Yasin, the guy who correctly identified the mystery scooter as a KTM Ponny, has got an interesting scooter himself… well, actually he’s got a few – a Lambretta J50, Vespa 50 N, and a “Malaguti Saigon”. And it was the Saigon that piqued my interest. Another 50cc scooter… at a quick glance it could be mistaken for a Lambretta… nice clean lines, more elegant maybe than a J-Range Lammie.
Malaguti is another marque with a proud Italian heritage. Founded in 1930 in San Lazzaro di Savena,in the province of Bologna. Starting out making bike frames, Malaguti soon diversified into mopeds and the small, lightweight, single cylinder motorcycles the Italians were so good at. So when the scooter boom started in the 50’s, the company were well placed to take advantage of this. Rather than purely focus on the domestic market, Malaguti exported the majority of it’s scooters… with over 70% of the factories production going to Vietnam… including the scooter shown… which soon gained the nickname “Saigon” …although this was never an official company name.
So, that’s the brief history of these little lightweight scoots… one of many Italian marques that diversified into scooters, but in my opinion one of the prettiest, and one that deserves a little more recognition.
Yasin kindly sent me some pics of his Saigon (below) , and I admit, I’m a little jealous of his elegant little scoot. It looks in excellent original condition… original paint and even a dealer sticker on the front mudguard. Lovely. It’s clearly not complete… but not too far off… missing the sidepanels and rear light, a front fork cover, and some horncasing trim by the look of it… so if you’ve got access to a cache of Malaguti parts, let me know and I’ll pass the details on to Yasin. It looks pretty good without the panels imho… although you’d be hard pushed to get much more than a couple of litres in that tiny fuel tank… which would limit your range a little!
Malaguti are still in business today, and still a family owned company, and, although they ceased vehicle production in 2011, they still deal with spare parts, accessories and after sales service. Unfortunately for Yasin, I think his “Siagon” may be a little too long out of production for any spare parts to still be knocking round the factory!
One final thought, I know I’ve got readers in Vietnam, and Lambrettas and Vespas are immensely popular out there… but is anyone riding a Siagon in Vietnam? Even perhaps in Siagon? And if your are, have you got any spare panels for Yasin?
Thanks to Riccardo at Malaguti for the updated information.