of a GS 160. Well, I think there’s another classic in the pipeline, in the shape of this lovely “Vespa 46” or (and it sounds SO much better in Italian) The Quarantasei has been unveiled at the EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan, and is due to be on sale in 125 and 150cc versions before the end of 2012.

From EICMA.it Via ScooterDiva.

Let’s get back to some PROPER Lambretta’s

Right, just in case anybody had stumbled across my blog for the first time and was worried it was all about NEW Lambrettas… here’s a nice bit of pure nostagia. Come September, a film from 1961, stars Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida, Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin and a brace of rather fine Series 2 Lambrettas. I must admit, I’d never heard of this movie until it was flagged up on the rather good Vietnamese  “The Scooterist” blog. I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of the story, suffice it to say A) It’s got Rock Hudson etc. in it, B) It’s set in early sixties Italy and C) They ride Lambretta’s. Now what more could you want from a movie? Ms Lolobrigida, in typical Italian fashion even rides pillion ‘sidesaddle style’, It’s on my list of DVD’s to look a out for!

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So the LN’s launched… but what’s happened to the LS?

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So the one new Lambretta has launched, and there’s been a bit of buzz around it… but one question I’ve heard asked around the interwebs is “Are they going to make a 50cc version?”.
That would open up the Lambretta market considerably…

Well, when the LN was first announced, there was another model announced at the same time… Pictured here (in white and green) the “LS”. Smaller, lighter with similar, but subtly different styling the LS was due to be available in 150, 125 and importantly 50cc variants. Full specs

here<http://lambrettamotorcycles.com/ls_50.html>

I’ve reposted a pic of the LN next to it (it’s the blue and white one!) so you can see the styling differences, and the ‘family’ feel to the range.

I’ve heard nothing about this model for about six months, and my guess would be that “CLAG International Ltd.” the consortium behind the new Lambretta(s) are testing the reaction to the LN, before launching a second model.

As ever, stay tuned and I’ll let you know if I here anything.

LN vs LX

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Belgian website vroom.be pits the new Lambretta LN against the Vespa LX… The Lammie (is it right to call it a Lammie yet? Has it earned it’s spurs?) wins point for Style, Image and Handling, loses them for practicality and finish…

Latest advertising shots of the Lambretta LN

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Downloaded from another site related to the new Lambretta LN, lambrettaweb.com . It’s nice to see the traditon of using pretty lady to sell scooters hasn’t entirely died out.

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There’s a cool little video on the landing page… although I think it would have been better if they didn’t spell out that the Italian for wasp is Vespa… and left that as a little ‘in-joke’… I do amire the ballsiness of taking on the “auld enemy”. Quite ambitious!

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What’s in the mags…

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A new feature this, maybe a regular if there is any interest. A bit of a rundown on what’s in the scooter mags on the shelfs, and in the bi-monthly LCGB mag Jet Set.

Scootering

I’m not pushing Scootering, but it’s a must buy for me, alway got a fresh bit of info. This month’s is the second or third after a bit of a facelift, and the mag looks all the better for it. The content is pretty much the same though, just presented in a bit more of a contemporary way.

So in addition to all the regular features, there is a nice article on a British ‘oddball’ the Pheonix, with some beautiful shots of frankly, quite an ugly scooter. As usual there are a couple of nice featured Lambretta’s, taking Disney’s Cars movie, Pirates of the Carribean and Baileys cream as their inspiration respectively. There’s also a cracking 1958 Douglas Vespa.

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On the techy side there’s an in depth article telling you everything you ever needed to know about the humble nuts and bolts that hold your machine together. There’s a nice feature on the Troglodytes SC from down in Cornwall. 

Events wise, there’s rally coverage of Woolacombe BSRA Rally, The Ribble Valley Mod and Soul Weekender, Jersey’s “Strickly Scooters” Rally, The “Ride for your Rights” protest, and a Rally in Belgium to Liege Chateau. 

For the more cometitive souls, they also cover scooter racing at Cadwell Park and sprinting at Elvington. 

There’s also a nice double page spread on the “A-Z of the Lambretta”. 

Phew. 164 pages this month… a lot of ads… including a couple of really dodgy ones from “Bradford Exchange”, but also a lot of good content.

JetSet

JetSet, the club mag of the LCGB, which you can only get by signing up… has also had a bit of a revamp lately, and is an extremley well produced, well presented publication these days. Clearly it’s going to be more focused on the Lambretta rather than scooters in general, and it does that from a quite authorative, knowlegabel position. A lot of the features cover the same ground as Scootering… the mechanical section is known as Oily Rag, features ten tools as you can trust in your workshop, there’s a featured scooter club, (Redcar Frontline), and Rally reports… Isle of Wight, York Inset, all with more of a Lambretta owners slant.

One nice feature is a tribute to the late Dave “Iron Arse” Jackson, a reprint of his account of a year on the road in his bid to become LCGB’s best supporting member. He’s not the only one recounting tales of epic journeys on a Lammie, there’s Eden who recounts a tale of the 2011 Coast to Coast ride, lets just say… it wasn’t all plain sailing… or should that be riding. Putting a few more miles on the oddometer was Pete Orchard… who rode his Series One back from Istanbul!

I’ve only just scratched the surface of JetSet’s content… it’s 48 pages packed with Lambretta relevant content. Worth the £21 a year it cost to join the LCGB alone, without all the other benefits you get for joining… (discounted insurance, parts discouts, expert advice, access to the forums etc, etc.)

I haven’t done the other mag, Classic Scooterist Scene yet… as it’s bi-monthly and been out a while, I’ll review it when the next edition comes out.