A Green Future for your classic scooter. Go Electric.

5c370a1919ea1ee0aa43ebdf_electric_lambrettaWe all love our 2-strokes – but they’re not the most environmentally friendly of machines. Many people think the future of transportation is electric. With the likes of VW, BMW and even Jaguar joining Tesla in bringing electric vehicles to market, is the writing on the wall for fossil fuels? After all – when even Milan – the home of the Lambretta – bans classic scooters – you have to start taking these things seriously.

An electric scooter is not a new idea – and I’ve featured a few on the blog already. I even featured the first footage on the internet of the new Electric Lambretta – which is rumoured to be coming to market soon. Piaggio isn’t missing out either, and you can buy a Vespa Elettrica today.  But what if you love the lines of an authentic vintage Lambretta or Vespa?

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ProjectE

Well, now you don’t have to choose between a new, eco-friendly electric scooter, and vintage classic. Codenamed “Project E” Retrospective Scooters are producing a conversion kit for the most popular models of Lambretta & Vespa. They will remove the old petrol engine, electrics and cabling, and install a DC brushless electric motor, motor controller and lithium-ion battery. Ease of riding, reliability, economy and environmental footprint are all brought into the 21st Century – but most importantly the exterior styling remains totally original. A lot of effort has been put into cleverly hiding the modern tech behind dummy plastic engine casings keeping your classic looking as authentic as possible.

5c370b1d542c022ff4943e97_Electric_vespa_lambrettaRetrospective will be offering the conversion as a DIY kit, with prices starting at £2,485. They will fit it for you for around £500. You can even add it as an option if you’re having a scooter restored. You’ll also have to factor in the cost of the batteries – not included in the kit price, and they run to £850. You can choose to have just the one battery, or improve your range by adding another one or more.

Lambretta Models

Project E is compatible with most popular Lambretta models – LI Series 1, 2 & 3 and GP models can be converted. Retrospective are working on a J Range conversion, and a LD will follow at some stage.

30 – 110 Mile Range

Retrospective offer a variety of different lithium-ion battery options. Each has been made specifically to suit a range of needs – from a Sunday run-around to an everyday commuter.

Change back

One of the great things about this conversion is that it can be fitted without butchering your classic scoot – as Retrospective say “No scooters were harmed in this conversion, no cutting, welding or grinding; the conversion perfectly fits the classic frames” this makes the conversion is completely reversible – so if you want to go back to burning dead dinosaur fuel, you can.

Specs

Range ………………………………….. 30 — 110 MILES
Power ………………………………….. 1kw/3km
Top Speed ………………………………….. 55mph
Removable battery ………………………………….. Yes
Headlights ………………………………….. LED
Charge time 70% ………………………………….. 90 mins
Charge time 100% ………………………………….. 6 hrs
Battery capacity ………………………………….. 66V / 25ah

5c40839116b8f70343067670_electric_scooter_hero_shotThe future is bright. The future is retro.

The Retrospective conversion may be the future for classic scooters. And what could be more eco than riding a machine originally made maybe 50 or 60 years ago, powered by electricity?

I originally found out about Project E on Scooterlab, which covers a lot of ground that I don’t. If you haven’t seen their article, check it out here.

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Retrospective Scooters

Retrospective Scooters are based in Walthamstow, London E17, and as well as designing and building the electric scooter conversion, they are experts in Scooter Restorations, Servicing and Repairs. Check out their website here.

Images are used with permission of Retrospective Scooters.

Lambretta Vendetta, a few technical updates…

LambrettaVendetta_Display-1

A couple of things I’ve picked up on the new Lambretta Vendetta… here’s a close up of the LCD headlight display unit. Interesting to see the the Bluetooth icon, showing Bluetooth connectivity. There’s an App that comes with your new Lambretta too, apparently.

See the official specs below,

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Headlight-1Lights; LED lights feature all round, including the indicators.

Engine Capacity; The Vendetta will come in three capacities, The V50, V125, and V200.

Brakes-1Brakes; The V50 has a  front disk brake, and a rear drum. The V125 disks front and rear with a combined braking system (CBS), and the V200 disks front and Rear with a Bosch ABS System.

Flex front mudguard; As with classic Lambrettas (since the LD and LC anyway) the Vendetta features a fixed front fender (or mudguard as we tend to call it in the UK). Except when it doesn’t. There is a ‘flex’ model on all capacities, with a turning front mudguard. For those who prefer a more ‘Spanish’ look I suppose :). One oddity is that the flex models are available in different colours to the standard ‘Specials’.

Storage; There’s a large luggage area under the seat, a luggage hog in front of the seat, and a glove box integrated into the legshields. I have also seen images showing traditional ‘sprint rack’ like rear carriers.

Chassis-1Metal, NOT Plastic. The chassis is STEEL bodywork, on a tubular frame. The side-panels are double-layered, with a 1.2mm steel middle beam that stretches to the sides in a ‘airplane profile architecture’. Make no mistake, this is a solid, premium METAL scooter.

Vendetta_SeatAttention to detail. The new Lambretta appears to have been finished to a very high standard. This is not a cheap and nasty scooter. Take the detailing on the seat, for example.

Pricing. To be announced. But I would expect it will be similar to a top of the range offering from Piaggio.

I’m sure more information will appear. In the meantime, check out the official website, here.

 

 

Lambretta Vendetta V200 Revealed…

Lambretta-V-Special-Scooter-1-1Just some (more) pics for the moment of the first, new, official model Lambretta since the 1970’s. (remember where you saw the first ‘unofficial’ pic folks!) I’m sure there are going to be lots of thoughts and opinions on this one… My initial reactions are that it’s obviously a modern scooter, not a slavish reproduction of a classic lambretta, but, like the reinventions of the Mini, and the Beetle for the 21st century, it includes enough ‘nods’ to the past to be clearly a Lambretta.

The lines are bold and sharp… it has an aggressive, no nonsense stance…that looks like it’s going fast even when standing still.

There are more pics and analysis over at ScooterLab

Updates soon.Lambretta-V-Special-Scooter-2-1Lambretta-V-Special-Scooter-3-1Lambretta-V-Special-Scooter-4-1Lambretta-V-Special-Scooter-8-1Lambretta-V-Special-Scooter-10-1Lambretta-V-Special-Scooter-11-1

Vespa electtrica

e-vespaI don’t often cover ‘The Wasp’ on here, but there is big news today out of Milan. At EICAMA (the Milan Motorcycle Show) today The Piaggio Group announced what the future may look like for Vespa… and it looks pretty much like the Vespas of the last 70 years (which is a good thing!). But it’s electric. Which, I also think is a good thing.

I know, I know, we all love our smelly old 2-strokes. But that ship sailed a long time ago, and electric is the future. And if you can balance style, performance, range and price you’re on to a winning formula. The Vespa Electtrica is has got the styling nailed –it’s  based on the successful current Primavera model.

To quote from the official Vespa site “Introducing the Vespa Elettrica project, the new mobility solution according to the most elegant and beloved two-wheeled brand in the world that takes a step into the future in complete consistency with the values that have accompanied its history.

The Vespa Elettrica will, first and foremost, be a true Vespa, bringing the very latest in electric technology to a vehicle that will retain all the features that have been vital to its success. The style, agility, ease of use and riding pleasure will be the same as the Vespa we have always known, with the addition of technological and innovative connectivity solutions. A perfect mix of excitement, technology and environmental friendliness that only Vespa can create. Like it has always done in its first seventy years of history.”

So not a lot of hard facts about performance, or range then. Or price – though, if on launch the government ‘plug-in’ grant offering a £1,500 rebate on the cost of electric scooters / bikes is still in effect, that will help, big time. They have got the styling sorted. If you like Vespas, of course : ).

It’s not the first time that Vespa has explored the world of electric vehicles, as The ScooterNova blog  points out. They are also where I first read about the Electric Vespa, so stay tuned to them for further updates. I’m sure ScooterLab and Scootering will be all over it too.

The official Vespa site is here.

 

Auto Suggestions…

If a traditional geared Lambretta engine is not your thing there’s a couple of cool Lambretta Autos on eBay at the mo, with very different aesthetics.

s2_spanishauto1The first one is a Spanish Rat Rod with a Vespa ET4 lump in it;Here it is on eBay

The second is a street racer but by Frank Sanderson – who knows a thing or two about Lambretta Autos.

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It has a tuned and upgraded 172cc Gilera Runner 2-Stroke engine in a Lambretta frame.That one’s on eBay here.

If you don’t like Autos, Rex Monacos, Simson Schwalbes, Scomadis or Snuggys,  or even Prince Buster (shame on you!), I promise I’ll be posting about some real Lambrettas soon 🙂

Electric Swallow

The Simson Schwalbe (German for Swallow – the bird you smutty minded lot) was, for those that don’t know, a classic East German  scooter/moped. It followed the ‘enclosed motorcycle’ model with larger 16″ wheels than classic Italian scooter. Extremely popular in the DDR back in the day, it’s now the latest classic scooter to be re-invented as an electric ‘e-scooter’ – joining the likes of Cezeta and Lohner12895280-wyglada-jak-klasyczny-simson-schulbe-jednak-zamiast-silnika-spalinowego-napedza-go-prad-96s-1200

It’s been hard to come across hard and fast info about the new electric version of the Simson Schwalbe… but here’s what I’ve gleaned from various sources. Any errors are mine, due to my inability to read any language other than english, and the limitations of Google Translate. So, here’s what I know.

  1. It’s been in development since 2011.
  2. The guys behind it are Govecs – a German electric powered scooter manufacturer.
  3. There will be two models, roughly corresponding in power to 50 and 125cc 2-stroke engines.
  4. The expected cost is in the €4,000 range.

We should know more when the promised production model is revealed at the end of the month.

As yet, there’s no further information on a electric Lambretta, the electric Scomadi that was showcased at EICMA a few years ago, or an electric version of the forthcoming Lambretta Vendetta. But who knows what the future will bring.

If you’re interested in electric scooters, check out these posts on the Fido and the DonGo Bare Bones too.

UPDATE: Reader Fabian has done some reading for me, and there’s a little more history of the e-Schwalbe in the comments… Worth a read! (It’s the last yellow tag at the bottom of the post with “replies” in it if you can’t find the comments).

 

 

Staines Skinhead Scomadi

stainesscomadi2Came across this tidy Scomadi in Staines, sorry Staines-upon-Thames, the other day.

It’s been tastefully modded to lower the back end, which gives it a much more traditional look, along with a number of performance upgrades. I had a brief chat with the owner, Mark, and it’s up for sale… he wants £2k for it (he’s spent over £3k on it). If you’re interested, drop him an email.stainesscomadi1

Limited Edition Scomadi 200’s Available Soon!

c04f15c0-fea1-4001-b378-5b09dfdace77-originalWord has reached Lambrettista Towers that the first 100 Limited Edition FP (First Production) TL200 Scooters have arrived at Scomadi HQ. The are being hand finished before being rolled out to the Scomadi dealer network over the next couple of weeks. If you fancy one though, I’m afraid you’re out of luck… this batch are all reserved for those that made a pledge via the Scomadi Crowd Funding Campaign. I’m sure more will follow shortly though!

Sticky’s thoughts on the ‘New Lambretta’

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Some valuable insights here by Sticky, on ScooterLab regarding the L70 the ‘New Lambretta’ to be launched in (as I write) 11 days. I make that Tuesday the 3rd of May. Not too long to wait, and worth getting over to the Lambretta Consortium site and registering for the chance to win ‘one of five’ new Lambrettas.

One of the nuggets of information in Sticky’s article is that the design of the L70 is likely to be by Austrian designer Gerald Kiska, rather than the designer of the LN, Alessandro Tartarini. Amongst several ‘generic’ scooters studio Kiska has also been responsible for an update to historic Swedish Motorcycle brand Husqvarna (now probably more famous these days for making chainsaws and the like).

There is a quote in the  Husqvarna case study that says “They don’t make them like they used to because today’s riders are forward thinking.  They are interested in the future of bike design, not what’s behind them.  The 401 VITPILEN delivers what they want: “retro futurism done right I’m pretty sure most Lambretta buyers are interested in ‘what’s behind them’ but the concept of retro futurism done right sounds pretty good to me.

Here’s the link to Sticky’s article again.

Czech this out!

Cezeta1The Cezeta is back – and it hasn’t changed a bit (apart from being electric!). The distinctive Czech scooter has returned in a design virtually unchanged from the original models produced in the ’50s and ’60s. And it’s all the better for it. You’d be hard pushed to spot any difference between these new models and the originals – in fact, you’d be on a hiding to nothing as the prototypes shown are originals, modified to fit the new power unit.

cezeta-home-02-1200That’s the one BIG change. As mentioned… she’s electric! Some will mourn the passing of the original 175cc 2-stroke engine, but this is the 20-teens and an electric power unit is the way forward. She’s got a top end of 50mph and a range of 60 miles (extendable to 120m). That’s plenty to commute in style.

Regarding the styling… it’s certainly unique. I’ve been less than kind to the Cezeta in the past, but I’m warming to the Cezeta’s idiosyncratic looks. Perhaps is years of conditioning so my brain thinks a Lambretta is the way a scooter should look.  There’s something quite hipster (in a good way) about them, and they’re far more attractive (and authentic) than the majority of modern attempts to create a retro scoot.

Although by nature I’m a bit of a traditionalist, I’m also firmly in the EV (Electric Vehicle) camp. I think this scoot marries the best of both. Retro styling, with a modern, clean power unit. There was talk of an Electric Scomadi a while back, (last I heard it they are still “working on it”)  and, although unlikely, maybe – just maybe we’ll see an electric version of the “new Lambretta” the L70 on launch (more of that later!).

There’s a ton of more information, including a road test and an interview with one of the guys behind the revitalised Cezeta brand (brit Neil Smith) over on the ScooterLab site.

It’s great to see these ‘lesser known’ (in the UK anyway) scooter marques making a comeback, with Cezeta joining the likes of Lohner and Cushman. Find out more at the Cezeta website, where you can reserve yours today, or pop over to Prague and visit their shop.

The video’s worth a watch too…